Monday, December 31, 2012

Plenty of snow means lots of skiing.

   There's plenty of opportunity both locally and up north to please the cross country ski crowd. Thanks to all the snow we've received and the cold temperatures that have been with us, it looks like it may be staying around for sometime.
   If you are new to Nordic or cross country skiing take some well worn advice and try before you buy. Locally, at Independence Oaks County Park or Kensington Metropark, ski equipment can be rented.
   At Independence Oaks on Saturdays through mid February, ski lessons will be available. If you head north, take advantage of the many "package deals" offered, especially around the Gaylord area.
   These packages include lodging, usually a couple of meals and all the skiing you can cram in for a couple of days.
   You can get in touch with the various outfitters and resorts offering these programs at Constant, up-to-date weather and ski conditions are also on this site.
   We may as well face the fact that winter is here and will be with us for the net several months. Don't hibernate. Get outside and enjoy what nature has to offer.
   Cross country skiing and ski walking are great activities to help stay in shape, improve your mood and help you enjoy winter even a little bit.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Slow skiers enjoy outdoors more

   Bob Frye, owner of Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon is an outspoken advocate for cross country skiing.
   It seems natural because after all, that's Frye's business. But it's more than business with Frye. He speaks from the heart and is enthusiastic about the sport whether talking to newcomers or seasoned veterans.
   I had a conversation with him recently and happened to mention that I didn't know how to ski properly. That at best I didn't ski but shuffled and was very slow, bringing up the rear most of the time.
   "You shouldn't worry about being slow," Frye began. "You'll get more out of being outdoors, seeing the scenery and the experience than someone who is flying," he said.
   His point or points are well taken. Don't be concerned with being the best skier on the trails. And forget about speed. This isn't a race or a contest. Enjoy the moment.
   I have in the past couple of years. First, I learned how to dress properly, using layers instead of one heavy garment.
   Next, I took a lesson. That helped me use my poles more efficiently, learn to turn, slow down, stop, and negotiate hills usually without falling.
   Once you get some of the basics under your belt, you feel more comfortable on the trails, and that translates to more enjoyment.
   Learn more about cross country skiing locally at Huron-Clinton Metroparks (810) 227-2757, Independence Oaks (248) 625-0877, or Cross Country Ski Headquarters, (800) 832-2663.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas-still rushing?

   Now that Christmas is over the after-the-holidays sales begin. Returns for the wrong size or color received as gifts will be another high priority chore bringing that many more people to malls and retailers.
   I would expect shoppers to be out in numbers returning, exchanging or cashing in. So much for the crowds and all the rush.
   Personally, I received a lot more than I gave. Isn't that the way it usually goes? But if you're one who donated time, merchandise or money to a worthwhile charity or person needing a hand, your giving will bring you more than you'll ever know.
   It won't be in the form of nicely wrapped gifts or the newest in gadgets. No, it will be more personal like inner satisfaction and peace, and knowing you did something, however small it may seem, for someone in need.
   That's a great feeling to have and one to be experienced not only at Christmas but throughout the year.
   A pro athlete interviewed recently said that on awakening each day he tries to think about something positive he can do during the day for a stranger, always with the thought of making life a little easier.
   Whether he reaches that goal or not isn't important. The importance comes from the mere fact of thinking of others and trying to do something in a positive way for them.
   That can't help but make it a better day.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The night before the night before!

   I'm writing this Sunday evening in order to have it ready to go by tomorrow, Christmas Eve. Time could become scarce around home with a lot of last minute chores to get out of the way.
   We have come up with our own traditions for Christmas over the yeas.  Even though three of our four children live out of the country, we still maintain them.
   Christmas Eve day I try to help my wife in the kitchen with the menial things like chopping and keeping ahead with dish washing.
   She's a great cook and pretty particular about how things are done. That's why she prefers doing it by herself.
   She'll make the best cheese ball in the world-actually several as she gives some away- great meatballs,  
and a couple of dips.
   Usually we are in church for the 11p.m. service. We like to go then because of the carolling and the way the church looks decorated, with just candle light.
    Returning home, we have our snacks then it's time for Santa to come. Finally, we are off to bed. These days we can sleep in with no little ones to wake us up early.
   Christmas day is a leisure time beginning with homemade breakfast pie, homemade coffee cake and lots of flavored coffee.
   When grandson Josh arrives, it's time to see what Santa left. Later, we'll have a traditional dinner to put a final touch to a wonderful day.
   Even though our small grandchildren aren't here, we maintain the same traditions. Should they come for Christmas, not much would change other than getting up earlier.
   With all the changes in our present day and time, it's nice to form traditions within families that last. Even our kids take some of ours and some of their own to start their own traditions.
   Whatever your preference, be sure and include all of the family. It's a great time of the year for everyone to be close.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Relieve shoulder pain with Rotator Reliever

   A little over a year ago I had surgery to fix a badly torn rotator cuff. There wasn't much left to fix so surgery didn't work. Rather, it left me in pain most of the time and limited use of my right arm.
   Aggressive physical therapy helped get some range of motion back. In the meantime I had 4 more surgeries; 3 to clean out the infection that came about right after the initial surgery, then a fourth to clean scar tissue out and manually manipulate my shoulder.
   This operation seemed to help by giving me back some range. However, that was short lived. And the pain was still there. The next step would be a reverse shoulder replacement.
   Since I haven't had a lot of success with surgeries having suffered infections with the last three I decided to live with what I have.
   A few months ago I was introduced to Mike Carroll, M.D. Carroll has a family practice in Traverse City and is himself a person who has had shoulder pain and limited use.
   He's come up with a program that involves simple, light exercises that take about 5 minutes a day. The program is based on twirling a wighted ball through 4 different positions. The balls are numbered 1-4 so you can't go wrong.
   Each ball is twirled thirty five times in one direction, then thirty five in the opposite. Repeat this for 10 days then move up to he next ball until all have been used. The entire exercise plan takes 45 days.
   I'm at day sixteen and am beginning to notice differences. I don't have near the pain except if I reach a certain way and that is even getting better. And I think the muscles are beginning to get stronger.
   That's all according to the programs design to concentrate and work on the muscles around the shoulder joint.
   If you experience shoulder pain to the extent I have which hasn't allowed me to shoot a bow or my shotgun, then visit for more information or call Mike Carroll at (231) 392-6705.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Do we need automatic guns?

   The question a lot of people are asking since the school shootings in Newton, Connecticut is why are automatic guns-particularly long guns-legal in this country?
   The military and police are about the only groups that would have a need for them. I(This is pursuant to conversations I have heard.) I agree.
   Hunters need a bolt action or pump to shoot game. One good friend, Tom Lounsberry who resides on a farm in the thumb area often hunts with a single shot shotgun. He can empty a spent round a reload quicker than many can rack another round in the the gun's clip.
   But the other side of the argument is if autos or semi autos are deemed illegal, that's just one step in outlawing all guns. Give them an inch and they'll take a yard is the conclusion of gun rights advocates.
   The NRA, always a proponent of about any firearm that comes down the road has been silent on this issue since the shootings occurred.
   They plan to hold a news conference December 21 to announce their position. In the past those announcements have always brought with them, frustration and anger on both the right to bear arms side as well as the opposition.
   It's time to fish or cut bait as the saying goes. I don't think we can have it both ways. They are either legal or not.
   Many stores are pulling them off shelves and gun racks. Some are refusing to sell them anymore. Indeed, these next few days and weeks are going to be telling regarding the second amendment and gun owners rights.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Holidays not so much with school shooting

   Even though we live a long distance from Connecticut the senseless shooting at the elementary school has had an affect on us.
   I'm a little more somber. I keep thinking of those little children, scared and huddled alone in a classroom. It's just breathtaking but not in a good way.
   You wonder who will be the idiot to do something to top this latest tragedy. Hopefully that person won't surface. But there's already speculation by some that this kind of thing puts ideas in the wrong peoples heads.
   What was the reason for such brutality? Why did it happen? What can be done to prevent future incidents of this nature?
   No one knows the answer to these and other questions. The one person that would know is dead. As far as what can be done to prevent future incidents, it sounds like this school had done everything it could to have a safe environment.
   Sometimes, no matter what the safeguards are, people figure out a way to get by them. If you pray, now would be a good time to remember those little children and their families. Especially in this most holy of seasons.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Lake Gogebic-First Ice fishing vacation school

   To begin the new year, veteran walleye angler Mark Martin has put together three ice fishing schools. For years he's held one school only on Saginaw Bay.
   The first school, Jan., 6-9 will be held in the U.P. out of Bergland on Lake Gogebic. This can be a touchy lake to fish.
   That's largely in part due it's size and the great supply of food sources for the fish. We fished it last winter and caught  fish not too far from shore and the Timbers Resort.
   The Timbers is ideal for this kind of gathering because it's situated on the shore of the lake making it easy to run back in for something that may have been left behind or for other reasons.
   Keep your snowmobile right outside your cabin and you're good to go at any time. Another reason for liking the Timbers is the owner Tim Long and his wife are great hosts.
   Tim has been a former walleye angler fishing competitively and guides on the lake. He's a great source for information and technique.
   For more information visit Check out the Timbers Resort at

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ice Fishing Vacation Schools-soon open

