FEBRUARY 2015

$4.00

Woods-N-Water News
Michigan’s Premier Outdoor Publication

WOLVES

Returned To Endangered List

TARGET JIGGING:

WALLEYES
DEER CULLING
Double Your Ice Catch!

Improve Antler Quality? A Neverending Debate
• Insane Coyotes • Snow Steelies • Return Of The Snowy Owls • Follow The Smoke
• Wireless Age Of Ice Fishing • Are Antler Point Restrictions Working? • Mighty Muskegon
• Catching Bluegills • Prepare For Next Year’s Deer Season--Now • Tiger Muskies

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At
Second Generation Takes The Lead
Bob’s Gun & Tackle Shop

a family-owned business since it’s
Bob’s Gun & Tackle Shop has been
family is
and his late wife Wilma. Now the
inception in 1962 by Robert Hayes
for years
the family and the tradition alive
taking steps to keep the business in
and
s kids, Steve Hayes, Deb Williams,
to come. Three of Bob and Wilma’
will
time at Bob’s for many years and
Larry Hayes have been working full
le
acity as owners of the business, whi
continue to do so in their new cap
e mother to her children.
Cindy Faubert remains a stay-at-hom
emphasis on customer service and
The Hayes family pledges to put an
ning a staff of friendly and
competitive pricing while maintai
knowledgeable employees.
and
ip and control, Steve, Deb, Larry,
To prepare for the change of ownersh
s
arm
Fire
y, have applied for a new Federal
Cindy have formed a new compan
new
the
ng the business. As they wait for
License (FFL), and will be acquiri
place,
take
to
tion
uisi
acq
the
ATF and
FFL application to be processed by
be
December 29th when Bob’s will not
there will be a short time beginning
The goal is to have the new FFL and
selling firearms or black powder.
begin
y, at which time the operation will
acquisition completed by late Januar
for
n
In the meantime, Bob’s will be ope
selling firearms and black powder.
s and blackpowder.
business as usual except for firearm
a
ing January! The Bargain Barn is
Bob’s Bargain Barn will be open dur
ly
mer
(For
e.
s behind Bob’s main stor
totally separate building 300 yard
and Cedar Roof Design.)
ply
Sup
Hayne’s Building
Saturdays, and Sundays only.
The Bargain Barn is open Fridays,

for your first 52 years of support
The Hayes family wishes to thank you you for many more!
and looks forward to serving

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FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

Special Deals On Non-Current Models In Stock

3

Field Notes...Tom Campbell

HUNTING NOTES
Report Deer Hunting
Wow, hard to believe our 90 plus days of deer hunting is over, sure seemed to go by fast. Well, at least the
season did, there were a few days with little to no deer
sightings that dragged on. Fortunately many readers had
success and they shared their photos and stories with
us. Be sure to check out the stories in this issue and
we have more planned for future issues. If you haven’t
shared your success photo(s) with us be sure to email
them to me at wnw@pageone-inc.com and we’ll share
with the readers.
It’s important for Michigan’s deer management
that ALL deer hunters share their deer hunting activity,
successful or not, with the DNR. You can do it online
by visiting https://secure1.state.mi.us/deersurvey/. This
information provides the data to evaluate hunter success
and total harvest.
Teal Season Successful
Michigan’s early teal duck season the first week in
September was considered a success and according to
the USFWS, “Trained observers observed duck flights
and hunter behavior during the teal hunting seasons.
Within the range of an observed hunting group, the
species and number of ducks in each flock and whether
the ducks were shot at or hit were recorded. A total of
88 trained observers evaluated performances of 160
hunting parties, which provided sufficient observations
to generate statistically valid conclusions. A total of
699 non-teal duck flocks came within range of hunting
parties, with only 44 shot at, resulting in a non-target
attempt rate of 6.3 percent. This was well below the
threshold deemed necessary by USFWS to protect other
duck species not targeted by this early season.
“The early teal season provided Michigan hunters
with a new opportunity, and our first-year results give
us confidence in promoting this opportunity for hunters again next season,” said Dave Luukkonen, research
biologist with Michigan DNR’s Wildlife Division.
Spring Turkey Hunters
A reminder to spring turkey hunters that wish to apply for a specific season and area, the application period
ends February 1. Turkey season runs April 20 through
May 31 and it’s a great time to be afield. According to
DNR upland game bird specialist Al Stewart, “Spring
turkey hunting is a big deal here in Michigan. We’re
ranked seventh in the nation for turkey harvest, harvesting over 30,000 turkeys.”
Spring turkey hunters have the option of purchasing a “Hunt 234 License” over the counter beginning
March 16. There’s no application fee and the license is
good for all lands open to hunting except public lands
in southern Michigan. The season for Hunt 234 is May
4-31.
Spring turkey season application fee is $5 and a

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

SEASONS

4

Now-Jan. 31 - Raccoon hunting statewide
Now-Jan. 31 - Raccoon trapping statewide
Now -Feb. 1 - Bobcat hunting Units D
Now-Feb. 1 - Bobcat trapping Units A & B
Now – March 1 - Squirrel season statewide
Now-March 1 - muskrat & mink trapping statewide
Now -March 1 - Bobcat hunting Units A, B, & C
Now-March 1 - Fox (red & gray) hunting statewide
Now-March 1 - Coyote, fox (red/gray) trapping statewide
Now - March 31 - Rabbit season
Jan. 17-Feb. 14 - South Zone: late goose season
MJC
ARCHERY
MACOMB

MJC
ARCHERY
OAKLAND

19744 15 Mile Rd
Clinton Twp. 48035

3001 Rochester Rd
Royal Oak, MI 48073

586-791-4600

248-589-2480

base license (small game), which is required for every
resident and nonresident who hunts in Michigan is $11
and the turkey license will cost $15.

FISHING NOTES
Master Angler Program
The DNR has made significant changes to the rules
for their master angler program. The weight requirements have been removed so qualifications will be
awarded based on an established minimum length for
each recognized species. The length minimum applies
to both categories; catch-and-keep and catch-andimmediate-release. Also a witness signature is no longer
required and each application must have a color photo
submitted with it. Anglers can now submit their applications in hard-copy or electronic formats.
“Eliminating the weight requirement for part of the
Master Angler program really helps to streamline both
the application and the verification process – especially
as anglers will no longer have to find a certified scale
to have their catch weighed,” explained Lynne Thoma,
the program’s coordinator. “We hope this change will
make it even easier for anglers to have their large fish
recognized.”
State-record fish still are recognized by weight and
still require identification by a DNR fisheries biologist.
Sturgeon Spearing
In other fishing news, According to the DNR,
“The 2015 lake sturgeon fishing season on Black Lake
(Cheboygan County) will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb.
7. All anglers must register to participate in the lake
sturgeon season.
The 2015 total harvest limit for Black Lake is five
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 fifth fish is harvested, or
2) If four fish have been harvested at the end of any
fishing day.
Fishing hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day of the
season. The season will end either at 2 p.m. Wednesday,
Feb. 11, or when one of the above scenarios is met, at
which point anglers will be notified on the ice by DNR

YOUNG HUNTER: Walter Raymond Todd, 4-yearsold, took his first deer during the youth hunt in
Sept. hunting with his dad near Tustin from a
ground blind with his 410.
personnel that they must immediately stop fishing for
lake sturgeon.
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. 6.
Anglers unable to participate in the Friday registration
may register only at the registration trailer at Zolner
Road ending on Black Lake. Morning registration begins at 7 a.m. each day of the season.
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 and Tower-Kleber
Limited Partnership.
For more details, anglers may call the DNR Gaylord
Customer Service Center at 989-732-3541 or visit www.
michigan.gov/fishing or www.michigan.gov/sturgeon.”
Free Winter Fish Weekend
The annual Winter Free Fishing Weekend is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 14, and Sunday, Feb. 15. That
weekend, everyone – residents and non-residents alike
– can fish Michigan waters without a license, though all
other fishing regulations still apply.n

Federal court order returns
wolves to endangered species list
A federal court judge has ordered the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service to immediately return wolves in the Great
Lakes region to the federal endangered species list, making
it illegal for Michigan citizens to kill wolves attacking livestock or dogs.
Under endangered species status, wolves
may be killed only in the immediate defense of
human life.
Two state laws allowing livestock or dog
owners to kill wolves in the act of depredation
are suspended by the ruling.
Additionally, lethal control permits previously issued by the Michigan Department of
Natural Resources to livestock farmers to address ongoing conflicts with wolves are no longer valid; permit holders have been contacted
regarding this change.
The return to federal endangered species status also
means DNR wildlife and law enforcement officials no
longer have the authority to use lethal control methods to
manage wolf conflict.
However, non-lethal methods – such as flagging, fencing, flashing lights and guard animals – may still be used
and are encouraged. Compensation for livestock lost to
wolves continues to be available through the DNR and
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Citizens in need of assistance with problem wolves
should contact their local DNR wildlife biologist or DNR
wolf program coordinator Kevin Swanson at 906-228-6561.
Friday’s federal court order came in response to a

lawsuit filed by the Humane Society of the United States
challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision
to remove wolves in the Great Lakes Distinct Population
Segment from the federal endangered species
list in January 2012. The ruling affects wolves in
Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
“The federal court decision is surprising and
disappointing,” said Russ Mason, DNR Wildlife
Division Chief. “Wolves in Michigan have exceeded recovery goals for 15 years and have no
business being on the endangered species list,
which is designed to help fragile populations
recover – not to halt the use of effective wildlife
management techniques.”
The DNR will work closely with the Michigan Attorney General’s office and the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service to determine the full impact of this
ruling on the state’s wolf management program and identify next steps.
“In the meantime, the Wildlife Division will continue
updating the state’s wolf management plan, which includes
the use of hunting and other forms of lethal control to
minimize conflict with wolves,” Mason said. “Although the
federal court’s ruling prevents the use of these management tools for the time-being, the Department will be
prepared for any future changes that would return wolves
to state management authority.”
For more information about Michigan’s wolf population and management plan, visit
www.michigan.gov/wolves.

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

5

HUNTING

TROPHY

BUCK

The Neverending
DEER CULLING DEBATE
John Ozoga page 16
A Christmas buck
Tom Lounsbury page 30

Sporting Collectibles...
More sport show finds
Terry McBurney page 82

Trail Camera Technology
Brian Miller page 53
Deer Hunting 2014:
A GOOD YEAR!
John Eberhart page 60

GUN CHAT...
Browning BAR, Grade II
my first good deer rifle
Lee Arten page 77

OUTDOOR NEWS

A tribute to my father!
Guest Column Tim Miller ...page 87

2014
Michigan
elk season
page 23

Acidic U.P. lakes
can be improved
Bill Ziegler page 66

Rustem first
recipient of
Washington
Lifetime
Conservation Award
page 26

SNOW STEELIES
Kenny Darwin page 20
Deep Thoughts on
Icing Winter 'Eyes
Mark Martin page 22

Bump and run bluegills
Mark Sak page 59
Calling in
Late-ice walleyes
Jeff Nedwick page 74

PERSPECTIVE
Man Poetry
Darryl Quidort page 32
FEBRUARY 2015

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

Gored oxen,
individual fox holes
Tom Carney page 69

Ecological Succession
There are more
pheasants in Detroit
Len Jenkins page 62

Double Your Ice Catch
Target Jigging System
Gary Parsons/Keith Kavajecz
page 8

Wireless Age...
ICE FISHING
Mark Romanack page 28

COVER
PHOTO

Rick Baetsen photo
Wolves...page 4 and 14

Returned To Endangered List

RAP - Report All Poaching
MDNR page 34
Return of the
SNOWY OWLS
Jonathan Schechter page 36

Meyer-Hunter
Educator of the
Year
page 47

Catching Bluegills
Kenny Darwin...page 12

DEPARTMENTS . . .
Trophy Page. . . . . . 64-65 Classifieds . . . . . . 91-92Letters-Op-Ed . . . . . 68-71 Real Estate . . . . . . . 93-96




TARGET JIGGING:

WALLEYES
DEER CULLING
Double Your Ice Catch!

Improve Antler Quality? A Neverending Debate

www.woods-n-waternews.com • Like us on facebook

MICHIGAN MEANDERS
The Mighty Muskegon
Tom Huggler page 18

$4.00

-Water News

Michigan’s Premier Outdoor Publication

WOLVES

FEATURES

DEER HUNTING...
Are APRs working?
George Rowe page 38

Federal wolf ruling
and the SFWCA
Drew YoungeDyke page 14

Ice Fishing with Dave Genz
How to pick a good lake?
Mark Strand page 48

FISHING

OPINIONS

Crossbows "too accurate and
efficient" muddles reality
Rick Casey page 68

Guest Column
Father/Son harvest
TROPHY BUCKS
Robert A. Soulliere page 84

BOAT SMART...
What's the depth
beneath your boat?
Capt. Fred Davis page 76

Black Powder Shooting:
Fit and proper
Dennis Neely page 42

Michigan bear
population healthy
Richard P. Smith page 10

Can women really ice
fish without a man?
Tricia Croney page 58

Successful fall fish
stocking season
creates opportunities
page 55

BLACK POWDER

2014 Bear Harvest
Richard P. Smith page 10

Where's the best walleye
fishing in the Ice Belt?
Mark Romanack page 40

Torpedoes for trolling
Dave Mull page 54

COs seek information
on moose poaching
page 58

DEAR FISH DIARY:
Florida friends can keep
the Sunshine State!
Ron St. Germain page 56

Young hunter takes
big Michigan elk
page 78

Early preparation
for consistent
deer hunting success
Michael Veine page 88

6

OUTDOORAMA
SPECIAL PULL OUT
page 49-52
"Hunting for Health"
PCUPS Foundation
Lane Walker page 79

"Rabbitat"
Tom Lounsbury page 46

Insane Coyotes
Kenny Darwin page 72

Follow the smoke
Betty Sodders page 44

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Mother/daughter

BUCK WAGON

returned to the buck camp farm
just in time to find a mother/
daughter team wearing huge
smiles and standing over a John
Deere wagon filled with twin big
bucks. I snapped photos and listened
to their extraordinary buck hunting
story. All I can say is congratulations
to Mackenzie and Alicia Kerr for their
unusual buck harvesting accomplishment.
Now, I’ve seen harvested double
bucks before but never in my history
of deer hunting have I witnessed twin
bucks taken from the same blind with
a shared rifle. Never have I heard of
two females harvesting two bucks in
less than two minutes and certainly
not an 11 year old kid and her mom.
Here’s what happened.
The duo left grandma’s farm on
the afternoon of opening day.
Crawled into a shared tree stand and
watched for deer. Soon a couple does
wandered into a harvested bean field.
Then a dandy 8-point headed their
way followed by a larger 10-point.
The bucks moved slowly toward the
elevated tree stand as mom readied
the Ruger American .270 bolt action
loaded with Hornady ballistic tip 130
grain cartridges. Mackenzie was
super excited, jumped at the chance to
shoot the beautiful buck but had
difficulty controlling her emotions as
mom coached her to relax, take good
aim. Mackenzie found the big buck in
the Burris 3x9 Fullfield illuminated
scope and she placed the red cross
hair on the bucks vitals and squeezed
the trigger. The buck mule kicked at
the sound of the rifle, charged east at
lightning speed but immediately
slowed, made a quick circle and fell
over. Mackenzie quickly handed the
rifle to mom. Alicia hurried to rack
out the spent cartridge and in all the
excitement had difficulty racking the
next round into the chamber. She
struggled with the jammed rifle as the
big 8-point jogged across the open
field and would soon be in thick cover.
But just as she maneuvered a new
round into the chamber the running
buck slowed to a walk, then stopped
on the edge of the brush and looked
back at the excited hunters. Alicia
had a long shot; around 200 yards but
she steadied the Ruger, placed the illuminated cross hair on the buck’s
shoulder and squeezed the trigger.
The buck appeared hit but he dashed
into the thick brush and disappeared.

The excited pair climber down from
the stand, checked on the 10-point and
quickly headed for where the 8-point
was last seen. They approached the
spot slowly, with Alicia leading and
the gun in ready position. On the
edge of the field they found blood and
soon they could see the white belly of
a beautiful buck. The pair hugged,
danced in circles to celebrate the kill
and called Marty Kerr for assistance.
I arrived after the deer were
tagged and the wagon was sitting in
the barn yard. Mom and daughter
were still celebrating the kill. Mackenzie bounced around the wagon full
of bucks like a Tasmanian devil on
steroids. Mom was all smiles.
Both bucks were adult whitetail.
Mackenzie’s 10-point had two sticker
points near the brow and was technically a 12-point. It would score in
the 140’s and Alicia’s big 8-point had
more mass and would score in the upper 130’s.
I’ve never seen a pair of happier
hunters. Mom was overjoyed at her
daughter’s hunting accomplishment
and an excellent example of a proud
parent. Mackenzie was simply overjoyed.
But there is more to this story.
Mackenzie is no stranger to the pages
of Woods-N-Water News; she was
featured in a Super Salmon article
August 2014 regarding her accomplishment catching a 28 lb. king
salmon and her smiling face graced
page 30 along with her dad. This kid
is an unbelievable sportsperson and
loves fishing, mouth calling turkeys
for dad and deer hunting with both
parents. She is obviously an outdoor
enthusiast, accomplished game caller,
fish catcher and big buck slayer. But
the real story behind the events that
led up to her success is how her caring
parents have taught her to enjoy the
outdoors and how the entire family
loves fishing, outdoor adventures and
deer hunting together.
Have you ever heard of two bucks
scoring over 130 harvested from the
same stand in less than five minutes?
Darn few women take deer that large
and the idea of mom and daughter
doubling up from the same stand,
using the same gun is simply awe
inspiring. Testament of their unusual
accomplishment is reflected in their
smiling faces in the images I captured
on film and also the wagon full of big
bucks.n

Mackenzie Kerr holds Ruger .270 over her shoulder as she grips the tine of the big 10-point
she harvested while Alicia Kerr is all smiles about her big 8-point in the foreground. Have
you ever seen a wagon full of bucks like this harvested by mom and daughter?

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FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

I

By Kenny Darwin

7

Double your ice fishing catches!

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

Next Bite...By Gary Parsons and Keith Kavajecz

8

e do realize it’s pretty bold
to state that we have found
a system that will help you
double your fish catches
when ice fishing, but we
wouldn’t say it if we really didn’t
believe it. For those of you that have
followed our careers, you will remember that in the late 90’s we put together
a “system” of trolling for walleyes
that broke new ground and launched a
trolling revolution that still dominates
today.
Well, this Targeted Jigging System
will do the same thing for ice fishing.
And this truly is a “system”, as well as
a totally new technique! Perhaps the
best way to tell you about this system,
is to explain how, over the past 12 to
18 months, this has developed.
When we ice fish, we have always
used the same Lowrance graph units
like the ones we use on our boats in
the summer. It’s been our contention
from the beginning that these types of
units offer so much more information
and show a better picture of what’s
happening below the surface than
flasher-type units often touted as being
the so-called best units for ice fishing. Last winter, on one of his many
ice treks to Lake Gogebic, Gary was
fishing with Jon Sibley, a hardcore
ice guide who happened to also be a
“flasher guy.”
On one of the warmer days, as
they were setting up to do a little
perch fishing from their shelter, Gary
watched as his friend set up three
holes – one inside the shelter and two
outside the shelter with one of them
being about 8 to 10 feet away. On that
close outside hole Jon set up a flasher
unit (in addition to the one at his jigging hole in the shack). He positioned
the flasher located at the closest outside hole so that he could see it from
the open door of his shack. Gary asked
why he did that. Jon explained that
sometimes he could see a fish near the
bait because the flasher was located in
that hole (obviously he had very good
eye sight). When he did, he’d go to
the hole and try to coax the fish to bite,
and if he did catch a fish, he would immediately see if more were there so he
could drop to them quickly and maybe
catch even a second or a third fish.
Well, Gary being Gary, instantly
saw the advantage to this, but having
only one graph with him at the time he
was hog-tied. However, the next time
he hit the ice with his friend that was
not the case. This time he brought two
Lowrance units, both Elite -7x HDI’s.
One was used inside the shelter like
normal, and one for the closest outside

hole. With the Elite-7x Gary zoomed
in the display to show only the bottom six feet – which was the area with
historically the most fish action. With
the larger screen and having it zoomed
in, Gary was able to set the Elite-7x
twice the distance from the shack as
compared to how Jon had fished his
flasher. With the screen zoomed in this
way the jig looked like it was a quarter
of an inch thick and the incoming fish
would look like sturgeons coming
in….making the whole screen highly
visible from a greater distance. He
could watch as fish moved into the
areas of his jig, and run out to tease
those fish into biting or to simply set
the hook on the ones that had already
bitten. The one thing that was immediately apparent, were the great numbers
of fish that would come to this dead
stick set up and not bite unless you
were right there to jig them!
It really seemed like this was a
great system, but they ran into a snag
… literally. As soon as the weather
turned cold, the holes would immediately freeze and fishing outside holes
like this was impossible. Both Gary
and Jon knew that they had to find a
way to keep those holes from freezing over in order for this to work on a
consistent day to day basis.
After an exhaustive internet search,
Gary found The Hot Box; a neat device created by JT Outdoor Products
owned by father and son Tom and
Joe Bricko. Gary and Jon contacted
them, told them how we wanted to use
the Hot Box, and after meeting with
them at a sport show were able to get
a couple Hot Boxes to put to the test.
The Hot Box is a foldable aluminum
“box” that fits over the ice hole and is
equipped with a small heat generating
lantern inside. It’s open on the hole
portion of the top, and with the use of
their rod-holder option, creates one
half of the ideal Jigging Station. The
Hot Box worked perfectly and both
Jon and Gary knew that they were really on to something.
With the hole-freezing issue conquered, Gary set his sights on a way
to extend the distance he could set the
Jigging Station from the shelter. He
contacted Chris Meyer, a friend and
Rep with Lowrance, and asked him
about the range of his GoFree Wi-Fi
antennae that he used in his tournament boat. He explained to Chris that
he wanted to stream a sonar signal
from a graph back to his shack to a
tablet inside the shelter, therefore
having the capability to monitor fishing holes placed a distance from his
shelter.

Ice fishing as a sport has exploded in recent years, and taking the same
technology we use in our boats to the ice has been a big reason why. It’s the
technology that helps us locate and therefore catch more fish – and that
makes ice fishing more fun.
Chris immediately saw what Gary
was alluding to, and was more than
happy to let Gary know that Lowrance
was just weeks away from announcing
that they were releasing the Gen III
line of units that would come with WiFi built right in. “Awesome”, Parsons
thought – this was a perfect situation.
Now he had the Hot Box and an easy
way to stream the signal from his outside sonar to inside his shelter. This is
the technology that makes the Targeted
Jigging System complete.
Using this system on a trip to Red
Lake in Minnesota, the TNB crew
slayed walleyes and what we learned,
(as Gary had suspected) was just
how many fish were coming to those
outside lines that could be coaxed into
biting. Had those lines been tip-ups,
they would have gone untouched. Being able to see the fish approach those
lines, then being able to run out and
start jigging made all the difference.
Catch rates doubled! The real beauty
of this system is that it works with

many species and already the guys
have used it with great success on
not only walleyes, but panfish,
particularly deep basin crappies
and perch.
Ice fishing as a sport has exploded
in recent years, and by taking the same
technology we use in our boats to the
ice the “catching” part of the equation
will vastly improve…generating many
more smiles from happy anglers!
There will always be a place for
the relaxing, peace and solitude style
of fishing whether it’s on the ice or
on open water, but if you are serious
about the sport of fishing and are the
type that feels the need to push the
progression of how you view your
craft, then embracing technology and
using the Targeted Jigging System will
absolutely help you double the number
of times you get your Next Bite.
If you have questions or comments
on this or other articles of ours you
may have read, contact us through our
website at www.thenextbite.com.n

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

9

2014 bear harvest

B

ased on preliminary figures
from the DNR about the number of bears registered in the
state by hunters during 2014
seasons, the harvest was the
lowest it has been since 1998. A total
of 1,525 bruins were registered with
the DNR for 2014 compared to 1,520
in 1998. The low kill is by design
rather than a surprise due to a reduction in the number of bear licenses
that were issued rather than a low bear
population.
That also puts the bear
kill at the lowest level during the three years that bear
license quotas have been reduced to allow bear numbers
to increase due to concerns
the population was declining.
There were 1,615 bears registered in the state during 2013
and 1,684 for 2012.
The kill was down
by almost 100 from
last year, but that was planned and is a
good thing.
Prior to 2012, the annual bear kill
exceeded 2,000 every year for more
than a decade. The highest harvest occurred during 2006 when 2,475 bruins
were registered. Without the reduced
license quotas, the kill probably
would have remained at the 2,000 plus
level. Therefore, the reduced harvest
over the last three years has saved a
minimum of 1,176 bears.
Some of those bears that were not
taken by hunters had to have been
pregnant females. The cubs those animals gave birth to would have added

even more to the population. So the
reduced harvest accomplished what it
was supposed to.
What’s even more good news is
that now we know that the reduced license quotas the last three years were
not as necessary as originally thought.
Errors in methods used to estimate
Michigan’s bear population previously
indicated the population was declining. Based on new estimates, using
different techniques, bear numbers are
stable to increasing.
Those added bears will
be a bonus to hunters during future seasons. Getting
back to the 2014 harvest,
only 7,831 bear licenses were
available to hunters, a decline
of 75 from the 7,906 quota in
2013. And license numbers
for 2013 were 85 less than
the 7,991 quota during 2012. In 2011,
11,742 bear licenses
were available, more than 30% more
(3,911) than 2014.
A total of 1,252 bears were registered in the UP during 2014 and 273
in the Lower Peninsula. Those numbers include the reported tribal harvest
of 44 bruins, 24 of which were taken
in the UP and 20 in the Lower. The
Newberry and Baraga bear management units (BMUs) had the highest
kills at 297 and 284 respectively.
Bergland and Gwinn BMUs were
next in line with 196 and 191 respectively. The kill was 171 in the Amasa
unit and 88 for Carney.
The number of bear hunters who

actually hunted during 2014 is not yet
known, but based on the number of
permits available and bears registered,
average hunting success in the UP was
17% and 19% in the Lower Peninsula.
Success was much higher during most
of the first of three hunts in six of the
seven UP BMUs. Hunters who drew
tags for the first hunt in the Amasa
Unit, for example, had 66% success.
First season hunters in the Baraga and
Gwinn Units had 35 and 34% success
respectively.
Only two permits were issued for
Drummond Island, one of which was
a tribal tag, and both hunters scored,
so success was 100% there.
The tally for the Lower Peninsula’s largest BMU (Red Oak) was
109, with about 29% success. Thirtyfive of the 70 license holders for the
Baldwin Unit got bears for a 50% rate
of success. Seventeen out of 110 hunters who tried their luck in the Gladwin
BMU connected for 15% success.

Even though the Michigan bear
harvest during 2014 was the lowest it
has been since 1998, the kill was not
as low as the DNR would have liked it
to be. The desired kill, based on population estimates available during 2013,
was 1,357, a difference of 168 animals. Now that we know the desired
harvest set more than a year ago was
based on faulty information, it’s not
as critical that the goal was exceeded.
The fact that there are more bears in
the state than the DNR wildlife division realized in 2012 explains why the
desired harvests were exceeded every
year from 2012 to 2014.
The DNR is currently in the
process of determining bear license
quotas for 2015. Based on the latest
estimates of bear numbers, permit
quotas may be increased. Some hunters are questioning the accuracy of
those estimates, however, and may
push to have license quotas remain
low.n

“We have sex and age data from
our bear population since 1992 to the
present,” Mayhew said. “We have
the age at harvest for our bears from
mandatory registration of animals
taken by hunters. Those ages are determined by looking at the teeth from
those bears. Hunting effort is determined by annual surveys of
bear hunters.
“All of the information
is plugged into the program
and it goes through a number
of scenarios to determine
what the bear population was
most likely to have been like
to produce the harvest that
we know we had, given the
other data that is
known.”
Based on the
statistical reconstruction of Michigan’s bear population, Mayhew said
there were an estimated 11,000 bears

that were more than a year old in the
areas open to bear hunting on September 9, 2014. She said 9,000 of
them were in the UP and 2,000 in the
Lower Peninsula.
“Based on the data, the bear
population in the UP has been stable
for about the last 20 years,” Mayhew
said. “Those figures only include
bears that are at least a year old before bear season begins. They do not
include cubs.
“Since females with cubs are
protected during hunting season,
there has been a gradual increase in
the number of reproductive females
in the population and there has also
been a gradual increase in the average
number of cubs per female,” Mayhew
commented. “Females of reproductive age only have cubs every other
year. If you average out the number
of cubs produced per year for all
females, it is 1.2. If you only consider

reproductive females, meaning those
that had cubs that year, the number of
cubs per female is about 2.5.”
Productive females can have as
many as five cubs, but four cubs are
more common. Some females such as
first time mothers only give birth to
one cub, however. Mayhew did not
have an estimate of the number of
reproductive females that there would
be in the state for any particular year.
If one third or 3,630 members of
the bear population were reproductive
females, however, they would produce 9,075 cubs. That would put the
state bear population at about 20,000.
Not all cubs survive their first year of
life though. Cub mortality varies by
region, being the highest in portions
of the UP where wolves prey on cubs.
Mayhew added that by using this
new method of estimating the bear
population, the DNR can produce
an annual estimate after the new

By Richard P. Smith

14-year-old Bruce Bailey
from Drummond Island
with his first bear
weighing 402 pounds.

Michigan bear population healthy

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

M
10

ichigan’s black bear population is healthy, not declining, according to the most
recent estimate made public
at the Bear Symposium
hosted by the DNR at Roscommon’s
RAM Center on December 6. So
the reduction in the number of bear
licenses issued in the state
over the last three years was
not necessary. The reduced
bear harvest that occurred
over those years will insure
the population is increasing,
however, which is a good
thing.
A new technique was
used to come up with the
most recent bear
population estimate.
It’s called statistical
reconstruction and it was explained
by DNR research specialist Sarah
Mayhew at the Bear Symposium.

By Richard P. Smith

are young animals. Mayhew produced
a graph showing the ages of females
harvested by hunters over a period
of years that showed there are just as
many old females being harvested by
hunters in the state during recent yeas
as there were in the past. In fact, Etter
said the age distribution of females in
the harvest has been fairly constant
for many years.
The majority of the bears bagged
by hunters annually continue to be
males. More than 60% of the bears
taken by hunters are males.n

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

data gathered each year is plugged
into it, that is cheaper and less labor
intensive than previous methods. In
the past, tetracycline baits have been
used to estimate bear numbers in the
UP and DNA analysis of bear hair
collected from baited snares has been
used in the northern Lower Peninsula. Both of these methods are labor
intensive and costly.
In the UP, tetracycline capsules
are wrapped in bacon for bait and
they are hung from trees to increase
the chances that bears will eat them.
The tetracycline stains the teeth
of bears and those that have been
marked in this fashion can be detected when the teeth of harvested bears
are examined. Hundreds of these baits
are put out across the UP each time
this type of marking effort is done.
Then biologists have to revisit the
baits to determine which ones have
been eaten by bears. For accuracy, it
is important for researchers to be able
to differentiate baits eaten by bears
and nontarget animals such as fisher
and raccoons. To aid in determining
what animal ate baits during 2014,
game cameras were placed to monitor
97 baits.
Setting up baited hair snares at
a number of locations in the Lower
Peninsula and collecting hair samples
from them is also labor intensive.
Then DNA information has to be
extracted from those samples and
analyzed.
Bear population estimates for
the UP based on tetracycline baits
conducted previously were what led
wildlife biologists to think bear numbers were declining there, which led
to a 32% reduction in the number of
bear licenses issued for the UP from
2012 through 2014. Those estimates
were inaccurate based on the more recent statistical reconstruction method.
“All methods used to estimate
populations are subject to errors,”
DNR wildlife researcher Dwayne
Etter said. “That was the best available information at the time. We now
recognize we have problems with the
tetracycline capsules used in baits.
The capsules are thinner than they
used to be. When we wrapped them
in bacon this year, the moisture from
the bacon dissolved the capsules,
making the baits less appealing to
bears. That might be responsible for
fewer baits taken by bears than fewer
bears being present.
“The statistical reconstruction of
our bear population that Sarah did is
now the best scientific data available
about Michigan bear numbers. These
numbers only apply on a regional basis. It isn’t detailed enough to provide
estimates on a local or county level.”
Some hunters who questioned
the new population estimates felt that
there are fewer older female black
bears in the population to produce
cubs, suggesting most of the females

Susan Smith
from Kawkawlin with a black
bear she bagged
in Dickinson
County on
September 15
that had a live
weight of 410
pounds.

11

“Stairway To Heaven...”

