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By Tom Campbell...Field Notes

Big Bucks and Big Fish!

he stories of 2015 deer season are still

coming in and we have some terrific
bucks featured in this issue and I'm certain
we'll have more highlighted in upcoming
issues. It seems we're seeing more deer
with unique antler configurations including Adam Walters' cover buck and Jeremy Cooks'
crazy looking rack, can you imaging trying to
score them? Thanks to everyone that's shared their
photos with us and I encourage you to do the same,
you can email photos and the information to me at
A reminder for spring turkey hunters, the application period ends Feb. 1, see the digest for more
Like big bucks, big fish too, fascinate most of
us and you can't get fish much bigger than our sturgeon and that's probably the reason the short Black
Lake sturgeon spearing season is so electrifying!
An event everyone that loves the outdoors needs to
put on their bucket list. Here's all the information
you need to know provided by the MDNR


Now-Feb. 1 Spring turkey season application period

Now-Feb. 1 Bobcat hunting Unit D (see regs.)
Now-March 1 Bobcat hunting Unit A, B, C (see regs.)
Now-March 1 Fox; red & gray hunting season (see regs.)
Now-March 1 Squirrel; Fox and Gray season
Now-March 15 Muskellunge, northern pike, walleye season
Now-March 15 Spearfishing for northern pike and
muskellunge (see regulations)
Now-March 31 Cottontail/Snowshoe season
Now-Dec. 31 Catch-and-immediate-release bass season
Now-Feb. 29 Bow/spearfishing for yellow perch on
Lake St. Clair (see regulations)
Jan. 23-Feb. 14 Late Canada goose (snow, blue, Ross)
excluding GMUs (check digest for GMU seasons)
Feb. 1-March 31 Crow season
Now-April 15 Coyote hunting (see regulations)




19744 15 Mile Rd
Clinton Twp. 48035

3001 Rochester Rd
Royal Oak, MI 48073



"The 2016 lake sturgeon fishing season on

Black Lake (Cheboygan County) will begin at 8
a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6. All anglers must register to
participate in the lake sturgeon season.
"The 2016 total harvest limit for Black Lake
is seven lake sturgeon. However, to reduce the
chance of exceeding the harvest limit, officials will
close the season when one of two scenarios occurs:
1) Once the sixth fish is harvested, or
2) If five fish have been harvested at the end of

Black Lake
begins 8 am
Feb. 6.
any fishing day.
Fishing hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day of
the season. The season will either end at 2 p.m.
on Wednesday, Feb. 10, or when one of the above
scenarios is met, at which point anglers will be notified on the ice by DNR personnel that they must
immediately stop fishing for lake sturgeon.
"Anglers 17 years of age or older must possess
a valid Michigan fishing license. In addition, all
anglers must possess a lake sturgeon tag, available
for free from all license vendors. Anglers must
have both of these prior to registering for the Black
Lake sturgeon season.
"Anglers need to register only once for the
entire season. An early registration will be held at
the DNR Onaway Field Station from 2 to 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 5. This station is located approximately 5 miles north of Onaway on Route 211. Anglers
can pick up their fishing identification flags at this
time and learn more about season logistics and
lake sturgeon populations from the DNR.
"Anglers are highly encouraged to register
Friday, Feb. 5. Those unable to do so may register
each remaining day of the season at the registration
trailer at Zolner Road, which dead-ends into Black
Lake. Morning registration begins at 7 a.m. each



The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has been collecting records for individual
deer since 1987 although it has been recording
deer data for more than 50 years and near the
end of 2015, the DNR added its 1 millionth deer
record to this database.
Michigan hunters have the opportunity to
voluntarily bring their harvested deer to DNR
deer check stations throughout the deer hunting
season and receive a prized deer hunter cooperator patch. The data collected through this process
includes age, sex and location of the deer harvested.
"Checking one million deer in this time
frame shows the department's commitment to
collecting data from our deer herd to support
science-based management, but also shows the
level of cooperation by our hunters throughout
the years," said Chad Stewart, DNR deer management specialist.
Biologists analyze the data collected at deer
check stations to understand how Michigan's

Antlers Gone Wild!

deer herd changes over

time. The information
helps the DNR understand the relationship
between regulation
changes, such as antler
point restrictions, and
the deer herd's response.
"Having one million
individual deer records
in our dataset is impressive, and something both
the department and hunters should be proud of,"
said Sarah Mayhew, DNR wildlife statistician.
Checking harvested deer also supports surveillance for diseases such as bovine tuberculosis
and chronic wasting disease, which benefits both
the DNR and hunters.
To receive the 2015 successful hunter and
deer management cooperator patch, hunters were
required to present a deer skull with intact antlers
(if from a male deer), jaws and teeth.

COVER BUCK: Can you image seeing a buck

with a rack like this? It would take a great deal

of concentration and thats just what Adam
Walters had, who took this monster buck in
Eaton Co. on Nov. 27 with his muzzleloader.
Its estimated to green score in the 190s.

Jeremy Cook took this incredible 17-point buck

bowhunting Huron Co. Dec. 11. It has antlers
going in a multitude of directions! Watch for
Jeremys story in an upcoming issue.
"Anglers will be issued a disposable flag at
registration that must be displayed each day at the
entrance of their shanty.
"Anglers who harvest a lake sturgeon must immediately tag the fish and contact an on-ice DNR
employee and register the fish at the Zolner Road
trailer. Registration may include an examination of
internal organs and removal of a piece of fin tissue
for DNA analysis and aging.
"Registration logistics were developed in
recent years to allow greater participation by
anglers while protecting the population of lake
sturgeon in Black Lake from overharvest. In
addition, DNR and Michigan State University
have been determining annual population
estimates of adult fish from the spring spawning
run with the assistance of Sturgeon for Tomorrow,
which allows officials to set a safe harvest level
in cooperation with tribal agencies.
"Rehabilitation of lake sturgeon in the
Cheboygan River watershed is a cooperative
effort involving the DNR, the Black Lake
Chapter of Sturgeon for Tomorrow,
Michigan State University, various tribal
agencies and Tower-Kleber Limited
"For more details, anglers may call the DNR
Gaylord Customer Service Center at 989-732-3541
or visit"n


My plan came together
Gary Gillett page 8
My Trophy Buck
Tedi Belisle page 10
Hunting Black Demons
Kenny Darwin page 12
Guest Column
Michael Postema page 14
Guest Column
My 'buck of a lifetime'
was nearly lost
to another hunter!
Brandi Zoll page 20
Planning a turkey
hunting road trip
Darryl Quidort page 26
Another big UP bear
Richard P. Smith page 61
Time to think
about food plots
Ed Spinazzola page 76
Crossbow effectiveness
John Ozoga page 84

Snow Bird Crappies
Mark Romanack page 16
Wakeup Call
For Ice Fishing
Mark Martin page 18


Add-a-Line for trolling

Mark Romanack page 23

Monster Walleyes
Kenny Darwin page 32
Gary Gillett page 8
Tedi Belisle page 10
Adam Walter page 4

Midge flies to
Bloodworms to Panfish
Robert Dock Stupp page 30
Monster Gators
walleyes on set-lines
Kenny Darwin page 32
The Next Bite...
Ice jigging - you're the QB
Gary Parsons/Keith Kavajecz
page 34
Fisherman's Digest...
Curtis & Manistique Lakes
four seasons of fishing fun
John Bergsma page 36
General Ice
Safety Guidelines
Mark Sak page 54
Icing Great Lakes
walleyes by foot
Michael Veine page 64
New twists on a classic
Buck Mallory page 82
Inland lake trout lakes
Bill Ziegler page 86


Pileated Woodpecker:
Michigan's forest
bird extraordinaire
Jonathan Schechter page 53


Cold weather is the hot

time for Great Lakes
minnow harvesters
MDNR page 62
Dog Training...
The Right Attitude
Len Jenkins page 77
page 78
Sporting Collectibles...
More Sport Show Finds
Terry McBurney page 80

Deer/Turkey Expo
back at Lansing Center
Richard P. Smith page 38
Special Pull Out Section
page 49-52
MDNR news briefs,
awards and honors
page 66

Hunt of a lifetime...
Newfoundland Moose
Randy Jorgensen page 28

Poachers Busted
Jeff Pendergraff page 72

UP outdoorsman and
inventor Webster Marble
MDNR page 40

Academy begins
page 75

Wildlife in winter
George Rowe page 48

Michigan Meanders...
Requiem for a Michigan
Pheasant Hunter
Tom Huggler page 39

John 46
Good for grouse,
good for grouser
Tom Carney page 42
A birthday of
fishing and giving
Roger Beukema page 44

Town Hall Meeting...
End buck poaching now
Tom Antor page 72
Gun Control: Time to
adjust aiming point?
Tom Carney page 73

Boat Smart...
Tales from the fresh
water seas; Kathleen
Capt. Fred Davis page 55


Life in the Fast Lane

Lane Walker page 56

Gun Chat-Single-Actions
Lee Arten page 57

Donning new
dry suit almost lethal
Dave Mull page 71

Black Powder Shooting

"That's just the way I am"
Dennis Neely page 58

Hairy Antler...
Mystery Solved
Ron St. Germain page 83

Big bore accuracy

in the deer woods
Joe Delaney page 60

Trophy Pages. . . . . . 68-70 Classifieds . . . . . . 89-90
Letters-Op-Ed . . . . . 72-75 Real Estate . . . . . . . 90-97


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Cover Story -- Guest Column By Gary Gillett

My plan came together on a

I do not have great leased

property to hunt with lush food
plots and preferred bedding
areas. I hunt private land with
permission and the areas I can
hunt are pressured by a high
hunter density, but I prefer to
hunt deer on their terms, not in
habitat man made for deer...

spooking him. Both encounters in October were short and bitter sweet. He
walked through the corn making all
kinds of noise, hence his name Dozer.
Both times he came in right about
dark and walked the corn to where the
headlands meet the main rows. I could
not get a shot.
On Nov. 2 after adjusting to his
evening pattern, I got out of work at
4:30 and quickly set up a stand in a
new location trying to better pin point
his exit from the standing corn. I
used a walking trail to access the spot
n Sept. 30 I had a trail cam
which was a hedgerow that connected
photo of a buck I had only
to the trees bordering the walking
seen once before the year
trail, splitting the cornfield in half. I
prior from the road. It was
on a property near my home, set up on the downwind side of the
which I did not have permis- intersection, and stayed about eight
sion to hunt until September of 2015. yards off of the field edge as not to be
At the end of summer the land owner silhouetted against an open sky. Once
setup I heard something coming down
approached me asking if Id like to
the walking trail, it was just the land
hunt back on his land. I expected
owner was out for a walk and walked
some sort of lease option but it was
within 20 yards of my tree. I felt I was
not presented that way at all. I was
given permission for myself, my wife, defeated but decided to stay put as my
target buck didnt usually move until
a good friend, and my dad. Being
close to home I knew enough to setup close to dark.
Not long after the land owner disa camera. When I got the first picture
appeared out of sight I heard a deer. It
of this buck, nicknamed, Dozer. I
was a small doe on her nightly feeding
knew he was a shooter but the true
magnitude of this buck was not shown route. I passed her and she went about
her business moving out of sight.
in a side view photo.
I hunted him three times in Octo- About 15 minutes later I heard a
heavy hoofed deer approaching on the
ber, two times he came in but it was
other side of the hedgerow that split
close to dark. Dozers core area was
the cornfield. I got one glimpse of
two trees with weeds around them
the buck and knew it was Dozer. He
in the center of cornfield. One of the
was walking the hedgerow and had
two trees was an oak tree but it did
passed me heading down the opposite
not yield acorns this year otherwise
side. I quickly grabbed my trusty Rod
I would have set it up with a stand
for an evening hunt. Learning that he Benson grunt call and made two quick
grunts and heard him stop walking.
was bedding there I decided to hunt
one hedgerow away rather than trying After a few seconds of silence he let
out a soft grunt. I replied, and I heard
to enter the bedding area potentially


Gary Gilletts giant buck green scored 174 2/8 and was aged at 4.5 years old.
him thrashing in the hedgerow. It
was really thick between us, I didnt
even realize I had already turned him
I turned my head away from him
and let out a loud vocal bleat. He let
out a loud grunt and busted through
the hedgerow so I repeated with a
second bleat. Dozer was at 20 yards
quartering hard towards me, by this
time I had my bow in hand. He let
out two of the loudest grunts Ive
ever heard, they were growls actually,
so loud I could hear them echoing
through the woods behind me. One
softer vocal bleat and he was broadside at 14 yards. I drew and settled in
just behind his shoulder and released.
I watched my nock disappear behind
his shoulder and he bolted into the
corn running between two rows. I then
heard him crossing rows and at that
point he either had crashed or got to
the edge of the hedgerow and continued running where I wouldnt have
heard him.
I sat there replaying everything
staring at my nock glowing on the
ground and after about 20 minutes
I climbed down and retrieved my
arrow. The arrow looked good and
didnt have a foul smell so I marked
the spot and backed out quietly. When
I got home I told my wife (who had
just returned from hunting a different spot), called my dad, and my best
friends Wade and Nathan. We met at
my house, gathered up lights, lanterns,
and camera equipment. When we got
back to the location where I shot, we
didnt see much blood where I hit
him and there was a 20 yard clearing
in the corner of the field where the
corn didnt grow. I counted the rows
when I watched him disappear down
the row so we walked over to that
spot and there was a blood trail of all
blood trails covering two rows of corn
in both directions. We went about 50
yards until it was obvious that he cut
across the rows toward the hedgerow.

He didnt make it that far. The

noise I heard was indeed Dozer crashing headlong into the corn. It had been
nine years to the day since I arrowed
a targeted buck. I have seen reduced
deer numbers in my hunting spots
in the last 15 years and it has been a
mental struggle to pass bucks when I
actually see them. I do not have great
leased property to hunt with lush food
plots and preferred bedding areas. I
hunt private land with permission and
the areas I can hunt are pressured by
a high hunter density, but I prefer to
hunt deer on their terms, not in habitat
man made for deer. When I walked up
to Dozer I cannot describe the wave
of emotion that hit me. It was a plan
that came together on a true Michigan
giant in a pressured area.
The best part of all was seeing my
wife, dad, and two best friends walking up to Dozer. I smile as I write this
because for me, that is what hunting is
all about. For my family and friends,
deer hunting is something much bigger than a pastime, it is a 365 day
journey that begins on January 2 and
ends January 1.
We paid our respects to Dozer, got
him back to the clearing where I shot
him, cleaned him up and took some
photos. By this time I had my Mom,
uncles, and father-in-law at my house
as there was some text messages sent
once we found Dozer at the end of the
blood trail. I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to share the
experience with my close friends, and
family. Dozer Green Scored 174 2/8
and was aged at 4.5 years old.
Gary Gillett is part of Blackops Outdoors, a small company/organization
that is all about hunting deer on their
terms, hunting deer in pressured areas,
and going to extreme measures year
round to match wits with mature bucks.
He also manufactures a deer mineral
called Rack On, sold in southern
Michigan. For more info! or his
Facebook page.n


Cover Story -- Guest Column By Tedi Belisle


I am slightly obsessed with
the big bucks, continuously
scouting and dreaming
of them, as many hunters
do. This was such an awesome occurrence I wish
everyone could have an
experience like it...

our stands. Once the temperature

dropped that last week we finally
started seeing lots of deer in the
fields. Mostly does. Again I had
let the same decent six point eat in
front of me for about 15 minutes
the day prior, and was a bit worried I would again end a season
with no deer.
Usually my step-dad hunts
the woods across the street, as the
big bruisers hang out there, but on
this night, December 29 he hunted
the field 300 yards across the way
y bowhunting
from our blind on the woodline.
career if you
will, has spanned It was closing in on dusk and a
couple doe came out near him, and
seven years and
about five minutes later, a monwe have the
luxury of hunting ster buck followed. He had a bad
behind our farm home in a section wind, so by the time they were
within 100 yards they had scented
of wooded area in lower Wayne
him. He never hunts bad winds
County. I have put some time in
but I think he was excited for the
over the past years and had some
bad luck with a couple bucks duck- evening knowing it was a good set
up for me. He made this season all
ing my shot, but Ive learned and
about me! He was so excited for
was hopeful.
We have seen many nice deer, me to have my time finally pay
especially bucks on our trail cams, off.
Well, after the adrenaline rush
so I knew the opportunity was
there this year. I passed early on a of watching the buck go by him,
a few minutes later, I saw a fairly
decent six point and small basket
large doe come out at about 200
eight, and each time had afterthoughts, as the pressure of fellow yards. I thought, if it comes my
hunters were making for less deer way, shes big enough, and I will
sightings during daylight. The last at least get a shot. No sooner did
I think that, when I looked up and
two weeks of the archery seafollowing her was the monster. To
son we were avid about being in



Twenty-nine year old Tedi Belisle with her trophy book 11-point buck with great mass
taken with a crossbow in late Decdember. Photos provided
be honest, I saw a mass of antlers
through my binoculars, and upon
doing so I immediately texted my
step-dad, OMG OMG OMG! I
knew he was big but I wouldnt let
myself look at the antlers.
I took my safety off immediately, and watched as he slowly,
head down, strolled my way. No
hesitation in him, he was coming at me. I wasnt super nervous,
more anxious that I let this play
out and was patient. Once he
finally got within 30 yards, he
was straight on. I had my sights
through my Tenpoint crossbow on
him and waited. It was the longest
minute ever. I wanted him to turn
perfectly broadside, and he never
did. Once he quartered I looked
up, at that point I knew he was on
to me, and took the shot, before he
could bolt.
He was hit, but managed to
get back into the woods. My heart
sank a little, because he headed
into the thick stuff and without a
good blood trail, its so hard to
find the deer. I flagged my stepdad and we went to where the shot
was. I had hit him, and there was
a good amount of blood and hair
at the sight. The bolt had broken
though. We figured itd be best to
We headed back out around
9:30 p.m. to pick up his trail.
And to my surprise we had a very
consistent blood trail. We followed
it, without any stopping for about
a 1/4 mile in. We felt we were
pushing him and it would be best

to come back in the morning. I

actually slept very well, I was confident, with how much blood we
had seen, he couldnt have made it
much further. We pinned our location, so at 7:30 a.m. we picked up
right where we left off.
At this point I thought he
was the big eight point, so I was
geeked that I hit a nice deer and
we were close on his trail. We
were at a more open point in the
woods and we kept looking up
hoping to find him. After 100
yards, we stopped as we noticed
the trail turned sharp to the left.
My sister looked up and saw him
first, but didnt say anything.
About 20 seconds we all were yelling, THERE HE IS!
His head was facing the opposite way, so we only saw his
body. We ran to him, and all just
stopped. My step-dad said, OMG
Tedi! You got the big one! We all
lifted his head and kind of stared
at him in almost disbelief. The
trail cams, pics, didnt do justice.
We saw him early on in velvet,
walking the fields, so we knew he
was big, but THIS big? I give my
step-dad the biggest hug, and felt
grateful to him for letting me
take the stand with the good
wind, and being so persistent
with me through the season. I
never guessed it would be ME
that shot the big one. It ended
up being the 11-point MONSTER.
The mass on him was incredible.
He is estimated at about six




love it when crows come to the decoys by the

dozen with wings flared and mouths wide-open
making loud growling caws that sound like
enraged demons from the skies. At times the
shooting can be fast-paced and you certainly do
not want your waterfowl three shell plug in the
magazine tube. No sir, you will need all five shots
and have a pocket full of back-up rounds when the
black snarling mass of birds dive viciously your direction. At times the loud snarling birds will make
you feel threatened, uneasy, under attack and you
will lose concentration and miss easy shots. More
than once after a flurry of shooting excitement with
black feathered targets littering the snow and guns
still smoking; there is a deathly silence much like
scenes from the Alfred Hitchcock movie,
The Birds. If Im set up on the hot migration route more birds keep coming and
the cawing marauders attack again. Some
days I burn up a box of number-four
magnum shells in a hurry, other hunts offer
little action and wary birds avoid the fake
decoys and electronic crow calls.
Other hunts are highlighted by solitude, silent skies, long walks in the winter
snow, plenty of exercise and crow
calling with a hand call. Sometimes
I prefer to stalk distant birds, set out
a single decoy and entice them into range of my .22
magnum rifle. Wary birds frequently respond to
the set-up but rather than diving at the decoy they
land in tall trees nearby and call to the imitation
crow. Thats when I rest the trusty rifle on a tree,
take careful aim and make an accurate long range
shot. More often than not they spot me and fly
the opposite direction, never to return. If you are
looking for some winter hunting give them a try. I
guarantee in little time you will gain a deep respect
for crows and their uncanny ability to elude hunters.
Crows have excellent eyesight and even if you
remain motionless and are fully camouflage they
can still pick you out as if they have some spiritual
guidance from above. Crows are highly respected
and revered by American Indians for their cunningness and intelligence. On more than one occasion
Ive been outsmarted by the large black birds and
easy hunts have been foiled because scouts sound
a loud alarm call and easy shooting disappears into
the wind. Truth is crows are challenging to hunt
and often they avoid hunters by being somewhat
devilish or sly. Some hunters refer to them as black
demons because of their spectacular shiny black
haunting appearance and devilish attitude and association with Satanism and spiritual figures from
the dark side.
I must admit I had to think about rumors

Slow camera shutter speed used in low light conditions captures Lansing area crows in a large rookery. Note black
streaks in sky which are fast flying incoming crows diving for a resting spot. Author photos
regarding the link between crows and spiritual life
when my neighbor Ron Valutis, a spiritual leader
in the community, passed away and from out of the
blue a large raven-like crow appeared on his roof.
The bird perched on his rooftop calling loudly at
anyone walking past, as if to announce the passing
of my friend. He stayed perched on the roof for
several days but eventually disappeared,
never to be seen again. I think the crow
appeared to announce Rons spiritual journey into the afterlife.
Ill never forget a winter hunt in
the Midland County City dump when a
large crow circled overhead. This bird
was huge, raven-like and it seemed to
be looking at me and my hunting friend,
Lenny Henderson. Eventually the
black bird landed in a lone tree
less than 100 yards from our hide
and I found him in the scope of
my Winchester.264 rifle. I had a solid rest, put the
cross hair on his chest, controlled breathing and
squeezed the trigger. The roar of the rifle got my attention but the large crow remained perched on the
branch. It didnt fly away from the blast of the high
powered rifle and looked at me like it had an invincible attitude. I racked a second round, settled the
accurate rifle on the target but just as I was about to
shoot the bird disappeared. I didnt see it fly away
and my friend asked Where did it go? There was
no flapping of wings, no distant call. So, I walked
to the tree thinking the crow simply fell from the
rifle shot. There was nothing in the snow. Later we
tested the accuracy of the rifle and it dusted crows
at 100 and 200 yards. Was the bird in question really a spirit, a figure of our imagination?
Both crows and ravens have appeared in a
number of mythologies throughout the ages. These
black feathered birds are considered an omen of
death, bad tidings or a message from the Divine.
Welsh myth indicates ravens are harbingers of death
and witches or sorcerers were believed to have the
ability to transform into ravens. For ancient Greeks
the crow was a symbol of Apollo in his role as god
of prophecy. Native Americans view the crow as
a trickster, much like coyotes. Some tribes see the
crow as the symbol of transformation or stealer of
the soul while others give crows credit for cre-


By Kenny Darwin


ation of the earth and sunlight. But most Michigan

farmers have little use for crows and will promptly
grant hunting permission. They view crows as crop
stealers, birds that raid grain trucks and chase off
songbirds. Once a flock hits a grain field they are
difficult to scare away and will return to the food
source the instant the land owner turns his back.
If you are suffering from cabin fever and would
like to get outdoors this winter and enjoy a challenging hunt, try winter crows. The shooting fun
can be fast paced and some hunts are simply awe
inspiring. But in order to outsmart these wary birds
you will need to use a stealthy approach and tricky
tactics. Heres why.
Winter crows travel in large flocks during winter
and are very difficult to approach. They like to
roost in tall hardwoods where they feel safe from
owls and hawks. They avoid pine forests for roosting sites because owls live there and in the middle
of the night owls attack crows. This adversarial
relationship has been going on before the holy wars
and crows and owls are bitter enemies. Winter
crows are difficult to stalk or approach because they
avoid most human contact. Im talking about wild
crows not the variety that hang out in the McDonalds restaurant parking lot looking for French fries.
There is a huge difference between city cousins and
country crows that stay clear of humans.
If you want to succeed at crow hunting follow
these simple steps. First, scout birds and determine
travel routes. Second, set up along travel routes and
build a good blind or use full camouflage to conceal
your human outline. Third, set out decoys in a tree,
bush, and open field or on a fence post. Fourth,
call them using a hand call or modern electronic
call. Sounds simple and sometimes hunting crows
is a cake walk especially if you use an electronic
call. With the big increase of predator hunting most
sportsmen use electronics that have several crow
calls. Believe me, if you want to bring in crows
at lightning speed to literally any destination just
turn the speakers on extra loud and hit the recording of crows fighting. Birds that hear the call will
come directly to the noise at lightning speed and the
shooting fun can last for several minutes as black
demons dive from the skies in an attempt to find
and kill the pesky owl.
A typical hunt goes like this. You set up on

Author places his favorite hand-made crow decoy in the open and prepares to use his
Western Rivers game call to entice crows into Benelli shotgun range. Most shooters
like #6 shells but the author uses leftover #4 steel shot duck loads to drop crows at
close and far ranges.
call, operates on 4 AA batteries and
sells for about $27. GHG sells a fully
flocked 18 decoy with back hanging
knob for trees and motion field stake
that sells for $20. Dont overlook the
Feather Flex 6-pack lightweight decoys that are flexible, fold up and can
be placed in trees, on ground or fence
posts. One slick trick is to use an
owl decoy along with crow decoys to
mimic a fight and lure wild birds into
easy shotgun range. Back in the day
I picked up a mounted great horned
owl at a yard sale and used it with
great success. Unfortunately, diving
crows beat hell out of the feathered
decoy and I found out it is a federal
crime to possess a mounted owl or
hawk, so I tossed it in the trash.
There are a number of owl decoys
made of plastic that will bring crows
like their tail feathers are on fire.
If I had just one month for crow
hunting it would be early February
through early March. Sometimes I
slip into Michigans winter wonderland with .22 magnum in hand along
with hand crow call and decoy. My
goal is to travel across the countryside, scout for deer and coyote and
maybe attract a crow. Often I hear
them first, then see them gliding in
the southern Michigan breeze looking
for food when I set up my favorite

hand crafted crow decoy with large

glass eye and feathers. I melt into
the terrain and use available cover
to dissolve my human outline and
make a few greeting calls. When
they respond I repeat their sound,
mimic their language, copy what they
are saying and usually a scout will
fly close, take a peek at the decoy,
land in a tree and call for an answer
from the fake crow. Thats when I
get them in the scope. Crows are
wary and hard to hit and ideal targets
for a rifleman interested in honing
his hunting skills. They challenge
my shooting skills, stalking ability,
woodsmanship, ingenuity and theres
no bag limit.
Crows are a small target and the
kill zone is about the size of an apple.
Hunting them gives you shots at a
variety of distances, usually long, and
accuracy is achieved by using a solid
Shooting birds in agricultural
fields presents interesting long range
accuracy challenges. One trick is
a gunner gets dropped out of truck
and sets up in a ditch, fence row or
tree line; while the driver continues
driving down the road out of sight.
A Caldwell portable shooting rest
that folds up and is easy to transport
provides a rock solid rest.

Long range rifles best suited for

crows include .223, .22-.250 and you
can use larger rifles like .243; just
scale down your ammo and selected
cartridges that have smaller bullets
and flat shooting trajectory. I use
.22 magnums or .17 calibers because
the same guns can be used hunting
coyote at night, squirrel or other varmints.
Finding large numbers of birds
requires plenty of scouting. Winter
crows gather in large roosting flocks
and often spend night in tall hardwoods forests far from highways. In
order to locate rookeries plan on driving country roads at sunset and follow
long lines of crows headed the same
direction. Often they use the same
rookery all winter but sometimes
they change roosting location. Do
not disturb birds in the rookery, allow
them a good nights sleep and ambush
them at dawn as they migrate back to
agricultural fields.
Back in the 60s there were several
thousand crows roosting in the woods
near Midland High School. Im not
certain if they are still around but
similar city roosting sites exist in
Saginaw, Flint, Lansing, Oakland,
Kalamazoo and more. Apparently
winter birds like to spend nights
in an area that has city lights and
tall trees. The rookery in Lansing
is made up of thousands of crows
that migrate from several directions
when the day ends. Come daylight
they leave the city limits and offer
splendid shooting. Blasting at birds
leaving or entering rookery sites will
have no impact on where they go at
night unless you make the mistake of
hunting too close to resting locations.
If adult crows know you are aware of
rookery locations they will vacate the
area. Usually shooting at flocks does
not impact the roost it only causes
migrating birds to shift flight patterns.
One afternoon at 4:00 pm we
noticed a long line of birds headed
for Lansing. We set up in a bog
filled with tall cattails, set decoys in
the open field and turned on the Fox
River call. My friend was shooting
before I hid the truck at the farmers
barn. When I arrived we shut off
the call, took a five minute break
and turned on the fighting crow
call as a new flock appeared on the
horizon. Most of the crows were
high but a few dive bombed our
set up, zipped over the decoys
screaming back at the call. It was
fast and furious shooting fun and
we had a riot while the migration
What about you? Do you have
birds in your area and a predator call
with crow tapes? Isnt it time to go
full camo, set out crow decoys and
wage war on the demons in your


a crow travel route and place crow

decoys near your hide. Some hunters make extravagant blinds, others
use goose layout blinds because full
camouflage is simply a must. Savvy
hunters place decoys high in trees
using a retractable cane fishing pole
while others place decoys in the
snow in the center of an open field
and hide in layout blinds. Hide the
decoy speakers, turn up the volume
of your call to high and start with 2-3
minute blast of excited crow calls.
Next, switch to fighting crows and get
ready for birds to kamikaze dive your
location. Start shooting! Once you
have dusted some birds give calling
a five minute pause then go back to
the fighting crow call and finish with
a couple minutes of the crow distress
call. If you are on a well-used flyway
you can regroup, hide and wait for
more incoming birds. Sometimes you
can shoot several times from a set up
location but more often you will need
to pack the gear and move to a fresh
location. Run-and-gun crow shooting keeps you moving, warm and
provides increased shooting opportunities at new birds that have not been
introduced to your deadly tactics.
For this kind of shooting you want to
have your shotgun loaded before you
turn the call on or fast arrivals will
catch you with your pants down loading your gun.
Michigan apparently has a crow
season from August 1-September 30
and February 1-March 31. However,
crows are listed in the hunting digest
with No season. No bag limits
Statewide. Small Game license required. The digest also says crows
can be taken out of season during legal hunting hours in compliance with
state and federal regulations, if these
birds are causing a nuisance or creating a health hazard. Well, I guess
you know I have several questions
regarding these interesting DNR rules
and I assume it is okay to hunt crows
during winter when they appear to
be participating in devilish activity. Im not certain if you can legally
harvest raven? You better consult the
game laws if you have any questions
about crow hunting. Hey, would
you be kind enough to find out who
determines if a crow is a nuisance or
health hazard and let me know?
There are a variety of decoys on
the market that will bring crows kissin close. My favorite is the MOJO
which has flopping wings and the
motion draws birds from unbelievable distances. Set this decoy on the
stake close to your blind and you
are guaranteed shots at super close
range. It runs on 6 AA batteries and
sells for about $60. Lucky Duck
makes a realistic cawin crow that is
fully flocked and has a built in call.
It plays a 60 second mobbin crow


Double Drop
Guest Column By Michael Postema

ve spent the last 20 November

bow seasons traveling out-of-state
to bowhunt whitetail deer. During
these out-of-state hunts, Ive been
very blessed to harvest several truly
beautiful whitetails.
As Ive grown older, the desire
to return to the Northern Michigan
grounds where I first started bowhunting has grown in me. During the winter
of 2015, I sought to take my years of
experience and knowledge, and invest
them in a different challenge. I set out
to find, hunt, and harvest a quality buck
on public land with a bow in Northern
The 2015 hunting season would
mark the third year of antler point
restrictions in Northwest Michigan. As
spring approached, my hopes were high.
I pondered my list of public land spots
to determine which to first scout.
At the top of my list was an area that
I thought could house a mature buck.
Over the last 15 years, I have speed
scouted and run trail cameras in this
area. However, I rarely confirmed anything I wanted to go after in this spot, so

l never hunted the area during that time.

I also wanted to use the scouting
trips to pass along what Ive learned
about scouting mature bucks to my son
and so he joined me on my scouting
ventures. Multiple scouting trips to this
location allowed me to hone in on spots
I believed held promise. As summer approached, I made mental notes on four
stand locations.
After getting trail cam photos of
a couple 3 1/2 year-old bucks, I made
the decision I would hunt the area in
the fall. In September during a rain,
I finished preparing two sites and my
approaches for various winds. Knowing
where the bucks would bed was the key
to my strategy. I knew I would only get
a couple hunts from each stand before
these public-land mature animals would
know I was there. I calculated the timing of my first hunt to coincide with a
cold front in mid-October.
With my stand in hand, I began the
trek to the spot number one. The first
hunt was an evening sit and I only saw
two does leave the bedding area. The
following morning broke cold, clear

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Michael Postema with his beautiful double droptine buck!

and calm. Thirty minutes after daylight
I had a 2 1/2 year-old, six point and a
2 1/2 year-old 8-point sneak through at

30-yards. Both had 13 or 14 inch inside

spreads. Twenty minutes later, I saw
another buck I believed to be a 125 inch

While Double Drop does not come close to being

my biggest buck, he sure rates as one of my most memorable...
Unfortunately, the buck did not follow
the doe. Instead he broke northeast.
This route would take him downwind
of my location. I decided on an opening
and guessed the distance to be 33 yards.
When he arrived, I shot and missed. He
did not completely know what happened, but circled downwind and was
gone. I was disappointed to say the
least. Ive bowhunted 20 years in Illinois, Michigan and Iowa. I have never
laid eyes a double drop-tined whitetail
in the woods.
I hunted the same stand the following morning and saw several year
and a half old bucks. Double drop was
now etched in my mind. He was not the
buck I went into this spot to hunt. He
was actually smaller, but his uniqueness
inspired me to hunt a few more times
before heading on my annual Illinois
hunts. I waited for the perfect time or
so I thought. This being public land, I
did not want to hunt it on the weekend
when more hunters were likely to be
in the woods. However, I was running
out of time. The morning of October 25
found me back in the stand. My third
sit from the stand proved to be okay. I
saw a possible shooter, but he was over
100 yards away and looked as if hed
broken off a tine. That evening I hunted
one of the spring scouted stands 300
yards away and passed a 14 inch 2
year-old 8-point and a 5-point.

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At a distance of 50 yards, his sixth

sense must have kicked in. Not seeing other deer, he turned toward the
direction he came from, on a slight
angle that would give me one shot opportunity. This time my nerves were in
check. I drew back when he was four
yards from my only opening. When he
hit the opening, I released and watched
my arrow connect. Moments later, and
50 yards further away, he was down.
I cant tell you the excitement I felt
at that moment - the anticipation, the
excitement to come! How big is he?
What does he really look like? While
Double Drop does not come close to
being my biggest buck, he sure rates as
one of my most memorable. More exciting to me are the priceless memories
from this area of Northern Michigan.
With 20 years of monitoring
this area for comparison, there is no
question in my mind that antler point
restrictions in this area of the state
have made an incredible difference
in both quality and quantity of older
class deer in this area of the state I
would like to thank the Michigan
Natural Resources Commission
and everyone involved with making
Antler Point Restrictions and the
opportunity they represent possible.
I wish everyone the best of luck with
your opportunity at the buck of a


35 R
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I split my workload up the following day so I could hunt the afternoon.

The wind had switched to the southeast
and I could not hunt the setup I wanted.
I closed my vehicle door at 1:50 pm
and began the slow, tedious trek to a
location that funneled deer as they exited their beds. The day was incredibly
calm with a very light breeze less than
5-mph. I worked to make every step on
the crunchy leaves undetectable to my
stand site. I also stopped frequently so
as to not break a sweat. At 4:00 pm I arrived at my location. I had just bumped
two fawns from their beds. I did not
like the setup, as I remembered it differently in the spring. With the wind so
light, I opted to go back to the tree Id
hunted the night before and chance a
marginal breeze.
I was settled in at 4:45 pm. At 6:00
pm, I had not seen a thing. I decided to
blow three light grunts in a 180 degree sequence. At 6:15 pm I caught a
glimpse of a buck 75 yards away. From
the profile view, I thought it was the
8-point Id passed the evening before.
When he turned to look around for
what generated the grunts, I could see
it was Double Drop. If he followed the
trail the bucks did the evening before,
he would end up 20 yards in front of
me. He moved slowly, stopping every
10 to 20 yards to look and listen for the
grunting deer.


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8-point that I had a trail camera picture

of. He passed through an opening 100
yards away; too fast for me to get a
clean look at him. If this was the deer
I captured on camera, in the obscured
and quick glance I got at him, I could
tell something didnt look right. Perhaps his rack had broken off? Perhaps
he had something hanging from it?
I grunted at him a few times, but
it did not change his course. (I would
later find out the buck was a much different animal from the 125 inch 8 point
I thought I was looking at!) It couldnt
have been 15 minutes later and yet
another buck appeared. This buck was
heading my way and at 36 yards and I
opted to let him walk. He was a 2 1/2
year-old 10 point with a 15 inch inside
spread. He had short four-inch G2s and
G3s. My first morning hunt of the year
had me grinning from ear to ear.
At 9:15 am, I heard the distinct
sound of buck grunts coming from the
direction that the 125 inch deer had
disappeared. Soon thereafter, a doe
appeared sixty yards away and then
moved past me at 30 yards. Moments
later I saw the buck. When he lifted his
head, my eyes met him through my binoculars. I began to shake and breathe
hard. This buck was not the 125-incher!
He had matching drops!
I grabbed my bow and contemplated the shot options I might have.


iving in Michigan means that

sooner or later most of us
develop a dual residency condition referred affectionately
to as being Snow Birds. The
definition of a Snow Bird are
those lucky souls who get the opportunity to break up the long Michigan
winter by heading south for a
short vacation from ice, snow
and cold.
In my youth I couldnt
understand why anyone
would want to abandon
Michigans winter wonderland. Now that Im 50
something, I find myself
spending sleepless
nights rationalizing
as many reasons as
possible why this
writer should travel south in the dead
of winter.
The last two winters Ive taken a
break from a steady diet of ice fishing long enough to dust off my boat
and head south for some welcome
open water fishing. What Ive discovered is that weather southern folks
call winter is a whole lot more like
fall in my eyes. Ive also discovered
that fishing can be red hot even if the
weather is pleasantly cool.
Crappie have been my Snow Bird

fish of choice for a variety of reasons. All across the southern United
States crappie are abundant and easily
caught. Crappie are outstanding on the
table and other anglers are more than
willing to share their fishing spots and
I describe crappie as the food
fish of the south. Not unlike
the way northern folks view
walleye, the black and white
crappie are what countless
southern fish fries are all
When anglers up north
want fish to eat they seek out
walleye. When southern fishermen want fish on
the table, they target
crappie. Interestingly enough, many
of the tactics used to catch walleye in
the north, are also deadly on southern
Because the gear and tactics
anglers use to catch crappie closely
parallel those trusted by walleye fishermen, it wasnt a long leap of faith to
head south and try my hand at something new.

By Mark Romanack

Traditional Open
Water Trolling

Historically crappie trollers in the

Bruce DeShano of Pigeon, Michigan is a Snow Bird who loves to target both black and white
crappie in open water. This shot from Lake of the Ozarks is typical of the action anglers can
expect when they troll for crappie south of the Mason Dixon Line. Author photos
south have used a series of progressively longer and very soft action rods
to spread out their lines. Often called
spider rigging or long-lining this
common trolling tactic enables anglers
to fish with three or four rods per side
of the boat.
Anglers in the south primarily
spider rig using small jigs tipped
with minnows, jigs tipped with soft
plastics, shad profiled crankbaits and
in-line spinners. All of these lures are
fished suspended in the water column
where crappie spend a significant
amount of their time.
The first time I went spider rigging, I started thinking how planer




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boards would accomplish the same

goal and more efficiently.

Board Trolling Crappie

Spider rigging has a rich history

among crappie fishermen. A number of manufacturers produce rods
especially for spider rigging crappie.
Slowly its becoming acknowledged
that using planer boards is yet another
way to spread out trolling lines and
cover even more water.
Two years ago when walleye
pro Tommy Skarlis won the Crappie
Masters National Championship he
turned the world of crappie fishing
upside down. Not only did a walleye
guy win the Crappie Masters National Championship, he did it trolling
crankbaits with the help of Off Shore
Tackle Side-Planer Boards.
Skarlis hadnt even had time to
cash his check before the crappie
fishing game started to change. Immediately other anglers started asking
questions about in-line boards, how to
rig them and how to better use them in
open water crappie fishing situations.
Thanks to the forward thinking
tactics of Tommy Skarlis, crappie anglers in the south are rapidly learning
why in-line boards are so popular up
north. The big picture is that finding
and catching open water fish is all
about covering water and no trolling
technique covers more water than using in-line boards.

Big Board Or Small Board?

Skarlis used the popular OR12

Side-Planer boards equipped with
Tattle Flags to detect light biting crappie. Another viable option is the OR34
Mini Board which is smaller and
lighter than the OR12.
The idea behind the Mini Board is
it allows anglers to troll with whatever rods and reels they already own
including bass casting gear and even
spinning outfits. Fishing the larger

OR12 pretty much requires using dedicated trolling

style rods and reels.
The larger Side-Planer board is ideal for trolling
larger and deeper diving crankbaits and also weight
systems like the Tadpole Diver. The smaller Mini
Board comes into its own when fishing light lines,
small crappie sized jigs and spinners.

Rigging Options

Other Lessons Learned

Now that Ive spent a couple winters playing with open water crappie trolling, pieces of the
puzzle are starting to fall into place. Crappie, especially those fish that are feeding in open water are
very susceptible to baitfish movements. A spot that
is red hot one day can be fish-less the next.
Not unlike targeting open water walleye, anglers must be constantly on the move hunting not
only for fish, but also for the schools of shad that
these fish depend upon.
Another lesson learned is that crappie are hyper
sensitive to changes in weather. When a cold front
blows in, open water trolling success quickly suffers and anglers in the know switch gears and seek
out crappie in more traditional locations like flood-

A lot of the best crappie trolling action takes place

in protected creek arms that have an abundance of
suspended forage fish. A quick peek at the sonar unit
in this picture confirms what an open water troller is
looking for. Boards are the most practical way to cover
water quickly and target crappie that are suspended in
the water column.
ed brush piles and along defined bottom structure.
One of the major differences between open
water crappie and walleye is that crappie like stable
water. When the wind blows and creates movement of water, crappie tend to get lock jaw. A little
walleye chop is not usually a good thing when
crappie fishing. The best open water trolling bites
occur in calm weather or in places protected from
wave action.
Also, its important to understand that every
crappie lake isnt necessarily a good trolling lake.
The fisheries that routinely produce the best open
water crappie fishing tend to be impoundments that
have an abundance of open water, plenty of suspended shad, lots of protected creek arms and water
clarity that ranges from turbid to stained. Good examples of superb open water crappie trolling lakes
include Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, Kentucky
Lake and Barkley Lakes, Grenada Lake in Mississippi and the Harris Chain of Lakes in Florida.
Shallow flooded timber lakes like Reelfoot in
Tennessee are generally better fished with more
traditional crappie fishing methods. Trolling among
flooded timber, brush piles and weed beds just isnt
the most effective way to catch crappie in these

When It Happens

These are just a few of the lakes anglers can

expect to find tons of crappie waiting for trollers to
catch them. The open water trolling bite is good in
the fall and lasts all winter long. When the spawn
starts in the spring, crappie of course move shallow
to spawn and the trolling bite suffers. However,
immediately after spawning a significant number of
fish head back to deep water where they suspend all
summer long feeding on shad and other suspended
forage fish.