   My ice fishing gear is kind of spread out in the garage. Some is on a shelf, some stacked in a corner, and the small stuff is waiting to be sorted out and put into containers-someplace!
   Though it sound disorganized-and it is-I still prefer things to be organized and in a proper place for everything. I feel that way but seldom get to see the end of the road as far as putting everything in it's place goes.
   It's the result of too much accumulated over the years. That and saving equipment for children in the family who will probably never use any of it.
   What reminded me to get the ice fishing stuff nailed down was remembering that veteran walleye professional Mark Martin and his Ice Fishing Vacation Schools will be starting up right after the New Year.
   The first one is on Lake Gogebic in the U.P., followed by Cadillac then Saginaw Bay. There's plenty of opportunity to fish and learn for those interested in improving their skills.
   Besides getting an education on some of the finer points of ice fishing, there is new equipment to both see and try, but best of all is the camaraderie experienced at these outings.
   For more information on the schools as well as how to register visit 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bird feeding-Great winter activity

   Already there have been more birds at our feeders than have shown up in several months. And the snow hasn't hit the ground yet.
   For some reason, a good snow attracts birds to backyard feeders. If there is a snowstorm, more than a few show up.
   They must think it's the time to stock up on whatever food is available because of the storm. Whatever the reason, they are a joy to watch, especially with the whit of the snow as a backdrop.
   Of course, Mr. and Mrs. squirrel need to put in their two cents worth. They come hopping along the snow, alert to everything around them, but keyed in on the feeder that has attracted birds.
   Our two sunflower feeders are somewhat squirrel proof. But what feeder is totally anti squirrel? Ours allows for the weight of birds on the perches, to feed as much as they want.
   But the weight of a bushy tail pulls the feeder down so it covers up the feeding holes, thereby frustrating squirrels.
   Some will hang around trying to figure a way around the closed off feeding holes. Eventually they get to where they can knock the feeder off it's hook and onto the ground.
   Once on the ground and not swinging about, the squirrel can feed with hardly any problem. It's at this point that some take it a step further and chew the feeder until they cut through the plastic, making a sizable hole, all the better to eat through.
   Sunflower seeds, the oiler variety, have been our choice for many years and never fail to attract all sorts and colors of birds. Give bird feeding a try. It's a pleasure and joy to be inside a warm house watching these feathered creatures hanging out, enjoying a quick meal.
   For more information about birds, feeding, and other topics visit 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Shopping done? That's today's question

   Everywhere you go people are asking the same thing. Is your shopping done? Mine hasn't started but thanks to my wife, most of it is covered.
   This Sunday's column has to do with some suggestions as gifts for those that enjoy the outdoors. One thought about gifts is don't get too carried away with things like long guns, rods and reels or bows.
   Most people have a definite idea as to what they are looking for in these areas. And if they don't know what they would like, it's a good bet that they would prefer to go and personally see what's available.
   What is appealing to one person won't move the needle for another. It's like beauty, all in the eye of the beholder.
   Stay safe with things like ice fishing jigs, hard or soft baits for soft water fishing, perhaps a fanny pack that can be used in conjunction with hunting, a good pair of gloves or mitts, and maybe a flannel or chamois shirt for cold weather use.
   Now all you have to do is get out to a sporting goods store and see what's available. And if nothing else works, get a gift certificate. You can't go wrong. Happy shopping!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

SAD affects many this time of year

   If you feel yourself tired all the time, sitting in front of the TV with the remote in your hand, and nearly living in your bedroom, you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, known as SAD. It's an appropriate description because sad describes your mood day in and day out.
   I'm not a doctor so if you are having any of these symptoms, by all means, consult with your doctor. It could be something else entirely.
   In my case, usually around the middle of December right through May, I get in that strange world where I don't feel like doing anything. As my dad used to say, "I could care less if school kept on not."
   The solution for me, after many years, has been a combination of medicine, counselling and exercise.
   In any event, staying active, whether you walk, use a treadmill, or ride a stationary bike, the important thing is to keep moving and stay active.
   Another thing to consider is finding a hobby then practicing it. Go to the library not only to check a book out, but read a newspaper while you're there from another town or city. Grab a magazine, then find a quiet corner, a comfortable chair and read for awhile without distractions.
   Sportsmen could tie flies, make baits or lures, build a rod, clean guns, organize equipment or build something like an ammo box. Don't know how to tie flies, take a class. Go to trout for a TU chapter nearby that offers instruction.
   Recently, I joined Oakland County Cross Fit. Cross fit is a form of exercise done under the direction and observation of a qualified trainer, that exercises different muscles each day.
   Each day the workout is posted. No matter what that program calls for, workouts can and are tailored to the individual.
   In my case I've had both knees replaced and a not so successful shoulder operation that has left me weaker on one side.
   Another thing to consider is the lack of sunshine providing vitamin D. On those days when there is sun, get outdoors for an hour or so to absorb some of those healthy rays. An alternative is to buy a lamp with a bulb that simulates being outdoors in the sun. They're available almost anywhere.
   Some things I can't do without difficulty or pain so other excercises are substituted for me. For more information on cross fit visit

Monday, December 3, 2012

Get outdoors-rthe weather is great!

   Yes, in case you haven't noticed, we are in a period of unseasonably warm weather here in southeast Michigan.
   The ski resorts don't care for it nor do the sporting goods stores that have bought and received new shipments of the latest in ice fishing equipment.
   But for the rest of us, we've gotten a few days respite from the bitter cold and snow to allow for that final yard clean up, or to hang the outside Christmas decorations.
   I even mowed my lawn a couple days ago and will rake it soon, so long as the weather holds up. At the same time, I'll get my ice fishing stuff where it will be handy. Same goes for the cross country skis and related equipment.
   Just after the first of the year, it will be time to head to Lake Gogebic and the first of three stops on Mark Martin's Ice Fishing Vacation School schedule.
   Martin, who resides near Muskegon is a professional walleye fisherman. When not fishing tournaments or otherwise engaged in the work of spreading the word about walleye fishing and endorsing his sponsors at the many fishing shows over the winter, he's about educating people in the sport of fishing.
   For more information on Martin's schools visit Now get out and rake those leaves before the snow flies.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dedication-the stuff DNR personnel are made of

   It's been my experience all over the state that the DNR folk are some of the most dedicated people I've ever known.
   They are out and about for talks, demonstrations, as a source of information from the public, and many have the ability to work in their respective facilities as carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and garbage disposal.
   While they do all of this they keep an eye on the budget, try to implement new programs, and as the modern saying goes, do more with less.
   As I wrote previously, many in the outdoor sporting community find fault with fisheries biologists for not planting walleye in a particular lake. Why don't they plant Grayling in the AuSauble, or more salmon in the Great Lakes?
   Wildlife biologists hear how deer herd numbers, when published, are always to be viewed as suspicious. And that the only reason the numbers are up is to produce more revenue for the department.
   Youth mentoring is the newest program to get a thumbs down my many. Seems this too is just another way the department has of making money off us true sportsmen.
   The truth is we all have someone to answer to. That fisheries biologist would no doubt like to stock those fish, and the wildlife people hope you'll see more deer.
   But they work within the departments means. That's something all government should consider doing before taking on anything else. Come to think of it it's good for our households to stay in line with a budget.
   If there had been no dedication, no purpose, no incentive to grab hold of an idea then the recent handicapped deer blind erected at Holly State Recreation Area wouldn't have happened.
   This took the effort of several DNR folks representing a variety of divisions. They worked together to make something happen that will be rewarding and of benefit for a lot of folks now and in the future.

Monday, November 26, 2012

No Birds Left Behind

   One of Cornell Lab of Ornithology's annual winter projects to help the bird population throughout the year. An added benefit for you is maybe giving you a new hobby, bird watching and identification, not to mention helping to pass those cold, gray winter days.
   How can we make life easier for birds in our neighborhoods? That's the question behind the latest seasonal challenge from Celebrate Urban Birds. This Cornell Lab of Ornithology citizen-scence project focuses specifically on birds in urban settings and how they benefit from green spaces created by humans.
   Several times per year the project holds contests, or "challenges" to get participants thinking about birds in their neighborhoods. Challenge entries may be photographs, artwork, video, a story, or a poem showing or describing how birds are surviving and making use of their habitat.
 "As part of this challenge, we want to see the creative or interesting ways in which people help wild birds," says project leader Karen Purcell. "Or it could be as simple as setting up feeders or nest boxes, providing water, or planting flowers that provide seeds."

Deadline for entries is December 15. Learn more about how you can take part.

Great prizes include feeders from challenge sponsor Kaytee, plus bird guides, sound recordings, posters, fun bird books for adults and children, and more.