CATCHING BLUEGILLS
By Kenny Darwin

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

J

12

igging style can make the difference between limit catches
and only icing a few gills, but
knowing how to work your lure
to guarantee strikes requires
good ‘ole practice and time on the water. So often, anglers hit the ice with
the latest equipment, pop-up shanty,
Ice Armor bibs and parka, Vexilar
electronics, but fishing success often
hinges on the lure you use, which bait
you select and how you make the offering dance. This was the case in the
following anecdote.
I was fishing one of my sweet
spots, a bump on the bottom that
sticks up in a shallow bay where gills
congregate during first ice. I watched
as a new angler arrived, drilled holes
and began pulling fish at lightning
speed. After watching several handsize bulls hit the ice I eased closer to
see what he was using. It looked like a
larvae jig the model that is pre-rigged
with Trigger X soft bait in UV lime
green. But the angler’s jigging style
was unorthodox, different than mine
and profoundly more productive.
He was using yellow line tipped
with clear leader attached with a
Redwing ant or itsy black swivel. His
leader was only about 2 feet long but
his jigging style was completely backward from mine. He was dropping
the jig in the hole and stairstepping
downward while watching electronics.
Some gills would slam the offering
just a couple feet below the ice. He
would set the hook, crank them up
without disturbing the school found
deeper in the water column.
I was surprised to see he was
watching the yellow line for shallow
bites, a bow or slack line indicated a
strike from fish too high in the water
column to see on electronics. If he
didn’t get strikes up high he would
dance the jig toward bottom in a stopdrop stairstep fashion. Once he hit
bottom he would reverse the technique and stairstep the lure upward
in the water column, drawing fish off
bottom.
This fisherman was whipping me
bad, catching two or three gills to my
one. It goes to show that jigging style
can be the key to success and this ice
junkie was back at his truck with his
limit while I was still struggling to
hook fish.
Ice fishing has come a long way
in a few short years and folks like
Gentz have educated multitudes of
fishermen, taught them the value of
shelter, proper clothing, electronics,

Bluegills are Michigan’s most popular ice fishing species. The author likes to hole hop by drilling several holes during
midday and using electronics and stairstep jigging presentations to locate big gills. Author photos
sensitive rods, spring bobber tips,
super light line and fancy new lures
to guarantee success. Sportsmen have
finally uncovered the secrets to ice
fishing success and today Michigan

anglers are more productive at taking
limit catches than any other time in
the history of Michigan ice fishing.
But there is still one important variable that separates the men from the

boys when it comes to hefty catches,
jigging style.
Gone are the days of heavy line
and red/white bobbers. Modern
anglers use premium ice line thin as

tactics go dead. It is the golden ladder
to fast paced ice fishing fun. Sort of
like a stairway to fishing heaven, like
climbing Jacob’s ladder through the
clouds to heaven.
Stairstep jigging is my deadliest
technique for any fish including panfish, trout, smelt, hawg walleyes and
a variety of species. Learn this deadly
method and I guarantee you are on
the yellow brick road that leads to
hefty catches.
Like the time I was over a large
spindle of winter crappies. Rather
than dropping the jig through the
school I’d pick off active fish on top.
Most fish that are suspended above
the others are more active than bottom hugging brothers. The trick is to
stop the downward falling lure, hold
it slightly above the highest fish and
get him to strike. This is also a great
way to pick off schooled perch, one at
a time, without spooking the school.
Just about any jig will work but
because you are making the offering
come alive by swimming the lure it
is a good idea to select a jig that has
a horizontal profile. Art Day makes a
wonderful jig for this technique. The
Tungsten Tubby works great for deep
water perch and Larvae jig or Wax
Tail jig are perfect. One of the hottest
new jigs going is the Waxie jig with
vertical format, large eye and ribbed
body to match a wax worm. Jigs that
have a horizontal profile are flatter on
top and give off enhanced sonar echo
making them easy to see on electronics.

A night fisherman works glow jigs in
search of winter crappie. Ice shanties provide shelter and are equipped
with lantern, heater, cold drinks,
padded chair and plenty of room for
several holes and electronics.

In many ways the stairstep jigging
action draws cold water fish into
striking. Fishing this way can provide limit catches while other jigging

Great catches begin with seeing your
lure first, and then watching fish and
how they react to your jigging style
comes next. If you are not getting

Panfish medicine consists of light line, micro jigs tipped with waxies sensitive rods. A spring bobber is attached to the rod tip to allow fishermen to
seductively swim lures and detect the faint strike of cold water panfish.
strikes try different lures, a variety
of colors or sizes until you hit on
the hottest combination. Gills can be
finicky, some days they want glow
jigs tipped with two waxies. The next
they want brown or black lures rigged
with one bait. Some days they want
a falling jig; more often than not a
slowly rising lure that dances horizontally and moves upward is the key
to impressive catches.
A variety of baits work well for
this presentation and I like to leave a
tail hanging off the hook to wiggle,
wave and pulsate in the water. Some
folks are sold on the mayfly Impulse
with micro plankton scent. Sometimes the wax tail with Trigger X will
out perform real bait. My top choice
is a waxworm. In deep water I like
extra-large waxies but for most situations I prefer relatively small waxies.
Here’s the trick to fishin waxies:
pin two small waxies on the hook and
leave their tails hanging off to vibrate
in the water. Neutral fish cannot resist
pecking at the flailing tail and eventually get a taste of the bait and they
gulp the hook. Active fish will key in
on the movement of the waving tail,
swim close and vent or inhale the
presentation at lightning speed. Make
certain to use fresh waxies. Keep
them from freezing and store in your
coat pocket to keep them warm and
lively while fishing. Most folks store
waxies in the frig but I keep them at
room temperature, sort out weak or
dead bait and give them oak meal
to keep them eating, growing and
healthy.
The stairstep method with live
bait mimics the swimming action
of small insects, freshwater shrimp
and a variety of freshwater creatures.
Each day can be different and the
speed and distance you raise the jig
must be experimented with to hit on
the hot combination. At times fish
will only move a certain distance off
bottom and few strikes come higher
in the water column. Other times gills
will keep chasing the jig upward and
strike close to the ice. Experimentation is the key to success.
A zillion years ago while fishing
with the late Fred Trost, he approached me with a gasp and serious look on his face. “What are you
doing?”was the question he asked
regarding the growing pile of panfish
taken from Lake Of the Hills private
pond.

Apparently Fred didn’t understand
ice fishing, using 8 lb. line with red/
white bobber and froze his butt off for
few fish. He was simply awestruck to
see me tuna-fishin’ gills, pulling them
one after another using light line, itsy
hook tipped with bait and rod with
spring bobber tip. Hey, don’t be naive
about ice fishing, get with the program, use a sensitive spring bobber
on your rod tip to detect strikes and
make jigs swim.
Have you seen the new rod blanks
where the line runs through the rod?
Do you understand ‘long-rodding’
tactics that is a staple amongst tournament fishermen? Ambidextrous balanced rods with line running through
rod blank, integrated spring bobber
and technique specific action rods are
the new fishing wave of the future.
Don’t be stuck in the past about ice
fishing like Fred Trost, take a peek at
the new Frabill Black Ops Rod. Some
say it offers the most sensitive bite
detection available.
With any fishing it is important to
select a location that holds fish. The
idea is to begin with a Michigan lake
that has plentiful populations of fish.
Begin by starting in coves or bays
and relatively shallow water come
first ice.
Next move to drop offs, deeper
structure like weed beds, rocks,
stumps or anything that will attract
and hold fish. As winter progresses
and Old Man winter sends bitter cold
and arctic conditions search out deep
water liars where the water is somewhat warmer and more stable. Gills
are often scattered throughout the
water system but if you want the big
bulls you need to drill plenty of holes,
spend time searching and experimenting until you find the mother lode.
Big bluegills often congregate where
there is structure like clam beds,
weeds, drop-offs, rocks, humps or
bumps and more.
So if you want the golden gates in
ice fishing heaven to swing open and
provide unrivaled limit catches try
a stairstep jigging presentation. The
idea is to make your lure look like it
is a live swimming organism. Tip it
with bait to add smell and experiment
with jig size and a variety of jigging
speeds or rod tip actions to keep the
lure dancing. Follow these suggestions and I guarantee you are on the
road to heavenly catches, bigger fish
and plenty of them.n

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

spider thread tipped with itsy lures
to outwit bluegills, crappie, perch
and a host of panfish. But the trick to
success often hinges on how you jig
the lure. In most cases you need to
make the lure swim, get the attention
of lethargic fish, coax them close and
entice them into biting. Perhaps the
most effective strategy to accomplish
this goal is a jigging technique that
moves the offering upward in the
water column in a stairstep fashion.
Here’s why
Winter fish frequently sulk near
bottom or midway between top and
bottom. Begin by free spooling and
allowing the tiny jig to drop to bottom. Start by twitching the lure close
to bottom, and then jiggle it upward
in an effort to get the attention of fish
nearby. If no red bands appear on the
electronics continue to jig upward/
pause, jig/pause as you work the lure
upward in the water column.
Usually gills will appear slightly
beneath the lure and your goal is to
move the jig upward very slowly
with plenty of tip action to make it
dance. Now, pause and allow the fish
to slip kissin’ close, smell the bait.
Hold still for a few seconds and wait
for the spring bobber on the rod tip to
indicate a strike. If the fish still is not
biting lift the offering, jig it upward
and entice him to follow. Then, stop
and wait for a strike again. This jigging style requires good electronics to
see the jig and the fish, sensitive rod
tip and nerves of steel because fish
are often within striking distance.

13

By Drew YoungeDyke...Citizens For Professional Wildlife Management

What is the Federal wolf ruling’s effect on the
Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act?

W

hat do these petitions mean
now?
On Friday, December
19, U.S. District Court
Judge Beryl Howard put
Great Lakes gray wolves back on the
Endangered Species List. The federal wolf ruling halts scientific wolf
management and overturns the United
States Fish and Wildlife Service’s
2012 rule removing the wolves from
the list and placing them under state
management. One of the biggest misconceptions about this ruling, though,
based on erroneous reporting in the
Associated Press’s release, is that the
ruling makes the Scientific Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Act “null and
void.” To the contrary, the Scientific
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act
will still go into effect in March.
The Scientific Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Act was never just about
wolves; it was about, as its title says,
making fish and wildlife conservation decisions with sound science.
The actual provisions of the SFWCA,
which was passed in August as PA 281
of 2014 and will take effect on March
19, 2015, allow the Natural Resources
Commission to designate game spe-

cies and issue fisheries orders using
sound science, keeps hunting and
fishing licenses free for active military
members, and provides $1 million to
the DNR to fight aquatic invasive species, like Asian carp, which is part of
managing fisheries scientifically.
None of that is affected in the least
by the court ruling; all the court ruling
means is that the NRC will not be able
to add wolves to the game species list
until they’re once again removed from
the Endangered Species List. How we
do that is a potentially long and complicated road, but we did our part here
in Michigan. Whenever it gets figured
out on the federal level, Michigan
will have the ability to use hunting to
manage wolves scientifically because
of the hard work of volunteers who
collected signatures for the Scientific
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.
In the meantime, every other provision of the SFWCA will take effect in
March, including barring the Humane
Society of the United States from
running a statewide referendum on the
designation of any future new game
species.
So what’s next?
The court ruling makes clear that

the actual language of the Endangered
Species Act is decidedly unclear. The
judge’s ruling hinged on her interpretation of the meaning of “distinct
population segment” and whether or
not a listed animal is recovered in a
significant part of its range, neither of
which are well-defined in the ESA.
Her ruling basically says that they
cannot be de-listed and managed in
areas where they are clearly recovered
- such as Minnesota, Wisconsin and
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula - until
they are recovered in other parts of
their former range where suitable
habitat exists. In other words, we can’t
manage them in the U.P. until they’re
roaming Oakland County in significant numbers?
To fix that, the United States Fish
and Wildlife Service, as well as the
groups like MUCC that intervened as
defendants in the lawsuit (including
U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, Safari Club International, the
National Rifle Association, the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, the
Wisconsin Bowhunters Association,
the Upper Peninsula Bear Houndsmen
Association, the Michigan Hunting Dog Federation and the Rocky

Mountain Elk Foundation) will have
to determine if an appeal is the best
course of action, or an amendment to
the Endangered Species Act that clarifies the meaning of those terms, just as
potential examples.
This ruling does, however, invalidate the Michigan Jaws that allow
farmers and pet owners to shoot
wolves that are in the act of attacking
pets and livestock. Remember how all
throughout the debate of the SFWCA
and Proposals 1 and 2 the anti-hunters
like Jill Fritz and Nancy Warren kept
saying, “There are already lethal tools
available, so we don’t need a hunting season?” Well, this ruling on the
lawsuit filed by HSUS takes those
away, too, proving that HSUS simply
doesn’t care about the family pets or
livestock that get killed by wolves, as
long as no wolves are ever killed.
But like I said, we took care
of business here in Michigan. The
Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act will still take effect in March.
That didn’t change. And as soon as
things get figured out on the federal
level, the laws of the State of Michigan will be in place to manage wolves
scientifically. With hunting.n

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FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

15

Do yearling
male deer
with small
antlers have
smaller
antlers at
maturity?

I

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

n recent years, no aspect of
white-tailed deer management
has probably caused more debate
among hunters and managers
than the practice of culling to
improve antler quality. In fact,
it seems hunters have become
fanatical in their quest to harvest
monster bucks carrying trophy-sized
antlers -- at any cost.
Culling is the selective removal of
presumably inferior deer in order to
improve the quality of the remaining
population.
Among whitetails, the culling harvest
strategy generally involves targeting those bucks with inferior antlers
for removal to improve overall antler
quality of those left to do the breeding
and for harvest at older age.
The practice of culling bucks
with small antlers, as a management
strategy, originated in Texas during
the 1980s. Presumed benefits of such
harvesting were based upon penned
deer research. These early studies indicated that removal of spike-antlered
yearling bucks not only improved antler quality, but also improved inherent
genetic traits for large antlers.
However, later studies challenged
these findings. While conducting
controlled breeding studies of deer
from northern as well as southern
regions, Mississippi researchers found
no evidence that removal of yearling
bucks with spike or few antler points
improved antler quality. Instead, they
argued that a yearling bucks’ antlers
were more influenced by birth date
and nutrition than genetics.
Until recently, the culling debate
has revolved primarily around studies using captive deer, held in unnaturally high densities and fed either
high-quality or restricted diets. Such
controversy now seems to surface at
any regional meeting among hunters
and wildlife professionals.

16

4-point or better antlers, hence they
were eligible for harvest.
Smaller antlers in older bucks
more likely can be explained by
excessive harvest of young bucks with
the largest antlers when they were
yearlings.
It’s important to recognize that
some bucks may have larger antlers
than others at yearling age for many
reasons, such as being born early, being a single fawn raised by a maternally experienced doe, being disease
free, or having been raised in exceptionally good habitat.
In the above mentioned Mississippi study, investigators also found that
results of the 4-point harvest strategy
differed among the 3 regions studied.
That is, antler quality among 2.5 and
3.5 year old bucks only declined in
the most fertile soil region after implementation of the 4-point harvest rule.
They speculate that this could have
occurred for two reasons: (1) inherent
regional differences in soil fertility,
and (2) differences in buck harvest
intensity.
In the fertile Delta region, yearling
antler development was not limited
by forage quality and males expressed
their potential for antler size. Therefore, given the 4-point harvest strategy, a large percent of the yearling
cohort could legally be harvested.
By comparison, relatively poor
soils in the Upper and Lower Coastal
Plain may have resulted in later fawnWildlife Department, indiculling debate, as I’ll discuss ing dates as well as poorer physical
cates selective breeding by
here.
(and antler) development. Given the
superior-antlered yearling
environmental constraints, relatively
bucks improves subsequent
High-Grading
few yearling bucks were legal targets.
yearling antler scores.
In Mississippi, research
According to the researchers, this
Lockwood and his group
headed up by Bronson Strick- could have resulted in “random” reconcluded the following:
land found that protection of moval of yearlings and no decrease in
“Our findings clearly indicate
small-antlered young males
cohort antler size in subsequent years.
that under constant subop-- intended to more closely
The researchers suggest that deer
timal environmental
balance adult sex ratios
in
the
rich-soil Delta region may have
conditions, phenotypic
-- may inadvertently
experienced
high harvest rates (75
change in antler quality
contribute to smaller
percent
or
more)
of vulnerable males,
The Culling Debate
can be realized with inthan normal antlers in
which
caused
differences
in antler size
Study results on captive deer have tensive selective harvest
subsequent years on
for
preand
post-regulation
cohorts.
produced recommendations rangof yearling males.”
some areas.
Conversely,
populations
in
the
Uping from removing all spike-antlered
Conversely, Harry Jacobson arMore specifically, these researchper
and
Lower
Plain
regions
may
bucks (primarily yearlings) to comgues little or no improvement in future ers discovered that implementation
have experienced low harvest rates,
plete protection of all yearling bucks
antler quality will result by culling
of a 4-point minimum harvest rule
which yielded no effect. The best data
regardless of their antler traits.
based on yearling antler traits.
resulted in a reduction in average
Those favoring culling claim
Jacobson and Texas A&M geantler size among 2.5 and 3.5 year old indicate that yearling harvest rates
of less than 50 percent are not likely
spike-antlered young bucks are
neticist Steven Lukefahr based their
bucks in subsequent years on certain
to impact subsequent cohort antler
genetically inferior, will never attain
conclusions on the examination of
areas. Hence, although the strategy
quality antlers typical of fork-antlered 220 yearling bucks raised at research may have increased the proportion of characteristics.
Strickland and his group concludyearlings even when mature, and will facilities in Mississippi. They found
older bucks in the population, overall
ed
the
following: “Selective-harvest
contribute to perpetuation of such un- that the doe’s nurturing ability was
antler quality declined.
(SHC)
criteria that protect smalldesirable traits. In addition, they claim far more important than genetics in
This unintended (high-grading)
antlered
young bucks coupled with
culling will help reduce deer density,
determining the yearling buck’s antler result added fuel to the culling conhigh
harvest
rates of young vulnerable
thereby improving herd nutrition, as
points, spread, weight and beam
troversy. However, it is important to
males may negatively impact cohort
well as remove small-antlered genes
length.
recognize that antler genetics were
antler size in subsequent years on
from the herd and improve future
Although there have been relative- not impacted in the process. Instead,
some areas. Use of SHC that protects
antler quality.
ly few studies conducted to evaluate
antler size was smaller because of
For example, research conducted
the effects of culling on antler quality harvest restrictions that protected deer young males with small antlers should
be viewed as a temporary solution to
by Mitchell Lockwood and his
among free-ranging whitetails, findborn late in the season. At the same
chronic age-structure problems.”
cohorts, from the Texas Parks and
ings from field studies tend to fuel the time, many early-born bucks grew

The neverending

Deer Biology
By John Ozoga

Although their findings have been
challenged, studies conducted by
Ben Koerth and James Kroll in Texas
showed that a whitetail buck’s first
set of antlers was a poor predictor
of antler growth at maturity in wild
populations. In other words, according to the authors, selective removal
of small-antlered yearling bucks will
not increase overall mature buck
antler size.
Koerth and Kroll conducted their
study on 12 ranches in Texas ranging from 2 to 23 square miles in size
(11 of which were fenced), some
of which employed supplemental
feeding. Initially, they captured and
marked male fawns and yearlings. In
subsequent years, they attempted to
recapture and examine as many of the
marked animals as possible.
Yearling bucks were divided into
two antler-point categories, those
with 3 or fewer antler points and
those with 4 or more antler points.
Then, the researchers compared recaptured bucks in the two antler-point
categories to determine differences in
antler growth at 2.5 years, 3.5 years,
4.5 years, and 5.5 or more years in
age.
Bucks that started out with 3 or
less antler points remained smaller in
all measured antler traits at 2.5 years
of age and in most antler traits at 3.5
years of age. However, by 4.5 years
of age there were no differences in
any antler measurements regardless
of their yearling antler-point category.
Although antler measurements increased for all males as they matured,
small-antlered yearlings added antler
mass at a faster rate in succeeding
years, as compared to large-antlered
yearlings. This resulted in no differ-

ence in antler size, regardless of their
yearling antler size, by the time bucks
grew their 4th set of antlers when 4.5
years old.
Koerth and Kroll theorize there
are different antler growth patterns in
whitetail bucks. One pattern is a high
rate of antler growth for the first few
years, followed by a slower rate each
year thereafter. Another pattern is
steady (incremental) growth throughout the productive life of the animal.
A third pattern is slow antler growth
at first, followed by an increased
growth rate at some point in the animal’s life.
Theoretically, all three patterns
end with roughly the same antler
score at maturity. Hence, in their
view, yearling antlers do not serve as
a reliable predictor of antler growth
potential, meaning selective removal
of yearling bucks with small antlers is
not likely to improve overall mature
buck antler quality.
Some researchers have openly
criticized the study by Koerth and
Kroll, claiming methodology and
data analysis were flawed and biased conclusions. Steve Demarias
and Brian Strickland, in particular,
have questioned the effect of culling
small-antlered deer, failure to include
study site as a random effect in their
analysis, and for not using a repeated
measures analysis structure.

The Latest

The latest findings by David
Hewitt and a group of Texas A&M
researchers may have finally answered this rather intriguing question:
Do yearling antlers serve as a predictor of antler growth potential? These
researchers used capture and harvest
records from an impressive sample

One study found that the doe’s nurturing ability was far more important than
genetics in determining the yearling buck’s antler points, spread, weight and
beam length.

Some studies show that after age 4.5 there were no differences in any measurements regardless of the buck’s yearling antler point. MDNR photos
of 2,940 male whitetails on 5 study
sites in Texas over a 10-year period
to track antler development among
bucks from yearling age to 5 years of
age.
In their study, yearling deer with
3 or fewer antler points had antlers
at maturity that were 32 centimeters
smaller (on the Boone and Crockett
scale) than deer with 4 or more antler
points at yearling age.
According to Hewitt and his
cohorts, “Our data show clearly that
yearling male deer with small antlers
have, on average, smaller antlers at
maturity.” In their view, “the correlation between yearling and mature
antler size was unequivocal.”
As expected this latest study
found that yearling body size was
positively related to yearling antler
size. This suggests that yearling deer
with small antlers may have experienced poor nutrition early in life.
However, the relationship between
yearling antler size and body size
became weaker at older age. As a
result, this suggests that deer have
some compensatory growth capability in body size or that factors other
than early life nutrition have a greater
influence on body size in older deer.
Since whitetails exhibit segregation of the adult sexes, this also
implies that habitat management designed to favor one sex may not necessarily favor the other. Obviously,
nutritional conditions on the fawns’
natal range are critically important,
as growth and development at
young age will impact the deer’s
development throughout life. This
does not mean antler genetics are
unimportant. But this is a complex
subject deserving far more discussion

than allowed here.
Given their study findings, the
authors conclude the following:
“Because of a positive relationship
between yearling and mature antler
size, selective harvest of juvenile
males can either increase or decrease
the average antler size of the cohort,
depending upon harvest criteria.”

Management Implications

Personally, I don’t know if the
research reported by Hewitt and his
group will put an end to the yearling
buck culling debate or not. I’ll reserve
final judgment until I see a study of
comparable proportions conducted
on Northern whitetail range (which
is highly unlikely in the near future),
where fluctuating environmental pressures differ from those experienced
on Southern range.
Meanwhile, I agree with the
Hewitt et al. appraisal, as follows:
“Managers using only antler size as
a harvest criterion to protect young
deer should recognize the potential to
harvest young deer with large antlers,
a harvest strategy that could increase
the number of deer reaching older age
classes but that may cause a decline
in average antler size as the cohort
ages. Conversely, selective harvest
of the smallest male deer in a cohort
may reduce the total number of deer
reaching older age classes, but the
average antler size of the cohort will
be larger and, because of reduced
resource competition, remaining
deer may have improved growth and
survival. Finally, antler size increases
with age and therefore, managers
seeking to harvest male deer with
large antlers should delay harvest until deer are 5 or more years of age.”n

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

Antler Growth Patterns

17

The Mighty Muskegon

I

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

which were plentiful in the Hersey River until the
f you seek an easy river for canoeing this
summer, consider the Muskegon. Easily ac- mid-1800s, along with most (if not all) of the lake
cessible, thanks to its central location in the herring, muskellunge, white bass and sauger. The
Lower Peninsula, the Muskegon offers good walleye fishing, on the other hand, is some of the
finest Michigan has to offer. The drowned riverangling for a variety of gamefish. It meanders through large portions of public land, affords a mouth at Muskegon Lake consistently produces
variety of wildlife, and is served by 10 or more ca- Master Angler catches of walleye, smallmouth bass,
noe liveries. In most places the river is wide enough northern pike, channel and flathead catfish.
Commercial fisheries were not established
for paddlers to avoid drowned timber, and its gentle
until about 1880 due to lack of a shipping chanflow makes it a safe bet for the inexperienced.
nel between Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan.
Last August six family members, including
Commercial timber operations reached a peak in
an eight-year-old, and I rented three canoes and
1888 when the mills at Muskegon sawed more than
paddled, fished and camped our way along some
800 million board feet of lumber. Extensive logging
50 miles of its upper reaches. We put in at Cadildestroyed much fish habitat; the introduclac Road in Missaukee County south of
tion of hydroelectric dams, beginning
Houghton Lake and took out at M-115 in
with the one built at Newaygo in 1900 (it
Osceola County upstream from Evart.
was removed in 1969), also changed fish
At 227 miles the Muskegon is one of
populations and habitat.
Michigan’s longest rivers, flowing through
If you want to canoe the entire river,
eight counties from its source as the drain
put in at the roadside park on M-55 about
plug for Houghton and Higgins lakes. The
four miles downstream from Reedsburg
sprawling watershed covers more than
Dam. You can also access from Hi-Lo
2,350 miles and includes the West Branch,
Bridge (Kelly Rd.), Dolph Bridge
Middle Branch, and Clam, Hersey
Rd.), Jonesville Bridge
and Little Muskegon rivers as well
Michigan Meanders (Cadillac
(also Dolph Rd.), and Leota Bridge
as many streams such as Bigelow,
Rd./CR-1233) . Here the
Brooks and Cedar creeks. After
By Tom Huggler (Pierce
dark, sand-bottom river averages
Reedsburg Dam, which contributes
to the Dead Stream flooding, there are no impound- one to five feet in depth and 30 to 60 feet in width
and is somewhat log-infested until canoe liveries,
ments for more than 100 miles until Rogers Dam
which share responsibilities, clean out the debris
Pond in Mecosta County. The next 30 miles is
wider and deeper due to the influence of Hardy and each spring and summer. We rented our 16-ft. Old
Town Discoverer canoes from Old Log Resort on
Croton dams in Newaygo County. Below Newaygo, the river runs free for about 35 miles before M-115 (231-743-2275), choosing fiberglass modpassing through Muskegon Lake and entering Lake els over aluminum because of their added stability
and quiet nature. The livery owners, who operate a
Michigan.
family campground where we spent our final night,
Our interests lay in the wild upper river, which
sees less fishing pressure than the popular impound- transported us upstream to the drop-off location.
The stretch we chose is great water to camp,
ments and lower river. The swampy headwaters
canoe and explore angling potential. The river
area produces good fishing for northern pike and
widens a bit below Leota, to 40 to 70 feet on averbrook trout. Fishing for healthy smallmouth bass
age. Lowland hardwoods continue to dominate the
from one to four pounds is excellent in the riffles
scenic, largely undeveloped river. Bayous hold a
and rocky areas we passed through. Walleye are
few panfish and pike; hard-bottom holes are good
also available although fishing for that species is
places to probe for walleyes. We focused mainly on
better in the impoundments and in the final run of
smallmouth bass, which were plentiful and readily
river.
Most of the river’s cool water tributaries contain took to spinnerbaits. White was a good color.
Just below the Clam River (a good brook trout
brown trout with the spring-fed smaller flows prostream) confluence, Church Bridge (Pine Rd.) is
ducing brook trout. Below Evart, the river is managed for brown trout, and fly fishing is easy thanks a popular access site. The four- to five-hour trip
from Church Bridge to M-115 on the Clare/Osceola
to its wide expanse.
County line often gets moderate to heavy canoe
The Muskegon River has a rich history. Of the
97 species of native fish that called the river home, traffic on summer weekends. The river widens to
about 100 feet and also grows shallower. Highway
most are still available. Gone are the grayling,

18

Garrett Grobe and the author’s grandson, Camden Kruis, on the Muskegon River last summer.

Brody Jones caught this healthy 3-pound smallmouth
on the Muskegon River. Looking on is Scott Kruis, the
author’s son-in-law. Author photos
M-61 at Temple, which is sometimes a DNR release
site for walleye, is the halfway point. Anglers also
access the river via the Ann Arbor Railroad, and
there is a small state forest campground just downstream.
The Osceola/Clare County line is the upstream
limit for smallmouth bass and the downstream
limit for adult northern pike. Both species are selfsustaining. Some of the best fishing for scrappy
smallmouth is rocky stretches between M-66 and
Big Rapids with the Hersey River influx the site of
larger bass. Low fishing pressure and a good bottom
of gravel and cobble are likely reasons. Some large
brown trout also occupy the river between Evart
and Paris, and walleye are always a bonus upstream
from Rogers Dam Pond.
The DNR stocks this section with walleye and
brown trout at several locations. The Middle Branch
enters between M-115 and M-66. Over this eightmile stretch the river slows considerably and the
land is mostly private. From M-66 to Evart the current picks up and anglers catch walleye, smallmouth
and brown trout. The best access is at Crawford
Park on M-66 and at River Country Campground in
Evart (231-734-4808), which also is a canoe livery.
Duggan’s Canoe Livery in Harrison (989-5397149) and White Birch Canoe & Campground in
Falmouth (231-328-4547) also serve the upper
Muskegon River.
If you want to seriously fish the Muskegon,
look for a copy of my book, Fish Michigan—50
Rivers at a public library or second-hand bookstore.
Although out of print, the information is still fairly
accurate, and I describe fishing opportunities downstream from Evart and in the impoundments and
below them. Another excellent source is Canoeing
Michigan Rivers by Jerry Dennis.
Michigan is blessed with many excellent rivers besides the mighty Muskegon to canoe, camp
and fish. What has now become an annual summer
event for the boys and men in our family has us
eyeing several possibilities for 2015. Look for my
report here next winter, arguably the best time to
plan such adventures.n

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FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

AVAILABLE AT THESE 8 MICHIGAN LOCATIONS

19

1/14/15 1:36 PM

S NOW
T
E
E
L
I
E
S

insulated pants and coat are a must.
I’m getting reports of good fishing
on the AuSable River near Oscoda.
The water below Foote Site Dam
will remain open all winter, offering
anglers an opportunity to catch big
silver-sided trout. My reports indicate
the AuSable is having a fair run of
steelies and fishing will go bonkers
when late winter ushers in longer
days, warmer weather with rain and
increasing water temperatures.
Meanwhile west Michigan Rivers
and streams are packed with fresh run
steelies. Hotspots include; St. Joseph,
Kalamazoo, Grand, Muskegon, Pere
Marquette and Big Manistee. Certainly good numbers are available
in some smaller streams but as cold
weather sets in shelf ice can make
shore fishing difficult. Larger rivers
are a better choice because they hold
larger numbers of fish and tend to
resist freezing if a late winter storm
brings brutal cold weather. Steelies congregate below dams during
winter but as water temperatures fall
fish drop back into slow moving deep
holes that offer stable conditions. In
slower water the torpedo-shaped trout
tend to burn up less energy as they
wait for spring thaw. The slightest
warm weather, warm sun or rain can
cause water temperatures to rise and
steelies respond by slamming hooks.
If temperatures approach 40 degrees
look for steelies to charge upstream
and congregate below dam sites. Top
dams that hold steelies include: Berrien Springs Dam on St. Joseph River,
Allegan Dam on Kalamazoo River,
6th St. Dam on Grand River, Tippy
Dam on Big Manistee River.
Now watch local Doppler radar
and current weather forecast and pick
a day when conditions are ideal. If
weather turns sour and temperatures
drop into the teens plan treks during
mid-day when the sun warms water
temperature slightly and fish respond
Author uses prescription sunglasses to block reflection off water and help to by putting on the feed bag. Some of
locate fish, brush, log jams, holes and rocks, and keep snowflakes from block- the best winter fishing comes from
ing vision. Kenny Darwin photos
10-2 pm or the warmest time of day.
Winter fish tend to school in the
ichigan Great Lakes
shops, guides, seasoned anglers, and
deepest holes in river systems often
tributaries had impresfriends or go online to get updated
found miles downstream from spawnsive Christmas runs of
reports regarding where schools of
ing
gravel. Forget the shallows during
Great Lakes steelhead
fish are congregated.
winter
and cast to deeper water that
caused by rain and warm
Organize your gear for fishing in
keeps
fish
in a holding pattern until
weather. Balmy weather
the snow. Don’t forget gloves with
the spring runoff when longer days
caused water temperatures to
open fingers and plan to
and warming sun signal it is time to
rise and heavy rain washed
use finger warmers and toe
nitrogen-rich water into Area
warmers to keep extremities seek spawning locations.
Winter fish seek calm water with
Rivers and streams. Big wawarm on a cold winter day.
the least amount of flow. During the
ter trout responded by makWaders are needed along
coldest winter day look for them to
ing runs into most traditional
with vest, net, rod and reel
congregate far from the roaring water
streams as though spring was
and plenty of tackle. Tie
of dam sites and swift current of the
arriving. I expect this winter
fresh spawn bags using half
gravel shoals where they spawn. Cast
to be excellent fishing and
dozen eggs in yarn colored
to slow moving water found downyou can count on spring-like
yellow, white, red, orange
catches, if you follow
and pink. Don’t forget stream from deep pools or holes.
some simple rules.
wax worms and floats Often you can find them on river flats
Begin by locating
along with jigs. Polar- where stable conditions offer moderate flow.
a river or stream that has produced
ized sunglasses will help you to spot
Precise casting is important
excellent fall fishing. The idea is to
fish, locate holes and log jams and
because
cold weather steelies seldom
pick waters teeming with fish, based
reduce light reflecting from the river
chase or swim long distances to strike
on reports. Call local bait and tackle
surface. Stocking hat, extra gloves,

offerings. The trick is to use a slow
presentation, the exact speed of the
current, held at eye-level to waiting
fish. Obviously the best choice is using a float or bobber used to suspend
live bait in the strike zone. Winter
steelies are picky feeders and generally fall prey to small spawn bags,
live wigglers or waxworms suspended
from a tiny jig. When stream temperatures drop below 36 degrees make the
switch to jigs tipped with waxworms.
When fish become lethargic and their
metabolism slows they will still suck
in the well-presented waxworm on a
jig dangled below a float. The trick to
catching steelhead in the snow is you
need to scale down your presentation
and keep you offering in front of fish
for a longer period of time.
As cold weather arrives highlighted by snow you can count on fewer
fisherman visiting likely steelhead
hideouts. One of the biggest pleasures
of steelheading in winter is the silent
environment. Gone are the maddening crowds of salmon fishermen and
many days the only sound you will
hear along the river bank is crunching
snow below your boots. Fishing during a snow storm is relaxing and fish
often respond by striking your hook
during the low light conditions.
Perhaps the most appealing facet
of fishing steelhead in the snow is
the sudden strike and when you set
the hook the violent headshake of a
large trout. Then they turn tail, sprint
downriver and use the current to strip
line from your drag and when line
is melting off the spool you come to
the realization that you are in a street
fight with a worthy adversary. Steelies
offer up the brand of excitement that
can turn a brutally cold day into a heat
wave. The adrenalin rush keeps you
on the river all day and coming back
for more when most folks are home
staying close to the fireplace.n

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

M
20

By Kenny Darwin

Steelheading gear includes long rod,
center pin reel, and a variety of
floats used to suspend jigs tipped
with spawn or wax worms.

