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.