Getting Started

Anyone who lives up north and spends time

trolling for open water walleye, already has the
necessary gear and knowledge to target open water
crappie in the south.
With some simple modifications in terminal
tackle and the knowledge of what lakes produce
the best trolling bites, anyone can head south and
extend their open water trolling options. Now that
I know how good the fishing is down south, this
Snow Bird thing is a lot more interesting.n


One of the nice things about all models of Off

Shore boards is they can be rigged with a wealth of
different line releases depending on the line type,
diameter and trolling speed an angler has in mind.
For example, anglers who troll with super lines will
want to rig their boards with the OR18 Snapper
Release. This line clip was designed especially for
anglers who troll with low stretch Spectra braids
and Microdyneema fused lines.
Because crappie anglers are going to want to
stack three or four lines per side of the boat, the
most practical rigging method is to set up the board
with an adjustable tension line release on the tow
arm of the board that allows the board to be tripped
when a fish is hooked. At the back of the board an
OR16 Snap Weight Clip is rigged to the board to
keep the board pinned to the fishing line.
The Snap Weight Clip has a plastic pin positioned in the middle of the rubber pads in the jaws.
When the line is placed behind this pin, the board is
locked onto the line. Rigged in this manner, when
a fish is hooked the board trips, but is still pinned
onto the line.
This set up allows the angler to reel in a hooked
fish without having to clear other lines. When a fish
is hooked, simply let the board release and slide
back and away from the other planer board lines.
Crappie are like walleye in that they dont pull all
that hard. If the board doesnt release when the
fish strikes and gets hooked, the angler can trip the
board by giving the rod tip a little snap.
Once the board is released, reel in the board
and fish together slowly. Resistance from the struggling fish will cause the tripped board to come
right up the back of the boat. Clip the board off the
line when it gets within reach of the boat and then
continue fighting the fish to net.
Once that fish is landed, the lure can be set
back out to the same trolling lead length, the board
attached again to the line and the whole rig floated
out the back of the boat and then positioned back
into the same position in the trolling pattern.
When a fish is hooked on an outside board, I
tend to reset that board as the inside line and move
my other board lines to the next forward rod holder.
This arrangement makes it so I dont have to let the
board out the back so far before engaging the reel
and sending the board to the side.


Wake-up Call...By Mark Martin

What it takes to make fish

strike when ice fishing
Attention! Attention! May I
have your attention, please!

I figure out which hole is closest to it

and will start fishing that one.
I tend to start with thin spoons
hen you hear the above when fishing skinny water. Northlands new Buck-Shot Flutter Spoon is
blaring through the air,
a great example. Its made from leadeven when in a loud,
free Z-Alloy, and has an S-curve
crowded place, you
shape to employ maximum action. Its
cant help but pause
also adorned with a glass rattle chamwhatever it is you are
ber to create even more chaos. Wild
doing and take note.
flutter, lots of flash and extra clatter.
There are a lot of things that will
Talk about an attention-getter
make you stop, look and listen: A
I like to use a medium-action Fenbrash noise; a flicker of light; even the
wick ice rod and matching ABU Garglint of bright color.
cia spinning reel when jigging spoons.
The idea of taking note of someAnd 10-pound-test Berkley FireLine
thing out of the ordinary is nothing
new for any creature. Its bred into us Micro Ice is thin enough to allow the
spoon its natural action. I use a footall. Its how we survive... Are we belong piece of Berkley Trilene 100%
ing attacked? Is there another danger
lurking thats about to take us out? Is Fluoro Leader Material between the
that something struggling we can eat? FireLine and lure. To keep line twist
at bay, I use a small Berkley ballWith the latter in mind lets talk
bearing swivel between the two lines,
what it takes to get a fish to strike
when ice fishing; even if they may not and then clip the bait on with a tiny
Berkley Cross-Lok snap.
be hungry.
The jigging action I give is a quick
Getting their attention is our
lift of the rod tip 10 to 12 inches,
first goal. This is why we use lures
then a quicker drop of it to allow the
to, well, lure in fish, or use only the
liveliest of live bait on a bare hook for lure to freefall and flutter. Once I see
theres a fish in the area via my sonar,
the utmost action. We want the fishs
focus on our offering. And then, if all normally, Ill relax the lift and fall to a
mere inch or two.
goes as planned, they will attack it.
And we will catch them.
As you can imagine, not all lures
More often than not, when Im
are created equally when it comes to
getting noticed. The shape, weight and fishing deep water, I use heavy lures
size of a bait will determine its action. like Rapala Jigging Raps. Obviously,
And then theres all the different paint this allows me to get my bait down to
where I see fish are via my sonar. But
jobs that can be applied to dazzle the
it also allows me to employ an action
In general, if I want to get a fishs to get fish to strike when they are being unresponsive: to pound the bottom
attention from afar in shallow water,
with the bait.
lures that really waggle wildly and
Beating the lure over and over on
reflect a lot of light are a great choice.
creates a lot of sound, as well
And if fish are in deep water, I use
the silt; both being attenlarge, heavy lures that fall fast that can
to the max. Ive seen fish
be thumped on the lakes floor to get
camera that turned
tail and swam off, only to spin back
around and attack my lure when it
starts hopping on bottom.
So whats reasoning for using
The rod and rig I mentioned
lighter, wide-wobbling lures in shalbefore
is the same I use in deep water,
low water? Because Im fishing as
One thing I do differently is
close to structure as possible, and
theres a lot to get in the way between I add either a small minnow or small
Berkley Gulp! Minnow for scent. Im
a passing fish and my bait. The more
not a fan of tipping lightweight spoons
flash a lure has, the better chance it
with anything as it will often impede
will be seen through weeds and over
the action of the lure. In that case,
wood or rock.
Ill spray the lure down with Berkley
But first, as soon as I get to an
area, Ill bore my swath of holes with Gulp! Alive Attractant. (Yes, I am a
firm believer in using scent. Its often
my StrikeMaster power auger so as
an important factor in getting fish to
to make all my commotion right off
hit when they are being very finicky.)
the bat. Once drilled, Ill check the
depth with my Lowrance Hook-5 Ice
Machine, and then lower the lens of
Whether I am fishing shallow wamy MarCum VS825SD underwater
camera to see not only fish, but where ter or deep, I will change lure styles or
color schemes often if the bites bad.
any structure is and what type. Then

Deep Thoughts


Shallow Thoughts


Change Is Good

This pike nailed a jig that was being pounded on the bottom by the author, Mark Martin
jigging in shallow water, and heavier
ones that will fall to the lakes floor
fast when fishing deep. And dont be
afraid to change things up every 30
minutes or so until your offering gets
Mark Martin is a touring walleye
tournament pro during the open-water
season, and an instructor with the
Ice-Fishing Vacation/Schools offered
throughout the Midwest in winter. For
more information on Marks career, as
well links to webpages for the items
Most everyone likes being in the
appearing in this article, check out his
limelight. Well, unless youre a fish
that was just duped into biting a flashy site at For more information on the Ice-Fishing Vacation/
or loud lure, that is.
School, go to
Next time youre ice fishing, use
lighter lures with lots of flash when

But even with that said, I will give

each style a try for at least a half hour,
watching both my sonar and underwater camera for any change in how
fish are reacting to my offering. One
can change lures too often, however,
which means your lure is out of the
water more than its in. Thus decreasing your odds of getting bit that much

Your Attention, Please!

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nearly LOST to another hunter!

Guest Column
By Brandi Zoll



n the morning of Saturday,

November 14, I wanted to
sleep in, but my husband
reminded me it was the last
bowday before gun season.
I wasnt hunting the gun
opener and before I knew it, it was
shortly after 8:00 a.m. I decided to
check-in with my husband by text as
we were hunting different properties.
We texted about what we were seeing
and a time to meet for breakfast. We
agreed we would check-in again at
9:30 a.m.
Sitting in my ladder stand was
eventful as the light from the sun
shined on the field and I could see
multiple does getting chased by what
looked to be a mature buck, but outside of safe shooting range.
At one point five does were grazing in the field and that is when I first
spotted the buck. He chased the
does into the woods and I could hear
rustling of leaves and breaking of
Maybe 30 minutes later a noise in
the woods adjacent to me captured my
attention. I could see a doe just inside
the woodline. I noticed she had turned
to look behind where she was standing and her ears were pinned back. I
decided I should grab my IPhone so I
could record what the commotion in
the woods was and with the zoom I
could see into the woods better. About
this time the doe ran off and I ended
up capturing about 10 seconds of the
buck creeping with his nose to the
ground in the woods toward the woodline. I realized he was about to come
out of the woods maybe 20 yards from
me and quickly put my phone away.
When he cleared the woods
entering the field he looked up right
at me and I froze. It felt like minutes
that we had a staring competition,
but Im sure it was only seconds. He
turned towards his right, making him
broadside to me and looking away. I
grabbed my Parker Challenger Muddy
Girl camo crossbow, got him in my
scope, and took the shot. It was a little
high, I heard the arrow hit, and he
reacted to the shot by kicking up dirt
and leaving deep hoof imprints where
he was standing. He turned around
and ran straight back into the woods
where he had just come out of with
his tailed tucked tight. This made me
believe he was hit well even though
it was higher than I would have liked.
I also noticed my shot was not a pass
I listened as the crashing seemed
to disappear into the woods. I text my

Brandi Zoll is thankful to her husband, her friend, J.J., and the three DNR officers for their time and thoroughness on assisting her
in recovering her first buck -- a dandy record book buck!
husband to let him know I was not
going to make it for breakfast, but that
instead I would meet him at home so
we could track a buck.
My husband started questioning
me; where I shot the buck, when, what
time it was, how far out, how many
points, where it went and I said we
will talk about all the details after we
meet. I sat in the stand replaying the
shot, and trying to think what direction I thought the crashing sounds
went. I waited about 20 minutes to
make sure I didnt push the buck,
climbed out of my stand, and took a
path that was in the opposite direction
of where the buck ran.
I met up with my husband and I
could not talk fast enough for him as
he was excited. We drove back out, a
friend of ours, J.J., met us at the fieldline. We drove our truck to the back
of the field where the woods meet. We
were able to find blood and part of my
bolt at the edge of the woods where he
ran into the woods.
While tracking the blood trail
roughly 10 yards in, we came across
another hunter in the woods which
surprised us as we hunt private
property. He asked us what we were
doing in the woods and we said we

were tracking my deer. He asked what

I shot and if I had my arrow. I said I
shot my first buck, which I believed
was at least 10-point and I showed
him my bolt which had about 3
inches, plus the broadhead broken off
and it was covered in blood. He said
he too shot at least a 10-point and was
also tracking his buck. My husband
asked the other hunter if he had his arrow and he replied that he did not, but
that he had the buck he shot and was
tracking on his SD card and would
show us. The other hunter left the
woods walking swiftly in the direction
of my ladder stand which at this point
was behind us. The three of us thought
the interaction was odd, but continued
on tracking the blood trail.
We followed the blood trail about
another 20 yards when I noticed a vehicle barreling down the field towards
the woods. The vehicle parked next
to our truck and I noticed the other
hunter exited the vehicle and cut into
the woods in front of us. He quickly
asked us if we had found our deer. My
husband replied we were still following the blood trail and asked if he had
his SD card. The other hunter said
no, and took off down the trail in front
of us. I realized our truck windows

were open and my husbands phone

and wallet were in the middle console.
I decided to cut out of the woods to
lock up the truck and grab the phone
and wallet while my husband and our
friend continued tracking the blood
As I returned to my husband and
our friend I heard a voice ask if we
found our deer. J.J. replied, No, but
we had to be close as the blood on the
trail was now very thick.
The other hunter replied, I found
mine. All three of us simultaneously
looked at each other, and booked it
down the trail. Not even 10 yards
from where we were standing we
walked up on the buck and I knew it
was mine. The other hunter was elbow
deep in the cavity field dressing the
deer and I noticed it was tagged.
My husband asked the other
hunter if he was sure that was his deer.
The other hunter said yes I tracked
it here. We had a conversation about
where his treestand was, what time he
shot it, the distance the shot was and
quickly realized his details were not
matching up. My husband asked if
he could look in the deer to see if he

Buck of a lifetime page 22




Axle-Axle: 34 +/- .125
Brace: 6 +/- .125
String: 60 3/8
Cable: 38 15/16
Centershot: 3/4-13/16
Mass Wt: 4.4 LBS.
Peak Weights: 40, 50, 60, 65, 70, 80

Axle-Axle: 30 approx.
Brace Height: 7
String: 53 1/4
Cable: 34 1/4
Mass Wt: 3.9 LBS.
Let Off 80%
Draw length: 23 to 29 1/2

Draw weight 50, 60, 70, 80
Mass weight 4.2 LBS
Let off 80 LBS.
Draw Length 25-30.5
Axle to axle 32
IBO Speed 343
Brace Height 7

BT-X. Draw length 27-31
Axle to axle 31
Speed 333 fps
Brace height 6
Mass weight 4.2 lbs
Draw weight 50, 60, 70, 80




Draw Lengths: 24-26 26-28 28-30

Brace Height: 6
Mass Weight: 3.8 LBS.
Axle-to-Axle: 33
Draw Weight: 30-40#, 40-50#,
50-60#, 55-65, 60-70#

Draw Lengths: 25-27 27-29 29-31

Brace Height: 7
Mass Weight: 3.8 LBS.
Axle-to-Axle: 34
Draw Weight: 30-40#, 40-50#,
50-60#, 55-65#, 60-70#, 70-80#

Draw Lengths: 24-26 26-28 28-30

Brace Height: 7
Mass Weight: 3.6 LBS.
Axle-to-Axle: 31
Draw Weight: 30-40#, 40-50#,
50-60#, 55-65#, 60-70#,



Axle-Axle: 32 1/4 approx.

Brace Height: 6
String: 58 7/16
Cable: 37 3/8
Mass Wt: 4.2 LBS.
Let Off 80%
Draw length: 23 1/2

Axle-Axle: 32 1/4 approx.

Brace Height: 7
String: 58 7/16
Cable: 37 3/8
Mass Wt: 4.2 LBS.
Let Off 80%
Draw length: 24 1/2 to 31



Axle-Axle: 36 approx.
Brace Height: 7
String: 59
Cable: 40 1/2
Mass Wt: 4.2 LBS.
Let Off 80%
Draw length: 28 to 31 1/2

35 Axle to Axle
6 1/2 Brace Height
27 1/2 - 31 DRAW LENGTH

Axle-Axle: 37
Brace Height: 7 7/8
String: 58 7/16
Cable: 37 3/8
Let Off 80%
Draw length: 27 to 30

33 Axle to Axle
6 1/2 Brace Height
26 1/2 - 30 DRAW LENGTH




Draw weight 50, 60, 70

Mass weight 3.2 LBS
Let off 80 LBS.
Draw Length 26.5-30.5
Axle to axle 32
IBO Speed 333
Brace Height 7

Draw weight 50, 60, 70

Mass weight 4.2 LBS
Let off 80 LBS.
Draw Length 25-30.5
Axle to axle 31
IBO Speed 335
Brace Height 7

Draw weight 40, 50, 60

Mass weight 3.3 LBS.
Let off 80 LBS.
Draw Length 23.5-28.5
Axle to axle 31.5
IBO Speed 332
Brace Height 6.25




Weight: 4.2 LBS.
Brace Height: 7
Axle to Axle: 32
Peak Draw: 45-60, 55-70 LBS.
Draw Range: 25 1/2-30
Let off 74%

Weight: 4.2 LBS.
Brace Height: 7
Axle to Axle: 33 1/4
Peak Draw: 45-60, 55-70 LBS.
Draw Range: 27-32
Let off 80%

Axle-Axle: 31 +/- .125

Brace: 6 +/- .125
String: 57
Cable: 35 7/8
Centershot: 3/4-13/16
Mass Wt: 4.2 LBS.
Peak Weights: 40, 50, 60, 65, 70, 80






Buck of a lifetime:
from page 20


could find my broadhead or the few

inches of my bolt that had broken off
as our blood trail led us to the buck.
The other hunter obliged, but continued to field dress leaving my husband
only the option to stick two of his
fingers in the entry hole.
I said I was sure that it was the
buck I shot and I could show him
the video which per his timeline was
after he had taken a shot at a deer that
morning. He was insistent that the
buck was his. We decided to follow
the blood trail back to the fieldline to
see if we had missed something.
It was at this point another vehicle
pulled into the field with a trailer.
My husband decided to go back to
talk to the other hunter as we were
positive that it was the buck I shot.
As he followed the trail back down
to the buck he could hear the buck
being dragged out of the woods. My
husband caught up to the other hunter
and his acquaintance and he asked the
other hunter again if he was sure that
particular buck was the deer he shot.
The other hunter replied, It might
not be the buck I shot, but I tagged
and field dressed it so its mine.
Within minutes the buck was


loaded on the trailer and leaving the

field as was the other hunter.
We too left the field and talked
about whether the DNR would investigate the situation or not. I decided
to call the Poaching Hotline to see
if they would look into the situation
further. A local DNR officer called
me directly and asked for the details
of the morning. He decided he would
investigate and tracked the buck to
the other hunters house. He searched
what he could of the cavity of the
deer and with a second DNR officer
met us and the other hunter back at
the property.
The two DNR officers had us take
them to the spot the other hunter had
field dressed the deer. They searched
the area for my broadhead and or
pieces of my bolt. Neither was found
so they asked me to show them where
my treestand was and where the deer
was when I shot him. We replayed the
series of events with the DNR officers
discussing the placement of my bolt,
the distance from the treestand to the
hoof marks in the dirt, where my broken bolt was found and began following the blood trail. The other hunter
showed one of the DNR officers his

blood trail which was minimal and

inconsistent and the DNR officer concluded crossed my blood trail.
At this point a third DNR officer
arrived and had an intact arrow in his
hand. He asked the other hunter if
the arrow he had was his and was the
arrow he shot a deer with. The other
hunter said it was. The sergeant mentioned the no longer fixed three-blade
broadhead and whole arrow were
clean of blood.
The DNR officers continued to
look at the available evidence including the time-stamped video I had
taken, both the other hunters and my
series of events, the location of my
treestand, and the blood trails.
The other hunter had mentioned
if we could find blood within the
first five feet of the woodline where I
claimed to have shot a deer he would
give me the buck as he seemed to believe the evidence was aligning with
the buck being mine. The sergeant
crouched at the woodline and within
seconds found both blood and hair at
the point of entry where the buck ran
in. The other hunter came up to me,
shook my hand, and congratulated me
on a great buck.
All of us exited the woods; one of
the DNR officers followed the other
hunter back to his house to recover
the buck.

My husband and I met the DNR

officers at a central location to retrieve the buck. The sergeant jumped
in the bed of the truck to look at the
buck and noted the entry wound was
a slit and could not have been made
with a three-blade fixed broadhead.
My husband mentioned that I shoot
a two-blade Rage mechanical broadhead.
The DNR officers congratulated
me on a great buck, I thanked them
for taking the time to help sort out
the conflicting stories and look at the
The next morning while quartering the buck my husband found my
broadhead and the broken off section
of my bolt stuck in the inside right
shoulder of the buck! This was exceptionally exciting to me as finding
them in the deer was the solid, undeniable proof the buck was without a
doubt the buck I had the opportunity
to harvest.
The buck will be officially scored
mid-January and is believed to be a
contender for the Michigan Womens
Crossbow state record.
I am thankful to my husband,
our friend, J.J., and the three DNR
officers for their time and thoroughness on assisting me in recovering my
first buck and what is likely to be my
buck of a lifetime!n


By Mark Romanack

ne of the nice things about living and fishing in Michigan is we can use three lines
per person. When trolling having these
extra lines in the water is a huge advantage
not only in finding fish, but also in catching
them. I honestly feel sorry for our fishing
neighbors like those living in Ontario and Minnesota who are only allowed to fish one line per angler.
If I was limited to only trolling with one line, I
think my first reaction might be to shoot myself. A
second and better option would be to embrace the
concept of the Add-a-Line.
For those who dont know what an Add-a-Line
is, most states (even those with one line trolling
rules) allow anglers to fish two lures on rod/reel
set up effectively doubling down on the ability to
target and catch fish. Fishing two lures on one rod is
something that is commonly witnessed with trolling presentations like downriggers, but beyond that
not many anglers understand how they can double

Doubling down with Add-a-Line rigs is a great way to catch everything from kings like this to walleye. Author photos
The lure attached to the terminal end of the line
is let back the desired distance, that line is placed
into the downrigger line release and the downrigFishing two lures on one downrigger line can be ger weight lowered about 10 to 15 feet. The slider
accomplished two ways. The most common method is then added by putting a favorite lure such as a
is known as a slider and consists of a six foot
spoon or stickbait on the snap swivel and then clipleader that has a heavy duty snap on one end and a
ball bearing swivel on the other.
Add-a-Line for trolling page 24
down with every rod.


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The double down Add-a-Line set up can be fished as a flat line straight
out the back of the boat or fished in combination with planer boards to
stack multiple lines per side of the boat. Either way this rather ingenious
set up doubles the chances of contacting fish.

from page 23

ping the heavy snap over the main

line. The lure on the slider is tossed
into the water and the downrigger
weight lowered to the desired depth.
The slider set up effectively fishes
two lures with one positioned at the
downrigger weight and the second
a few feet above the downrigger
weight. This arrangement not only
gets two lures in the water it enables
the angler to fish two different depth
When a fish is hooked on the
slider the angler must reel like crazy
to pick up slack line as the fish can
run free until the main line is released
from the downrigger weight. Often
when fishing sliders fish strike, but
are not hooked because the lack of
resistance on the slider rig allows the
fish to get slack line and shake the
A slider can easily be modified
into a Fixed Add-a-Line by simply
threading a planer board line release
onto the slider leader. The slider is
set up the same way as before, except
the angler fixes the line release over
the main line as well. This effectively

pins the slider in one location and

adds resistance that helps set the hook
when a fish strikes.
Depending on the trolling speed
and target species, the Fixed Add-aLine can be configured with a light,
medium or heavy tension line release.
For example, when using Fixed
Add-a-lines for walleye, brown trout
or spring coho, a light tension OR10
Planer Board Release produced by
Off Shore Tackle is ideal. When
targeting larger fish like salmon or
lake trout a medium tension OR14
release gets the nod. For hard to
hook fish like musky, the OR19
has even more tension and is ideal
for deep water fishing or high

speed trolling situations.

Other Add-A-Line Options

Sliding or fixed Add-a-Lines are

commonly used among downrigger trollers, but not a lot of anglers
understand how they can also double
down on their flat lines and also
planer board trolling lines. With the
help of small diving devices like the
Off Shore Tackle Tadpole Diver, the
Lurk Disco Diver, the Luhr Jensen
Jet Diver and the Big Jon Mini Disk
anglers can easily set up their trolling
lines to present two lures at depth on
the same line.
To double down with a small
diver tie a six to seven foot leader of

fluorocarbon line from the back of the

diver to the desired lure. Next a 12
to 18 inch dropper line is tied to the
front of the diver and also to an OR16
Snap Weight Clip produced by Off
Shore Tackle.
The main line is set behind the
boat 25 to 50 feet and then the OR16
clip is placed on the main line being
sure the line is behind the pin located
in the middle of this clip. This is the
only line clip on the market with the
pin in the center to insure the clip
cant come off the line.
Rigged in this manner the diver is
dropped in the water and line slowly
played off the reel. To prevent the
dropper line from tangling with the











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main line its important to let the set

up back slowly.
Effectively the diver is taking this
rig to depth and two lures are being
positioned on one trolling line. Both
lures are fishing approximately the
same depth, but by setting other lines
using different lead lengths the water
column can be quickly saturated with
The tension of the Snap Weight
Clip is strong enough that when a fish
is hooked on the dropper or Add-aLine the fish gets hooked solidly and
this fish is effectively pinned to the
main line. The angler reels in the fish
and nets it. When the bite is exceptionally good its common to hook a
double header and have a fish on the
main line and also one on the Add-aLine set up!
Using a small diver to set up an
Add-a-Line rig can quickly and effectively double the amount of lures
in the water. This approach allows
anglers to experiment with lure types
and color more effectively while trying to figure out what lures fish are
most interested in striking.

Summing It Up

Because the Add-a-Line set ups

can be fished with various lures they
can be used to target a host of species
including walleye, lake trout, kings,
coho, browns and even panfish species like crappie. One of the things
about trolling is this presentation
allows anglers to put lots of lures in
the water. With the Add-a-Line option
trolling becomes that much more
productive. This year try doubling
down on your trolling lines. After all,
who doesnt want to catch a few extra

Downriggers like this one on the Authors boat are often used to fish slider or adda-line set ups designed to fish two lures on one fishing line.

Flat Or Boards?

The double down Add-a-Line set

up can be fished as a flat line straight
out the back of the boat or fished in
combination with planer boards to
stack multiple lines per side of the
boat. Either way this rather ingenious
set up doubles the chances of contacting fish.

Most trolling presentations are

speed dependent to some degree.
For example, when trolling spinner
(crawler harnesses) rigs for walleye
most anglers are going to be
trolling from 1.2 to 1.6 MPH. This
speed produces best with spinner
rigs, but substituting another lure
type such as a spoon can lead to
Most trolling spoons need to be
fish faster than 1.6 MPH to get the
most productive action. The rule here
is its okay to mix lure types when
setting up double down Add-a-Line
rigs, but the lures used need to enjoy
similar speed preferences.
A good example of a two lure rig
that makes sense is running a spinner
on the main line and a shallow diving
stickbait on the Add-a-Line. Both
of these lures fish well at the slower
speeds typically used for spinner
Another example would be to
use a trolling spoon on the main line
and a shallow diving crankbait on the
Add-a-Line. Again both spoons and
crankbaits can be fished effectively at
the same trolling speeds.


Mixing Presentations/
Trolling Speeds


Time To Do Some Research...By Darryl Quidort

Plan a turkey
hunting road trip


unting wild turkeys has

become a passion for many
people, myself included. With
the great resurgence of the
big birds lately, 49 states now
have hunting seasons for them.
Alaska is the only state that has no
open season on wild turkeys. Having
four different species to pursue in the
United States makes a turkey hunter
think about a road trip to enjoy hunting
in new locales.
Spring turkey seasons usually run
from early April to late May in the
various states. Licenses in many states
can be purchased over the counter or
online. However, there is a need to
start researching and planning an out
of state hunt early because application
dates for some states are in mid-winter.
Out of state turkey hunts dont
have to break the bank. Nonresident
licenses are usually reasonably priced.
Theyre certainly more affordable than
big game tags in the same areas. Generally, a guide isnt required or needed.
In many states there is plenty of public


hunting land available that holds good

numbers of birds and permission to
hunt on private land in many areas can
be acquired by simply asking. Most
farmers arent fond of turkeys in their
The four different species, Eastern,
Rio Grande, Merriams, and Osceola,
are found in different regions of the
U.S. They have similarities; that is,
they all look and sound like turkeys.
Yet, they also have differences in color,
habitat, and habits that make each species fun to hunt. Some hunters strive
to harvest one of each species, thus
completing a grand slam of turkeys.
Others may try for all four species in
one year, or all four with a bow and arrow, all four with black powder, etc. At
least one fellow claims a super grand
slam having taken a wild turkey in all
49 states that have a turkey season. An
out of state turkey hunt doesnt have to
be competitive however. I just enjoy a
spring hunt in a new area, seeing some
new country, and yes, hunting for a
new species.

Michigan has excellent hunting for Eastern wild turkeys. The author is happy
with this nice one taken during the spring season. Author photos
The Eastern wild turkey is the most
widely distributed and most abundant.
They are found in 38 states. Basically,
theyre found in every state in the eastern half of the continental U.S. Easterns are big, strong birds with adult
gobblers weighing up to 30 pounds.
The tail fan and rump feathers display
chestnut-brown feather tips and the

wing feathers are nicely stripped with

black bars.
Michigan has a good population of
Eastern wild turkeys and about 31,000
were taken by hunters last year. All of
our neighboring states also have spring
seasons and are good destinations for a
quick out of state hunt. The Southeastern states have spring seasons but their

white tips on the rump and tail feathers really set them off. A strutting
Merriams gobbler is a sight worth
traveling out of state to witness. Since
they are found mostly in the mountainous regions of the western states,
the places they inhabit are just as
pretty as the birds themselves. Spring
seasons are open in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. All
have beautiful scenery, good numbers
of birds in select areas, and plenty of
huntable public ground. Slightly closer
to home, the western end of Nebraska
and the Black Hills of South Dakota
hold Merriams turkeys as well.
The Osceola species may be the
hardest one to collect to complete the
grand slam of turkeys. Osceolas are
considered to be harder to call than the
others, and the license fee is higher
for this species too. The main problem
with hunting Osceolas, however, is
that they are found in only one state,
Florida. They are a long, lean bird,
a little smaller than the other species. With mostly black wings and
a dark tail fan, they appear to be a
swamp bird. Florida does have several
Wildlife Management Areas for public
hunting, but the mixture of swamps
and dense cover is tough hunting. To
hunt Osceolas in Florida youll need to
start the process early, because the license application period for the spring
season closes early. The season opens
in March though, so you can turkey

Mike and Lisa Yancey are all smiles with their Merriams turkeys taken on a
do-it-yourself hunt in Wyoming.
hunt while the family is on spring
break at Disney World.
Many out of state turkey road trips
can be done on a budget. By camping, or using off the beaten path
type motels, accommodations can be
reasonable. A hundred dollar bill will
pretty well cover most nonresident
turkey license fees. By hunting public
ground on your own you can enjoy
pursuing a new species of turkey without having to take out a loan to finance
the trip.
Start now to plan a turkey hunting
road trip for this coming spring.
Check out the following websites
and phone numbers for nonresident

turkey hunting information.

South Dakota
National Wild Turkey Federation


harvest numbers arent impressive

and the birds have seen heavy hunting
pressure for years in areas where turkey hunting has been a long standing
A better bet for nonresident success might be the Midwestern states.
The eastern half of Kansas, Nebraska
and South Dakota are excellent.
Missouri might be the sleeper state
though. They have a lot of birds,
plenty of public hunting land, and
allow two birds to be taken during
the spring season. Missouri harvested
47,000 Easterns last year.
The Rio Grande turkeys are slightly smaller than Easterns with rump
and tail feathers that have beautiful tan
tips. Reo Grande sounds like a Texas
bird, and it is, but Texas has very little
public hunting land available. The
20,000 turkeys taken in Texas last year
were mostly taken on private land.
Rios can also be hunted in Oklahoma,
western Kansas, and on up into central
Nebraska. Western Kansas has plenty
of Rios and a lot of public land to hunt
them on. Ive found Kansas farmers
to be very friendly and have gained
permission to hunt private farms just
by knocking on doors where we saw
flocks of turkeys feeding in harvested
fields. Kansas also has public walk
in areas where hunting can be good.
Merriams turkeys are the most
colorful of the four species. This species is on my bucket list! The snow


Hunt OF A Lifetime...
Newfoundland MOOSE

Lavern Dean, (left) and guide make final loading arrangements to the float plane on a inland mountain lake in
Newfoundland after a week of very successful moose hunting.


It was a hunt of a
lifetime. The game
abundant, the terrain
rugged, the scenery
spectacular and the
Newfoundland is
a land unique to
itself, known for
woodland caribou,
moose hunting,
fishing and
treacherous bogs.


from Michigan and the long ferry ride

to the west side of Newfoundland. (As
you know, Newfoundland is an island
in the Atlantic and a Canadian Province.) From there its a hop-skip-and-a
jump by float plane to their hunting
lodge in the mountainous center.
I have never seen ground that is
so full of water. There is water everywhere, youre constantly walking in it
or stepping over it, Jule told me.
Their lodge overlooked a mountain lake full of trout, rainbows and
lakers. And even though the fishing
was outstanding it was moose these
fellas had on their mind.
They told me the lodge and accommodations were outstanding complete with hot showers, a real reward
after stalking moose all day. They
also complimented the camp cook
and guides, which is a reward beyond
description while in the wild.
You didnt want for anything,
Lavern recalls smiling.
It was on my bucket list, Lavern Each morning the hunters would
Dean of Imlay City told me.
split up in a different direc I enjoyed every minute
tion. Some left camp by boat
of it, a hunt of a lifetime,
and some by foot.
he continued, the excite
One thing is certain,
ment in his voice evident as
it is going to rain, and it did,
he showed me pictures.
everyday, Lavern said, you
Lavern and his hunting
need good rain gear and hip
partners, Jule Dahn, Dar
boots are essential. You can
Green and Randy Halbert
bet youre going to get wet.
booked the early hunt, (the

The hunters often
second week of September)
four miles
with Alexander Steel Mounor
tain Lodge. They
made the drive

By Randy Jorgensen

Jule Dahn with his very nice 10 year-old bull moose

taken in Newfoundland with a spot and stalk method.
sometimes by both boat and foot.
They took advantage of walking game
trails from moose and caribou when
ever they could to get to a vantage
point to glass for moose. Then, using
the wind attempt to make a stalk on a

bull. The moose are not giant, but as

you can see from the photos, 45-plus
inch can be expected.
The bogs and tucks (a willow
type bushy ground cover) makes
walking very difficult, Jule tells me.

The day I got my moose the rain

was coming down sideways and the
wind was blowing hard. It was a good
three mile walk to our vantage point.
The conditions were miserable, Jule
We glassed for a while and I
finally caught some movement several
hundred yards off. There was a large
bull bedded down and a young bull
with it, he continued.
We watched them for a longtime
and finally my guide told me, youre
just going to have to walk up and
shoot em! Jule said laughing.
Moose have all the defenses of
a whitetail, they just dont see very
well, Jule states.
So without making too much noise
from busting through the dense tucks
and slipping into a bottomless water
hole in the bog, Jule is expected to
walk up and shoot this mature moose.
And keep the high winds in his favor

The moose hunt often started with a boat ride and or portage, followed by a long
stalk through bogs and tucks for the famed moose.
Jule Dahn, Dar
Green, Lavern
Dean and
Randy Halbert
pose for the
camera just
before their
return flight
home from a
week of hunting moose
with Alexander
Steel Mountain
Lodge out of

Woodland caribou sightings on shore near

the hunting cabin were common.

Expert Staff





Easier said than done.

The older moose if it detects
trouble will keep the younger moose
between the danger and himself, making it tough to get a clean shot, Jule
To Jules credit, his own hunting
ability and patience, he was able to
close the distance and get an open killing shot at about 50 yards.
The stalk took Jule nearly four
hours. The bull was estimated to
weigh almost a thousand pounds was
and over ten years old.
Of course anyone who has ever
hunted moose knows the work starts
after the moose is down. Jule and his
guide got back to camp well after dark
and needed the next day to finish the
Lavern and Randy also bagged
moose that week. Making three out of
four a very successful trip.
Lavern concluded by telling me,
It was a hunt of a lifetime and Id
recommend it to anyone. You just
couldnt ask for more.
Nothing like fresh moose steaks in
your freezer!
For comments on this story email:


By Robert Dock Stupp

Midge flies to


s a sales rep I traveled

Northern Wisconsin and
the UP of Michigan. One
fine spring day I was
traveling to Oshkosh, near
Lake Winnebago, when
out of nowhere I ran into the hugest
swarm of flying insects I have ever
seen. My windshield was so quickly
greased up that I was forced to pull
over until the insect cloud passed
through. I slowly drove to a motel
where I was informed that these lake
flies were in their normal spring mating season.
The connection between Winnie
and the windshield marauders was a
group of insects found in the Great
Lakes region known as chironomids
or, in this instance, midge flies. The

larval state are called bloodworms and

they live on the bottom of lakes and
streams. They are called bloodworms
because of the hemoglobin they
contain which gives them their blood
red appearance. Similar to our hemoglobin that is used to bind oxygen in
our blood stream, the bloodworm uses
its hemoglobin to extract oxygen from
the water. This is why they can live in
oxygen depleted mud.
There are, of course, various zooplanktons (microscopic animals) like
copepods and daphnia that panfish
thrive on but well save that topic for
another time.
On the bottom of a lake the bloodworm eat algae and detritus and live
in places called tube towns, a term
that the famous Minnesota fishing

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The author caught this bluegill and crappie by checking out a coffee-stained bay in
a river where there was evidence of dying weeds and tube towns. He used a gold
tungsten jig with a waxworm attached to the hook for scent added a plastic, thin,
red tail that I kept quivering most of the time.
guide, Brian Brosdahl, calls them.

Tube Towns & Big Panfish

The midge fly adult looks like a

mosquito but they do not bite. Their
lives are short. After emerging from
the water, they survive for only a few
days mainly for reproduction. This
is when the massive clouds are seen
as males and females mate. It is also
the time that they provide valuable
food for birds and bats. And also,
like a mosquito, it deposit eggs on
the surface of the water where they
absorb water and sink to the bottom.
The eggs then hatch in several days
to become the larval forms of the
The unique and rather weird life
cycle of the midge fly/ bloodworm
is about to get weirder. If you were
to take along an underwater camera
on your next ice fishing trip (got one
for Christmas), prepare yourself to be
amazed. Somewhere in the ooze on
the bottom of a lake near you there is
also a super abundance of the larvae
of aquatic invertebrates, like caddisflies, mayflies, and nearly all of them
the tube-building chironomid larvae
fishermen call bloodworms. In some
waters, the midge larvae provide so
much forage value that is the only
thing that keeps certain species alive.
Using detritus and algae, which
they eat, along with dead leaves or
particles of sand or clay, they mix this
stuff with saliva and build their houses. And guess what they now have
a built-in food source. In other words,
they not only live in these inch or
more tubes but they also eat their own
houses. Hows that for strange?
But the good news, from an anglers
point of view, is that monster panfish
love to eat them! Ahhh! Theres the
Last night my wife and I saw the
new Star Wars movie; some of the
creatures they showed were out-of-

this-world, frightful scary. Well, they

aint got nothin over the aquatic
invertebrates in a Michigan lake near
you. These soft-bodied creatures have
segmented translucent bodies that
actually give glimpses of their internal
body parts. Yikes!
With tiny appendages they twist
and turn and undulate and squirm to
propel themselves through the water
column, albeit at a slow pace. Hairlike cilia and antennae help them feel
their way around the darkness below;
they hunt for food and chew it with a
formidable mandible.
With knowledge of whats going
on down there in the deep, an ice angler can more easily scout for places
where bloodworms congregate and
then mimic their appearance and how
they move.

When Where How

For Humongous Panfish

Low-light conditions, specially

dawn and dusk or ice with lots of
snow on it are good times to search
for foraging bloodworms that leave
their burrows. On clear lakes, they are
known to forage at night.
There is a chain of lakes in Iron
County that I fish for perch and bluegills. I really didnt know what I was
looking at with my old underwater
One cloudy, February day, I was
on a wide, flat section of the chain of
lakes near an island when I indeed
saw the burrows of bloodworms in 30
to 40-feet in a soft bottom area. A fishing buddy told me they were bloodworms so I switched to a tiny pink jig
with a narrow red plastic tail attached
and I started to catch big perch on the
I then moved to an edge of shallow, dying vegetation. The drop-off
went down to 25-feet but then I came
to discover that bloodworms eat the


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The Game Of
Attract And Trigger

How to mimic a bloodworms

moves is the next question?
Yes, back to the basic attract and
trigger or trying to match the hatch
in the most practical and efficient
manner is the challenging game we
anglers play. What methods should
we use that matches the mood of the
You need not be real precise all
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Avid ice fisherman, Ted Kagy, reaches

for a nice crappie he caught with a Bro
Bloodworm. It was a nice cloudy day with
lots of action. Author photos


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manufacturer. Details in pricing, savings, features and promotions may vary by location and are subject to change without notice. Void where prohibited by law. Best efforts are used to ensure the accuracy of our advertising,
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on United States currency. 2016 Tracker Marine Group PAiD ADVerTiSeMenT

match the color and anatomy of the

bloodworm, also remembering that
bloodworms are not always red but
are also black, olive, black, and even
Tiny jigs and plastic tails, jigged
properly, entice active panfish during wild flurries of activity. The
master ice fishing guru, Dave Genz,
calls for pounding to trigger and
attract panfish; Brian Brosdahl uses
his own style Cory Schimdt calls the
Bro-Buzz. As author of The Bloodworm Connection to Giant Panfish,
Cory Schmidt, describes the Bro
Buzz, Hes a master at pulling off a
micro-subtle wrist shake that makes
the plastic tail quiver without moving
the jighead. Schimdt also says that
Brosdahls move is a killer trigger.
A Northland Mud Bug and a Bros
Bloodworm are good choices when
the bloodworms are in their tubes. I
use a simple jiggle -- wiggle pause
- and use my camera and a Vexilar
to watch the reactions of panfish and
change maneuvers accordingly. .
Brosdahl also recommends using
a micro-drop shot with a #12 hook
that matches the stationary, quick
hopping undulations of live bloodworms. Thin, dark to light red, looka-like tails or olive- brown soft-plastic tails work well on small tungsten
jigs or regular mini jigs. Maki makes
tiny tails also.
So get prepared to have a great
time this winter on a Michigan lake
near you!
Some the material in this article was gleaned from the Dec/Jan/
Feb/2016 issue of In-Fisherman magazine, The Bloodworm Connection
to Giant Panfish by Cory Schmidt
and Unique Insect That Feeds Both
Great Lakes Fish and Birds: MSU
Extension May 20, 2015 by Ron


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O P E N 7 D AY S
Mon. & Tues. 9-6;
Wed., Thurs. & Fri. 9-8;
Sat. 9-5; Sun. 10-4


dying weeds. Seems that bloodworms

never cease to amaze me; they act
like little vacuum cleaners, just like
the little lake janitors that they are.
Brian Brosdahl prefers big water
for giant perch, crappies, and bluegills. Large fertile lakes have the
best bloodworm habitat and grow the
juiciest and biggest, one-inch-plus
bloodworms. He goes on to say that
lakes with wide windswept expanses
of shallow mud flats in about 40 feet
of water make the best habitat for
hatching those big midge flies many
20 is aflies
is packed
call lake
rStroke earlywith
that will make
jigging, or casting a breeze, and the storage
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you can choose
Sport Package option
make it cough
a family fun
big bloodworms
ailer 41,695
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also good places to search for this
predator/prey connection. On about
a 500-acre lake, known for good
ice-fishing, I discovered an interesting phenomenon. For years I fished
this lake. After a while I learned that
the best time to drill holes was about
8:15 so I could be ready for the 9:30
a.m. frenzy. Bluegills came out of the
woodwork along with perch and crappies and northern pike. Once again,
after talking to a local fish biologist, I
learned that bloodworms can turn on
at different times on different lakes.
At this time on this lake, bloodworms
leave their tubes to feed.
Now, sometimes bloodworms just
meander along the bottom to forage,
sifting through debris etc. But other
times, like when squadrons of panfish
show up in your hole, Brian Brosdahl
and my local biologist equate this
frenzy to mass bloodworm movements that activate a major spurt of
fish activity. For the ice fisherman,
the bite can be fast and furious with
crappies for example, turning on the
speed and gorging themselves.
What a great time to be on the
ice! Brosdahl notes that bloodworms
are weak swimmers but they kick
their tails in fast, frenzied motions.
However, they really dont move very
far, making them easy prey for fish.