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FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

CARIBOU ISLAND
OUTPOST!

21

Deep Thoughts on
Icing Winter ‘Eyes
By Mark Martin

It’s true... walleyes
wandering fathoms
below the frozen surface
of a lake can be taken
all day long!

A

nybody who ice fishes for walleyes on
regular basis knows that these predator fish
can almost always be found swimming
within the shallows during the hours of twilight. Here they feast on the forage found
along the edges of cover.
But what many anglers don’t realize is it’s not
only within skinny water and low-light periods
these marauders go on the prowl; especially during
this mid-winter time of year.
It’s in deep water, too, walleyes lurk. And, although dawn and dusk are still great times to target
these fairly shy fish, walleyes that are wandering
about in the fathoms below the frozen surface of a
lake can be taken all day long.
So how deep is deep, you ask? That will depend
on the lakes you’re fishing.
In some bodies of water, like small, natural
inland lakes, “deep” may only be 20 to 30 feet. In
huge waterways, like many of the bays of the Great
Lakes, 50 to 60 feet might do the trick. And then
there are those large, cavernous lakes and reservoirs
fish can be found bellied to bottom in depths greater
than 100 feet.
But no matter how deep “deep” is, the tactics
used to take these fish are very similar.

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

Knowing Right Where To Go

22

Of course the first challenge to catching deepwater walleyes is to make sure you are actually fishing in deep water where walleyes might live. And
this is where hard-copy paper maps come in to play,
as well GPS with mapping.
Beforehand, on lakes I may never have fished
before or that are large enough that I don’t know
them by heart, I’ll study paper maps so as to get
an idea where it is I want to drill holes well before
even setting foot upon the ice.
And once to the lake, whether I’m walking or
riding upon a quad or snowmobile, I’ll have my
Lowrance Elite-5 Ice Machine powered up and in
GPS mode, as well make sure a SD card filled with
Navionics is in its card reader. Navionics mapping shows me every little nuance of a lake’s floor,
including depth, in one-foot increments of many of
the most popular walleye waterways.
For the most part, I’ll first start my day right
smack-dab in the middle of a lake’s main basin. It’s
here—where very little “classic” structure such as
weeds, wood and rock are found—where walleyes
will routinely reside in during the heart of winter.
And it’s in main-lake basins the softest of silt
usually collects on bottom, which is home to all
sorts of aquatic insects. And these tiny bugs, such
as bloodworms, daphnia, cadis and mayfly nymphs,
not only are fed on by minnows and young-of-the-

The author, Mark Martin, holds a walleye
he had just landed on a Rapala Jigging
Rap from deep water. David Rose photos
year fishes that walleyes prey on, but are gobbled
up by largest of predator fish, as well.

Feel Free To Roam About

One of the biggest mistakes I see anglers making when fishing in deep water while ice fishing
is they are not willing to move around enough
throughout the day.
Overall, walleyes tend to do two things when
they are here, and that’s either belly up to bottom or
swim high in the water column. So first off, I make
sure to punch as many holes as I can muster with a
StrikeMaster power auger the moment I get to the
area I want to fish.
By drilling all my holes first thing, I’m not only
sure I won’t be taking take time away from my
catching later on in the day, but, I’ll be less likely to
spook fish out of the area, especially those suspend-

ed fish that have swam into the vicinity.
Once my holes are drilled, I’ll deploy the transducer of my Elite-5 Ice Machine and check depth,
and, of course, see if there are any fish swimming
below me.

Tag Teaming

In states that allow the use of more than one
rod, I like to jig with rod in hand, and, still-fish with
tip-ups.
Unlike other times when I hop hole to hole with
my Lowrance, and don’t fish until I spy them on the
sonar, I will drop a jig down even if I don’t mark
anything, and will set up tip-ups for suspended fish.
First, with tip-ups, I make sure to use only the
freshest minnows available, and keep them alive
and well all day long in an aerated Plano bait container. And when hooking them, I like to just nip

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Stop, Drop And Fish

If you’re looking for the chance to increase
your catch throughout the day when ice fishing for
walleyes, then by all means search out some of the
deepest water in your favorite frozen lake.
Use maps and digital mapping to get you to the
right spot, and sonar to confirm you’re there as well
for seeing fish. Use tip-ups to catch fish that are
suspended, and lower a heavy jig tipped with real
or scented fake bait down to the lake floor for bottom dwellers. And don’t be afraid to move around
often.
Mark Martin is a touring walleye tournament
pro and instructor with the Ice-Fishing Vacation/
School. For more information on Mark, the school
or any of the products mentioned in this article,
check out his website at markmartins.net.n

2014 Michigan elk season completed

Michigan’s 2014 elk hunting season just ended
with multiple successes. Hunters experienced a
one-of-a-kind hunt and filled the freezer with
local meat, while also helping to accomplish
valuable elk management on both public and
private land.
“The elk hunt is an exciting time for everyone,”
said Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Jennifer Kleitch. “We control the elk population through very intense management – we target
specific areas and properties during certain time
periods.”
The elk season had two hunt periods – the early
season, Aug. 26-29, Sept. 12-15 and Sept. 26-29 and
the late season, Dec. 6-14. Just fewer than 30,000 eligible Michigan hunters applied for 100 elk licenses.
Both the early and late season had quotas of 15 anyelk or bull licenses and 35 antlerless licenses.
Hunters during the early season harvested 37
elk - 13 bulls, 23 cows and 1 calf, while late-season
hunters harvested 41 elk - 14 bulls and 27 cows.
“Again we had a good season, hunters were successful and safe, and we achieved our management
goals,” said Kleitch. “Not to mention the communities in the area feel the influx of the hunters with
their families and the additional activity, so it really
is a great season for the region.”

In addition to providing great recreation and
hunting opportunities and population management,
the elk hunt also is important in tracking the health
of the elk herd and other wildlife in the area. Each
elk hunter must have his or her harvest checked by
DNR staff. Harvest location, sex of the animal, antler
information and field age are recorded. An incisor tooth also is pulled on each elk to determine an
exact age of the animal at the DNR Wildlife Disease
Lab in East Lansing at a later date. Because elk can
travel within the bovine tuberculosis area and can
contract TB, every elk harvested is tested for TB
and the harvest site is field-checked by DNR staff to
ensure the health of the animal and legality of the
kill site.
“Elk are very valuable animals to Michigan’s residents, and it’s important to ensure that every harvest
was done in a legal manner," Kleitch said. "The
harvest site visits allow us to get more information
on the hunt and more information on the health of
the animal.”
There will not be a January hunt this year because the first two seasons achieved management
objectives.
To learn more about Michigan’s elk, including
the history elk management and management goals,
visit www.michigan.gov/elk.

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FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

the point of a small (size 10 or 12) thin-wire Daiichi
treble hook. And I attach the hook to a two-footlong leader of 8-pound-test Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon line, which is connected to my tip-up’s main
line with a small Berkley Ball-Bearing Swivel.
Lastly, and what’s hard for many anglers to do,
is I make sure to lower the minnow down to a point
within the upper half of the water column; not near
bottom. Just as when walleyes are suspended during
the open-water months, the fish will rise to occasion
to eat an offering over swimming downward to get
it. In most instances, anglers tend to fish too deep.
But because not every fish is suspended, I’ll
lower a line for fish near bottom, too. And more
often than not, this is when I use a jig that’s heavy,
yet still has plenty of action.
By far the jig I use most when ice fishing in
deep water is a Rapala Jigging Rap. These lure falls
fast without flipping over, which wards off the bait
getting its hooks tangled in my line. And once in
the strike zone, Jigging Raps sit horizontally in the
water column - a presentation walleyes can’t resist.
Now, although there are plenty of times walleyes will whack a jig that has not been tipped with
any bait, overall nipping on a minnow’s head or tail,
or a Gulp! Minnow Head, will get bit over a planeJane lure. This is because a walleye’s olfactory
sense (sense of smell) is keen, and no smell wafting
off an offering can raise the red “danger” flag to
fish. Spraying a lure with Gulp! Alive! Attractant is
another way of adding an irresistible scent to a lure.
Also, the action I employ with a jig is not overly
aggressive. Overall, a 6- to 8-inch lift of my rods
tip followed by a quick drop is all that required. But
don’t be afraid to change up your jigging motion
every so often to see if it will trip the trigger of fish
that are checking out your lure but not striking. (Tip:
Dropping my jig to bottom, bouncing it on the lake
floor and stirring up silt is one way I can get fish
I see on my Lowrance that aren’t willing to eat to
whack my jig. Just be ready to set the hook the very
moment a strike is sensed.)

23

Lessons from Offnear Lake
“Able to cast distances never
imagined before!”

M

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

y childhood neighbor and I are among
some of the lucky ones. We grew up surrounded by Mother Nature and all she had
to offer.

We learned to appreciate the outdoors, what it offered and the role Mother Nature
played in our lives. We got a better understanding
of how we were connected and the importance of
that connection.
Often we learned through the school of hard
knocks. It seemed our preferred method of learning,
because we did it a lot. Jerry and I challenged the
forests, pastures, swamps and creeks. We learned
about hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, bonfires,
chopping wood, stone skipping and the outdoors in
general.
Perhaps you remember me writing about my
neighbor Jerry in the past, I have many fond memories of our adventures. You see, he and I were the
self-proclaimed landlords of an entire square mile
in mid-Michigan. I think it would be fair to say we
thought we ruled it growing up.
We were quite the pair.

24

By Randy Jorgensen

I most often rode my horse, a
sturdy ol’ mare by the name of
Mrs. Bones and Jerry a banana
seat bicycle across the cow paths
through the woods to each others’
homes, where we would make
plans almost every day during
the summer. As we got older we
switched old mares and bicycles
for go-carts and motorcycles.
With little effort we could go from my house to
Jerry’s in no time at all.
It was in those woods and on those trails we
could be found plinking pop cans off fence posts.
We were quite impressed with our own shooting
abilities. Jerry and I then graduated to glass jars,
that is, until our mothers figured out where their
canning jars were disappearing to.
Yes indeed, Jerry and I were the Daniel Boone
and Davey Crockett of one whole square mile of
woods just north of Cedar Lake. We terrorized any
creature in the woods that could run, hop or fly.
It’s what we did. And who we wanted to be.

Our fathers, grandfathers and uncles did take the
time to teach us about hunting and fishing, but they
weren’t always there during those long summer
days. And frankly, I don’t think we listened to anything they told us anyway.
In those days as long as we told someone the
general direction we were going, we were allowed.
I think we worry far too much today about adult
supervision.
On the square mile, which we ruled by the way,
there were small creeks which held suckers for
spearing and chubs for catching. We would spend
hours trying to catch them, keeping track of who
caught the most. Catching the most was important
for Jerry and I.
There was one man-made pond on the property,
but the outstanding fishing came from Offnear
Lake. A lake we didn’t have permission necessarily
to fish, but no one ever said we couldn’t either.
Offnear Lake was a paradise for young adventurous types and any chance we got to sneak on, we
certainly did.
On this lake the bluegills were the size of dinner

learned to use smaller bobbers, ones that didn’t
sound like a float plane landing.
So there you have it, small hooks equal
bigger fish. Lighter line means better casting
distance and accuracy. Small ice fishing bobbers
can provide a light touch any time of the year.
And great gobs of worms just don’t work.
Instead keep the bait the same size as your hook,

in fact cut the bait to fit the hook.
The lessons we learned have lasted Jerry and
I a lifetime and we were lucky to have had
the perfect spot on earth to hone our outdoor
skills.
I will forever remember those days fondly,
including all the outdoor lessons we learned in the
school of hard knocks!n

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

plates and they swam freely. Easy to catch and better to eat. Plus these monster gills could be caught
from shore to boot!
A true honey hole!
So every chance Jerry and I got to make the long
trek to Offnear Lake we did. Slipping through the
woods lugging our fishing poles and tackle box.
We’d round up some leaf worms, crickets or catch
some grasshoppers along the way for bait.
Jerry and I had long graduated from cane
poles, we now had the best of equipment money
could buy. Rods and reels my Dad bought us in one
of his trips to Greenville.
Since we didn’t have a boat, we needed this
high-tech fishing equipment to reach out to where
we knew the big gills swam. It required a tremendous cast and sometimes into the face of a strong
wind.
On the package it plainly stated, “Able to cast
distances never imagined before!” The snap of the
rod and the special ball-bearings in the reel allow
accuracy unattainable with other equipment. The
claims on the package continued, stating it had a
gear ratio and backbone strong enough to reel in a
tugboat.
Remember I said we learned mostly from the
school of hard knocks?
So we learned that just about everything touted
on the package about these rods and reels were
simply not true. As hard as we tried, we could
barely cast out of our own shadows.
What we didn’t realize at the time was we had
10 pound test line on a reel suited for 6 pound test.
We learned the hooks we used were big enough
to catch tarpon. We learned gobs of worms on our
hook didn’t make the bait more enticing to the fish,
but most likely scared them. Besides when trying
to cast farther, most of the worms were catapulted
off the hook from the force of the cast. And we

25

William Rustem announced as first recipient of
Thomas L. Washington Lifetime Conservation Award

T

he Michigan NRC last week presented a newly created award to
William Rustem for his strong commitment to Michigan’s natural resources throughout a lifetime of thoughtful
and effective advocacy.
The commission presented the
Thomas L. Washington Lifetime
Conservation Award to Rustem, who
retired in July as director of strategy
for Gov. Rick Snyder. The award is
named for Tom Washington, a giant in
Michigan conservation and past director of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs. Washington died in 1995.
During his life Washington helped
build coalitions of conservationists and
environmentalists to achieve landmark
initiatives that benefit Michigan residents to this day. The new NRC award
recognizes people who similarly have
been champions of natural resources in
Michigan.
“I can’t think of a more deserving
inaugural recipient of this award than
Bill Rustem,” said J.R. Richardson, chair
of the Natural Resources Commission.
“Bill has been a friend to the state’s
woods and waters all of his life. As an
avid hunter and angler, he knows the
important relationship between our
hunting and fishing traditions and the
care and management of Michigan’s
world-class natural resources. This

(Lt-rt) Commissioners
Rex Schlaybaugh and
John Matonich, Wayne
Rustem, Heidi Washington,
daughter of the award’s
namesake, NRC Chair J.R.
Richardson, commissioners Tim Nichols, Vicki
Pontz and Louise Klarr.

award recognizes a lifetime devoted to
this important work and is an expression of gratitude for all Bill has done.”
Rustem began his public service as
a fresh-out-of-college intern in the administration of Gov. William Milliken.
He quickly became a key member of
Milliken’s team, serving as assistant
press secretary, head of Consumer
Protection, and natural resources and
environmental policy advisor. In 1976,
Rustem took a leave of absence from
the Milliken administration to run the
successful bottle bill initiative, a landmark environmental measure that was
approved by 64 percent of Michigan
voters. He returned as a policy advisor for the governor until Milliken left
office in 1982.

In 1984, Rustem coordinated the
statewide campaign for the constitutional amendment that created the
Michigan Natural Resources Trust
Fund, which has provided more than
$1 billion to enhance local communities through public outdoor recreation
projects. He served also as manager of
the Great Lakes Fishery Fund and as
director of the Center for Great Lakes
in Chicago.
For many years Rustem was an
owner of Public Sector Consultants
and was the firm’s president and CEO.
There he directed studies on the status
of Michigan cities, wastewater treatment needs, recycling and land use.
During his time in the Snyder
administration, Rustem advocated for

pragmatic public policies that seek to
protect natural resources for current
and future generations.
“I’m humbled and honored to
receive this award, most importantly
because it is named for Tom Washington, a great friend and mentor to me,”
said Rustem. “I’ve had the privilege to
work for two great governors – Gov.
Milliken and Gov. Snyder. Both these
leaders care deeply about Michigan’s
environment and its special natural
resources.
“I’m grateful to have been part of
the effort to advance protection and
management of our state’s land, water
and wildlife, not just for this generation, but for generations of Michiganders yet unborn.”n

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27

WIRELESS AGE...

S

By Mark Romanack

ometimes I have a crappie attitude when it
comes to fishing. Age and experience tends
to make us opinionated and often it’s these
opinions that block us from learning new
ways of doing things. I’ll be the first to admit
I have had a lot of success fishing in my lifetime.
Watching my youngest son Jake start his career as
a professional fisherman has forced me to take a
closer look at myself and admit maybe the ole man
doesn’t know it all.
The cool thing about fishing is there is always
something new to learn if you’re willing to be open
minded and explore those opportunities. Recently
I got an on the water crash course in “technology
fishing” from my son Jake and a pioneer in the
sports fishing industry.

The Tools Of Mobility

To fully appreciate where I’m coming from it’s
important to give credit where credit is due. About
20 years ago Dave Genz revolutionized the world of
ice fishing. Considered by many to be the father of
modern ice fishing. Dave’s approach to ice fishing
focuses on a simple, but profound fishing system.
The inventor of the “flip style” portable shelter,
Dave’s system for targeting panfish and other fish
species focuses on using a lightweight shelter that
can be easily moved from location to location. The
next piece of the puzzle is a power auger that can
cut holes quickly and the final piece of the puzzle is
using color flasher sonar to both search for fish and
also to trigger fish into biting.

refined to the point that it’s no longer safe to say a
“flasher” is the best tool for ice fishing. In fact, the
latest generation of sonar allows anglers to use both
liquid crystal and flasher technology at the same
time. In fact, there are also units out there that allow an angler to combine flasher, liquid crystal and
Collectively this “mobile fishing system” has
video technology all at the same time!
helped a new generation of anglers to discover the
The question becomes why is it necessary or an
joys of ice fishing. I consider myself and my youngest son Captain Jake to be disciples of Dave Genz’s advantage to use liquid crystal and video technolice fishing system. Jake is a classic example of how ogy? Can’t a fisherman see everything he or she
needs to see on the color flasher units that Dave
fishing success blossoms when the enthusiasm of
Genz introduced us to 20 years ago?
youth meets technology and the willingness to be
The short answer is No, an angler can’t always
open minded.
see everything that needs to be seen on a flasher.
Jake and his fishing buddies have adopted the
The problem with flashers is they require some
“Genz System” of ice fishing as taught to them by
experience to interpret them and you have to watch
yours truly, but as young adults they are taking the
them constantly to see everything. To the untrained
pursuit of ice fishing to higher levels. Advances in
eye, the bleeps of light on a flasher screen are nothsonar have been the foundation of fishing success
in the past three decades and once again, new sonar ing more than…well bleeps of light. To the skilled
angler who has mastered the use of a flasher, these
technology is about to bust open the world of hard
units show fish, your lure, bait and even the compowater fishing.
The color flasher unit is considered by many to sition of the bottom.
By comparison a modern liquid crystal graph is
be the ultimate tool for locating crappie and other
panfish. These days, liquid crystal graphs have been easier for most anglers to interpret. For me person-

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

Generation Next

28

The youth are open minded when it comes to adopting new technologies. The author’s son Jake recently
showed his Dad how the latest generation of liquid crystal sonar units make finding fish and catching
them easier than ever. Mark Romanack photos
ally who has spent the majority of my life using
flashers for ice fishing, making the transition to a
liquid crystal graph was something I was stubbornly
avoiding. It took the youthful enthusiasm of my son
Jake to prove to me that flashers may finally be “old
school” when it comes to catching panfish through
the ice.
Recently on a fishing trip I had the opportunity
to fish side by side in the same shelter as Jake used
his liquid crystal machine and I used my flasher.
The education was profound to say the least.
My reluctance to use liquid crystal graphs for
ice fishing stems from experience with older units
that were slow to process data. Also, liquid crystal machines show fish, lures, etc., as fairly wide
horizontal lines on the screen which quickly gets
confusing when a few fish show up in the hole.
The newest generation of liquid crystal units
show fish, lures, etc., as thin horizontal lines, but
because the machines process information instantly
when the fish moves it displays more like the arches
an angler is used to seeing in open water fishing.
It’s now very easy to determine your lure, fish,
cover and to actually determine the activity level

of the fish. By simply raising the lure in the water
column and watching to see how the fish reacts, it’s
possible to get a feel for how charged up the fish
are and what presentations are most likely to catch
them.

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Digital Age Technology

When I was a kid, the race to get to the moon
led to the term “space age technology.” The digital
age we live in today is leading us to a whole new
technology I’ll call the “wireless age” for lack of a
better term. Wireless technology has been in wide
use on mainstream electronics for some time now,
but only recently has this technology invaded the
world of fishing electronics.
Currently a forward thinking angler can use
wireless technology to view both sonar and video
from remote locations. Lowrance’s new Generation
3 sonar units have built-in wireless capability that
will allow an angler to put a sonar unit next to say a
dead stick or tip up and then view that screen from
inside the comfort of a nearby shelter on a smart
phone or tablet!
This technology isn’t a futuristic possibility,
recently I actually watched professional angler
Gary Parsons using the very first Lowrance Gen3
unit and an iPad in his shelter to make history with

Thanks to a new technology in wireless sonar and video viewing, tip ups like this may soon be considered
obsolete in the world of ice fishing.
“wireless fishing”. When Gary would see a fish
appear near his dead stick, he would run from the
comfort of his shelter, grab the rod and tease the
fish into biting.
In the few minutes I spent talking to Gary about
this new technology he caught two nice fish and
shared with me that he feels about 50 to 60 percent
of the fish spotted on the sonar can ultimately be
caught! Now that’s advancement in fishing technology and I had the Privilege of watching history
being made right before my eyes.
The same wireless technology Parsons showed
me with a sonar unit is also available with underwater video through Marcum and also Aqua Vu
opening up a wealth of other fishing opportunities.
Imagine being able to set out multiple dead lines
or tip ups and have a sonar or video unit monitoring everything going on below the ice all from the
comfort of your ice shack!!!!! Wireless technology
will ultimately allow ice fishermen to set up multiple lines spaced out over a distance of approximately 300 feet.
“It’s like using planer boards to spread out
your lures, only we’re doing it on ice with the help
of dead rods and wireless technology,” said Gary

A new age of technology is about to explode onto the ice. On a recent ice fishing adventure the author
witnessed history being made by one of the biggest names in sport fishing

Parsons. “Wireless technology will ultimately revolutionize the way ice fishermen target all species.”

Back To Fishing

So how does all this “wireless age” technology
relate to panfish and other types of ice fishing? The
simple answer plays to location. In open water fishing it’s fairly simple to move around until fish are
located. In ice fishing the process of moving around
is complicated by the need to auger holes, slush
them out, use sonar to determine if fish are present
and finally to set up the shelter.
All this takes time and energy and it doesn’t
take very many moves before an angler becomes
overly content to sit tight and wait for the fish to
show up. The primary reason most ice fishermen
struggle to catch fish is because moving takes a lot
of energy and determination.
With wireless technology an angler can put
out several sonar units around his location and use
these units to monitor fish movements in the area.
Ask yourself this question, how many times have
you seen two anglers sitting on the ice just a few
feet apart while one is catching fish and the other is
catching nothing? This happens all the time in ice
fishing and is proof positive that location is everything when you’re fishing down an eight inch hole!
To be brutally honest I’ve fished enough in my
life to have some strong opinions on what works
and what doesn’t. Not always have I been open
minded enough about new technology and how
to apply these new discoveries to my own fishing
efforts.
This go around I don’t plan on being the last
angler to apply the benefits of new liquid crystal
graphs or the latest in wireless sonar and video
technology. I can thank my own son Jake for
helping to open my eyes. I would also credit other
anglers like Gary Parsons and even Dave Genz for
helping to pioneer new and better ways of catching
fish. After all, isn’t the satisfaction we enjoy in fishing based on catching more and bigger fish? With
these new products and technologies ice fishing has
finally come out of the ice age.

For More Information

www.lowrance.com, www.marcumtech.com
and www.aquavu.comn

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

After fishing with Jake and watching his liquid
crystal graph side by side with my flasher unit, I
had to admit his machine was superior at showing critical fishing details. To make matters even
worse, Jake had his machine set up in split screen
mode so he could observe the LCG screen and a
flasher screen at the same time! I had to admit (begrudgingly) that even his flasher mode was a better
flasher (thinner lines and easier to adjust) than my
older generation machine. It kind of stung a little
for the ole man to see these facts pointed out by a
19 year old, but as they say the truth shall set you
free.
Now that I realize the truth about modern liquid
crystal sonar and how it applies to ice fishing, I’ll
be changing my gear over to take advantage of this
new technology. No worries that I own a small fortune in flasher sonar units, that’s what E-Bay is for!

29

Trail Cameras Added A New Avenue For Experienced Hunter...

A Christmas buck

J

im Dorland is the
owner of the Deford Country Garage
located in the small
Thumb burg of Deford
and I’ve known him for some
time now. Whenever Jim
and I meet our conversation
generally leads to local deer
hunting, a distinct
passion we both

apparently share.
Deford itself has a
definitely woodsy and
friendly, very quaint nature
to it that reminds me of the
atmosphere of small towns
located way “up north”. This
is probably due to the fact it
is very closely associated to
a large quantity of
public land in the

By Tom Lounsbury

surrounding hinterlands known as the
Deford State Game Area. My very
first deer hunting experiences were
in this area and I will always feel a
close bond to the fine (public) hunting
grounds found there.
Being the owner and boss of his
own business, Jim Dorland is able
make out his own work schedule and
when each autumn rolls around that
includes bow, regular firearms and

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

Jim Dorland of Deford bagged this
dandy Thumb buck on public land while
using a muzzleloader, his preferred
deer hunting arm. He considers the
big buck as a wonderful and hardearned Christmas gift.

30

muzzleloader deer seasons, he rarely
misses a day and is in literal hunting heaven. Over the years he has
taken his share of local trophies and
he places a focus on seeking out big
bucks.
To add a whole new avenue to his
hunting adventures, Jim received a
trail camera from his son for Christmas last year and he has thoroughly
enjoyed employing it on his chosen
hunting ground this year, and is quite
impressed by the all data it provides.
This includes not only the photo of
what triggered the camera, but also
the exact time, temperature and even
the ongoing moon phase. He has
come to look forward to checking out
that data on a regular basis and it has
given him a whole new insight of his
hunting grounds, something he very
much enjoys.
Of course Jim does pre-season
scouting the old fashioned way and
knew that there were some nice bucks
roaming about and one particular
public land buck literally took his
breath away when he glassed it in late
August. The buck was in velvet at that
time which added to its spectacular
antler mass, and Jim had a rough idea
as to where to set up his trail camera
and obtain some extra data.
During the bow season in which
Jim missed very few days, he was
never offered a shot, although he had
passed shooting on some smaller
bucks. The regular 2014 Firearms
Deer Season turned out to be the

STRANGE HAPPENINGS IN NATURE

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

slowest ever in his memory with days
spent afield without ever seeing any
deer in prime hunting cover. Yet his
trail camera revealed another story
during that time, and out of the over
260 pictures of deer it took, all were
taken at night. It was clear the deer
in Jim’s hunting ground at least, had
gone nocturnal.
The muzzleloader deer season
is a favorite time for Jim, especially
since the only firearm he hunts local
Thumb whitetails with even during
the regular firearms deer season is a
muzzleloader, and he has done this
for many years now. He truly appreciates that wonderfully accurate
shot placement ability and he learned
a long time ago that in typical deer
hunting applications, the first shot is
the one that counts most. Having just
that one shot available also causes the
hunter to hold out for just the right
shot to seal the deal. These days Jim
is using a scoped .50 caliber CVA
“Optima,” and if need be, he can
make the shot count out to 200 yards.
It was the week before Christmas when Jim found himself hunting on private land belonging to an
uncle and he managed to get a shot
at a buck just before dark. An honest follow up of the shot, including
searching for sign the next morning revealed that it was most likely
a complete miss (which happens
in hunting), and since he had just
tramped all over that site, Jim decided
his best option was to try hunting that
afternoon where his trail camera was
located on public land, despite all the
nocturnal photos.
Evening was settling in when
the large buck Jim knew was in that
neighborhood made its appearance.
The buck was quartering towards
Jim at 80 yards, and he waited for the
buck to turn broadside for the preferred double-lung shot. However the
buck maintained its frontal position,
and with light fading, Jim decided to
take the shot when the buck lowered
his head to feed.
The shot struck the buck at the
base of the neck and right between
the shoulder blades anchoring him
on the spot. Jim’s trail camera would
capture the buck standing in front of
it just before the shot, and the next
frame would capture Jim standing
over his prize kill.
The mature buck’s rack features
11 points, and if you count all of
the stickers, it has at least 17 points.
The inside spread of the antlers that
feature admirable mass is just a hair
under 20 inches. It is for sure one
dandy buck taken on public land in
the Thumb.
According to Jim Dorland, the
hard-earned and large antlered buck
makes for a really great Christmas
present for an avid deer hunter.n

Outdoor writer Bill Semion
sent this unusual photo
from his brother-in-law
George Horvath, who found
this deer like this while
walking to his blind in
December at his 80-acre
farm near Cass City in the
Thumb. George said, “There
were no bullets in it, and
it was about five feet off
the ground and was jammed
in hard. I’ve never seen
anything like this before…a
fluke accident that had
happened about a week
before I found it.”

31

Man Poetry

Y

ears ago my dad gave
me a book saying
simply, “You might
like this.” It was an
original 1907 copy
of, The Spell of the Yukon
and other verses.