How to participate:
1. Email your entry to
2. Write your FirstName_LastName_City_State_NOBIRD in the subject line
3. Include your postal address in the body of the email
4. Please explain where the photo was taken and the name of the bird if you know it
5. Read and agree to the terms and conditions of the Challenge

Celebrate Urban Birds is a free, year-round citizen-science project focused on birds in neighborhood settings.
 Mail entries to the address below or send them to
Our mailing address is:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Rd
Ithaca, NY

Friday, November 23, 2012

Youth hunt-Misconceptions according to this hunter

   There's a fair amount of controversy these days about deer seasons and the mentored youth hunt. One side feels these hunts have been put in place for the DNR to make more money. The same groups insists mentored hunts affect deer herd numbers probably because the numbers of hunters in the field is increased making the likelihood for deer kills all that more possible.
   Those on the other side argue it's a good thing to get kids out hunting even at an early age. They feel that all of the gadgets children are exposed to these days takes away from the outdoor sports and spending one-on-one time with a parent.
   They don't agree these programs are in place to increase the coffers of the DNR arguing instead that those hunters that claim this or are concerned about the deer herd being decimated are themselves, selfish.
   I come down on the side of the youth hunts. It used to be when I went out hunting with my dad and his bothers, I brought along a gun. It was my Daisy, Red Ryder B-B gun. I felt I was one of the big guys, a part of the hunt.
   On these trips I began to learn and see how things were done in a safe manner. Critics will fire back (no pun intended) that a B-B gun is a far cry from a shotgun. True. But like other things in this world hunting has moved up a little.
   The one part left out has been any form of hunter safety program now required of hunters. Somehow this needs to be integrated in the mentored program.
   Not taking away anything that dads can teach children, a fresh set of instructions, preferably from someone who isn't a family member, seems to resonate better than if dad or mom are doing the instructing.
   The program is in place. Now lets work to smooth it out. Fine tune it and move on.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Parades, football, families, hunting-all part of Thanksgiving

   I don't mean to minimize the importance or meaning of Thanksgiving. For our family it's always been one of the days during the year our family was together.
   With three of our four children scattered around the world just our oldest spends holidays with us. Once in awhile one or more of the others will come home but not too often. The cost is too much for a short trip back to the states.
   Our daughter Jennifer maintains the Thanksgiving tradition in her home near Huddersfield, U.K. (She does the same for Halloween, decorating the outside of their home. Kids ask her husband Jeff where is the house the lady from the states lives. He directs them to his home as Jennifer has become known as the Halloween lady!)
   In our home, we take time to be thankful for what we have, that our children are well and happy. That they came from a good home, one where we all are close. Our children had a good upbringing and we are proud and thankful for the way they have all turned out.
    Some will spend the day taking a stand in the woods trying to get that whitetail. Others will watch the annual parade from Detroit. Still others will tune in the annual Thanksgiving Day game the Detroit Lions play each year.
   Of course there is the traditional big meal most of us don't need to consume. We'll all overeat, sit around, then eat some more.
   Somewhere in between eating, watching the game, or going in the woods, take a moment to think about why we have this day and all that goes with it. It's a good time to be thankful.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

DNR personnel dedicated to their work

   Often the DNR comes in for criticism. It's usually related to the deer herd and lack thereof, or to fishing and why more of this or that species isn't stocked in certain lakes.
   Rarely are the DNR's employees mentioned. If they are, it's often not in a kindly way. Often conservation officers-CO's- those policemen and women in green that keep an eye on the outdoor sporting life are talked about negatively.
   Just like cops are lumped into one group. You know, those folks without feelings, cold hearted, willing to give their mom a violation.
   But the truth and more accurate account of these professions is that by and large, the people that choose them for careers are very dedicated.
   Many could have gone into other professions, made more money, had a better position, and wouldn't put in the hours as some public employees do.
   The staff at Holly Recreation Area and the DNR's wildlife personnel that serve that area are a case in point.
   First, it's because they all work so well together. Park manager Shawn Speaker manages to keep up with the challenges of overseeing a large park. That includes everything from road maintenance, pluming and electrical work, to enforcement of park rules amongst many other duties.
   Speaker and his staff thought the park needed an accessible hunting blind for disabled persons. Once the idea was presented, wildlife personnel Jon Curtis and Sarah Ecker-probably others too-located a spot, arranged for an Eagle scout to build the blind, and worked hard to see that the entire project came together in time for the 2012 firearms deer season.
   They didn't just stick a blind out in some field. They scouted the area, knew that deer frequented it, then went to work planting corn and clover as crops to help attract deer.
   The first hunters to make use of the blind arranged to stay in one of the park's camping cabins. They were treated like royalty, or guests would be treated in some upscale hotel.
   Their story will be in this next Sunday's Oakland Press. The story of the dedicated parks personnel that made this all possible continues everyday.
   The best thing any of them could say after all of the work was done and the hunters using it was that they were happy to be a part of something that was so pleasing to others.
   Way to go Holly Rec and wildlife personnel.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Weather great for deer opener

   Hunters in North Oakland County enjoyed mild temperatures for the November 15 deer opener. Once he sun came up it turned nearly into shirt sleeve weather. Weather reports for the weekend indicate continued sunshine with temps in the 50-degree range.
   Hunters wishing to stay close to home and still enjoy the camaraderie of deer camp should take advantage of the campgrounds at Holly Recreation Area.
   One loop has been left open for hunters and other campers who enjoy fall camping. You'll have your choice of secluded sites this time of the year. And hunting is just a walk away.
   Hunters interviewed Thursday were seeing deer. Many had been successful as indicated by the many deer brought to the deer check station.
   If you decided to hunt, be safe, wear plenty of orange, and know what your target is and the backstop. Good luck!

Monday, November 12, 2012

EHD means fewer doe permits

   With evidence of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) now affecting white-tailed deer in more than 30 Michigan counties, Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh has signed an emergency order that decreases antlerless license purchase limits for deer management units (DMUs) where the most EHD-related die-offs have occurred.
    Effective immediately, the purchase limit for DMU 486 (a multicounty unit in the southern Lower Peninsula) is five private land antlerless deer hunting licenses per hunter.
   Also effective immediately, the public antlerless license purchase limit per hunter is two for each of the following DMUs: 012 (Branch), 034 (Ionia), 039 (Kalamazoo), 041 (Kent), 044 (Lapeer), 076 (Sanilac), 078 (Shiawassee), 079 (Tuscola) and 080 (Van Buren).
    Individuals who purchased antlerless licenses prior to this emergency order are not required to return licenses. This order only applies to antlerless licenses purchased on or after Nov. 8, 2012.
    To better address the public’s concerns and questions about EHD, deer hunting, or deer in general, DNR’s wildlife veterinarian Steve Schmitt, deer and elk program leader Brent Rudolph and Law Enforcement Division Assistant Chief Dean Molnar will field questions in a cyber discussion on Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 7 to 8 p.m. To join the live-streaming event, residents are asked to visit
    In addition, on Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., DNR staff, including Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason and Assistant Chief Doug Reeves, will be available for questions at some of the busiest retail stores in southern Michigan. For a complete list of locations and participating staff, visit
    The DNR will take reports of dead deer that are likely EHD-related until Jan. 1. To report the presence of dead deer, the DNR encourages residents to contact their nearest DNR wildlife field office by consulting the list available at

Friday, November 9, 2012

DNR to host live online video forum Nov. 13

   Deer hunters and others interested in deer management in Michigan are invited to join the Department of Natural Resources at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, for “DNR Live: Deer” -- a one-hour online forum designed to answer questions from the public about the state’s deer population, hunting seasons and regulations.
   The video event will stream live on the DNR’s Facebook page at A Facebook account is not required to access the page and watch the livestream event.
   The online forum’s panel of DNR experts will include the Wildlife Division’s deer and elk program leader Brent Rudolph and wildlife veterinarian Steve Schmitt, along with Law Enforcement Division Assistant Chief Dean Molnar.
   The public is invited to post questions in advance on the DNR’s Facebook page, send via Twitter to @MichiganDNR using the hashtag #DNRlive, or email to, no later than 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12.
    “We are excited to use this interactive technology to share information with the public on the cusp of Michigan’s firearm deer season opener,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh.
   “Our panel of experts is looking forward to answering a broad range of questions about deer management and hunting. We expect to address deer season prospects and the health of the state’s deer herd, including this year’s outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD).”
    For more information about how to participate in the “DNR Live: Deer” online forum, email or contact DNR Public Information Officer Ed Golder at
   To learn more about deer management and hunting in Michigan, visit

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Take a book deer hunting

    But make it a good book. Something that is a page turner and keeps your interest. On my first deer hunt, I spent all morning trying to be still while I leaned against a large oak tree. A couple of times I sat on a cushion on the ground.
   While I heard shooting all around me and far off, nothing came my way. Later that day for an evening hunt I was sitting on the edge of a woods with a farmers field behind me.
   I laid my shotgun down on the top rail of a split-rail fence that had seen better days. Just a few feet to my right was what appeared to be a run.
   From my stand, I was looking down into an open area near a woods full of oaks and beech trees. The forest floor was covered with leaves.
   It was cold but with little wind. I was engrossed in a novel; probably one of Elmore Leonard's. It was a page turner and I got totally engrossed in it.
   When I first began reading my book, I would look up at the end of each page. Somewhere in there I got so interested I read several without leaving my book.
   Thinking I should take a look-see, I slowly raised my head and looked straight ahead. I almost had to pinch myself when I saw a buck at the bottom of the hill, feeding and completely broadside to me.
   My shot hit the buck a little high and forward in the shoulder, allowing it to run a short distance. I was able to get a second shot off, bringing him down.
   This was my first deer. Had you told me reading a book would have been key in getting it, I would have laughed.
   Now, I always have a book along in my pack. For you see, it really does force one to sit still and concentrate. And that is key when deer hunting.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Steelheading on the Platte to be protected

