Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Election history-so are unwanted phone calls

   Finally a little piece and quiet here in Northern Oakland County. For the past several weeks our phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from this or that candidate.
   Like any unwanted call, these are such a pain when one is taken away from this task or that just to answer a recording.
   Use your caller id you might say. We do. The problem is these political calls resemble two we get from our children overseas.
   That is the caller id shows up exactly the same. While it doesn't identify the called, the term "out of area" usually means one of our kids is calling.
   If we let it ring, instead of cutting off after a certain number, it actually goes to voice mail. Later, when you see the lights flashing indicating new messages it's more time going through them to delete those not important while listening for messages you care to hear.
   The "do not call" initiative is great. Too bad it doesn't take in these robo calls.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Response to mentored youth hunt

   Like any new program, the Mentored Youth Hunt recently approved by the Natural Resources Commission has it's share of doubters that this is a good thing.
   My concern is the mentors. We live in a day and age where dad's aren't typically in households due to divorce or other considerations.
   In other words, there are a lot of single family/parents homes where mom is doing the parenting, and in many cases trying to fill in where dad's would normally be.
   True, there are females who pursue outdoor sports. But are there enough to mentor children? And if dad is in the home, there's a good chance he's working two jobs tying to make ends meet. That doesn't leave much time for a mentored hunt.
   While I'm glad that something is being done to get more young people interested in the outdoor sports, I'm not absolutely sure this is the way to do it.
   Charlie Mann from Hunters Creek Club brings up a good point: Mentors are going to have to know their children well enough to determine whether they are responsible or mature enough to be in the outdoors with a firearm.
   Yes, there are ten-year-olds who definitely are mature enough and will do fine under the proper supervision along with a good upbringing.
   Hopefully, mentors will realize that just because a child has reached the age of ten doesn't necessarily mean he or she is ready to hunt.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mentored Youth Hunt puts kids in the field

   Just prior to the National Resources Commission approving a mentored hunt for youth under 8 years of age I had a conversation with some long time hunters who were expressing concern that there were too many opportunities for youth to hunt.
   Their concern was largely about deer hunting and the chance that too many hunters in the woods would severely deplete the deer herd.
   Eldon Montross, Michigan United Conservation Club liaison for the Oakland County Sportsmen's Club doesn't see it that way.
   Montross feels this a good way for dads to get out and connect with their children while at the same time teaching them how to hunt safely and conduct themselves in the outdoors.
   He thinks that once in awhile a kid will shoot a deer, and that isn't enough to wipe out the deer herd. Montross began hunting when his dad took him along as a youngster. "I didn't carry a gun, but went with my dad a lot," he said.
   With good, proper mentoring, this program should get more kids outdoors learning more than how to hunt.
   This is a golden opportunity to teach kids how to be reliable, trustworthy, courteous and responsible.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mentored Youth Hunting begins in March

   Starting with this year's licensing season, children under the age of 10 will be allowed to hunt and fish while in the company of an adult at least 21 years of age.
  The $7.50 Mentored Youth Hunting license will be a package to include small game, spring and fall turkey, two deer tags-any deer-, a furbearer trapping permit and an all-species fishing license.
   Youth hunters must hunt within arms length of their mentor. In other words, in very close proximity. And the mentor is responsible for all that goes on during the hunt, including safety and proper gun handling.
   The question, is 10 and under too young to handle firearms, will have to be answered by parents or mentors. It will be up to those people to judge whether a particular child is mature enough to be trusted on a hunt.
   Taking a youngster out to hunt carries with it a lot of serious responsibility on the part of the mentor if this program is to be successful.
   And what about those adult hunters who already feel the woods and fields are too crowded with "special seasons" for young hunters? They will have to be convinced that this is a good thing and worthy of at least a trial basis.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Morel mushrooming-more info

   Picking morels requires you to be observant. Anyone can do it, it's just a matter of training yourself to actually see what is around you.
   Probably you'll begin by looking at the ground directly in front of you. Gradually, your gaze will extend out and little ahead of where you are walking at a slow pace.
   Oh, that walking stick? Leave it at home. You're bound to lay it down at some point while investigating what appears to be morels, then walk off without it.
   Another good tip, this one from personal experience is when you find one mushroom take some time and look closely at the area around the find.
   Chances are if you find one, there will be others close by. Learn all you care to know about morel mushroom hunting, preservation and cooking at Outdoorama next week in Novi. Visit for more information.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Morel hunting-another sign of spring

   Yes, it's still too early to get out looking for morel mushrooms. But those attending next week's Outdoorama, Feb., 23-26 at Novi's Suburban Collection Showplace can learn plenty about how to hunt, harvest, cook ad preserve morels.
   Morel expert Theresa Maybrier has been studying and picking morels since she was 17. She's even kept detailed records and journals about her experiences over the past 50 years.
   These mushrooms like warmer temperatures; between 60-80 degrees. They don't like especially hot weather, therefore, doing better in northern climates.
   Overall, morels are found in 22 states including Alaska and can be found in the spring as the ground warms and days get longer.
   Hunting begins in Illinois, Indiana, and other nearby states before gradually moving north into Michigan. Maybrier says we have some of the best hunting conditions due to all the forests and public land.
   Learn the correct way to hunt morels and how to help preserve this much sought after treasure by attending one of Maybrier's seminars. Happy morel hunting!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thoughts of bump boards; No-Mo around the corner!

   Spring is in the air, at least in some peoples minds. The morel lady, Theresa Maybrier of Team Morel will be attending Outdoorama beginning Feb., 23. Hunting morels is definitely a spring activity.
   So is the annual No-Mo kayak fishing tournament, now several years old but in it's second year of benefiting Make-A-Wish Foundation.
   That's where those bump boards come in. Bump boards are measuring devices like rulers, used to tell how large a fish is.
   In the No-Mo, set for May 6 this year, fish are not brought to the ramp for a weigh-in, as such. They are placed on an approved ruler/bump board, a photo is taken of the fish, the measurement and the bump board, then downloaded when the weigh-in begins.
   It's the assembling of all of this equipment that puts one in the mind of spring. So does the annual Quiet Water Symposium in Lansing at MSU, March 3.
   Contact Chris LeMessurier at for No-Mo entry info. Or see us at the Symposium.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ice fishing school in new location.

   There is ice for ice fishing to be found in Michigan. That's why Mark Martin went to "plan B" and moved his annual school from Saginaw Bay to Cadillac. He also changed the name of the school to Inland Ice Fishing Vacation School.
   Beginning this weekend, students- who were notified ahead of time of the change-met in Cadillac to register and attend a seminar before heading out on the ice of Lakes Cadillac or Mitchell.
   "There is over a foot of ice out here," Martin said via telephone. "There wasn't ice on Saginaw Bay. Nothing you would want to walk on anyway," he added.
   Besides having ice, anglers will be able to park in adjacent parking lots and walk out to fish instead of riding on ATV's or snowmobiles.
   With smaller walleye being taken on tip-ups and eater-size crappie hitting, the fishing should be decent. "Some people were disappointed at not being able to fish the bay. But this is going to give them not only a variety of fish, but conditions too," Martin said.
   That variety includes outside bends, weeds and weed edges, conditions not found on Saginaw Bay. And instead of picking up and moving a couple of miles, on Cadillac and Mitchell that move could be just 50 yards.