Use set-lines during midday when other ice

fishing presentations fall flat. The author took
this 11-pound 32-inch monster that was released unharmed to spawn. Tactics described
can be used on any Michigan waterway and
trophy walleyes can be caught on Muskegon
Lake, Saginaw Bay, Lake Macatawa, Lake Erie,
Lake St. Clair and more.

Monster gators on set-lines



f you are looking to ice more walleyes and

catch some monster fish with gator heads and
teeth like a crocodile, listen up. Ive got an ice
fishing tactic that works better than dynamite
and the results are absolutely explosive. This
method is smokin hot and will work on inland
lakes, reservoirs, Great Lakes and frozen rivers. It
is perhaps my best kept fishing secret for icing supertanker walleyes when other anglers cant buy a
bite. What is my secret technique? Well, Im using
I learned the deadly tactic on Michigans
Saginaw Bay years ago when winter walleyes
would get lock jaw and refuse traditional baits
tipped with minnows. At first I took a page from
the In-Fisherman walleye secrets and used a single
hook with split shot about 12-20 inches from a live
minnow. But catch results were poor. One outing
after a splendid morning bite I snoozed in the midday sun waiting for sunset when hungry Bay eyes
would go on another feeding spree. Thats when I
sent down little Swedish Pimple spoons tipped with
lively minnows and I placed lures about 3-5 feet
off bottom. Out of nowhere came a big red band on
my Vexilar indicating a walleye was on the lures.
I lifted them from the rod holders and gave them a
twitch but the walleye disappeared. The next time a
big fish appeared I tried a different strategy. I lifted
the rod tip, slowly pulled the offering away from
the fish and POW! Fish on! Thats when I learned
the most valuable lesson about negative walleyes;
they simply do not want a flashy lure darting, drop-

Cover Story By Kenny Darwin

ping, and dancing in their face. It seems they are

centering their attention on the live minnow, dead
ones draw no fish. If you take their prize away they
get aggressive and slam the offering.
More importantly, set-line fishing will guarantee
strikes when other anglers cannot buy a bite, when
fish are turned off, in a negative mood and often the
strikes come during broad daylight when the sun is
bright and other fishermen are headed to shore for
lunch. Perhaps the most important point about this
tactic is it appeals to bigole monster fish. Im talking adult walleyes that can be difficult to fool, wary
fish with an eye the size of a golf ball and teeth like
an angry Florida gator. On more than one occasion
Ive used this deadly strategy to ice huge supertanker walleyes that placed in the top five in the Saginaw News Shiver on the River ice fishing contest.
One hawg pushed the scales 12 pounds 4 ounces.
Last winter was a classic example. Professional
walleye angler Erik Furseth from East Lansing
joined me on a Great Lakes outing. The sun was
high, the day bright when the first 10-pound plus
fish slammed the tiny silver Swedish Pimple tipped
with three lively minnows. Erik was next to see a
huge band on his graph and he slowly lifted the lure
while giving it a slight didle-didle twitching action.
Wham! He was fast into a hawg that went at least
32 inches long and had a belly like a pregnant pig.
By days end we landed 10 fish and iced 7 walleyes over 10 pounds. I would estimate that if you

weighed our top 5 walleyes we would have pushed

the scales over 55 pounds! But there is a lot more
to set-line fishing than simply suspending lures.
If you want walleyes through the ice and big
fish with teeth like Godzilla on steroids you need to
use live minnows. Not just any minnow but crappie
size silver beauties that are full of life, active and
stay alive when in the strike zone. Ive tried larger
walleye-size minnows with limited success and fat
heads seem to draw less fish because they lack the
bright silvery flash that walleyes can see at tremendous distances. I seldom use just one but adorn the
treble hook with two or three chrome silver minnows.
The trick is to hook them barely through the
lips and keep them alive on the hook. Make certain
to pin them so they ride straight up in the water. If
you put the barb sideways through the lips the minnow will lay on its side and fights to get straight,
the action wears down the minnow and soon it is
dead and lifeless. In this game you can see on your
electronics if minnows are lively by giving the rod
a shake and minnows will respond by providing a
vibrating line on the electronics. If there is question,
reel up the lure, replace old or lifeless bait and drop
down new.
If a walleye approaches but does not bite,
again change to fresh minnows. Some days Ill
go through four or five dozen crappie minnows
because Im changing bait frequently. When you
remove dead bait pinch off the head with your
thumbnail, squeeze out the air bladder and drop

A deadly winter ice fishing

strategy is to
jig a lure with
your right
hand while
a set-line is
placed in a rod
holder close to
your left hand.

to get their attention.

When set-lining you need a steady
rod holder where you can place the
rod after lures are set 3-5 feet off
bottom. The whole trick to success
depends on how stationary the lure
remains. Move it and fish disappear,
leave it stationary with minnows wiggling, light reflecting off the chrome
lure and fish will come to investigate.
Sometimes active fish will charge the
offering and slam the offering before
you can reach the rod.
Once Ive dropped lures to bottom, raised them off bottom and set
rods in stationary holders, I sit back
and relax. This style of fishing is like
being on stand for a trophy buck and
requires patience and attention to
detail. Often you will see the bottom
suddenly rise a bit; the graph will
wiggle like something is below the
offering. Then, a red band appears on
bottom and slowly comes up, toward
the bait. Other times huge fish will
simply appear on the electronics as a
suspended fish coming close to investigate. When fishing 30 foot depths
Ive had good success placing lures
8-10 feet from the bottom.
Now, here comes the real secret to
set line fishing that most anglers overlook. When that monster fish shows
on the electronics slowly take the
rod out of the rod holder and do not
move it. Most anglers make the fatal
mistake of immediately jigging the
offering when a walleye shows and
they spook fish and send them to bottom. Instead give the rod tip a little
jiggle, just enough movement to wake
up the minnows and excite them into
franticly swimming. The action of the
violently swimming baitfish reflecting
off the mirror-like silver lure drives
walleye into a closer look. Lethargic
winter walleyes seldom gulp offer-

Erik Furseth proudly

holds a hump-backed large
walleye that smacked a
gold/green #3 Swedish
Pimple placed about 3 feet
off bottom.
ings, instead they slowly stalk into
kissin distance and vent the minnows
by sucking water fast as lightning and
grabbing the bait with their lips. Once
again, if fish show on the electronics do not jig the spoon, instead lift
it stair-step fashion a few inches at a
time while you lightly jiggle the rod.
Often fish will follow the offering
several feet off bottom, tilt upward,
stand on their tail in a complete vertical position. Sometimes they chase
the offering and strike only a few feet
under the ice. The key to fishing success using this method hinges on how
seductively you wiggle-wiggle, didledidle and dance the offering upward.
Now, I know this is a complete
contradiction to those who pump
spoons or bounce them off bottom.
Some angles like to catch walleyes
by disturbing bottom debris and Ive
used this tactic to catch some fish.
But Im talking about limit catches
of tuna-shaped monster fish. Try my
suggestions and I guarantee you will
catch more and bigger fish.
Last winter I caught at least a
dozen 10-pound plus fish. Most came
on shiny silver lures tipped with crappie shiners set far off bottom. Part
of the reason this tactic is so deadly
is bottom hugging walleyes can see
the offering at long distances. If you
place lures close to bottom you attract
far fewer fish and your catch rate
decrease because you are not drawing
fish from long distances.
Im so impressed with the power
of set-line fishing that even when the
eyes are snapping in early morning
or late afternoon I always have one
set-line sitting in the rod holder. Often
hot fish come to the rod Im pump-

ing, jigging and allowing the lure to

flutter. But once they come close and
get a peek at the live bait presentation
they strike the set-line.
If you are the kind of fisherman
that lacks patience and simply needs
to be constantly jigging a spoon, jigging Rapala or other fast action lure
there are days when you will hammer
fish. But on those slow days, often
after a cold front the fish go negative,
thats when set-lines come alive.
I must admit, Im a trophy
walleye hunter. Im not interested
in a sled full of eater 17-21 walleyes. I want a fish that zips line off
the reel drag when I set the hook. I
want another Shiver on the River ice
contest winner that tips the scales
over 10 pounds. I seek the thrill of the
fight, the excitement of doing battle
with a sled-sized huge walleye with
teeth like an attack German shepherd.
My goal is to hook into a 30-plus
inch monster, battle the supertanker
to the surface and enjoy the excitement when a walleye long as my arm
zips past the hole. I like them big
and I like to catch lots of them. Most
importantly Im using the deadliest
monster walleye tactic going and it
puts me miles ahead of the rest of the
pack or average fisherman. In some
ways Im off the charts when it comes
to icing those trophy pre-spawn
hawgs. All because of a simple ice
fishing tactic called set-lining.
What about you? Are you ready
to catch big fish when most are having trouble getting bites? Are you
ready to try a deadly new fishing trick
that works all day? Try the above
methods and I guarantee eye-popping


fish parts down the hole for chum.

Chumming with minnows is a deadly
tactic to draw walleyes that smell the
baitfish and are attracted to the silvery
fish parts on bottom. Hey, chumming
is the best way to draw big cats too.
But thats another story.
I keep minnows super charged
by placing them in an eight-gallon
black pail with oxygen aerator. When
I drill holes I immediately replace
bait shop water with fresh lake water
and I purge slowly so minnows do not
suffer from temperature shock when
mixing bait shop warm water with
cold lake water. The black bucket is
necessary to keep minnows colorful.
Ever notice how pale and dull looking
minnows are from a white foam bait
container? By putting them in a dark
container they take on a dark color
and walleyes can see high contrast
heathy minnows at long distances. As
a rule of thumb, the bigger the minnow bucket the livelier the bait.
There are a variety of lures that
work for set-lines but after testing
zillions Ive been impressed with two
lures both made here in Michigan
by Bay de Noc Lure Company in
Gladstone. My top producer is a size
#3 Swedish Pimples and my second
best is a size #1 Do-jigger. My hottest
colors are silver, heres why. When
the lure is stationary and the minnows
are swimming, the triangular-shaped
lures reflect the chrome-sided flash of
bait through the water in every direction, like a mirror. Wary walleyes
hugging bottom see the frantic action,
glide close for a peek and when they
slip beneath the offering they cannot
resist stalking kissin close. Silver is
the hottest color going but sometimes
they want gold and the tape on the
side of the lures is colored chartreuse,
green, orange, pearl, and other shades


The Next Bite...Ready, Set, Bite! By Gary Parsons and Keith Kavajecz


What do ice fishing for

walleyes and football have
in common? A lot!



hink of yourself as a quarterback. The first thing the QB

needs to be able to do after
coming out of the huddle is
read the defensive. Second
you have to figure out if the
play called needs adjustments or if a
whole new play needs to be audibled.
On the ice, it is important to know
how to read your electronics to help
read the fish. We prefer a LCD type
unit like the Lowrance LCD Elite 5 or
7 (or HDS 5 or 7). With an LCD, you
are able to tell the attitude of the fish
when it comes in your hole.
Any change you see on the graph
will be either the fish or bait. The
yellow are with a thin blue line above
it that you see on your screen is the
bottom. Pay particular attention to the
blue line. It will begin to thicken as the
fish comes in. As the fish gets closer to
your hole, the widened blue line will
split and become a new line. Bigger
fish will cause this new blue line to
also show some yellow or red.
The picture drawn on an LCD
screen is like that quarterback reading the defense. If the blue line slowly
widens and then shrinks it means that
the fish is just meandering through
the transducer cone probably not
to aggressive. If the second line splits
quickly or just appears, that fish is actively feeding. Based on this mood
you might have to do different things
to trigger a bite.
To increase your chances of success on the ice you need to have a
good playbook. Most of the time this
play will consist of two things. The
first is a cadence to draw in the fish
and the second is a cadence to make
them bite.
The common jigging actions to
draw fish in are the lift and flutter
(a cadence that will work on a spoon
or a jig) and the lift and glide which
works on glide baits such as a Shiver
Minnow. The key on both of these is
to pop the jig up then give a little slack
lack so the lure can flutter or glide
We are often asked how far the
bait should be lifted. That depends
on the mood of the fish. You can lift
six inches or two feet. Watch the fish
finder to see if the fish are coming in
to know what they want. If they arent
coming, you need to call an audible
and change what you are doing to attract them to the hole.
The appearance of the lure also
important in attracting fish to the hole.
We like flashiness, such as a metallic
spoon or jig. In low light conditions
bright is also good. Try using a lure

that glows in the dark as they fall

they will show different color or flash
patterns. Also consider baits that are
color-contrasting from front to back,
such as a chrome/color pattern or
glow/color pattern, which makes them
look like they are flickering or flashing
as they fall.
One thing most people dont think
about is attracting the fish on the lift.
If you are using a glide bait like the
Shiver Minnow, the fin on the bait will
make it jump to the side of the hole on
the lift. The #2 Shiver Minnow will
sweep or jump a foot or more from the
hole in any direction. This horizontal
movement is not typical for most baits
plus you get the added attraction of
the bait turning around and gliding
back. Change in directions can often
fire up fish.
A second set of baits that will
jump to the side on the way up are thin
metal spoons with the correct shape,
such as the Acme Sidewinder, VMC
Tingler Spoon or the KenKatch Slim
Slam. The Sidewinder has the least
aggressive swing, while the Swim
Slam has the most action. The Tingler
Spoon falls in between. Again, by
jumping to the side you get action out
of the whole plus the flutter down
has more distance to travel.
A rattle can also help attract fish
to your bait. Lures like the new Clam
Rattlin Blade Spoon have a couple of
balls in the rattle chamber that bounce
freely. High pitched rattles are a
known attractor to get the walleyes to
look at the bait.
Sometimes youll get lucky and
the fish will be attracted to the bait and
just bite it perfect! But more often
than not, youll need to change your
cadence to trigger a bite.
One of the most obvious changes
that can trigger a bite is just letting the
lure sit still, especially if it is tipped

This technique takes a much harder

thump, thump, thump. If the fish
continues to show interest then add a
lift to your cadence.
It is also important to pay attention to how you respond to a walleye
approaching a dead rod. Since a dead
rod is typically sitting still, it is the
scent of the bait or the movement
of the live bait that attracts the fish.
We like to suspend a small jig and a
minnow about a foot and a half off of
To increase
bottom. You will be surprised at the
your chances
number of fish that will come up and
of success on
the ice you need look at it but need a little encouragement to get them to bite.
to have a good
You can watch fish approaching
playbook with a
your dead rod on the same Lowrance
cadence to draw unit that is monitoring your jig rod if
in the fish and a
both your jig rod and your dead rod
cadence to make are relatively close to each other. The
them bite.
dead rods lure will show up a line on
the screen that does not move.
A second way to run the dead rod
is to set up a Remote Jigging Station.
with a minnow head or a fine plastic.
This is a hole is within 20-30 feet from
Often the current or even just your
your shack. Often we use the heated
hand moving will give the bait subtle
Hot Box to keep the whole open it
also has a built in rod holder to hold
If the fish mark is just hanging
the dead rod.
even with the mark indicating your
To see whats happening out at
lure, it is looking at the bait. The first
thing to consider is to move your lure this remote hole you will want a
second depth finder that is zoomed
in an upward direction, which often
in so you can keep an eye on it while
triggers a bite right away. Its like the
you jig. Even a better solution is for
quarterback scrambling out of the
this remote depth finder to have WiFi
pocket the D-line gets after them
Streaming available. You can find this
even more aggressively. However, if
in the Lowrance HDS units or the new
the fish is passive, it will take a little
Elite Ti units. These units will stream
more work to get it to take the bait.
the fishfinders stream and you can
At first consider slowly lifting
watch it in your shack with your phone
away from the fish, as if your lure is
or notepad.
trying to escape. The trick is to NOT
If a fish is approaching you can
move quickly. Simply raise the lure
run (or quickly walk) out to the remote
a foot at a time and watch your fish
station. Sometimes the fish will bite
finder to see if the fish follows. Often
this will trigger a bite because the fish on its own other times like a dead
rod in your shack it will need to be
feels that their meal is getting too far
In either case (dead rod in the
Next add in a small three inch
hop, just enough to make it move and shack or remote) the first thing to try
is a simple tap on the rod tip while it
flutter, not dart. Lift, pause, hop can
entice the fish to bite. If the fish is just is still in the holder to try to trigger a
staring at the lure and you hop and it
bite. If that doesnt get the bite, slowly
swims away dont hop next time.
lift the rod, make a little hop, and let
If holding still or slow rising
it sit still. Now that the rod is in your
doesnt trigger the fish, the next
hand, use the techniques described
cadence to try is dancing. Youll want above to try to trigger the fish. Note,
to get a rhythm going with the rod tip since the walleye came into the dead
that bounces the lure in one place. This rod on much less action than a fish
works great with a spoon and minnow approaching a jig rod, you may have
head because the spoon is moving one to be less aggressive with the trigger
way and the head is moving another
way. You can practice this by looking
The beauty of all of this is if a fish
down your hole. Dont be afraid to
is near your lure or bait and swims
also try a combination of dancing and
away, you know what not to do next
time. Like a quarterback, just throw
Then there is shivering the
Shiver Minnow. Try to keep the lure in the ball away, pull out your playbook
and try something different next time.
one place, but be aggressive with the
pop. With the way this lure is weight- With a little bit of luck, practice and
patience, youll figure out a good caed, if you are shivering correctly, it
will look like it is swimming in place. dence to score The Next Bite!n

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Curtis & Manistique Lakes

four seasons of fishing fun!

was 23 years old when I first visited the little

town of Curtis, located just about an hours
drive west of the mighty Mac in the eastern UP.
Needless to say after at least a hundred trips
back it was love at first bite. Curtis
and the Manistique Lakes recreation
area offer outdoor enthusiasts an unparalleled selection of fun, beginning with
amazing fishing! So let me be your guide
as we explore the two main lakes that
sandwich cozy Curtis and make this such
a hot fishing and year round vacation destination.
South Manistique Lake lies on the
south side of Curtis and is the
smaller of the two lakes. This is
in my humble opinion one of the
best producing lakes anywhere in the UP beginning
at first ice. South Lake as its called by the locals
starts strong with just about all the major species
available coming to the party. The lake is a very
good walleye, pike and panfish producer during the
winter months.
All the traditional methods seem to have their
day but we will touch on just a few critical presentations and locations that are just plain great. Walleye and pike are readily caught along drop-offs and
weed edges using tip-ups tipped with shiners. The
set up for these rigs is as simple as pie and can be
done this way at about any ole lake. I simply identify the depth and set my baits a foot to 18 off bot-

tom. My hook of choice is usually a small #6 or #8

treble or a #2 or #4 Aberdeen. Your choice is based
on what you are comfortable with as they both seem
to work just fine. Im a traditionalist when it comes
to ice fishing so Im always working a jig
rod and setting a tip-up as my dead rod.
When jigging there are lots of productive
presentations on South Lake but a small
tungsten jig head tipped with a wax worm
or tiny plastic is very hard to beat. The
gills and perch are present in abundance in
and around the weed beds that are all over
this lake. Bays and coves are also great
spots to find the winter fish.
Mid-May brings the walleye anglers to South Lake for the usually
very good early season bite. I have
fished this with the most basic of rigging and done
very well. My go to presentation is a simple but effective; live bait rig using either a minnow or leech.
Im a strong believer in red hooks and a #6 seems to
be the ticket for me. Whether Im drifting or using
my Motor Guide Xi5 bow-mount trolling motor it
is imperative to keep the speed right. I like about a
45 percent angle on my line, this helps get the bait
away from the boat but keeps it close enough to not
be hanging up all the time.
Summer on South Lake really gets the fish fired
up. Around the middle of June the smallmouth and
pike start firing on all cylinders and the gills are
readily available as well. My go to pike and bass
bait seems to be a jig and white grub worked off
the edges of drop offs as well as the newly forming
weed beds. A slow rolled spinner bait can also be
a good producer as the water warms. The walleye
become weed orientated during the summer months
on South Lake. My best success for summer eyes
has been a slip bobber and leech or minnow fished
right on the edges of the large weed beds that dot
the lake. Another very over looked fishing opportunity on South Lake is the mid-summer panfish bite.
Each year during my annual vacation to Pine
Bluff Resort I make a trip to South Lake to drift the
weeds for good catches of nice gills. Heres how its
done. I find a large weed bed that has 3-5 foot of
open water above the weed tops. This available
water usually is fishable by drifting bobbers with
just enough line below the bobber to get close to the
weed tops but not get snagged in them. My bait of
choice here is the key. I use leeches! I have found
that smaller fish shy away from leeches and you get
a better average of quality fish when using them.
Dont get me wrongworms work but you will
spend a lot more time sorting through smaller fish
and wasting time rebaiting. Give this a try on your
lake of choice and I think you will be surprised at
the results!
Fall is for bigger fish on South Lake and it
seems that the Perch can be the star of the show
along with some slob northern pike. I fish the perch
with minnow rigs and sinker anchoring along the
bases of drop-offs and the deep edges of the weeds
where they begin to thin out. Patience is not always
good here, I like to use my Lowrance HDS 9 to find
the schools of fish before anchoring and I dont sit
long before pulling and finding more fish. I use big
colorful spinner baits and buck-tails when targeting the northern pike. They seem to be on the weed
edges as well as they are big perch eaters and where
there are perch there will be northers.


By John Bergsma


First ice is definitely the best fishing during the

winter on Big Lake. The perch are very catchable on
small tear drops tipped with wax worms.

The author has fond memories of the UP lakes!

Big Manistique Lake lies just on the north side of
Curtis. The Big Lake as it is commonly called is
a completely different type of lake than its little
brother. The lakes share similar species in that
walleye, perch, pike and smallmouth bass are the
top targets for anglers but I have found some very
different tactics work well on the Big Lake.
First ice is definitely the best fishing during the
winter on Big Lake. The perch are very catchable
on small tear drops tipped with wax worms. They
hold on and around whats left of the weeds and on
the edges of mud gravel transition lines. Helmer
Bar, Anderson bar and the area around Burnt Island
have always been high production spots for ice
fisherman. Walleye are also present on and around
these three general areas. Walleye will move in and
out of these prime fishing areas and are definitely
there in good numbers.
Top presentations for me are tip ups and minnows. My hand held star is a small Swedish pimple
tipped with a minnow head. I usually dont over jig,
but impart a slower action sometimes just a shiver action can be the ticket. Adding a little color
can be helpful and it seems chartreuse or orange is
the best. Ive caught lots of smallmouth and pike
while fishing for walleye on the Big Lake. Later in
March I will move out to the deeper basin area in
the middle of the lake to get the larger perch.
May on the Big Lake is when it all starts as far
as I am concerned. I have always loved walleye
opener, and if the weather is right it can be very
good on the Big Lake! The shallows are the ticket
here as this lake has lots of gravel and weed edges
in 6-8 feet of water. This is where I spend my time
for the first six weeks of the season. Drifting jigs
or rigs tipped with minnows or leeches has always
been a good early season tactic. I also like to pull
bottom bouncers and small spinners tipped with
live bait. I start with minnows and move to leeches
and finally to crawlers by the middle of June. This
seems to be the normal progression on many lakes
and its no different here. The thing I cant stress
enough is edges, whether its a weed edge or the top
edge of a shoreline/main lake bar or drop-offfish
shallow edges on the Big Lake. Watch out for the
big smallmouth as Ive caught some real bruisers
while walleye fishing. There is a very good night
bite here but I simply dont fish much at night so
its just what Ive heard. I guess whenever I fish at
night I run into something or cant get my bear-

May on the Big Lake is when

it all star ts as far as the
author is concerned. Hes
always loved the walleye
opener. Author photos
ingsmaybe its just age.
The July and August bite on the Big Lake transitions to a weed bed bite for the ever improving
perch fishing. Sure the guys trolling around boards
and crankbaits are catching a few fish but the real
star is the perch. I have really tried to understand
what to do here during mid-summer and have come
to the conclusion that a good perch dinner is what
I want.
The main body of Big Manistique Lake has a
lot of 15 foot mud bottom basin area, and this is
where the big perch go to hide from the summer
heat and the northern pike. I stumbled on them
one day while aimlessly killing time trolling for
the random marks holding in this expansive open
water. I would randomly catch 10-12 inch perch
on my plugs and even though Im not too bright I
figured there where catchable numbers out there. I
stopped trolling and started drifting with two hook
perch rigs and a ounce sinker. Two small shiners
graced the rig that caught me a 16 fish bag that all
where 10 inch plus. Not bad for a walleye guy lost
in the middle of the lake. Needless to say I repeated
that maneuver a few times since with similar success.
Here was the key to what I was doing. I drifted
with my Xi5 bow-mount trolling motor down,
when I would mark schools of perch and get a bite
I would immediately hit the anchor button on my
remote. This allowed me to stop and sit right on top
of an active pod of fish and catch as many biters as

I could. When they stopped biting I would simply

disengage the anchor function and continue my
drift. When I encountered more fish I simply repeat
the process. Technology at work helping me catch
more fish and have more fun!
I run the new Crestliner 2050 Authority with
a full windshield. I do a ton of trolling and a fair
amount of drifting or slow bow mount trolling.
This boat has a huge fishing cockpit and a very
spacious bow as well, the extra freeboard keeps me
and my grandsons safe and dry. Ive fished almost
every boat out there and this one fits my needs to a
Fall stays with the perch and from the reports
and pictures Ive seen from my resort owner friends
this may be one of the better fall fisheries around if
perch is a target for you. The smallmouth bass fishing is also very good on the Big Lake during the

fall. Casting the normal things like drop-shot rigs

and lighter jig and plastics has long been a favorite
among the locals.
My filming season takes me all around the
Great Lakes region and I see and get to fish many
lakes and streams. The Manistique Lakes recreation
area and the little town of Curtis are worth some
real exploration. Ive explored them and choose to
return year after year!
For 18 years John Bergsma was a full time
Walleye Pro on the In-Fisherman PWT and former
World Champion.
He now hosts a WFN television show Great
Lakes Fishermans Digest. John also promotes
Great Lakes travel on his website: John will continue to
write information filled articles documenting his


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Event Scheduled For February 19-21, 2016...

Deer, Turkey Expo Back at Lansing Center

f you are a serious deer and/or

turkey hunter, you should be sure
to attend the 2016 Michigan Deer
& Turkey Expo February 19-21
at the Lansing Center. After a
three-year absence, the show will
be back at the Lansing Center and
will be bigger and better than ever.
The show got its start at the Lansing Center many years ago and was
held there annually until 2013.
Attendees have repeatedly told us they wanted
the show to go home to the
Lansing Center, says Jake
Steingraeber, Executive
Director of the expo. We
worked with the Lansing Entertainment & Public Facilities Authority and Lansing
Visitor Convention Bureau
to make sure that
happened. We have
an agreement with
the Lansing Center to be there for at
least three years from 2016-2018 and
hopefully for another 30 years.
This years expo will be the

third full weekend of February, he

added. With no other major sport
shows occurring in the country that
weekend, that means more exhibitors will be able to exhibit than ever
I will be among the many exhibitors who will have valuable products
and hunts to choose from. My books
and DVDs will be available at my
booth (#512), and I always look forward to hearing from hunters
who bagged big bucks and
bears the previous fall.
One of the cornerstones of the Deer & Turkey Expo is education, and
specifically helping folks
bag a trophy buck or gobbler
where they live, Jake commented. This years expo
will accomplish
that through eight
different seminar
topics that will be presented four
times each.
Seminar topics include Hunting
Big Bucks On Small Properties, Rut


By Richard P. Smith


Hunting Strategies, Using Licking

Branches To Your Advantage, Getting
The Most Out of Your Trail Cameras,
How To Butcher Your Deer, Using A
Dog To Find Shed Antlers, Planting
Killer Food Plots and How To Score
On Finicky Gobblers.
Theres a shed antler contest,
with categories for both typical and
nontypical antlers. A Wall of Fame
is reserved for hunters who bring in
antlers or heads between 10:00 a.m.
and 1:00 p.m. on Friday that have
already been scored, which measure
a minimum of 150. Those who do so
will qualify for a free weekend pass.
If you have the antlers from a
buck bagged during any year that has
not yet been measured, bring those,
too. Measurers with Commemorative
Bucks of Michigan, the states official big game record keeper, will be
on hand to determine what the antlers
score from those bucks. They will
also measure elk antlers, bear skulls
and beards and spurs from turkeys.
All of the deer antlers measured
by CBM volunteers will be put on
display, along with their scores, for
everyone to see. This display is a
great way for hunters to see the quality of bucks being bagged in the state
and to become better at field judging
what the antlers of live bucks you see
in the field in the future might score.
By looking at the antlers from bucks
on which you know the score, you
can become better at guessing what
the racks of bucks you see on the
hoof might measure.
The Midwest debut of a display
of some of North Americas biggest
whitetails called Whitetails of North
America will be present for your
viewing pleasure, too. The display includes full body mounts of the world
record typical and nontypical as well
as other giants that you are sure to

enjoy seeing.
There are also plenty of family
friendly activities for your entertainment. Friday, February 19 is designated as Family Day. The show opens
at 2:00 p.m. and children 11 and
under get in free. Many opportunities
are available to develop and test your
shooting skills as well as those of
your kids.
A Shoot Like A Girl virtual range
is where girls and ladies can get
private instruction on shooting bows
and firearms. Theres also a bowfishing tryout range, youth archery
range, Jakes Take Aim airgun range
and hoverball shooting range. Some
exhibitors have targets set up, too,
where you can shoot their latest
A display of live animals will be
at the show, too. The critters include
game animals and predators. The
always popular Byron Ferguson will
be on hand to fascinate everyone
with his trick shooting demonstration using a long bow. On top of that,
theres a wild mushroom hunting
information center, chainsaw carving
and a trail camera photo display. And
Josh Thompson will be putting on a
country music concert from 7-8 p.m.
on Saturday evening thats open to all
expo attendees.
More things to add to the list include a new products area, primitive
weapons and tools display, traditional
black powder hunting display and
door prize drawings.
The show opens at 9 a.m. on both
Saturday and Sunday and goes until
7 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. on
For specifics about any aspect of
the show, including maps and directions, and to find out about opportunities for discounted tickets go to

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Michigan MeandersBy Tom Huggler

Requiem for a Michigan Pheasant Hunter

he Pheasant Fen is a special

place in southern Michigan
because it always holds a
ringneck or two that find
shelter in a weed-free world
of row-crop grains. Stuffed
with reed canary grass, the forty-acre
wetland has cattail pods, clumps
of dogwood and spikes of green
ash, all of which provide hiding
places for roosters on the lam.
Its in the neighborhood; my
dogs and I have been here coming for years.
I shot my last bird there
when Bush the younger was
president. Oh, the dogs still
point pheasants and I
pretend to kill them. I say
pretend because I no longer carry a gun in the Pheasant Fen.
Could you sleep at night, knowing
you shot the last buffalo?
If you want to go with me one
autumn day, well stop by the old
widows house for permission. Her
grandfather and father and, more
recently, her late husband farmed the
eighty acres that, more or less, surround the fen, which has never felt the
plows bite because the ground is too
wet. If the October afternoon is warm,
shell come out and chat a bit and tell
you how thick the pheasants used to
be and whether or not she has seen
any strutting in the barnyard.
She never refuses permission unless, of course, there are deer hunters
already on the property, but we will
know they arrived first by a truck
parked near the empty barn, the one
with the bowed roof like an old horse
ridden half to death.
On the short drive to the fen well
pass the pioneer cemetery where, if
we slow down, you might notice the
small American flags and Grand Army
of the Republic medallions next to
the headstones of Union veterans. At
the west end, you cant miss the faded
sign of wood. It, too, is old. Maybe

one day some Eagle Scout candidate

will repaint West Township Cemetery and give the flushing ringneck
a new coat of bright feathers.
I could stop the car for a friendly
debate about when the sign was
originally painted. I would guess in
the 1950s when Michigan hunters last killed a
million pheasants, and
you might surmise in the
1940s when they first did
it. Surely we would agree
it was later than 1925.
That was the first year the
state allowed pheasant
hunting after approving
the birds introduction only thirty years
earlier, in 1895.
Later, when we had tramped along
the deer trails through the fen with
our dogs, well have a good laugh
about it being your turn to clean the
birds. Well have lunch at one of
those rural diners the farmers patronize and maybe enjoy a beer, or two,
if the day is getting long and we are
done hunting. That being the case, we
could expand our discussion into why
pheasants have all but disappeared in
the same places where they thrived for
so long. You could argue agribusiness and I might say, True, but what
about ground predators, like coons
and possums?
And coyotes, youd add.
Yes, and crows and seagulls,
What doesnt like a pheasant
egg? I ask. Even turkeys, eat em.
Now thats a crock, youll
scoff. I dont believe that!
Okay, maybe not turkeys. But
we do agree that pheasant hunting in
Michigan isnt what it used to be. On
the way back to my place, you look
at that cemetery sign and wonder if I
know someone who can get it right.
Someone who can paint a running deer.n

By Tom Huggler

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Hunt Trophy Elk in Beautiful Badlands of North Dakota

Could you sleep at night, knowing you shot the last buffalo? Author photo


Lansing Museum Exhibit Explores The Innovation, Influence Of This Early...

UP outdoorsman
and inventor
Webster Marble



undreds of thousands of deer

hunters took to the Michigan
woods this fall, many decked
out in scent-control clothing
and equipped with a smartphone, GPS unit and other

goods were even used on Teddy Roosevelts hunting trips, Robert Pearys
expeditions and Charles Lindberghs
Marbles lifes work and his
companys impact more than 60
patents and hundreds of innovative
For these modern hunters, its
outdoor products would be notable
likely hard to imagine a time when
in and of themselves, said Dennis
outdoor gear meant simple survival
Pace, Michigan History Foundation
necessities like a reliable compass, a
board member and guest curator for
well-designed knife, a safety axe or a the Marble exhibit. It becomes even
waterproof matchbox.
more important when viewed through
The Michigan Historical Museum the lens of changing attitudes toward
in Lansing invites visitors on a trip
the outdoors during this historic peback to that time with its new exhibit, riod as America shifted from a rural to
Inventing the
an urban sociOutdoors a
look at an Upper
Many of the
Peninsula invenexhibits artitor and the many
facts come from
outdoor products
a collection of
he imagined,
Marbles prodperfected and
ucts and materimanufactured
als that Pace
right here in
donated to the
Webster LanMarble
sing Marble was
built a company,
a surveyor and
a company with
timber cruiser
global reach
who had spent
and impact,
20 years workfrom Gladstone,
ing in Michigan
Michigan. He
forests. Feeling
did this with
the equipment
local, rather
available at the
than imported,
time (in the late
talent, Pace
19th century)
said. He firmly
didnt meet his
believed that
needs, Marble
men and women
began to experiwho were active
ment with ways Webster Lansing Marble was born in Milwaukee in hunters, anglers
1854. He followed in his fathers footsteps in his and campers
to make imlove for the outdoors, becoming an expert trapper, themselves,
hunter and angler. His outdoors products have
He started
been appreciated for generations. Marble died in were best suited
manufacturing September of 1930.
to produce the
outdoor tools
finest products
in a workin the world.
shop behind his home in Gladstone,
Indeed, this proved to be the case.
Michigan, and by 1898 Marble had
Marbles designs for products
designed, prototyped and patented his including knives, compasses, matchfirst idea, the Safety Axe.
boxes, axes and gun sights set the
Over the next 30 years, Marble
standard for the 20th-century outdoor
stayed hard at work, inventing new
goods market and still are influential
products and expanding his business, today.
the Marble Arms and Manufacturing
Inventing the Outdoors features
a variety of these items, including
Before long, his Michigan-made
Marbles safety folding axes, many
products were known around the
models of hunting knives, automatic
world, outfitting millions of hunters,
fish gaffs and more.
anglers, campers and hikers. Marbles
The artifacts that invariably

The Michigan Historical Center is part of the Department of Natural Resources. Its museum
and archival programs help people discover, enjoy and find inspiration in their heritage and is
located in downtown Lansing. MDNR photos
draw the longest looks from visitors
are Marbles Game Getter guns, Pace
said. These were over/under .22/44
ball (or 410 shell) pistols with folding stocks that incorporated a host of
unique features into a light, packable
weapon that was useful in the field as
a small-game gun, a waterfowl gun or
a large-game gun.
Pace said unfortunately these guns
were deemed illegal by the Federal
Firearms Act of 1935 and quickly
faded into obscurity.
They remain beautiful and practical sporting guns that incorporate
much of Websters product philosophy
and creative genius, Pace said.
Marble was an early inductee into
the Sporting Goods Hall of Fame,
based on items including his waterproof match safe (for decades, every
soldier, hunter and Scout carried one),
the safety folding axe and, perhaps
most importantly, the Ideal Knife.
Before Marbles Ideal hit the
market in 1900, most outdoorsmen used either flimsy kitchen-type
knives or less-than-useful Bowie-type
fighting knives, Pace said. Marble
reimagined mans oldest tool from
the ground up, incorporating a host
of design features that made it strong,
practical for a variety of tasks, and
beautiful to boot.
In recognition of Marbles contributions, the state Senate recently adopted a resolution that declared Nov.
15, 2015 opening day of Michigans firearm deer hunting season
as Webster L. Marble Day.
Historians recognize Webster
Marble was a genius as an inventor,
manufacturer, marketer and one of the
Upper Peninsulas most successful
business leaders yet most people in
our state are unaware of his pioneering achievements, said state Sen.
Tom Casperson, of Escanaba, who
introduced the resolution. Marble literally invented the American hunting
knife, as well as the knife that all U.S.

military blades would be patterned

after for most of the 20th century.
Today, Marble Arms still produces
traditional and iron gun sights from
a factory in Gladstone. The Marble
legacy in the region has spawned a
host of related companies in the region, including Bark River Knife and
Tool and Rapid River Knifeworks,
both founded by former Marble Arms
The Michigan Historical Museum
exhibit also explores another fascinating aspect of the Marble Arms story:
the companys advertising efforts
from 1900 to World War II.
Marble used every possible
marketing technique, including many
modern methods long before they
became standard celebrity endorsement, ad coding, promotional
incentives through other companies,
customization, and the selling of a
dream as much as a product.
Marble was not only chief innovation officer, but clearly chief
marketing officer of his company,
Pace said. He invested heavily in
advertising which, through its creative
approach and innovative methods,
helped make Marble a household
Michigan Historical Center Director Sandra Clark said Inventing the
Outdoors also takes a look at how
we experience the outdoors, and the
origins of our love for outdoor recreation, through the life and times of
this remarkable inventor.
When Webster Marble worked as
a timber cruiser, the wilds of Michigan provided mainly resources to be
extracted, but by the start of the last
century, we began to see things differently, to manage them differently,
and to promote them differently,
Clark said. That evolution has led to
the ethic of leave no trace camping,
the wisdom of scientific game management and the marketing power of
Pure Michigan campaigns that strike

A waterproof pocket compass, with an unbreakable crystal, is among the Marble items showcased in the Michigan Historical Museum Inventing the Outdoors exhibit, now open.
a nostalgic and emotional chord. It
has influenced not only how we relate
to the outdoors, but also how we
position and promote ourselves to the
The exhibit includes interactive
opportunities for visitors to get creative with activities such as building
a lean-to, telling stories around a fire
pit, giving shape to their ideas at a

for young and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Stay tuned to
museum for more information about
these programs as it becomes available.
Inventing the Outdoors will
be open at the Michigan Historical
Museum through Sept. 11, 2016.
After that, parts of the exhibit will
travel home to the Upper Peninsula at

makers innovation table, and sharing their outdoor experiences through

drawing or writing in a room where a
screen shows outdoor images submitted to the Michigan Department of
Natural Resources Instagram page.
On the second Saturday of every
month, the Michigan Historical
Museum will feature family-oriented
activities related to innovation. Other
exhibit-related programs in the works
include a series of evening presentations this winter and next spring,
sponsored by Dart Bank, that will explore outdoor-related topics including
Raising an Outdoor Child, Dogs
in the Great Outdoors and Foraging
for Food in the Spring Woods.
Other programs will look at
Webster Marble the business innovator, using his career to draw lessons

the Michigan Iron Industry Museum

in Negaunee. A group of Gladstone
citizens is discussing finding a permanent home for some of the exhibit
materials in Marbles hometown.
The Michigan Historical Center
is part of the Department of Natural
Resources. Its museum and archival
programs help people discover, enjoy
and find inspiration in their heritage.
It includes the Michigan Historical Museum, 10 regional museums,
Thunder Bay National Marine
Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve,
and the Archives of Michigan. Learn
more at
The Michigan Historical
Museum is located at 702 W.
Kalamazoo St. in downtown Lansing.
Visitor information is available at


A Marbles Game Getter gun with a box of .44-caliber Winchester cartridges from the Marble
display at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing.


Good for the Grouse, Good for the Grouser?

bout midday last October during my first bird hunting visit

to a state that is not Michigan,
I stopped into a tiny, local restaurant in the first town I came
to after leaving the woods.
Sitting opposite me in the next booth
down the line, a guy caught my eye,
nodded at my orange hat and spoke up.
You bird huntin?
Trying to, I half mumbled. Im
not very skilled at conversing with
Beg pardon?
Before I could speak up, he rose

from his seat, grabbed his coffee cup

and plopped himself into the seat across
from me.
Been havin trouble with my battery, he said, pointing to the device in
his right ear. Then he introduced himself, Bud Grouser, and extended his
hand. I pumped it a couple of times and
mumbled my name.
So, I was asking if youre bird
huntin today.
I was trying to. Didnt really find
any. Then it got too hot. I nodded
toward his orange shirt and continued.
You doin any good?

Good God! No!

He didnt give me a chance to ask
why not.
I went to one of my favorite spots
today, and for the first time in 20 years
we didnt even flush a single bird. No
grouse. No woodcock. Then I made
todays first mistake.
What was that?
After I fell the second time, I decided
to head to town for some coffee and pie.
As I was driving in I called my older
sister in Texas.
Fell a second time? What happened?