   The Department of Natural Resources has announced the Platte River spawning closure will return to its historic timeframe of January 1 through March 31, in 2013. All fishing is prohibited during he closure.
    This closure affects the Platte River from the Platte River State Fish Hatchery down to Platte Lake.
   In addition, no fishing will be allowed within 300 feet of the upper hatchery weir whenever the weir is in place (which was August 15 through September 30 in 2012). This closure provides enhanced protection of migrating coho salmon, many of which are used as broodstock for hatchery operations.
   These spawning closures will go into effect on January 1, 2013 and will read as follows in next year’s fishing guide:
   “The Platte River is closed to fishing from the US-31 bridge at Veteran’s Park downstream to Platte Lake, January 1 – March 31” and “The Platte River is closed to fishing within 300 feet of the Upper (hatchery) weir infrastructure, whenever the weir is in place.”
   Since 2010, DNR’s Fisheries Division has been annually stocking the Platte River with 20,000 yearling steelhead.
    This stocking program is anticipated to increase the steelhead population to a level that could support a back-up egg take facility at the Platte River State Fish Hatchery and thus enhance angling opportunities on the Platte River.
   “Moving the date of spawning closure last spring offered a good level of protection for the first group of steelhead that returned to the river following our stocking efforts,” said Heather Hettinger, DNR fisheries biologist for the Platte River. “Now that we have had a chance to see our efforts are beginning to work, we feel confident we can restore angling opportunities and protect these fish at the same time.”
   For more information, please review Fisheries Order 204 at

Friday, November 2, 2012

Poacher charged with 125 violations

   Brian Birchmeier, 51, of Shiawassee County’s Owosso Township, was arraigned in Shiawassee County District Court on 125 misdemeanor charges related to poaching deer and turkey in Michigan.
   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Law Enforcement Division found Birchmeier to be in illegal possession of more than 100 parts of animals, including deer and turkey.
   Based on the charges, Birchmeier could face more than $120,000 in reimbursement payments, loss of his hunting privileges and as many as 90 days in jail. Each hunting-related charge carries a penalty of as much as $500 per violation. Each license violation carries a penalty of as much as $250 per violation.

Specifically, Birchmeier has been charged with:

• 115 count of taking or possessing a deer over the legal limit.
• 1 count of taking a deer without a license.
• 7 counts of taking a turkey without a permit.
• 2 counts of illegal baiting.

“This is one of the larger poaching cases we have seen in recent years,” said Lt. Sherry Chandler of the DNR’s Law Enforcement Division. “As the start of firearm deer season approaches, this arrest is an important reminder that game laws are in place to protect the state’s natural resources, including its deer population, so we can safeguard a healthy herd for all Michigan hunters.”
   DNR Conservation Officer Daniel Bigger was called to Birchmeier’s home in early October on a tip from the Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Department. Officer Bigger found numerous sets of antlers at Birchmeier’s home, as well as illegal bait piles. Officer Bigger subsequently executed a search warrant at Birchmeier’s home, seizing more than 170 antlers, as well as shoulder mounts, crossbows and turkey beards.
   Based on a review of licenses purchased by Birchmeier, and an absence of hunting records prior to 1982, the number of deer parts alone that Birchmeier illegally possesses is estimated at well over 100. The investigation and a subsequent interview with the suspect indicated the illegal taking of turkeys as well.
   “Hunting and fishing are great traditions in Michigan,” said Lt. Chandler. “The state depends on hunting and fishing regulations to make sure that tradition is protected and enhanced for future generations.”
   Apparently, Birchmeier didn't subscribe to the age-old concept about rules, regulations, and fairness. You remember the one that goes something like, it's important to conduct yourself properly at all times. But it's what you do when no one is watching (like a DNR CO) that makes you the true sportsman.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Get to a range for firearm sight in before Nov. 15

   Without ever having seen a survey or any official word, I'll bet the majority of deer hunters don't take advantage of shooting ranges prior to hitting the woods for the annual firearms deer opener, November 15.
   No doubt most hunters come out of the woods after deer hunting, maybe wipe the exterior of the gun off, unload it and put it in it's case. Then it's put in a gun safe of other place personal firearms are stored until the season rolls around again.
   If that describes your deer hunting program you've got time yet before this year's opener to get to a range, go over your firearm, and run a few rounds through it.
   This helps you get familiar with you gun, and most importantly, allows you to shoot it in an area designed to be a safe place to shoot. Besides, you'll be able to find out soon if you can actually hit what you are shooting at.
   A minor sight adjustment, perhaps the addition of a recoil pad on the stock or some other inexpensive fix will make all the difference in your shooting.
   Besides, it will force you to run some patches down the barrel, inspect the interior and exterior for sings of rust and maybe determine if you really need the addition of a scope or not.
   For more information on shooting contact the Oakland County Sportsmen's Club at (248) 623-0444 or read my column this Sunday in the Oakland Press.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Traditions abound in small German village

AFFALTERBACH, GERMANY-In this small farm community near Marbach and Stuttgart, church bells ring at noon and 6p.m., as a long-standing tradition to call farmers in from the fields.
   During the day the narrow streets are the freeways for large farm trackers pulling trailers; some empty and some containing crops grown locally.
   Sugar beets-feed for livestock-is being hauled, along with all varieties of apples, pumpkins and squash.
   Fields have been tilled smooth or are growing a popular local crop, rapeseed. Now about four feet high with yellow flowers, it serves as ground cover, and later, livestock feed.
   This time of year, grapes are being harvested from steep -sloped vineyards. most headed for a local winery to be turned into one of many different types of wines this area is known for.
   Evidence of farming begins the moment one leaves the village. Plowed fields, rolling land and large stands of forest surround orchards and vineyards. Occasionally, a farm house and associated building can be seen off in the distance.
   During a drive, you expect to see deer off in the distance or, like back home in southeast Michigan, crossing the road in front of you.
   I've seen deer behave that way toward evening on a drive through thick woods several miles from here.
   While we are inside on a cold, snowy day watching a one-day delayed Tiger World Series game, Sunday dinners are prepared and eaten as they are at home.
   Life is quiet like the traffic on the street. Stores normally close at noon Saturday to re-open Monday. Bakeries are open a few hours Sunday mornings then close for the day.
   Life is tranquil, peaceful and serene on a day like this.  It seems to make lounging around preferable to being in the woods or field. There is always tomorrow.

Friday, October 26, 2012

EHD numbers on the rise

   The DNR's recently report that 29 counties have had deer discovered with EHD, a virus that affects deer herds.
   Carried by a tiny insect similar in size to the no-seeums, the insect is active until the first hard frost which kills it.
   Signs of infected deer include being unafraid of humans, and being found dead either in or near water.
   This disease is more prevalent in the southern and western states. Besides Michigan, the states of Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin are reporting an increased number of dead deer due to EHD.
   Officials feel the mild winter last year along with a warm summer have had an impact allowing the disease-carrying bugs to survive and become more prevalent this year.
   Hunters in the field will probably encounter more deer with the disease so numbers could increase before stabilizing.
   If you find a dead deer, notify the DNR at any of it's field officers. For more information read this Sunday's column in the Oakland Press sports section.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vets to receive no-fee use of Rec sites Nov. 10-12

   I like that organizations-local and federal-recognize veterans and their service. I always feel a bit shy about saying I'm a veteran even though I served nearly four years in the Navy.
   The reason I think has to do with missing duty during times our country was in conflict. Discharged in September of 1963, I just missed the ramp up for the Viet Nam War.
   However, the ship I was on, the U.S.S. Topeka (CLG-8) saw duty in the Viet Nam theater. In fact she played a role in what was to become known as the Bay of Tonkin incident.
   According to personnel that were aboard, Topeka was steaming south in the Bay when a message was received to turn around, head north and begin shore bombardment to protect and give covering fire to U.S. Marines ashore.
   This was accomplished according to those who told me the story. Topeka was one of the first guided missile cruisers having been converted for a WWII light cruiser.
   I was interested about finding out it they had fired any of the surface-to-air missiles they carried to bring down any enemy aircraft. Apparently they didn't have an opportunity.
   In recognition of veterans and their service, this veterans day weekend; Nov. 10-12, the U.S. Forest Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites.
   “This is our way of saying thanks to the brave men and women – past and present – who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe at home,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.
   “We encourage veterans, their families and all visitors to take time out over the holiday weekend to enjoy the benefits that nature provides at forests and grasslands throughout the country.”
   The Forest Service operates approximately 17,000 developed recreation sites nationwide.  Of those, approximately 6,000 require recreation fees, which are used to provide visitor services, repairs and replacements, and facilities maintenance.
   Way to go U.S. Forest Service.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Free hunt-fish licenses for disabled vets, effective March, 2013

   The DNR will issue free hunting and fishing licenses for disabled veterans beginning March, 2013. This law will allow a disabled veteran to obtain any resident hunting or fishing license for which a lottery is not required, free of charge. The veteran will be required to provide proof of eligibility and carry this proof when using any license obtained under this legislation.
   The law defines “disabled veteran” as a resident who either:
has been determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to be permanently and totally disabled as a result of military service and entitled to veterans’ benefits at the 100-percent rate, for a disability other than blindness; or is rated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as individually unemployable.
   The part about vets having to be 100% disabled to qualify for the free licenses prompted reader, Dennis Rahn to comment:
   "It says they have to be 100% disabled or unemployable because of their disability.  So if they only lost one leg out of four limbs that is only 25% of a loss and they get no free license.
   If they can only lick stamps they are employable and they again get no free licenses.  This is total BS......In my book if the Vet was wounded they should get the free licenses just because they served.    
   The parasites that walk around with pants dragging on the ground and tattoos on their faces never will serve their country and it is they that should pay double the price of the license if they buy a license at all....Most would rather poach since the DNR doesn't make anyone wear their license on a back tag anymore so anyone can tell if they are legal or not.