A book of poetry? I
was a bit skeptical as I paged
through the old book. Then
the lines began to intrigue me. This wasn’t
“Roses are red, violets
are blue” type stuff. This was narrative verse delivered with a driving
rhythm that rhymed. It told stories of
hardship and humor. It described the
awesome Yukon’s harshness and its
beauty at the same time. This was man
poetry!
There’s a land where
the mountains are nameless,
And the rivers all run
God knows where;
There are lives that are
erring and aimless,
And deaths that just hang by a hair;
Robert Service
The author was a man named
Robert Service and he didn’t just write
about The Spell of the Yukon, he lived
it.
Robert Service traveled to Canada
from Scotland as a 22 year old adventurer in 1896. Arriving at Montreal, he
immediately jumped on the, then new,
Canadian Pacific Railroad and rode

it across the continent, “in
a spirit of irresponsibility.”
During the next few years he
wandered the west coast of
North America from Vancouver to Mexico and back,
working at odd jobs along the
way to sustain himself. Hard
work as a cowboy, laborer,
and farm hand prepared him
for times like the night
in a dark alley in San
Francisco when he
had to defend himself from thugs with
the “knuckle-duster” (brass knuckles)
he carried for such occasions. He led
a rough and tumble life. At times he
performed as a musician or acted as a
tutor in payment for his meals. On his
own, he often went hungry. Always
during his wandering he craved literature and sought out libraries when he
could. During a stint as a store clerk
he began to write down the poetry that
often swirled in his mind.
Before leaving Scotland, Robert
had been trained as a bank clerk. In
1903 he applied for, and landed, a
job with the Bank of Commerce in
Victoria. A few months later he was
transferred to Whitehorse, Yukon. It
was there that his poetry came alive.
Apparently, Robert Service never
caught “gold fever” himself, but in
Whitehorse he lived among those who
had. Many had personally experienced the gold rush in 1898. Robert
heard their first hand stories and saw

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

By Darryl Quidort

32

Robert Service lived in this cabin on a hill overlooking Dawson City. Not far
from the Klondike gold fields.
the country and the aftermath of the
stampede for himself. He was the poet
that put it all into words. His famous
poems, “The Call of the Wild,” “The
Spell of the Yukon,” and “The Law of
the Yukon,” came to him in the great
outdoors as he tramped the mountainous trails alone on his time off from
the bank. Those poems describe the
big, wild country, the men who could
tame it, and those who were broken
by it.

By 1906 Robert had written a drawer
full of poems. He decided to have
them published in a small book to
give away to his friends. He hoped not
to be too badly embarrassed by it.
A salesman from the publishing
firm took some proof sheets of Robert’s poetry with him to read on the
train as he traveled. While reading, he
laughed so loudly that others wanted
to know what was so funny. Before
the train trip was over, the salesman
could recite the poem by heart and
This is the law of the Yukon,
had taken orders for more books than
and ever she makes it plain:
were to be printed by his firm. People
“Send not your foolish and feeble; loved this poetry. He got a message
send me your strong
off to his firm to start printing more
and your sane…
books, raise the price, and offer RobThem will I guild with my treasure, ert Service a contract and give him
them will I glut with my meat;
royalties on all sales.
But the others – the misfits,
The name of the book was, “Songs
the failures,
of a Sourdough.” (Published in 1907
- I trample under my feet…”
in the U.S. as “The Spell of the YuRobert Service kon.” The book my father gave me.)
The poem was, “The Cremation of
Sam McGee.”
There are strange things done
in the midnight sun, by
the men who moil for gold.
The Arctic trails have
their secret tales, that would
make your blood run cold.
The Northern Lights have seen
queer sights, but the
queerest they ever did see.
Was that night on the marge of
Lake Lebarge,
I cremated Sam McGee.
Robert Service
The poem is based on a true story
Robert was told at a party of a body
that couldn’t be buried because the
ground was frozen too hard to dig a
hole. Although Robert was usually
coy with exact names and places in his
poems, Sam McGee was a real (live)
person. It seems that Robert needed a
name to rhyme with Tennessee, so he
searched through the bank ledgers at
work and found Sam McGee. Perfect.
Except Sam wasn’t too happy about it.
He could no longer meet a friend on
the street without being asked, “Hot
enough for you, Sam?”
In 1908 Robert Service moved to
Lake Leberge, (or Labarge) made famous by Robert Service in the poem, The Cremation of Sam McGee.

the bank at Dawson where he met the
prospectors who had actually crossed
the Trail in ’98 and were delighted to
tell him their tales. They taught him
placer mining, running a “drift,” and
sluicing for gold by hand. Robert still
enjoyed long walks alone in the great
outdoors. The loneliness of the north
made some men crazy but Robert
Service not only loved the country, he
was consumed by it.
Meanwhile, money kept coming
in from sales of his poetry. His second book, “Ballads of a Cheechako,”
was published in 1909. On the cover
was a picture of a man with the feet
of a grizzly bear. It was an actual
photograph. The man’s toes had been
frozen off and the resourceful sourdough had made boots from the feet
of a grizzly bear so he could walk
again.
Robert was a well-liked celebrity
around town. He resigned from the
bank in 1909. He didn’t want the
responsibilities of a manager, and
besides, he was making five times
as much from his poems as he made
working at the bank. He bought a
small cabin on the hillside above
Dawson and settled in to write.

However,
There’s a race of men that
don’t fit in, a race that
can’t stay still.
So they break the hearts
of kith and kin, and they
roam the world at will.
They range the field and
they rove the flood, and they
climb the mountain crest;
Theirs is the curse of
the gypsy blood, and they
don’t know how to rest.
Robert Service
After visiting relatives in Edmonton in 1911, Robert set out to return
to Dawson by the “overland route.”
As if there was an easy way, this was
known as the hard way to reach the
Klondike gold fields. A three month,
2000 mile journey in a circular route
using rivers and crossing mountain
ranges on foot. This route was called
“insane” by gold seekers during the
gold rush. Even though Service was
by then a rich man and could afford
to travel in comfort, he chose to risk
his life to experience this trip.
By riding wooden scows loaded
with freight for the Hudson Bay
Company outposts, crossing large

lakes on steamers, paddling canoes
through dangerous rapids until his
arms cramped, and walking many
miles along rivers while pulling a tow
rope attached to a scow, he reached
Fort McPherson. This was the most
remote HBC outpost, far north of the
Arctic Circle on the Peel River. Many
people there warned him not to go
on. However, he joined a trapper and
trader to try to portage their canoes
and a wooden scow over the dangerous Richardson Mountains. They
planned to reach the headwaters of
the Porcupine River which led to the
Yukon River which led to Dawson.
Home.
Robert cursed himself for being a fool on that trip. He had never
worked so hard to survive in his life.
Paddling, portaging, and pulling a
tow rope, they fought mosquitoes
during the day and cold during the
night. He had never been so hungry.
The other men began fighting and
Robert went on alone to be free of
them. Running out of food and with
hundreds of miles yet to go, he finally
reached the HBC outpost of Rampart
House. Paddling toward shore, he
heard the cry, “Smallpox!” He had to
travel on without stopping, and with

nothing but flour to eat. He finally
reached Dawson. He was bearded,
thin, weather burned, and wearing
rags. The people of Dawson were
delighted to see him. Running his
hands down his chest, he claimed he
could count his vertebrae from the
front. The citizens had a celebration
to honor him.
The city of Dawson had a population of 30,000 to 40,000 as a boom
town during the gold rush. The population was down to 4000 when Robert
arrived. The question each person had
to ask themselves was, “when do I
leave?”
Robert Service left Dawson for
good in the fall of 1912. The end of
an era. The end of his youth. He went
to Europe and was involved in WWI
as a Red Cross ambulance driver. He
returned to North America to escape
the German occupation in WWII. He
lived to the age of 84, wrote 1000 poems, six novels, and made a million
dollars in his exciting lifetime.
His best times were in the Yukon.
Robert Service immortalized the
gold rush of 1898 and, more than
any other person, touched the lives
of people with his poetry of the far
north.n

Unlocking Value in the U.P.
Graymont Supports WINTER RECREATION

Creating a place to

Maintaining continuity of trails throughout the project area

Graymont is
proud to sponsor
the Poker Run event
at Millecoquin Lake
Winter Carnival

Continued public
access for
outdoor recreation
in non-active areas

February 26-28, 2015

Grand Prize:
Portable
Ice Shelter

PHOTO BY
STEPEN KING

Relocation of
trails passing
through active
project areas

Providing

ECONOMIC STIMULUS

to the Region

Wild Card
Prizes

DON’T FORGET TO COME WARM UP AND JOIN
US FOR A SLOPPY JOE DINNER AT THE GARFIELD
TOWN HALL ON FEB 28 FROM 6-8 PM,
FOR THE RAFFLE EVENT

LEARN

MORE

rextonproject.com

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

WORK, LIVE, & PLAY

33

Hotline Helps Connect Conservation Officers With The Public...By MDNR

RAP--Report All Poaching

T

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

he sign – Law Enforcement Communications
Section – is as nondescript as the standard
office door on an unadorned white wall deep
within the recesses of Constitution Hall in
the state government building complex in
Lansing, Michigan. But inside that secured door is a
non-stop center of activity: the RAP Room.
The RAP (Report All Poaching) Room is staffed
24/7 by as many as seven personnel at a time. It is
the main link between the public and the Michigan
Department of Natural Resources’ Law Enforcement Division.
The Report All Poaching hotline was created
in 1980 when the state Legislature designated a
small percentage of the money raised by hunting
and fishing license sales toward developing an
easy method for citizens to report illegal hunting
and fishing activity to the DNR. It has grown into
a 1,000-square-foot room, outfitted with the kind
of high-tech equipment one often finds at county
or state regional dispatch centers. At each of the
workstations, six computer screens give dispatchers
as much information as they could possibly need to
direct the state’s conservation officers to the scene
of a complaint – and what the COs need to know
once they get there.
Computer screens display information on the
current location of COs (through the GPS monitoring equipment on their patrol vehicles), as well as
access to the state’s Law Enforcement Information
Network, the state’s licensing records, the radio system, the Internet, and even the criminal history of
those whom the COs contact.
“Our dispatchers try to gather the best information they can and send it to the officer as quickly as
possible,” explained Lt. Steven Burton, who runs
the RAP Room as part of his duties.
Each of the roughly 6,500 criminal complaints
that come in by phone call or the Internet into the
RAP Room each year is recorded. Some of them are
so vague or untimely that nothing can be done to
resolve them, but the DNR’s success rate in responding to these complaints is outstanding. So far,
nearly 30 percent of the complaints (5,665 through
the beginning of deer season) this year have resulted in an arrest.
“Recently, we’ve made quite a few illegal
deer cases,” Burton said. “We are well upwards of
$50,000 in reimbursement to the state and many of
those cases haven’t been completed, as they are still
under investigation.”
As many as 50 percent of the calls that come

34

CO Terry Short uses a plat map to cross-reference
information he receives from the RAP (Report All
Poaching) Line dispatchers while on patrol during
deer season in Menominee County.

During hunting season peak activity, Lt. Steve Burton oversees the daily operation of as many as six
dispatchers manning the RAP (Report All Poaching) Line. MDNR photos
into the RAP Room do not involve a criminal complaint, Burton said.
“We get a lot of calls about general rules or
policy or people just seeking information,” he explained. “When people want information they often
call the RAP line. We encourage these types of
callers to try their local offices first, as this frees up
phone lines for ongoing criminal complaints.”
“Our dispatchers are required to know all of
our laws, rules and regulations – hunting and fishing, ORV, marine safety, land use – even environmental laws,” Burton said. “Lots of laws.”
The RAP Room is busiest from October through
December, during hunting season, Burton said,
with seasonal bumps during other periods of high
outdoors activity – fish migration seasons, holiday
weekends, snowmobile season, etc. Calls tend to
come in most often during early-morning hours or
the first hour or so after dark, he said, though they
filter in all day long.
“Noon is busy, too,” Burton said. “People who
don’t have cell phones and are out hunting in the
morning might make their calls when they come in
for lunch.” Calls also come in after people return
home from work for the same reason.
Dominique Clemente, a RAP Room emergency
dispatch supervisor and an 18-year DNR veteran
who has spent 16 years working at the hotline,
calls it an interesting job. “It’s never the same day
twice,” said Clemente, adding that the line receives
a wide variety of complaints, including an occasional supposed Sasquatch sighting.
Sometimes it takes some coaxing to get the
information they need out of callers, Clemente said.
Callers are reminded to stay patient during the call
as dispatchers ask very pertinent questions related
to the specific crime being reported.
“They want us to know about something illegal
that’s going on but they don’t want to be a snitch,”
she said. “I just remind them the violator is stealing
from you and me.”
Rewards also are offered by the Report All
Poaching program. Information leading to an arrest
for a hunting or fishing violation reported through
the hotline can net a caller up to $1,500 or even

more depending on the case.
Clemente said the staff’s main concern is giving
the conservation officers the best information they
can to help them do their job effectively and safely,
though they do their best to satisfy the customer,
too. In many cases, that involves answering broad
questions – such as where’s a good place to fish – or
advising some callers that their reported complaints
are, in fact, not crimes. “The best we can do is point
someone in the right direction,” she said.
As with any other office, the RAP Room is
constantly changing, taking advantage of new and
emerging technology. Right now, Burton said, the
staff is figuring out how best to take complaints sent
in by text messaging. A person sitting in a blind
may not want to make the noise of the phone call,
but is willing to text in a complaint. Other states
have adopted this method of reporting violations
and have seen a surge in contacts with the public. “I
think it will increase the timeliness of our response,
as well,” Burton said.
Besides interacting with the sporting public, the
RAP Room also takes phone calls from 10 p.m. to 8
a.m. for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Pollution Emergency Alerting System.
This line alerts the DEQ to emergency spills and
releases in Michigan.
More than a dispatch center, the RAP Room
is a lifeline for officers patrolling remote areas of
Michigan, often participating in critical search and
rescue operations involving lost children, hunters or
imperiled boaters on inland waterways or the vast
waters of the Great Lakes.
Being a conservation officer is a demanding
job. It takes focus, dedication and professionalism.
Every day a primary concern of the RAP Room is
to ensure that all Michigan conservation officers
return safely at shift’s end to their families and
communities. Those dispatchers play a vital role in
Michigan’s natural resources protection team.
To report a natural resource violation, please
call the Report all Poaching hotline at 800-2927800. To learn more about the work of conservation
officers or to access the online RAP reporting form,
visit www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers.n

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517-536-4256

810-648-2404

®
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See Honda.com for full
warranty details. *The Honda Power Equipment Visa
credit card
is issued
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termsEquipment
apply to purchases
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Motor Co.,
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810-664-3798

Please read the owner’s manual before operating your Honda Power Equipment and never use in a closed or partly enclosed area where you could be exposed to carbon monoxide. ©2011 American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

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35

Arctic Visitors...

Return of the
SNOWY OWLS!

I

nvaders from the arctic
are making dramatic
appearances from the
desolate shorelines of the
snowy Upper Peninsula
all the way down State to the
snowless urban landscaped
fields near Detroit International Airport. And they are
appearing from
the eastern
shores of Lake
Michigan to the western shore of Lake
Huron. Avid bird-watchers toting
telescopic lens and binoculars are
not the only Michiganders who have
taken note of the on-going invasion
of snowy owls. Outdoorsmen and
women have been noticing them for
the past few weeks, for it is hard to
confuse a two-foot-tall majestic white
owl with anything else. A Snowy
Owl that perched on a dune alongside
a wind-swept hiking trail at Sleeping

Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in mid-December drew
a flurry of Facebook attention
on the park’s Facebook site.
This beautiful bird is the
heaviest owl of North America and one of the largest
owls on Planet Earth. Acting
on a tip from my avid birder
friend, fellow
outdoor writer
Jeff Nedwick,
we set out for Tuscola County in the
lower part of the “thumb” to search
for snowy owls. In less than 90 minutes we located three - - two sitting
on rural roadside power poles and one
hunkered down in a plowed field.
The behavior of that owl indicated it had made a kill. It was an easy
owl to spot. From the distance it resembled a huge white puffball mushroom in a field of snowless freshly
tilled earth. By the time you read these

By Jonathan Schechter

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A sleepy snowy owl rests on a utility pole, a perfect vantage point to look for meadow voles. Note feathers cover talons, beak, legs, face. Jonathan Schechter photo
words which I wrote the last week of
December the owl invasion, a natural
phenomenon that is properly called
an irruption of snowy owls will be in
full swing. And in all likelihood the
story of these winged emissaries of
the arctic will continue to unfold and
draw larger audiences.

one of those visitors from the arctic
perched on a fence post, sand dune,
utility pole, a barn or even a house
rooftop. They are graceful beauties and highly efficient predators
equipped with extremely keen eye
sight; excellent hearing and powerful
talons that are the last thing a lemming, meadow vole, rabbit or waterfowl may ever see or feel.
2015 may well be a year that
The snowy owl is superbly adaptsupersedes last year’s irruption of
ed to life in the extreme cold of the
Snowy Owls, a sudden upsurge
arctic polar desert, one of the harshest
in numbers followed by a massive
environments in the world. In Janumigration south beyond their normal
ary and February, the average arctic
range triggered by a combination of
temperature hovers near negative 30 F
factors. Most ornithologists believe
and can plunge below negative 60 F.
fluctuating prey availability, the
The snowy owl is dressed for that
boom or bust cycles of lemmings and climate with the entire body, including
weather conditions all play a role.
the beak, legs, face and feet covered
But some ornithologists believe
in fine, almost fur-like feathers. They
the invasions are a direct result of
have a wing span exceeding five
upward fluctuations in the owl popula- feet and often weigh more than four
tion with the adults driving the young pounds with the females being larger
birds from their favorite feeding
than the males. They are not howgrounds when they get too crowded.
ever pure white, but their coloration
Science debates aside, there is nothing is perfect camouflage for their tundra
more exciting in winter than spotting habitat with their noticeable pattern of

Owl Irruptions

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From 47 Years
Of Selective Breeding

Reader Kevin Bills submitted this photo
of a snowy owl taken by Jammie Holcomb
near Deckerville in Michigan’s Thumb area.

Arctic Nesting

The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology websites states, “In the frozen
landscape of the tundra, the snowy
owl’s fate is often tied to the abundance of lemmings. In a good year, a
pair of snowy owls may raise a dozen
nestlings, feeding them some 2,000
lemmings before the young hunt on
their own.” May is the breeding season for the snowy owl and they breed
all the way around the Arctic Circle
where they nest on the ground on the
open tundra. The nest is simple and
rarely noticed; a small area scraped
clean with the talons of the female;
but the defense of the nest is dramatic. Snowy owls aggressively defend
their nests from any intruders and will
attack arctic wolves that approach. I
was able to locate a BBC video on
line documenting a snowy owl repeatedly dive-bombing an arctic wolf
that was near a nesting area. The wolf
finally turned tail and left.

Thoughts From Audubon

It is a mixed message sent by
birding organizations and State chapters of the Audubon Society when
it comes to sharing site location and
information on our visiting snowy
owls. During last year’s snowy owl
irruption, Milian Bull, Connecticut
Audubon’s senior director of sci-

ence and conservation was quoted
in media reports with a message that
serves equally well for Michiganders
today, “We hope as many people as
possible get to see these spectacular
birds but we urge everyone to keep
their distance. It is never a good idea
to disturb birds just for the sake of
taking a photo or seeing them fly, but
with snowy owls we know they are
particular tired and hungry from their
journey. They need every bit of energy to survive the winter and make it
back to the Arctic in time for breeding season.” Connecticut Audubon
President Alex Brash added, “Snowy
owls are as beautiful as snowflakes,
but as fierce as leopards. Once again
birds remind us of the fragility and
interconnectedness of our planet.”
Janet Hug is the Social Media
Administrator for Michigan’s Oakland Audubon Society and searched
for a snowy owl near the Harley
Ensign DNR Boat Ramp on Lake St.
Clair, where a snowy owl has been
known to roost. She reported, “After
a few minutes of searching the rocky
shoreline and elevated perches of the
U.S. Coast Guard buoys, the bird was
nowhere in sight.” A short time later
she captured a perfect photo of the
owl perched on the roof of a residential home framed with a blue sky. And
that serves as a reminder to always
look up at high points when searching
for a snowy owl.

high up on the snowy owl’s must visit
list; a situation that can be dangerous
for air traffic.
Snowy owls like to perch.Their
favored perch list is long and always
changing but include large pieces
of driftwood on lakeshores, navigational buoys, utility poles, barn roof,
silos, mail boxes, elevated points of
homes, fence posts, osprey nesting
platforms, garden gazebo, highway
signs--really anyplace that lets them
scan the horizon with an unobstructed
view. And when exploring in area
that may have snowy owls keep an
eye on farm fields, a perfect place for
an owl to capture a meadow vole or
rabbit. Now is the time to search for
the snowy; for once temperatures rise
and daylight lengthens owls know it’s
time to fly away home to their Arctic
tundra.

Common Sense,
Safety and the Law

The snowy owls in our midst
almost appear sleepy while they
perch and scan the horizon. And with
little previous contact with humans
we are not of much concern, unless
a close approach is made. I suspect
an approach by a coyote, fox, wolf or
domestic dog might bring a predator
alert response. When an owl is seen
resist the temptation to get too close.
When the owl starts staring at you,

you’re close enough. Flushed owls
may attract the attention of crows and
hawks which will pursue and harass
them. (All the photos I shot were captured from within a vehicle parked on
the shoulder of rural roads in Tuscola
County.)
Special Note: Eagles, ospreys,
hawks, falcons, kites, owls, vultures
and all other native North American
birds of prey are strictly protected
under the Migratory Bird Treaty
Act (MBTA). Owls and hawks were
added to the original 1918 list MBTA
in 1972.
Jonathan Schechter is naturalist/
paramedic living in Brandon Township, the Nature Education Writer for
Oakland County Parks and an active
member of the Wilderness Medical
Society. JonathanSchechter@Frontier.
comn

Viewing Tips

Monitor locale media, bird related
social media and relevant Facebook
posts and listen to word of mouth reports. They are often correct; but not
always. If a snowy owl is confirmed
it is likely to remain in the area it was
seen if the food supply is sufficient
and spectators keep their distance.
And bear in mind that owl viewing is
done in the daytime - –these owls are
active in daylight.
Best locations tend to be areas devoid of trees, areas that bear
resemblance to their home turf of
the tundra. That is why many reports
come in from Great Lakes coastal
areas and beaches of larger lakes and
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brownish bars and some spots highlighted by the white.
The coloration bars on females
tend to be darker than on males and
both the males and females have
snowy white faces and yellow eyes
with an eyelid that protrudes to protect from the glare of the sun. The
eyes of the snowy owl, like eyes of
all owls are enormous in proportion
to the rest of the head.
The eyes however are permanently fixed in place but to compensate the snowy owls have 14 cervical
vertebrates (humans and giraffes only
have seven) and they can swivel their
heads 270 degrees to keep an eye on
the horizon and predators or prey.
Snowy owls are diurnal, hunting in
daylight-- a necessity of life coming
from the Land of the Midnight Sun.

37

My 2014 Michigan Deer Hunting...

ARE APRs
WORKING?

M

y hunting area is in that sixcounty area with the most
stringent antler point restrictions in the state – I do the
bulk of my deer hunting in
Charlevoix County, which
includes Beaver Island. The
six-county area just finished
the second year of APR.
Beaver Island has the same
restrictions but they have
been at it longer – this was
their fourth year.
We anticipated that the
restrictions would
bring about a better
buck-to-doe ratio and
produce a population
with more mature bucks and it pretty
obvious that that has occurred. Hunting Beaver Island last year, everyone
in our party (of five) saw more bucks

than does, every day, and I left the
island a bit concerned about the lack
of does and fawns, which could have
serious consequences for the future of
the herd.
On the mainland, I have
been hunting the same 200
acres for the past 30 years
and have even used the same
stands for most of those years
– not every day but as often
as the wind and the deer
movement permitted. When
I started hunting there, it was
rare to see more than
three or four deer in a
morning, even opening
morning. If you did
see deer, however, you were apt to
see a buck and there were some good
ones. Over the years, the population
increased and then, perhaps twenty

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years ago, it was common to see a
dozen or so deer on opening morning,
including a couple of yearling bucks
and perhaps one shooter.
In recent years, the hunting pressure on the property has increased dramatically. The surrounding properties
also have considerable hunting pressure and the deer are quick to react
to that. After the second day of the
firearm season, it is unlikely that you
will see a decent buck unless someone
rousts it from its bed and it dashes by
your stand as it flees. The whole area
is a lovely mix of farm fields, orchards
and large wood lots so it can sustain a
large population of deer and it generally does.
When I wrote about the probable
consequences of APR in my hunting
area, last year, when the new rules
were announced and before the first
season under those rules, we described
it as a one-year problem. In other
words, after just one year, we should
expect to see an improvement in the
buck/doe ratio and we should see
bigger bucks in the woods. Did that
happen? Well, maybe. This is what
happened in my hunting area:
• We continue to see lots of yearling bucks but no more than in prior
years
• We are not seeing more larger

bucks. What has happened to all
those yearlings from last year? Well,
they are more mature now and, like
all mature deer, they are smarter than
yearlings and they manage to stay out
of sight more successfully. They are
also the first deer to go into seclusion
when the shooting starts, in pressured
areas, and they become almost wholly
nocturnal after the first day or so of
the firearm season.
• The buck/doe ratio has improved, for two reasons. First, of
course, because there are more bucks.
Second, because there are fewer does.
And this gets a bit complex. When
hunters are unable to connect with a
buck that meets the APR restrictions,
they often settle for a doe and, in this
part of the state, antlerless licenses are
generally available in large numbers,
especially for private land.
To illustrate the problem, let me
recount my actual hunting this fall.
In the archery season, I ventured
out twelve times, starting, as usual,
around October 20. That timing is
chosen so that most of the leaves will
be down, improving visibility and
also adding some potential crunch
to the woods, enabling the hunter to
see better and hear better as well. On
the first six outings, I saw deer on a
single occasion and it was just one

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deer. I should note that the only deer
I will take during the archery season
is one that fits the requirements for
the restricted tag on the combination
license – a seven or eight point, at
minimum. During the next six outings, I saw deer on every occasion.
It was only one or two deer on some
of those hunts but twice I saw two or
three different deer or groups of deer.
Twice I spotted bucks that might have
been legal for the minimum number
of antler points – three on one side.
The deer were too far away for a shot
but close enough to get a pretty good
look at their headgear. I was not able
to decide if either deer was legal.
The only shooting opportunity
was a fine big buck that passed me,
slowly, broadside, just five yards too
far away. There was no question that
this was a shooter, with tall brow
tines and at least four tines on each
side.
The same property (and the same
stands) was hunted again during the
firearm season (five outings) and the
muzzleloader season (two trips), with
many outings cancelled by weather.
Only one yearling doe was encountered during those ventures and I had
already decided that I was not going
to take a doe off this property and add
to an already low population problem.
It is noteworthy that, during all
my hunts on this property, I saw
only one doe with fawns (two) and
I saw the same family group, in the
same spot, twice. That does not auger
well for deer hunting on this land. I
am convinced that the antler point
restrictions have made it so difficult
for hunters to shot a buck that many
of them are settling for a doe and the
doe population has been driven down
sharply. That conclusion might be
wholly wrong if the really tough winter last year resulted in a lot of deer
mortality. It is entirely possible that
the winter caused many does to abort
and also resulted in weak fawns that
did not long survive.
I can illustrate the general APR

problem by recounting my opening
day hunt, this year, in an area well
south of home, near Mt. Pleasant.
This area has no APR. On the second
morning of the hunt, I spotted a buck
about 70 yards out, quartering across
in front of my brush blind. I could
see, with the naked eye, that he had
some antlers but it looked like just
a spike. Since I have a difficult-toexplain aversion to shooting spikes,
I was going to pass on this deer. As
it moved though some lighter cover,
however, I could see, through the
scope, that the right side had two
points (the left side was not visible) and I decided to shoot. The
deer went down immediately and,
when I reached it, I found that the
left side has three points and I had
taken a five-point. It was a yearling,
no doubt, but a fine fat specimen and
good venison.
If I had been hunting in my home
county, I could not have shot this
deer, since I could not see his headgear well enough to insure that he met
the APR requirements. This same
scenario must have been repeated
hundreds of times in the six-county
area and in those other parts of the
state with APR.
There can be no question that
APR puts all deer hunters in affected
areas in the management business.
While the DNR can control overall numbers to a degree by limiting
antlerless licenses, individual hunters
need to assess the deer numbers in
their local areas and make some decisions about taking does. It seems certain now that antler point restrictions
can change the deer population in a
number of ways, including the buck/
doe ratio, the number and maturity
of bucks and the number of does and
thus fawns in the population.
If you are deer hunting an in APR
area and you haven’t done well over
the last couple of years, there are a
number of things you can do, as you
hunt, that will increase your success:
• Hunt during the archery season

The author is convinced that the antler point restrictions have made it so
difficult for hunters to shoot a buck that many of them are settling for a doe
and the doe population has been driven down sharply.
and hunt hardest from late in October
right up to the firearm opener, when
the mature bucks are on the prod and
have their guard down.
• If hunting in a pressured area,
hunt all day during the first two days
of the firearm season.
• Seek an area that has little or no
pressure, after November 16. There
are small pockets, especially on
private land, that receive little hunting
pressure and the bucks in that spot are
likely to keep on with the rut much
longer than those in pressured areas.

• Hunt later in the mornings,
when visibility is better and you are
more likely to be able to determine if
a buck has the necessary headgear.
• Pray for snow late in October
and early in November. Snow will
improve the visibility in the woods
markedly and perhaps enable you to
determine if that buck has the needed
tines.
• Carry some good field glasses
or upgrade your scope so that you
can look the bucks over at long
range.n

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Where’s the best walleye fishing in the Ice Belt?
W
By Mark Romanack

here is the best walleye
ice fishing in the ice belt?
When I ask this question
to knowledgeable anglers I
normally get answers like
Saginaw Bay, Lake Erie or Green Bay.
All three of these fishing destinations
are world class options, but when it
comes to icing walleye consistently,
none of them can compare to Lake
of the Woods in Northern Minnesota
or Upper Red Lake just a few miles
south of Baudette, Minnesota.

Why Not Lake Erie?

Lake Erie has the fish, but not
every year does this body of water
freeze solidly. Only a small amount of
water around the Bass Islands region
in Ohio waters routinely gets safe
ice and even this ice is fleeting on a
typical year. Last year all the Western
Basin froze solidly providing anglers
a platform to reach unbelievable fishing. The last time that happened was
almost nine years ago! My point is
that Lake Erie simply doesn’t provide
safe ice often enough to make the top
choices list in an ice fishing for walleye destination article.

What About Saginaw Bay?

Saginaw Bay has better ice
conditions most years than Lake Erie
because it lies more than 100 miles
north. However, think back just three
years ago when Saginaw Bay didn’t
freeze over all winter. Like Lake
Erie, Saginaw Bay is huge and the ice
conditions are constantly changing,
unpredictable and often times downright dangerous. Pressure cracks form
on Saginaw Bay routinely and crossing one is risky on foot little lone trying this gamble with a snow machine
or quad.
Even when the ice is good like last
year, Saginaw Bay is often a tough
bite on the ice for a couple reasons.
This sprawling body of water has
very little structure. Most of the lake
bottom is featureless sand flats that
sprawl for miles.
Without structure to concentrate
fish, bait and walleye tend to wander
aimlessly making it tough to sit down
consistently on a school of fish. The
angler who works hard at finding fish
will find walleye on Saginaw Bay, but
there is no guarantee those fish will be In a lifetime of covering the outdoors the author Mark Romanack has never seen any
winter fishery that can hold a candle to what he recently experienced on Upper Red
on the same numbers the next day.
Lake and Lake of the Woods in Northern Minnesota. Author photos

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The other problem with Saginaw Bay
is the water is very clear in the winter
time and walleye get finicky in a
hurry. The best bite occurs in the early
morning and again just before dusk.
During the bright part of the day the
bite is poor at best.

Green Bay Must Be Better

It’s true that Green Bay tends to
get good ice almost every year and
Green Bay has a lot more structure to
concentrate walleye compared to Saginaw Bay. The problem with Green
Bay is clear water and finicky fish that
bite best early and late in the day. A
long day on the ice at Green Bay will
produce pretty good walleye success
for about an hour at dawn and again at
dusk. During the rest of the day most

knowledgeable anglers in this region
target whitefish in deep water because
the walleye bite literally dies when the
sun comes up!

What Makes Lake Of
The Woods Different

Lake of the Woods is partly located in Northern Minnesota and partly
in the region of Ontario known as
Sunset Country or the Northwest Ontario Tourist region. One of the largest
inland lakes in the world, Lake of the
Woods is unique in many ways and
without question the No. 1 destination
for winter walleye in North America.
Lake of the Woods freezes solidly
usually in late November or early
December every year. Anglers are

• Drive-in housekeeping camp for Walleye, Pike & Smallmouth
• ATV-in island outpost on Wenebegon Lake for Walleye & Pike
• Train-in outpost on Goldie Lake for Pike & Smallmouth
• Black Bear hunts, high success rates, area over 300 sq. miles
• Limited availability remaining at both outpost camps

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Upper Red Lake Is A Sleeper

This Ad Size is 2 Column by 4" or 4.24" by 4"

For as good as Lake of the Woods
is, this fishery can at times pose
problems to traveling anglers. On my
recent trip to Lake of the Woods, five
days of unseasonably mild weather
left the lake covered with six inches
of water and slush. As an alternative to LOTW, we decided to take an
hour drive south to Upper Red Lake
fishing out of a place called Rogers
Campground (www.rogersonred.
com) operated by licensed guide Brad
Hawthorne.