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I dont want to
talk about it. The
thing is, though,
my sister got me
to thinking about
things, and now I
dont know what to
Turns out, he
had been walking
through a low area
with one of his
dogs. As he veered
to the left, a bentover and anchored
springy sapling
snatched his right leg below his knee.
Focusing on safety with the shotgun in
his left hand, he just allowed the rest
of himself to fall forward, come what
What came quickly was an
aspen trunk four inches in diameter. The
right side of his face from the sinus area
to his gray sideburn collided with that
unforgiving trunk.
I tell ya I felt my neck crack three
times. Crack! Crack! Crack! Saved me a
trip to the chiropractor.
So what did his sister have to do
with all this, I wondered?
Well, once I tell her about that fall,
and the second one, she doesnt appreciate the fact that I saved money by not
going to the chiropractor. She gets all
concerned and starts asking if Im hunting alone, if I leave a plan with anyone
about where Im going and when I
might return, telling them where Ill be
parking my truck, and if I call and tell
them when I move from one place to
Well, you know, for men of our
age, that doesnt sound unreasonable.
Unreasonable? Ill tell you whats
unreasonable. Letting everyone know
where my hunting spots are and when
Ill be there and when I leave. No thank
you, sir!
Well, maybe you can find a place
to hunt where the walking is easier.
His easy frown now turned into a
You talking about heading to a
A what?
The B-SPOTs that biologist has
been creating around here.
I still couldnt quite put my finger on
his meaning. So, I asked.
Whats a B-SPOT?
I dont want to talk about it. Look,
here he comes now. You can ask him.
Hey, there, Bud, said a younger man
in a state DNR uniform who had just
entered the restaurant. Whats todays
topic of concern?
Tell him about the B-SPOTs.
That again? Then he took notice
of me. Hi, Im Pat Reeve. He extended his hand. I pumped it a couple of
times and mumbled my name and the
fact that Im from Michigan.
So, you want to know about our
Im not sure.
Oh, dont pay attention to Bud,
here. Hes not happy unless hes got


When developing hunter-friendly parcels of land, the DNRs of various states will
be sure to include walking paths like this one enjoyed by the hunter and his golden
retriever companion. Tailfeather Communications, LLC photo

the woods running once they get here.

Oh almost forgot: we manage the BSPOTs for better grouse habitat.
You know what that means, said
Grouser. They want it to be like hunting in a city park. They tear up all the
good hunting spots.
Now, Bud, you know thats not
true. We have to get that aspen into a
regular cycle of harvest and growth so
it will always have some areas growing,
some in their prime, and some ready to
be cut. Its for the good of all grouse
Yer cutting down all my honey
holes, and I wont be alive when the
stuff has reached its prime again. So
tell me again, how does that help me?
From the look on the faces of the
two, Id say they had gone down this
road a time or two before. I tried to ease
the tension.
So, tell me, Pat. Is it easy to find a
He reached for a napkin and started
to draw a map. Grouser snatched it
He dont need no map, Pat. Just
head up this road out of town, he said,
gesturing with his thumb at the road
that passed the restaurant. About three
For over 30 years, Harmon has been making effective products to
miles out, youll come to a split. Head
For over
30 years,
has been
making effective
a success.
over ato100 scents, lures
up road on the left for a couple of miles
past the split. Youll see a B-SPOT
and related scent products.
For over 30andyears,
Parking Area sign on the left side of
related Harmon
scent products.has been making effective products to
the road. And all around you? Formerly
make your hunt a success. Harmon offers over a 100 scents, lures,
good hunting land that was clearcut last
and related scent products.
With that he snorted and almost
stomped out.
Reeve noticed my look of concern.
Dont worry. Hes been like that
ever since the season started and he
found out some of his hunting areas
had been transformed into B-SPOTs.
Before long, hell find something else
to complain about.
Why is that?
Deer season starts in a week.n

get his


something to complain about. Im just

an easy target because I work for the
state. So, are you here to bird hunt?
Well, youve at least got to try
one of our B-SPOTs. You can hit the
jackpot even if you only poke around
in one.
Wait! What is it?
Thats our special bird hunting
program. The name stands for Bonasa
Seekers Perambulation and Observation Tract.
Its a place where hunters can
walk around and look for grouse.
Why bonasa?
Reeve replied, You know, as in
bonasa umbellus, the ruffed grouse.
I realize that, I replied. But why
not just say grouse? Why bonasa?
It sounds more professional. You
know, a little Latin adds some class.
As Grouser listened to Reeve, he remained in full scowl, his eyes piercing
Reeve to the core.
I just had to ask.
So what makes a B-SPOT different from ROW?
Now it was Reeves turn: Huh?
Regular Old Woods.
Grouser accidentally smiled with
that one.
Oh, well. said Reeve, We
manicure the grounds, provide parking
areas, create walking paths to make it
easy for young and older hunters to get
deep into the woods for the real grouse
hunting experience. And guys like you.
Were trying to attract more out-ofstaters. They can walk the trails, and
since weve established the B-SPOTs in
areas of the state where the bird hunting is traditionally the best, they dont
have to spend much time in the woods
scouting. They can look up maps and
purchase licenses online, and then hit


A birthday of fishing and giving

his past year, charter boat captain and walleye tournament
angler Randy Gaines probably
had his best birthday. And
along with it being a good day,
he found out that it is better to
give and share, than receive. It wasnt
for the amount of gifts he received or
the fancy dinner he ate to celebrate his
special day.
Instead, it became memorable
thanks to paying attention to a little
detail, being concerned for others and
having a big heart.
Gaines, a resident of Salem, Ohio
described his day as follows, When
I launched the boat for my annual
birthday day on the water and one of
the few chances to keep some fish for
myself this season, I had no idea how
special the day would end.
Im not going to tell you about how
tough the day was or how I managed
to find a limit of nice fish in an odd
ball spot. Instead, I am going to share
the experience I had once I returned to
the dock. This experience has left me
teary-eyed every time I think about it.
Gaines is a member of the National Professional Anglers Association
(NPAA) and The Federation Anglers.

Both groups of anglers not only care

about the future of our sport but also
understand the importance of getting
young people interested in the sport.
As he was returning to the dock, he
noticed a young girl and boy standing
on the end of the dock casting twister
tails. His first thought was thats pretty
cool. These kids enjoy fishing
so much they have peddled
their bikes in this cold December weather in hopes of
catching a fish.
He continued, As I was
tying up the boat, the young
boy seemed annoyed that I
had run over his fishing hole.
He walked off the dock and
onto another dock
continuing to cast
as he went. The girl
approached me and started chatting
like she had known me all of her ten
or eleven years. She asked if I had had
any luck and mentioned they hadnt
caught anything. I asked her what she
was fishing for, Just a fish. I chuckled, not knowing how important that
just a fish was.
I began tidying up the boat and
noticed her rod. I looked over to see

her brother had an identical one. They

looked like rods I had seen many times
given to youth after NPAA tournament events. Lowering her voice, the
girl leaned in the boat and asked if she
could see the fish. I opened the live
well lid and she peered in. She turned
to me and said, this is gonna make my
brother mad, but could you
spare one of those?
Absolutely. Let me get
the boat on the trailer and
well pick out a good one.
She thanked me, what seemed
like twenty times, and ran off
the dock to tell her brother.
The two kids were standing by the truck the minute
I got out. I invited
them into the boat
to pick out the one
they wanted. As the young man chased
the biggest fish around the live well I
asked what they were going to do with
it. The girl answered, eat it.
Whos going to clean it? A clear
voice from deep in the live well replied, me. I told them they could eat
the cheeks too.
The girl said, theyre good in
spaghetti. I knew this fish was in

By Roger Beukema

good hands. After a lengthy selection

process, they jumped out of the boat.
As I was handing them their dinner,
I noticed someone approaching the
boat. A police officer was parked off to
the side, watching the whole chain of
You just did a great thing, he
remarked, then went on to share with
Gaines that hes sure home for these
two children is a tough place and that
good meals are few and far between.
He has watched these two feed their
little brothers and sisters all summer
from fish they caught off this shoreline.
As the emotions flooded through
me on so many different levels, it was
hard to fight back the tears in my eyes.
Without hesitation, I asked the
officer if he knew where they lived
and if I could put the rest of the fish in
something, would he deliver them for
me. He said he would be happy to and
this would allow him to check up on
By this time the two had their
fish lashed to a bike when I said, Hey
guys, I just got a text from home and
Im going to be late. I dont think Im
going to have time to clean all these
fish. Would you like to have them?


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Fifty Years of Lessons Learned...

Oh my God. Those incredible
smiles burnt right into this old heart.
You could immediately see them starting to problem solve on how to get six
big walleye home on their bicycles.
This nice officer said hed follow
you home with the fish if you like.
Gaines found a couple of plastic
bags and quickly loaded the catch.
As the fish and their rods were being
placed in the trunk of the squad car, he
got his thanks.
I received one of greatest fishing
related payments of my career. The
best around the neck hugs Ive ever
had in my life. A quick handshake and
shoulder bump with the officer and
everybody was on their way.
It was about that time my buddy
Jay showed up to fish the night turn.

A Michigan Outdoorsman Book Trilogy

by Mesick author Joe Lunkas

I was so excited and moved I could

hardly tell him the story.
As I drove home, my feelings and
mind raced all over the place; from
feeling good about what I did, to feeling sad about their situation, to realizing that the big hearted police officer
was most likely their guardian angel.
One thing is for sure. I will never
again miss the opportunity to teach the
art of angling.
Gaines will also remember the
importance of sharing as well.
For chartering information
contact Randy Gaines through
Nibble This Charters, (574) 876-5318
or visit his Facebook page.
Roger Beukema writes for
Woods-N-Water News. Email him at

How nice would it be for a budding or even an experienced outdoorsperson to have the accumulated knowledge of an experienced outdoorsman presented to them in a compact and easy to read format with photo
illustrations and real-life detailed story examples, complete with highlighted lessons-learned statements?
I often expressed this personal desire when looking back on my own
long and often trial-by-error journey over the past 50 plus years to earn
the coveted title of seasoned and experienced outdoorsman. I have many
counterparts, both living and dead, that have earned this title but few have
attempted to preserve their hard-earned accumulated knowledge via the
written word. Most of this valuable knowledge is forever lost upon the
death of the originator and left to be painfully and frustratingly relearned
by future outdoorsmen. This is unfortunate reality and I have been there!
Starting in 2007 and culminating in late 2013 with the release of the
final third book in my trilogy, I have accomplished this lofty objective.
I am proud of this valuable accomplishment! In my mind, this written
and published legacy constitutes my own immortality of sorts. I wrote
my trilogy for the benefit of my eight grown children, their children, and
their childrens children to guide them on their own personal quests after
I have gone to be with my Maker. My readers, damaged war veterans
like myself, and others so inclined may also benefit from my written and
published words. To learn more about my books and other writings, simply google my name on the internet and go to my author website: http:// or for access and purchasing. These
silent outdoor companions have been uniquely designed and formatted
to be read and enjoyed while actually in my great wild outdoors. Fifty
Years of Deer-Stand Reflections, (ISBN: 978-1-61204-659-4), Fifty Years
of Gathering, Fishing, and Unusual Animal Encounters, (ISBN: 978-162857-158-5), and Fifty Years of memorable Hunting Experiences, (ISBN:

National Professional Anglers Association

These two kids were fishing with rods donated by NPAA. Randy Gaines
recognized them when he got near the dock. Bob Luellen of World Wide
Marine Insurance says rod and reel combos and goody bags are provided
by donations through the NPAA. The NPAA has what is known as an In
House Charity for Future Anglers Foundation. Last year, the NPAA went
to 118 tournaments. The first 100 children at each tournament get a free
rod and reel, T-shirt and other goodies. Last year, Bob Luellen donated an
entire collection of Walleye Insider magazines and a day on the water with
Al Linder. The auction raised $4,000, Luellen said. For a list of Luellens
donation for the January 9, 2016 auction visit This year,
Luellen is making another magazine donation along with a fishing trip
with Linder.


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Mid-Michigan Chapter

Page 6









or each of the three instructional whitetail bowhunting books

my son Chris and I wrote, my
four instructional DVDs, as
well as for hunting articles,
from 1998 to date weve;
researched many whitetail studies,
tracked bowhunting license sales for
each state, found the absolute land
mass for each state in square miles,
and researched specific data
from Pope & Young statistical summary books to
compile factual statistics and
there was one very important
piece of kill data that remained consistent throughout
the years.
While Pope & Young
entries per licensed hunters
vary dramatically from state
to state, and counties
to counties within

Last season the author filled his second buck tag with my bow on opening morning of gun season and once the November gun
season was over he began scouting for 2016. Because the ground was bare through most of December, he scouted, located, and
prepared five locations for this fall and has more notes on things to do this spring.
each state, no matter the state or area
about 60 percent of all P&Y entries
were taken during whatever
time frame that states rut
phases fell in to. In Michigan
for instance the pre-rut and
early stages of peak rut for
bowhunters typically runs
from Oct. 25 Nov. 14.
While I nearly flunked
high school because I consistently got Ds and Es in
English due to a lack
of interest, I excelled


By John Eberhart


at math and its obvious to me that

if that three week period of season
consistently has had the highest
percentage of success on record class
bucks, it only makes sense that thats
the period to focus on and scout and
prepare locations for.

Why Pre-Season
Scouting Is So Popular

The vast majority of bowhunters do all their scouting and location

preparation during pre-season while

looking at and setting up on warm

weather, lackadaisical summertime
bedding to feeding sign.
The most likely reasons most
hunters scout and prepare locations
during pre-season is, it has been
passed down through generations of
hunters, thats when you do it. The
other reason is thats when most TV/
video hunting personalities do it.
While the passed down through
the generations is totally understandable, unless you hunt a similar type of
property to high profile media hunters,
which very few in Michigan do, their
kills and hunting practices should be
viewed primarily as entertainment,
because even though they are hunting mature whitetail bucks, from a
difficulty to kill perspective, they are
hunting are a very different mature
buck than you are.
While the numbers of Michigan
bowhunters that manage or have access to managed properties (nothing
remotely similar to that of TV and
video hunters properties) is small,
the numbers of everyday Joe Michigan hunters that are becoming more
selective on what they shoot is growing rapidly and thats a good thing.
In 2015 I saw more kill pictures of
mature bucks than ever before and by
a relatively large margin.
If you have access to managed
property on which several 3 year
old or older bucks reside every year,
feel very fortunate but dont let your
ego get the best of you and look down
on others that kill what you consider
inferior bucks as they may be the best
bucks available on the pressured properties they hunt or their goals may
simply differ from yours.

Why Post-Season Scout?

Most of the ground brush foliage is gone by late October, so during post-season the area youre scouting will look very similar to
what it will look like during the rut phases. Author photos

Setting up on summer sign may

produce an early season opportunity if
all the scouting and location prepara-

Advantages Of
Post Season Scouting

1) When preparing trees for the

rut phases the leaf foliage will be
down and from ground level youll be
able to see exactly what background

cover youll have, if any. This should

dictate how high up the tree or in
what tree you need to set-up in.
2) Every inch of your hunting
area can be thoroughly scrutinized
with as many visits as needed because
spooking deer during post season will
not affect next seasons deer movements like pre-season scouting and
location preparation would.
3) You can use deadfall and cut
brush to block sections of out of
range runways and then create a new
section so that the runway passes
within your comfort range. By fall the
altered deer movements down your
altered runway will have become
4) Most of the ground brush foliage is gone by late October, so during
post-season the area youre scouting
will look very similar to what it will
look like during the rut phases. During pre-season when brush and trees
are in full foliage, nearly every location gives a false sense that theres
adequate security cover for deer to
transition through.
5) The previous seasons buck
sign such as rubs, rub-lines, ground
scrapes, scrape areas, utilized overhanging licking branches, and runways are still very obvious once the
snow melts. During pre-season the
previous seasons rut sign is grown
over or nearly impossible to identify.
6) During season and throughout the winter, especially if there
has been heavy snow or ice storms,
dead trees and branches fall and often
block runways to the location site.
To assure runways are usable, once a
location is prepared I walk or crawl
down every runway within shooting
distance of the tree for at least 50
yards in each direction and remove
deadfalls and trim overgrown brush
along them to make it easier for deer,
and especially a buck with good
headgear, to travel down.
7) At this time of year a scent
free regiment is not required. During pre-season when the weather is
warm, there is absolutely no way to
properly prepare an early season location without profusely sweating and
leaving human odor. That is enough
to temporarily alter a mature bucks
routine or turn him nocturnal, ruining any chance of success early in the
Before getting started, if you have
Internet access, print an aerial photo
of yours and the surrounding properties in the largest magnification possible. Aerials will offer an overview
of the area and help locate funnels,
water, protrusions of cover into crop

This is why you scout now! The author took this trophy buck during October at
a secondary stand location after intense scouting back in January 2015.
fields, amount of timber canopy, crop
fields, marshes, swamps, etc., some
of which can be difficult to recognize from the ground. The surrounding property layouts can also aid in
knowing where and why deer cross
the property line fence.
In the lightly hunted and micromanaged areas media personalities
hunt, they can pick locations strictly
by looking at aerial and topo maps
because other hunter competition
doesnt exist and therefore is of no
concern in altering deer traffic, but
that is definitely not the case in the
heavy consequential hunting pressure
(HCHP) areas most of you hunt in.
While aerials can offer valuable
insight, I dont care what any film
or media personality may show or
state, in HCHP areas you must set
out of foot to validate deer traffic
and sign and more importantly how
other hunters in the area may alter the
daytime deer traffic in those obvious
aerial map locations.
I had a sales manager from Ohio
with me recently and as we were
driving down I-27 from Clare to
Lansing he utterly couldnt get over
the amount of hunting shacks dotting the landscape. In a two mile
stretch of road he counted 34 shacks!
I asked him if he would like to come
up hunting and the words absolutely
no way couldnt have come out of
his mouth any faster. That type of
pressure affects everything including
choosing locations from an
aerial maps without on-foot
For on-foot scouting youll need a
fanny pack with some water, com-

pass, possibly a GPS, and flagging

tape for flagging potential locations.
I also take my aerial maps to note;
other hunters locations, if they were
baiting, property lines, and potential
locations and why they are. A notepad
can also be used.
In order of importance, once
on foot focus your attention on the
following sign for stand locations:
primary scrape areas, fruit and mast
trees, within bedding areas, funnels
between bedding areas and terrain
feature funnels, areas offering security cover that protrude out into crop
or weed fields, scrape lined runways,
narrow draws offering transition security cover that protrude into crop or
weed fields, funnels between bedding
and feeding areas, clusters of rubs
and rub lines, convergence points of
several runways, and water in areas
with minimal water sources.
Most frequently on small to
mid-sized parcels (5-40 acres) only a
couple of those land features or previous signposts may exist.
The next issue will contain Part
John Eberhart is an accomplished
big-buck bow-hunter that specializes in heavy consequential hunting
pressure areas with 28 bucks listed in
CBMs record book from 19 different
properties and 10 different counties. John produced a three volume
instructional DVD series titled
Bowhunting Pressured Whitetails
and co-authored the books Bowhunting Pressured Whitetails, Precision
Bowhunting, and Bowhunting
Whitetails The Eberhart Way. They
are available at: www.deer-john.netn


tion in the surrounding area by you

and other hunters hasnt turned mature bucks nocturnal prior to season,
which in Michigan is often the case.
By the rut phases however, mature buck movements usually change
dramatically due to; a huge visual
security cover change caused by the
loss of tree and ground brush foliage, the peaking of their testosterone
driven desire to breed, and a loss of
interest in feeding due to their sex
While the peaking of testosterone
levels and the loss of interest in feeding during the rut phases are obvious
reasons for bucks to alter their routines, so is the loss of security cover
Tall soybeans and standing corn
often become bedding areas and once
their harvested the deer that bedded
in them must move to other areas
offering security cover. The loss of
tree and brush foliage in mid to late
October has the exact same effect as
harvesting crops because areas where
mature bucks may have felt secure in
due to the ground foliage security, no
longer exists.
Once the snow flies deer alter
their patterns and congregate to the
best and easiest food source and bed
in lower lying areas protected from
the cold winds, both of which makes
sign left in the snow rather meaningless as far as next seasons rut activity
is concerned. Its not that uncommon
when snow gets deep to have areas
that held deer in fall be totally devoid
of them. Snow also covers up fall
runways and what I consider to be
the most important signposts of all,
ground scrapes and primary scrape
Once the snow melts in late
winter/early spring, last falls rut sign
will look exactly as it did before it
came so wait until its gone to scout.
At least 80 percent of my scouting and location preparation is done
during post-season or as soon as the
snow melts and prior to spring green.
Last season I filled my second
buck tag with my bow on opening
morning of gun season and once the
November gun season was over I
began scouting for 2016. Because
the ground was bare through most
of December, I scouted, located, and
prepared five locations for this fall
and have more notes on things to do
this spring.


How Critters Cope...

Wildlife in winter

n order to survive, all creatures must use some

sort of defense mechanism to survive winter.
For many of them, this means migrate, hibernate or simply vegetate. The month of February is the ultimate test of the animals ability to
cope with winter. This is the month in which
they must finally conquer winter or die. If they
make it to March, they will probably survive.
Humans learned how to survive in the winter
eons ago, when they found caves for shelter, fire for heat and somehow learned how
to store, save and preserve food so that
they could eat when they could no longer
forage or hunt.
Bears and a few similar creatures are
the champions of withdrawal or avoidance
behavior, escaping the ravages of winter
by entering a den and staying there until
spring. This winter, they were late
in denning because snow is almost
a requirement and snow was not
generally available until January.
Hibernation requires some preparation, much as the
cavemen stored and preserved food. The bears and
other hibernators must eat and eat in the summer
and fall, putting on fat for the winter. A big bear
may enter the den at 400-plus pounds and lose 25
percent of that weight during the long winter, while
neither eating, drinking or eliminating any waste.
The bears metabolism slows to a crawl, conserving
that winter fuel and the heart beat slows way down.
Some other creatures, ground squirrels, for instance,
withdraw even more completely, slowing down so
completely that they almost cannot be roused.
Deer fight off the ravages of winter by slowing
down their metabolism and moving to cover. Their
movement patterns become very limited and they
forage little, even when in an area with fairly good
browse. They can live off their fat reserves for
quite a long period but they will forage enough to
compensate for the energy expended in that search
for food. Many of them move to heavy cover, seeking out the cedar swamps that offer thermal protection from the wintry winds. The conifers also offer
less snow on the ground because the boughs catch
much of the snow and it melts and evaporates more
readily from the boughs than from the ground. The
cedars also offer emergency fodder, if required.
Some deer migrate many miles for the cedar
swamps. In the UP, around the St. Ignace area, they
have been tracked moving 15 or 20 miles to the cedar swamps next to the big lakes. The deer migrate

a few at a time, over the winter, so the movement

is not very obvious. They generally all move back
to the farm fields and wood lots at once, in late
March or early April, when the snow finally melts
and that migration is usually apparent as dozens of
deer are spotted moving across the open fields. By
late March, some of the deer the young and the
old and the injured will have exhausted their fat
reserves and be on the edge of failing. A late winter
storm with very cold temperatures and a
big dump of snow can lead to the loss of
many deer and that has occurred during the
last two winters in the UP.
Many other animals contend with
winter in similar ways. Raccoons, for
example, sort of withdraw, retreating to
their den trees and they will stay there
for weeks or months, venturing out only
during a winter thaw. While these
animals dont hibernate, they do
live off their fat reserves for most
of the winter, only venturing out
on serious feeding excursions after the winter has
While squirrels remain a little active, they will
only be seen on the better days. They have stashed
nuts and seeds here and there, including in their den
trees, but they appear to have difficulty finding their
hidden stores. At any rate, they spend most of the
winter in their dens, only emerging during the better
weather to raid bird feeders.
The game birds have a variety of winter solutions. The woodcock and the waterfowl head south,
along with many of the humans that live in this area
in the summer, on the same sort of timing. When
the lakes are frozen and the snow covers the landscape, including the crop fields, they pick up and
move, returning only when the snow and ice retreat.
The grouse remain, of course, since they have the
wonderful ability to feed in the trees, when the
snow gets deep, flying up into the aspens to pick off
the green buds.
The turkeys are not so lucky, since they must
feed on the ground. Those long legs and sturdy
claws enable them to dig down through the snow
for sustenance but they miss the insects and green
growth that fills out their diet in warmer months. In
the climate of northern Michigan, the turkeys are
really out of their normal digs and many of them
survive to spring only because someone feeds them.
Rabbits cope with winter fairly well. They
lack the capability to den up and live off their fat

By George Rowe

The grouse have the ability to feed in the trees, when

the snow gets deep, flying up into the aspens to pick off
the green buds. Rick Baetsen photo
reserves so they have to forage just about every day.
While the big-footed and well-furred varying hares
can cope with deep snow and just eat higher off the
brush, the more fragile cottontails can get in trouble
in deep snow so they spend most days in a hole or
warren. Deep snow and extreme cold can mean
that the cottontails freeze in their burrows since
they cant move around to forage.
The predators also suffer in the waning months
of winter. While the coyotes in Michigan get a lot
of gut piles and road-killed deer to eat in the early
months of winter, those sources of food are exhausted by January. There is a fatal pecking order
in the canines that causes the coyotes to push out
any foxes in their territory and wolves to hunt down
and kill coyotes that are too close to their haunts.
All the four-footed predators become hard-pressed
for food late in the winter, and if the winter is so
severe that it kills other animals, we will also lose
some of the predators.
The predator birds often make a move when
food gets scarce and that is why we sometimes see
snow owls and other northern birds in the winter
and perhaps why we havent seen our neighborhood
eagle all winter.
It should be evident that the animals and birds
will be just as glad to see the end of February and
the decline of winter as the rest of us.n


Upland Bird Hunting
August 15April 30


No Hunting

Michigan Association of
Gamebird Breeders & Hunting Preserves
For information & listing of our preserves near you go to:

Grand Rapids, MI 616-538-5000

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Biscayne Bay
Crest Pontoons
Fish Rite
Gator Trax Boats
Harris Deckboats
Lund Boats
Manitou Pontoons

Misty Harbor
Nitro Bass Boats
Premier Pontoons
Sea Swirl
South Bay
Stingray Boats
Sun Chaser
Sylvan Fishing Boats
Sylvan Pontoons
Tracker Fishing
War Eagle
Yamaha Jet Boats
Yamaha PWC
And More!

Anderson Boat Sales
Bees Sports
Chapmans Sport
Freeway Sports Center
Grand Pointe Marina
Wilson Marine
Wonderland Marine West

& fiShing
Take advantage of
Outdoorama only specials!

the trip
of a
Lodges, charters, fly-ins,
camps and guided trips!

Schedules & Details:

SeminarS at the
hunting & fiShing academy







Presented by Michigan Out-of-Doors TV

Show. Celebrity hosts Jimmy Gretzinger
and Jenny Olsen will interview the lucky
Michigan hunters who bagged some of the
largest whitetail deer of the season.





The Marvelous Mutts, A Canine Spectacular, is a thrilling
dog sport entertainment show that showcases some
of the worlds finest canine athletes. The dogs amaze
audiences as they flip and fly to snatch Frisbees out
of the air and race through obstacle courses with
breathtaking speed. Spectators, children and adults
alike leave The Marvelous Mutts shows with smiles on their facesafter they pick their
jaws up off the ground!
The Marvelous Mutts team members have appeared on ESPNs Great Outdoor Games,
Good Morning America, The Early Show, Fox & Friends, and The Late Show with David
Letterman. This seasoned crew of performing canines, all adopted from shelters and
rescue groups and each with an amazing story, showcase their athleticism in a fast-paced,
high energy, action-packed show!

Sponsored by

Presented by
Country Smoke House
3pm Saturday
on the Main Stage


You can display them for all to see on the buck
boards for the duration of the show!

Schedules & Details:




SpeciaL featureS
Terry McBurney, Woods-N-Water News staff writer, will be on hand
all four days of the show exhibiting some of his Made in Michigan
fishing tackle collection. Outdoorama visitors are welcome to bring
in their old fishing tackle and talk to Terry, who will be answering
questions and offering FREE appraisals.

A Pellet Shooting Range will thrill

plinkers and shooters of all ages.
Certified instructors teach accuracy and



Commemorative Bucks of Michigan

Premier Animal Attractions is a federally
will be at the show to score your
licensed, family owned, private zoo
deer, turkey, bear and elk. They will
located in Michigan. They will be at the
also have Boone and Crockett /
show with some of their exotic animals!
Pope and Young measurers to assist you. Bring
The animals are obtained through a
your trophies to Booth 5268 and have them
variety of ways including rescue, breeding programs, donation and zoo
scored while you enjoy the show.




Dick VanRaalte, from Starboard Marine Restorations of Grand Haven,

MI, who restores wood and fiberglass boats, will be on hand all four
days of the show exhibiting one of his restored classic boats as well
as a display of vintage outboards. Outdoorama visitors are invited to
come in and talk to Dick about boat restoration projects or to bring in
old outboard motors for him to appraise. Visit Starboard Marine on the
web at

Operated by Michigan B.A.S.S.
Federated Clubs as a fundraiser,
you and your kids are invited to
come and try your hand at one of
the states best trout ponds. It only
costs $5 to give it a try.



Presented by Michigan Fly Fishing Club

Outdoorama has teamed up with the best

local fly fishing stores to create a huge fly
fishing area! With continuous free fly casting
lessons and non-stop fly tying demonstrations,
this area will offer the best in information
and products to fly fishing anglers of all ages and all skill levels. Other
activities include book signings and expert advice on local fishing
opportunities from guides, professional instructors, outfitters and pros.

A large dining area has been designated as the site of the Sportsmens
Grill food court. After rave reviews last winter, the area has acquired
Ultimate status with an expanded menu, a family entertainment
area and a large bar popular with sportsmen. A basket of fish fillets
breaded in a special breading mix will be served up with fries and slaw
at a family price throughout the show.


Presented by Michigan Charter Boat


Take the trolling rod in hand, watch

the video screen and get ready! The
salmon takes that lure like a freight
train and your job is to land that fish.
Top scores for the weekend will win
charter trips on the Great Lakes.

Theresa Maybrier will be on hand

each day of the show to share tricks
of the trade for consistently bagging
more mushrooms. Mushroom
hunting is one of the top outdoor family activities in Michigan. Team
Morels goal is to promote and educate all enthusiasts in the proper
ways of hunting and collecting morel mushrooms.

Special thanks to Woods-N-Water News for producing this flyer.

Visit the Woods-N-Water News booth, Michigans premier outdoor

publication, at Outdoorama and online at 1-800-387-7824

ith Epp
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pan ha
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ShowS cturing, cre to give away to
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Schedules & Details

A ShowSpan Production

Michigans forest bird extraordinaire

any secrets of the pileated

woodpecker, the forest
bird extraordinaire of
Michigan, unfold during
winter months, and so do
dramatic photographic
opportunities. With increased visibility after leaf-fall, coupled with
audible clues and unmistakable
physical evidence; encounters with
this magnificent woodpecker become
easier in the woodlands and wildlands
and sometimes suburban and urban
Welcome to the world of the
pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus
pileatus), perhaps the most striking
forest bird of North America. Only
the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker (if alive)
is a larger woodpecker, a species
that some believe may have cheated
extinction and just perhaps survives
somewhere in the southeastern bottomland forests and swamps of the
Southeastern United States.
The pileated woodpecker is a year
round resident of Michigan and is easily and quickly recognized by its black
body, white stripes down the neck and
the most easily identifiable marking,
its brilliant flame-red crest. No other
bird boasts these markings, and the pileated is indeed a very big woodpecker with its 30 inch wingspan. With
a bit of practice it is easy to tell the
male from the female; the males have
a noticeable patch of red feathers that
run from the back of the bill across
the cheek area to a point under the
eye. Its just a black patch of feathers
in the same area for the females. The
Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
states that both the male and female
are from 15.7 to 19.3 inches long,
but trying to measure a woodpecker
in flight would be futile. But viewing
for the first time is an unforgettable,
Oh Wow! moment, made even more
dramatic when the woods are snowy
and the sky is blue.
Experienced birders, and those
with an ear to the ways of nature are
drawn to the rattling call of the pileated; often the first clue they have
entered pileated habitat. It was a
resonating burst of loud tree whacking from the bill blasting against dead
wood, combined with its intermittent call that lured me in to capture
the photos that accompany this story.
From there, it was just a matter of a
slow and steady approach to come
within range for photos.
Recognizing the call of the pileated is beneficial for photographic
captures and gives outdoor adventur-

Above: Male (note the red cheek stripe) pileated woodpeckers hunting for grubs and
hibernating insects. (Right) Classic rectangle feeding cavities of a pileated woodpecker at Sleeping Bear Dunes. Author photos
ers a starting point to track down this
beauty. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology describes the vocal variations of
the pileated woodpecker this way,
pileated woodpeckers are quite vocal, typically making a high, clear,
and series of piping calls that lasts
several seconds. The sound is quite
similar to a Northern Flickers rattling call, although it tends to be more
resonant and less even in tone, with
changing emphasis or rhythm during
the call. Pileated woodpeckers also
give shorter calls that sound like wuk,
wuk or cuk, cuk to indicate a territory
boundary or to give an alarm.
Moments after my red-crested
forest ghost landed on a snag, perhaps
100 feet from me, another more distant rattling call resonated through the
woods, silencing the constant chatter
of a red squirrel protesting my logsitting intrusion. Another three second
bust of loud tree-whacking confirmed
this was a breakfast hunt.
The pileated is very much at
home in our midst and has carved
out niches both literally and figuratively all across the state. Sometimes
nature takes drastic action that rapidly

alters habitat and favors the species. Such was the case on August 2
when straight-line winds that reached
100 mph blasted through sections of
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and part of the town of Glen
Arbor creating new habitat and future
feeding opportunities. The sudden
abundance of standing snags, combined with a matrix of downed, dead
and decaying wood beckon woodpeckers, including the pileated. I will
make an educated guess their numbers
will increase over the next few years.
Its easy to spot the feeding cavities of the pileated. Look for very
large excavated rectangular-shaped
holes created during their endless
quest for their favorite food- - carpenter ants. Their excavations are
impressive, and may be over a foot
long and four of five inches deep. The
holes are created to intercept the tunnels of carpenter ants that found sanctuary in dead and dying trees. Grubs
and hibernating bugs are also winter
prey during the cold months. After
excavating the cavernous opening
with its powerful bill, the long barbed
tongue is used to snare wood-boring


By Jonathan Schechter

larva and other meaty treats. Much to

the delight of observers, the opportunist pileated woodpecker sometimes
visits suet feeders in winter, however
the significantly smaller Red-headed
Woodpecker is often mistaken for a
small pileated when it appears. If
there is not a large red CREST on the
head, it will not be a pileated woodpecker.
And just as storms and insect damage create opportunities for the pileated, the nest hole excavations made
in early spring by the pileated woodpecker provides for other wildlife
species. The deep nest cavity within
the tree may be two feet long and can
take a month to construct. Interestingly, these nests are seldom used a
second year and that makes for great
housing opportunities for screech
owls, chickadees, wood ducks, bats
and other species of woodpeckers,
a reminder of paraphrased words attributed to John Muir, When one tugs
at a single thing in nature, he finds it
attached to the rest of the world.
These attachments created by
the pileated woodpecker are often
hidden in plain sight, but unfold their
secrets for those who take the time
to walk slowly, stop often, look and
listen as they wander the wintery
woodlands of Michigan.
Jonathan Schechter is a naturalist/paramedic in Brandon Township
and the Nature Education Writer for
Oakland County Parks. Email: oaknature@aol.comn


Weird Start To Winters Weather...By Mark Sak

bays freeze much quicker than main

lake areas. One thing that is very
important to understand with ice is
shoreline shelf ice usually forms first
and may have thickened to a point that
when anglers check the ice depth it
may be four inches, but 50 feet out the
shelf stops and the ice could easily be
one inch thick. Ive yelled to several
anglers who have walked out off the
shelf ice after checking near shore but
do not continue to check thinking it is
the same across the bay. It is a catastrophe waiting to happen.
Many lakes have springs and
current which also greatly effect ice.
This is all about friction. Remember
water can cut through rock so it can
easily make ice unsafe through the
coldest temperatures. We have a spot
on our lake which is also right next to
Probably the worst thing an angler shore and I cant tell you how many
times I have seen parents riding next
can do is hear about a great bite hapto their little one on a tiny snowmopening on a lake and head off in that
bile right near shore thinking they are
direction to see if they can join in on
running in the safe zone when actuthe fun. Dont ever head off alone in
ally they were riding over the most
this situation. Deeper lakes freeze
dangerous spring on the lake. I tried
much later than shallow lakes and

eve seen some crazy

weather this winter.
Several records for
warmth have been broken across the Midwest
and here in Michigan
we have had the warmest December
on record. Now more than ever it is
extremely important to use caution
when venturing out. As of this writing
there have already been several fatalities with anglers breaking through ice
in Minnesota. It seems there is a race
on social media to be the first one to
post an ice fishing picture online. We
need to slow down. Here are some
general guidelines to apply when
thinking about venturing onto frozen
waters this winter.

Know Your Body Of Water



6 NEW Chapters Plus New Material Added To Most Chapters
Best black bear hunting book out there! ~ C. Ramirez

All Hunting Methods

Where to Aim
Field Judging Black Bears Recovering Bear You Shoot
Scoring on Nocturnal Bears Reading Bear Sign
Field Judging



____ Field Judging Black Bears($20.00 postpaid) _______





Phone #

Quantity Cost
____*NEW* Black Bear Hunting - 2nd Edition ($40) _______
____ Great Michigan Deer Tales - Book 6 ($16.50)
____ Walking with Whitetails DVD ($24.00)
____ Deer Hunting - 4th Edition ($35.00)
____ Great Michigan Deer Tales - Book 5 ($16.50)
____ Great Michigan Deer Tales - Book 4 ($16.50)
____ Great Michigan Deer Tales - Book 3 ($16.50)
____ Great Michigan Deer Tales - Book 2 ($16.50)
____ Great Michigan Deer Tales - Book 1 ($15.50)
____ Deer Tales Set - 2 for $28; 3 for $40; 4 for $50; 5 for $60; 6 for $72 _______
Please specify which books sent to the same address.

____ Tracking Wounded Deer ($20.00)

____ Stand Hunting for Whitetails ($19.00)
____ Understanding Michigan Black Bear - 2nd Edition ($20.00) _______
____ Animal Tracks & Signs of N.A. ($23)
TOTAL _______



Please remit by MasterCard, Visa, Check or Money Order.

Circle card type:

MC/Visa #
Expiration Date


Make checks payable to: SMITH PUBLICATIONS

814 Clark St. Marquette, MI 49855

Michigan had the

warmest December on
record, now more than
ever it is extremely important to use caution
when venturing out on
the ice.

to inform one parent and he refused to

stop, thinking I was going to cuss him
out when actually I was only trying to
inform him of the unsafe ice. We now
try to throw a big tree limb over the
spot so folks dont drive there.

cracks can be 10 to 20 feet wide. Every time someone crosses a crack or

a pile of snow on a big body of water
they take their very life in their hands.
While we often think it is important to
be out at a certain depth on Saginaw
bay we also see someone else staying
shallow and hammering good fish. My
The Great Lakes present many
recommendation is dont cross cracks
more safety concerns and are extremeon big water. It is just not worth it.
ly dangerous but thousands of anglers
The last thing we should all do is
fish the Great lakes every year. Ive
for the worst. I ice fish a
actually been involved in several situgreat
seldom do I see other
ations in which we have rolled up on
life jacket, rope, flare
someone in the water or were in the
to get themselves
general vicinity of anglers who have
a break through.
drowned and it honestly made me
eventually you
rethink fishing bigger bodies of water
without a guide.
14 inches
Cracks are one of the biggest danof
gers on the big ponds. Wind pushes
pike on. Never fish alone or feel the
the ice and causes it to separate. As
the ice scrapes back and forth against need to be the first one on the ice.
the other side of the ice flow it creates Also know that common markers for
holes or bad spots on most lakes are
slush and often fills the crack totally
with what looks like snow. As it starts branches that folks have thrown down
to refreeze or wind blows snow across to warn others that there is bad ice. It
could be a spearing hole or just bad
the ice it looks like an innocent little
ice. I wish you the best in 2016 and
pile of snow sitting on solid ice until
the unknowing quad rider run over it
hope you have a safe ice fishing
and fall right in. Quads dont ride on experience. Ill see you on safe
open water very well. Some of these

The Great Lakes

Go To:

Commemorative Bucks of Michigan P.O. Box 307 Owosso, Michigan 48867 Phone (517) 679-6226

Commemorative Bucks of Michigan is a non-profit organization that measures and maintains records on trophy class Whitetail Deer,
Black Bear, Elk and Turkeys, taken by fair chase in the state of Michigan. We use the Boone and Crockett method to score all three
big game species. Visit our web site to learn more and get connected to the latest in Michigan hunting.

Boat Smart...By Captain Fred Davis

or many years I have written

a series of articles regarding
perilous events that occurred
on Lake Huron. Many of them
told of great losses and dangerous conditions faced by the
vessels and people involved.
Occasionally an event happened
that was humorous and amused our
crew. One such event took place near
the Port Austin lighthouse.
A tugboat that had been converted
to a pleasure craft passed my fishing
charter boat, Miss Port Austin, on a
heading toward the reef that supports
the lighthouse. I kept a close eye on
the vessel and when I was certain he
was going to go aground on the reef,
I began calling the operator on the
VHF. I also made several emergency
signal blasts.
I concluded there was no way I
could stop the boat if it continued on
its present course. My customers,
twenty eager anglers, were enjoying
a good day of fishing. I turned my
attention back to assisting them, realizing I could not help the endangered
craft. I continued to glance in the
direction of the tug as it appeared to
have gone behind the lighthouse and
perhaps would pass the reef safely.
The fish were biting well, customers were bringing in two at a time
which kept me and my crewman
very busy so I was unable to observe
the tug boat any further. When the
charter time expired, we raised anchor
preparing to get underway back to
the harbor. Suddenly the passengers
began to excitedly call my attention to
black smoke bellowing from behind
the lighthouse. The sight gave the appearance the lighthouse was actually
on fire.
The smoke was from the tug
which had indeed firmly grounded on

the reef. The captain was attempting

to power off by running his engines
and the more he did so, the harder he
was aground. As I passed outside the
grounded vessel, the captain finally
responded on the VHF and asked me
if I knew how he could get off the
reef, indicating urgency. He told me
his boat had a seven foot draft with a
steel-beam keel.
I told the captain the only boat
in the immediate area big enough to
remove him was mine and advised I
would have to take my passengers to
the dock. I explained that I was the
owner, operator of the local towing
company and assured him I would
return and remove him from the reef.
I suggested he cease his efforts to
power off until I returned.
Another of my crewmembers on
shore was dispatched to head out with
a smaller vessel to keep an eye on
the tug and standby to pass a towline
to it. As soon as my passengers, all
very happy, were off my boat I got
underway to see if I could help the
grounded boat. It was half-again the
length of my vessel and could present
a problem not easily resolved.
The captain aboard the vessel I
sent out to survey conditions reported
and we set a plan. He took a line over
to the tug and told him to stand by. I
told the tugboat captain once we got
underway to follow in a straight line
behind me until I removed the towline. Specifically, he was told exactly
what to do once his boat was floating
free. I explained what would occur
if he differed from my directives he
would ground again. If I had to stress
my vessel to remove him again, I
would charge a second fee.
With an extreme strain on the
hawser, we were able to swing sideto-side and gently remove the tug. As

The tug was half again the length of the authors vessel and could be
difficult to handle.
soon as the boat was free, the tug captain threw off the towline and headed
for the port. As I picked my way off
the reef, I watched the tug once again
go aground. Because he did not follow my boat, as I advised and took
another course, he placed his vessel in
shallower water than before.
Finally the captain responded to
my directives and the second removal
went well. He followed me until we
reached deep water than preceded
along the markers into port. My crew
on the small vessel had gone to shore
to help the tug dock. As my crewman
approached the tug, expecting the captain to pass a line, a huge, black, furry
animal leaped off the bow of the boat
and knocked him down. He thought
for a moment it was a bear but later

learned it was a very large Bouvier

dog that had to find a spot to drain his
The owner of the boat told us his
big dog was the reason for all the
trouble caused. It seems the dog had
to go but would not do it on the boat
in spite of the nice, potted tree placed
on the stern for his use. He just
wanted all four paws on solid ground
and real grass.
My crewman that got knocked
down really understood because the
dogs eyes looked crossed.
Captain Fred Davis is a retired
charter captain and nationally published author of boating articles. His
Boat Smart articles are published
online at

HUNTING for the purrfect Valentine's

Gift for you or someone else?