   Rahn may have a point insofar as the 100% rule of disability goes. It would seem that if a vet is disabled-totally or not-they should be entitled to any and all benefits that come their way due to their sacrifices during service to the country.
   “Providing free licenses for disabled veterans is just a small token of our deep gratitude for their sacrifice for all of us,” said Denise Gruben, manager of licensing and reservations for the DNR.
   “We want veterans to be full participants in outdoor sports. We’re pleased to make these licenses available to qualifying veterans beginning next March under this new law.”

    For more information about Michigan hunting and fishing licenses, visit

Friday, October 19, 2012

Belle Isle-More than improvements needed readers say

   Today's blog is about improvements and the management of the island park by the sate DNR parks division.
   I still feel it's one of those no brainer decisions that the city should take advantage of, get behind and support any way it can.
   But as long time professional walleye angler Andy Kuffer points out there is more to improving the image of Detroit than a clean Belle Isle.
   He argues that the crime and murder rate are high. "Roger; in one recent 15 day period there were 32 murders and 120 shootings in Detroit. They need to clean up the violence 1st. Nothing will make me want to visit Belle Isle."
   That sentiment is true of a lot of folks. The cleaning up, care and upkeep of Belle Isle is just one part of a image problem the city must overcome if it wants to impress outsiders and make them feel comfortable about participating in what the city has to offer.
   I hear more and more people say they feel comfortable at sporting events and usually make an evening out of a game by enjoying dinner at one of Detroit's eateries.
   But there are still those that don't care to venture into the city preferring to stay put in the suburbs. "This is not just a problem for Detroit either," Kuffer concluded.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

State Parks will improve a suffering Belle Isle

    There's no doubt about it. Belle Isle is in dire straights and definitely can use the help of the State DNR Parks Division for several reasons.
   First on the list would be to get the place cleaned up. Right now you don' want your kids playing in playgrounds where the sand is dirt and includes broken glass, chicken bones and other assorted debris people have thought fit to throw there instead of properly disposing of it.
   While I'm on that subject, often the answer to proper trash disposal centers around overflowing trash bins. I that's the case then take your trash out with you to be disposed of when you arrive home.
   Next, is the water around the island. It too is loaded with broken shards of glass, tin cans, beer bottles and all the rest. It too needs a good going over before any tiny toes are immersed in the water.
   Park equipment; picnic tables, and play equipment will require a closer inspection to be sure they are absolutely safe before the public uses them.
   The buildings are another problem. Many are in a sad shape of disrepair. Restrooms seem to be non-existent. Ones that were operational have been trashed and vandalized.
   The benefits to having a viable, clean park are not only for the safe use of the public but the message it sends to others that things are improving downtown.
   Then there is the financial advantages to having a nice, clean Belle Isle. People from other parts of southeast Michigan will include it on their list of places to recreate.
   That means more people downtown spending dollars on gas, food, lodging and other commodities. This is definitely a win for Detroit and a great opportunity to improve the cities image.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall-Great time to visit Metroparks

   The Huron-Valley Metroparks have something for everyone to do, enjoy or participate in. Bird watchers for one group will find these feathered creatures in the Metroparks either storing up for the upcoming winter months or stopping by on their trip to a warmer wintering area.
   Hiking and biking aren't the only activities practiced on paved paths. Roller bladers also known as in-line skaters take to these paths in ever increasing numbers. Remember, bikers and skaters are required to wear safety gear, especially helmets, per park rules.
   Instead of driving north to view colors, head to the closest Metropark and enjoy a fall color tour. Pack a picnic or something to cook and make a day of it.
   Another way to enjoy these parks is by paddling in and through them or boating. For instances, Heavner Camoe and Kayak rentals in the Proud Lake Area have been providing paddling enthusiast with boats for yeas.
   Paddle from the livery out into the slow-moving Huron River and into Kensington Metropark or make arrangements to be picked up in downtown Milford after a leisurely paddle.
   Even golfers trying to get that last round in will find the Metroparks a good bet for an enjoyable round with beautiful fall colors as a backdrop.
   For more information on Metropark activities visit Enjoy your Metropark visit.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall clean up, bird feeders, all preps for winter

   HUDDERSFIELD, UK-Fenay Bridge is a small area next door to Huddersfield. In the sub or "estate" as they say here where our daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren live, people are making preparations for the winter months.
   No doubt, many in southeastern Michigan are doing the same thing. Besides putting the garden to bed, doing he weeding and necessary pruning and trimming, hoses need to be gathered up. Now is a good time to wipe them down before coiling them up, draining then putting them inside for the winter.
   Clean those garden tools of dirt and other debris. Put a coating of oil on shovels, hoes and the like. Locate your bird feeders. If you didn't put them away clean, do it now so birds don't contract any disease.
   Find a mouse free way to store bird seed. We use sunflower oilers all year and store them in a clean, metal garbage can with a good fitting lid.
   We also clean the bird bath out and store it so no moisture accumulates that could freeze and break the bath.
   Some of these things I was able to do before leaving for this trip. But when we return, I'll have a lot left to take care of before I can get in the woods for some hunting.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Deer racks-Just wondering who see's the large ones

   So far this year, several deer hunters have contacted the Oakland Press about nice deer with quality-size racks they have taken.
   Three of the individuals were young girls barely in their teens. The deer were mostly 8-points. That's a nice, round number when it comes to counting points on a deer.
   This brings to mind a couple of different stories that left me scratching my head. The first took place near Davisburg on public land.
   A hunter I know pulled over to the side of the road, grabbed his bow and headed into the woods. No prior scouting, no deer sign and no evidence of other hunters in the area.
   In about 45 minutes he arrowed a 6-point that had walked very near to him. As memory serves me, probably about an 18-yard shot.
   "How did you know to hunt that area," I asked him. "I had a feeling and it just looked like a good spot," was the answer.
   Similar circumstances fell to a hunter that was hunting within sight of Grange Hall Road in Groveland, part of the Holly Recreation Area.
   He left his truck parked on the gravel shoulder during the morning hours of the opener, Nov., 15 one year.
   I saw him dragging out a six or eight point; can't remember which. Later conversation revealed that he had just walked to the stump and sat down when the buck presented itself.
   I guess some people are good hunters while the rest are just plan lucky.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bow season-do you wait or get going?

    There are hunters that wait and hunters so excited to get in the woods they are out there October 1. Anyone that has bow hunted probably has their favorite time of the season to be in the woods.
   I always like to go early. That's because of the cool, even cold mornings, then when the sun comes up, those warming afternoons.
   Most of the nuisance bugs are done for the year. And you can watch squirrels, chipmunks and other animals busy storing up food for winter.
   But hunting early has a problem associated with it. Most leaves are still on trees making it difficult to see very far. It's something that I came to accept a long time ago.
   There are those that hunt early but won't take a shot instead waiting for that nice rack  to wander by. That could take nearly the entire season unless prior scouting has alerted them to a buck in the area.
   Those that wait do so because of those pesky leaves. Most will have fallen later in October. There may be more hunters in the woods then which helps keep deer moving around.
   Colder weather may be a factor that makes bucks active by rubbing and making scrapes in preparation for the annual rut.
   Whether you wait or not, bow season is one of the great ones to be outdoors whether you get a shot or not.;postID=5814111020590426996

Friday, October 5, 2012

Richard P. Smith "Walks with Whitetails"

   Richard P. Smith, Marquette, Michigan based award winning outdoor writer and photographer has recently released a new DVD, "Walking with Whitetails."
   The 90-minute video features footage Smith has taken over an eight year period of time in which he gained the trust of a whitetail doe that eventually led to him following and photographing this whitetail and her family.
   Smith, also known as Michigan's big game expert for his work with bears, elk and deer says he learned a lot from this experience.
   You'll learn more about food sources than you thought you knew. Watch does feed fawns and how they interact with other does.
   Antler development and rubs are photographed. Why do some bucks thrash their racks in bushes? Are antlers the same size for every buck raised by the same doe? When do fawns lose their spots and do they ever return to their mothers at a later age?
   You'll watch and listen as Smith narrates while filming many of these behaviors as well as others.
For more information read my column in this Sunday's Oakland Press.
  To purchase "Walking with Whitetails," or any of Smith's books, visit  Facebook

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Kids same, country to country