Upper Red Lake is well known in
the region for producing lots of small
walleye. Jake and I iced between 50
and 60 fish daily with most of the
eyes ranging from 14 to 18 inches in
length. We caught several fish over 20
inches during our two and a day stay
on Upper Red and as a bonus iced
about a dozen jumbo perch.
Upper Red Lake is a bowl shaped
lake with sprawling flats and the
water is a stained green in color. Isolated depressions tend to hold silt and
attract baitfish. Walleye simply cruise
the bottom in constant search of bait.
On most walleye lakes it’s necessary to drill dozens of holes a day to
find and stay on fish. At Upper Red
Lake Jake and I never wandered more
than 50 yards from the first holes
we drilled on day one! On average
we iced a fish about every 10 to 15
minutes! The bite started right away
in the morning and stayed strong all
day long, quieting down only about
the last hour before dark.
We caught walleye on all the
common presentations including jigs
tipped with minnows, dead sticking, tip-ups with live minnows and
jigging/swimming lures like the
Moonshine Jig, Jigging Rapala and
Puppet Minnow. Interestingly enough
the best overall lures were small jigging spoons including the new VMC
Tingler Spoon, the Slender Spoon
by Custom Jigs and Spins and an old
classic the Do Jigger by Bay de Noc
Lures.
Each of these lures are similar
in that they are thin and flutter down
slowly, compared to slab spoons that
tend to sink quickly. The slow fluttering drop was simply too much for
walleye to resist. The best lures were
gold or copper plated with some red
tape or paint on them.
We tipped these spoons with a
live shiner minnow, then pinched
off the minnow leaving the head and
about a half inch of flesh dangling
from the hook. When fish would
appear on our sonar screens, we
jigged aggressively, lifting the fish
off bottom until they would bite. On
average 60 to 70 percent of the fish
that showed up hit our lures! Com-

Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods in Northern Minnesota get the author’s vote for
the best winter fishing destination in the Ice Belt.
pared to other places I have ice fished
for walleye, this average is next to
unheard of.

The Down Side

The down side to this story is
distance. Any way you slice it, Lake
of the Woods and Upper Red Lake
are a long poke from Michigan. From
my home in Northern Michigan to
Baudette, Minnesota was just over
800 miles making for a grueling 15
hour drive towing a trailer full of ice
fishing essentials.
My advice to anyone wanting to
sample this incredible fishery is to
get a few buddies to travel together
splitting up the cost and driving hours
as much as practical. For the average
angler who has lived and fished in
Michigan their whole life, Northern
Minnesota is something worth experiencing.
The limit on Upper Red is 3 wall-

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eye and the slot limit requires releasing fish 17 to 26 inches in length. We
had no trouble icing 15 to 16 inch
“eaters” and had a riot catching and
releasing the larger fish.
On Lake of the Woods or Upper
Red Lake an angler is likely to catch
more walleye in a two or three day
trip than he or she will likely catch
in an entire season back home in
Michigan! The fishing in this region
of Minnesota is absolutely amazing.
Fortunately, the drive won’t seem so
bad after you’ve iced a few dozen
chunky walleye.

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routinely driving trucks onto the ice
before Christmas and the safe ice
lasts until late April or early May
every single year.
Lake of the Woods is dotted with
thousands of islands, submerged reefs
and more quality walleye fishing
structure than an angler could fish in
a lifetime. Because the lake is literally littered with structure the fish tend
to set up in regions and stay in those
spots all winter long. Ice house villages pop up in some of the best fishing areas making it easy to identify
at a glance the places that routinely
produce good fishing action.
Lake of the Woods has stained
water so the bite tends to be good all
day long. This fishery is also well
known for producing tons of eating
sized walleye, but LOTW routinely
produces an averaged size fish that
is much bigger than Green Bay,
Saginaw Bay and yes even Lake Erie.
As a bonus this fishery is also littered with sauger a close relative to
the walleye. Sauger are smaller than
walleye, but more aggressive and
easier to catch. Even on tough days
when the walleye have lock jaw, the
sauger bite is good enough to keep
things interesting.
To further make this region a destination worth traveling to, Lake of
the Woods houses an almost unlimited number of knowledgeable fishing
guides who for a nominal fee will
take anglers to the best fishing spots.
Because Lake of the Woods is so
large, it’s almost mandatory that first
time visitors book a guide to become
familiar with the lake.

41

Black Powder Shooting Sports...

Fit and proper

A

merica’s black powder revival
began February 22, 1931, in
Portsmouth, Ohio. Seventy
rifles, all heirlooms, competed
in that first modern muzzleloading match. The newest rifle dated
to 1880 and was shot by its maker. A
leather pouch and powder horn, each
with a pedigree of harrowing adventures from the past, accompanied many of those ancient
arms.
In 1933 enthusiasts
formed the National Muzzle
Loading Rifle Association to
promote the burgeoning sport
and preserve the heritage associated with the old shooting
irons. Mimeographed
bulletins, titled Muzzle Blasts, grew into
a published magazine by September,
1939. Black-and-white photographs
graced the pages in the early 1940s,
some showing competitors dressed in
bib overalls, suits and ties or buckskin
attire holding their favorite rifle and
wearing a shot pouch and powder
horn.
A leather pouch was, and is, a necessary accoutrement for carrying the
round balls, patches, shot and assorted
shooting supplies a muzzle-loading
rifle, smoothbore or pistol requires.
After acquiring his or her first muzzleloader, the next question a newcomer
to the black powder shooting sports
asks is: “What type of shot bag do I
need?”

The answer varies from competitor
to competitor; some folks make their
own pouch, others buy an inexpensive, hand-me-down bag, and some
seek out an experienced leatherworker
to fashion a period-correct shot bag.
In the latter case, Michigan is blessed
with a number of talented craftspeople, spread throughout the state, who
specialize in leather goods.
Darrel Lang is the proprietor of Leather from
the Past and specializes in
high-quality leather goods for
living historians and black
powder shooters. Through
years of hard work, attention
to detail and dedication to
customer satisfaction,
Lang’s reputation for
affordable, hand-sewn
leather accoutrements has spread
nationwide. Tall, soft-spoken with
an athletic build, Lang is a respected
member of the prestigious Contemporary Longrifle Association.
“I got into leatherworking when
my son was a year old,” Darrel Lang
said as he pushed a stout needle
through three layers of stiff cowhide.
“That’s thirty years ago. I made my
first pouch from a La Pelleterie leather
kit, (the late) Pat Tearney’s company.
From there, I started making knife
and ax sheaths, tumplines and small
pouches, whatever I needed.
“When I got into re-enacting, I
made belly boxes and shooting bags
for my boys. This is the original

By Dennis Neely

Darrel Lang, proprietor of Leather from the Past, laid out a paper pattern,
a partially completed bag body and the finished product as he explained the
process for making a shot pouch. Wild Rivertree photos
stuff,” Lang said as he reached to his
left, took down a forest green photo
album and began thumbing through
the pictures. “I got into the French and
Indian War and I focus on that time
period, but I can do about anything a
customer wants.”
In most cases, the size of the
finished product does not require a lot
of workspace. Lang’s modest, well-lit
workbench is situated in the corner of
a basement storage room. Pegboard
hangers organize a wide variety of
small tools, some new, some antique,
some homemade. Pigeon-holed patterns, dog-eared reference books and

neat rows of sundries occupy two
wood shelves over the work area.
Behind his chair, a steel shelving unit
overflows with rolled leather and shipping supplies.
“A bag, for example, starts with a
hand-drawn pattern that fits the style
and size the customer wants,” Lang
said. “For the pouch body I use 3 to
4 ounce (a leather industry thickness
standard) vegetable-tanned tooling
leather. The pattern is traced, and the
front and back cut out.
“The body is sewn wrong side out.
I add a welt (a narrow strip of leather)
between the front and back, and the
seam is sewn with waxed linen thread.
I also use a heavier linen thread for
the body. It adds to the durability; it’s
just how I like to make my bags.
“I bought this old edging tool at
a garage sale. It leaves a light mark a
uniform distance from the edge and
that locates the stitch line. Before I
got the edge tool I used a fork.” Lang
laughed, grabbed a leather scrap and
began to scribe a line with the fork.
“It’s my baby fork from when I
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accent to a bag: a line along a strap’s
edges, radiating lines or a geometric
design on a flap, all based on original
artifacts. “I layout the design with
a pencil, wet the leather, and with a
steel straight-edge as a guide, I score
the lines several times with a blunttipped stylus, which permanently
indents the leather surface.
“I sew the flap to the body, then
I dye the outside of the bag and the
flap. When it’s dry, I work the bag
again on the broom handle, apply a
coat of neatsfoot oil and work it again
like we used to work our old leather
baseball gloves,” he explained.
Lang buys heavier, 4 to 5 ounce
cowhide for the straps. “I use a
straight edge and a strap cutter, or
slitting gauge, to cut whatever width
of strap a customer wants. The slitting gauge is an adjustable harnessmaker’s tool with a guide block and
sharp blade that cuts a uniform width
in one pass,” he explained.
A short “buckle strap” and a long
“adjustable strap” complete the bag.
Lang uses a hand-forged iron buckle
on most of his bags. He dyes the
straps, works in neatsfoot oil and
sews the straps to the bag. He then
fits the bag to his own body, punches
the initial hole in the adjustable strap,
then adds “a few holes up and a few
holes down the strap so the customer

Fork-Stitch Wheel illustration: “Before he bought an antique harness-maker’s
edge tool, Lang used a kitchen fork to score the guide line along the leather’s
edge (top). A “stitching wheel” then presses uniform dots along the line, then
an awl is used to punch the holes for the stitches (bottom).”
can fit the bag to their body. The final
step is to rub in a leather conditioner
that is heavy to natural bee’s wax,”
Lang said.

2015 February MSMLA Shoot Schedule

Feb. 7 - MSMLA Annual Meeting: Eaton Rapids CC: 11 am: 810-639-7479
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The end result of Darrel Lang’s
labor is an affordable shot pouch, an
heirloom that would have looked fit
and proper at that first muzzleloading match in February, 1931, or at
the Battle of Bloody Run near Fort
Detroit in 1763.
For more info on Darrel’s leather
goods, visit Leather from the Past at
http://leatherfromthepast.blogspot.
com/ or call 734-788-8951.
Give the black powder shooting
sports a try, be safe and may God
bless you.n

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

was little. I still have the rest of the
set, the knife and spoon. And if you
didn’t notice, I’m using my step stool
as a chair, the one my folks bought
when I was an infant so I could sit
and eat at the table. It’s just the right
height for the bench.”
He continued the impromptu
demonstration by running a stitching wheel along the fork’s faint line.
Looking like a miniature cowboy’s
spur with a wood handle, the wheel’s
points left uniformly-spaced dots on
the leather. He then punched a hole
at each dot with a wood-handled awl.
“You can see how this adds a professional look to the finished product.”
Returning to the pouch, Lang
continued saddle stitching, passing one needle from the left, then a
second from the right, through the
same hole. He pulled both ends of
the dark-brown thread, tightening the
stitch. “Stitching is really hard on
the fingers,” he added with a slight
grimace.
“After the body stitching is
completed, I usually dye the exposed
leather, what will be the inside of the
bag, before I ‘turn it,’ as it is called.”
After the alcohol-based dye dries, the
body is soaked in water, then turned
right side out. Using the round end
of a broom handle clamped in a vice,
Lang then works the bag, stuffs it
with rags to keep the final shape and
sets it aside to dry.
“I like to turn the bag before I cut
out the flap, because turning reduces
the bag’s width,” he said. “I use two
layers of 2 to 3 ounce for the flap,
stitched back to back (finished sides
out). A lot of makers will fold over a
thin piece of leather and stitch it over
the edge as a binding. I don’t do that
anymore, unless a customer requests
it.
“Instead, I burnish the flap’s
raw edge. I wet the leather and rub
a wooden burnishing tool back and
forth to finish the edge like many of
the originals were. A lot of times I’ll
soak that edge with the dye and use
the dye as a wetting agent instead of
water.”
Sometimes Lang adds a tooled

43

Smoking Wildfowl, Fish, Venison and More…By Betty Sodders

Think back to an era when
we weren’t bombarded
with a host of food
preservatives; when the
smoking of wild game,
farm-raised meats, bacon,
fowl and fish were commonplace. Let your nostrils…
follow the smoke… bringing
the art of smoking into our
modern world…from the
way it was, back than;
to sharing the odor and
savoring the taste with
friends and neighbors.

B

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

ack then, I mean, waaaay
back, when deer hunting
camps were naught but
primitive shacks situated
in deep woods and a hunters culinary skills were often no better
than their living conditions. Progress
is often a good thing, and in the area
of ‘camp cookery’ things are definitely better today than in the ‘Good
Old Days.’
William Bjork, author of The
Camps of U. P. North (Birch Tree
An example of a traditional smoke house that was commonplace to SouthEnterprises, POB 460, Brimley, MI
ern plantation life. Betty Sodders photos
49715) describes many early hunt/
fish camps north of Marquette in
discovered a dead weasel in their cofMichigan’s Upper Peninsula that date ‘weasel’ story that occurred at Camp
back between 1880 and 1910. A good North Star. Bjork’s father and a hunter fee pot while staying at camp, but not
until they had nearly finished drinking
example of those earlier days was the named Pete, talked of the time they
the entire pot. They had wondered
why the coffee had such a peculiar
taste!
Camp Cookery during those days
was basic to say the least, using cast
iron pots, fry pan, griddles, Dutch
ovens and if the camp was well used,
many held an old-time smokehouse.
Going back to even earlier times,
market hunters, settlers, farmers, plantation owners, meat market butchers
and others, all had separate buildings
for the smoking of game, domestic
meats, fowl and fish. Smoking of
food proved to be an integral part of
life…a way of food preservation prior
to refrigeration.

A typical old fashioned U.P. deer camp, a primitive shack in the woods and

44 most likely the hunters who used it had very primitive culinary skills as well.

l950s and up to the present time, could
be purchased from vendors along U.
S. 2 that runs west of St.
Ignace, capturing tourists; introducing them to the delicious flavors of
smoked whitefish. Venison jerky
was also sold at some establishments.
With these outlets, smoking became
intriguing to many a hunter or angler, and camp/cabin smokehouses
were becoming more common. The
smoke, became, ‘a follow your nose’
signature, to see what that tantalizing
flavored smoke was producing.
We were smoking fish in a handbuilt wooden smoker from the time I
met my husband in the l950s. Basically it was fired up for smoking
venison jerky and fish. In our modern
streamlined efficient ever-hurry-hurry
world, we often forget that oftentimes
least is best. If time means little to
you, but excellent taste proves high
on your list of fish or venison smoking values; then building your own
wooden fish smoker should rate high
on your personal priority list. Requirements follow that will enable you
to construct a 36” deep, 30” wide by
24” high wooden smoker:

Smoke Fish the Old Way
Build a Wooden Smoker

• 2 sheets, ¼” plywood
• 30 feet, 2”x2s” to make the
smoker frame minus the door, cut: 4 –
36”, 4 - 30” and 4 - 24”
• 8 feet, 2”x2” to construct frame
for smoker door.
• Cover built frames with plywood
cut to size:
• 18 feet, 1”x2’ to make two racks
to fit inside smoker
• 18 feet 1”x2” to make runners to
serve as rack slides.
• Position first rack holders 8”
below the smoker roof and nail into
smoker sides. Repeat with second
runners 8” below the first set.
• Chicken wire stretched and secured across built rack frames.
• Fine mesh will hold the fish to be
smoked and are interchangeable.
• Two 3” hinges for placement at
top of front-opening door.
window handle for placeCamps Go Semi-Modern ment• One
at bottom of door.
• Cement blocks to act as base for
During the l950s
Where some early hunt/fish shacks smoker.
• Rolled roofing to cover smoker
or camps held an outbuilding desigroof.
nated as the ‘smoke House;’ many
• Paint for outside of smoker…not
did not, but smokers were becominside!
ing popular from hand-built wooden
• Six 1-1/4” corks, two placed on
smokers to small ones manufactured
each side of smoker to control heat.
of metal. Perhaps only a handful of
• Holes drilled top and bottom of
outdoorsmen knew how to properly
use a smoker. Smoked fish during the each side of smoker.

What’s On the
Smoker Market Today?

Looking for a smoker? Numerous companies manufacture a wide
variety of smokers selling from $79
to $1,400 plus. If you are not into
smoking foods big-time; one of the
less expensive models will work well
and afford a flavor that is as tasty as
the more expensive models produce.
On the other hand, smokers in the
$200 and up range hold two to three
shelves and the Chef can create a host
of smoked items while even baking
a pie or two for desert. One can purchase smoker accessories from flavor
and seasoned smoking briquettes,
a Jalapeno-Popper stuffer, pepper
roasters, sausage hangers, smoker mat
to keep fish and vegetables in place,
seasonings, a Cajun infusion injector,
heat guard gloves, rib racks and more.
Some company names that feature
smokers would include Bradley, Cabela’s brand, Camp Chef, Char Broil
and Masterbuilt. Many smoker models are digital; powered by electricity
or propane and even come in stainless
steel making them extremely handsome. This article highlights two
models manufactured by Camp Chef
so readers can better understand what
today’s smokers have to offer:
Camp Chef’s Smoke Vault is
designed to infuse your meats with
delicious flavors, empowering your

food with appetizing tastes that can’t
be experienced any other way.
With a temperature range from
160 degrees to 500 degrees, this unit
affords plenty of cooking options.
Turn your wild game into delicious
jerky or bake a venison pasty. On
holidays, bake a pie in your smoker
while fixing ribs, fish, turkey or
whatever else might have you and
your neighbors drooling…follow the
smoke! The Smoke Vault maintains
a constant temperature that is simple
due to the fact that this propane-powered smoker has an adjustable heatcontrol, damper valves and a door
thermometer. Keeping meats moist
is no problem because the water/drip
tray helps moisturize the meats.
If you have never smoked foods
before it might seem intimidating, but
it’s important to remember that smoking can be a very simple process.
This particular unit comes in two
sizes; an 18 or 24-inch version. The
24-inch Camp Chef Smoke Vault
retails at $344; the 18-inch at $282.
With the Camp Chef Pellet Grill
& Smoker, just about anybody can
enjoy the mouth-watering taste of
slow cooked meats. It has been designed with the backyard, camp/cabin
user in mind giving them the opportunity to take their outdoor cooking to
the next level.
Built with innovative digital
control features, this smoker includes
both high and low smoke settings
with a continuous fan for even smoking. Add that to the large 18-pound
capacity hopper and this thing is sim-

A finished home-made smoker, not yet set on cement blocks and rolled roofing
can be added to the top if desired to make smoker more waterproof.
ply worry-free, leaving the user with
less-fuss and more time to socialize at
the barbecue.
The LED temperature readout
gives specific, accurate readings using dual sensors to measure internal
food temperatures and smoke chamber temperatures. It holds heavyduty construction increasing thermal
efficiency so that the grill will hold
its heat while cooking. This feature
helps eliminate any temperature
guessing and provides users with accurate results. If you’ve never used
a smoker, the included recipe booklet
affords numerous ideas.
Clean up is simple. A patent
pending easy ash cleanout system allows users to empty ash with just the
pull of a lever.
The Pellet Grill & smoker retails
over $800, www.CampChef.com

Smoked Venison Jerky

A Camp Chef Smoker is designed to infuse your meats with delicious flavors, empowering your food with appetizing tastes that can’t be experienced any other way.

Wood for smoking: Try apple crab
apple, cherry or hickory.
Mix together:
½ cup brown sugar
3 tbs. steak or Worchestshire
sauce
½ tsp. dry mustard or one tbs. prepared mustard

½ tsp. Garlic salt
¼ tsp. Salt
Pepper to taste
3 cups of water
Cut meat (venison) into ½” thick
strips…about 4 to 5” long; maybe
an inch or more across. Marinade
should be well blended; once meat
is added, marinate for 6 to 7 hours.
Dry off meat and smoke in pre-heated
smoker at 140 degrees for 12-15
hours.
Deer season 2014 has passed.
Within a few months, you might be
heading up to cabin or fish camp;
now would be a good time to purchase a smoker with several months
left to practice making ribs to roasts;
chicken to cherry pie…so that when
fishing season arrives you can take
the smoker to the cabin for smoking
fish; later in the year during hunting
season, smoke wild turkey, pheasants,
partridge, ducks and geese, rabbits
and hares, venison or if you draw a
tag, even elk venison or bear meat.
It’s one of the greatest outdoor cooking tools a sportsman can enjoy…
and…the neighbors will smell…
smoke…smoke…smoke with but one
choice; that being…let your nose follow the smoke!n

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

• Cast-iron fry pan for placement
of wood chips.
• This smoker will hold up to 50
lbs. of fish.

45

“Rabbitat”

S

By Tom Lounsbury

omeone recently told me that
he was upset with the fact that
the “Base License” in Michigan’s new hunting license
process forced him in reality to
purchase a small game license when
his only real outdoor interest was deer
hunting. He clearly felt he was being
forced, in a manner of speaking, to
purchase something entirely useless in
his regard. My response to him was to
give small game hunting a try and get
his money’s worth because he didn’t
know what he was missing.
Personally I don’t have a problem
with the Base License issue and it just
might be the incentive to get more
folks involved in small game hunting,
which in recent years has seen a loss
in numbers per hunter participation.
I do dearly love small game hunting
and my winters would never be the
same without the presence of the cottontail rabbit in my home Thumb area.
Growing up on a Thumb area farm
(and still living there) I have a long
association with the cottontail rabbit,

a wild critter that I much admire, and
it was the first game animal that I ever
harvested. This occurred when I was a
kid and had just finished my morning
chores at the barn and was returning
to our farmhouse. When I walked past
the corncrib a cottontail flushed from
near it and headed lickety-split to our
orchard nearby. I went to house and
obtained permission from my mother
to hunt the rabbit down and grabbed
up my single-shot .410 shotgun that
had once belonged to my grandfather,
and a couple of (paper in those days)
shells.
A fresh, fluffy snow had just fallen
during the night and it didn’t take me
long to locate and get on the fresh
rabbit tracks that made a meandering course through the orchard, and
for me to sort matters out. The tracks
ended at a pile of snow-covered,
pruned apple tree branches, and I held
the .410 at port-arms and gave the pile
an abrupt kick.
The rabbit suddenly flew out like
an airborne jack-in-the-box and hit

The author and his three sons after a successful family Christmastime rabbit drive.
the ground and was airborne again in
a mighty leap when the .410 barked
almost of its own accord and the
headshot rabbit dropped on the spot.
Everything on my shooting part had
been purely instinctive, and maybe it
was simply a lucky shot. Just the same
I was forever after a smitten rabbit
hunter and I have used that particular
tracking technique for rabbit hunting
after a fresh snow ever since (I also
still frequently use my grandfather’s
.410 shotgun for this pastime – when
it works, why change?).
My mother would soon after this
memorable moment direct me on how

to properly process a rabbit for the
table (in her words -“you shot it – you
cut it up – and learn to do it right”).
Rabbit meat is actually very fat-free
but when you dip and heavily coat it
in spiced pancake batter and deep-fry
it, it kind of defeats the fat-free purpose. Despite this fact, it is one of my
favorite rabbit recipes (which there
are many – cottontails are extremely
good and delicious eating).
In time I would be introduced
by friends to pursuing rabbits with
hounds (most notably beagles), a very
time honored pastime and I have ever
since owned beagles for the purpose

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46

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Meyer Hunter Educator of the Year
(although I use them for pheasant
hunting as well – beagles are a very
versatile and infectiously happy breed
that vocally refuse to be left behind
whenever my Brittany “bird-dogs”
are turned out of my kennel). There
is nothing quite as unique as listening
to beagles singing in chorus on a hot
rabbit track during a wintry atmosphere. If you have never witnessed
this melodious moment, you are truly
missing out on one of the most exhilarating experiences in the outdoors.
Hounds baying on track have a way
of drawing your soul into the hunt,
and it is an association as ancient as
the relationship of humans with dogs.
Maybe you will bag the quarry, and
maybe not, but it is the close and
very personal bond shared with your
canine hunting partners in the field
that truly matters in the end.
Whenever I decide to add a lot of
rabbits to the pot, so to speak, I perform a well-organized rabbit-drive,
also an ancient hunting technique as
old as humans being hunters. The real
key here is in knowing your ground,
which in this case I always refer to as
being “rabbitat” (and it can be nastily
dense and snarly cover). Standers
need to be placed at pinch-points and
in obvious funnels towards known
places of refuge for hunter-wise cot-

tontails. Drivers then move through
the cover in an organized manner that
shakes the highly wary cottontails
loose and on the move (hopefully in
the right direction).
In this case I prefer to use dogs
as well, and any flushing breed will
work, such as my Labrador retriever
and rat terrier. My two beagles of
course never wanting to be left
behind, have learned to know the
difference between an organized
rabbit drive and when they can be,
well, typical beagles (they also know
when they are “bird-dogs” – beagles
are a very unique breed). While this
may sound unusual if not impossible
to some, it is a system I have worked
out with my pooches. And of course I
am one of the pooches too, as I dearly
love working with my dogs and driving rabbits to the waiting standers.
Hearing gunfire is definitely music
to my ears, and despite who does
the shooting, it is an effort shared
by all, and I do love to eat rabbit,
a very distinct wintertime flavor
for me.
Wherever you live in Michigan,
you are never far from true “rabbitat.”
Learn to recognize and take advantage of it and doing so will certainly
shorten up long winters and add some
great outdoor adventures to boot.n

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A Cheboygan man who has been
involved in teaching hunter education and firearm safety for 67 years
has been named the 2014 Hunter
Education Volunteer Instructor of
the Year in Michigan, the Department of Natural Resources recently
announced.
Warren Meyer was recognized at
the Dec. 11 meeting of the Michigan (lt-rt) DNR Law Enforcement Chief Gary Hagler, Jackie
and Warren Meyer, DNR Chief of Staff Dennis Knapp, and
Natural Resources Commission in
Lansing. Meyer has been a certified NRC Chair J.R. Richardson.
instructor since 1998, but he has been involved in teaching hunter education since
1947. Meyer was selected for the honor by a panel of his peers.
Currently, Meyer is part of a team that teaches hunter education at the Cheboygan Sportsman’s Club, and has done so since 1987, volunteering thousands of hours
of his time. He participates in no fewer than three classes per year, certifying more
than 120 students a year. He specializes in muzzleloader hunting, passing on his passion and expertise to his students.
Meyer also donates financially to the program. He has purchased a muzzleloader
and all of the accessories to make a display for students. He and his wife, Jackie,
also donated a pavilion to the club that students use during outdoor field exercises.
He also takes part in the grant-writing process to obtain firearms and other hunter
education-related equipment for the club.
“Warren Meyer goes above and beyond to help the students in the Cheboygan
area,” said DNR Law Enforcement Division Chief Gary Hagler. “Our volunteer
instructors make this program successful in Michigan and we are grateful for their
service.”
Meyer is a World War II veteran, serving in Germany and France, and is now
the senior vice president of the Veterans of Foreign Wars - Cheboygan Post. He also
serves as the chaplain and judge advocate of the American Legion Post in Cheboygan.
Also very involved in his community, Meyer is a board member of the Cheboygan Sportsman’s Club, serves on the Topinabee Library Board and is a member of
the Cheboygan Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce. He actively promotes the
hunter education program while serving in these organizations.
To learn more about Michigan’s Hunter Education program, go to the DNR website www.michigan.gov/huntereducation.

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47

All Waters Are Not Equally Productive...By Mark Strand

How to pick a good lake

L

ooking out upon a frozen-over
body of water, how are you
supposed to know whether
your time would be well spent
drilling holes and dropping
down a bait? Of all the topics
ice anglers ponder, this one rarely, if
ever, gets treated in depth. But especially if you live in an area blessed
with multiple lakes, choosing one to
attack is a huge piece of the puzzle.
In other words, what’s swimming
down there? What’s the average size
fish you can expect to catch? Is there
a chance for a trophy? Or is the place
overrun with tiny, stunted, aggressive
fish that will steal your bait and leave
you wishing you’d stayed home?
As usual, Dave Genz has spent
years thinking about this and has formulated a solid plan that he uses when
deciding where to go. Also as usual,
he wants to give the plan to you, so
you stand a better chance of catching
what you go after.

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

Finding Good Lakes

48

To begin with, says Genz, you
have to keep in mind that lakes are
living, breathing, changing, evolving.
And you don’t have to wait a generation to see complete reversals of
fortune, particularly when it comes to
‘good’ lakes becoming heaping bowls
of frustration.
“Even lakes that were good two
years ago,” he says, “might not be
good right now.”
There are multiple factors at play,
some natural, some delivered by the
hands of man.
To start with, consider the size of
the lake. As you might expect, bigger
lakes stand up to fishing pressure better than smaller lakes, all other things
being equal. And they tend to be less
vulnerable to natural factors.
“If you have the choice,” says
Genz, “start by looking at lakes that
are maybe 3,000 to 5,000 acres. The
shape and physical makeup (relative
complexity of structural elements) is
an important consideration as well.
“With a lot of those small, round lakes
that don’t have many features,” says
Dave, “the size of the fish has been
fished down. They’re full of stunted
fish and they’ll never come back unless there’s a freeze-out.”
Don’t forget the freeze-out factor.
We’ll come back to it.
When he’s looking through a
stack of contour lake maps, one of the
important considerations for Genz is
this: “I look for lakes that are irregular
in shape, meaning there are lots of
bays. Those lakes are more likely to
hold bigger fish. Those are the places
you can go and continually catch nicer

How do you know whether any given lake, much less an area on that lake,
is worth your time? It takes effort to drill holes and your fishing time is
precious. Dave Genz, shown holding up a dandy walleye, spills the beans on his
personal system for narrowing down lake choices. davegenz.com photo
fish year after year. They have havens
that don’t get bothered.”
Water clarity is another factor.
Stained or dirty water systems tend to
have good fishing at midday, making
those lakes easier to fish, making it
more likely that a high percentage of
big fish get caught. When big fish get
caught out of smaller lakes, they tend
to go home in people’s buckets, and
that impacts the quality of fishing in
short order.
“The clearer the water,” says
Dave, “the harder those fish are to
catch. That makes a difference. If
people get frustrated trying to catch
the nice fish, and they can go to a
dirtier-water lake and have better fishing, guess where they’re going to go?
So the clear-water lakes can produce
nice fish more consistently, if you
know how to fish them.”

Partial Freeze-Outs

How could something that’s considered a bad thing become a good thing?
If freeze-outs kill fish, how could they
be beneficial to a lake? It’s all in the
severity, according to the Genz theory,
and the net impact.
“We know that a lake can only
hold so many pounds of fish per acre,”
Dave says. “Let’s say you have a relatively small lake with nice fish in it.

The word gets out, lots of people are
on the ice, and most of the big fish go
home in people’s buckets. It doesn’t
take long for the size structure to be
out of whack, for the lake to be full of
small fish.
“The pounds-per-acre are there,
but the size isn’t. If you could kill half
the fish in that lake, all the remaining
fish could grow twice as big. But if
you keep taking all the big ones out,
the little ones don’t have enough to
eat, and they tend to stay small.”
This is the classic problem of
stunting, which occurs in panfish
populations and with species such as
northern pike as well. “Once a lake
gets like that,” says Genz, “it won’t
change unless something happens to
remove a huge number of those small
fish.”
Enter the ‘partial freeze-out’ factor, something you won’t hear about
but Genz believes is a huge deal when
it comes to helping lakes make a
comeback.
“In observing which lakes consistently produce nice fish,” says Dave,
“I believe a partial freeze-out can be
responsible for that.”
A freeze-out occurs when oxygen
levels in an iced-over lake go low
enough to wipe out most or all of the
fish. Freeze-outs take place most often

in small, shallow lakes that develop
thick ice and snow cover, which
remains for more than about a month.
Oxygen-producing sunlight is snuffed
out long enough that massive fish dieoffs occur. Total freeze-outs, if they
are followed by restocking, can result
in excellent fishing until the balance
of fish sizes is again impacted, usually
by fishing pressure. But a lake that
goes through partial freeze-outs on a
fairly regular basis, Genz theorizes,
regulates fish size naturally and the
result is good fishing that goes on and
on and on.
Small lakes of fairly uniform
shallow depth are vulnerable to total
freeze-outs. Larger lakes with complex features, including both shallow
sections and deeper water that can
sustain life under potential freeze-out
conditions, can go through partial
freeze-outs that reset the lake in terms
of fish size.
“It has to happen,” maintains
Genz. “After the oxygen levels start
to get to the danger point, there’s no
way all the fish in the lake could swim
out to one area. So a lot of small fish
get trapped in the shallow bays and
die, but other fish survive and have a
chance to grow big.
“You can have a lake that’s full of
small pike and small panfish, and the
pike are in the shallow bays chasing
these panfish. They’re not all smart
enough to swim into the main lake
once the oxygen levels drop. Some do,
especially if they’re out on the edges.
But they don’t all make it. It’s genetic
straining. I’ve been on big shallow
bays where you drill a hole and minnows come up in the hole, showing
that they were all up sucking air at the
surface. They didn’t know enough to
swim out through the channel and into
the main lake.”
Choosing the right lake comes
down to fishing hard, being observant,
and watching for conditions that can
cause partial freeze-outs. Then, checking lakes that are candidates, based on
their physical makeup, to have gone
through a size restructuring.
“Everybody has a more consistent lake,” says Genz, “that you go to
because it has nicer fish in it. Finding
those lakes is what our system is all
about.”
Dave Genz, known as Mr. Ice
Fishing, was the primary driver of
the modern ice fishing revolution. He
has been enshrined in the National
Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame
and Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame
for his contributions to the sport. For
more fishing tips and to order his new
info-packed book, Ice Revolution, go
to www.davegenz.com.n

Novi, Michigan–Detroit Market

FEB 27-MAR 2, 2014

February 26- March 1

Produced
by ShowSpan
Novi, Michigan–Detroit Market

SHOW
PLACE

96

GRAND

10 MILE RD.

RIVER

AVE.