Why not a 2016 UP Adventure

at Devils Creek Lodge this year?


he New Year is officially upon

us. Like it or not, 2016 is here.
The end of one year and the
beginning of another triggers
emotions and memories.
Its a good time to reflect
and tell hunting stories about lessons
learned and the one that got away.
One of the best parts of being a
hunter is the journey. People outside
the hunting world often struggle to see
that there is so much more to hunting
than just the kill. When I think back to
my greatest memories in the outdoors,
they seldom have anything to do with
filling my tag. When I reflect back I
realize how lucky I really am.

My Greatest Hunting Memories

All revolve around hunting with

my daughters or my dad. My greatest
hunts have nothing to do with huge
antlers or monster bucks. The best
memories are based around people,
not points.
I have been able to hunt all over
America, but my favorite hunts have
taken place in Michigan. I do have
to admit, hunting in Pike County, Il-

linois was magical and a bow hunters

dream. But it wasnt my favorite hunt.
My greatest joy comes from taking my daughters out to the woods. I
remember taking three little girls out turkey hunting
when my twins were five
and my youngest daughter
was three. My wife also
joined us and we were
so loud that I knew we
wouldnt see anything. We
didnt, not even a squirrel.
But it was so fun!
My youngest had
brought a stuffed
animal with her and
kept sticking it out
the window as a decoy. We laughed
and laughed, the hunt lasted about 20
minutes, but the memory of that will
last a lifetime.
I was with Abby when she shot
her first deer, a big doe in the snow. I
was beaming with pride as she steadied her gun and pulled the trigger like
a seasoned veteran. She was eight. I
was with my other daughters when
they shot their first squirrels. Seeing

their excitement was so refreshing and

reminded me of why I hunt.
As far as my own individual
greatest hunt, that hunt took place in
December 2009. Earlier
that year, I had found out
that I received a coveted
Michigan bull elk tag.
Wow! I will never forget
that feeling of finding
out I would was going to
hunt free-roaming Wapiti
in Michigan. The odds
of drawing a bull elk tag
are slim to none, so
I thanked God for
being drawn. It was
mid-December as my
dad and I, along with our good friend
Jason Allen arrived in Atlanta. Allen, is host of The Rush T.V. and was
traveling along for moral support and
to video for his television show.
That night it snowed 12-inches
and I was a little nervous the heavy
snow fall would make elk hunting
tough. The landscape was gorgeous
and painted pure white, it looked like
something out of a Hallmark movie.

By Lane Walker

We met the guide and traveled to

our hunting zone. We got on a big
bull early only to watch it walk off
out of sight on private land. We had
an eventful day, we even got stuck a
couple times. That night I was able to
shoot a wonderful 6x6 elk. The snow
was so deep it took ten guys to drag it
down the hill to the logging road. The
best was having my dad with me for
the entire hunt.
Not only did I have a huge bull
and my hunt on DVD, I got to experience everything with my best friend,
my number one hunting buddy.
will never forget the excitement when
my dad found the first blood of the
wounded bull and walking up seeing
huge antlers sticking out of the snow.
The entire hunt still feels like a
dream at times. I have to walk over
and see my elk mounted in our cabin
to remind myself how real it was.
Enjoy all the great hunting memories youve created and are them.
Get excited for all the new ones
that will be made this year and all the
great friends and families youll share
them with.n


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4989 Abbot Road Reading, MI 49274

Hunts Conducted On

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(Including Blues)

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From 47 Years Of Selective Breeding

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Does $250 Bucks $900

Gun Chat: Single-Actions

ow and then guns I havent

fired for a while got to the
range. First was a singleaction, an Old Model Ruger
Blackhawk .357, with an
auxiliary cylinder in 9mm
Luger. I used it, and other guns, to
test PerFecta 9mm FMJ ammo that
Id just discovered. Although other revolvers have been made with auxiliary
cylinders its easier to do with singleactions. Besides the .357/9mm combo
Ruger also makes a .45 Colt/.45 ACP
Last summer I spent an evening
shooting steel plates with a Colt New
Frontier .22 single-action. I hadnt
shot it in months, but it was as accurate as I remembered. It is also one
of my louder .22s. I think the rise in
decibels is because the gap between
the barrel and the cylinder is wider
than I expected it would be. When
I noticed the gap, I thought the Colt
might be less accurate than my other
.22 revolvers. I was wrong. Its as
good as some, and more accurate than
The next week I shot plates again.
This time the single-action was my
original .357 Blackhawk that I bought
in 1979. It was the second center-fire

handgun I owned and got me into

reloading. The Blackhawk was my
small game revolver for years. I also
brought it along as backup to a 16
gauge shotgun while deer hunting. I
shot NRA Hunters Pistol Silhouette
matches with it too. The Blackhawk
was the gun I did best with at
silhouettes. It even surpassed
the scoped Thompson Center
Contender pistol in .357
Maximum I tried later.
The old Blackhawk has
a good trigger. It is accurate
with factory .357 loads, and
my .357 and .38 Special
reloads. It hasnt seen a
lot of factory rounds but
has fired many reloaded
.38s. I used reloads on the steel plates
and, when I hit them, they went right
When I first shot the Blackhawk, I
found it hit center with the Air Force
surplus .38 Special ammo Id bought
along with it. It also hit center with
the reloads I made with the spent
cases from that ammo, and with various commercial and reloaded .357s.
In fact, in all the years Ive owned it,
Ive never had to adjust the sights.
I guess the original owner must

have looked at the world the same

way I do. Cowboy action shooters use
single-actions and shooters who spend
time on horseback also favor them.
They are featured in mounted cowboy action shooting games. Others
who keep these obsolete revolvers
around are those who just
like shooting them. I fall into
that category.
My first Blackhawk came
with a worn Hunter holster.
The holster looks worse
now, but still works. The
Blackhawk is fairly heavy
but due to the long barrel and
single-action balance
rides well on a belt when
Im fishing or hunting
small game.
In the movies, and on TV, nearly
everyone cocks a single-action with
the thumb of the shooting hand. That
tends to loosen the firing grip because
the hand shifts as the thumb moves.
I usually shoot revolvers and
pistols two-handed. Many years
ago, when shooting the Blackhawk,
I began cocking the gun with the
thumb of my left hand. Thats faster,
and doesnt disturb my firing grip as

By Lee Arten

Shooting that way a single-action

can be fired quickly and accurately.
While shooting steel I was able to
keep up with another shooter using a
semi-auto pistol, at least for the first
few shots. If I missed my first or second shot, I generally could not catch
up. You cant miss fast enough to
win, is as true at the steel plate racks
as it was when I first heard it at bowling pin shoots, years ago.
Like the Colt 1873 Peacemaker
they were based on, original Ruger
single-actions should be carried with
five rounds in the cylinder and the
hammer down on an empty chamber. To load five I fill one cylinder,
skip the next one, and then load four.
Cocking the gun and lowering the
hammer then leaves an empty cylinder
under the hammer.
Ruger changed the design in 1973
adding a safety, and the New Model
Ruger single-actions can be routinely
loaded with six rounds. All other
safety rules still apply.
Having fired single-actions again
recently, I might decide to take something else to the range next time. But
my Blackhawks are always fun to use,
and accurate with a variety of loads.
Theyre good to have around.n



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Thats Just The Way I Am

Black Powder
By Dennis Neely


he stock truck is here, someone

called out.
A metallic-blue Chevrolet
Silverado pickup, heaped high with
maple gun stock blanks from an
Indiana sawmill, stopped on the
north side of the demonstration pavilion behind
Gunmakers Hall.
Troy Sweeney stepped out of the drivers side;
Lee Graver closed the passenger door. Good morning, Richard, Sweeney said, extending his hand.
Lee and I brought some nice stocks for you to look
Richard Miller, Graver and Sweeney exchanged
pleasantries, then Miller peered over the back of the
tailgate and started inspecting stock blanks. Thats
a no-doubter, Miller said as he pulled a creamcolored, wavy-grained blank from the truck.
Lets put this one in the see what well do
pileheres a good onethis one will work
theres a pistol in that one, without a doubtnow
thats one thats hard to sell, Miller said with a
scowl as he ran his fingers over a patch of rough
bark on the thick planks future comb area. People
shy away from the bark, but that will all end up in


That much bark is a hard sell, Richard Miller (left) said as Troy Sweeney (right) looked on. With the
right rifle and the right builder, it will work out. Wild Rivertree photos
the sawdust pile when the shaping starts, plus it has
a nice curly grain
Forty-five minutes later Miller and Sweeney
dickered over the stacked gunstock blanks Miller
selected. With the deal done and the bill paid, the
three again shook hands, then Sweeney and Graver
got back in the truck and drove on to their next
buyer. Miller loaded his treasures in his van and
returned to the back porch of Gunmakers Hall on
the home grounds of the National Muzzle Loading
Rifle Association, located in Friendship, Indiana.
The NMLRAs Spring National Shoot in June
and the National Championship Shoot in September

A. D. Stokes (left) watched Richard Miller scrape the carvings background smooth with a surgical scalpel.
I always learn something new from you, Richard, Stokes said.

attract participants and spectators with like interests in Americas rich muzzleloading heritage. The
association supports and promotes a broad array of
programs, including seminars and demonstrations
of historical arms making.
Richard Miller has been chairman of the
NMLRAs Gunmakers Hall committee since 2002.
During the national shoots, racks inside the two-story log cabin display the exquisite craftsmanship of
noted black powder gun makers from across North
America and Europe. Shooters, collectors and historians chat on the front porch. On the back porch
and under the adjacent open-sided pavilion, talented
artisans demonstrate the art of re-creating the iconic
American longrifle.
I started working on the back porch 23 years
ago to show people what gun builders do, Miller
said. We added the covered structure so more
builders could demonstrate their skills. We raffle a
gun each year, (Miller built the first gun raffled in
the early 1980s). We started hand-rifling the barrels we use for those guns so they arent something
Miller sells some of his stock blanks, plus he
gives a blank to the maker who builds the raffle
gun. Other vendors donate parts for the raffle guns
in support of the fundraising project.
This is an American longrifle in the style of J.
P. Beck who lived from 1750 to 1811, Miller explained to a father and son who wandered onto the
back porch during the June, 2015, shoot. Presumably he was a maker from 1770 to his death.
This rifle has a .36-caliber, 38-inch swamped
(the barrels contour thins in the midsection to
reduce weight) Rice barrel, brass furniture, as the
trim is called, Davis double set triggers and a Jim
Chambers Late Ketland flint lock. Ketland was
a lock maker in England from the late-1700s into
the mid-1800s. He was a provider of locks to the
trade, as they said back then, just as Chambers is
Ive made a number of Becks, but nothing in
recent history, Miller said in response to a question
from the father. This style rifle is what the customer wants. Its not a copy of any particular Beck rifle,
as if you were making an exact museum copy. We,

as gun makers, take some liberty with the guns we

build, adding or omitting an element to the artistic
carving, for example. But the overall look will be
that of Beck.
Today Im working on the carving around the
ramrod entry pipe, Miller said to the young man
as he pulled the gray OptiVisor magnifier down
over his glasses. Step over here so you can see.
The styles from the European Rococo era.
The Michigan native set a half round file on the
bench. The work-polished walnut used for a handle
caught the teenagers attention. The youth tried to
hide his curiosity. Miller smiled, pointed to eight or
so walnut-handled files in an old divided drawer on
the bench and continued. I always get comments
on the walnut handles. Walnuts are cheap and they
make a good handle.
A gentleman wearing a blue striped colonial
shirt and a straw tri-cornered hat stepped up on the
back porch. I just come over here to watch, A. D.
Stokes said as he tipped his head to focus his bifocals. I like to watch the master at work. You never
stop learning, and you always learn something new
when you watch Richard.
The father and son moved to Millers left as
he used the tip of a surgical scalpel to scrape the
background around a curled leaf. The carving is a
part of the gun you never really finish, Miller said
without looking up. You just get to the point you
quit, but, you have to know when you reach that
The goal is to get the background perfectly
smooth. Thats one of the biggest problems with
carving; the person doing the carving quits too
soon and doesnt clean it up. The idea is to make
this vegetation look real and natural.
Maple is very elastic. The cells take on moisture and give it off with ease. If you build a gun in
the winter, the wood swells in the summer beyond
the brass and steel parts; build a gun in the summer
and it shrinks in winter. Thats the way the originals were.
I stain it with nitric acid, Miller answered
when the father asked how the stock was finished.
You have to be careful when you work with it.
I put it on with a tooth brush and use a heat gun.
Your wifes hair dryer wont do. With the right
amount of heat the nitric acid blushes out to a nice
chestnut color, like the old rifles.
Next I neutralize it with baking soda and water. You dont have to, but its a good idea so three
years later you dont have something rusted in that
you cant get apart. After the wood is dry, I use
Laurel Mountain stain. It deepens the color. On the
bare wood Ill put Permalyn tung oil, then a rub-on

As Richard Miller scraped the curled leafs contour, he spoke of 18th-century artisan J. P. Beck and how Becks
longrifle carvings appeared lifelike and natural.
Thank you, Mr. Miller, the young man said before he turned to leave.
As a young teenager, Richard built his first
muzzleloader, a percussion pistol, from scavenged
parts. I was 17. Ive been building for 54 years.
Ive built over 180 guns in that time; its really not
that many.
Richard Miller is quick to point out the methods he uses are what work best for him. Every
person works different and learns based on his or
her own circumstance, he said when discussing
inletting locks with several other experienced gun
makers. If you get 50 gun makers together and
have them build a rifle, you will get 50 different
methods and they all work, if you get an acceptable
end product.
For example, I make all of my sights, thimbles, trigger guards and butt plates. I have a hard
time paying five dollars for a rear sight I can make
in four hours of my time. I can be rigid that way.
Theres a lot of cut and try, and there are so
many operations involved with building a gun that
you dont like to do that it makes you question why

you do it. I do it because I can do it, because Ive

learned how to do it, and because I enjoy sharing
that knowledge with other people. Thats just the
way I am
Give the black powder shooting sports a try, be
safe and may God bless you.n

Muzzle Loading Association State Shoots

Feb 6-MSMLA Annual Meeting
Eaton Rapids CC: 11 am: 810-639-7479
Feb 7-Woods Walk: Clinton River Muzzle
Loaders: Detroit Sportsman Congress
Feb 12-14-Hog Rendezvous: Tecumseh
Feb 21-Numb Skull Shoot: Bridgeport
Feb 21-Line Match: Washtenaw Sportsman
Club: 734-484-1243
For a complete 2016 shoot schedule, send a SASE or
e-mail to: Ron Fernwalt, 16808 Peach Ridge, Kent
City, MI, 49330, or email Ron

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Reducing Felt Recoil in Centerfire Rifles...By Joe Delaney

Big bore accuracy

in the deer woods

n July 2015 the MDNR announced more federal money for

the expansion of the private land
hunter access tracts. Expect to see
Walk In Hunting Only(WIHO)
signs in many of these plots.
This is standard format even in the
designated large land mass of western
states; public access programs. All
private land owners want foot traffic
only, it reduces erosion, littering and
noise pollution. This is good news for
the serious on foot hunter
Michigan deer hunters have
always had the need for strong knock
down power and therefore usually use
medium/heavy ordnance. In dense
swamp tangles and thick brush a big
whitetail buck is easy to wound and
lose with a small caliber rifle. Multiple magnums have now replaced
many of yesterdays 30-30s. Revived
behemoths like the 45/70 and the
newer 444 marlin and other big bore
brush guns are not rare; nor is their recoil. The new southern Michigan Limited Firearms Regulations allow some


1/2 WEEK


centerfire cartridges like the popular

Thumper 450. It shoots a 250 gr. projectile more than 400 feet faster than
the three inch Remington magnum
20ga. slug (Off the bench with no lead
sled, 20ga. slugs kick like a mule). I
shot my first deer with my Thumper
450 Thanksgiving morning about 8
am. I saw the buck flip over through
the scope when I pulled the trigger.
Incredible (!
The big bang in these wonderful big bore brush guns is no theory.
In fact, according to the 9th edition
Hornady Handbook of Cartridge
Reloading, the 450 Thumper (aka 450
bushmaster), is big enough for any
North American big game; up to 250
yards. Hornady ballistics tables are
available at
All of this is potential good news for
Michigan deer hunters.

Marksman Cody Ericsson at 25 yards shot this bulls eye using the authors
450 Thumper, cold barrel, first shot accuracy. Author photo

caliber mags, you get a big buck on

your end of the butt every time you
fire or how about a scope smack in
the eyelid and a laid open eyebrow?
Flinching and missing can become
epidemic. So, whats the answer?
Proper scope eye relief is only a
beginning. To prevent injury regarding
proper eye relief for big bore rifles,
in the Leupold rifle scope owners
handbook, a maximum adjusted eye
relief is advised at scope installation.
Leupold scopes offer a generous
3 to 5 eye relief, depending on the
With the trend toward medium
weight rifles at 8-8 1/2 pounds scoped, model and the magnification level,
what about recoil? With some of
If you watch the TV hunting shows
these big bores and even the smaller
(and others) good information and the
latest technology are in constant review. Good Stuff! Backpacks, walking sticks and medium weight rifles
with 24-26 barrels are the norm.
Almost all of these carry rifles have
muzzle brakes and for good reason,
they work. This is the main focus
for this story, reducing felt recoil on
centerfire rifles.
A substantial recoil pad is only a
start to the answer to this problem.
A good muzzle brake maximizes the
function and value of a hard shooting
big bore magnum rifle because they:
Reduces felt recoil up to 45%
(depending on caliber).
Eliminates 99% of all muzzle
jump. You can see how a deer reacts
when you fire.
Does not affect accuracy in a
rifle whose bore is within 10% concentricity (center of the barrel). Apparently some rifles are off as much as
All muzzle brakes come with
a replacement threaded sleeve that
allows-easy-removal-and-quick replacement. Rifle use with or without a
brake is always optional.
The loss of accuracy on some
older rifles is sometimes corrected
when a brake is installed. A good
barrel smith accomplishes this via
recrowning to the muzzle (with or
without a muzzle brake installation).
Muzzle brakes perform best on
centerfire rifles.
Shotguns and muzzleloaders
require Mag-na-porting. This porting
process was invented by Larry Kelley

from Mag-Na-Port International, Inc.

in Harrison Twp., but thats another
story for another time.

The Benefits of Reduced

Felt Recoil On Big Bores

A friend of mine, Pat Ericsson, has

a 14 year old son, Cody, who is an
accomplished marksman. Already a
seasoned deer hunter, Cody has more
than a few deer (bow and rifle) to his
credit. During a rifle shooting session
last August we tested four different
long guns. When shooting at 25 yards
from a rest Cody made a bulls-eye,
his first shot with my 450 Thumper.
Next he shot some very good groups
with two different 44 magnums.
Lastly, he fired the Thumper again,
offhand leaning against a tree at 85
paces...a near perfect shot, a 1/2 inch
to the right of the 1 1/4 diameter
bulls-eye. The target was at an offset
35 degree slanted angle. This shot
then was a hairs breath from another
A good muzzle brake makes even
an eight pound 450 Thumper tolerable for a flyweight sharpshooter like
Cody. An immediate review of the
features/benefits regarding muzzle
brakes is available at www.magnaport.
com or 586-469-6727.
With Wipe-Out foam cleaner,
brake cleaning is simple maintenance,
at regular cleaning. No oil or
preservative is ever needed the
protectant is contained within the
product. First shot accuracy is
assured and no dry patching is
necessary after storage. A pipe
cleaner or Q-tips or offer quick port
hole finishing, depending on the
type/size of the muzzle brake
Its obvious that I prefer medium
weight, about 8-81/2 pounds big bore
rifles for deer hunting. Undoubtedly,
at my age heavy recoil is not part of
my desired arsenal.
Thank goodness for all types
of felt recoil reducing technology
and the technicians who make it
possible. This information is good
for every Michigan deer hunter.
It reduces felt recoil in centerfire
rifles and maximizes big bore
accuracy in the deer woods.n

Weighed Close To 500 Pounds/The Skull Scores 20 7/16By Richard P. Smith


ever taken.
Based on the chest girth and
length measurements of Hommes
bear, its live weight may have been
closer to 460 pounds. A table in my
book the 2nd edition of Black Bear
Hunting gives hunters an approximation of how much their bear weighed,
if they know the chest girth and length
from nose to tail. Davids bear had a
chest girth of 54 inches and a length
of 75 inches.
According to the table, bruins with
a chest girth of 54 inches and length
between 66 and 78 inches, they would
weigh about 460 pounds, but bears
with a length of more than 78 inches
would weigh around 507 pounds.
Since the length of Hommes bear was
toward the high end of the lengths
listed, it was probably closer to 480 or
490 pounds.
Regardless of the bears exact
weight, David was happy to connect
on such a big bruin. The animal actually proved to be much larger than he
thought it was when he shot it.
When I saw the bear, he was so
well proportioned, I thought he was in
the 200 to 250-pound range, Hommes said.
It was the fourth day of his hunt
when David saw the big one. When
his guide took him to the bait he
would be hunting, he told him he
had trail camera photos of a bear that
he thought would weigh about 400
pounds at that spot. The bait was on a
ridge and Hommes was in a tree stand
with a good view of the bait.
I didnt see anything during the
first two days of hunting, David said.
It was raining on the third day, so I
was wearing a raincoat. A bear came
in that evening, but when I moved just
a little bit the raincoat made a noise
and the bear took off.
Hommes isnt sure if the bear
he saw on the evening of the 18th is
the same one he saw the day before.

It appeared about 6:40 p.m. Central

Time. Before the bruin got to the bait,
it disappeared, and David thought it
left, but the bear was simply circling
the bait.
He was relieved when it reappeared. When the bear was almost to
the bait and broadside, David put a
180-grain Remington Core Lokt Bullet from his Browning BAR .30-06
behind the bruins shoulder. The bear
reacted by jumping on the closest tree.
The sound of him grabbing that
tree was louder than the gunshot,
Hommes commented. It was awesome.
The bear died in a matter of seconds. When it lost its grip on the tree,
it rolled down the ridge.
David realized the bear was bigger than he thought when he reached
the carcass, but the size of the bruin
didnt really sink in until he got it to
a taxidermist and realized how large
a form would be required for a full
mount. The book bear is the second
bruin David has taken. His first was
a 180-pound female that he got six
David Hommes with his record book black
years earlier when also hunting with
bear taken in the U.P.
Ed Davis.n

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avid Hommes from Brown

City bagged another big bear
from the UP with a skull that
qualifies for entry in Boone
and Crockett Records in the
honorable mention category.
While hunting in the Amasa Bear
Management Unit on the evening
of September 18 with Ed Davis
D&D guide Service, Hommes shot a
bruin with a live weight close to 500
pounds. The bears skull officially
scores 20 7/16, according to John
Ohmer, who is a measurer for both
state and national big game records
maintained by Commemorative Bucks
of Michigan and the Boone & Crockett Club.
Black bear skulls that score at
least 21 make it into B&Cs alltime
records. Those that exceed 20 are
listed during the scoring period during
which they are entered. Thirteen-yearold Buddy Beyer from Menominee
collected an even bigger bruin in
Menominee County on September 20
while hunting with his mother. That
bear had a dressed weight of 470
pounds and the skull had a green score
of 20 14/16.
Since bear skulls often shrink
1/8-of-an-inch during the 60-day drying period, Beyers bear should have
an official measurement close to 20
Hommes never did get an accurate
weight on his bear. He did attempt to
weigh the animal, but the winch he
was hoisting the carcass with broke
when the scale was on 420 pounds.
Since the weather was warm, the
hunter decided to process the animal
rather than spend more time trying to
weigh it.
Everyone knew the bruin weighed
more than 420, but not how much
more. Davis estimated the bears live
weight at approximately 500 pounds.
He said the animal was the largest one
any of the hunters he has guided had


Cold weather is the hot

time for Great Lakes
minnow harvesters

alling water temperatures can

mean a lot of things to those
who enjoy the outdoors.
Cold water increases interest in steelhead fishing, for
instance, and decreases the
focus on bass fishing. However, to Jeff
Slancik of Bay County, cold water
means just one thing: Its time to catch
Slancik, 49, of Pinconning is a
bait dealer whose business heats up
when the weather cools down.
In cold weather, the baitfish head
inshore from the Great Lakes and
thats when Slancik can catch them in
large volume and keep them alive in
ponds for the winter.
You have to wait until the water
temperature comes down, Slancik
said. Id say in a typical year we start
around Nov. 1 and youre lucky to see
past Dec. 1. We lost the first week of
November this year because it was too
warm. Once that water gets down to
40 degrees, you can catch minnows.
The colder it is, the longer we can
keep the minnows.

Slancik has operated Jeffs Bait

Co. in Pinconning for 25 years. Hes
one of a number of Michigan commercial bait wholesalers who catch
minnows and sell them to distributors,
who then get them to the bait shops
anglers depend upon.
Minnow harvesters are licensed by
the Michigan Department of Natural
Resources. Tom Goniea, the DNR
fisheries biologist who oversees the
program from Lansing, said there are
about 80 licensed minnow catchers in
Michigan, but only a handful of large
operators like Slancik.
Most of the catchers licenses
belong to guys who own retail shops
and may catch minnows every now
and then to sell to their customers,
Goniea said. Ninety percent of the
states bait harvest is coming out of
Saginaw Bay, the St. Clair River,
the Detroit River and Lake Erie. Its
mostly emerald and spottail shiners.
Your fatheads, golden shiners and
Jeff Slancik, of Jeffs Bait Co. in Pinconning, dips up minnows from a holding
suckers are largely imported.
net where theyd been transferred from the seine. MDNR photos
Minnow harvesters are
When they reached a point a
gear they can use.
restricted to the types and size of
On the Great Lakes, they can use couple yards off the back end of the
cut, Slancik sprang into action, bringa 125-foot seine, Goniea said. Inland waters have different regulations ing dip nets and a larger floating pen
that vary by water type. In Michigan, net with him.
The trio began scooping up minmost waters are open to minnow
nows, weeding through them to toss
harvest unless they are specifically
out the non-minnow captives, mostly
perch, and transferring the minnows
For Slancik, a recent day began
into the net pen.
on a cut (a nonflowing man-made
channel connected to a larger body
The fish were then filtered through
of water which aids in getting boats
a grader a floating device with
access to open water) along Saginaw
a slotted bottom which allowed the
Bay not far from home.
smaller fish to slip through to the pen,
Two of Slanciks employees
but contained the larger fish.
manned the ends of a seine stretched
From there, they again dipped
across the cut, one on the bank, the
the minnows up with hand nets and
other in a float tube along the edge of sorted, tossing out perch or other nonthe deeper side of the cut.
target species, transferring the minSlowly, they pulled the seine tonows into 5-gallon buckets.
ward the inside end of the cut, where
Slancik took a bucket to his truck,
Slancik directed them.
which is equipped with numerous,


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A seine pulled tight to shore that contains minnows for sorting and harvesting. The net had been positioned in a cut off Saginaw Bay.
heads that they want spottails. These
days, there are more emeralds than
spottails. It used to be the other way
Slancik said there are more baitfish in Lake Huron now than ever.
Lake Huron is like a big fish
tank you can only put so many fish
in an aquarium, Slancik said. When
one is up, the other is down, but spottails are slowly coming back.
Slancik said hes seeing more gizzard shad and alewives lately, too.
The DNR monitors the minnow
harvest to make sure invasive species
and those that can carry diseases

such as viral hemorrhagic septicemia

(VHS) arent spread.
In the summer months, when
minnows cant be kept in ponds, a lot
of minnows are imported.
But in winter, if youre seeking
a Pure Michigan experience say
walleye fishing through the ice
youre likely using minnows caught
right here in Michigan, by commercial bait harvesters like Slancik.
For more information on Michigan minnows, visit the DNRs webpage at

Provided By MDNR

25th Annual

Saturday, March 19th, 2016



From November first to Deoxygenated tanks. There, he sorted

cember, its go, go, go, sometimes 24
one more time, removing any nonminnow fish before he transferred the hours a day for five days straight,
Slancik said. On a good day, well
minnows to the truck tank.
get 300 gallons of minnows, about
Slancik said sorting takes a lot
700 per gallon.
of time. Had they found many more
Minnows are sold by the gallon
perch or other unwanted specimens
commercially in Michigan. In some
in the seine, he said he would have
others states, theyre sold by the
dumped the whole load back into the
cut and gone elsewhere.
Like most fishing pursuits, SlanSlancik has been catching minnows his whole life. He started work- ciks minnow catching luck runs hot
and cold.
ing for his great-uncle Frank of
Ive had catches of 1,000 galFranks Great Outdoors in Linwood
lons, no problem.
fame who SlanOne time we caught
cik called the Fred
10,000 gallons and
Bear of minnowI only needed 1,000
gallons. I let the
Slancik works
other 9,000 gallons
a territory from
go, Slancik said.
Pinconning north
But Ive had times
and east along the
when Ive worked
thumb of the state to
all day and only
Port Austin in Huron
caught 20 gallons.
County. More than
Slancik said he
half the minnows
puts between 7 milhe takes are used in
lion and 10 million
the local Saginaw
minnows in ponds,
Bay area. In a cold
which he keeps aerwinter, with good
ated, for the winter
ice, 75 percent of his
A perch is removed from a dip net season.
minnows are sold
full of minnows.
I can keep up
to 2,000 gallons in
a pond, but I want to back off a little
this year because we might have a
warmer winter, he said. Bigger
minnows survive better in the ponds.
The smaller minnows dont have the
strength to be caught in warmer temperatures and held until spring.
State law prohibits minnows
caught in Michigan to be exported
out of state.
Any minnow that is harvested in
Michigan is meant to meet the local
demand of Michigan anglers, without disturbing the food chain for our
Since 1979
predator fishes such as trout, walleye
Largest Selection
Wood/Gas/Pellet/Corn Stoves
and smallmouth bass, Goniea said.
Fireplaces/Gas Logs/BBQs
Goniea said minnow harvestHearth Accessories, Patio and More
ers are not doing any damage to the
fisheries resource.
In almost all cases, human harvest has little to no effect on available
resources, he said. On a place like
Saginaw Bay, a million emerald shiners is a minute part of the population.
Walleyes, bass and the other predator
fish control the bait population. Human harvest is a drop in the bucket,
and minnows are capable of explosive growth and reproduction.
This fall, Slancik has mostly
caught emerald shiners, the minnows
Let us install a
anglers call blues. Spottail shiners,
beautiful high efficiency
known as grays, were down a little.
gas, wood or pellet insert!
Spottails tend to run larger than
ROMEO WATERFORD emeralds. Lake trout fishermen like
spottails, just because of their size.
70790 Van Dyke
4994 Dixie Hwy.
Romeo, MI 48065 Waterford, MI 48329
But big emeralds will work just as
well, Slancik said. We noticed that
877-836-6388 877-936-6388
last year because nobody caught spotSTORE HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 10am to 6pm Sat. 10am to 4pm Closed Sundays
tails. But people get it stuck in their


The author caught this

jumbo walleye on a tipup on Little Bay De Noc

Tips on how to enjoy ice

fishing on the Great Lakes
without the typical hassles...

and get some exercise in the process.

In so doing, I seem to have more fun
on the ice. Walleyes arent the only
highly desired species available to ice
fishermen without ATVs or snowmobiles either. Pike, perch and trout are
just some of the other species anglers
can target. Read on for some tips and
locations on how to enjoy ice fishing
t is certainly possible to enjoy
on the Great Lakes without the typical
world class ice fishing for wallhassles.
eyes on the Great Lakes without
Last year I made my annual ice
an ATV or a Snowmobile. Ive
been doing it for decades and you fishing trip to the UP during late
February. Ive been ice fishing on
can too. In fact I even own two
ATVs and just dont like the hassle of Little Bay De Noc for decades and I
even used to guide ice fishermen there
having to mess around with them for
ice fishing. I like to keep things simple many years ago too. Little Bay De


By Michael Veine


Greg Veine caught this nice walleye last year on a frigid day in February.

Noc is one of my favorite winter fishing destinations. The ice is very consistent there and as long as you plan a
trip for mid to late winter, anglers can
just drive their vehicles onto the ice in
many places.
My brother Greg Veine and my
cousin Bob Williams joined me on
that adventure last year. It had been a
brutally cold winter with the ice thickness measured in feet and not inches.
We stayed at my remote cabin located
not too far from Gladstone. The road
to my camp though is not plowed, so
we had to snowshoe in about one mile
pulling all our gear in Jet Sleds.
That one mile jaunt is normally
not a big deal, but the thermometer
read -15 that first morning of our trip.
There was a brisk wind too, so I knew
that it would be nearly impossible to
jig for walleyes, even in a portable
shanty. We decided to just drive to the
north end of the Bay and set a spread
of tip-ups along a shallow flat adjacent
to a drop-off. This area is perfect for
tip fishing and once set, we could then
just sit in the truck and stay warm
while waiting for action.
Our tip-ups were spooled with
about 100 yards of 25 pound test,
monofilament mainline with a barrel
swivel attaching about four feet of
clear, eight-pound test fluorocarbon
line for a leader. A number 6 treble
hook was tied to the leader. A small,
rubber core sinker kept the lively
suckers at the prescribed depth, which
were a couple feet off bottom. I prefer
suckers to shiners (for both pike and
walleyes) from countless hours of side

by side testing.
The ice was about three feet thick,
so it was taking us longer than usual
to drill the holes even with a power
auger. In those frigid conditions, we
really didnt expect much action, but
before we could even finish setting
the nine tip-ups, we had a couple flags
spring to life. Greg took the first one
and Bob the second while I went for
the gaff. Greg set the hook on a heavy
fish that fought with throbbing headshakes. He gingerly worked the fish
into the bottom of the deep hole and
was happy when a toothy, big walleye
smiled up at him as he pulled it up
through the long hole and out onto the
ice. I hustled over to Bob who was
fighting another nice sized fish that
had taken a lot of line off the spool.
This fish was pulling hard and steady
with a lot of weight evident on the
business end of the line. Bob carefully retrieved the line while I quickly
wound the line back onto the reel.
When the fish came by the hole, Bob
could see that it was a lunker walleye.
This was the first walleye Bob had
ever tangled with under the ice, so
the excitant level was at a fever pitch.
When Bob was finally able to steer the
fishs big head into the hole, I quickly
gaffed the fish and Bob had his first
The action continued all morning,
but as the sun came up higher, the
walleye bite gave way to some phenomenal northern pike action, which
was just fine with us. The three of us
grew up together near Manistee and
we all spent countless days on Man-

Driving a Vehicle onto the Ice

I am very conservative about

driving a vehicle onto the ice. My
rule is that I need at least 18 of solid
ice and I would never even consider
driving over a pressure crack. I have
though driven my truck up to pressure
cracks and then crossed over on foot
and walked out further from there. I
have also parked my truck along thick
shore ice and ventured further offshore onto thinner ice. If the ice conditions are good though for vehicular
traffic, it is the easiest, most comfortable way to fish as you can haul a ton
of gear onto the ice. Ive even seen
people tow travel trailers out onto the
ice where they camped overnight for
some pure Michigan fun for sure.

Foot Travel On The

Frozen Great Lakes

By and large most of my ice fishing on the Great Lakes is conducted

on foot. It takes some smart planning
to successfully pull off such excursions. First the fishing location should
be within one mile of the parking
place. A lot of people might think
that they can walk much further, but
you have to consider that you will
be dragging along a lot of gear and
walking over either snow covered
ice or slippery, glaze ice, which are
both a lot harder than normal walking
conditions on land. The going is a lot
slower on the ice too. You also have
to consider that you will be trudging in big, heavy boots too. In fact, I
rarely ever even come close to going
over a mile out on the ice as it is usually just not necessary if you do your
homework properly.
Dressing for foot travel means
layers of clothes that you can take off
when you start to heat up and later
put back on when you cool down. I
wear a base layer of sweat wicking,
Thermax long underwear. Over that a
layer of fleece is great for both insulation and sweat wicking properties.
If its really cold, I wear two layers
of fleece. Over that goes a 20+ year
old, parka and bibs that are lined with
Gore-Tex and insulated with a thick
mat of Thinsulate. My boots are also
old school too with an ancient pair
of Lacrosse Icemans as my go-to ice
fishing foot wear. A fleece face mask
and thick, insulated stocking cap over
that keeps my head warm. I wear thin
glove liners under my heavily insulated, waterproof gloves.

I rarely venture off shore without

my two-man, Fish Trap shanty that
sets up in seconds and is easily pulled
over the ice. I modified mine by sewing in 1 x 2s along the sides to keep
the fabric from flapping and to keep
the wind out. I also added comfortable boat seats, rod holders, a storage
box and an insulated mat for my dog
to lie on while we fish.
The storage box contains all the
odds and ends that I may need on the
ice including a small, propane heater.
My trusty Jiffy Model 30 auger goes
into my Jet Sled along with the bait
bucket, tip-ups, and gaff along with
all my various ice rods for the day.
The Jet Sled is tied to the Fish trap for
transport. One thing that really makes
things drag along a lot easier is using
a deer dragging harness. My brother
and I each got one from our parents
when we were kids back in the 1970s
and we still use them a lot to this day
for much more than just dragging the
occasional deer from the woods. If
the snow is packed down, this rigging
will slide across the ice with minimal
effort. If the snow is soft and deep
though, then plan on tough going and
fish closer to shore.
A few items youll also need in
your pockets for a foot assault on
the lake is a depth finder, compass,
LED headlamp, GPS, cell phone, ice
awls, hook-outs, jaw-spreaders, depth
finding weight, and various hooks,
sinkers and other needed sundries. I
also prod the ice with a spud if the
thickness is less than six inches. Also,
dont forget to bring along something
to contain the fish. I just use a garbage bag for that.

Location, Location, Location

I have enjoyed walk on fishing

on Lake Erie, Saginaw Bay, Lake
Huron proper, Green Bay, Little Bay
De Noc, Big Bay De Noc and Lake
Superior. The key is to study lake
charts to find access points located
close to deeper water. For instance
you can access 15 feet of water with
a few hundred yards off Pt. Lookout by Au Gres. Its great to have a
portable GPS with lake maps on it.
I have a hand held GPS but these
days I use my cell phone with a APP
called Back Country Navigator more.
It even allows users to access downloaded maps without a cell signal.
You can download all the free maps
you want. I download the standard
USGS charts of the waters I intend
to fish along with topo and aerial
maps for hunting. I really enjoy doing all the research to find new spots
by pouring over maps and making
contacts to ferret out all the details. If
the weather is too extreme for a day
on the Great Lakes, then there are
always inland lakes or rivers nearby
as a backup plan.n

The author pulls a fine walleye from the ice.


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istee Lake ice fishing for pike. Those

Little Bay De Noc pike grow big too
as we caught several jumbo specimens longer than my arm. In three
days of ice fishing the Bay last year
we averaged over 20 flags a day and
caught a pile of fish in the process.
Despite the rotten weather, it was still
a ton of fun.


MDNR honors Ron Lundberg for

lifetime of conservation efforts

(lt-rt) Pontiac Lake chief range officer

Richard Phillips, Natural Resources Commission Chairman John Matonich, Rebecca
and Jack Stockbridge, and DNR Director
Keith Creagh.

MDNR honors Jack

Stockbridge with
Partners in
Conservation Award

he Michigan Natural Resources Commission recently honored longtime

conservationist Ron Lundberg with
the Thomas L. Washington Lifetime
Commitment to Conservation Award. The
award was presented at the commissions
regular monthly December meeting.
Lundberg, 78, has been a player in
Michigan conservation initiatives for
What a nice surprise that was when
(NRC Chairman) John Matonich called
me, said Lundberg, a property manager
who lives in Davison. I dont know
whether its deserving or not, but Im
very appreciative of receiving it.

hunting licenses such as a bear hunting licenses to hunters with disabilities.

This year, with the help of some Upper
Peninsula bear hunters, he hosted a young
man with a life-threatening illness at a
bear hunt at his camp in Cornell.
Lundberg continues to sponsor youthoriented activities and has been honored
by CHUCK (Challenging Hunters to Use
Cash for Kids), which was founded by
former Natural Resources Commissioner
Bob Garner.
The former owner of a tavern in the
Upper Peninsula, Lundberg also volunteered his business to be used as Department of Natural Resources deer check



he Department of Natural Resources recently honored Jack

Stockbridge of Waterford with a
Partners in Conservation Award.
Stockbridge, an engineer in the
auto industry, designed and helped
oversee the construction of soundbaffling additions to the shooting
stations at DNRs Pontiac Lake
shooting range to help abate the
sound of gunfire.
Stockbridge said he was excited
by the award.
The whole project has been
wonderful from the start, he said.
This project has been positive for
the community, the shooters, and the
personnel on the range.
Its not often you have so much
fun doing so much for so many
A nearby resident, Stockbridge
who has a background in sound
abatement approached Pontiac
Lake chief range officer Richard
Phillips to offer his assistance. Phillips responded immediately.
He and I were pretty much a
team on this whole thing, Stockbridge said. I wish I could share the
award with him.
Phillips, who nominated Stockbridge for the award, said the engineer is being modest.
He did all the drafting, he supplied the funds, Phillips said. I just
polished it a little bit.
Stockbridges design has reduced
the noise from the range significantly.
We began in 2011 with a goal
of making it as pleasing as possible
for the shooters and the adjacent
community, Stockbridge said. It
was a cost-effective solution that
was an enhancement for both the
shooters and the community.
Partners in Conservation Awards
are bestowed upon individuals or
organizations, who have been leaders
in natural resources policy or management and have been nominated
by DNR staffers.
The Pontiac Lake range, located
inside Oakland Countys Pontiac
Lake Recreation Area, is one of five
DNR-staffed shooting ranges. The
DNR also contracts with Michigan
Shooting Centers, Inc. to operate and
maintain two other ranges. For more
information, visit www.michigan.

The DNR honored Timothy Pifher at last

weeks Natural Resources Commission
meeting. (Lt-rt) DNR Law Enforcement
Division Chief Gary Hagler, Pifher, his wife,
Sandy, Cpl. Peggy Ruby.