   HUDDERSFIELD, U.K.-Taking our daughter's yellow lab Bonnie for a walk the other day, I passed by a small park near their home.
   Just like kids in the states play baseball, football, or shoot hoops, kids over here line up for a quick game of rugby; in some ways similar to our football, minus any padding.
   Or they hit a park wearing soccer shorts, their team shirts, knee-high socks and soccer shoes. They begin kicking the ball-over here it's called football-at very young ages.
   Think of American kids going around the neighborhood with a baseball bat over the shoulder, their glove hung on the bat, carrying a baseball.
   Here they show up with a soccer ball, either carrying it but most often kicking and rolling it along, with unbelievable control at even a young age.
   And like our little kids will pretend they are Justin Verlander or Miguel Cabrera, here they pretend they are soccer greats like David Beckham or Wayne Rooney, or rugby professional Danny Brough (pronounced Bruff).
   Brough is the captain and kicker for the Huddersfield Giants. Rooney and Beckham both played for Manchester United. Beckham now plays in the U.S. for the L.A. Galaxy.
   Despite the country, athletes in any country are looked up to by youngsters, trying to play the game and maybe hoping one day to make it as a professional.
   In fact, Brough lives near the little park near my daughter's home and sometimes walks by with his young son.
   If kids are playing in the park when he passes they stop and almost reverently say, "There's Danny Brough."
   Being famous as an athlete seems to be looked up to matter where kids gather to play a game. Imagine tossing the baseball around a field in Waterford and have Prince Fielder walk by. Now that would be an attention getter for sure.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hunting Brit syle

I'm not sure what the style for hunting is in the U.K. Or for that matter, exactly what they hunt. I've heard there is some limited deer hunting.
   I think fox hunting may still be around but not as popular as it once seemed to be. Fishing a river in the beautiful Dales country, really made famous by the stories of veterinarian, James Harriott, I saw more cock pheasants than I thought existed.
   They sat on fence rails, waddled through the grass in barnyards, and generally put up a squawk wherever we walked on our way to the river.
   Nearby Huddersfield, in Yorkshire, I hear shooting nearby and am told that it's all on a private hunting persevere.
   Some have said it's shooting similar to our sporting clays or five stand. I'll try and get a closer look to see what all the shooting is about.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Bow hunting out this year

   The last year hasn't been the most kind to me. Late August of 2011, I had surgery for a torn rotator cuff that was hanging on by a couple of threads. The doc said after surgery he wasn't sure if it would be successful or not.
   A few weeks later it developed an infection that required four more surgeries in an attempt to clean it out.
   By now the damage was probably mostly done. What was left of the rotator cuff was gone as the infection had gotten down to the bone.
   A new surgeon said we need to go in and clean scar tissue then manipulate the shoulder. Following that surgery, I had better range of motion and less daily pain. That lasted for about two weeks.
   Months of physical therapy helped improve my range of motion but the pain is still there. The new doc suggests doing a reverse should replacement as the next step.
   My suggestion is to stay away from surgery for as long as possible. In the meantime I've joined a gym and have really been giving it a good work out. The damage is done so it can't hurt to use it.
   That brings me to the bow. For some reason, I cringe at the thought of drawing a bow back. So far I haven't shot one arrow.
   No doubt that will change once I get some more confidence in what I can do. Right now, I can't play catch with my grandson which really bothers me.
   I don't need another activity telling me I can't participate. In the meantime, I'll keep working at it and sooner or later, get out and try to hit that straw bale.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Al Schofer-large in life

   The big guy, the one that always had an opinion or jumped on either side of a disagreement passed away.
   Davisburg resident and decorated retired Navy Master Chief Allen P. Schofer passed away following a illness.
   Adults will know and remember him for his presence at just about all community events in he Hamlet of Davisburg.
   The Davisburg Rotary, the place he ate his supper every Wednesday night-provided it was something this picky eater would eat-will remember him for all of his volunteering for anything that stood for Rotary or would be of help to someone.
   A Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow, Schofer also received a high honor for his efforts on behalf of Boy Scouts throughout the country.
   Always a proponent of the local Davisburg Troop, 192, Schofer stuffed many a hotdog into buns along the way to helping fundraise for the Scouts.
   What happened when the weekly Rotary meal was something Schofer didn't care for? The cook always made sure to have peanut butter and jelly on hand to appease his appetite.
   Al Shofer will be missed not only by the kids-now young men-that he helped guide through their younger years, but the adults that counted on him to be there for the bake sale, garage sale, auction, or anything else that would help others.
   The community will have an opportunity to honor Schofer October 27 at the 4-H Fairgrounds Youth Activity Building in Davisburg, late afternoon/evening of that day.
   A church memorial service will be held October 13 at the First Presbyterian Church in Flint at 10a.m. Burial will follow Monday, October 15 at the Great Lakes Veterans Cemetery. The exact time in not known.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A hospital bed-no place to hunt from

   For some reason I tend to get infections from any sort of medical procedures. Without going into detail, I recently had what began as a routine exam then wound up having several biopsies taken.
   A day or two later I noticed fly-like symptoms. My legs ached to the point I couldn't get comfortable, and I had very extreme chills.
   Having had similar symptoms twice before off we went to the emergency room then on to the hospital where I now am. The source and type of the infection hasn't been determined but I am already on the mend and feeling much better due to all of the IV antibiotic they have been giving me.
   So, instead of getting the hunting stuff ready-I'll miss bow for the umpteenth year-I should be home packing to visit our new granddaughter, Lily Grace in the UK.
   That trip is a tad on hold due to these medical conditions that have cropped up. You never know how good you have it until you don't have it. And when you are in the hospital feeling sorry for your present condition, all you need to do is look around and you'll surely see someone hurting more than you.
   It's a blessing to all of us to be able to do the things we do and have the wonderful support of family, friends and caring medical professionals.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Try these shears to cut fishing lines

   If you've done any amount of fishing you know how much of a challenge it can be to cut through some of the newer lines in use today.
   For a long time I still used the clippers that I cut nylon leaders for walleye harnesses and tippet on a fly line. Clippers hardly cut braid.
   Often I would up closing the jaws of the nippers while trying to pull the braid apart. If it did give, it tore in a manner that left shreds of line dangling.
   Now comes Berkley, the folks that have given us baits, rods, and many of those new lines that are seemingly impossible to cut, with  new tool for that purpose.
   The Berkley Superline Shears is one such tool. They'll cut through braid, mono and other lines that make traditional cutting tools obsolete. Made of stainless steel, they're corrosion resistant.
   These shears should be the only cutting tool you'll need to cut through any line. Clip a pair to a zinger so they are handy and you're good to go, especially when a bait change is needed.
   I used mine several times on a recent kayak fishing trip with absolutely no problems cutting braid whenever I needed to.
  Pick a pair up and give them a try. They will be the only line cutting tool you'll need.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lack of food sources put young deer at risk

   More and more young deer, many still in spots are being reported in and around Oakland County. Some without spots are terribly thin for this time of the year. When deer should be putting on the feed bag in preparation for the upcoming winter they are finding pickings are thin.
   Forget apples. In fact the deer that normally frequent small stands of apples aren't giving them another look focusing instead on other browse.
   While in Glen Arbor last week I did notice that the acorn crop seemed to be in good supply which is a needed plus for deer as it's one of their main dietary choices.
   If deer can't find eats in the wild, they surely will take advantage of those vegetable and flower gardens we like to plant. Certain types of shrubbery come in for part of the deer diet too.
   If you are out and about on a fall walk, take a look around you for deer sign. Particularly tracks or droppings.
   I hope to be in the woods this next week for a close up look see of a couple areas I plan on hunting. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fall brings activities galore

   You don't have to hunt or fish to enjoy all that fall has to offer. For openers, your favorite cider mill is busy frying donuts to eat with a glass of cider. Despite a shortage of apples this year, you can bet cider will be available.
   You gardeners will want to start getting the ground in order for next year's planting. That may mean; as in my case, digging weeds that have gone on far too long.
   Chew the ground up or till it to loosen it in preparation for adding compost, manure or a combination of both.
   Some gardeners plant annual rye in the fall, tilling it under in the spring. It helps add nutrients to the soil and is a benefit in keeping the ground loose.
   A lot of transplanting can be done this time of the year. Perennials that have grown to large can be separated and re-planted.
   Give shrubbery a trimming. When all of the clipping and moving of plants is done, clean up the leftover debris disposing of it in the compost or some other approved method.
  Ponds and water features need to be winterized. I like to clean things up before putting them away so they are ready to go next spring.
   If you have some spare time, take a drive to one of the nearby state, county or Metroparks for a day hiking, or getting in one last picnic before the cold sets in.
   Fall is a great time to be outside. Make the most of it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Open house set for waterfowl hunt areas

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      The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that its Managed Waterfowl Hunting Areas (MWHA) will host open houses in late September and early October to celebrate the Michigan Waterfowl Legacy.
   The DNR invites the public and hunters to join the staff at various MWHAs to tour the areas and learn about the possibilities for hunting and other recreation.