Suburban Collection Showplace
Grand River One Mile West of Novi Road

outdoorama.com

MAGT

Special Bonus!

Thursday Feb 26 3pm-9:30pm
Friday
Feb 27 12pm-9:30pm
Saturday* Feb 28 10am-9pm
Sunday* Mar 1 10am-5pm
*Coupon not valid Saturday or Sunday

EXIT
162

TWELVE
OAKS MALL

NOVI RD .

Adults $10; Children (6-14) $4; 5 & Under Free

Celebrating Michigan’s Great Outdoors!

FREE Crossover Admission to

12 MILE RD .
EXIT
160

BECK RD.

$2
OFF

Present this coupon at the box office for $2 Off
1 Regular Weekly Adult Admission. Coupon good
Thursday & Friday only. Not good with any other coupon.

8th Annual

Cottage &
Lakefront Living Show
- Detroit™
Suburban Collection Showplace
novicottageShow.com

FEB 26-MAR 1, 2015
with Paid Admission to Outdoorama

OUTDOORAMA • NOVI
SPECIAL PULL OUT

Celebrating Michigan’s Great Outdoors!

Boat Supermarket!
The best place to buy a boat!
Boat LineS!

OUTDOORAMA • NOVI
SPECIAL PULL OUT

Alumacraft
Apex
Bayliner
Bennington
Bentley Pontoons
Berkshire Pontoons
Biscayne Bay
Pontoons
Calabria
Crest Pontoons
Crestliner
Crownline
Excel
Fincraft
Fish Rite
Gator Trax Boats
Glastron
G3
Harris Deckboats
Headwater
Larson
Lowe
Lund Boats
Manitou Pontoons
Mirrocraft

Misty Harbor
Pontoons
Nitro Bass Boats
Polarcraft
Premier Pontoons
Ranger
Sea Swirl
Smokercraft
South Bay
Starcraft
Stingray Boats
Stratos
Sun Chaser
Pontoons
Suncatcher
Sweetwater
Pontoons
Sylvan Fishing Boats
Sylvan Pontoons
Tracker Fishing
Boats
Trophy
War Eagle
Yamaha Jet Boats
Yamaha PWC
And More!

deaLerS!
Anderson Boat Sales
Bee’s Sports
Chapman’s Sport
Center
Freeway Sports Center
Grand Pointe Marina
Wilson Marine
Wonderland Marine West

hunting,
Sporting
& fiShing
gear!
Take advantage of
Outdoorama only specials!

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

Schedules & Details: www.Outdoorama.com

SeminarS at the
hunting & fiShing academy

MARK ROMANACK
WALLEYE FISHING

MIKE SCHULTZ
FLY FISHING

WAYNE CARPENTER
BASS FISHING

RAMSEY DOWGIALLO
BOUNDARY WATERS

JASON HERBERT
DEER HUNTING

BIG BUCK
NIGHT
THURSDAY NIGHT ONLY

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.

ED SPINNAZOLA
FOOD PLOTS

TIM ANDRUS
DEER HUNTING

FRED ABBAS
DEER HUNTING

TONY LA PRATT
LAND MANAGEMENT

MARVELOUS MUTTS
The Marvelous Mutts, A Canine Spectacular, is a thrilling
dog sport entertainment show that showcases some
of the world’s 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 faces…after they pick their
jaws up off the ground!
The Marvelous Mutts team members have appeared on ESPN’s 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

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

BRING YOUR DEER
ANTLERS TO THE
SHOW AHD HAVE
THEM SCORED!
You can display them for all to see on the
buck boards for the duration of the show!

Schedules & Details: www.Outdoorama.com

FOLLOW US ON
FACEBOOK &
TWITTER!

OUTDOORAMA • NOVI
SPECIAL PULL OUT

MARK MARTIN
WALLEYE FISHING

SpeciaL featureS
ANTIQUE & CLASSIC FISHING TACKLE

VIRTUAL FISHING
SIMULATOR

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.

Presented by Michigan Charter Boat
Association
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.

COMMEMORATIVE
BUCKS OF MICHIGAN
Commemorative Bucks of Michigan will be
at the show to score your deer, turkey, bear
and elk. They will also have Boone and
Crockett / Pope and Young measurers to
assist you. Bring your trophies to Booth 5268 and have
them scored while you enjoy the show.

PREMIER ANIMAL
ATTRACTIONS
Premier Animal Attractions is a federally
licensed, family owned, private zoo located in
Michigan. They will be at the show with some of
their exotic animals! The animals are obtained
through a variety of ways including rescue,
breeding programs, donation and zoo surplus.

VINTAGE BOATS & OUTBOARD
MOTORS

OUTDOORAMA • NOVI
SPECIAL PULL OUT

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 www.boatrestorations.com.

JET SKI SIMULATOR
Be among the first to experience the ODNR
Division of Watercraft’s new custommade, state-of-the-art Personal Watercraft
Simulator. Designed to be as realistic as
possible, the simulator immerses the rider
in a virtual on-the-water experience. Riders will experience wind and waves while
navigating the personal watercraft through an exciting obstacle course

TROUT POND
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 state’s best trout ponds. It only costs $5
to give it a try.

PELLET SHOOTING
RANGE
A Pellet Shooting Range will thrill plinkers
and shooters of all ages. Certified instructors
teach accuracy and safety.

FLY FISHING AREA

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.

SPORTSMEN’S GRILL
A large dining area has been designated as the site of the Sportsmen’s 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.

NEW KIDS ARCHERY RANGE
Presented by the Michigan Bow Hunters

TEAM MOREL
MUSHROOM
SEMINARS
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
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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, Michigan’s premier outdoor
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Trail camera
T

he woods are bare of leaves and I
can’t imagine any bucks making
it through the long gun season.
However, years of hunting these
grounds have taught me better. Some
of those giants have found hiding
spots nearby and became survivors.
To locate those survivors I have deployed several trail cameras across the
property. As I sneak into the woods
to pull a few camera cards I wonder
if I found one of them. The
anticipation of those pictures
has gotten me excited.
In the last decade trail
camera technology has been
one of the fastest growing
fields. Locating bucks that
have survived the season is
becoming easier as trail camera technology continues
to advance. As cameras
improve, the new technology is continually changing the
way hunters use them in the field.
With a variety of cameras available, it is important to understand
the differences and how they can aid
in different situations. A majority of

the cameras are run by simply writing files onto SD cards. Then there
are a variety of wireless types which
include remote transmitters, camera’s
utilizing a local Wi-Fi network and
complete cellular unit.

Standard Trail Camera

The majority of trail cameras simply write pictures onto a portable SD
card. These are practical trail cameras
that come with the most utilized features. This has been
the standard for most trail
cameras in the last decade.
Because these are the norm,
there are dozens of manufacturers and trail cameras that
range in features, functionalities, and price points. These
cameras are often the
least expensive of the
bunch.
The complication of using traditional SD trail cameras is the camera
only writes pictures to the SD card on
the trail camera. This means a visit
to the trail camera site is required to
gather data. However, frequent visits

By Brian Miller

Before purchasing your next trail camera, make sure to review the options to
understand which trail camera fits your specific needs. Author photo
to your trail camera often cause more
damage than help.
An SD trail camera is great for
locations that are easy to gather cards
such as field edges, travel routes to
tree stand and other low impact situations. In addition, they are ideal for
gathering data, long term information
such as understanding local travel
patterns, identifying buck potential,
and gather location about deer herds.
These trail cameras are great because
they are economical and hunters can
afford to purchase several to really
give them a great arsenal. They fall
short when immediate data is needed
and for far away hunting locations.

consistently are looking for a network.
However, it offers a less expensive
way to transmit photos. Wireless utilizes different cellular networks with
some trail cameras only using specific
cellular carriers. It is important to
carefully assess those carriers before
selecting a trail camera.
Wireless options should be utilized
when you want the convenience of
immediate data, hunting property out
of state, or setup in areas that require a
low impact approach.
A huge benefit to immediate data
is the knowledge of when to move in
to hunt a specific area. If you know
a buck entered his bedroom in the
morning, an afternoon setup could be
perfect. Also the opportunity to know
bucks have begun daylight movement
is important knowledge. The largUtilizing remote transmitters allows a hunter to put down several trail est drawback to wireless units is the
ongoing cost to a vender service or
cameras on one property and each
trail camera transmits pictures to one cellular package.
receiver. The receiver can be centrally
located in a location that can be easy
Understanding the types of trail
to access. These are the ideal solution
cameras
available will allow a hunter
to manage a property without disturbto
understand
his options. Progressing the core of the hunting locations.
ing
from
standard
SD trail cameras,
Most allow each trail camera setting
remote
transmitters,
and wireless both
to be modified, monitor battery life,
have
advantages
and
disadvantages. In
and view and delete photos from one
location. Utilizing a remote transmit- addition, the price steadily increases
for both the trail camera and data
ter has some limitations on distance.
transmitted wirelessly.
Remote transmitters often limit
Standard SD trail cameras are
the speed that a trail camera recovers
great
for standard utilization. In many
between shots. They are great if you
locations
these trail cameras are
are near a property but don’t want
perfect
for
the utilization. There is no
to disturb it to recover an SD card.
need
for
more
because the cameras
They offer great trail camera security
are used to gather deer herd informabecause pictures are stored remotely
on the receiver. Therefore if you have tion. Wireless transmitters are very
convenient to manage a property with
trail camera theft, they are great to
one transmitter. This offers a low
help resolve the problem.
impact approach while saving time
in the field checking individual trail
cameras. Lastly the wireless option
Wireless trail cameras allow a
is perfect for out of state or extreme
hunter to access photos anywhere,
hunters looking for immediate inforanytime. These trail cameras utilize
mation. Before purchasing your next
either a local Wi-Fi network or cellular signal to transmit photos. When trail camera, make sure to review the
options to understand which trail camreviewing those utilizing Wi-Fi it often drains the battery life because they era fits your specific needs.n

Remote Transmitter
Trail Camera

Wireless Trail Camera

Wireless trail cameras allow a hunter to access photos anywhere and at any
time. Author photo

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

In Conclusion

53

Great Lakes Insights...By Dave Mull

Torpedoes for Trolling

I

t was a hot, hot August afternoon
and Lake Michigan could have
been vast expanse of oil for its
motionless surface. I motored the
21-foot Starcraft center console
out of the Galien River at New
Buffalo with little hope of catching
a fish for my niece, Zoe, visiting us
from California and on her first ever
Lake Michigan fishing trip.
The word was that lake trout had
provided the only action as of late,
and you had to go out to at least 100
feet of water and fish right on the
bottom to catch any. To add to my
concerns, only one of my two Cannon
downriggers was operational—two
days before, my good buddy Jake,
something of a gorilla of a fellow, had
wrenched off the male contacts of the
plug trying to unplug it.
The saying is that everything happens for a reason, and Jake’s muscle
led me directly to trying a Torpedo
Diver for the first time. Boy, am I
grateful for Jake.
Torpedo inventor Matthew Sawrie
of New London, Ontario had given
me a few of these weights at a sport
show the winter before. I had dutifully stowed them aboard my boat
that spring, and there they sat, despite
impressive videos I’d seen at the
show of how well these delivery apparatuses worked. They are basically
a super hydrodynamic snap weight
that can take your lures deep with
minimal water resistance.

With lakers the target, I put my
operational starboard-side downrigger down with a “beer can” dodger
(the burnished silver that LuhrJensen called “Silver Glow”) in front
of a green crinkle T’s Fly, and then
clipped an identical dodger/fly set up
to the end of a 20-pound monofilament leader on my wire dipsy rod.
The Torpedoes come in four sizes, so
I selected the largest, called a Cuda,
weighing about 12 ounces, and hung
it with a Church clamp release on the
seven-strand wire about 8 feet in front
of the dodger. Setting the trolling
speed at a lazy laker pace of 2.0 mph,
I lowered the Torpedo to the bottom,
holding the 7-foot Shimano rollerguide rod and thumbing the Tekota
600 reel. I let it hit once, then once
again, engaged the reel and set the
rod in a holder, pointing perpendicularly away from the boat’s side. With
just 12 ounces in front of a waterresistant dodger, it was about 50 feet
farther back behind the boat than the
10-pound, round cannonball weight
on the downrigger. To hit bottom in
100 feet of water with the dodger
behind, I needed about 260 feet of
line out.
It didn’t take long before the rod
buckled and the reel belched a bit
of drag. Fish on! Zoe reeled in an
8-pound laker and Uncle Dave was a
hero. It was the first of three fish—all
lakers—that afternoon, and all caught
behind the Torpedo. The trip not only

made Zoe happy, it got me to start
looking at Torpedoes with more respect and to start incorporating them a
lot more into my salmon spreads.
That all happened seven years ago
and since then, I’ve used Torpedoes
for several different presentations and
feel they can be a valuable asset in
any trolling arsenal.
One of my favorite setups is the
4-ounce Shark Torpedo on a 6-foot
Fenwick line-counter rod (yes, the
counter is basically the lowest guide),
with a small 4600 Abu reel spooled
with 15-pound test Spiderwire. When
steelhead are cruising a thermocline
that is around 40 to 50 feet down,
this is the most fun rod on the boat.
According to the chart that’s included
with each weight, at 2.6 mph, the
4-ounce Shark needs 186 feet of
line out to get down 40 feet. This
makes it a great “chute rod” to run in
the middle of the spread. It’s easily
cleared when a fish hits another rod,
and when a steelhead hits a spoon on
the little line-counter rod, it is truly
“game on.” Imagine tussling with an
11-pound angry steelhead—a torpedo
in its own right—on a 6-foot rod and
light line. It is pure fun.
Here’s a rundown of other places
you can deploy Torpedoes effectively:
• When you’re on a strong king
bite early in the morning and they’re
hammering your diver rods but the
action tails off, replace the diver with
a Torpedo and let the lure out farther

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The Torpedo Diver is a troller’s tool
providing a simple method of lowering
fishing line to precision depths.
behind the boat. This stealthier presentation with the same lure sometimes can keep taking fish throughout
the day.
• Tony Castle, a Minnesotan who
fishes Lake Michigan for salmon
at night, swears by a wire “Secret
Weapon Rig” (SWR) with a Torpedo.
This is just three colors (30 yards)
of lead core at the end of a wire line.
Clip the Torpedo on the wire ahead of
the lead, and you have the benefits of
flowing leadcore and the deep-probing ability of wire and the Torpedo.
Castle told me he actually “jigs”
with this presentation when pulling a
brightly glowing Moonshine spoon.
By speeding up, he lifts the Torpedo
and leadcore high in the water column, then he slows down and lets it
fall. Nighttime salmon can’t resist
and the presentation works in daylight
hours, too.
• Capt. Mark Chmura of Pier
Pressure Charters in Manistee likes
Shark weights in front of Silver
Horde plugs, run out on his big skiand-tether planer board system. The
weight is stealthy and delivers exacting depth control when the fish are in
less than 30 feet of water.
• Finally, my partner in Great
Lakes Angler Super Salmon Schools,
Dan Keating, deploys 12-ounce
Cudas in front of three colors of
leadcore—an SWR—and clips on
a Church Walleye Board for midday king salmon. This super stealthy
presentation can get down 100 feet
and more, well away from the boat,
surprising resting kings when the sun
is high.
Bottom line? Whether used as
a makeshift downrigger, a stealthy
replacement for a diver or just a really efficient weight to take shorter
lengths of copper line and lead core
way deep, Torpedoes are a tool that
every troller can use to catch more
fish. Learn more at
www.torpedodivers.com.n

Successful fall fish stocking season
creates additional angling opportunities
• Northern Lake Michigan, Southern Lake Michigan and Southern Lake
Huron Fisheries Management Units
stocked 35,521 fall fingerling walleye
weighing 2,653.9 pounds. These fish
were stocked at 32 sites in 16 trips.
In general, fish are reared in Michigan’s state fish hatcheries anywhere
from one month to one and a half
years before they are stocked.
The DNR welcomes visitors to its
state fish hatcheries and interpretative centers to witness first-hand the

fish-rearing process and to learn about
Michigan’s waters. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/hatcheries.
To find out if any fish were
stocked in your favorite fishing spot,
visit the DNR’s fish stocking database
at
www.michigandnr.com/fishstock/
As a reminder, fishing licenses do
NOT expire at the end of the calendar
year; they are valid through March
Last year the DNR planted over 22
31.n

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T

he Department of Natural
Resources today announced
the totals from its fall fishstocking efforts. The DNR’s
Fisheries Division stocked six different species, totaling more than
483,250 fish that weighed more than
8.8 tons. Fish were stocked at more
than 120 sites throughout the state.
“It was another outstanding fall
fish stocking season that will provide enhanced angling opportunities
throughout Michigan,” said DNR
acting Fish Production Manager Ed
Eisch. “When added to our successful
spring and summer stocking efforts,
that brings the total for 2014 to more
than 22 million fish put into Michigan’s waters.”
The number and type of fish
stocked varies by hatchery, as each
facility’s ability to rear fish differs
because of water supplies and temperature. In Michigan, there are six
state and three cooperative hatcheries
that work together to produce the species, strain and size of fish needed by
fisheries managers.
These fish must then be delivered
at a specific time and location for
stocking to ensure their success. Most
fish in Michigan are stocked in the
spring.
Fall fish stockings consisted of
brook trout, lake trout, rainbow trout,
steelhead, Atlantic salmon, walleye
and muskellunge.
• Marquette State Fish Hatchery stocked 49,980 fall fingerling
and adult brook and lake trout that
weighed 2,123 pounds. This hatchery
stocked a total of 49 locations in 18
trips.
• Thompson State Fish Hatchery
(near Manistique) stocked 66,913 fall
fingerling steelhead that weighed
1,611 pounds. This hatchery stocked a
total of four locations in three trips.
• Oden State Fish Hatchery (near
Petoskey) stocked 233,755 fall fingerling rainbow trout that weighed 4,208
pounds. This hatchery stocked a total
of 12 locations in four trips.
• Platte River State Fish Hatchery (near Honor) stocked 43,221 fall
fingerling Atlantic salmon weighing
1,522 pounds. All Atlantic salmon
were stocked into Torch Lake (Antrim
County) in a single trip.
• Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery
(near Kalamazoo) stocked 42,534
fall fingerling Great Lakes muskellunge, 1,510 fall fingerling northern
strain muskellunge and 37 Muskegon
strain walleye for a combined total of
4,950 pounds. The muskellunge were
stocked at 27 sites in 15 trips, and
walleye were stocked at two locations.
• The DNR’s cooperative hatchery at Lake Superior State University
produced 9,816 fall fingerling Atlantic
salmon weighing 606 pounds. These
fish were stocked in one trip at two
different locations on Torch Lake.

55

Dear Fish Diary...I like Michigan just fine!

Florida friends can keep the Sunshine State!

T

his is the time of year I begin to
get hate mail from my friends
in the south. What I mean is,
it’s mail I hate to get. It’s those
“rub it in your face” Facebook posts
that get to me the most. The constant
string of photos of them wearing
tee-shirts while hanging out at the
lake or on the beach in mid-January
or February. It’s the snide comments
like, “Does your face hurt up there?”
or, “sure is nice and WARM down
here.” Or better yet… “Just finished a
day’s fishing, man it feels good not to
have to drill a hole through 10-inches
of ice.”
Those relentless jabs seem to
come at really least opportunistic
moments. Like coming inside after
shoveling for three-hours, or during
an ice-storm, or after driving fivemph on the highway to get home after
work. I get the feeling they can’t help
themselves but to continue to watch
Michigan’s weather just so they can
poke insults every time it rains, snows
or freezes up here. I remember last
year after getting my power back and
finally being able to catch up on email
and my social networks. “Lights on
up there in Michigan yet? LOL, Hear

20th Annual

ya’ll can’t even get a flashlight battery
for a two state radius up there, hee hee
hee.” Yeah, real funny.
Last year I finally caved into all of
the pressure of my southern
friend’s inhospitable jabs and
took a trip down to the Sunshine State. I guess you could
say I’d had enough of the
snow, ice and wind. Yes, my
face did hurt. I was expecting
this paradise of palm trees,
lines of smiling happy faces
waving and welcoming you to the sunny
south. I was expecting a southern hospitality unmatched
by anywhere in the country. Boy was I
in for a shocker.
The drive down was my first blast
of reality. Why not fly you ask? How
much fishing and photo gear can you
actually take on a plane? I’m not
Jeremy Wade. Drivers in Florida are
insane. If you aren’t driving 80+mph,
you will be swallowed up in a flurry
of madness. If you are only driving
the speed limit, you will be passed on
the left and right and see more middle
fingers than you can count. Twice I
was passed on the shoulder of the road

while driving nearly 70. And yes, fingers were flying from both vehicles.
My good friend told me he had been
in three accidents in his first year and
a half of arriving in Florida,
and that he has at least one
close call a day. He’s changed
insurance companies four
times in that span. The good
news is that you get to drive
with your window down,
making the flying fingers
and obscenities much more
personal and you can
actually hear all the
nasties they are yelling at you. While here in Michigan,
we just learn to read lips and mostly
guess what they are yelling at us.
As far as the hospitality, lines of
smiling happy faces waving, I saw
none of that. I saw a breakfast restaurant that wanted to charge me an extra
$4 for two slices of toast that were
supposed to come with my breakfast.
A fast food restaurant that ripped me
off two hamburgers and accused me
of trying to get free hamburgers. A
ticked off manatee that tried to capsize
my son in a kayak. There were mobs
of angry people waiting in lines, an

By Ron St. Germain

inner city traffic system that was more
confusing than a Rubik’s cube, a toll
booth system so ridiculous you’d
think elementary school kids designed
it and more $8 hotdog stands than
seagulls.
Fishing you ask?
Well, all I heard from my friend
was how much he missed catching
walleye, perch, northern pike, salmon
and trout. How he missed the hardwoods, the peaceful, barren backcountry and the fresh smell of pine
in the air. How the Michigan fishing
regulations weren’t as complicated as
he originally thought until he started
fishing in Florida. How salt water has
ruined his gear many times over, not
to mention caused him extra work
on his boat. I pride myself on knowing all of our Michigan fish species, I
didn’t know half of those fish. I didn’t
know whether you could eat them or
not, whether they were legal or not,
and neither did my friend. So what the
heck are we doing?
I quickly got bored trying to catch
fish I couldn’t identify and soon found
myself too busy with my camera to
pay much attention to fishing, I was
like a kid in a candy store with all of

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the exotic photo opportunities in front
of me. “Oh look at that turtle sitting on that gator’s back. Ewww, big
white bird. What is this fish? I don’t
know.”
How about all that sunshine
they brag about. Well I’ve had skin
ailments and rashes since returning
home and I wasn’t even out in the
sun that much. My son broke out in
blisters like a grease and chocoholic
would worrying about a prom date. I
kept trying to find ways to get out of
the sun but there aren’t any freaking
trees and everyone is already hogging all the umbrellas. Best sit in the
truck with the air on or boil. Well this
is fun. Got to love a tropical paradise
where 50-angry people are all trying
to get shade from one lonely palm
tree.
And those sandy beaches? All
I found was a coast line of crushed
shells that cut the heck out of my feet.
Not the nice white sand I’m used to
in upper Michigan, not even close.
The drive home was worse than
the drive down. Five hours going
through Georgia and I had only traveled 60-miles. Most of the drivers
where ones who couldn’t wait to get
back to Michigan, and yes, I was
definitely one of them.
So this year as my hostile emails
and Facebook posts come storming in
from the south, I have a totally different perspective.

“Sure is warm down here.”
“Warm up here too, about to hit
35-degrees.”
“Just finished a day’s fishing, man
if feels good not to have to drill holes
through 10-inches of ice.”
“Just finished fishing here too, at
least I know what I caught, cooking
them now, gotta go.”
“Does your face hurt?”
“No, I haven’t been sunburnt
or flipped anyone off in over eight
months and my rash has finally
started to heal but thanks for asking.”
“Lights on up there in Michigan
yet?”
“Yup, and I turned the lights off in
Florida after I left.”

Fish-a-holic’s Wanted!!!
Don’t forget, I’m looking to
crown Michigan’s biggest fish-aholic. Send me your nominee’s short
story and photos of their living space,
anything that would show why this
person is a true fish-a-holic. Please
include the nominee and the submitter’s contact information, phone and
email. Deadline for submission is
February 1, 2015. Send either by
email to (DaPhotoDude@aol.com.)
or regular mail sent to Woods-N-Water News. Once I have read through
the submissions, I will take a few
of the best stories and write features
before crowning Michigan’s 2014

Hunting Since 1987

LLC.
7480 Germania Road • Ubly, Michigan 48475
Visit us on the Web: WWW.HUNTRR.COM

Eventually, the author found
himself spending more time
trying to capture exotic
photo opportunities than
catching things he didn’t
even know if he could eat or
not. Ron St. Germain photo

Fish-a-holic. The winner will receive
a year’s subscription to Woods-NWater News to add to their furniture






collection. And remember, I am
always looking for your funny and
unique fishing stories.n

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57

By Tricia Croney

F

Can women really ice fish without a man?

ishing has been a male
dominated sport for decades. But we all know
that is changing, more and
more women are stepping away
from the kitchen sink and picking
up weapons to hunt and rods to
fish.
But there is one arena you still
see very little female involvement,
and that is out on the ice.
Let me set the stage for the
remainder of this article; I have not
ice fished, EVER in my life. However, that will change this season.
I hope my curiosities and thirst for
adventure make for an invitation to
you the reader!
Ice fishing can add another dimension to your winter recreations,
and if this winter is anything like
last year another dimension of getting outside and not being cooped
up is a great thing!
Back to my take on it for a
second, I fished like a maniac last
summer. Wherever I could take
the opportunity to throw a line in
I did. Driving across Michigan
from shore to shore, if there was a
body of water in sight I wanted to
stop! The back of the truck had our

tackle boxes and rods which were
used more than the soccer ball that
was back there too!
Looking out at the water turning into ice every day, my kids and
I are so excited to explore the fish
that are in there. Our fishing is no
longer limited to the shore. But
with any new adventure comes selfdoubt and excuses, or what I like to
think of as ‘CURIOSITIES.’
Of course I looked up some
articles about women and ice fishing and found your typical, ‘women
can do it too,’ which is becoming
a little overused in my opinion.
Rather than do something to prove
a point how about we do something
because we are CURIOUS.
I will be the first one to admit
my curiosities; can I pull the equipment out there by myself? Did
I remember all of the necessary
equipment? Will I be able to set up
the shanty without any help? Can I
overcome the elements of weather
and enjoy this experience? Can
I drill the hole by myself? Most
importantly, what can I hook on the
end of this line?!
There is so much available today
that can make ice fishing accessible

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Lane Walker, Author of the Hometown Hunter 
series of books. 
 
"The Hunting Spirit is the second book from well‐
known Michigan storyteller Jerry Lambert. 
Reading these amazing stories immerses the 
reader in the essence of the hunt. It is no longer 
the kill but the moments that are most important to each hunter that Lambert 
captures. This is a must read for any hunter who dreams about big bucks, long 
beards or faraway hunting adventures." Brian Miller, Woods‐N‐Water News 
Contributor. 

to most anyone and a sport that can
be enjoyed by one’s self or in the
cozy company of a friend, child
or man. To answer that question,
“Can women really ice fish without
a man?” Only if she wants to!
As I sit here and write this article I am listening to the ice shifting and forming, what an amazing

COs seek information on moose poaching

Conservation officers with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources
are seeking information regarding the illegal killing of a bull moose that occurred in late November in Baraga County.
The moose carcass was discovered on Saturday, Dec. 13. Based on evidence
collected at the site, officers believe the moose was killed in late November
along Heart Lake Road near Petticoat Lake Road in the Three Lakes area.
Logging is occurring along the road and road hunting violations have been
reported in the area, according to officers involved in the investigation.
A cash reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and
conviction of the person or persons responsible. Anyone with information
related to this case, or any other fish, game or natural resources violation,
is asked to call the DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800; the
DNR’s Law Enforcement Division at the Marquette Customer Service Center
at 906-228-6561; or may report the information online at www.michigan.gov/
conservationofficers. Information may be left anonymously.
Michigan currently does not have a moose hunting season, and moose are
protected under state law. Penalties for poaching a moose include up to 90
days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000, restitution of $1,500, and a mandatory loss of all hunting privileges for four years.
For more information about the Upper Peninsula’s moose population, visit
www.michigan.gov/moose.

U LT I M AT E L A N D M A N A G E M E N T
ULTIMATE DEER FOOD PLOTS -- BOOK & DVD

$25

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

  “Jerry Lambert joins the circle of effective 
storytellers who keep the pages turning in the hands 
of the reader. He is a good hunter and a good writer. I 
highly recommend this book.” Jimmy Sites, Spiritual 
Outdoor Adventures TV 

58

“This is a volume that not only belongs on your 
outdoors bookshelf to read and reread in and out of 
deer season, but a second copy also should be kept at 
deer camp. It will certainly be in demand.” Betty 
Sodders, Woods‐N‐Water News contributor.  
 Order your copy at Amazon.com or 
jerrylambertoutdoors.com 

sound, not sure I am gonna like it
under my feet! But I look forward
to finding out!
I welcome your thoughts,
concerns and opinions (unless they
are going to be ‘facebook’ mean).
Also, if you have an interesting
story to share, email is
tricia@prettyhunter.comn

$35

Or call Ed at 586-784-8090
for more information.

Bump and run bluegills
else will help you increase the odds
of bringing home that fish dinner.
Your ice auger is equivalent to a
bow mount motor on open water. It
fter a rather warm
beginning of winter we allows the angler to quickly open
up 60 to 80 holes without having a
are finally venturing
out on the ice. Bearing heart attack, and pick up and move
as the school swims off. I use the
the cold temps for a
Pro 4 series Propane Ice Drill from
nice bluegill dinner is certainly on
many folks list this winter. Pan fish Jiffy and have for many years. I can
not possibly drill enough holes to
are a very tasty treat coming from
empty the one pound tank in a day
cold water, and there is also no
better time of year to eat crappie or of fishing even with help from my
buddies. Easy starts and plenty of
even pike for that matter. So, how
power is the key in drilling many
can one up the odds of bringing
holes.
home a nice mess of fish?
I drill holes in a figure eight
Fish like you’re in a boat.
pattern focusing on the 15 to 22
Think how we fish in the sumfoot range for bluegills and I like to
mer. We move, we change depths,
get near old weed beds if possible.
when we find fish that don’t bite
Any structure available will draw
we move again and find ones that
pan fish as they have some addido. Quite often anglers may find a
nice school of fish with lock jaw as tional defense from pike and bass
they may have just finished feeding as well as a little more oxygenated
when you sat on them or are just in water. Early in the morning I’ll
a negative mode. That doesn’t mean start out shallow and work deeper
all of the fish in the lake are doing as the morning progresses. Anglers
shouldn’t even pull their rods out
the same.
until they are marking fish. Drill
So how can we up the odds
when fishing the hard water? Drill 10 holes and check them with the
flasher.
lots of holes. Move until you find
An important point when using
the right school. Use a flasher.
flashers is to make sure the depth
These things more than anything

By Mark Sak

A

setting matches the depths being
fished. If the setting is set too deep
the flasher will transmit a signal
that really doesn’t match the depth
you are thinking you may be in or
may not show fish at all. As long
as the flasher is working right the
angler will notice an immediate and
better ability to see and hook fish.
Why?
Flashers are real time. They
show the bait falling and moving
in real time and the fish reaction to
the presentation. Seeing a big red
line moving away from the bait?
Better change the jigging style
or possibly even the entire bait.
I always try to have wax worms,
spikes, minnows and select rubber
baits as well as my secret weapon
the Goldenrod bug. These are found
out in open grasslands and are
inside the bulbs that wasps build
in the fall. They will out fish most
other baits two to one.
Being mobile on the ice is the
biggest factor in finding a good
sized school of biters this winter.
Being able to access these schools
quickly and seeing how they react
to your presentation will make your
ice fishing much more productive.
Stay active and baited up and you’ll

FR NT SIGHT

find more fish in your frying pan.
Be safe on the ice this year
as all ice has bad spots. Take the
necessary safety precautions and
hopefully I’ll see you on the water.
Good luck and great fishing.n

Friday, February 27, 2015

Don’t Miss It!