DNR honors
hunting educator

Longtime conservationist Ron Lundberg recently was honored with the Thomas L.
Washington Lifetime Commitment to Conservation Award. (lt-rt) are DNR Director
Keith Creagh, NRC commissioners Rex Schlaybaugh and J.R. Richardson, Lundberg,
NRC Chair John Matonich, and NRC commissioners Christine Crumbaugh, Vicki Pontz,
Tim Nichols and Louise Klarr.
I was in the right place at the right
time to do what I did, Lundberg said.
But everybody contributes to conservation and I guess I had more of an opportunity to contribute. And on top of that,
youve got to be old you cant get a
lifetime achievement award if youre not
Long active in Safari Club International, Lundberg was tapped to be one
of the main spokesmen for the Proposal
G ballot initiative, which mandated that
wildlife management decisions be made
on the basis of science.
In addition, Lundberg was one of
the developers of the policy that allows
hunters to transfer their limited-access

station. The DNR continues to use the

tavern as a check station.
Lundberg was nominated for the
award by Matonich, who has known him
for two decades.
I couldnt think of anyone more deserving for the NRCs Lifetime Commitment to Conservation Award, Matonich
This award is named after the late
Tom Washington, the longtime director of
Michigan United Conservation Clubs and
a former president of the National Rifle
Learn more about the Michigan Natural Resources Commission at the DNR

Last elk hunt of 2015 is complete

lthough it may not feel like a

Michigan December, the final
2015 elk hunt drew to a close last
We had crazy weather conditions for this years late elk hunt,
said Department of Natural Resources
wildlife biologist Shelby Hiestand. In
a typical year, we would have had a ton
of snow on the ground, where hunters
could track and pattern elk and really
have a better chance at spotting them
against the white snow.
Although conditions may not have
been typical for the December elk hunt,
the harvest was still quite successful.
Ninety-two percent of hunters harvested an elk this December season, totaling 46 elk. Each hunter was selected
out of a random, weighted lottery of
more than 31,000 Michigan hunters
who applied to hunt elk this year.
The latest season, held Dec. 5-13,
was open in all elk hunt units in the
northern counties of the northern
Lower Peninsula.
Each elk hunter attended a manda-

tory elk orientation in Johannesburg

to learn about hunting elk, regulations, biology and the history of elk in
This is a once-in-a-lifetime hunt,
and our goal is for every hunter to have
a safe, enjoyable experience, said
Hiestand. Most hunters have never
hunted elk before, and may not be familiar with areas in northern Michigan.
Elk orientation is a great time to get to
talk to hunters and answer any of their
One hundred elk licenses were
available in 2015 50 in the early season and 50 in the late season.
Elk hunting in Michigan is an effective management tool that biologists
have used to maintain elk herd numbers, composition and even distribution
since 1984, when elk hunts began to
occur annually for Michigan residents.
The elk application period runs annually from May 1 to June 1.
To learn more about elk in Michigan, including their comeback story,

imothy Pifher of Davison, Michigan, was named 2015 hunter

education volunteer instructor of
the year by the Michigan Department
of Natural Resources.
Pifher was honored for his
achievements at the Dec. 10 Natural
Resources Commission meeting in
In 1997, Pifher earned his hunter
education instructor certification. During the past 18 years, he has taught
more than 360 classes and certified
over 3,600 students to hunt safely in
Michigans out-of-doors.
Mr. Pifher has had a very positive impact on thousands of hunter
education students in this state, said
Gary Hagler, chief of the DNR Law
Enforcement Division. We can never
know the number of lives he has saved
or the injuries he has prevented due to
his efforts.
In 2000, Pifher became an associate at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World
in Auburn Hills, Michigan, where he
initiated the hunter safety program. He
holds at least 10 classes a year at the
In conjunction with his wife,
Sandy, also a certified hunter education instructor, Pifher also teaches five
or more classes every year at Williams
Gun Sight in Davison.
The DNR and the many students
who have benefited from Mr. Pifhers
classes are very appreciative of the
time and effort he has taken to increase the safety of hunters in Michigan, Hagler said.
Michigan has conducted hunter
education classes for nearly 70 years,
teaching firearm safety and the regulations for being a safe and responsible
hunter. With the help and expertise of
the more than 3,000 volunteer instructors, the Michigan hunter education
program - administered by the DNR trains nearly 20,000 students a year.
Those interested in volunteering as
instructors should call the DNR Law
Enforcement Division at 517-2846055 to obtain an application packet.
For more information on Michigans hunter education program and
on becoming a hunter education
instructor, visit


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Emmit Mauk, 9, of Attica, kept

with family tradition of whitetail hunting success with this
nice 6-pt. taken during the
youth hunt in Sept.

Butch Rushton of Kimball took this nice 8-pt.

on Nov. 15 in Huron Co.

Larry Biringer of Columbus took this 8-pt. in St.

Clair Co. on Nov. 17.

Kanon Gracey in his

third year of hunting,
got his third deer,
this one an 8-pt.
taken in Alcona Co.
with a 100 yard shot.

Scott Bancroft took

a pair of beautiful
bucks hunting state
land near Alpena.
The 8-pt. Nov. 15
and the 9-pt. Nov.
Dave Sheets of Attica with this
dandy Thanksgiving day buck!

Kristy Sievert took this beautiful

8-pt with a 20 inch spread on
Nov. 16 hunting Manistee Co.

a nice
9-pt. he
Hayden Kiser helped his grandpa
his son George Schemenauer track his
deer he arrowed Nov. 2 bowhuntJacek.

Mindy Hutchings first

firearm deer, a trophy
11-pt. Nov. 16.

Madison Knag, 11,

took her first deer on
opening day with a
12 ga. while hunting
with her grandpa near

this big

Jake Thompson, 9, with a couple record

book harvests; he took the buck with a
muzzloader during the youth hunt and
the tom scored nearly 14 inches!


ing near Coloma.


The Tilney
Family: (lt-rt)
Caeden, 11,
took this 4-pt.
buck in Lapeer
Co. Landen
Tilney, 8, with
his first deer, a
nice 8-pt. take
in Tuscola Co.
And Joe Tilney
with his 10-pt.
buck taken in
Tuscola Co.

Joe Raska Sr. of Smiths

Creek visited his son Joe
Jr. currently stationed
in Bangor WA and took
this 8-pt. hunting on a
friends farm.

David III, 9 and his dad Dave

Swoish hunting St. Clair Co. took
a 6-pt. and an 8-pt. on opening
day of firearm season.

Les Thomas
took this
Alcona Co.
11-pt. with
a 17 inch inside spread
Nov. 21 just
before the
snow started

this record
book 10-pt.
on Nov. 15
Montmorency Co.
The buck
tipped the
scale at 200

of Tustin
took this
dandy 10pt. hunting

Dale Grelewicz of Twin Lake, along with

his wife Jeanne, and guide John Jones
harvested this monster 6x5 Michigan bull
elk during the early season.

hunter; Elle
Coughlin, 16,
of Harrison
in her first
year of hunting took this
huge 9-pt.
that scored
in the 130s
Nov. 21 at
the Big Rack

Abbie Haupt, 12, took

her first buck, this
6-pt. hunting Oct. 24
with her uncle Mike in
Washtenaw Co. using
a crossbow.

On Nov. 1 Abbie Welch, 8 bagged

her first deer with a crossbow,
while hunting with her dad on
their property near Howell.

13-year-old Colby Spangler

took his first buck, a 6-pt. on the
morning of Nov. 15 in VanBuren Co. Grandpa Mike Leighton
was also successful on opening
morning, taking a 7-pt.

Pratt, 7,
took his
first deer,
this 9-pt.
using a
muzzleloader on
Nov. 27
with Dad
in the

Jennah Cubitt, 15, of

Melvin shows off her
first deer, a 4-pt. she
took in Huron Co.
while hunting with her
dad, Andrew, while
hunting on her grandfathers property.

Lupo of
Twp. took
this 8-pt.
Nov. 16
near South

Opening day 2015 with Braden Miller (lt) and Weston Platte (rt)
hunting private property in Clinton Co. Westons deer was harvested in the morning and Bradens deer was harvested late in the day.


14, of
shot this
8-pt. near
Harrison on
the second
week of
gun season
with his
paid off big
time for



Matt Campbell of Marlette took

this bruiser buck with his muzzleloader on opening day of the
firearm season in Sanilac Co.

Alex Ferguson, 14 took his

first buck hunting Ingham
Co. with his dad on Nov.

Brody Burns of Oxford took his first

buck, a dandy, during the youth

Lowell Presler took his first trophy buck hunting the state land he grew up on hunting with
a crossbow Nov. 1. The 4.5 year-old buck's
wide thick antlers brought smiles from the
entire family and surely will make the record
books! Congratulations Lowell!

Troy Smith took this beautiful 7x7 bull elk

hunting Canada Creek Ranch during the
2015 December hunt. The hunt was videoed
and broadcast on Michigan Out of Doors.
Jason Strassburg took this beautiful 10-pt. hunting state land in
Roscommon Co. Nov. 17.

Joe Parmeter of Cedar Springs took

this monster 16-pt. with a droptine
during the muzzleloader season in
Kent Co. The buck vanished from his
trail camera Oct. 24 and wasnt seen
until Dec. 12.

took a
pair of
on opening day
hunting Sarah Borkowski with her beautiful
Mont8-pt., along with her father Mike
calm Co. and grandpa Bob, three genera-


tions of Borkowski's celebrating her

hard earned buck taken Nov. 28 in
Sanilac County!


Mark Taylor of Harrison Twp. with a

nice Alcona county 8

this nice
buck on
Dec. 16
his farm
and according
to his
he is the
Diane Grajewski from North Branch took
two bucks in Alcona Co. The 7-pt. was taken most
deservopening morning. The 10-pt. with an 18
inch plus spread was taken Nov. 21.

(lt-rt) Jordan
Kieft, 8 took
this doe Nov.
27 with his
.410 shotgun.
Jenna Kieft, 8
took her first
deer a, big doe
with her mom's
Ruger .243 during the youth
hunt. Jonathan
Kieft, 10 took
his 5-pt. during the youth
hunt with his
.44 magnum

David Robinson took

his fist buck, a 6-pt.
during the youth

10 of New
took his
first doe
on the
last day of
season in
St. Clair

Donning new

he irony that the dry suit almost killed me
after I had bought it to save my life was
hard to miss.
Okay, it didnt almost kill me, but I was
a red-face, sweaty, angry mess by the time
I did a reverse Houdini and fully climbed
into the infernal thing. The process of crawling into
it through diagonal zippered gash across its chest
made me an hour late to meet my fishing buddies.
Dry suits are getting popular among kayakers
because they keep you dry and ward off deadly
hypothermia in the event of an accidental dip.
But donning that thing for the first time just
wasnt a pleasant experience.
First, at the advice of my fishing buddy Ted
Garneau of Grand Rapids who has been wearing his
new dry suit for at least a month, I donned two sets
of long underwear followed by the heaviest sweat
suit I had. The temperature was supposed to stay
around 30 degrees that day. Putting on three layers
of thermal clothing wasnt the big deal. It was having three layers of thermal clothing on in the family
room near our hot wood burning stove that turned
my morning into a sauna.
This was Wednesday, last week, and I was
supposed to meet Garneau and soon-to-be captain Kevin Ouzts for some steelhead fishing up at
the Allegan Dam access. I was expected there at
8 sharp and arose early, fed the dogs, ate a little
breakfast and had plenty of time to spare to get in
the SUV and make the 20-mile drive north from
Paw Paw. Heck I was going to be there early and I
had allowed myself five full minutes to get that suit
onhow could it possibly take any longer? Well,
if a round in a prize fight is five minutes long, I almost went the full 10 rounds. After eight, my corner
was close to tossing in the towel.
Im not kidding when I say I thought I might
have a heart attack getting into my new suit.
The challenge is, instead of a vertical zipper that
starts at your neck, a dry suit has a diagonal slash of
a zipper, roughly at the level of your sternum. This
is what you must climb through to get the thoroughly water-proof suit on your body.
I was in trouble from the moment I started putting
on the suit. The floppy yellow and gray thing felt
sort of like a brand new tarp you might use for a
tent as I sat on the couch and laid it out flat in front
of me. I shoved my left leg in and immediately saw
the tip of my sock sticking out the pant leg hole,
which is supposed to be covered by a rubber boot.
I thought one of the dogs had chewed through this
boot of my $600 suit before I even had a chance to
wear it. I was glad to feel dumb when I realized I
had stuck my leg down the arm of the suit and my
toe was sticking out the sleeve.
Eventually I squeezed each foot into its proper,
stretchy rubber booty, and then it was time to get
the upper half of my body through the sternum zipper. This is where it would have been helpful to be
able to purposely dislocate both shoulders, a la Mel

The idea of wearing a dry suit for winter stealhead fishing made sense to the author, that is until he tried
to put it on for the first time!
Gibson in Lethal Weapon. Even more helpful would
have been bending my elbows backwards.
Eventually I squeezed all the way in, finally getting my noggin through the tiny rubber neck hole,
which was a lot like putting ones head through the
blow hole of a party balloon. The neckline is tight
and keeps water out. I feared it also might cut the
supply of blood to my brain.
Maybe eight rounds into this fight, the worst
was yet to come. First, I closed the watertight zipper, which was also air tight. I was inflated and
looked like I should be floating over the streets of
New York in a Thanksgiving parade. I pulled the

zipper back open and let out some steam, almost

literally. Now it was time to put on the neoprene
boots and, well, I just couldnt bend down and
get them on over the sticky rubber booties.
Wife Kathy came to the rescue, me laying on
the top of our bed; she shoving the boots over
my footsies with all her might. Note to self: Put
the boots on before putting your arms and head
into the suit.
The rest of the day improved as we caught three
nice steelhead in a heavy snow. And even though
the snow melted upon contact with the suit, I never
did get wet. That was almost worth it.n

2016 Quiet Water Symposium

The Quiet Water Society is

pleased to announce the dates for our
21st Annual Quiet Water Symposium.
Allen Deming, a Quiet Water Society
Board of Directors member, says We
are excited to once again join Michigan State Universitys College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, ANR
Week Celebration. Beginning a third
decade of promoting non-motorized
outdoor recreation is a real milestone
for us.
Those who have not visited this
event in the last few years will be
amazed at its growth and diversity.
Last years Symposium featured
nearly 200 exhibits, speakers and
demonstrations at the MSU Pavilion.

The March 5th event will feature

presentations by noted travel writers,
Jim DuFrense, Kevin Callen, Doc
Fletcher and Dean of outdoor writers
Cliff Jacobsen.
The first Saturday of March has
become the official start of spring
for the out-door people of the Great
Lakes says Deming. Campers, hikers, cyclists, sailors, fishermen and of
course paddle sport enthusiasts will
find this years symposium to be the
nexus for beginning their 2016 outdoor adventures.
For more information on this
event including directions, time and
tickets, please visit


By Dave Mull


Hot Topics, My Thoughts, My Views... Guest Column By Tom Antor

End buck poaching now!

Town Hall Meeting...

Call to Action



hile I despise all deer

poaching and have
absolutely no respect
for those who do it, we
are looking for input
and political pressure
from hunters regarding the illegal
poaching of antlered bucks in particular. In my opinion this crime not only
has a negative physiological impact
on most hunters and property owners but a negative financial impact
on the state of Michigan as well. At a
time when deer hunting numbers and
related revenues are tanking, along
with reasonable expectations across
northern Michigan and beyond, we
need to finally insist on much tougher
penalties that will actually serve as a
deterrent. While poaching is an age
old problem, the way we deal with
it does not have to be. Enough is
Why do people poach antlered
While the apologists will say
to feed their families the rest of
us living in the real world know
its because these violators lack the
hunting skills, patience and moral
character to do it legallythey are
slobs! It is time we quit tap dancing
around this issue and call it what it
is. The courts need to quit worrying
about the hardships these tougher
punishments will have on those who
violate and finally enforce measures
that include a mandatory minimum
sentencing structure geared to scare
violators into submission by drastically increasing fines and penalties
for these crimes. What we are currently doing just isnt working so lets
take the gloves off and do something
that will actually have an impact.
Lets be honest, as much as we
all love venison back straps its
the rubs, scrapes, sparring, fighting,
grunting, chasing, and shed antlers
that inspire most of us to hit the
woods every fall. Think about itwe
dont email deer cam pictures of does
to our buddies do we? Its time to act!
Stricter sentencing guidelines
recently introduced in Michigan were
a start but the reality is they serve no
real purpose if they are ignored by
some prosecutors and judges who still
look at these crimes as acts of subsistence out of a complete lack of understanding of what really motivates the
slobs who poach antlered deer. The
DNR will be the first to acknowledge
that there is still very little they can
do from a practical law enforcement

standpoint to have a realistic impact

on poaching numbers. When asked,
they will admit its largely up to hunters to monitor and self-police themselves through peer pressure. While
I agree that the enforcement of game
laws is nearly impossible given the
sheer math involved, we can counter
this fact by the way we prosecute
those who do get caught poaching.
It really is not that complicated, we
have to drastically ramp up the consequences of getting caught including
the adoption of a couple other policies that would immediately deter
others from committing this crime.
First of all, in my opinion, if a
person is caught red handed with
an illegally shot antlered deer, taken
out of season, by an adult during the
youth season, after dark with a
spotlight or other premeditated, egregious violation, his (or her) hunting
license or ability to buy one of the assorted other tags should be suspended
Under current law, a person can
be caught poaching a trophy buck as
described above and still be allowed
to legally remain in the woods
with a gun or bow up until the case
is settled. These cases can take up to
a year or more to process depending
on what county they occurred in and
this simply should not be acceptable.
I maintain that those who illegally
harvest bucks do so for some sort of
badge of honor within the circle of
hyenas they run with and are severely
lacking in other areas (use your
imagination). They should be treated
like the criminals they are and not
be martyred as some poor shmucks
trying to feed their familygive me
a break!
Secondly, the pre-meditated, illegal harvesting of an antlered deer under the scenarios listed above should
also place the offender(s) on a public,

state-wide registry as a poacher

when he (or she) is convicted. This
would be a very effective way to help
eradicate this cancer and live up to
the peer pressure standard championed by our own DNR. This would
not only be a great poaching deterrent
but also a valuable tool for scouting
hunting areas or looking at potential
hunting lease or purchase options.
Nobody wants to buy or lease hunting ground in an area infested with
If you are wondering why deer
are getting more and more nocturnal
in Michigan, you need to look no
further than poaching, the incredibly
liberal bag limits and multitude of
early and special seasons that seem
to have no end. Since that is another
topic for another day we want to just
focus on the appropriate punishment
for the pre-meditated, intentional
poaching of antlered deer. Keep in
mind that I am not talking about the
individuals hunting over three gallons
of corn instead of two but instead the
ones mentioned earlier, who illegally
target antlered bucks, especially
trophy bucks out of some twisted
sense of bravado and completely
unethical tactics. We need to insist on
mandatory harsher fines, longer loss
of hunting privileges, jail time option
and (or) community serviceperhaps
served with a sign hung around the
violators neck saying I poach deer
for fun!
Lets be honest, this is not a crime
of sustenance because nobody is
starving to death in this state because
they dont have a deer in their freezer.
We are living in Michigan in 2016
not Butte, Montana during the great
depression and the sooner we quit
with the politically correct rhetoric
and excuses, the quicker we can solve
the problem!
The days of slapping these crimi-

nals on the wrist must end and by

the way, I would suggest a lifetime
ban for anyone guilty of a second
offensethree strikes and youre out
may be the rally cry for the uninformed and politically correct but it
sends a completely counter productive message to the violators. Why
are we so afraid of demanding a little
personal responsibility and accountability of those chronic, unethical
folks who deface our purpose every
time they squeeze a trigger?
I would also suggest that anyone
caught stealing traps, treestands, trail
cameras etc. should be charged under
amended hunter harassment statute
that not only would have stricter penalties attached but would lump the offenders in the same category as antihunters. Perhaps we should consider
prosecuting poaching violators under
that same statute as well because at
the end of the day, poachers share
the same moral character
as anti-hunters and I have a
really tough time differentiating
between the two.
Am I being politically incorrect
here? I hope so because our other option is to do the same thing we have
always done in regard to poaching
while hoping for different results
which of course is the definition of
Please join us for an important
Town Hall Meeting at the Huntin
Time Expo on Friday evening,
January 29 at 6:30 pm (Delta
Plex Arena / Grand Rapids, MI).
We will have state legislators and
MDNR Law Enforcement officials
with this call to actionwe hope a
room full of hunters who are fed up
with this crime as I amthis may
be our last best chance to have an
impact and improve the quality of
deer hunting in this state for everyone. We hope to see you there.n

By Jeff Pendergraff

dead cow elk that appeared to be shot

and left in the woods.
Upon arriving on the scene
Sergeant Molnar couldnt find any
suspects in the area of the poaching.
He discovered boot tracks in the snow
and took pictures of those boot tracks.
Later he was able to retrieve the bullet
from the elk and sent it to the Michigan State Police Crime Lab. The lab
was able to give Sergeant Molnar an
idea of what weapon that the bullet

could have been fired from and the

caliber of the round, but he still had
no suspects in this case.
In 2014 Sergeant Molnar worked
the area where the elk had been killed
hoping that he might be able to match
the boot tracks to someone wearing
those boots. He was unable to do so.
In 2015 he did the same thing and
his hard work paid off. He found boot
tracks that matched the same boot

Poachers Busted

his is the story of three excellent investigations that were

solved on little evidence but
good police work.

Two Year Elk Case

Sergeant Joe Molnar

received a complaint from a hunter
during the 2013 deer season in the
Atlanta area. The hunter had found a

Poachers Busted page 74

My Thoughts, My Views, My Opinions...

hen will it all end? When will we

as the American people ever reach
mutually agreeable solutions to the
problem of gun violence in this
On the one side we see people
using the terrorists attack in San Bernardino,
California, as their latest final straw for
demanding something be done about guns
in America. Doesnt matter what, as long
as its something. Yeah, call for background checks on sales between individuals. Doesnt matter that the majority of
gun owners obey every gun law they are
supposed to; lets further restrict them so
we can congratulate ourselves for doing
something to stop the violence.
On the other hand, after the
November terrorist attacks in Paris,
Texas State Representative Tony
Dale justified his support for refusing Syrian refugees entry to our country: While the Paris attackers used suicide vests and grenades, it is clear that
firearms also killed a large number of innocent victims. Can you imagine a scenario where a refugees

[sic] is admitted to the United States, is provided

with federal cash payments and other assistance,
obtains a drivers [sic] license and purchases a
weapon and executes an attack?
Wait! Is this NRA-backed politician ultimately saying current gun laws dont work?
Wait again! Isnt that what happened with the San
Bernardino shooters? Then theres this. On
December 3, 2016, the following headline
appeared: Senate Blocks Amendment
That Would Prevent Terrorists from Purchasing Guns.
Ultimately this has nothing to do with
an attempt to reduce gun violence in the
country. Nor does it have anything to do
with establishing reasonable purchasing
laws for guns.
Rather, it's a sad example of
how we can count on politicians to
serve themselves first.
By making it an amendment to the bill to defund
Obamacare, the Democrats who proposed it knew
it ultimately stood no chance of passing. It was just
a brass button they could polish when time comes
for them to parade themselves in front of the elec-

Dear Woods-N-Water News:

tell you of how many different hunts the DNR is

providing today but I believe there are many different hunts available as long as you keep buying
a license for the hunt. The areas around Onaway
produced quality deer for many years and could
again in time. However, there needs to be some
serious changes. You cannot continue to kill does
or kill two or three bucks per person, on and on,
and maintain a quality deer herd.
The sale of hunting licenses seems to be the
major fundraising for the DNR and they continue
to produce new hunts to interest the children to
take up hunting to replace the hunters like me who
have stopped hunting or those who go out of state
to hunt.
You can drive all day through the woods and
not see a deer, not one. Years ago, the DNR said
deer were starving and they were. Their dead bodies fed the predators. Today, with the lack of deer,
the merchants are starving.
I heard that the deer kill in the UP, was down
some 16 percent this season. Due to the past bad
winters, so the DNR said. I thought for sure it
would be the warm weather. We now have mountain lions in the UP. We now have gray wolf packs
in the UP and we are being overrun with coyotes.
Folks, these animals are not vegetarians. They
need to eat every day as you and I. Coyotes attacked and killed a puppy a back yard a few weeks
ago in Saline. A pack of coyotes reportedly attacked two different horses on their farms close to
Lapeer. Where is the bounty on the Coyotes?
What happened to the Michigan Pheasant?
Without some kind of control of the predators
we will continue to lose much of our small game.
Questions, questions and more questions.
Where are the answers?

By Tom Carney

Had enough yet?

I am a 72 year old man raised in Onaway from

my fourth birthday. We were a family of hunters and I learned at a very early age of the wild
game in the area. I spent many years in the woods
with my family on hunting trips carrying a stick
because I was too young to purchase a hunting
license. Those years, Mother Nature was the QDM
and she did very well. I cant begin to tell you of
the days and afternoons, sitting, stalking or driving
for deer. Deer were plentiful. Hunting camps on
every corner of woods and the town was busting
at the seams with hunters. You could not get a seat
in a bar. The restaurants were lined up out to the
sidewalks and every hotel, motel was booked.
I very much enjoyed sneaking out work, in
deer season, as the chief dish washer and potato
peeler in my parents restaurant. I would slip
across what is now Toms parking lot to the Buck
Pole marveling at all the bucks and talking with
Roy Conklin about his deer hunting experiences.
Deer were plentiful, the hunters were plentiful and all the little towns in northern Michigan
prospered well during deer Season. The younger
hunters of today never experienced good hunting
so they do not miss it. I stopped hunting and have
not purchased a hunting license since 2004. The
big question is what happened to our deer herd?
Well, Michigan wild game got a new manager
called the DNR/QDM and they took over the responsibility of managing our deer herd along with
all wildlife. Our past Governor reduced the annual
budget to the DNR to help pay the states bills and
from that day on, the deer herd on state land as we
once knew it was gone.
Hunting now starts October 1 and continues
until January, I believe. That means you have
people of all ages stomping through the woods
trying to see a deer. We all know what happens
when deer get nervous and head for cover. I cant

Chip Kelley
Formally of Onaway

torate, a prime example of politics interfering with

the work of the people and for the people.
And it doesnt help the cause of the gun-restriction
advocates that law enforcement representatives tell
citizens in the case of home invasions they would
stand a better chance of a favorable outcome if
they were to be prepared and to arm themselves
rather than to rely on police officers to protect
them. My neighbor reported our local constabulary
told her this; I confirmed the suggestion with a
police officer friend of mine.
When will we come to agreement?
According to David Roberts, the answer, quite
probably, is Never.
Writing at, Roberts says, It's not even
clear that opinions on guns and gun violence
remain amenable to argument. Over the past few
decades, gun ownership in the U.S. has evolved
from a practical issue for rural homeowners and
hunters to a kind of gesture of tribal solidarity, an
act of defiance toward Obama, the left, and all the
changes they represent.
This has taken place in the context of a
broader and deeper polarization of the country, as
Red America and Blue America have become more
ideologically homogeneous and distant from one
another. The two sides are now composed of people
who quite literally think and feel differently and
are less and less able to communicate.
Guns have now ascended to the level of
worldview and identity, areas largely beyond the
reach of persuasion.
Can you imagine any other topic of controversy
in the U.S. that ascended to such a level? I can
think of one. And it was such a hot-button issue
that when the time arose to address it, the Founders simply chose to kick it down the road a few
Article I Section 9 of the Constitution of the
United States begins with The Migration or
Importation of such Persons as any of the States
now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not
be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one
thousand eight hundred and eight.
The Constitution was pretty much in force by
1788. So, the Framers said the country could ignore
the problem of slavery for 20 years. After that, the
problem was never solved politically. The result:
civil war.
Roberts doesnt predict gun control issues will
lead to civil war. He does say, If the status quo
on guns in the U.S. is to change, it will be through
overwhelming political force, not through evidence

Gun control: Time to adjust page 75


Gun Control: Time to Adjust Aiming Point?


Hot Topics, My Thoughts, My Views...

Poachers Busted... from page 72
tracks that were left by the poacher in
the same area where the cow elk had
been killed during the deer opener in
2013. He waited for the two suspects
to come out of the woods and made
contact with them. One of them had
a rifle that matched the suspect bullet
that killed the cow elk.
After about a 10 minute interview
of the two hunters one confessed to
shooting the cow elk two years earlier. The suspect told Sergeant Molnar
that he thought it was a doe (whitetail) and shot it. Hard to believe one
could get the two confused!
After discovering what he had
done, the hunter left the area. He just
left the cow elk to rot. I bet he thought
he had gotten away with his crime.
Two years later, after some great
police work and tenacity, Sergeant Joe
Molar solved the case. A two year
cold case that many people would
have never thought would ever be
solved! Charges are pending against
the suspect. He could face up to 90
days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000 and
$1,500 restitution and revocation of

Doe Poached
On the opening day of deer season
a resident of Otsego County observed
a doe and two fawns cross the road.

He then witnessed a red dodge pickup with two occupants inside stopped
near where the deer crossed the road.
The front seat occupant then stuck
a rifle out the window and fired one
shot. The shooter then got out of the
truck and went to find the deer with a
cell phone in his hand and the driver
of the truck took off.
The witness became so upset he
confronted the poacher (not something recommended). He told the
poacher he was going to call the DNR
and he told him he had his plate number. After telling the poacher this, the
poacher ran back to the truck and his
partner waiting down the road.
The witness then starting looking
in the woods in the last area he saw
the deer. He soon found a blood trail
which lead to a dead doe. He was
sure it was the same doe that had just
crossed the road with the two fawns.
He had seen these deer in the area all
summer. The witness then contacted
the DNR and the complaint was
turned over to Conservation Officer
Mark DePew.
After CO DePew arrived he
found evidence that showed the doe
had been shot. The bullet was a pass
through and after an hour of using a
metal detector he was unable to find
the bullet. In many cases, if you find

Hello, this is Charlie Morse.

At 63 years old I don't have a lifetime
to wait! Air pruned containerized
plants, equals RESULTS SOONER!

the bullet and you have a suspect,

you can match the bullet to their rifle.
CO DePew had contact with several
people living near- by to see if they
witnessed what had happened or had
any further information that might
help him determine who the poachers were. No one had any information
to help CO DePew. He obtained the
plate number to the red dodge pick-up
and contacted central dispatch and the
put out a BOL (be on the look-out)
for the red dodge pick-up. No law enforcement officers were able to make
contact with the red dodge pick-up.
The plate that was given to CO
DePew came back with no record,
so he was unable to determine who
owned the red dodge pick-up. CO
DePew spent several hours on LEIN
(law enforcement information network) searching for partial plates that
might match the plate information
given by the witness, but was unable
to get any further information on the
plate. CO DePew figured that the
poachers lived in the area and knew
about the doe and fawns. He spent the
next several days patrolling the area
hoping that he might spot the suspect
CO DePew contacted most of the
other law enforcement officers working the Gaylord area and asked them
to keep an eye out on the red dodge
pick-up with the license plate he was
given by the witness. On the day after
Thanksgiving, one of the biggest
shopping days of the year, CO DePew
thought it might be a good day to
spot the truck driving around in the
Gaylord area. He contacted City of
Gaylord Police Officer Travis Chellis
and asked him to keep an eye out for
the red dodge truck. He provided him
with the partial plate for the red dodge
pick-up. About three hours later he
heard over the radio that Officer
Chellis had stopped a red dodge pickup with a similar plate number.
CO DePew arrived shortly at the
traffic stop made by Officer Chellis
and made contact with the driver of
the red dodge pick-up. After five minutes, the subject confessed that he and
his friend had shot the doe from the
truck. He also confessed to poaching

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a second deer in Crawford County.

The poachers firearm was seized and
charges are pending in this case.
This is another example of great
police work and a true example of not
giving up on a case. Officer Chellis
also did a great job keeping his eyes
open on what is normally a very busy
day in the City of Gaylord. The doe
was given to a needy person living in
the area. One of the poachers lived
very close to the area the doe was

Sow Illegally Killed

On a bear case in Oceana County,

a bear hunter shot a sow bear which
had three cubs with her! This sow
bear had blue ear tags in each of her
ears and was being studied by DNR
wildlife biologists. She also had a
radio collar attached to her for tracking her movements. Shooting a bear
with ear tags or a radio collar isnt
illegal. Shooting a sow with cubs
is. The investigation showed that the
hunter knew about the cubs which had
appeared on his trail camera and there
was also evidence that the hunter saw
the cubs prior to him shooting the sow
at a distance of 15 yards.
Citizens came forward with
important information that helped the
COs investigation.
On a better note the DNR wildlife
biologists feel the cubs are big enough
to make it on their own.
A warrant has been issued by the
prosecutor in this case. The suspect
faces up to 90 days in jail, $1,000 in
fines, mandatory $1,500 in restitution
to the state and revocation of hunting
privileges for the year convicted and
the next three, this is also mandatory
by law. He could also lose all of hunting equipment. If anyone deserves 90
days in jail, it would be a person who
does something like this.
Sometimes all it takes is good police skill and sometimes it takes help
from citizens to make these cases.
Consider when or if you see something suspicious or outright wrong
calling law enforcement and making
that report.
Jeff Pendergraff is a retired
Captain from the Law Enforcement
Division of the DNR.n

My Thoughts, My Views, My Opinions...

government agencies responsible
Gun Control - time to adjust: from page 73 ous
for sharing information and coordiThe problem, however, is that gun
ownership is not the problem. People
doing bad things with guns is. And
the existence of guns is not the reason
they do the bad things. Criminal
activities are. As are failures of our
mental health system and of the vari-

DNR CO Academy begins

Twenty-four potential new conservation officers will report Sunday, Jan. 3,

in Lansing to attend the Department of Natural Resources' conservation officer
training academy. The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standardssanctioned academy will be led by the DNR's Law Enforcement Division employment and training section.
The 24 recruits will complete a 22-week training academy that includes 14
weeks of basic police training and eight weeks of more specialized conservation
officer training. Following graduation, the probationary conservation officers
will then complete 18 weeks of field training. During the first two years after
field training completion, the conservation officers will complete four additional
weeks of specialized training, including search and rescue training and marine,
waterfowl, snowmobile and trapping enforcement training.
There are 22 men and two women in Recruit School No. 7. Seven of the new
recruits are military veterans and three are previous law enforcement officers.
Upon academy graduation, the recruits will range in age from 21 to 45.
DNR conservation officers serve a distinct role in Michigan's law enforcement community. They are certified police officers with the authority to enforce
all of Michigan's criminal laws. As conservation officers, they also have unique
training in a wide variety of other areas related to the protection of Michigan's
citizens and natural resources.
Michigan currently has 213 conservation officers, which doesnt account for
upcoming attrition through retirements.
Our goal is to establish and maintain appropriate conservation officer coverage for every Michigan county, and this recruit school furthers that goal, said
Gary Hagler, chief of the DNRs Law Enforcement Division. In addition to protecting the states natural resources and assisting in rural and urban community
policing, conservation officers often serve as first responders.
Conservation officers routinely conduct lifesaving operations such as ice
rescue and search and rescue.
In 2015, conservation officers performed a number of livesaving operations, including a November rescue of a lost hunter in Mackinac County and
a lost hunter and deer tracker in Gladwin County, an October rescue of a lost
and injured Gladwin County woman, a September lifesaving operation during
a Pentwater fire, an August apprehension of an escaped Iosco County prisoner,
and a March ice rescue on the Detroit River, among many more.
First Lieutenant Steven Burton, supervisor of the DNRs Law Enforcement
Division employment and training section, noted that the DNR is actively recruiting for future recruit schools.
"Men and women interested in a career as a conservation officer should start
the process now by taking the Michigan Civil Service exam and completing an
online application for a future academy," Burton said.
Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who
provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect
citizens by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in
the communities they serve. Learn more about Michigan conservation officers at


Experience some of the best
walleye fishing in the country.
This years walleye run is going
to be one of the best in years.


Reserve your date today.
Morning & afternoon trips
(5 hours) available.
Up to three people.

313-319-0100 or

nating efforts to keep guns out of the

wrong hands.
And then theres the ominous
culture of guns that pervades the
U.S.A. weve heard about. Hmmm

Nearly 60 years ago, on Sundays

after Mass, Id come home and play
with my Johnny Yuma, the Rebel
gun set complete with its Civil Warera revolver and sawed-off shotgun.
Or with my Wanted Dead or Alive,
Josh Randall Mares Laig rifle.
For general, all around gunslinging,
there was the Fanner 50 and Mattel
Winchester Model 94 Saddle Gun.
Ratcheting things into the 20th century, when I needed to play private
eye Id shoulder holster the Mattel
Snub-nosed .38, and pocket the wallet, badge and identification that came
with it.
I hope you will agree that such
an armory would not be unusual for
a kid growing up in the 50s-60s. And
if you think about it, because of its
normalcy for the times, one could
easily argue we were growing up in
a culture of guns. But we didnt
turn toward gun violence. We had the
intelligence and moral upbringings
to understand the distinction between
our play worlds and reality.



Captain Mike Veine targets the hottest action at the best
places, during peak trophy producing periods.

Eries Trophy
Early spring on Lake Erie
serves up the best trophy
walleye fishery in the world.
From ice-out in March
through April, Lake Erie
offers outstanding trophy
walleye action.

Saginaw Bay
All through spring and
summer our charters
produce consistant,
worldclass fishing.
Catch limits there are very
generous too. Both eaters
and lunkers are
typically caught on most
charters for the perfect mix.



and argument. What makes gun

ownership in the U.S. a political issue
rather than the moral issue slavery
originally was is that pesky Second
Amendment. Slave ownership was
never a right conferred onto the populace. Gun ownership is.

Since the 1960s, gun violence

has become such a part of our culture it is impossible to ignore. Look
at all the advertisements for violent
video games guns, guns guns. And
its just about impossible to watch a
single evening of prime time, scripted
television without seeing some kind
of gunplay. Movies. Violence in music videos.
Since most families no longer
live on farms and for most families
hunting is no longer a shared pastime,
it seems pretty obvious that most people adults and children alike learn
about guns through television shows,
movies and video games. Perhaps,
then, to the counter the growth of
Americas culture of violence, efforts
should turn from burdening otherwise
law abiding citizens with more rules
for procuring and owning their guns
to banning TV shows, movies and
the sale of video games that glamorize the use of guns. Instead of blaming gun manufacturers, blame those
markets that promote and popularize
the abuse, misuse, and criminal use of
their products
You know, chop away at folks
First Amendments rights instead of
suggesting the cure lies in abridging
their rights under the Second.
How do you think that idea would
go over?n


Time to think about food plots

he bow season was mostly

normal weather wise and
deer movement was varied.
We roam mid-Michigan and
paid attention to the weather
conditions and their
affect on deer movement. Im
about to throw away every
book I have on deer strategy,
weather influence, affects of
moon phases etc, etc. I have
since the 1970s kept records
of deer movement connected
to the above and other natural
events. I have experienced through the
years that deer move
when its overcast and
extended light rain or
snow. Sure enough during the early
rut on October 25 a day long drizzle,
I saw in the evening hunt a minimum
of 38 deer, seven of which were bucks
with all bucks chasing does. Five of
the bucks were yearlings and all yearling bucks visited the bow kill plot
where I was. The two keepers stayed
on the does trail and out of sight.
Several days later, with the
weather conditions similar, in a different but productive blind I saw two
does no bucks. Thats just one of
many conflicting days in the woods.
Moon phases produced the opposite
expected effect throughout the 2015
deer seasons. One area that deer
stayed reasonably normal were in the
kill plots. That is until deer wiped
them out. I swear I could see the difference in the forage height from day
to day. Several firearm kill plots were
completely eaten and that includes the
acres of corn that surrounded them
prior to the firearm opener.
Forget the muzzle season, the lack
of forage and warm weather made that
season the opposite of the early phase
of the rifle season. The above is not a
complaint; any day in the woods is a
good day. If anything we learn from
these experiences.

spraying should be around the first of

August and that same day you will
seed. After spraying broadcast 50
pounds of 19-19-19 fertilizer per 1/6
of an acre. You will broadcast a blend
of legumes combined with
a blend of brassica seeds.
Broadcast two pounds of legumes, (at least four clovers,
chicory and alfalfa) along
with one pound of brassica, (a
blend of turnips, canola, kale
and rape), three pounds total
per 1/6 of an acre. A future
perennial plot, with
the first year being
Maintain for many
years with an annual
spraying of RR in mid-May starting
the third year of growth. Overseed
only when necessary. I think itd be
great if our MDNR ever decides to
let hunters create super but small kill
plots on public land. With permission we have created the same plots
successfully as noted on four acres of
public land.

By Mr. Food Plots

Ed Spinazzola

We will stay simple and cover

basics only, for this subject can be
involved. Equipment consists of a
quad of 400CC minimum, used eight
foot single row disk, 15 gallon, 12
volt sprayer with spray wand or two
flood jet nozzles that mounts onto
the quad. This should spray one acre.
Flood jets spray a horizontal swath. A
12 volt spreader that also mounts onto
the quad would be beneficial. You will
also need a cultipacker, it should be a
heavy one with 18 inch press wheels
that is around eight feet wide to break
down soil clods and firms the seed
into the soil after spreading it.
The above three RR sprayings
prior to seeding is still important with
the first years seeding taking place
around August 1. The difference
here is the three sprayings take place
near May 15, June 15 and July 15.
Near August 1 broadcast 300 pounds
19-19-19 fertilizer or follow soil test
fertilizer recommendations.
Deer not only need a variety of
This is primarily for those interested in the value of food plots but have forage, they demand it, so think varilittle experience. All you need is a
ety from dawn to dusk. Through the
3-4 gallon back pack sprayer, a small years think of building up the soil per
chainsaw and a shoulder seed and
soil test recommendations in pH and
fertilizer spreader. Around May 15 fill mineral composition. As above you
the sprayer half-full with water, add a will seed clover and seed it throughout
cup of granulated sprayable ammoni- your land for improved deer moveated sulfate (AMS), a cup of Roundup ment. Your total clover blend does
Ready (RR) herbicide, and fill the
not need to be more than 25 percent
tank and spray. You can create a new
of your total food plot area unless the
food plot in a grassy field. Expect 1/6 total food plot area is less than 1-1/2
of an acre per tank fill up. Clear out
acres, then increase the clover to 50
brush and small trees with a chainsaw. percent. Perennials are important; they
Spray again around June 20. The last
are there for most of the year while


Food Plots
Created By Hand


Food Plots Using Equipment

To create small food plots, all you need is a 3-4 gallon back pack sprayer, a small
chainsaw and a shoulder seed and fertilizer spreader. Author photo
most annuals are available in late
summer or the deer seasons. Annuals normally draw in deer better than
After spraying the first years plot
and broadcast the fertilizer, now pull
that disk over the plot until the sod
is well mixed into the soil, may take
several passes. For your perennial
area broadcast the perennial blend
with a brassica blend as noted above
at 9-12 pounds total per acre or follow
instructions. Follow with two slow
cultipacking passes. If you are seeding
a brassica blend by itself, broadcast
seed at six pounds per acre and follow
with two slow cultipacking passes.
Do not spray RR after seeding the
above. You have sprayed three times
and thoroughly worked up the soil,
the new weeds that appear are the
deers delight and most of the new
weeds will not have time to develop
mature seeds. You are finished except
for additional fertilizer application in
mid-September called the sweetening
thing. See our web site
www.deerattraction for details.
If seeding larger annual seeds
such as winter peas or soybeans in
early August broadcast the peas or
soys at 50 pounds per acre after the
first tillage and till again around 2-1/2
to 3 inches deep twice. Its a good
idea to broadcast a brassica blend at
two pounds per acre after this second

tillage. Follow with the two cultipacking passes. Nothing beats soybeans
seeded from July 1 to August 1 for the
bow season, add sweetening and your
neighbors will complain of seeing
no deer. For cover and needed deer
security add three pounds of forage
sorghum sudan seeds per acre to the
Of course there is much more
to kill plots and that information is
available in our food plot book and
DVDs. If you have the interest and the
opportunity of access to land in deer
country, I strongly advise, to give it a
shot, you will have fun.
For the later seasons sugar beets
cannot be beat. Sugar beets are demanding and need good soil. If you
can grow corn or soybeans you should
be okay for sugar beets. RR sugar
beet seeds can be bought and seeded
by anyone. They have been totally
deregulated by the federal courts.
RR sugar beet seed is still not widely
sold except to sugar beet farmers. If
interested but unable to find a seed
source call me at 586-784-8090, we
may be able to help and keep the fun
in hunting!
Ed Spinazzola, Associate, Tony
LaPratts Ultimate Land Management,
for more information see our web sites or or call

The Right Attitude

While money can
buy you the services of
an excellent gun dog
trainer, you can also
train your own dog, saving the money
and gaining satisfaction. Positive
thinking is crucial. By maintaining
faith in both yourself and your dog,
you will have the kind of gun dog that
will bring a new dimension to your
hunting experience. Go ahead now;
you can do it!n


Takes you to a new concept of deer attraction.
Deer will freely enter your kill plot during daylight due
to the security and endless variety of forage deer prefer


Send Check or Money Order

Made Out to:

Edward Spinazzola
815 Sleeth Rd.
Commerce, MI 48382

New DVD ~ $25 includes shipping




Phone #

Tony Lapratt and associate Chris Pierson
with new associate Ed Spinazzola



Send Check or Money Order
Made Out to:

Book $25
DVD $20

Check the Following:

then mail to:

Deer Attraction
815 Sleeth Rd.
Commerce, MI 48382

Book @ $25 each

DVD @ $20 each


Phone #




# Bags



Michigan's Ultimate Blend



Wildlife Cover and

Forage Blend (6lbs)


Shipping and handling

Lower Peninsula Michigan

$11.00 first bag $7.00

each additional bag

Shipping and handling

Upper Peninsula and the
rest of the Continental US

$12.00 first bag $8.00

each additional bag


Ed Spinazzola 24150 31 Mile Road, Ray Twp, MI 48096





Michigan Brassica Blend



The Brassica Blend provides both summer feed and winter forage. The Ultimate Blend is
an excellent mix that includes both annual and perennials. The Wildlife Cover and Forage Blend
is designed to keep deer on your property by providing them a bedding area and food in close
proximity. Go to for a full list of ingredients and detailed planting instructions.