Open houses will be held at the following locations:

Fish Point MWHA (Tuscola County) – Sept. 26 from 5:30-9 p.m.
Nayanquing Point MWHA (Bay County) – Sept. 27 from 5:30-9: p.m.
Shiawassee River MWHA (Saginaw County) – Oct. 2 from 5:30-9 p.m.
Harsens Island (St. Clair County) – Oct. 3 from 5:30-9 p.m
Pointe Mouillee (Monroe/Wayne counties) – Oct. 4 from 5:30-9 p.m

   “The open houses will provide an opportunity for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts to learn about the areas and interact directly with DNR personnel,” said Joe Robison, wildlife biologist supervisor for the DNR. “These areas offer first-class waterfowl hunting opportunities and various recreational activities that many outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy.”
   Guided tours will include observation of habitat improvements conducted to provide optimal habitat for waterfowl plus other wildlife management techniques that make these areas attractive to a host of wildlife.
   The public can learn about the Michigan Waterfowl Legacy, a program intended to improve conditions for waterfowl and people who enjoy interacting with them.
   Waterfowl hunters will learn about how the area is run and what to expect when they come in for a hunt drawing, and visitors will have a chance to have questions answered during a Q&A period.
    Each open house will also feature information on this year’s Wetland Wonders Challenge, a new hunting contest that the DNR has developed to highlight the exceptional waterfowl hunting opportunities available to the public in Michigan.
   Taking place at the seven MWHAs throughout the southern Lower Peninsula,  the contest will begin Sept. 15 with the Youth Waterfowl Weekend (only at MWHAs that are conducting drawings) and will close on Jan. 22, 2013, with the Allegan County Goose Management Unit season. Multiple winners will be selected on Feb. 15, 2013.
   More information about the Michigan Waterfowl Legacy can be found at and information on the MWHAs and the Wetland Wonders Challenge can be found at

Monday, September 10, 2012

Kayak angling-Tricky if you hurry

   Despite putting in a fair amount of time paddling a kayak and fishing from one, something always seems to bite me when I least expect it.
   This weekend, fishing out of Glen Arbor, I managed to turn my boat nearly over; once during launching, and another time landing in heavy surf.
   Thinking I had everything tied down or otherwise secured, I seemed ready to launch. Pushing the boat into shallow water, I moved to one side of the yak and started to sit sideways to begin entry.
   With too much weight on one side, over the boat went. Things I had forgot to secure began floating on the water.
   Rods came out of the holders and so did a couple tackle trays. Embarrassed, I collected all my equipment, stored it again and this time made a successful launch.
   Later that day, returning to shore, I headed into the beach along with a couple other boats. The surf was up so it was important to have things out of the cockpit, stored and secured to the boat.
   Going through surf was not new to me. Even landing in rough conditions wasn't much of a factor. But getting out of the yak proved to be a challenge. Swinging my feet over  one side, I started to stand up and over the boat went.
   Tackle, rods, glass case, drink bottle; you name it and in the water it went. Since I was out of the boat I began retrieving equipment from the surf.
   Momentarily forgetting my boat, the surf caught it and began taking it back out into deeper water. Fortunately, several of my buddies arrived and helped with the boat and stray equipment.
   Others in our group had similar adventures over the course of the weekend. The moral is no matter how experienced you are, there are still some surprises awaiting those that aren't expecting it.
   For more info on kayak fishing visit 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Enjoy fall colors, golf from Tree Tops Resort

      Seeing fall colors, shooting a round of golf, hunting birds, or rafting on the nearby Indian River are some of the activities awaiting you at Gaylord's Tree Tops Resort.
   The "Golf 'til you Drop"fall getaway begins after October 2. That means after checking in until you leave, play as much golf as you can get in.
   How popular is golf at Tree Tops? "We may set a state record for rounds played," Barry Owens,Tree Tops general manager said. "We are nearly at 90,000 rounds for the year."
   If you tire of the links, take a guided rafting trip on nearby Indian River, or go bird hunting or fishing. Special fall rates are in place for both the golf and Couples weekends.
   For more information visit 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Upland bird hunting, coming soon

   Upland bird hunting-pheasants, ruffed grouse and woodcock-fall into that category will be here soon. Woodcock season is from September 24-November 7. The ruffed grouse season has two seasons; September 15-November 14 and December 1-January 1.
   Check the DNR website at for pheasant seasons. It's also a good place to read and here upland game specialist Al Stewart discuss the new pheasant initiative that is on-going.
   Where should you bird hunt? Well, on your fall drive to the cider mill or north to see the colors, keep an eye peeled for young stands of poplars.
   Woodcock and grouse really like the thick stuff that look like even a hunting dog can get through not to mention a hunter with a shotgun.
   You'll work for these birds. And the flushes are spectacular. Many are of the in your face variety that can catch even the seasoned hunter unawares causing shots not to be fired or completely missed.
   And woodcock won't flush to give you a shot. Wary birds, they tend to fly right into the thick stuff so shots need to be quick and accurate.
   I should know. In the years that I have hunted woodcock, I can probably count on one hand the number I've taken.
   Being in the field and getting those shots is the best training. Miss too many and the dog you hunt over may turned around and look at you as if to say, "You didn't miss again, did you?"

Monday, September 3, 2012

Thumbfest - Huge success

   I spent all day outside. I wasn't camping, fishing, hiking or kayaking. However, I did enough walking at Thumbfest to qualify for training in preparation for the Appalachian Trail.
   Thumbfest is a yearly, Labor Day weekend celebration of folk music and the many groups and individuals that bring it to us. Presented by the Blue Water Folk Society the event was a success from the beautiful weather, to the crowds attending, and the people performing.
    The event takes place in Lexington, a small town just north of Port Huron, on the shores of Lake Huron.
   There is one problem for attendees. That's in the selection of which performers they want to see. The Saturday schedule is absolutely loaded with entertainment from 10a.m. straight through until 6p.m.
   Toss in jam sessions and workshops and you have a full day. My wife and I would leave toward then end of one performance to the next and find a seat. Sometimes it was a scramble.
   The best kept secret about Thumbfest is there is no charge. It's free. Festival organizers pass a bucket for donations to defray costs but that's the only time you'll reach in your pocket unless you are buying a commemorative T-shirt, paying for food, or performers cd's.
   Thanks to all those volunteers that work all day and half the night setting up and tearing down, and to the performers who play because of their love for folk music.
   Mark your calendars for next year. You'll definitely want to attend and hear all the talented musicians from the area.

Friday, August 31, 2012

First moon landing-Where were you?

   Astronaut Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon is one of those historic events that many of us remember where we were and what we were doing. I was t work.
   My wife Pat was at the home of good friends Tom and Denise Ferguson on Middle Straits Lake in West Bloomfield.
   Our first born, Michael, was about six months old. "I remember holding him on my lap with the TV on and telling him that later, when he was older I was going to tell him he had watched the first landing and moon walk," she said following the announcement of Neil Armstrong's passing.
   How about you? Where were you and what were you doing? It's fun to remember those historical events, especially if you were able to witness them, even if it was through TV.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pheasants and loss of habitat starts new initative

   The methods farmers use these days and those that fertilize lawns and home gardens aren't the only contributors to loss of pheasant habitat and a decline in populations of birds.
   "We have to take a look at growth. Pheasant habitat doesn't do well on asphalt," DNR's upland game specialist Al Stewart said from his Lansing office.
   Called the Michigan Pheasant Restorative Initiative, Stewart thinks this may be the way to get people involved working together to enhance and promote pheasant populations and hunting.
   "This is a grass roots operation consisting of various partners. They don't need own land or a farm to be involved," Stewart said. "The days of the DNR going it alone are over. We just don't have the resources or manpower,"he said.
   Tune in to this Sunday's column for more information from Stewart as well as a look back to the old days.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mosquitos-large, alive, and biting

   A couple weeks back I opined that, in my opinion, the mosquito population was down or at least inactive this year because of the lack of rain.
   Boy was I drone. Soon after came all the reports about an outbreak of West Nile disease brought about by mosquitoes when they bite. They get the disease from infected birds then pass it to humans. Lucky us!
   Late yesterday afternoon and early evening I went outside to do some chores before dark. I wasn't there very long when Michigan's Airforce; those pesky mosquito's, made their presence known.
   Without putting up a fight, I was back in the house in no time. Bottom line: Mosquito's are definitely out and active.
   Get the spray, long sleeve, light colored shirts, cap and long pants on if you intend to go outside in the evening. Take precautions so you don't wind up being stung.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Anglers of the AuSable-Annual River Clean Up

   The 18th annual Anglers of The AuSable River Clean Up will be held Saturday, Sept. 8, beginning at 9:45a.m.  at Gates AuSable Lodge.
   A brief meeting will be held poor to teams heading for parts of the river, called beats, they've agreed to clean.
   The day promises to be a good time. You'll meet other like-minded folks, enjoy the George Alexander Memorial Lunch, and contribute to a great cause.
   Pre-registration is required. Contact Josh Greenberg, (989)348-8462 or email The AuSable's mainstream, south branch and north branch will be concentrated on. Family sections-Burton's to Louie's, Thendara to Guides Rest, Icebox to Baldwins, Truettner's to Oxbow Club, and Island Road to Flashlight Bend-are some of the beats. A complete list is available from Greenberg.
   I participated a few years back with river guide Sam Sure. We had fun at the same time picking up assorted debris left over from the sinner's seasons. A couple of tires tossed in the middle of the river presented a challenge.
   After considerable time and nearly tipping our boat over, we finally fished them out. We considered it   a successful day out. Besides, we did some fishing once the work was done.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Few apples make for few deer

