Sunday, November 30, 2014

Richard P. Smith-book author at Bear Symposium Dec. 6 in Roscommon

Big game and bear expert/specialist Richard P. Smith will be available for to talk bear hunting along with having his bear books for sale at the first Bear symposium hosted by the DNR at the Ralph A. MacMullen Conference Center in Roscommon, December 6, from 10a.m.-2p.m. Admission is $15 for this inaugural event.
"I'll be selling my books, “Black Bear Hunting,” and “Understanding Michigan Black Bear,” along with my DVD, “Field Judging Black Bears,” Smith said from his home in Marquette.
You won't lose with Smith's books. While they are entertaining, they serve the purpose of providing valuable, well-founded information for both the hunter and the person interest in bears.
You can take Smith's information to the bank because it's that solid. I've known him for a number of years, introduced him at seminars and read just about all of his books.
One word describes his writing: Thorough. He doesn't leave a stone unturned. If he is presenting at the symposium, be sure and give him a listen.
He's speaking, writing, and filming from yeas of hunting experience. DNR officials are recommending this symposium for both new and experienced hunters as well as people that wish to understand bears and their behavior better.

 Richard P. Smith with black bear he harvested. Photo courtesy of Richard P. Smith

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Deer hunting injury update

As usual, there is some news, both good and bad. The good news is my fall opening morning, before daylight and the first shot was heard, resulted in no damage to the parts that make up my knee replacement.
The bad news is that it's going to take 2-3 months to completely heal. "You have a deep bruise, possibly a bruise to the bone that probably bled," physicians assistant Meredith Wood said.
After looking at X-rays and doing an exam to check for ligament damage, Wood, who is orthopedic surgeon Jeffrey DeClaire's right hand announced.
Walking is OK. My cross fit training at Dignified Cross fit in Waterford may continue minus squatting or lifting heavy weight.
The news is a great relief. I didn't want surgery to replace broken parts which would have required physical therapy and a tougher road toward healing.
On a different topic, on my way out to get the paper this morning, Mollie, our King Charles Cavalier Spaniel had found a new place to nap. Check the accompanying photo out!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Deer opener began on the wrong foot

Up at 4:30a.m. and in the woods, parking the truck just before 6a.m. We got our individual gear together, loaded up and headed out.
I hadn't taken ten steps from the truck when all of a sudden, my feet went out from under me and I hit the ground in a full frontal position, very hard.
As I lay there on the two-track, hunting partner Bill Semion, who was walking with me said "Roger, are you all right?" He asked the same thing two or three more times until I was able to say give me a minute.
I knew right away I had injured my right knee. I began to hurt very quickly. My shotgun had been on a sling over my shoulder. The fall forced it loose. It hit the ground three or four feet ahead of me.
I finally figured not too much got hurt, rolled over onto my side and stood up. The knee really began to hurt at this point.
Incidentally, I've had both knees completely replaced. I've fallen on them before skiing, ice fishing or like this trip, slipping on ice.
My orthopedic surgeon, Jeffrey DeClaire told me I would have to hit the knee as hard as I could with a ball peen hammer to damage it and then it would be a matter of removing some screws, taking the damaged part out and replacing it.
I stayed in my stand until 11a.m. At that time we left the woods and return to the warmth of the cabin and some soup.
I packed up to head home. The knee had swollen quite a bit by then. At home I began icing it right away which relieved the pain.
Today I went to Urgent Care. They made a movement limiting cast, instructing me to take it easy for a week or so. Moving on the leg caused more swelling.
I see the surgeon tomorrow just to double check that all the parts are in place. Hunting season could be over for me.
If you're still out in the woods, be aware of packed snow on some of the two-tracks that has become slippery.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Eve of firearms opener brings excitement

Like kids opening presents Christmas morning brings squeals of excitement, the day before the opener brings hunters together in eager anticipation of what could be.
Fellow hunter Bill Semion and I spent much of the day before the opener in the woods checking out the spots we intended to hunt and looking for back up places in case the wind was not favorable.
We both saw plenty of fresh sign in the form of hoof prints and scat, fresh enough to be nearly warm.
On our drive in to the property we saw a dandy eight-point, heavy-bodied deer bound across the road ahead of us, another good sign.
We drove over to the deer camp of Mark McKellip from Bay City. He's been hunting in and around the Mason Tract for a number of years.
"It takes a bit of time to set up camp. Once the tent is up, wood stove moved in, floor installed, cots and beds made up and personal items stowed, we are in good shape," McKellip said.
This year, he plans on staying in camp for at least a week. "I'll have my two sons here for a few days then other friends will come up to hunt."
McKellip sets up a wall tent that is 15 feet by 21 feet. An outfitters tent made for elk hunting, it's made of cotton fabric that has been treated to keep the elements out. "I've never had a leak in here," he said.
A yearly hunting camp with family and friends brings out memories of hunts passed and stories that get better year after year.

Mark McKellip sitting next to the wood burning stove in his wall tent. By Beukema

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Rut has begun in northern woods

"The rut is definitely on," reports fellow hunter Glen Shepherd. He's been checking for sign in several places around Roscommon and noticed a change this past week.
Until then there had been little or no sign that whitetail activity or their presence even existed. With the exception of an old hoof print here and there, or trails that had sunk into the leaves, there was hardly any expectation of a hunt.
Add to that no sighting of deer in areas where they normally are located, it was beginning to feel like we needed our plan "B" spot around Gladwin.
But with the recent sightings of rubs, scrapes and runs, we'll stay put. The hard part about hunting away from home is knowing what the deer are doing.
Having someone practically on the scene helps.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Deer opener packing begun

No matter how many times I pack for a trip I still manage to leave things I need at home and bring things I will never use along. And this after list making.
I carry around with me bits of scrap paper, notebooks, keep something to write on in my vehicle and wherever we go, bring a pen and something to write with just in case I remember something else.
The trouble is, with all of these notes, I wind up looking at one list and forget to pack things I really need.
The better plan is to consolidate all of those lists into one then cross off each item as it's packed. You would think I would know this by now.
Time to get back to packing. Lets see, which boots should I take? Better take them both in case of rain.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Computers-a never ending learning experience

I envy young people. That's because all of this technology is common, everyday life to them. I've been struggling the past couple of months trying to correct my current email address and get those in my address book informed of the change.
This all came about when I changed internet providers not thinking how it would affect all of my contacts.
Press releases from companies and others that keep me updated on things they may think are of interest to readers aren't coming in. Usually I get 20-30 emails daily. Now I'm down to a couple.
The ringing phone and someone on the other end who wants to know if I changed me email address alerts me to what I have been missing.
To prevent this from every happening again I now get emails through gmail; some of them. For some reason, gmail won't allow me to notify most of my address book telling me the address are no longer any good when I know they are perfectly good.
A call to gmail left me exasperated and with no solution. There's a lesson in all of this, at least for me: Never make technological changes without consulting persons with more experience.
In the case of gmail I did just that. Several friends, "in the know," were surprised I wasn't  already using such a service and all agreed that gmail would be the answer. It hasn't been.
Another area that his become cumbersome is that of passwords. I have so many I don't know what are most for even though they have been written down on a tablet I carry with me.
The Apple store at one point went through many of my passwords and attempted to consolidate several into one password.
That seemed to work for about a week then many of my services began asking for a password saying the one I provided wasn't any good. So it was back to creating several new ones.
Before any of this happened, I was permanently signed into several accounts and never gave these passwords a second thought.
Guess that what happens to us in the older generation. Oh to be younger and breeze through all of this.