Phone #




Dog Training
By Len Jenkins

f you want to train

your dog successfully, you will have
to approach your
task with the right
attitude. In fact, a prerequisite to
accomplishment in any endeavor is
a constructive attitude in which you
systematically work toward your goal.
Without a constructive attitude, youre
doomed to failure.
Any person with reasonably
good judgement can train a bird dog.
However, if you arent motivated by
the desire to own a classy, well-trained
gun dog, your effort might be in vain.
If you want success, youll have it,
provided you think positively, have
faith in your dog, and maintain confidence in yourself.
Positive thinking will serve you
well. Anything is possible if enough
effort and planning go into it. Dog
training is no exception. There is no
place in the process for doubt, anger, or defeatism. These are negative
forces which will sap your energy and
motivation and lead to dismal failure.
Although slow progress can lead to
doubt and disappointment, dont dwell
on negative factors. Instead, proceed
with your mission by always being
patient with your dog, consistent in
your training strategy, and supportive
of your dog by rewarding and recognizing improvement.
Have faith in your dog, Hell learn
if you think he will. If you expect him
to be a finished gun dog, thats what
he will be. If you think hes a loser,
hell be that. You get what you expect.
If you expect a lot from and preserve
your faith in his ability to master the
various tasks you are teaching him,
he will be a gun dog youll be proud
to won. Having faith in your dog will
build his confidence. This in turn will
lead to an improvement in his animation and enthusiasm, bringing you
much personal satisfaction in the field.
While having faith in your dog is
crucial to success, you must also have
faith in yourself. If youre patient, determined individual who can analyze
a task and then devise a strategy for
its execution, you can train your own
dog. With self-confidence you can
develop his bird-finding and birdhandling abilities one step at a time
until you get the finished product.
If you decide, however, that youre
not satisfied with the progress, scale
down your expectations for each step
or change your techniques. What may
work with one dog may not work for
another. Only you can determine what
needs to be done. Youll still get the
desired result although you may have
to change your approach. Analyze
what needs to be done and devise the
right strategy for accomplishing your
objective through short and longterm goal setting and improved time
management techniques. Success is in


Reader Trail Cam Photos

Send your Reader Trail-Cam Photos to:
Piotrowski sent
us this great
trail cam photo
of a buck he
named, Wide
Boy-8. The
photo was
taken in
Paul Boyale got this unique trail cam photo of a
very nice 8-pointer with an apple in his mouth.
Tom Spillane
got this photo
of a big old
black bear
near his cabin
in St. Helen.
The big boy
was feeding
on bird feeder
hanging in a
pine tree.

Phil Scott of
Kalkaska got
this interesting trail cam
photo of two
does mixing it

Jackie Peace of
Curran got this
trail cam photo
of a bobcat up
close and personal.


Barry Martin of Eaton County was able to get this

tremendous buck on trail cam. Barry commented
the big buck seemed to be posing for the camera.


Tom Malburg
of Romeo
this trail cam
photo of a
curious barred
owl near the
South Branch
of the Huron
National Forest.

Larry Dawson caught this

group of strange
bedfellows on
trail cam. For
about a month
Larrys trail cam
was loaded with
photos like this

Perfect For Every


Woods-N-Water News
Michigans Premier Outdoor Publication

New Subscription Renewal


Two years $55

Check/Money Order Visa/Mastercard

Card #Exp. Date

Send to: Woods-N-Water News
P.O. Box 278 Imlay City, MI 48444
Or Call (810) 724-0254





One year $29

(Please attach mailing label)




he spring 2016 Sport Show schedule is in full swing and the Novi
Outdoorama held at the Suburban
Showcase is just around the corner February 25-28. Three weeks later,
Grand Rapids will host the Ultimate
Sports Show at the DeVos Place - March 17-20. It
is a busy and exciting time for me as I set up my
antique fishing tackle displays at both shows. This
year I will be featuring Made in Michigan lures,
reels, rods, and fishing accessories along with some
of my classic minnow bucket collection. I also offer Free Appraisals during all four days of each
sports show, and I will be taking many photos of the
interesting and often rare tackle that is brought in
for me to appraise. Hopefully you have an Antiques Roadshow treasure tucked away - an early
minnow bucket, a rare rod and reel, or an extraordinary lure.
Such an item could be a rare example
of the Jones Aquarium Minnow Pail,
which was brought into the July Allegan
Antiques Market. Manufactured by the
Deshler Mail Box Company of Deshler,
Ohio, from about 1905 through 1927,
it was an oval 2-piece galvanized metal
bucket comprised of an outer pail with an
inside wire insert. The top of the insert
contained an air chamber fitted
with an ordinary air valve.
The angler used a bicycle tire
pump to pressurize the air
inside the air chamber. The
pressurized air was then fed through a small tube to
the bottom of the bucket supplying a stream of air
bubbles into the water and aerating the minnows
from four to six hours. The air chamber also kept
the minnow pail afloat if the angler wished to use it
separately in a lake or a stream.

Above: A rare 12-qt. Jones

Aquarium Minnow Pail was
first manufactured in 1905 by
Deshler Mail Box Company of
Deshler, Ohio. Author photo.
Right: This was the paper
inser t that was placed inside
of the Jones Aquarium Minnow
Pail showing both sizes, the
8-qt. and the 12-qt.

The JONES Minnow Pail emblazoned across the bass. It was a

striking decal and I am sure helped
sell the pail.
The Jones Aquarium Minnow
Pail was offered in two sizes - an
8-quart and a 12-quart
version. The 8-quart model measured
8-inches tall by 15-inches wide and
6-inches deep. Its outer bucket did not
have a hinged lid. The larger 12-quart
version was 2-inches taller, and its outer
bucket had a recessed hinged lid that was
designed to hold chunks of ice that would
melt and cool the water. Other than those
differences, the two models
were the same.
Sometime in 1927-1928,
the Deshler Mail Box Company sold the rights to their
Jones Aquarium Minnow Pail to the Stratton
Terstegge Company of Louisville, Kentucky. They
were a large hardware wholesaler as well as one
of the leading manufacturers of sheet metal products in the U.S. They produced Falls City brand
minnow buckets, bait containers and tackle boxes,
Stratco water coolers, Air-Tight heaters and all
The Jones Aquarium Minnow Pail was invented manner of tinware. They continued to make both
sizes of the Aquarium Minnow Pail through the
by Samuel A. Jones who apparently owned the
1930s and started using the colorful bass decal on
company from around 1900. He not only patented
this unique minnow pail but held patents for a mail- many of their standard minnow buckets with the
words Falls City inscribed across the fish.
box, a cream separator, a cream container, a corn
Condition is always an issue with either the
popper and metal roofing tiles. Jones applied for
the minnow pail patent on December 20, 1905 and Deshler Aquarium Minnow Pails or the later Falls
patent #821040 was issued to him on May 22, 1906. City models. Painting galvanized metal was not
His clever design created an air chamber that could a perfect science and the green paint wore off the
galvanized metal. They were also apparently an exbe pressurized to aerate the water as well as acting
as a float. The minnow pails second important sell- cellent minnow bucket, so they were used hard and
ing point was probably not apparent to the inventor showed the wear. Most Jones Aquarium Minnow
Pails are at best in fair condition because of this but
at first. He created a colorful bass decal that was
still sell for $100 to $150. Examples with very good
placed on the front of the bucket with the words


Sporting Collectibles...
By Terry McBurney


paint and an intact bass logo have sold for $300.

My wife, Audrey, gave me my first Rassey casting reel as a birthday gift a dozen years ago, and I
fell in love with its striking good looks and simplicity. Two more Rassey reels were brought into last
years Novi Outdoorama, and I was able to acquire
them for my growing collection. I have set out to
find out more about these Detroit-made reels and to
photograph them for future articles.
My first Rassey reel has yellow tinted seethrough Lucite side plates. It is a direct drive,
non-level wind reel without gears, so when the
angler turns the handle one turn, the spool revolves
once. Some variations were made in a single color
and sometimes the reel was made in two colors of
Lucite - one color for the side plates with a different
color for the spool flanges. For example, green side
plates with yellow spool flanges. The pillars, end
caps and handle were aluminum, and the reel foot,
spool shaft, and handle nut were steel.
Many of the different Lucite reels I have handled are marked Pat. Pend. on the left side plate.
That information got me searching U.S. patents
for any reel tied to someone named Rassey. Patent #2695141 was filed on July 7, 1951 by Edward
C. Rassey of Detroit and granted on November
23, 1954. The patent drawing is clearly a Rassey
casting reel. The patent, however, only covered a
simple and inexpensive pulley-driven line-winding
device as compared to the complicated and more
expensive level wind mechanism used on modern
bait casting reels of that era. None of the Rassey
reels that I have seen, however, have this pulleydriven line-winding device in place, nor is there
any evidence that it was ever manufactured with the

(Top-Bottom) Five colorful examples of the Rassey Reel with Lucite side
plates. This was a non-level wind casting reel without gears made in
Detroit in the early 1950s. Three examples of the Rassey Reel with black
plastic side plates - all three have Lucite spool flanges, amber, clear and
red. Two aluminum Rassey reels - one polished and the other natural
aluminum. The rarest Rassey reel was their all-metal #455 model with a
4:1 multiplying gearbut still manufactured without a level wind. Jerry
Shemechko and author photos
level wind and then removed by unhappy anglers.
Edward C. Rassey was born on February
18, 1913 in West Virginia to Joseph and Waddea
Rassey, both Syrian immigrants. His family lived
in Port Huron during the 1920 Census and later
in Detroit during the 1930 Census when Edward
was listed as a truck driver delivering fruit. At that
point, his genealogical records go cold, and I am
hoping to trace down his relatives to learn more
about Edward Rassey and his well-made but simple
casting reels.
The Rassey Reel came in many different colors
of Lucite - both clear and some in solid black.
There were also Rassey reels made with machined
aluminum side plates, and I have seen one that had
nickel plated brass side plates. There is also a rare
all-metal multiplying Rassey reel, model #455, that
has a 4:1 gear ratio and a unique drag systembut
still was made without a level wind! One Lucite
Rassey reel has been found in the original box - a
rather drab, inexpensive cardboard box with very
little information other than Rassey Reel and
Model 2500A and that it could be used either
right-handed or left-handed for casting or trolling.

and spoons, and birdcages but not bamboo rods. I

also told him that the New Haven Arms Company,
maker of renowned Winchester firearms, marketed
fishing tackle between 1919 and 1931 and that they
had bought out the Andrew B. Hendryx Company,
also located in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1919.
Winchester also bought out a number of other
sporting goods manufacturers - the Eagle and the
Napanoch knife companies, the Barney and Berry
Skate Company, as well as the E.W. Edwards Fishing Rod Company of Bangor, Maine.
Eustis William Edwards grew up in Bangor,
Maine, and went to work as an apprentice about
1880 for famed rod maker Hiram Leonard in his
Central Valley, New York rod shop. In late 1889,
Edwards left the H.L. Leonard Company and
formed the first of several partnerships building
upscale bamboo rods for the major retailers of the
day. Around 1900, he left the rod making business
and returned to his former occupation of photographer. He continued with this endeavor until 1916
when he and his son, Bill Jr., opened their own
shop making hand-made Tonkin cane bamboo rods
that are considered classic works of art today. Win-

No address was listed, no ads have been discovered, and no one knows what the original retail was
when it was produced sometime in the early 1950s.
The last item is a 3-piece bamboo fly rod that
a friend of mine, bamboo rod expert Mike Simcik,
had recently found - a 7 -ft. 3-piece bamboo fly
rod marked Hendryx, Trade Mark, Made in the
U.S.A, 7305. He wanted to know what I knew
about Hendryx bamboo fly rods. My answer was
simply that Hendryx did not make rods or sell
them. They made low to moderately priced fly
reels, casting reels and trolling reels, metal spinners

chester persuaded Bill Edwards to sell his factory

moving it to New Haven, Connecticut. Edwards
signed a five-year contract and began making
great bamboo bait casting and fly rods under the
Winchester logo that were sold to Winchester
brand dealers. They also manufactured bamboo
rods under other logos such as Armax, Barney and
Berry and Hendryx. These rods were primarily sold
through Winchester firearm wholesalers to their
many other retailers.
One of the most collectible of the Edwards
Winchester rods was their 7 -ft. light trout rod, an


Outdoorama, Feb. 25 - 28
Suburban Collection Showcase- Novi

Ultimate Sport Show, March 17 - 20

Devos Place, Grand Rapids
Dick VanRaalte and I will again be setting up our antique displays at both the
Outdoorama in Novi and the Ultimate Sport Show in Grand Rapids.
I will be exhibiting my Made in Michigan fishing tackle collection and offering free appraisals on old tackle brought into the show. Dick VanRaalte, from Starboard Marine Restorations in Grand
Haven, Michigan, will be exhibiting a display of vintage outboard motors. Dick will also be answering your
questions and offering free appraisals.
Bring in your fathers or grandfathers tackle box, old rods and reels, or a vintage outboard motor. We will
be happy to answer your questions, as well as offering FREE appraisals. We are also interested in buying old
sporting collectibles for our collections. Please stop by and enjoy our displays. We will see you there.

extremely popular rod built for and marketed to the

Catskills and Adirondack small-stream fly fishermen. This 7 -ft. fly rod would handle what we
would call a 4-5 weight fly line today. It featured
nickle silver ferrules and reel seat and was finished
in a fine-looking dark flamed tempered color. The
Hendryx 7 -ft. fly rod was that same basic fly
rod but built with the Hendryx logo rather than
Winchester and sold through the companys wholesalers. Regardless of the name on the rod, it is a
beautiful fly rod made sometime between 1919 and
1924 when Bill Edwards contract ran out and he
left Winchester. The Hendryx fly rod would make a
great addition to a collection or carefully fished by
a discriminating angler - a nice rod.
I would like to thank two of my good friends
for their help with background research and for allowing me to photograph their special items - Jerry
Shemechko for his Rassey reel collection and Mike
Simcik and for Hendryx bamboo fly rod.
Feel free to contact the author at with your questions. Photographs
are important, so please send them. They help me
with identification and give me an idea of the condition of the item.n


This Hendryx
3-pc. 7 -ft.
bamboo fly rod
was made by the
rod division of
the Winchester
Repeating Arms
Company between
1919 and 1924.
Mike Simcik photo


New twists on a classic

By Buck Mallory

K, its winter in Michigan.

Bass fishing might really
be over until March! Lets
talk about Texas Rigs, something most bass
anglers will throw in the coming season; something most of us have probably
thrown since we took up the pursuit of bass.
There are some things to look at and think about
when it comes to the Granddaddy of all bass rigs.
The Texas-rigged worm has been a staple for
bass fishermen all over North America, probably
since the late 1960s, when bass tournaments started
and Bassmaster Magazine spread local techniques
to a national audience. Its hard to imagine that a
hook piercing a worm through the nose then twisted
back around into the worms body to become weedless was once cutting edge fishing technology.

Brief History

down into the fishs strike zone and

triggered it to eat. I think its likely
that bass still eat soft plastic worms
today because it looks and acts like fooda fish,
probablyand gets that reaction strike. A really
good lure for shallow water flippin is aTexasrigged Caffeine Shad in the Baby Bass pattern,
which looks like a fish.
Through the years, anglers started Texas-rigging
a lot of different kinds of soft plastics to imitate
other bass foods, especially crayfish. Todays popular baits, such as the Strike King Perfect Rodent,
fall into the category of creature baits and are
ribbed, crawly things that might look like a fish, or
a crayfish, or maybe even a baby bird that tumbled
from its nest.

Feeling Fishy

Another thing to consider with soft-plastic,

Texas-rigged baits is how they feel to a fish. And
I dont mean just when the fish eats it. Everything
a bass targets gives off some sort of vibration that
the predators lateral line picks up. Some of todays
most effective soft plastics for Texas-rigging have
flapping tails and ribbed bodies which, I believe,
give off some vibration that just feels like food to
the fish and induces it to strike.
From what Ive read about bass angling in the
1960s and 1970s, most Texas Rigs were fished
with a free-sliding sinker. These started as barrel
sinkers and evolved to bullet shapes, which come
through brush and weeds more easily. The idea of
the free-sliding sinker was that the fish could inhale
the bait and not necessarily feel the weight, which
The fact that those first pre-rigged Creme
made the soft plastic feel more like something the
Worms emulated live nightcrawlers fished on a har- fish normally ate. Personally, I almost never fish a
ness might have started a myth that bass eat worms sliding sinker with a Texas Rig. The sinker affixed
regularly. They certainly will eat a squirming live
at the nose of the bait helps the whole lure package
nightcrawler because it smells good and is bite-size. come through weeds and brush better. Plus, if a fish
And its possible that bass occasionally do find
inhales a Texas-rigged bait, I dont give it any time
a nightcrawler washed into the water from a big
to think about whether it feels natural or notI set
rain. But I think the whole worm thing got started
the hook immediately.
because bass struck those tasty live nightcrawlers on harnesses. Bass continued to eat the plastic
imitations on three-hook harnesses, not necessarAnglers have a wide choice of ways to peg
ily because they looked like a live nightcrawler,
the sinker to the nose of the bait. The original pegs
but because they just looked something alive that
were toothpicks shoved down the nose of the sinker
would be easy to catch and swallow. With the first
and clipped flush to the weights tip. These still
Texas Rigs, guys threw a 6-inch (or bigger) cylinwork, but wood can damage line, and that small
drical piece of straight-tailed plastic into a basss
piece of toothpick is hard to remove when changing
lair, and with the weight at its nose, the lure zipped lures. Top Brass, a Mississippi company that makes
a variety of brass and
tungsten fishing weights,
also has a Peg-It, which
is a slightly stretchy
hard plastic peg thats
easy to slide through
the sinker to keep the
weight where you want
it. Some bass guys glue
the sinker to the nose of
a lure to keep it place.
I havent tried that yet,
but I imagine cleaning
the sinker when you
want to put it away
might be a hassle.
A favorite Texas Rig for punching through dense surface weeds, down to the fish
Bullet Weights and
starts with a 4/0 Trokar hook, and a 1-ounce tungsten weight held close to the hook
other companies
with a bobber stop. Add a Strike Rage Craw and youre ready to present a weedless
screw-in bullet
bait that can catch big fish.
In a 2008 article in Bassmaster Magazine,
senior writer Louie Stout said the Texas Rig probably first was put together by unknown bass anglers
fishing Lake Tyler in Texas in the late 1950s. These
anglers found that burying the hook back into the
worm could help get the lure intoand out ofthe
brush that lined the reservoir. He bases that assertion on the fact that the inventor of the first soft
plastic worms, Nick Creme, of Akron, Ohio, said he
shipped bunches of replacement worms to Tyler,
Texas back then. The original Creme Worms all
came pre-rigged on three-hook harnesses, but that
Texas crowd wanted just the worms.

A Myth?




Texas-rigged creature baits imitate crayfish, or fish, or

swimming mice or fallen baby birdsand just catch fish.
sinkers that stay attached to the lures nose.
Probably the top method bass pros use to keep
a sinker in place at the nose of the lure is with a
bobber stop, the little hard-rubber thing that panfish
anglers use with slip bobbers. Just slide a bobber
stop on the line before sliding the sinker on. After
you tie on the hook and rig your soft plastic, the
stop keeps the sinker at the nose of the weight.


I mainly use two styles, the J-shaped Trokar

hook which is heavy-gauge wire and perfect for
punching a big lure through heavy surface weeds
down to big fish. This is the tow-truck-winch of
hooks that wont bend or break and pairs well with
bigger, thicker creature baits and big worms. A key
feature of these Trokars is the barb on the shank up
near the eyelet. This keeps the nose of the bait from
sliding down the shank and possibly creating a gob
of plastic that could get in the way of the hook point
penetrating the basss mouth.
The second style of hook is the extra wide
gap hook that is configured so that the hook point
lays flat against the plastic body when the plastic
is rigged. Some of these have a sharp bend by the
eyelet which, like the Trokars barb, keeps the lure
from bunching up on the shank. These hooks generally go into service with smaller baits and/or lighter


A word about tungsten weights. They are expensive, but they are worth the extra dough. Tungsten
is denser than lead, so you get the same sink rate
with a smaller weight that can pop through cover
more easily than bigger lead weights. Its also a
harder material than lead, which transmits the feel
of the bottom better up the line. Use them for a
while and pretty soon youll be able to detect bottom transition zones, where rock ends and soft
mud startsthese edges are often good for holding
So, theres a look at a time-tested technique that
is still catching fish. Keeping a Texas Rig ready in
your daily fishing arsenal is almost a sure bet to pay
off with bites.n

What the buck?

Hairy Antler
Mystery Solved...
Stewart has 25-years working daily
with whitetails and he has never seen
a specimen like this either. But he
had a scientific logical explanation.
Which, is exactly what I was looking
for. Any explanation other
than this animal was left
here by an alien space ship,
which is what I was starting to think. The condition
Chad tried to explain to me
is called cryptorchidism.
Well they have the cryptic
part right anyway.
What happens with this
rare condition can
either be caused
at birth, or by the
buck sustaining
some kind of injury to its testicles.
At birth the testicles never drop from
the cavity and by injury, well,
theyre just plain gone. Either way,
what happens is the animals testosterone is completely jacked out of
shape, to be honest, non-existent and
no amount of Viagra is going to bring
it back.
A deer with this condition obviously will never reproduce. Nor will
it go through the breeding cycle
associated with a mature buck.
They wont become aggressive
during the rut, they wont rub,
their antlers will never harden,
nor will they ever shed their antlers.
Deer with this condition are
commonly known as cactus
bucks because of the bubbly bulky
appearance of the antler. But these
bucks are far from common. These
bucks will never rub or scrape so the
hair continues to grow and will never
form what we know as velvet. And
they do kind of take on a cactus like
appearance. At least we know Brians
buck isnt from outer space.
It is also possible for a doe to grow
antlers, such as the 30-point, nontypical, doe that was shot in Illinois
in 2011. But that isnt the case with
Brians buck. Its just a buck that has
been short changed by nature.
Brians big concern when taking
his harvest from the woods was to
preserve the antlers. I was afraid they
were going to break off because they
were so soft, and then I was afraid
they might decompose, he said. So
Brian made some phone calls and was

Dear Fish Diary?

By Ron St. Germain

Brian Cisneros with his deer with cryptorchidisma male deer with no testicles that produces this unique set of antlers
able to track down a taxidermist with
40-years of experience who told him
to do the following:
Soak the antlers in gasoline for
three days.
Let them air dry for three days.
Lightly brush the hairs.
So Brian took the taxidermists advice even though the Oxford Middle
School history teacher thought it to be
odd. It worked, Cisneros explained.
The antlers are holding up great
and its quite a conversation piece.
Ill bet it is, Im just wondering if he
might like a peek at my cat fish and
dog fish that are covered with fur. I
mean the ones Ive seen but Im actually still trying to catch.

Have a funny fishing story to share?

I Need Your Fishing Stories...

Send a short description of your

best or worst fishing day, or worst
fishing-related adventure to me. You
dont have to write the entire story,
just a brief outline of what happened.
If it has some humor to it Ill be getting in touch with you and well work
on the completed story together. Fishing isnt always fun you know.
Have a fun or interesting fishing
related story? Woods-n-Water News
columnist Ron St. Germain can be
reached by calling (517) 626-2814,
Visit the authors online photo gallery
at DaPhotoDude.comn


rian Cisneros is just your

regular bow hunter. The
story he has of his last day
of bow season will be one
that should most likely
be told on Halloween, but I couldnt wait
that long to share it. Because
his story isnt average. And I
do get bored during the long
winter months. His story
actually consists of a harvest,
something I know little about
as I usually stare at a fishless
To cut to the
chase, Brian had
just about given up
on his bow hunting
season when a six-point buck ventured within range. Typical shot for a
seasoned bow hunter, but not a typical
reaction when he went to retrieve his
buck. Yeah, it was a WTH moment,
admitted Cisneros. The buck he had
just taken appeared at first to still be in
velvet, but on closer inspection, that
velvet was actually hair over an inch
long that covered the entire antlers. It
was hair, he said.
Hair? Covering an entire antler?
Yup. Upon tagging the deer Brian
made another WTH discovery. It
didnt have any testicles and Id already put a buck tag on it, he sheepishly admitted.
Soooooooo Its a Duck? I
asked? Half doe half buck?
This all got started when Brent
Rathka noticed the antlers in his
grandfather Charles Rathkas workshop. Charles has been doing antler
mounts for locals in the Metamora
area for probably around 50-years.
When Brent noticed the antlers his
first question to his grandfather was
What the H is that?
To which Charles, who has done
hundreds of antler mounts in his 85
years replied. I dont know, crappy
lookin outfit isnt it? Brents 7-yearold son couldnt help but to pet the
antlers. None of us have seen anything like this before, explained
Brent. Of course, its why he called
me. And after many phone calls I
realized, there arent too many deer
experts who have seen anything like
this either.
DNR Whitetail field expert, Chad


What Does The Science Have To Say AboutBy John Ozoga

Crossbow Effectiveness
t wasnt too many years ago that
crossbow use for deer hunting
purposes was illegal -- for a multitude of reasons. Today, like it or
not, crossbows play an integral
role in deer harvest management,
probably especially so in residential
areas where hunting access is limited, gun hunting is not possible, and
burgeoning deer herds are otherwise
difficult to control.
Needless to say, however, some
traditional bow (recurve and longbow)
enthusiasts, as well as some compound users and gun hunters, are still
critical of crossbow use, saying the
device is just simply too easy to use
and too effective. Others are quick to
contradict such claims. In fact, I know
of some who have even given up their
crossbows and gone back to using
their faithful older model compounds.
Thats an argument Ill leave
to the experts more knowledgeable
(and opinionated) than I regarding
the merits of using crossbows versus
traditional or compound bows for deer
My objective here is to look at
what science has to say about this intriguing debate: are crossbows really
superior deer killing instruments?

In 2014,
an estimated 59,266
whitetails in
accounting for
roughly 18
percent of the
total annual
state deer
Darwin photo

in the sport of bowhunting, increased

use of bowhunting as a [deer] population management tool, particularly
in urban areas, and the frequency of
challenges to the use of bowhunting
were all cited as justification for the
One of the earliest evaluations of
crossbow use for deer hunting was
Historically, many states have
reported by Mike Tonkovich and Mike viewed legalizing crossbows as a way
Cartwright (wildlife biologists from
to increase hunter recruitment and
Ohio and Arkansas, respectively), in
retention. However, certain traditional
the First National Bowhunting Conarcher organizations have not favored
ference Proceedings, published in
use of crossbows for deer hunting and
in some cases warned that their use
Its noteworthy that crossbow
might even decimate deer herds.
use for deer hunting has been legal
To the contrary, despite a sharp
statewide in Ohio and Arkansas since increase in deer harvest attributed to
1976 and 1973, respectively, at a
hunters using crossbows, Tonkovich
time when crossbows were illegal in
and Cartwright found no evidence of
many states. The review provided by
deer herd decimation, loss of huntTonkovich and Cartwright was based ing opportunity, or increased threats
upon crossbow use trends recorded
to hunter safety due to crossbow use.
during the 1986-1999 period in Ohio
In fact, they concluded that the use of
and Arkansas.
crossbows increased hunting opporIn Ohio, for that period, the cross- tunity, served as a valuable tool, for
bow deer harvest rose steadily and
managing urban deer, and even helped
peaked at 16,946 in 1999, accountto recruit and retain deer hunters.
ing for 13.5 percent of the total deer
harvest. By comparison, the crossbow
deer harvest in Arkansas peaked at
A study conducted at the McAl8,669 in 1997, accounting for only
ester Army Ammunition Plant, in
three percent of the deer harvest in
Oklahoma, under the guidance of
1999. Given their experience, Tonkov- Steve Ditchkoff, was one of the first
ich and Cartwright suggested that
to examine in detail the efficiency
crossbows may at least be a partial
of crossbows, as compared to that of
solution to controlling thriving deer
compound bows and traditional arherds, because less time is needed for chery equipment, for harvesting deer.
a hunter to become proficient with
It is theorized, the study authors
a crossbow as compared to using a
noted, that crossbow hunters have
compound or longbow.
greater success rates and harvest deer
In addition, they reported the
of greater quality than other archers,
following: Increased participation
and thus may jeopardize current

Early Evaluation


The McAlester Study


management strategies designed to

improve herd quality. At the time,
there was no scientific evidence to
prove or disprove such logic.
The McAlester study was specifically designed to verify or reject
such theory: that is, are crossbow
deer hunters more successful and/or
more selective as compared to other
Deer hunting on the study area
was restricted to archery equipment
during six weekends in autumn,
followed by two shotgun antlerless
hunts, annually. A limited number of
hunting permits (1,600) were allocated by lottery each year and hunters
were limited to hunting one weekend
(2.5 days) and harvest two deer of
either sex.
In order to examine the relative
efficiency of crossbows for harvesting
deer, Ditchkoff and his cohorts collected five years (1996-2000) of deer
harvest data during crossbow hunts
and hunts with traditional archery
equipment that were held the weekend prior to and following crossbow
hunts. In addition, they also compared
harvest data during previous periods
of compound (1983-1988) and traditional (1989-1995) archery hunts from
the same weekend in mid-October as
the crossbow hunts.
Hunters were required to return
all harvested deer to a check station
where sex, age, and field-dressed
weight were recorded. Primary antler
characteristics such as main beam
circumference, main beam length, and
total antler points were recorded for

each buck.
Since the McAlester deer herd was
comprised of more than 50 percent
mature bucks, the study provided
special opportunity to compare hunter
selectivity, relative to the type of
archery gear used.

Improved Hunting Success

Clearly, as expected, this study

demonstrated that crossbow deer
hunters tend to be more successful
than others using either traditional or
compound archery equipment. In fact,
hunting success (22.8 percent) among
crossbow users was more than three
times greater than for those using traditional equipment (6.9 percent).
During the 1996-2000 study,
crossbow hunters enjoyed a 23.2
percent deer hunting success rate, as
compared to 13.6 percent success for
compound archers during 1983-1988
and 8.3 percent success for those
using recurves or longbows during
Interestingly, crossbow hunters at McAlester had a considerably
higher success rate (22.8 percent) than
those using crossbows in Ohio (13.6
percent) or Arkansas (12.3 percent).
However, it is noteworthy that time
spent hunting differed among studies. For example, crossbow hunters
reported by Tonkovich and Cartwright
spent an average of 13 days hunting, compared to only 2.5 days at
McAlester. Differences in deer herd
demographics and density, as well as
differences in hunting pressure, may
also have influenced hunting success

Lack of Hunter Selectivity

Given the increased range of
crossbows and greater deer hunting

success demonstrated by crossbow

users, Ditchkoff and his fellow researchers predicted crossbow hunters
would tend to harvest bucks of higher
quality, as compared to those taken
by archers using traditional gear.
That didnt happen. There was no
difference in body size, age or antler
characteristics of deer harvested by
traditional versus crossbow archers.
Dont forget, however, that hunting data in this particular study were
collected prior (mid-October) to
major deer breeding activity, when
mature bucks are less vulnerable to
hunters. Different results might have
occurred had the hunts been held at
peak rut in mid-November.
The investigators also expected
to find differences in sex ratio of
harvested deer, proportion of fawns
harvested, and sex ratio of harvested
fawns due to differences in hunter
selectivity relative to the type of
archery equipment used. That didnt
happen either. However, this lack of
hunter selectivity might also have
been due to the limited amount of
time they had to hunt. That is, hunters might simply have wanted to take
something home, didnt have much
time to do so and more likely settled
for a small antlerless deer if need be.

Celebrating another great year of QDM!

16th Thumb QDMA REACH Banquet

McKenzie Stomack with her
2015 Huron County bucks.


Based on historical data, deer

hunters using crossbows were
found to be more successful than
other archers. Currently, this is
still likely to be true when comparing hunter use of crossbows versus
traditional equipment (recurves
and longbows). And, I suspect,
the novice who has virtually no
prior archery deer hunting
experience would also be more
successful using a crossbow than
they would be using a compound
Its important to recognize, however, that the research cited here did
not directly compare crossbow deer
hunting success with that of compound bows during the same time
period. Only data from differing time
periods were used.
Given recent improvements in
compound bow construction, I question whether or not the historical
data are relevant and that crossbows
are truly more effective than modern
compound bows in the hands of experienced hunters. Some other researchers share this view.
Even if crossbow hunters are significantly more successful deer har-

Whats In Your


Dr. Craig Harper

Special Guest Speaker

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Ubly Heights Golf & Country Club
Dinner, Drinks, Guns, Bows, Games, Raffles, Auctions
Order your tickets by February 14th! No ticket sales at the door!
Doors open at 4PM, Dinner at 6PM.

Fun for the whole family! Bring your deer for scoring!
Cut & mail to: QDMA, P.O. BOX 82, Bad Axe, MI 48413. Check payable to: Thumb Branch QDMA
or MasterCard / VISA accepted (circle card type)
Card # ____________________________________________ Exp. Mo/Yr ________________

____ $50 / Individual

____ $70 / Married Couple
____ $20 / Youth 16 & under

Please send me ___ tickets, for a total of $_____.

Name: _______________________________________
Address: _____________________________________

Individual, Spouse, and Youth

City: ____________________ State: ____ ZIP: ______
Ticket Prices include a 1-Year
QDMA Membership or Renewal. Phone: _________________ Email: ________________

vesters as compared to other archers,

those involved in researching this
subject tend to agree that crossbow
hunting does not result in overharvest
or herd decimation and is not likely
to impact quality deer management
Despite these conclusions,
researchers add the following
warning: Increased success of
crossbow archers could potentially
cause short-term impacts on deer
management strategies if success
of crossbow hunters is not accounted
for when employing harvest strategies.
More importantly, one should
be aware that findings based on deer
research conducted in one area may
not necessarily apply to another, especially if there are major differences
in habitat, deer density and/or demographics, hunter density and experience or other factors.
So, as is often the case regarding
white-tailed, more research regarding
the use of crossbows as a tool in deer
harvest management is warranted.
As a footnote, in 2014, 174,558
crossbow hunters harvested an estimated 59,266 whitetails in Michigan,
accounting for roughly 18 percent of
the total annual state deer harvest.n


News staff writer and fishing
tackle historian,
will be setting up
his antique fishing
tackle displays at
the Outdoorama in
Novi and the
Ultimate Sports
Show in Grand
Rapids. With a lifetime
of experience in the
fishing industry and
author of many magazine
articles on antique tackle,
he will be answering
questions and offering
free appraisals at each

Joining him
will be Dick
of Starboard
Marine Restorations, Grand
Haven, Michigan
who will exhibit
part of his
collection of vintage
outboard motors.
With over 20 years
of experience restoring
old outboards, as well
as wood and fiberglass
boats, VanRaalte will
also be answering questions and offering free
appraisals. They are also
interested in buying old
sporting collectibles for
their collections.


Grand Rapids Ultimate Sports Show
Novi Outdoorama
February 25-28, 2016
March 17-20, 2016
DeVos Place
Suburban Collection Showcase
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Novi, Michigan


Keep in mind, compound bow

hunting success data was collected at
McAlester during the 1980s. Hence,
given the advancements of compound
bow technology and resultant increases in range and accuracy, Ditchkoff
and his coworkers speculate that
compound bow users today would be
more successful and possibly just as
successful as those using crossbows.
Despite these possible complicating factors, Ditchkoff and his group
conclude the following: Crossbows
have technological advantages over
traditional bows that increase their
efficiency. Advantages include sighting aids, a mechanical release, and a
pre-drawn arrow that is mechanically
held. In addition, crossbows are usually more powerful than traditional
bows, resulting in greater arrow speed
and range. These advantages potentially could result in improved accuracy and precision of arrow placement,
greater range, and less body movement by the hunter that may scare
deer, and could account for greater
success of crossbow archers relative
to traditional archers.


Providing A Special Fishing Experience...

The Upper Peninsula
historically had some lakes
that held indigenous
populations of lake trout.
Typically these lakes were
deep, clear, and had well
oxygenated water
(oligotrophic) at depth
throughout the summer...


plants consisted of lake trout fry. The

report states hundreds of inland lakes
were planted with lake trout fry with
only mediocre results. The report
states lake trout only became established in Elk, Torch, Glen, Crystal,
Higgins and possibly Walloon lakes
in Michigans northern Lower Peninsula. As lake trout became seriously
depleted in the Great Lakes due to
over fishing and sea lamprey predation some of these inland waters were
used as a brood stock source for eggs
for state hatchery produche status of inland
tion of lake trout. Eventuindigenous lake
ally the Marquette State Fish
trout lakes is spotty
Hatchery built up a suitable
since in many lakes
source of resident hatchery
original fish species
brood stock taken from wild
records were not
surviving stocks of lake trout
kept. In addition lake trout
in Lake Superior.
were stocked in a number of
Historically, the inland
waters in Northern Michigan
lakes with native lake
further complicating their
trout contained fish comoriginal distribution status.
munities that were much
According to the Michigan Fisheries Centennial Report, lake less diverse than most of those lakes
trout were first planted in 1885 in nine would be today. Lake trout would
inland Michigan lakes. These original have typically have been the top fish


By Bill Ziegler

The author releasing a lake trout he caught in Chicagon Lake in Iron County. Lake
trout were indigenous to Chicagon Lake although now that fishery must be maintained
by DNR stocking. Author photos
predator in these indigenous lake trout
lakes. In the 1930s walleye, bass, and
panfish were widely stocked in Upper
Peninsula waters. In some cases the
early stock of fish died out and did not
establish a new fish species. In other
waters walleye, bass, or the other species became well established through
natural reproduction. This complicated the overall lakes fish community
and added predators that would target
juvenile lake trout.
Although inland lake trout natural
reproduction has almost disappeared
in Michigan lakes there is currently
strong natural reproduction in some
Western United States lakes. Those
lakes still have relatively simple fish
communities and good lake trout
habitat. Lake trout were not native to
the West and introduced where they
are now considered a threat to more
preferred native species like cutthroat
In Yellowstone Lake in the
National Park one of my former
coworkers was brought in to develop
a program to collapse the lake trout
population in order to bolster native
trout species. Jim Selgeby, former Supervisor of the US Fish and Wildlife
Services Lake Superior Research and
Assessment Station in Ashland, Wisconsin, spent his entire career working
on reestablishing a self sustaining lake
trout population in Lake Superior. At
Yellowstone Lake he was advising
local authorities how do the exact
opposite to the exotic lake trout
populations that dominated that lake.

Upper Peninsula Inland

Lake Trout Fisheries
Benji Wood of Iron Mountain with a nice inland lake trout he caught on Chicagon Lake

86 while casting lures.

Chicagon Lake in Iron County

A native 1100 acre lake trout and
lake whitefish lake. The lakes name
is reported to mean place of the lake

trout in Ojibwa language. Reportedly

Indian guides from the Ojibwa village
formerly on the south end of this lake
guided the first Wisconsin Governor
to good lake trout fishing. Lake trout
populations declined and maintenance
stocking became necessary about
1950. Since lake trout habitat and water quality remains good, it is probable
the lake trout declined as Chicagon
Lakes fish community became more
complex with introductions of walleye, smallmouth bass, and muskie.
Lake whitefish populations are still
self sustaining and lake herring (cisco)
have been reestablished.
Primarily yearling lake trout were
planted for several decades through
the 1990s. Eventually the yearling
plants were discontinued due to inadequate survival. Lake trout have
been maintained by fairly regular
plants of future brood stock lake
trout. It was felt this is well justified
with Chicagon Lake known to be one
of the few actual native inland lake
trout lakes in the state. In addition
Chicagon Lake is relatively close to
several federal lake trout hatcheries
and the Marquette State Fish Hatchery
all who have to thin their future hatchery resident brood stock lake trout as
they grow larger. This process is not
much different than a gardener thinning their carrots as they grow.
Whenever future brood stock or
regular brood stock lake trout are
planted Chicagon Lake provides a
good lake trout fishery for several
years. The future broodstock typically
yield a good fishery with typically
moderate fishing pressure for at least
five years following their stocking.
Lake trout were last planted in 2013
and 2014.

Inland lake trout lakes page 88

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WO O D S - N - WAT E R N E W S R E S E RV E S T H E R I G H T T O R E F U S E A N Y O R D E R I F I T I S C O N S I D E R E D T O B E I N P O O R TA S T E O R U N E T H I C A L .


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Michigan Management Unit biologist

rates the lake trout fishery as good for
both of these stocked lakes.
Elk and Torch Lakes/Antrim County
Hettinger rates the lake trout fishery of both these self sustaining lake
trout lakes as excellent.
Higgins Lake Roscommon County
Rich Oneal Central Lake Michigan Unit Management biologist stated
lake trout were noted in an 1887 survey of Higgins Lake. That survey also
found lake herring and lake whitefish.
He noted other historical information that made it unclear whether
lake trout were indigenous in Higgins
Lake. Lake trout have been stocked
most recently in Higgins since 1941.
Oneal rated the lake trout fishery as
good to excellent.