   Those that monitor deer herds and have begun scouting know that things have changed. For instance, that herd you may have been seeing for a couple of years may have disappeared.
   Blame it on a finicky spring that got warm too soon then became cold just when it didn't need to. The affects were blossoming fruit trees that got caught with no protection when the cold set in.
   The result for the grocery shopping public as well as the deer hunters is little or no apples. Prices are higher because of the shortage.
   And deer herds have had to change locales to find food. One herd I have watched for years isn't there as I have previously mentioned.
   I've seen fawns recently that were born probably too late to make it through the winter. They are very small and like their elders, have that look that seems to say, "which way to food."
   I don't know how the acorns have done, and whether the oaks that would normally produce them will have a marked decrease in mast production this year.
   All in all it looks like slim picking definitely for the deer and maybe for hunters too.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fly Fishing authority John Long Passes

   Word was received earlier today of the passing of Birmingham, Michigan resident John J.P. Long. Fly fishers around Michigan will be familiar with Long largely through his work as author of several stream guides for Michigan Rivers.
   Although a couple of the guides have been reproduced in color with some updating, they largely depended on the hours of work and on-stream research Long provided.
   Beginning fly anglers need only to look at one of his stream guides to get good, solid information for access points, wading conditions, and an emergence schedule that would greatly help in fly selection.
   Those of us who knew him personally miss his stories about the years he spent as an officer during WWII in the Coast Guard, escorting ships near and around Alaska, his valued advice and council on all things related to fly fishing, and the many trout openers we shared at his cabin on the Holy Waters of the AuSable River.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Salmon-A Michigan Fall Favorite

   Salmon have been gathering for their annual migrations up streams to spawn, according to reports. Catches on the west side of Michigan have been have been good.
   Charters are receiving a good business from the fishing community which is due in large part to the good catches charter captains have been getting.
   I hope the fish are still there in a couple of weeks. That's when a group of us plan on fishing them from kayaks.
   It's a yearly event that attracts a newcomer or two every year. I've missed the last couple due to obligations, but have the green light for this year's event.
   I'll join others near Sleeping Bear stand dunes in hopes of hooking into one of these large fish that, caught on a line from a kayak take boat and angler for a nice ride on Lake Michigan.
   Slowly, gear is getting sorted and organized, ready for the northbound trip. Hopefully, the salmon will still be on the run.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Weather and days-They're a changin'

   No need to consult the calendar. You can almost feel the subtle changes in the weather and more directly, the temperatures.
   What's all this mean? Fall and it's companion hunting seasons are closer than you think. I hesitate to say it, but some of those maple trees that have been dressed in green leaves recently are beginning to show some of their distinctive fall colors.
   All we need now is to see signs along the road advertising deer feed for sale. That is if there are any veggies left to be harvested for deer feed.
   This Sunday's column has to do with the availability of the kinds of food hunters rely on for baiting deer. This year could be a big shortage due to the lousy weather we've experienced.
   Not only will hunters possible gave to learn to hunt all over again but farmers that depend on the income these crops provide will feel the financial pinch.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Belle Isle-A gem

   For as long as I can remember, Belle Isle has been considered one of those places you go to for fun, relaxation and a chance for a brief getaway from the everyday happenings of life.
   As a little boy I remember the island being lush and green. Even the small carts ponies pulled around were painted a deep, dark, rich forest green.
   Everything was so clean and well kept. When our two oldest boys were just beyond toddler stage we took them for a day's outing to Belle Isle.
   The first thing we noticed was all the trash lying about on those lawns that were once lush and green. Meat bones of every description were just tossed here and there.
   Sand that was once sugary and clean was now nearly black and instead of being a place to walk barefoot or build sand castles, was to be avoided due to all he broken glass in it.
   Trash barrels were overflowing, bathrooms were locked, and the building known as the Casino looked as though it may topple over at any moment.
   Whether the state enters into an agreement to start caring for the park or the City of Detroit gives it a shot there is a lot to be done before it can come back and be referred to as a "Gem."

Friday, August 10, 2012

Branch and Ionia Counties hit by EHD

   Currently, the EHD problem is in Branch and Ionia Counties. The DNR says where the disease is more common, deer build up anti bodies but Michigan deer haven't had the benefit of developing that form of protection.
   Because of a lack of protection, loses could be more severe with population recovering occurring over a longer period of time.
   Property owners who discover dead deer they suspect died of EHD in the vicinity of Branch County should call the Crane Pond field office at 269-244-5928, and in Ionia County contact the Flat River field office at 616-794-2658. In other areas of the state, reports of suspected EHD outbreaks should be made to the nearest DNR office.
   It is acceptable to allow natural deterioration processes to dispose of deer that die from EHD. Natural deterioration will not spread the disease or cause other disease outbreaks.
   For more information on EHD, visit

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

EHD-dry weather adds to this disease

  EHD outbreaks killing deer in Michigan have occurred in isolated areas almost every year since 2006. Prior to 2006, EHD outbreaks in Michigan occurred in 1955 and 1974. The estimated mortality has varied from 50 to 1,000 deer per year in the affected areas.
   “Due to the prolonged, dry, hot weather this year, we are not surprised to see EHD emerge again,” said Tom Cooley, DNR wildlife biologist and pathologist. “Mortality numbers will depend on how widespread the disease is -- die-offs usually occur within one watershed area. If multiple watersheds are involved, the total mortality is higher.”
   There is no known effective treatment for, or control of, EHD. The disease has been seen for decades in most areas of the United States, especially the southeast states and Texas. It has been less commonly observed in Great Lakes and New England states, although it has now been detected in Michigan in six of the last seven years.
   Any sign of EHD would be cause for alarm but especially now that it's been detected in past years.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Seen all exotics? Better hold the thought

   Just when you think you may have seen or heard of most of the exotics and that another will come along to affect outdoor pursuits; hunting in this case, along comes another.
   EHD or epizootic hemorrhagic disease, has been confirmed as the cause of death in deer found in

 in eastern Ionia and northern Branch counties, the Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Disease Lab and the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health announced today.
   The often-fatal viral disease, found in wild ruminants, causes extensive internal bleeding within deer and is transmitted by a midge, or type of biting fly. A constant characteristic of the disease is its sudden onset.
   Deer lose their appetite and fear of humans, grow progressively weaker, salivate excessively, and finally become unconscious. Due to a high fever, infected deer often are found sick or dead along or in bodies of water. There is no evidence that humans can contract the EHD virus.
   Stay tuned to thus blog for more about EHD Wednesday.

Friday, August 3, 2012

New Product-Super Shears

   If you have trouble cutting braided line with those standard nippers, Berkley has just the tool for you. It's called the Superline Shears and can be used on all types of line.
   That's key. Instead of carrying several tools for cutting, now all you need is a pair of Superline Shears.
   They are light in weight, compact, have serrated blades for easier cutting, and are made from stainless steel to prevent corrosion. Handles are made for the comfort of thumb and finger.
   I've had plenty of experience on the water trying to cut through fluorocarbon, monofilament and braid with the same nippers I use for fly fishing.
   Instead of making a clean, single cut, I struggled, usually winding up cutting the line with a pocket knife or trying to pull it apart where the nippers had partial y cut it.
   Superline Shears are available at tackle and other retail outlets. Better add them to your tool zinger and leave the nippers for fly fishing.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bear patch now available

   The Michigan Bear Hunters Association reminds hunters that the 2012 bear management cooperator patches are available from the Michigan Bear Hunters Association (MBHA).
   Cooperator patches were once given to successful hunters at bear registration stations, where DNR staff collect teeth and other research data from harvested bears. In 2008, faced with limited resources, the DNR partnered with the MBHA in order to continue to provide the bear patch.
   MBHA now designs and produces the patches and administers the patch program, making the patch available to all interested parties. The partnership continues with MBHA donating patch sale profits to the DNR for use in bear education and management efforts.
   In 2011, MBHA began a contest for youth to design the bear patch. The winner of the 2012 patch design contest is Trevor Simmonds from Davison. Information on how to participate in the patch design contest can be found on the DNR’s bear website ( or the MBHA website (
   Youth hunters (17 and under) can receive a free patch by sending in a copy of their current bear hunting license. Other hunters, collectors and enthusiasts can purchase patches for $5 each. It is not necessary to harvest a bear to purchase a patch.

Patches are available by sending a check (made out to “MBHA”), with a return address, to:

MBHA Patch Program
10510 Fairgrieve Rd.
Johannesburg, MI 49751

Monday, July 30, 2012

Archery Workshop for women set of this week

   The Department of Natural Resources will present a Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) Introduction to Archery workshop Saturday, Aug. 11, from 9 a.m. to noon at Detroit Sportsmen’s Congress (, located at 49800 Dequindre Road in Utica
    This workshop will cover safety, dominant eye, proper shooting form/technique, various archery equipment, maintenance and selection.
   The course will also provide hands-on practice shooting a bow with assistance by instructors. All equipment will be provided, and no skill level is required.
    Girls age 10 and older are welcome to attend, but must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Cost for both adults and youngsters is $20 per person.
For registration forms and more information on this and other BOW events, visit, email or call 517-241-2225.