2:00 - 10:00 p.m. • $5.00 Admission
Outfitters, Exhibitors, Awards and Auction

Saturday, February 28, 2015

36th Annual
Awards & Hunter’s
Convention

Outfitters, Exhibitors, Banquet and Auction
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Registration
5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Dinner (reservations required)
6:00 - Close
Live Auction
For more information, contact Joe Mulders: (989) 450-8727
Partial list of live auction items:
Check our award winning website at: www.midmichigansci.org

Friday & Saturday, February 27 & 28, 2015
Soaring Eagle Casino • 6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Now with more room in the Entertainment Hall!

Outfitters from North and South America, Africa, Europe, Asia,
New Zealand and Australia
Trophy Animal Displays • Carvings • Artwork • Paintings
Big Game Hunts • Fishing Trips • Guns • Auctions
Games • Exhibitors
Sponsored by:

Safari Club International
Mid-Michigan Chapter

www.midmichigansci.org

• Wycon Safaris - Wynn Condict - Antelope Hunt in Wyoming
• Wycon Safaris - Wynn Condict - Archery Elk Hunt in Colorado (2)
• Hidden Horns Game Ranch - Brent Fisk - Howard City, MI - Whitetail
Deer Hunt
• Fish Hunt Charters - David James - Salmon Fishing on Lake Michigan
for Four
• Low’s Trophy Whitetails - Whitetail Deer Hunt - Falmouth, Michigan
• Hunt 180 Outdoors - Matt Wonser - Southeastern Kansas - Five Day
Whitetail Deer Hunt
• 14 KY Gold Sapphire (1.05 ctw) and Diamond (.12 ctw) earrings - see
picture
• Johan Pieterse Safaris - South Africa, 10 day hunt - Kudu, Blue
Wildebeest, Impala, Warthog
• Northern Adventures Guide Service - Two 1/2 day trips for Small
Mouth Bass - Traverse City Area
• Wild Spirit Guide Service - Dan Kirschner - Bobcat, Bear, and Wolf
Hunts in Michigan’s UP
• Hickory Creek Outfitters - Jeff Brondige - Whitetail Deer Hunt in
Kansas
• Hickory Creek Outfitters - Jeff Brondige - Coyotes/Bobcat Predator
Hunt in Kansas
• Jim Walker, Two 1/2 Day Fishing Trips for Small Mouth Bass on the
Tittabawassee River
• Lost Creek Outfitters - Greg “Griz” and Ginger Turner - Wyoming Big
Horn Basin, Mountain Lion Hunt
• Lost Creek Outfitters - Greg “Griz” and Ginger Turner - Wyoming
Horseback Wilderness Fishing Trip for Two
• Hepburn Lake Lodges - Arlee Thideman - Black Bear in Saskatchewan
• Hepburn Lake Lodges - Arlee Thideman - Black Bear and Fishing in
Saskatchewan
• Cascade Fur Salon, Cascade, Michigan - Fur Coat
• Hell’s Half Acre Outfitters - Ronnie Davis - Southern Oregon Coast
Roosevelt Elk Archery Hunt
• Hell’s Half Acre Outfitters - Ronnie Davis - Southern Oregon Coast
Rifle Columbia Blacktail Deer and Bear Hunt
• Hell’s Half Acre Outfitters - Ronnie Davis - Southern Oregon Coast
Black Bear Hunt
• Campeau Guiding - Alvin Campeau - South Saskatchewan - Coyote
Hunt for Two

www.midmichigansci.org

• Campeau Guiding - Alvin Campeau - Reservation, South
Saskatchewan, Trophy Whitetail Deer
• Campeau Guiding - Alvin Campeau - Carragana, Saskatchewan,
Trophy Whitetail Deer
• Lucky Lake Hunting Adventure - Garrett Tully - Saskatchewan,
Waterfowl and Upland Birds for Four Hunters
• Bell Wildlife Specialties - Daniel Bell - Harveyville, Kansas,
Eastern Wild Turkey Hunt for Four Hunters
• Bell Wildlife Specialties - Daniel Bell Harveyville, Kansas - Trophy Whitetail Deer
Hunt
• Whitrock Outfitters - Alaska - Brian Simpson Spring Grizzly or Brown Bear Hunt
• Timber Creek Outfitters - Tim Hockhalter Archery Elk in Wyoming
• Roger and Sherri Froling - Early Season Youth
Deer Hunt - Ionia, Michigan
• Roger and Sherri Froling - Buffalo Hunt Ionia, Michigan
• Roger and Sherri Froling - Spring Turkey Hunt Ionia, Michigan
• Ken Harrison of Burch Tank - Sailing Trip to Michigan’s Manitou
Island
• Ken Harrison of Burch Tank - 1/2 Day Lake Michigan Fishing Trip
for up to 4
• J & R Outfitters - Jamey O’Bannon - Trophy Axis Deer - Florida
• J & R Outfitters - Jamey O’Bannon - Asian or European Water
Buffalo - Florida
• Windy Ridge Outfitters - Nick Boley - Whitetail Deer Hunt in
Iowa
• Windy Ridge Outfitters - Nick Boley - Eastern Turkey Hunt in
Iowa
• Double D Outfitters - Craig Schell - Mule Deer Hunt in Montana
• Crosshairs Outfitters of Missouri - Mike Cowan - Whitetail Deer
Hunt
• Crosshairs Outfitters of Alaska - Mike Cowan - Dall Sheep Hunt
• Majestic Mountain Outfitters - Jeff Chadd - Montana - Antelope
Hunt
• Central Coastal Outfitters, Alfred Luis

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

Our Biggest Ever!

Page 6

The author drills holes in a figure
eight pattern near old weed beds.

Page 7

59

Bowhunting Is My Passion...By John Eberhart

2014; a good year

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

M

60

y 2014 season had started
out like gangbusters as I
took a HUGE perfectly
clean 10 point within
30 miles of home on the
October 1st bow opener.
His demise was a result of several
scouting methods I’ve typically either
shied away from, or didn’t think were
practical in heavily pressured areas.
Typically my hunting successes
have been a direct result of post season scouting and location preparation
and I rarely use motion cameras in
Michigan or scout out new locations
during pre-season. I heard about the
big buck through hearsay and it just
so happened to be on a small parcel I
hunted many years ago and quit hunting because I never saw a buck there
over 80 inches.
In mid-August I set up a couple
motion cameras to locate him and
confirm he was in fact, as big as he
was portrayed to be. The cameras confirmed his size and gave insights into
his feeding habits and were instrumental in locating his entry into his
bedding area. The pre-season procedures used to take that buck worked to
perfection and he was taken at 8:15 on
opening morning.
It’s so tough to take a mature buck
in Michigan that after opening day,
even though I had another buck tag,
the pressure I put on myself for the
Michigan season was over, anything
after would be icing on the cake.
It’s sort of strange that every year
I’ve taken a good buck early in the
season, descent bucks that I may have
taken had I not already filled my first
tag, became frequent opportunities.
My point is there have been seasons in
Michigan when I never saw a shooter,
but when I’ve filled my first tag early
and become somewhat choosy (not
this year of course) because the next
buck would finish my season, questionable shooters seemingly know it
and come out to mess with me.
During my pre-season speed tours
of my already prepared locations I had
checked for mast and fruit production at isolated oak and apple trees.
None of the apple trees had apples but
at three of my isolated oak locations
there were acorns. I’m not a fan of
burning out my rut-phase locations
during the October lull when mature
bucks in heavily pressured areas are
primarily nocturnal, so I left these
three pre-set oak locations alone until
the end of October pre-rut at which
time they would be my alternating go
to spots.
As always I leave the isolated area

alone until the rut phases plan worked
and on my first hunt to each of the
first two oak locations there were active scrapes beneath the oaks and at
the other there was an active scrape
lined runway along the tree line. The
first oak I hunted was a large white
oak located along the edge of a standing cornfield with a large field of tall
weeds and scattered brush behind me
and a huge marsh off to one corner.
There were four active scrapes below
the low hanging branches of the oak
and the ground was literally covered
in acorns.
This location was best suited for
evening hunts and on two consecutive
evenings a descent eight point came
out of the corn and passed at seven
yards without sniffing a licking branch
or working a scrape. Since he never
acknowledged the scrapes I assumed
there was a more dominant buck in
the area.
My reasoning for not hunting this
location the morning between the two
evening hunts were realized the next
morning during my two hour prior
to daybreak entry. While walking the
last 50 yards to the oak, I spooked a
buck that was staged nearby. The rut/
tarsal odor when I walked past where
he spooked from was very pungent
and was a telltale sign to me that he
was the dominant breeder buck I was
hunting for.
Primary scrape areas are made
at locations where there’s heavy doe
traffic and it’s common for a dominant
buck to stage in the immediate vicinity prior to daybreak and wait for does
to pass through to check for breeding
receptivity. This morning entry was a
perfect example of exactly that.
In another location there are three,
seemingly out of place, huge white
burr oaks on a dry hump island in a
marsh swamp. The primary make-up
of the relatively narrow (100 to 250
yards wide) yet miles long meandering marsh is tall weeds, an occasional
patch of cattails, short brush, standing
water, and the most winding creek
I’ve ever seen. This marsh is the areas
primary bedding area.
The center burr oak I perch myself
in didn’t have acorns, but the oaks
on either side did and they each had
scrapes below them and the brush in
the vicinity was tore up with rubs. In
the several years I’d hunted the oaks,
this was the first time I’d seen scrapes
as bucks typically don’t scrape in
damp or wet earth and that was the
make-up of soil below the oaks low
hanging branches.
The first morning in the burr oak

The author with his second 10-point of the archery season.
I had a gorgeous eight point come in
with a spike and feed on acorns for
half an hour. He worked two of the
scrapes and I guessed him at around
120 inches and passed on the perfectly
broadside, 18 yard shot.
The next day I sat all day and
around 11:30 am had a different mature eight point pass through sniffing
the ground. He had a larger body but
was not as well-endowed on the antler
side as the buck from the day before.
My plan was to come back and hunt
this location once more just prior
to gun season as gun hunters doing
their pre-season scouting and location
preparation in the timber on either
side of the marsh would push bucks
into this perfect, secure bedding and
transition zone.
I held out on hunting the tree line
location until last for two reasons. It
was nearly 150 miles farther north of
the other two locations and statistically bucks up north tend to be smaller
and grow less bone compared to a
same aged buck in southern Michigan. I also knew of at least two other
bowhunters that had location set-ups
within 100 yards of mine, but had no
clue as to how frequently or even if

they had hunted them.
My tree line location is in a red
oak located along the edge of a stand
of mature timber and the interior of
the timber has understudy in it that’s
suitable for deer to bed in. There’s a
22 yard wide buffer of tall weeds separating the tree line edge from what
was a standing cornfield. The tree line
is made up of mature red oaks and soft
maples and about 10 yards into the tall
weeds was the scrape lined runway
and it paralleled the tree line. Every
single branch along the runway that
hung low enough to be utilized as a
licking branch was, and beneath each
was an active scrape.
My first evening hunt was quite
action packed as I began seeing deer
before being totally situated. Fortunately my 32 foot height up the tree
combined with some remaining leaves
in the tree allowed me to slowly finish
my dressing in the tree routine without getting picked.
Deer just kept appearing from
everywhere but primarily from the
standing corn. By the end of the hunt
I had seen 15 does and fawns, a spike,
four point, five point, 1 ½ year old
eight point, and a huge bodied, small

The buck I had just seen was larger
than the eight point I had seen before,
so do I leave my gear in the tree and
come back or freelance and go in and
set-up at the scrape the buck worked
and hope for the best, knowing my
odds of getting picked would be high.
There’s one relatively consistent
pattern to scrape hunting during the
rut phases. Whenever you see a mature buck work a scrape in the morning, unless they hook-up with a hot
doe during the day, they will likely
return to the scrape in the evening to
check it for doe activity. Although I
pondered the situation as if there was
actually a choice, my decision was
made immediately after watching him
disappear into the marsh. In situations
like these; they don’t come to you,
you have to go pursue them.
I skipped the nap because I wanted to
get in as early in the afternoon as possible to prepare a tree as quietly and
slowly as possible so as not spook
anything that may be bedded nearby
or to work up a sweat. Shortly after
one with a freelance fanny pack full
of Cranford steps, wearing a Scent
Lok suit so as not to leave odor, and
carrying my hunting gear, I headed
out.
There wasn’t much wind that
afternoon and as quietly as possible I
worked my way down the cornfields
edge. At one point I stepped on and
snapped a twig and of course thought
the world had just come to an end. I
was quite sure the buck was bedded
in the marsh, but had no clue as to
how far in and whether the snap got
his attention. Most hunter’s, including myself, usually think the worst
case scenario about mishaps, but after
mumbling a few choice profanities to
myself I continued on.
Once where the buck came out of
the corn I walked the several yards
through the buffer of weeds and lo
and behold, less than 10 yards from
the largest tree, was three active
scrapes and several rubs. This was in

During seasons when the crop field is in beans or once the corn is picked, the
large marsh is the area’s primary bedding area. Author photos

The author took this dandy buck on the opening day of the archery season!
fact a new primary scrape area as it
was not there during my post season
scouting venture the previous April
after the snow melted.
The large tree was perfect for a
set-up as it; was close to the scrapes,
didn’t require any shooting lane clearing, was tall enough for a 25 foot
high set-up, was large enough diameter to allow me to cling to it in my
sling to the point that from a deer’s
perspective I would be part of it. After nearly an hour and a half of sloth
speed tree preparation and get ready
motion I was hanging securely in my
sling in the ready to kill position. The
scrapes were directly to my left, the
marsh was behind me, and the narrow
weed buffer and standing corn were
in front of me.
My only issue was that I needed
to remain as motionless as possible
due to no background cover, and
couldn’t watch over the marsh to see
what may be coming so I could be
more prepared if and when it did. Oh
well, it’s pretty rare when all hunting
situations are perfect and this would
be a fly by the seat of my butt, ‘Hail
Mary’ hunt anyway. Until around five
the only thing I saw was the tops of
a few cornstalks moving around as
deer were munching corn from their
attached ears.
I can’t even begin to explain to a
non-hunter how gratifying it is to just
sit and watch nature as it flows. I really feel sorry for anti-hunter environmentalists that make feeble attempts
in trying to intelligently talk about
how hunting hurts the ecosystem
when in deep reality, they never witness nature as hunters do, nor do they
put the dollars towards the protective
management of wildlife as we do
with our license fees and conservation club contributions.
Anyway, a little after five something I didn’t expect happened. Out
of a woodlot more than 200 yards
away stepped the buck I had seen that
morning and he was making a beeline

towards the nearby scrapes. Once at
the corn he continued through the
narrow buffer of weeds as if on a
mission. He came in and immediately
began working the farthest scrape
which was a mere 10 yards distance.
I had already lifted my Mathew’s
Conquest off its hanger and was at
full draw. He was quartering about 45
degrees towards me and if he stopped
and went to his right, within a few
feet I wouldn’t have a shot, so I let
my Carbon Express arrow fly.
The hit looked good and I
watched as he ran into the marsh. After about 80 yards he stopped and laid
down for not more than two seconds
before getting up and slowly walking
out of sight. That’s kind of strange
behavior for what I thought was a
double lung shot deer, but I was confident he wouldn’t go much farther
before lying down permanently.
I slowly began my descent and by
the time the steps were removed and
some of my clothing was taken off
for the recovery search, a half hour
had elapsed. From the location the
buck laid down he only went another
40 yards.
Upon lifting his head from the
weeds, I counted 10 typical points.
My 2014 Michigan season, as far as
bucks were concerned, was now
over and my next bowhunting
adventure would start on November
16 when I would leave for a Kansas
hunt with my son Jon and Bryan
Schupbach.
John Eberhart is an accomplished
big-buck bowhunter that specializes in heavy consequential hunting
pressure areas with 25 bucks listed in
CBM’s recordbook from 10 different
counties. John produced a 3 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

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

but heavy antlered six point. The six
point was at least 3 ½ years old and
was just peaked out in antler growth.
He was definitely one of the areas
dominant bucks as whenever he so
much as moved towards another
buck, they backed away.
None of the bucks worked a
scrape but the big six chased a
particular hot doe all evening, going
primarily in and out of the corn. It
was the most deer I’ve seen on a hunt
in Michigan in many years. Leaving
my hunting gear in the tree, I came
back the next morning and saw pretty
much all the same deer, other than the
big six.
On the morning of November 13 I
was back downstate in the big white
oak along the cornfield and was surprised to see the corn still standing.
This time my entry went undetected.
My plan was to hunt the morning,
leave my gear in the tree, go take a
nap and return that evening, spend the
night at a friend’s and hunt all-day on
the 14 in the burr oak location which
was about 40 miles west of this location.
Shortly after daybreak, about 150
yards down the field’s edge I caught
sight of a good buck leaving the corn
and moving through a narrow buffer of weeds that connected the crop
field to a marsh consisting of tall
weeds and scattered brush. During
seasons when the crop field is in
beans or once the corn is picked, the
large marsh is the areas primary bedding area. There’s a narrow tree line
along the marshes edge and the buck
stopped under one of the trees and
worked what was obviously a scrape
and its overhanging licking branch. I
had never set-up a location in those
trees as they seemed too small and
had no background concealment
cover once the leaves fell.
The remainder of the morning’s
hunt was uneventful and although
that location was best suited for evening hunts, I had a decision to make.

61

SHIAWASSEE
COUNTY
PHEASANTS
FOREVER
CHAPTER 399

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FEBRUARY 21, 2015

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Baker College Welcome Center 1309 M-52, Owosso, MI

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ODDS 1 IN 39!

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

1. 2014 Polaris Sportsman 570 EPS Camo

62

2. Browning Silver Camo 12ga 31⁄2”
3. Glock Mod 23 40 S&W Pistol
4. Weatherby Vanguard 223
5. Mossberg 835 12ga 31⁄2”
6. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
7. Ruger Super Red Hawk 44Mag Pistol
8. H&R Ultra Slug 12ga
9. Remington SPR 210 Side-by-Side 12ga
10. Weatherby PA-08 12ga Pump
11. NEF Pardner Pump 12ga
12. Henry Golden Boy 22
13. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
14. Browning Buckmark 22 Pistol
15. Remington Single 20ga
16. Taurus 38 Special Pistol
17. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
18. Mossberg 702 22LR
19. Akkar 300 Yth 20ga
20. Weatherby PA-08 12ga Pump
21. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
22. Smith & Wesson 9VE 9mm Pistol
23. Benelli Nova 12ga Max 4
24. Mossberg 817-17HMR
Chrome & Walnut
25. Ruger American 22WMR
26. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
27. Weatherby PA-08 12ga Pump
28. Mossberg Silver Reserve 20ga
29. Taurus Judge 410/44 Pistol
30. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
31. Remington Semi-Auto 11-87 20ga
32. NEF Pardner Pump 12ga
33. Mossberg 500 Field/Deer 12ga
34. Weatherby PC-108 12ga Pump
35. Tristar Viper 20ga
36. Weatherby Vanguard 300
37. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw

38. Savage 111 FXP 7mm Rem Mag
39. Smith 7 Wesson 9VE 9mm Pistol
40. Henry H001 22 LR
41. Remington Single 12ga
42. Weatherby PA-08 12ga Pump
43. Ruger American A-Bolt 270
44. Kimber Ult. Carry 11-45 Cal Pistol
45. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
46. Savage Axis 243
47. Ruger American 30-06
48. Browning BPS 12ga Shotgun
49. Remington 870 20ga
50. Marlin 336w 30-30
51. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
52. Weatherby PA-10812ga Pump
53. H&R Ultra Slug 20ga
54. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
55. Mossberg 500 Field/Deer 12ga
56. Ten point Crossbow Package
57. Weatherby PA-08 12ga Pump
58. Benelli Nova 12ga
59. Henry H001
60. Smith & Wesson 9VE 9mm Pistol
61. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
62. Ruger 10/22 22LR
63. NEF Pardner Pump 12ga
64. Weatherby PA-08 12ga Pump
65. Mossberg 500 Vent Rib 12ga
66. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
67. Remington SPR 310 O/U 12ga
68. Savage Model 93 17HMR
69. Browning A-BOLT 12ga
70. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
71. Weatherby PA-08 12ga Pump
72. Tristar Hunter EC O/U 20ga
73. Savage 93F 22WMR
74. Smith 7 Wesson MP15-22 22LR

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to substitute guns of similar value in case of unavailability.

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75. Ruger Red Label 12ga
76. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
77. Mossberg 100 ATR 30-06
78. Thompson Center Encore 45/70
79. Ruger LCP 380 Pistol
80. H&R Ultra Slugger 12ga
81. Mossberg 50 Field/Deer 12ga
82. Browning Gold Semi Auto 12ga
83. NEF Pardner Pump 2ga
84. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
85. Weatherby PA-08 12ga Pump
86. Savage 111 FXP 270
87. Ruger LCP 380 Pistol
88. Remington Single 20ga
89. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
90. Mossberg 500 .410 Pump
91. Henry Golden Boy 44
92. Browning buckmark Pistol
93. Remington Single 12ga
94. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
95. H&R Ultra Slugger 20ga
96. Ruger GP-100 357 Pistol
97. Tristar Setter o/U 12ga
98. Benelli Nova Camo 12ga
99. Savage axis 270
100. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
101. Savage Model 93 17HMR
102. Ten Point Crossbow Package
103. Weatherby PA-08 12ga Pump
104. Savage 111 FX 300 WIN MAG
105. Taurus Judge 45-410 Pistol
106. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
107. Ruger M77-7mm-08
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110. Stihl MS 180 CBE w/16” Saw
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MyThoughts -- My Views...By Len Jenkins

There are more
pheasants in Detroit
Ecological Succession Lessons

M

an has the ability to alter his
physical world to suit his
economic, social, cultural,
and industrial needs and has
been doing so for thousands
of years. By the same token, nature
has been trying to reclaim for herself
all those areas man had transformed
to meet his needs. In the beginning,
the natural climax vegetation was
cleared away. In the case of Southern
Michigan, vast areas of beech, maple,
and oak forests were cut; valuable
hardwood was merely burned in order
to get rid of it quickly. Huge stumps
were then pulled and burned in order
to make the land suitable for agriculture.
While man cultivated the land for
crops, a new ecosystem was formed
and the land was productive. In areas
where he stopped active cultivation,
ecological succession followed and
the land was gradually reclaimed by
weeds, brush, bramble, and small
trees. Much of this cleared land
reverted to forests and today most of
the woodlands in Southern Michigan are second-growth forests lands
which will ultimately revert back
to the climax vegetation. There is
never a break in the cycle. Nature
will reclaim the land according to the
ecological principles we see at work
today in uncultivated farm fields, rail
road right-of-ways, and roads. We
also see this process at work in the
city of Detroit and in other cities as
well.
Originally, the farmers of Detroit realized that the real estate they
had was far more valuable if used
for industrial sites along the rivers. A commercial banking center
was built up and we see the result of
this today amid the skyscrapers of
the central city and along the Detroit
River. There was a need for housing
for the numbers of people coming
from Europe or the American South.
Large tracts of land were developed
to fill the needs of the vast number of
people. Retail sites sprang up along
the main roads. Other industries
flourished along the railways as well,
ad Detroit became a center of great
economic development. As industry
and population growth needed room
for expansion, the ring of suburbs
around the city kept spreading concentrically as residents wanted a more
affluent life style for themselves and
their families.

Life was good and people shared
in the prosperity from industrialization
and urbanization that city life afforded
them. Wages were high so the city
and the suburbs remained a magnet
for continued growth. The existing
industrial infrastructures and World
War II made Detroit “the arsenal of
Democracy.” Women went to work in
the high paying jobs and the economy
experienced a boom in the 1950s and
1960s. However, things started to
cool off in the 70s. Detroit was losing its pre-eminence in industry and
commerce and manufacturers were
looking to other places to build and
expand. The Titans of industry who
made Detroit flourish were leaving
and seemed to reject the old unwritten social contract with employees.
Likewise, the more prosperous people
migrated, and the city population declined from 2,000,000 people to less
than 700,000 today.
Ecosystems are changing. There
are deer, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits,
coyotes, water fowl, and pheasants in
Detroit today as human populations
are abandoning their habitats and
moving on. Ecological succession
is proceeding at an unrelenting rate
in the city of Detroit. Homes where
families once lived are vacant. They
are left to fall into extreme disrepair
and often fall victim to arson.
The vegetation keeps encroaching
as roots of trees crumble foundations
and roadways. Industries are likewise
in extreme disrepair or completely
abandoned as man’s social, cultural,
and economic circumstances change.
A dilapidated house no longer serves
as a home, but as a potential drug den
in areas where crime rates are high
and life is hard.
Much of Detroit is vacant today.
There are thousands of abandoned garages, houses, schools, churches, businesses, factories, tool and die shops,
and service stations leaving nothing
but unsightly rubble as weed trees
such as mulberry, Chinese elm, sumac, cottonwood, and tree of Heaven
encroach right up to the foundations
or even inside the structure itself.
Wild grape vines, Virginia creeper,
and poison ivy are pulling down walls
and roofs.
Noxious weeds are everywhere
germinating in the crevices in concrete. The cracks in concrete grow
with the seasonal freezing and thawing and they present places for brush

Hello, this is Charlie Morse.
At 63 years old I don't have a lifetime
to wait! Air pruned containerized
plants, equals RESULTS SOONER!

can easily be raised. Nursery stock
can be raised for beautification of the
environment. Trees for wood or fruit
could be planted.
Even traditional cash crops like
soybeans and wheat would be a great
improvement over the rubble-strewn
environment presently in existence.
It would take progressive thinking to
make this abandoned land productive.
There are areas amid this general
devastation where residents maintain
their property well. Clearing the
surrounding burned out, abandoned
properties would enhance the quality
of life for those residents who still
take pride in their property by making
the area more aesthetically pleasing.
It would also reduce crime and arson
rates. In addition, it would generate
tax revenue for the city so that needed
fire protection and other essential
services could be funded.
Detroit has much potential. The
environmental assets of the area
could be fully utilized. Fishermen
have a world-class fishery in the
Detroit River and along the upper
reaches of the Rouge River. Waterfowl could be sustained as they make
their migration across the city to the
Detroit River International Wildlife
Refuge. Although hunting could not
be permitted in the city, the presence
of desirable urban wildlife could
greatly improve the quality of life for
residents. Aesthetics would be improved as rubble-strewn, rat infested
areas would be cleared and put into
agricultural production.
Detroit has suffered from
miserable mismanagement and
lurid political corruption in the
past. Perhaps with the right ideas
and civic pride generated by the
private enterprise system, Detroit
could be restored to greatness.
Agriculture could play a significant
role in the resurrection of this once
great city. Detroit could be a desirable place to live and once again be
the pride of Michigan. It would be a
true Renaissance!n

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Hometown-Hunters

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

and small trees to flourish. Nature is
proving victorious and demonstrating
for man that his hold and control will
loosen if he doesn’t maintain what
he has built. There are entire neighborhoods, block after block, now
vacant and decaying. This is about
40 square miles of the city’s total 140
square miles. There are hundreds
of acres devastated, debris strewn
and going to waste. This represents
hundreds of acres that could be put
in agricultural production and thus
contribute to the tax base.
In this ecosystem, there are some
homeless persons seeking protection from the winter elements amid
rubble and squalor. There is also a
huge population of Norway rats. The
harborage created for rats is extensive
because of the debris and crumbling
foundation. With continuous abandonment, the rat population increases
as this niche provides more harborage.
There is a benefit to this emerging ecosystem. It is possible that
there are more pheasants in Detroit
than there are in many other areas in
Michigan. This pheasant stock could
potentially be trapped and placed
in breeding pens. The offspring
from these inner-city birds would
be extremely hardy and adapted to
Michigan conditions, which would
make them ideal candidates for being
released into the wild. These superior
hardy birds could be released into
other areas of the state to enhance the
wild pheasant population with new
genetics carrying a greatly expanded
gene pool.
The vacant land can be cleared
and rented to entrepreneurial agriculturalists to be used for raising specialty crops to fill demands for food.
Perhaps greenhouses and climate
controlled buildings can be built
for growing food crops year-round.
Canada raises gourmet tomatoes all
year. Mushrooms can be raised in
humidity-heat controlled buildings.
Flowers for commercial seasonal sale

63



TROPHY PAGES

Owen
Teegardin,
of Gowen,
took his first
deer, an 8-pt
on his 10th
birthday,
Nov. 15
while hunting with
his dad, on
his uncle's
property,
in Montcalm Co.
He couldn't
have asked
for a better
birthday!

Mark
Madeline
of Attica
took this
monster
bull elk on
a Sept. elk
hunt in
Colorado
Nine-year-old Caleb Reeder's
first deer, taken Oct 15, Mentor
Youth Hunt with his dad.

Donovan Strock took this
beautiful record book 10pt. hunting Nov. 16 in Cass
County.

Jason
Wendling of
Chesaning,
15, took his
first buck, an
8 pt. during
the youth
hunt. He
was hunting with his
Grandpa
Wendling.

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

Lake St.
Clair duck
hunters;
Hunter (14),
Lance (12)
and Drake
(10) Garrisi
on Saturday
Sept. 9
during the
youth hunt.
Drake took
his first
duck with a
double barrel 410.

64

Timothy Elden took his 7-pt. Oct 6 in Wayne
Co. and a 9-pt. in Alcona Co. both with his
crossbow.

Kristy Tomlinson of Unionville shot this dandy 11pt. with a 16 inch spread
north of Caro on Nov. 15.

Makayleigh
Laskowski
of Kalkaska
took her
first deer,
a doe, on
the last
day of
archery
season
with a
crossbow.

Michele Ainslie took her
first buck ever, a 7-pt. hunting in Ionia Co. Nov. 26
hunting with her boyfriend.

Sam
Kassem
harvested
this mature buck
in Van
Buren
Co on
Nov 16.
The 210
lb., 13
pt. buck
green
scored
155 plus
inches
and was
checking his
scrapes.

(lt-rt) Nick Dinehart with his 10-pt., Rob Dinehart
with his 8-pt. and Wyatt Ainslie with his first buck,
a 6 pt. All shot with muzzleloaders during the first
two days of the 2014 gun season.

Richard Wilson of Imlay City took a couple trophies
in 2014 a Lapeer Co. turkey that CBM scored 15-0”
and a 123 inch buck in Montcalm Co. on Nov. 19.

DJ Thompson, 11, took his first
deer, this gorgeous 10-pt. buck
taken Nov. 23 in Gratiot Co.

Jack
Zehnder in
his first year
took this
beautiful
buck Nov.
1 hunting
with a crossbow that he
got for his
8th birthday
in August
along with
all his hunting gear.
He passed
a few deer
waiting for
his buck!



TROPHY PAGES

Bruce Hansen of Fowlerville
took this 8-pt. buck bowhunting Ingham Co. Nov. 10.

Jordan
Hinz,
14 took
this nice
9-pt.
with a
16 inch
spread
hunting Van
Buren
Kaitlyn Buchanan, 9
Co.
took her first deer in
Lapeer Co. Nov.20.

Michael Erickson took his
first deer this awesome
8-pt. hunting Midland Co.
on opening day.

Rylie Hankins took
this doe
hunting
Shiawassee Co.
Dec. 20
with her
Traditions
.50 cal.

Amanda
Heebsh took
her first deer,
during her first
season hunting
on Nov 20 with
her Remington
870 20 gauge,
on private land
in Livingston
Co. Her big
doe dressed at
nearly 180 lbs.

Michael Trinklein, took
this nice 9-pt. on Nov. 23
in Gladwin Co.

This deer showed up on Gary Borse’s trail
cam for the first time on Nov. 22 at 2:13
a.m. and Gary harvested him at 4:50 p.m.
in Benzie Co.

Aaron
Sczepanski
took his first
buck, this nice
4-pt. in Clare
Co. hunting
with his dad.

R K McLeod took
this 4-pt. in Newaygo Co. bowhunting in Nov.

Landyn Karr,
10, took this
unique buck
hunting his
grandfather's
camp during
the youth hunt.