Inland lake trout lakes:

from page 86
Lake Ottawa Iron County
A 551 acre lake in Iron County
with native lake whitefish and lake
herring. Lake Ottawa is one of the
larger inland lakes in Michigan
without any private development
or cabins located on it. The Ottawa
National Forest makes up the entire
shoreline. Ottawa provides a good
lake trout fishery for years following
stocking of brood stock (or future
brood stock typically about two
pounds). Surplus brood stock lake
trout were last planted in Ottawa in
2012 and 2014.

Northern Lower Peninsula

Northern Lower Peninsula DNR

fisheries biologists were not aware of
any of the inland lakes they manage being originally native lake trout
lakes. The states inland lake trout
fisheries are all managed by regular
maintenance stocking with just a
couple of exceptions.
Crystal Lake Benzie County
Mark Tonello, Central Lake
Michigan Unit Management biologist

noted Crystal Lake had been originally planted with lake trout in the
1890s and currently has an excellent lake trout fishery. Tonello noted
Crystal Lake has a good lake trout
forage base and has trophy lake trout
Blue Lake Kalkaska County
Tonello rated this lake as a good
lake trout fishery although it is lightly
fished. Tonello noted the light fishing
pressure on lake trout on a number of
his lakes was likely due to numerous
other fishing opportunities in area.
As a result the anglers who do target
some of these inland lake trout lakes
can have very good success once they
learn where and how to target the
Green Lake and Duck Lake
Grand Traverse County
Tonello rated both as a good lake
trout fishery that are lightly fished for
that species.
North Lake Leelanau and Glen
Lake Leelanau County
Heather Hettinger, Central Lake

Southern Lower Peninsula

Gull Lake Barry County
Gull Lake is planted with yearling
lake trout almost every year and occasionally with surplus brood stock.
Jay Wesley, Lake Michigan Basin
coordinator rated the Gull Lake lake
trout fishery as fair. The lakers are
mostly targeted by anglers during ice
fishing season.
Maceday Lake Oakland County
It receives some surplus brood-

stock lake trout plants in the past.

The last brood lake trout were
stocked in 2010 and 2011.
Inland lake trout can provide a
similar quality experience to that provided on the Great Lakes to anglers
who do not have a big boat. During
the summer many anglers troll for
lake trout with down riggers and/
or dipsy divers with attractors and
spoons or minnow baits commonly
used in the Great Lakes. One of my
favorite methods is to fish them shallow trolling soon after ice out in the
spring. On light tackle and rapala or
rebels this method is productive and
fun when other fisheries are not yet
Most inland lake trout lakes
provide a good ice fishery. I have
had good luck in the past fishing local
lake trout on underwater humps and
drop offs with tip ups with medium
sized minnows. Vertical jigging
works well for lake trout in both
open water and ice fishing. Steve
Koski of Indian Country Sports in
LAnse Michigan (Keweenaw Bay)
probably sells more lake trout tackle
than anyone in the UP. Koski recommends Spro or Banana Jigs from 3/8
to 2 oz. with cut sucker or smelt bait
that yields the most lake trout for the
vertical jigging method.n


Heres your guide to success!

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Woods-N-WaterNews Classified Section




By ferry or float plane. Camping,
backpacking, canoeing, hiking.
Photograph Moose! All inclusive.
Total Wilderness Adventure. Senior
trips also. Call 231-564-1631. M-123
Clean. Never used. As seen on TV.
Cost $1700. Sell for $695. 989-8322401. M-4-14-TFN
pillowtop mattress set. New. Sell all
for $275. 989-923-1278.


SIZE $199. 5 drawer log chest
$199. Good quality. Lowest prices in
Michigan. 989-839-4846. M-4-14TFN
LOG BUNK BEDS. $495. Amish
lodge furniture. Call Dan 989-8321866. M-4-14-TFN


Party store on Black River in
Tower, MI. The only store in
town. Liquor, wine, Lotto, DNR
Licenses, live bait. Village Post
Office rents a room in the building. Located in the heart of
Pigeon River State Forest.
Excellent hunting and fishing in
area. Store has been in operation for 30 years on high traffic
M-68/33 Hwy. Over $500K
gross in 2015 asking $250K +
inventory. Owners are retiring.
989-733-2480. FS-2-3

but specializing in Charlevoix, Emmet
and Antrim Counties. Call 231-3500928. S-12-3

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TIMBER: Buying all types of timber, 5 acres or more, top price paid.
Cash in advance. Improve wildlife
habitat. Patco Forest Products, 989539-7588 after 6 p.m. W-7-12/15

OUTPOSTS. Your fly-in moose
hunting adventure awaits . . . Two
remote outpost locations approximately 40 miles NE of White River,
Ont. Your flight in a bushplane will
take you over some of Ontario's most
scenic wilderness. Bull & cow tags
available in WMU 22.
or 705-253-4938. H-1-2

280 ACRES,
Marquette Co., Gwinn, cabin
and storage shed on unique
property, old bog with ridges
and islands. Mostly conifers,
birch and poplar. A portion of
property was logged. New
growth has started. Many elevated blinds. Good deer, 4 bear
have been taken off the property. A nice bear was taken off the
property this past season.
Escanaba River runs next door
with many good fishing lakes
nearby. Asking $220,000.00
810-798-3414. RE-2-1

SALESPERSON: New Used - Truck Repairs. Industry
Experience required. Excellent
pay and benefits. Email to: 517-4747724. 2253 Enterprise Dr.
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858.

SW or South Central MI. Minimum of
80 acres and will pay up to $25/acre
for quality habitat. Father/son combo
wanting to establish long term relationship. Over 20+ years of successful leasing relationship experience.
269-312-8761. HL-2-4


Mickey Mouse and Bunny
boots, Pike Busters - the battery powered decoy system. 269330-6422. F-12-3


Bay De Noc. Placed in proven walleye locations. Trophy walleye are
frequently taken. Icefishing equipment for rent. Special fishing weekday rates $100 per night. Visit www. or call 906-2415687 for more details. F-12-1
TRIP. Want to go fishing?
Book early and save. One of
Ontario's best multiple fish
lakes, fish for Walleye, Northern, Small Mouth, Lake Trout,
Perch and other fish. Well
spaced out log & framed cabins, boats have electric start 15
hp Yamaha 4 stroke motors,
depth finders and swivel seats.
$399 U.S. funds if booked before March with a group of 4 or
more (2 people per boat) www. or
toll free 1-877-434-2440. F11-TFN



(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)



To reach an immense outdoor market use the . . .

A = Archery
B = Boats
D = Dogs
F = Fishing
F = Free
FP = Food Plots







(13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18)






























Enclosed is $for
words to runmonths.


BEAR HUNTS: Booking now for
Spring and Fall of 2016. Includes
comfortable cabin, boat and motor,
baited stands. Very experienced
guides. High success rate. 3 hours
from the Soo. References on request.
$960 U.S. 705-869-3272 H-10-12-15
$500. BOOK NOW! Free hog
roast with 10 or more hunters. Free
tour. Trophy Ranch, Inc., Ubly, MI


- sleeps 5. Local to Tippy Dam
and state snowmobile trails.
Now booking for Steelhead.
231-590-1136. RE-2-2

95 +/- ACRES east of Battle
Creek near I-94! Great hunting parcel
with creek, swamp, hardwoods,
pines. Many paths throughout the
property. Turkey, deer, small game
and other wildlife make it a hunter's
paradise. Make your offer! Contact
Doug at Faust Real Estate, LLC 517260-2939. RE-2-1
139 ACRES, Amazing Large
Piece With an X-Large Pond for
Fishing 90% Wooded - Irregular
Shaped Kimball Twp. - St. Clair
County $278,000 Just Land Sales
586-419-6716 RE-2-1
ACRES west of Adrian in Rome
Township. 533+ of road frontage and
frontage along Hazen Creek. Close
proximity to a state highway. Great
place to build and hunt! $54,900. Call
Diana at Faust Real Estate, LLC 517270-3646. F-540 RE-2-1
Small Pond, 2 wells, Cedar Swamp,
Lots of Deer and Bear,70% Wooded,
Avery Twp. Montmorency County
$60,000 Just Land Sales 586-4196716 RE-2-1
House 1736 Sq. Ft. Pole barn 50x60
with heated workshop, stocked pond.
20 tillable acres tiled and rented. 20.1
acres, wooded and pastures, QDM
area, excellent deer hunting.
Coldwater, MI - close to all location in
Tri-State area. $354,900. (517) 2385361 evenings. RE-2-1


NEAR HART, MI. Prime hunting
property. Mature bucks harvested
this year. House needs updating.
Asking $200,000 If interested contact
either Tim at 231-834-2931 or Lee
Ann at 616-443-3714 RE-2-2
ACRES, Excellent Hunting, a
Creek and 2 Rd. Frontages 1320 x
1320 90% Wooded Burnside Twp,
Lapeer County $119,000 Just Land
Sales 586-419-6716
justlandsales RE-2-1
40 WOODED ACRES - surveyed and fenced with three elevated
blinds. Gladwin, MI. Asking $72,000
Call 734-854-6904 and leave a message. RE-2-3
CAMP. 2 Elevated Blinds in Place
330 x 1324, 50% Wooded. Lynn Twp
St Clair County $43,000 Just Land
Sales 586-419-6716 JustLandSales.
com RE-2-1
THAT IS TRULY TURNKEY! This 3 bedroom, 2 bath
ranch has been meticulously
cared for over the last 11 years
of ownership with many updates
made to the home. Just some of
the updates include a new roof
in May of 2015, new appliances
this year, new flooring in family
room and utility room, new
water heater in 2014, generator
system in 2014, new windows
throughout nearly the whole
home in 2014, new carpet in
2015, new well just 8 years ago,
and much more! Back deck
overlooking 2 acres which
backs up to a blueberry field for
added privacy. 2.5 car garage
and a new 12'x16' shed. There
is nearby access to sandy
beach along Lake Huron that is
a short car/bike ride away, along
with bike trails and close proximity to Tawas City and East
Tawas! This place is ready to
go! Call John Stanley at (989)
876-8171 for a tour today!

More Classifieds
Next Page







134 ACRES Farmland, Woods,

3 Cabins, 30 x 50 Pole barn 2640 x
2219- 40% Wooded MusseyTwp St
Clair County $419,000 Just Land
Sales 586-419-6716 JustLandSales.
com RE-2-1
ACRES between Hillman and
Atlanta, Michigan. Elk capitol.
Clearing with 35 ft mobile scamper.
Well water, electricity, propane gas,
secluded but close to roads and
conveniences. Great retreat for hunters or family $47,500. Open to offers.
Call Helen 248-210-6414. Randy
989-255-2169 Real Estate One.
16.79 ACRES Tree-Lined
Farmland, with 2 Road Fronts 641x
1181 with 192 on Vandyke.
Evergreen Twp Sanilac County
$62,500 Just Land Sales 586-4196716

SALE. $900. One started male
English Setter for sale. Call 734-6657489.
Long line of show dogs and hunting
dogs. 3 Male / 3 Female, orange &
white / Liver & white. Contact for further information. 989-578-0661.
world record holder and hall of famer
David Grubb. Only trainer in history
to win all 5 gun dog championships.
(did it twice) Dog training book for
sale and stud service. (248) 3911446. D-7-TFN-15

and females available. Excellent hunting dogs and superb
family pets. Close working dogs
with strong point and retrieve
instincts. Reasonably priced for
the sporting family. Money back
guarantee. Eulenhof Kennels,
Gladwin, MI.
989-426-4884 D-1-2

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Gorgeous property! Small stream meanders through

to Loon Lake on State land to the south! Dense
evergreens for the deer, soft woods for bird hunting.
Ideal up north getaway for the family! Rustic log
cabin, open floor plan, large 12 x 321 ft that sleeps
several! Huge log beams, brick fireplace, bath and
modern conveniences! Covered porch for lazy
evenings! Includes two-car garage for RV and
hunting equipment storage!

Rare opportunity for a large parcel on the Manistee

River. Property is heavily wooded with over
approximately 1300 of frontage. Borders State land
to the south fronts on Cameron Bridge Road. Trail
throughout property, deer blinds, small shed used
as a rustic cabin - high and dry ground, low ground
along the river. County maintained road, utilities
available. Great hunting cabin or getaway building
site! Dont miss this unusual parcel!!


MLS: #1807148



MLS: #1805777






1.5 BA home or getaway with 140 feet of frontage on a clear
trout stream!! Fish for your dinner, watch the deer, turkeys
wander through your back yard. Fabulous location close
to thousands of acres of State land and the Big Manistee
River! Everything you need on the main level, plus a huge
upstairs bedroom that sleeps seven. Includes a large
deck overlooking the creek (perfect to have your morning
coffee and watch the creek meander by). Many updates
throughout, has a deep block crawl space with cement floor
for extra storage space, and a detached garage for RVs,
canoes, kayaks, and fishing equipment!

5.9 acres, 200ft. on the river and Little Devil Creek

meandering through the yard! Gentle steps down to
the river along side a rustic outbuilding for accessible
wading in the river or launching your kayaks! Includes
a riverside deck overlooking a small island. Adorable
knotty pine cottage, stone fireplace with insert, 3BR,
1BA, a huge family room with woodstove and a
screened porch for relaxing after a long day of fishing! Pole barn for storing all those toys!

MLS: #1777693


MLS: #1795826


Sandy Gunning

REMAX Bayshore Properties, Ltd.

303 N Cedar, Kalkaska
*Each office independently owned and operated.

(231) 620-0160

Pages 90-97

- or -





200 ACRES,





Allegan County, 71+/- Acres. Good Trail

System, Excellent Deer & Turkey Hunting

Arenac County, 146 Acres Rifle River &

Saginaw Bay Access, Tri-Level House

Delta County, 39.6 Acres

1,000+ ft Frontage Lake Michigan

Iosco County, 52.51 Acres

Food Plots, Trail System, Elevated
Blinds, Pond & Shed

Isabella County, 156 acres

5,000 ft on Trout Stream, Good
Trails, 30 Ac Tillable



Genesee & Shiawassee County, 140

Acres, Half Agricultural Land, 1,300
sq ft Lodge, 24x40 Pole Barn




Jackson County, 43 Acres

I-94 & M-99 Exit, Tillable

Jackson County, 26 Acres 40x120

Commercial Building, I-94 Frontage

Jackson County, 53.5+/- Acres 2,000 ft. Jackson County, 60 Acres 2Bed, 2Bath
House, 2 Stall Garage, 40 Ac Tillable
Grand River Frontage, Trail System



Lake Co, 5 Acres, 1,200 ft. Middle Branch Lake County, 330 Acres, Good Trail
Pere Marquette River, Rustic Cabin
System, Food Plots, Sm Creek

Jackson County, 119 Acres, Little Montague Lake

Frontage, 40+/- Tillable, Excellent Wildlife Habitat


Mecosta Co 28 ac 1320
Chippewa River, Nice Cabin



Mecosta County, 40 Acres

Mecosta County, 120 Acres, 60 Ac TillMecosta County, 40 Acres
Frontage on Mud Lake, State Land on 2 sides 12 Acre Private Lake, 5,000 sq ft House able, 60 Ac Wooded, Excellent Hunting



Missaukee Co, 40 Acres, Good

Missaukee Co, 40 Acres
Trail System, Excellent Hunting 3 Bedroom Cabin, Food Plots

Midland co 80 ac Pond,
25 ac Tillable, Nice House

Osceola County, 80 Acres

Lots of Deer, Excellent Bedding
Cover, Great Hunting

Osceola Co, 94+/- Acres, 1,000 ft.

All Sports Goose Lake, Older Farm
House, Excellent Hunting

Otsego County, 160 Acres Private

15 Ac Lake, 6,000 sq. ft. House

Jackson County, 162 Acres CRP Program, 6 Elevated

Blinds, 115 Ac. Tillable, Pond, Big Buck Country


Missaukee County, 75 Acres Pond, Creek,

Guest Cabin & 2 Bedroom House


Presque Isle County, 395 Acres $276,500

or can be purchased in split, 195 Acres
$137,000 or 200 Acres $140,000

Missaukee County, 77 Acres, Rough

Country, Big Bucks, Trout Stream

Newaygo County, 129+/- Acres, 2,000 ft

Muskegon River Frontage, Trail System,
1/2 Mile County Road Frontage

Schoolcraft County,
2282 Acres Fox River Frontage

Shiawassee Co, 137+/- Acres,

3,000 ft. Shiawassee River, 70
Acres Tillable, Great Hunting



Pond, Trails
& Blinds





Enhanced by a 3048 hay
barn and 4 car garage.
Tillable acreage and wooded
hunting land, trails, windmill
and stocked pond!

*CALL 616-414-5420
Trail cam photos are awesome!
This is hunting land! 3 Bed/
3 baths, 30x40 and 18x21
Pole Barns plus oversized
garage. Hunt & Farm.

*CALL 616-414-5420
$329,000 KENT COUNTY
In the Big Island Wilderness
Area near Klondike Lake.
Cabin has LP & Water. Located
off the Haywire Grade/Trail Great Snowmobiling!!

*CALL 231-233-3575





Superb habitat for deer,
grouse, turkey and all things
mid-Michigan. Topped off
with well kept home, barns &

*CALL 231-233-3575
Riverside Log Home is a
craftsman delight with stained
glass, Tulikivi stove and art
accents built in. Wooded
grounds to hunt small and
large game.

*CALL 616-414-5420
$700,000 LAKE COUNTY
Solid 5 bed/4 bath hillside
log home on heavily wooded, rolling terrain with nearly
1000 of river and pond.
Property and home are

*CALL 231-233-3575

With Williams Lake & Creek

frontage. Farm house with
3 bed/3 baths, large barn,
pole barn heated. Woods,
Water n Farm.equals DEER!

Secluded stretch (both sides)

on the South Branch of
the PM. Drivable 2-track
easement through Manistee
National Forest - gated access.

*CALL 616-414-5420

*CALL 616-414-5420






One of a Kind Executive Home and Retreat with
Trout Stream and Ponds on 872-Acres of Pristine
Rolling Woodland with Grass Airstrip. Built with Full
16 Logs shipped from Montana, Perfect for Entertaining. Motel Style Guest House with 3-Units Sleeps
6. Bunk House sleeps 9 with Bathroom and Kitchenette. 2 Additional Out Buildings next to the Airstrip.
Detached Garage across from Main Home has
Huge Commercial Kitchen that is Heated with Central Air Conditioning. Corral is Fenced for Horses.

*CALL MATT FARKAS 248-884-8616

Huge Lodge Accommodates about 20-People with

Large Kitchen and Caretakers Quarters. Lakes
are Exclusive to this Property and have never had
Gas Operated Motors on them. The first Lake is
about 20-Acres and about 90-Feet Deep with Pike,
Bass, Crappie. Lots of Wildlife including Deer and
Bear on the Property. The Second Lake is Shallower and excellent Waterfowl Hunting. Miles of
Trials Throughout this Property give easy access.


*CALL MATT FARKAS 248-884-8616

$3,800,000 MLS #296683

$1,550,000 MLS #299227




Experience Breathtaking Sunrises and Sunsets, Northern Lights, Great Lakes Freighters,
Beautiful Beaches, and wildlife from one of the
Modern Cedar Log Cabins and housekeeping units that sit on Lake Hurons shore on
Manitou Beach. Year-round Outdoor Paradise
with unlimited woods and water recreation
adventures: lighthouses, boating, hiking and
biking trails, mushroom hunting, fishing charters, shipwreck diving and more. Additional
520-Acres available nearby see MLS# 297032.
*CALL MATT FARKAS 248-884-8616

$1,200,000 MLS #297034



Prestigious Standerson Island...Own your Own Island! AKA Island #9 Capitalize

on this rare opportunity to own a piece of history. Located across from Harbor
Island National Wildlife Refuge.
*CALL MATT FARKAS 248-884-8616

$510,000 MLS #284786


Home has central vac, in-floor radiant

heat, 3 car garage with in-floor heat.
40 x 60 building with expansive upper
level. Property has rolling terrain with
mixed hardwoods to hold the turkey
and deer. Just an awesome place!!

Dense woods, pines, extreme

cover & open range supports
healthy wildlife! Custom hillside
home overlooking this awesome Up North property where
fishing, hunting & quality living
becomes one!

*CALL 231-233-3575

*CALL DAN HOFFMAN 269-377-4049




Pristine frontage on fishing lake.

Home is perfect for family and
entertaining. Property is a virtual
sanctuary for wildlife on meticulously managed land with creek, food
plots, old tree farm, hardwoods and
cedars. Bring on the deer!

*CALL 616-414-5420


(877) 843-0910


Field stone FP, granite

cathedral ceiling, open stairway, 30x64 pole bldg w/workshop, 3 car heated garage,
the list goes on.

*CALL 616-414-5420
$475,000 CASS COUNTY

4249 US 31
(231) 233-3575



(989) 785-3661









The current use of this business is Tinys Trading Post which is a
sportings goods store, selling bait and tackle, license for hunting,
fishing and your ORV and snowmobiles and a whole lot more. The
current inventory includes an assortment of hunting and fishing items,
deer feed and even some consignment items. The current owner
also has a Federal Fire Arms license to sell and repair guns. The
main building is 40x32 with a 10 covered porch, and a bath with a
shower. There is also a 24x24 garage used for storage and a 12x16
walk in cooler. The propane fill station is owned by the propane
company so a lease would need to be renewed but this is a good
money maker and is handy to the local property owners. Also
included in the sale is a 2 bay car wash with a separate tank and
drywall. Good year around business catering to the area locals, hunters and fishermen. This great location is on the corner of Bass Lake
Road and 8 Mile Road which takes you into Freesoil and US31. Not
interested in this business bring yours here!! $129,900 (DON)


This 20 x 23 rustic, log cabin sets on 19.75 acres adjoining 100s of
acres of Federal property. The cabin has a kitchenette, sitting area
with a wood stove and a full loft with room for several beds. The
exterior has a steel roof, a large porch across the front of the cabin
and your own concrete barbeque grill. The stainless steel 4 well is
128 deep. There is a septic and drain field. The 24 x 40 pole barn
has a steel roof and a cement floor. $95,900 (MEA)


Very nice building lot on Bluegill Lake (26 Acre fishing type lake). Lot
features 100 feet of frontage. Lot offers some privacy trees along
the road, but is cleared and ready to build your Northern Michigan
lakefront home. Heritage Bay also offers access to all sports Big
Bass Lake through the association park. $33,900 (EVA)


This great 10 adjoins USA on two sides. Its wooded, and is on a
county maintained road. The seller has recently removed two mobiles
from the property. There is a pavilion which the makings of a small
bathroom in it. Besides the convenient USA land you are convenient
to the Big and Little Manistee Rivers for world class fishing and the
Pine River for exciting canoeing and kayaking, $25,900 (VEL)

Hunters Call for our Acreage Parcels

5963 W. 10-1/2 Mile Rd. Irons, Michigan
231-266-8288 877-88-NORTH


Hunting is
superb on
this land, at
least 1 deer
off it for the
last 25 years,
usually 3 or 4.


844 Van Dyke ALMONT

Sharon LaFrance
Im not #1, you are.




Stunning Rapid River Rustic

Log Cabin!! 160 Wooded
Acres!! Hunting Camp most
people Dream about...Located south of Round Lake
in Delta County, Upper
Peninsula providing all the
solitude, peace and quiet
you could want. Built in 2002 with amenities not often seen in remote cabins, AGA Stove (look this up
on internet), Soap Stone
free standing wood
stove, granite countertops, custom furniture,
full bath, one bedroom
on main floor and generous loft that sleeps 8,
wonderful wrap around
deck (covered on one side), large pole barn, Rapid
River Log Sauna, LP Generator and Solar panels for
electric. Large Pole Barn
for your vehicles or toys!!
Come stay and enjoy
hunting, hiking, snowmobiling, 4-wheeling and
fishing nearby...At night
the stars are soooo bright
and Northern Lights evident often. And the access road is gated and locked so
privacy abounds. Owner is licensed Realtor in Michigan


MLS#1091204 $335,000

(269) 623-4058


118 E Orchard St. Delton MI 49046

Drew Chapple Associate Broker


3 ACRES Barry Co, Orangeville Twp, Charming country
setting with 900' of private
lake frontage on Blue Lake.
Custom built Ranch home, 3
bedrooms, 2.5 baths, open
floor plan with great views of
the lake from the Kitchen, Den,
and Living Room. Blue lake is
one of Barry County's best private fishing lakes.
Priced @ $259,000 (15058624) Additional Acreage, Cottage and Pole Barn available for $479,000. Call Drew Chapple 269-207-3280
48 ACRES Allegan
Co, Watson Twp, Gorgeous Wooded 48 acres
which includes a private
lake (Caruthers Lake). 3
Bedroom, 2 Bath Ranch
Walkout with spectacular
views of the lake and natural beauty surrounding
property. Desirable location for hunting, fishing, bird watching or
just to enjoy nature. This property is 30 min from either Kalamazoo
or Grand Rapids Area. Priced @ $250,000 (15056002) Call
Drew Chapple 269-207-3280
Barry Co, Barry
Twp, Gorgeous 66
acres of Woods
and tillable land.
Spectacular view of
Pleasant Lake from
the west property
line. 16 acres of tillable is planted every year by local farmer. Great location to build
that new home or just enjoy nature at its best. Beautiful private
setting for a mini farm, bird watching and/or hunting. Priced @
$269,000 (15012999) Call Drew Chapple 269-207-3280

Co, Hope Twp, A Charming Turn of the Century
Stone Farmhouse with 8
acres, 2 car garage with a
24x44 pole barn attached
and 44x60 stick built barn
with 2nd floor. House offers 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms, main floor laundry, Custom
Kitchen with eating area and snack bar, living room, family room,
and large mud room. This is a Magnificent Property, the house was
totally remodeled in 2002. More acreage available. Priced @
$249,900 (15028948) Call Drew Chapple 269-207-3280

72 ACRES, Hope Twp, 60 Tillable, 12 Wooded................ $324,900
LITTLE CEDAR LAKE, Hope Twp, 200 of
Lake front. Reduced to .................................................... $59,900
9.8 ACRES, Barry Twp, Woods, tillable & 30x40 Pole Barn... $62,900
9.6 ACRES, Barry Twp, Woods and tillable,...................... $44,900
17 ACRES, Barry Twp, Wooded & Rolling, 4 Acre Pond....... $45,000





Always Working Hard for You!







Beautiful views at Camp Langlois, 2 cabins, Main and Guest, garage, 2 pole barns, 12+
blinds, 5 miles of trails and Grass Airstrip! Amazing property, very private, rolling with
nice hardwoods, Caboose bunkhouse, 20 miles SE of Traverse City. $899,000

One of a Kind! Secluded on a

Private All-Sports Lake. Hunting & Rec activities. Perfect for
Entertaining. 3 hole Golf Course.
1500 ft of Frontage. Addtl 1280
ft Beach House. Huge Pole Barn.

- OR Office:




31.5 ACRES




Over 500 feet on Muskegon River

Over 5,600 feet on Muskegon River



Combined 121.5 Acres for $329,800



156.66 ACRES




Amazing property and Hunting Camp, 4BR on

Pine River. Bear, Deer, lots of wildlife. Apple orchard.
Fish and canoe the river. $325,000

Newly Renovated, 41 tillable acres, 3 ponds, 65% Wooded. Great
Development & Commercial Possibilities. A Rare Gem! $599,900

11,000 ACRES




80-100 DEER

Beautiful Home, Guest House and Pole Barn.

Licensed Deer Ranch in Davison. 6-car garage, pond, 5 blinds, 3 lg feeders,

Lg polebarn. 4BD, 3BA, walkout & up basement $849,000




Fenced Pasture, Over 1/2 mile on Belle River, multiple outbuildings. Excellent
hunting, hiking & farming, good drainage. 2 Ponds. Great opportunity to own your
own farm. $1,350,000


Updated 2200 sq. ft. split level ranch,
Wooded. $249,900






4 Cabins and 2 hunting camps, 2 pole barns, Duck Marsh, Trout

pond, 05 Tractor w/equip., 3 ATVs, stocked toolshed, 16 heated
blinds/feeders/food plots, miles of trail systems on Wolf River and
Widner River. 5-mile private entrance. Hardwoods, pines and 150
acres of cedar swamp. Fantastic wildlife; Trophy Whitetail Deer,
Black Bear, Bobcat, Coyote, and Wild Turkeys abound.



Cozy log cabin with loft. Beach frontage. Secluded,
Great Hunting, Fishing, Boating.




Deer Hunter & Nature Lovers Dream

2000 SF Ranch in Lost Lake Woods.

Membership Reqd. Hunting, Golf Course,
Archery, Rifle Range.






4,400 SQ. FT 6BD, 3.5BA LOG HOME, & Pool House. Great for entertaining
& Hunting. Deer Hunter & Nature Lovers Dream Property!



1300 ft on Unger Lake.

70% wooded.


Great Building Site. Nicely

wooded. 1/2 Mile from Brandon
Schools. $99,800


Beautiful updated,
2,000+sq ft home. 70% Wooded.



1,800 sq ft Awesome Log Home on Chippewa River. Very
Private Secluded. $235,000



Fantastic Development Opportunity.
30-2 Acre Lots approx. Currently Zoned
agriculture. $595,000

Approx. 80-90 tillable acres. Great development



17 Tillable Acres. Deer Hunter & Nature

Lovers Dream Property.


2,950 sq ft Home. 1,000 sq ft of Frontage on White River.



US 10






Prime Hunting & Nature Lovers Dream Property. 90% wooded, hardwoods,
pines & cedars. Nice hunting cabin built 2001. 2BD & 1BA. 5 Deer Blinds.


Deer Hunters Dream Property, Private,



Approx 80-90 tillable acres. Great Development Opportunity near Sanford Lake. 10 miles
NW of Midland Twp. Great location, off of US 10 on M-30, by McDonalds, Subway, Shell
gas station. 118.75 acres zoned commercial, 38.36 acres recreational. $1,150,000

Call Randy Minto Or Visit:








Over 37 acres of
Pure Heaven in Lapeer
County awaits you if you are
a hunter or just the nature
lover. Lots of wildlife.
Go fishing or just take a
walk along the lake or pond! Home is a 3 bedrm, 2 bath with a full basement just
waiting to be finished off. North Branch schools. $189,000


10 acre slice of Heaven in

Silverwood, MI. This 5 bedrm
home back in the woods
features a covered wrap around
deck, and large 60 x 40 pole barn/
garage. Enjoy this winter with
your family around the fireplace
in the living rm or in the family
rm. Open Kitchen and Formal dining area. 2nd level Master bedrm has a walk in closet and
Master bath is separate from the vanity. Versatile large 3rd level can be a gaming rm or bedrm.
Finish off the basement for more sq ft. for entertaining or extra living area. $269,900


Your new home is private
and secluded on 41.5 acres
in Tuscola County, 60%
wooded. Newly remodeled
2,112 sq ft ranch home,
32x52 pole barn, all new Anderson windows. Beautiful
new kitchen with quality cabinetry and granite countertops, great for entertaining!
All stainless steel appliances are included. Abundance of wildlife on this property!
Woods, clearings, trails this property has it all! $239,900

Land and Lakes Real Estate Co.

"Serving the NorthCentral Upper Peninsula"

Phone: (906) 387-5100





Land And Lakes Real Estate Is Proud To Announce Our Exclusive Partnership With LANDLEADER
11330 W. Robert St., Steuben, MI. WH-233/1090618

This beautiful Log and Stone constructed home reigns over 150 ft. of frontage on the
sandy bottomed Indian River, a National Wild and Scenic River. The home is located
at the end of a quiet street with a gentle, gradual slope to the water's edge and miles
of National Forest adjacent and across the river! The open design is finished in warm
woods with large windows and decks to provide fantastic views of the river and
woods. A large family room contains a fireplace with insert that can heat the entire
home. There is a 24X32 garage and a separate log sauna building. This beautiful
year round home setting or outstanding recreational cabin is...
Priced to Sell at $ 179,900

N6774 Forest Lake Rd., on AuTrain Lake, AuTrain, MI 49806. WH-231/1090379

Peace and quiet reign at this full log, 3 BD, 2 BA, 2300+ sq ft home built on a 3-acre lot in 2002.
The open-concept living area features floor to ceiling windows overlooking historic AuTrain
Lake, an important waterway for early explorers travelling between Lakes Superior and
Michigan. This all-sport lake is 839 acres with 6.6 mi of shoreline and is known for big walleye
and northern pike, smallmouth bass, bluegills, perch and rock bass. The home is well-designed
with 3 floors of living space including a full walk-out basement. Priced at $304,900


11274W Boot Lake Court, Shingletom, MI 49884. WH-217/1083164

This custom-built home has 3-BD, 2-BA & a full walk-out bsmt. Cathedral ceilings in the open
living area & lots of warm woods create a feeling of warmth & ease. A MBR suite & laundry on
the main floor make living easy. Two BDs and an open sitting room on the second floor welcome
guests. The 2-car garage has a full upstairs room that could easily become guest quarters or an
artist studio! But it's the lake which makes this home sparkle...130+ feet of frontage on clear,
clean Boot Lake with Good fishing, & swimming from a sandy beach.


TBD N. Murphy Lake Rd., Manistique, MI 49854. VW-236/1091414

Heavily wooded with mature hardwoods and pines, this 11.2 acre parcel with 270 feet of lake
frontage on Big Murphy Lake is ready for you to build or use as your private camping spot.
This property has a certified survey and power access on property lines. The land contains
both low and high lands and is located on the north side of the lake.
Big Murphy Lake is a popular 145 acre lake in the central region of the Hiawatha National
Forest, known for wildlife habitat in quiet seclusion. Fishing, ,hunting, 4-wheeling, snowmobiling and recreation abound in this natural setting. Priced at $ 79,900
TBD Paquette Lake Road, Munising, MI 49862. VW-230/1086974

This magnificent waterfront parcel! encompasses the entire northern and 1/2 of the west side of Paquette Lake, with
over 31 acres of high, beautifully wooded acres for your enjoyment. Over 2000 feet of waterfront offer gorgeous views
of lake, marsh, seasonal ponds - and wildlife. A loon sang its morning song for us and swans are usual residents
here. There was a lot of deer sign. And, beautiful, straight, large pines, white pines...that have not been
timbered in many years! This place is VERY SPECIAL. Whether you are looking for a quiet retreat location, or wish
to subdivide into recreational lots, this is your place. Additionally, the property is boarded by Federal lands on the
East, West and North sides. Perfect! Price Reduced to $189,900

21 acres of good hunting land in an agricultural area.

Property is wooded with tall grasses and very good
cover for animals; lots of deer in the area. Not far from
AuGres and very close to world class walleye fishing in 160 acre hunting camp, QDM is practiced here with food
Saginaw Bay. Come take a look today. Seller will look plots, ponds, Kunze Creek and lots of mature cedar. The
at all offers.
turnkey camp has 1 bedroom and 1 full bath.

Listed at $49,000.00

Listed at $259,900.00

GREENBUSH - $44,900, Nice square 40 acre parcel joining Federal and State land. This area has proven to hold
quality bucks over the past years, QDM is practiced here. MLS#1799955
GREENBUSH - $59,900, 45 acres of hunting land off the beaten path. This rolling parcel is heavily wooded with hardwoods and evergreens. Call today. MLS#1799569
GREENBUSH - $79,900, 50 acres of prime hunting land situated just north of Oscoda. Gated entrance to this park-like
setting wildlife sanctuary! Many trails for easy access, several additional cleared areas for camping, food plots or building sites.
There could be potential value in standing timber as well. Power and natural gas available at the road. MLS#1809059
MIKADO - $89,900, 61 acres of prime hunting land. Joins State land and agricultural land. Trails thru-out the heavily
wooded parcel with hardwoods and Tag Alders, and openings for food plots. MLS#1806759
EAST TAWAS - $125,000, 200 Of Lake Huron frontage accompanies this 9.87 acre parcel in AuSable Dunes Estates. Sandy beach frontage, partially wooded, some wetlands. MLS#1789219
AU GRES - $149,000, 71 acres of great hunting land surrounded by numerous other camps. Areas of thick swamp with
some ridges and road frontage with power. Lots of deer and turkey in this location. Just minutes from boat launches and the
world class Saginaw Bay Walleye fishery. Hurry on this one. MLS#1809806




701 W. Bay Street, East Tawas, MI 48730

Office (989)362-4400 Cell (989)370-2152

M-33/M-55 OFFICE
1953 S. M-33
West Branch, MI 48661



3160 North M-65

Hale, MI48739

10 miles north of I-75 exit 202

Local: 989-345-2662
Toll Free: 800-535-6520



2575 S. I-75 Business Loop,

West Branch, MI 48661

Gateway to Huron National Forest

Local: 989-728-2540
Toll Free: 800-495-2540

1 mile north of I-75 Exit 212

Local: 989-345-0315
Toll Free: 866-345-0315










OVER 1400

3-bdrm, 2.5 bath, heated garage w/

upstairs, 12x12 screen bldg, extensive
decking, 1170 feet on AU GRES RIVER, AC, FP, gorgeous views & more!

Rolling property perfect for horses, riding arena, stalls, tack room, alleyway,
storage bldg, workshop & lean to w/2bdrm home , full finished bsmt & more!!

Almost an ACRE of property with updated

3-bdrm, 2 bath manufactured, ranch-style
home, gas FP, family room, covered porch,
breezeway to garage, plus a pole barn!!

1453 square foot, 3-bdrm Saltbox, full

walkout bsmt, wood stove, large kitchen,
nice Trex decking, lower covered deck,
rollaway dock & 152 of sandy frontage!!

Gorgeous rolling 80 ACRES with nice

2-bdrm home or cabin, FP, shed for
storage, secluded, variety of trees,
pond, trails, fantastic views and fishing!!
















Beautiful custom 3-bdrm, w/over 1660

sq feet, AC, appliances, newer boat
dock, sandy beach, lakeside deck and
a quaint guest cabin!!

2 ACRES with immaculate & outstanding

3-bdrm, 1.7 ba, AC, open floor plan, master suite, kitchen pantry & island, large
garage, covered porch & deck!!

5 ACRES, 3-bdrm, garage, appliances, wood

stove, sliding doors to outdoors, storage
shed, beautiful views and also not far from
lakes for fishing/swimming!!

Great recreational area, spacious 3-bdrm,

2 ba, garage w/finished upstairs & 30x24
workshop, 12x12 storage shed, deck &
nice views!!

Immaculate 2-bdrm w/over 175 feet on

North Dease Lake AND 317 feet on canal
for panoramic views, recent updates, sandy
beach, patio, garage & pole barn!!

















Move-in ready home w/large addition,

garage, deck w/beautiful views, 82 feet of
frontage on Tittabawassee River w/dock
and boat included!!

3-bdrm, 1.5 ba home ON FOREST LAKE,

full walkout bsmt, deck, garage, paved
driveway, extensive deck, gorgeous views &
tons of great subd amenities!!

Remodeled 3-bdrm, 2 bath, farm style home,

country kitchen, FP, rear deck w/excellent views,
garage, outbldgs, small creek & blinds. Seller is
licensed agent.

2-bdrm, 2 bath, wooded property, 3 acre

pond, garage plus heated workshop,
open floor plan, back deck, wood stove,
circular drive, sits off of road for privacy!!

Secluded home or great hunt cabin/hunters paradise, trails thru-out, wood stove,
appliances, storage shed and lots of space
to finish to your own liking and pace!!















JUST ACROSS ROAD from nice 3-bdrm,

2 bath, Cape Cod, appliances, full bsmt,
wrap-around deck/porch, garge, 30 feet of

Spacious 3-bdrm Saltbox, full bsmt, hardwood floors, spacious kitchen w/appliances, some furnishings, wrap-around deck
and beautiful views of lake!!

Beautiful views from nice 2-bdrm home

on canal to lake, spacious rooms, lots
of windows deck, sunroom, newer roof,
part bmst, dock & more!!

Cozy 2-bdrm, all sports LITTLE LONG

LAKE, 2 garages, enclosed porch, sandy
beach, FP, nice shade trees, lovely views,
great fishing, swimming and boating!!

3.93 Acres on Feeding Grounds Lake, FP,

master suite, back deck with gorgeous views,
blacktop drive, heated garage, storage shed
and move-in ready!!
















13 ACRES!!

ALL SPORTS LK OGEMAW, 1800 sq foot,

3-bdrm, full walkout bsmt, wood stove,
newer septic & electrical, covered deck,
patio, sandy frontage and boat dock!!

!! 2-bdrm cabin with frontage on all sports,

172 acre lake, newer roof, flooring, fresh
paint and other updates, 3 season room,
rear deck, boat dock and 2nd lakeside deck!!

Mature trees surround nice 3-bdrm, 2

ba home on 13 ACRES, deck, covered
porch, large garage, blacktop drive, 3
storage sheds & lots of privacy!!

2 ACRES!! Spacious 3-bdrm home has 1600

sq feet, 2 garages, stocked pond, nice deck
plus covered porch, fantastic location with
beautiful views and lots of wildlife to watch!!

Nice 2-bdrm home with 285 feet of water frontage on TRANQUIL LAKE, 2 garages, wood
stove, appliances, some furnishings, lakeside
deck, covered porch & more!















Spacious 3-bdrm, 2 bath, 1.3 ACRES, beautiful

kitchen, sliding doors to deck, fantastic views,
master suite, jetted tub, appliances & excellent

Nice 2-bdrm w/55 feet of sandy frontage,

all sports 785 acre lake, full basement, appliances, charming finished enclosed porch,
beautiful views & more!!

Gorgeous country setting, well-maintained

3-bdrm, 2 bath home, 1.89 ACRES, movein ready, two FPs, back deck w/nice views,
garage w/finished room!!

Well-maintained 2-bdrm, wood stove and

FP, family room, remodeled cooks dream
kitchen, sunroom, pole bldg w/electric, state
land across the road!!

Spacious & beautiful 3-bdrm home, with 2nd lots for

123 feet of water frontage on BIG WILLIAMS LAKE,
tons of great amenities, deck, garage, dock & 2 boats!!


















Queen Log Bed $19999

Queen Size Log Headboard



5 Drawer Chest Only



4 Drawer Chest


2 Drawer Night Stand



Finished Cedar Log Bed



BUNK BEDS Solid Wood Complete with Mattresses $29999

Rocker Recliners



Rustic End Tables







starting at



Not Included




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201 Industrial Way, Fenton, MI 517-202-2949

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Visit us at for a complete listing of boats!


Service Department Indoor & Outdoor Storage

(810) 629-2291

Exit 84 on US-23





3241 Thompson Rd.

Fenton, MI 48430

Mon.-Fri. 9am - 6pm
Sat. 9am - 5pm
Closed Sunday's




w w w. f r e e w a y - s p o r t s . c o m

The A300 Outlander is the perfect

solution for shotgunners wishing
to step up to Beretta quality at a
price that anyone can afford.
Made in the U.S.A.
Available in
Synthetic, Camo or Wood
31516 Harper Avenue
St. Clair Shores, MI 48082

Phone (586) 296-2360

Fax (586) 264-8307

Mon. - Fri: 10am-7pm;
Sat: 10am-4pm; Closed Sunday

Available at:

Layaways Welcome