Saturday, June 27, 2015

So far, no news is good news on the chronic wasting disease front!

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer is about like having a life-threatening disease in humans. In the case of deer, veterinarians are constantly looking over their collective shoulders to be sure all the bases have been covered lest the disease becomes more prevalent.
On the other hand, human beings with cancer, in remission or supposedly cured, always have the thought or fear in the back of their mind. Will this come back?
Speaking from experience on the cancer level, every new ache or pain, small bump pr bruise, gets the mind to shifting gears thinking, ah, yes, the cancer has returned just in a different form. No matter what the medical people tell us, its difficult to relax once you have gone through this crappy disease.
Nothing new has been heard from Lansing. And so far, no new cases of cwd have been discovered. But as we move closer to the fall hunting seasons the mind wanders and wonders if more deer will be found to have been contaminated.
Because more people will be in the fields and woods, if there are sick deer about, this should be the time they will be found out just due to more observers.
Wildlife Biologist Tim Payne who covers southeast Michigan and now days probably even more has said more deer will be closely examined for cwd this fall.
"Look for road killed deer and those brought to check stations to be thoroughly examined for cwd," he said.
In the past, DNR officials have encouraged hunters to have their deer checked at one of the many deer check stations around the state to help manage the deer herd.
This year and on it becomes even more important to make a quick stop and have your deer checked. The one you have strapped to the roof may be disease-free but on the other hand, it could be a new case in a different area.
By you stopping for an inspection, heading off a larger field of contamination for cwd or other diseases may have saved the day.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) found in Ingham County whitetail

A six-year-old female whitetail was observed acting strangely around a residence in Ingahm County. The deer appeared to be severely underweight and unafraid of human contact.
Further investigation by DNR wildlife pathologists confirmed the animal suffered from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD, a condition that affects the brain and nervous system.
School is still out as to why one animal in a particular area contracts the disease. So far, CWD isn't indicated in livestock.
Hunters are asked to be on the look out for deer acting strangely. Road kill deer could also be carrying the disease. In either case, the DNR should be contacted at the DNR Wildlife Disease Hotline, (517) 614-9602.
Presently, a core area that includes Clinton, Shiawassee and Ingham Counties ban deer and elk feeding and baiting and a prohibition the salvage of deer killed by collision with a motor vehicle within the core area.
Additionally, mandatory deer checking will be required during deer seasons to test for CWD of harvested deer.
Anterless quotas during hunting season will be increased to help reduce the population to help prevent deer-to-deer spread of the disease.
Licenses and combos may be returned for a refund and new licenses may be purchased prior to the start of deer seasons. After Sept., 19, licenses are considered used and cannot be returned.
For more information visit
Whitetail deer with CWD. Photo courtesy Wisconsin DNR

Friday, June 12, 2015

MVM-Michigdan, Virginia mafia rocks the smallmouth world

For the past 12 or so years, six friends have gotten together the week before Memorial Day to hang out, enjoy each others company and fish for smallmouth that are immediately released.
This gang of characters include John "Mini" Mainiaci, Bill "Mac" McElroy, Carlos Hathcock, Scott "Toxic" Hammer, Marke Cicero, and until this year, Ken Neeley.
Neeley, who owned and operated KD Outdoors passed away suddenly last year. This year's outing was full of Neeley stories. "It's time to get the fishes," was one favorite.
Prominent in the cottage on Harsen's Island the group rents annually was a small table, a memorial to Neeley of sorts.
The table held several pictures of Neeley enjoying life and friends, a cap dedicated to him and always a 1/2 glass full of an adult beverage.  Most of us had to walk by it to get to our beds or gather for meals. No one needed to point it out. The tribute spoke volumes just by being there.
This was not so much of a learning to fish weekend as it was enjoying the company of those we don't see until the following year.
However, fishing was on everyone's minds. Questions and comments about different types of fishing, baits and where to go were all topics when we gathered for the evening meal.
I've always enjoyed these kinds of outings. Whether it be trout or blue gill camp, deer camp or small time, one thing is for sure. They all are fun.
If you get a chance to attend a camp with friends or family, do it. Time flies. Before you know it, you'll have lost some members or perhaps become incapacitated yourself to the point that you can't enjoy these outings anymore.
Whether they are hunting or fishing, they are bound to be fun.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Don't miss Free Fishing Weekend

It happens twice a year. No, It's not your birthday or Christmas. It's the DNR's Free Fishing Weekend, this summer June 13-14.
Licenses are free for non-residents and residents but all other fishing rules and regulations apply. So, as I've said for many years, if you have wanted to get out and try fishing but didn't want to make a huge investment, Free Fishing Weekend provides that opportunity with a license fee.
Borrow equipment from a friend, neighbor or relative. Ask someone to take you along if only for a few hours.
Can't find anyone? No worries. Head for a state or Metropark that provides fishing and ask someone who has a line in the water for some help.
Anglers-ladies and men-usually are very generous with helpful tips, how to information and will even give you the right bait to use if you don't have any.
Get your line in the water, use the chair you brought from home to sit in and relax, keeping an eye on your line or bobber, depending on how you are fishing.
Time really does fly when you are having fun. Enjoy yourself.

Photo courtesy of Oakland Press Tim Thompson