Courtney Davis, hunting in Alcona Co.
Thanksgiving Day, took her first buck. The
next day her mother Joan took this beautiful 8-pt. buck

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

James J. McDonald of Yale harvested two bucks
during 2014 archery season in St. Clair Co.! A 10-pt.
that dressed at 224 lbs. at 4.5 years-old and an
8-pt. dressed at 175 lbs.

65

Acidic U.P. lakes can be improved

I

n the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
there are a number of smaller lakes
and ponds that are too acidic to
support a good fishery. While rain
is typically acidic, the major issue
is that the geology of many waters
does not provide the buffering capacity to offset acidic water input into the
lake, whether it be from rain or bog
input. Fish and the aquatic organisms they feed on can only tolerate a
certain degree of acidification of the
water before the fishery declines or
disappears.
In the 1990s UP DNR Fisheries Districts took steps to treat some
acidic lakes in order to bring them
back to productive status.
With technical assistance
from a private consulting
group that was funded by
electric power companies,
the DNR treated some lakes
with calcium carbonate to
improve the aquatic habitat.
This is not the first time UP
DNR fisheries biologists
attempted treatments of
acidic lakes. Early attempts were rather crude
by comparison and used agricultural
lime that largely failed to neutralize
acidic conditions. The new method
with high grade calcium carbonate
was successful in neutralizing waters
of several lakes between 20 to 200
acres. Subsequent treatments were
conducted on three small lakes by the
Crystal Falls fisheries district. All
lakes treated were brought up to neutral in terms of pH (measure of acidity
or base). The other question was how
long these waters could be expected to
remain in this upgraded neutral state.
Follow up water tests were conducted
and when I retired in 2010 I was only
aware of one lake we treated slipping
back into a more acidic level. In that
case it was the largest water that was
treated in 1989.
Historical attempts to treat lakes
to control acidity in Upper Michigan
amounted to dumping relatively heavy
agricultural lime off of a boat into the
water. In those first attempts most of
the lime sank to the bottom and were
tied up in bottom sediments therefore,
not accomplishing neutralization of
the acidity. The newer method involves putting an extremely fine grade
calcium carbonate into a slurry and
pumping it into the lake off the front
of the boat. The lime goes into a state
of solution offsetting the acidity.
The treatments have been conducted
in the fall when the target lake water
is not thermally stratified resulting
in good mixing of the calcium. We
found this method would be much
more likely to fail if the water body
was surrounded by an acidic bog mat.
Acidification of lakes is typically
a very gradual process. Over time the

measure of acidity/base goes down
from neutral of 7.0 to sometimes a
level of 5.0. Most game fish and
panfish prefer pH levels of neutral
or above and their populations are
quickly degraded in acidic waters.
Trout are actually relatively more
tolerant of increased acidity to a point.
Conditions for brook trout deteriorate
when pH level goes below about 6.0
although they can still survive down
to about 5.0. For perspective Canadian fisheries biologists report lakes
devoid of aquatic life when the pH
level fell to 4.5. In addition to the
trout being affected, elevated acidity
degrades conditions for the aquatic
invertebrates that trout rely
on to eat. That is why
neutralizing acidity improves
conditions for both the game
fish and aquatic organisms
they rely on for food.
The new slurry method
was applied to James and
Hannah Webb Lakes in the
Crystal Falls DNR District
in 1989. James Lake had
been an unproductive
212 acre lake in the Ottawa National Forest in Iron County.
James Lake had a history of northern
pike, bass, panfish, and few walleye.
Typically when fishing periodically
improved the lake was quickly fished
down and rarely sustained a fishery.
After the calcium carbonate treatment
stronger walleye natural reproduction was found on DNR electrofishing
surveys for several years following
the treatment. Bass fisheries appeared
to respond to the fisheries and also improved. Unfortunately, after a decade
the pH decreased as acidity increased
and subsequently the productivity
of the lake also appeared to decline
towards its original status.
Hannah Webb Lake is a 64 acre
trout lake in Iron County’s portion of
the Ottawa National Forest. Hannah
Webb had a history of a fair rainbow
trout lake. The fishery had declined
due to increasing acidity and illegal
introductions of competing species
of fish. The DNR fisheries division chemically treated the lake to
eliminate competing species of fish
and then re introduced rainbow and
brook trout. One year after restoring
the trout fishery the calcium carbonate treatment was conducted. In
the years following the rainbow and
brook trout fisheries flourished and
this became one of the Crystal Falls
DNR District’s most productive trout
fisheries. Based on previous surveys
the aquatic habitat pH is still favorable
although unfortunately competing
species of fish have been illegally introduced to Hannah Webb Lake again,
which has cut into trout productivity.
Edey Lake, a 79 acre lake in
north Dickinson County, had been

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

By Bill Ziegler

66

Applying the slurry of calcium carbonate to the acidic waters of Forest Lake in the
Iron County portion of the Ottawa National Forest. The treatment consists of the
Fisheries Staff applying the lime to the water much the same a farmer would apply
fertilizer to their fields making a number of passes around the lake.
a low productivity mediocre fishery for many years. This lake was
particularly important to the Sagola
Sportsman’s Club since their large
club lodge is located on the shore of
the lake. With financial assistance
from the Sagola Sportsman’s Club
we conducted a calcium carbonate
treatment in the fall of 1991. DNR
Fisheries applied 14.2 tons of calcium
to the water using the slurry method.
Subsequent electrofishing surveys
revealed the largemouth bass fishery
flourished following the treatment
with the neutralization of pH from 5.0
up to about 7.0. The last time this
water was checked before I retired the
pH was still favorable indicating the
treatment had a lasting affect.
In the fall of 1999 we treated
Forest Lake, a 23 acre walk-in trophy brook trout lake on the Ottawa
National Forest. Over time the pH
of Forest Lake had declined to only a
level of 5.0. The trout fishery was becoming less productive and conditions
for the trout food organisms were also
poor. With financial support from
Wildlife Unlimited of Iron County we
applied 3.9 tons of fine grade calcium
carbonate slurry to the water. Subsequent water tests indicated Forest
Lake’s water was neutralized bringing
the pH up to about 7.0 for the following decade. The Assinica brook trout
fishery responded positively and the
quality of the fishery became more
consistent.

The last lake we treated with
calcium carbonate before I retired
was Twin Lake in Marquette County.
Twin was a relatively unproductive
21 acre two story trout lake. The
Republic Sportsman’s Club purchased
approximately 10 tons of fine grade
calcium carbonate. The DNR Fisheries Staff applied the lime in the fall
of the 2010 to neutralize the 5.5 pH
water. The response of trout is not
clear although the perch fishery in the
shallower water of the two story lake
responded strongly to the treatment.
There are four other nearby trout lakes
to Twin Lake with limited productivity that would likely respond well if
they received the same treatment.
In the Western U P we demonstrated that with the use of the slurry
method of calcium carbonate treatment fishery managers can dramatically improve the conditions for trout
or other game and panfish and their
food organisms. The cost of this depends greatly on the size and volume
of a water body you want to treat. As
an example, in 1999 the Forest Lake
treatment with about 4 tons of calcium
carbonate cost less than $600. This
relatively inexpensive project has
yielded positive results for the past
15 years and is still effective. This
project is a good cooperative project
between DNR fisheries managers and
sportsman’s clubs that can improve
local fisheries degraded by elevated
acidity.n

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67

Letters And Hot Topics In Michigan Outdoors...

Crossbows “too accurate and efficient” muddles reality

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

I

68

By Rick Casey

’ve been waiting for someone
to start linking the legalization
of crossbows in Michigan to a
shrinking deer herd or to at least
claim that the state’s deer managers would eventually face some
serious decisions regarding future
crossbow use. Therefore, I was not
surprised to see Michael Veine adding more fuel to the on-going debate
with his well-written “Crossbows vs.
Compound Bows” opinion in the December 2014 issue of Woods-n-Water
News. I’ve read many of Mr. Veine’s
articles in other outdoor publications
in the past and have always enjoyed
his comments. I would like to take
this opportunity to clarify some of the
assertions made in his recent article.
The fact is that deer herds have
been shrinking across the entire Midwest for the past decade, long before
crossbows were legalized in Michigan. There has been much conjecture
as to the cause: Poor fawn recruitment due to predation, excessive
harvest of does (by all legal hunting
methods), diseases such as EHD,
winter kill, changing habitat and
new farming practices (for example,
chisel-plowing grain fields immediately after harvest). Perhaps it is a
combination of all those factors that
have caused deer herds to shrink in
almost every state, a genuine “perfect
storm” of negative events.
To single out crossbows as being
“too accurate and efficient” muddles
reality: The single human activity that
affects deer populations more than
any other are annual firearm seasons.
Firearm seasons have long-been the
primary tool used by game biologists
to manage deer herds. Coincidentally,
those states often touted as trophy
buck designations (such as Kansas,
Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, etc.) have extremely short firearm seasons. Sometimes their brief firearm seasons are
split into two starting dates to give
more hunters an opportunity to hunt
an opening day. None of those states
have long 15-day firearms seasons
followed by even longer muzzleloader seasons like Michigan (and
two buck limits).
I’ve always felt that APRs (antler
point restrictions) were not really necessary if we could simply reduce the
overall buck kill. Reducing the length
of the firearms season would have
the most impact. More bucks would
survive to grow bigger racks. However, it would be political suicide for
the Michigan DNR to “buck” tradition by altering the opening date and
shortening the length of the state’s
firearms seasons. It’s far easier for
some people to start pointing fingers
at crossbows.
People seem to ignore the fact

that Ohio legalized use of crossbows (during their archery season)
decades ago, followed soon after by
Arkansas. The sky did not fall nor
were their deer herds decimated as
the anti-crossbow crowd would have
us believe. In fact oddly enough,
Ohio remains one of those hot go-to
states for trophy bucks (the results
of a shorter firearms season?). After
decades of legalization, Ohio bowhunters use crossbows about 50%
of the time. The other half prefer to
keep using traditional equipment
and compounds. Similar results have
been documented in Arkansas. The
evidence supports the conclusion that
when given a choice, about half of
bowhunters will use crossbows while
the other half still prefer vertical
bows. Michigan appears to be following that same trend.
I agree that comparing bolts to
bullets is like comparing apples to tomatoes: They’re both fruit and they’re
generally red in color but you certainly would not substitute one for the
other in a recipe. There is no ballistic
comparison between bolts and bullets,
not even remotely despite what some
people want you to believe. Although
crossbows have consistent “rifle-like”
accuracy and they’re relatively easy
to master, they still remain closerange weapons. There is no doubt that
crossbows are superior to compounds
in some ways. However, compounds
are also superior to crossbows in
other ways. For example, have an
experienced archer with a compound
bow stand side-by-side with someone
shooting a crossbow and see who will
get the most number of arrows/bolts
into a target at 20-yards within the
first minute. It’s not uncommon for
hunters using vertical bows to get a
second or third shot at a deer. I don’t
believe that will happen very often
with a crossbow. In fact, any deer that
stands around while you retrieve your
cocking aid, re-cock the crossbow, retrieve and load a bolt and start aiming
for a second shot should probably be
removed from the deer herd’s genetics anyway.
I started using a crossbow immediately after they were legalized
and since then, I have never taken
a shot at a deer any further than 30
yards. Although I routinely practice
at 40 and 50 yards (and can shoot 2 to
3 inch groups from those distances),
I prefer to skip shots longer than 30
yards when hunting, just as I did
with my vertical bows. For example
this past fall, I passed up a broadside
shot at a 140-class buck because he
was standing 40-yards away. I knew
the exact distance because I had
laser-ranged it a few minutes earlier.
Those tight little groups routinely
shot at home were done using a solid
rest and while I was totally relaxed.

When that trophy buck appeared, I
didn’t have a rest and my heart was
pounding with excitement. The buck
eventually turned and walked out of
sight, back into the standing corn.
After he left, I second guessed myself
for not taking the shot but concluded
that it was the right thing to do. I had
no regrets. I routinely practice shooting long distances at home primarily
because it allows me to fine-tune my
equipment and my shooting technique. I did the same thing with
recurve and compound bows.
The primary reason I started
using a crossbow was to reduce or
completely eliminate my woundingloss rate. I’ve had ample success
using vertical bows. I did not need
to kill more deer. I simply wanted to
reduce my wounding-loss rate. I’ve
participated in Michigan’s archery
season for the past 48 years. Prior to
that, I hunted small game with a solid
fiberglass longbow and a slingshot
on the banks of the St. Joseph River.
Self-taught, I became proficient
enough to hit running rabbits and
flying pigeons with either weapon. In
those days, deer were rare and only
found in isolated pockets. In fact, just
seeing a deer was a note-worthy occasion and people would talk about it
for days after. I saw my first deer one
spring day while fishing. I was able to
slip within 30 yards before the small
doe spotted me and fled. I decided on
the spot that I was going to start hunting deer with a bow.
I worked various odd-jobs around
town and saved up enough money to
buy one of the early recurve bows.
I was always a natural instinctive
archer and quickly realized that I had
more than enough archery skill to actually shoot a deer. It was the mental
aspect that worried me (maintaining
self-control and focus/concentration).
I’d never heard of buck fever but I
experienced the symptoms early on.
I had no mentor and there was very
little literature on the subject. Even
tree stands were illegal and considered to be unsportsmanlike by many.
Just learning how to properly sharpen
a broadhead until it was as keen as a
razor was a huge learning curve for
me. After blowing a few easy closerange shots, it took me exactly five
years to kill my first deer, a small doe.
It was an epic moment in my hunting
career. After breaking the proverbial
ice, I routinely tagged deer on an annual basis with both recurve and compounds bows. A few years after my
initial success with a bow, I started
participating in Michigan’s firearm
and muzzle-loader seasons.
Unfortunately over the years,
I would occasionally miss, wound
and lose a deer while bowhunting.
It always bothered me to no end.
Despite constant practice, using the

best equipment available and taking
only close-range ethical shots, I still
occasionally missed or wounded an
animal. Missing can be frustrating
and even heart-breaking when it’s a
trophy buck but there is nothing more
heart-breaking than to wound and
eventually lose a deer (or any animal
for that matter). I’ve always strived
to limit the occurrence and to make
it as rare as possible. Over time, I
learned to accept it as a negative part
of bowhunting. In fact, I just watched
a video the other day in which a bowhunter (an excellent archer) took what
I considered to be a very poor shot
at a buck and he ended up losing the
animal. I would have never taken that
shot. After a long unsuccessful search
for the buck, the hunter concluded
that “it happens” and that “it was part
of bowhunting.” He seemed almost
indifferent about the incident. The
fact is that it was completely avoidable if the hunter had practiced better
shot selection.
Since I started using a crossbow
(the first year they became legal), I
have not missed, wounded or lost
a single deer. Not one animal! The
same applies to my bowhunting
friends that have switched over to
crossbows. I haven’t gotten a phone
call in years to help track a deer. I
could never make that claim if we
were still using compounds. The
list of variables that affect a vertical
bow’s accuracy is almost endless.
Even a bad day at work can have a
negative effect on your accuracy. I
think that we owe the animals better
than that. I feel that the crossbow’s
effectiveness is actually good for the
blood sport and for the animals that
die via our hands. When I decide to
harvest a deer, that’s exactly what
I want to do: To kill the animal
as quickly and humanely as possible. The last thing that I want is a
wounded and lost animal. There is no
deadlier predator in the woods than
a skilled bowhunter using a modern
crossbow.
However, it’s another matter

Crossbows page 70

My Thoughts, My Views, My Opinions…

Gored oxen, individual foxholes
By Tom Carney

W

Dave Nomsen (lt), Vice President of Governmental Affairs for Pheasants Forever, and Eric
Johannsen enjoy the day at Johannsen Farms Outfitting near Tolstoy, South Dakota, a working
farm managed with both wildlife and healthy land in mind. Tailfeather Communications, LLC photo
ing the corn for area farmers. Apparently, train companies are making
so much money transporting oil that
they don’t need the corn transporting
jobs. And so the kernels sit. It’s about
money.”
A similarly themed story can
be relayed about pheasant hunters
versus ranchers and farmers in South
Dakota.
“If we can’t save South Dakota’s
pheasant hunting heritage, we might
as well close up shop.”
This tough-worded straight talk
came last December in Aberdeen
from Dave Nomsen, the Vice President of Governmental Affairs for
Pheasant Forever (PF).
Across South Dakota, Nomsen

warned, “the landscape is changing
– there’s been a substantial loss of
native prairie.”
He mentioned that over 28.6 million acres of land have recently been
converted to clean farming. There are
roughly one half of the acres currently enrolled in the Conservation
Reserve Program (CRP) than there
used to be.
“Is crop insurance to blame?”
Any non-farmer city slicker is
likely to answer “Yes.”
Eric Johannsen of Johannsen
Farms Outfitting had said when corn
prices soared to $8 a bushel a few
years ago, farmers started planting
every available piece of their properties. And they didn’t have to worry

Gored ox, individual fox holes page 71

The number of Asian carp is incalculable!
Dear Woods-N-Water News:
My Friends, Ron St. Germain’s
article January’s issue, “Merry Carpmas” was absolutely true! If you haven’t
been there you have no idea, thousands
per mile. Ten years ago a biologist told
me “If the Asian Carp get in the lake sell
your boat.”
I don’t want to sell my boat, I want
to fight.
Some things you don’t know. With
the high water this year in just Illinois
the Asian carp added one BILLION
fish…not pounds…to the standing stock.
I don’t believe they have taken out a billion yet as 50 pounds could be one fish,
the expert Chapman says the numbers
of Asian carp is incalculable, and he
also says we have predators, freshwater
predators. Now the Asian carp have
spawned in high water, low water, static
water, and backwater.
Two things determine if an invasive

species can survive living conditions,
not enough food or too many predators.
Now we know they have enough food,
plus zebra/quagga mussel (veligers) and
spiny fleas, etc...plenty. Now the DNR
Fishery Division plan seems to be, perch
are doomed, so let’s plant saltwater Atlantic salmon, or increase alewives, but
just in case let’s plant cisco to feed the
salmon. Let’s dump raw sewage in the
middle of lake for the alewives!
But what about the perch?
It’s the quagga mussels, there’s nothing we can do! Wisconsin is gearing up
to plant perch. Now we have a proposal
in to NRC to increase perch and walleye. You see no cold water fish, not one
saltwater salmon or trout will be able to
survive in the warm water areas where
the baby carp will be, we need predators
in the near shore areas, backwaters. I’m
sorry that there is no species specific
predator for Asian carp, that is a fish

that only eats carp, if there was one I
wouldn’t plant it anyway. Perch will eat
these things, to wait for a biologist to see
a perch eat an Asian carp is ridiculous,
and they eat quagga mussels. I understand people make money off salmon,
but switch to steelhead, plus perch and
walleye, that’s a fishery all can live with,
and a fishery that can defend itself!
We have a lot of work to do, one
day that “fish poop” will be an Asian
carp and maybe lots of them! Given the
facts there is no logical reason for them
(NRC) to refuse us, right now Lake
Michigan is the weak link, they get a
foothold here they’ll go everywhere,
and nets don’t work, they’ve already
proven that. No amount of money justifies losing everything for one saltwater
fish.
Sincerely,
Tom Matych
Twin Lake MI

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

hen assessing or analyzing the sides in most arguments, confrontations,
or – in the case of close
calls in athletic competitions – rules interpretations, my late
father-in-law Charles was fond of
observing, “It all depends on whose
ox is being gored.”
He said the notion comes from
Martin Luther who, at the Diet of
Worms in 1521 famously opined,
“Most human affairs come down to
depending upon whose ox is gored.”
In other words, people’s self interests
determine how they feel about an issue and what action, if any, they will
take.
The more one looks into the
topics of wildlife and conservation,
the more one’s oxen are called to
the fore. And the more it becomes
apparent that the simple attitude of,
“Whatever is best for the resource”
can no longer be stretched far enough
to cover all the issues the modern day
hunter or angler faces.
Take an example from Whit
Fosburgh, president and CEO of the
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation
Partnership (TRCP).
The TRCP had noticed a steady,
long-term decline in conservation
funding. So it stepped in and refocused attention on the economic
issues of the outdoor industry – how
it’s a driver of the economy.
“And it grew five percent during
the recession. And those are American jobs that will never be sent to
China. Selling it as an economic matter (to politicians) rather than a conservation matter helped,” he states.
Another seeming slam-dunk example is the proposed Keystone XL
Pipeline project that is supposed to
allow crude oil to flow underground
from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico.
The most popular arguments fall
roughly along the line of job creation
vs. environmental responsibility. Depending on whose ox is being gored
– and where – there’s another way of
looking at the issue.
During a dinner discussion about
the piles and piles – the mountains
even – of corn languishing in fields
throughout South Dakota, Casey
Weismantel of the Aberdeen, South
Dakota, Convention and Visitors
Bureau, Fosburgh said succinctly,
“That’s why people in South Dakota
want the Keystone Pipeline to go
through.”
The non-South Dakotans at the
table didn’t get it, and he explained:
The sooner the pipeline goes through,
the sooner the trains will come down
from North Dakota and resume haul-

about any losses because with crop
insurance, all they have to do is to
make the effort just to plant the seeds
and they are guaranteed to make
money. So a farmer could literally
plant the seed, walk away and do
nothing else with it, and still come
out in the black.
They plant everywhere because
they can get paid more – even for
planted but not productive land –
than they do for keeping it in the
CRP program. So yeah. Anyone who
doesn’t know any better is likely
to say the farmers are the bad guys
when it comes to transforming favorable pheasant habitat to cropland. In
fact, one visitor from Colorado said
the description given of how some
farmers use crop insurance sounded
like fraud.
But Johannsen cautions, “We
have to be careful not to demonize
producers because of choices they
make. They’re just trying to run their
family farms,” and he characterizes
crop insurance as “revenue protection.” Farmers are just using the language of the law to their advantage,
he implied.
Nomsen added this word of hope.
“Pheasants are edge species – we
don’t need full sections of CRP to
help the populations. If you give the
critters the right conditions, they literally explode on the landscape.”
He mentioned that PF is working
with willing farmers to consider the
mantra, “Farm the best, conserve the
rest.” What that basically means is
that there are areas on any farm that
are not used to their potential when

69

Letters And Hot Topics In Michigan Outdoors...
Crossbows:
from page 68

when the crossbow is in the hands
of someone with very little if any
bowhunting experience. It’s still not
as easy as some people claim. I have
a couple friends that hunt annually
from enclosed elevated blinds during
the firearms seasons. They’ve had
some success but their kills have all
been made from typical long-range
firearm distances. They actually
believed the hype (“it’s easy”) and
bought crossbows right after they
became legal, expecting similar hunting success. However, neither has
killed a deer to date with his crossbow and it’s not from lack of trying.
They simply have not learned all the
fine bowhunting nuances required for
their crossbows to be effective.
I still do all the pre-hunt preparations necessary to be a successful bowhunter (practice and more
practice, fine-tuning equipment,
testing new equipment , making my
own bolts, scouting, setting up trailcameras, installing and maintaining
tree-stands, de-scenting clothing,
etc., etc.). For me, nothing’s changed
other than when I take that final shot
at a deer. I fully expect it to be fatal
and I want no exceptions. However,
I realize that sooner or later, I will

probably wound and lose a deer while
using my crossbow. I take comfort
in knowing that I’ve done everything
possible to reduce my wounding/loss
rate and if that means using a crossbow, so be it.
One of the early assertions made
by the anti-crossbow crowd was that
there would be more wounding and
loss of deer if crossbows were legalized. I don’t know where that got that
opinion. My own personal experience
and that of my friends have proven
just the opposite to be true. I believe
that the wounding/loss rate during
recent archery seasons has dropped
and that might explain some of the
increase in success rates.
Another poorly understood fact is
how many bowhunters participate in
firearms and muzzle-loader seasons.
Michigan issues a finite number of
buck/does tags to each hunter: Does it
really matter how a deer is tagged?
Does it make any difference in the
great scheme of things if a hunter tags
a buck with his crossbow rather than
his rifle or muzzle-loader?
People participate in the various
deer hunting seasons because they
enjoy hunting deer. They become
“three season” hunters (using archery
equipment, firearms and muzzleloaders). You might even call some
“four season” hunters if they also
participate in the early or late doe

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seasons. As much as people like to
bash the Michigan DNR, the agency
does a remarkable job of providing
residents with a phenomenal number
of recreational man-hours and tons
of prime venison in freezers. Those
states with reputations for producing
trophy bucks have a fraction of the
habitat and number of the deer found
in Michigan. They also harvest only
a fraction of the deer killed annually
in Michigan. Michigan also fields far
more hunters every year. Yet, Michigan still produces some impressive
trophy bucks. That could be improved
but singling out crossbows won’t get
us there.
It is the height of folly to think
that the development of compounds
has “maxed” out. As long as new
materials and engineering techniques
are being developed, both compounds
and crossbows will push theoretical
limits. In fact, much of the recent
advances in crossbows are directly
related to recent advances in compounds. Many archery manufacturers
that once railed against crossbows
have quietly started producing and
selling their own crossbows, often under different brand names. They see
the national trend as an opportunity to
make money.
It’s humorous, especially after
all their earlier efforts to discredit
crossbows. It’s a classic example of
“if you can’t beat them, join them.”
I think that the next evolution in
compound bow development will
be a vast improvement in sighting
systems that will significantly extend
ranges. I believe that compounds will
always keep pace with crossbows in
technological development. Bowhunters can always “handicap/challenge” themselves to whatever degree
they want by using either technology.
The simple fact is that if compound
bow hunters truly wanted to challenge their abilities, they would be
hunting with traditional long bows
and wooden arrows. However, most
would quickly say that’s “too hard”
(almost as quick as they would say
hunting with a crossbow is too easy).
I talk to other bowhunters oc-

casionally and some do not use
crossbows for one simple economic
reason: They do not want to invest
money in a crossbow and the accessories required because of the cost.
It usually has nothing to do with
philosophical reasons. They already
have a lot of money invested in their
beloved compound bows and realize
that if they purchase a crossbow, the
compound would probably be retired
forever.
This past September, I met a
young passionate bowhunter (23
years old) that had tagged a few does
and small bucks in his short bowhunting career. When I asked about
his equipment, he surprised me by
saying that he was using a compound.
The young man explained that he’d
“never use one of those things” and
he gave some philosophical reasons.
I told him that I used a crossbow
simply because I didn’t want miss
or wound any deer. He responded by
saying, “I guess that I’ve been lucky
so far because that hasn’t happened to
me yet.” I assured him that it would
eventually happen and gave him my
phone number to call when he needed
help recovering a deer. Incidentally,
about a week into the archery season,
he severely cut his hand at work and
required stitches. Rather than sit out
any of the on-going season, he started
using his father’s crossbow (so much
for those philosophical reasons). To
his credit, as soon as the stitches were
removed, he returned to using his
compound.
I often ask three simple questions of people that haven’t switched
over to a crossbow: “If the Michigan
DNR announced tomorrow that highpowered center-fire rifles would be
legal in southern Michigan next year,
would you keep using your shotgun
(or muzzle-loader)?” The answer
is invariably, “No, I’d use a rifle.”
When I ask why use a rifle, they
usually say “because it has
better range and accuracy.” When I
ask my last question (Then, why are
you still using a compound?), you
can almost see a light go off in their
heads.n

Enjoy
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August 15—April 30

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

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My Thoughts, My Views, My Opinions

Gored oxen, individual fox holes from page 69
they are simply tilled to make more
space for planting seeds. Odd-shaped
areas, small fields, field borders and
riparian zones are some examples of
such spots. Nomsen said that by managing these areas better a farmer will
“produce better habitat for pheasants
and better forage for his animals.”
He said the best land management
practices would consider pheasants as
an additional annual crop the farmers
can harvest.
About 700 miles to the south of
Aberdeen, Sue Selman of Woodward,
Oklahoma, has problems with farmers of another type.
“I hate wind turbines!” she says.
“I hate wind farms.”
Wind farms are those enthralling
ridges where one can see massive,
beautiful, white windmills – wind
turbines, actually – in graceful, seemingly perpetual motion, all day long.
When a transport truck carrying a 50foot long propeller passes by on the
interstate, the notion of silent power,
like that of a small whale cruising
effortlessly alongside a tourist boat
in a Maine bay, fills the spirit. What
could possibly be wrong with wind
turbines?
“They’re killing 500,000 birds

a year,” says Selman. “In ten years,
that’s five million birds. There won’t
be any. Nobody would say anything
negative about wind energy when
it started. But things are starting to
change. There’s a big move, finally,
to make wind companies allow
independent researchers come in and
determine how many birds are actually killed by turbines.”
Selman is known as “The Chicken Lady” from her efforts to spare the
lesser prairie chickens on her 14,000acre ranch from having to deal with
the threats posed by the wind turbines
and wires of wind farms.
In addition to the lethality of
their spinning propellers, the turbines
pose other problems. “They can’t be
placed along the roads because prairie
chickens see them as a perches for
predators. They won’t go near them
or nest near them.” Thus, they’d
tend to keep groups of birds separate
from one another. “And this could
add to the lack of genetic diversity
of the lesser prairie chicken population.”
In addition to the threat turbines
pose to wildlife, Selman mentions
that they are ultimately ineffective
and expensive.

Give us back our December quiet time
Dear Woods-N-Water News:
The following letter was sent to
the NRC…
There was a reason that the Muzzle season started on the second Friday
of December for Zone 2 prior to 2014.
There needs to be a decent time break
from the end of the rifle season, which
ends November 30 to the start of the
muzzle season. Radio collared deer
studies show that just a single hunter
in the woods and not even firing a shot
can shut down deer movement in that
area for four days. It is very common
for deer hunters, including private land
hunters to take advantage of the end of
the rifle season. Zone 2 is not the UP,
it can get crowded for the Thanksgiv-

Sue Selman of Woodward, Oklahoma, fiercely protects the lesser prairie chickens on her
14,000-acre ranch.Tailfeather Communications, LLC photo
“They only have a life span of
about 15 years. What happens when
production credits go away and there
are other forms of energy available?
Wind can only generate up to three
percent of the total needed. In summer, Oklahoma City is using all
the air conditioning, and no wind is
blowing.”
She turns her palms halfway up
as she shrugs her shoulders, silently
asking, “So how effective is wind
energy?”
Someone who believes in green
energy might be appalled to hear
Selman’s assessment of wind energy.
Moreover, he or she might be additionally surprised to hear Selman
tout the benefits of fracking: With
that type of energy procurement, all
that happens is water is blown down

through a pipe to open up an airway
to the natural gas. The gas is extrapolated. Any brine that is removed is
cleaned and returned to the earth. No
muss. Little fuss. She dismisses the
notion that fracking has been responsible for earthquakes farther west.
It seems that Fosburgh has
figured out this ox goring and how
it applies to the sportsman who need
to fight against the antis and against
apathy, which is just as dangerous a
foe.
He says, “Until we work on
things that don’t affect us, they’ll pick
us off one group or issue at a time.
What affects the Rocky Mountain elk
indeed does affect trout, conservation-wise.
“We need to get out of our individual, little foxholes.”n

ing weekend and studies show that
this resultant disturbance can have a
lasting effect on deer movement up to
ten days.
Bowhunters have their opening day
surprise on deer and just about everyone knows about the firearm opener,
where the deer are running about and
shots heard all day. Three days later
and taps are sounded.
Commissioners, please give us back
that extended quiet period in Zone 2
for the muzzle season.
Keep the fun in hunting!

Ed Spinazzola
Concerned deer
hunter since 1952

Dear Woods-N-Water News:
The Michigan 2014 deer season
was the worst deer hunting I experienced in 38 years. So, here are my
six proposals that need to enacted
to save our once fine state tradition
from a DNR that is completely out
of touch of true deer numbers across
Michigan.
1) Set a one buck tag rule…you
shoot a buck you go home. Period!
2) Elimination of all doe permits
statewide for three years, including
archery seasons.
3) Elimination of the ‘youth

hunt’ (Liberty hunt). Allowing a
youth hunt is discrimination against
older hunters and removing bucks
before they can breed is poor deer
management.
4) Elimination of both late
season muzzleloader and archery
seasons.
5) Allow a two week ‘cool down
period’ from November 1 to November 15 with no deer hunting.
6) Mandatory deer harvest call
in to DNR with location and time of
deer killed.
Sincerely
Mike Thiel

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

My 6 steps to save Michigan’s deer hunting

71

Insane
Coyotes

T

sucked them kisBy Kenny Darwin call,
sin’ close with mouth

he instant
I hit the
greeting
call on my Western Rivers
electronic caller the yodelers nearby opened up with
a reply that sent a chill up my spine.
It was high pitched and reached a crescendo that was super-sonic, sounding out of this world and I clutched
my rifle. For a short time the coyotes
yelled back, and then all was silent.
I had a knot in my gut, knowing the
predators were charging my way at
full speed and I checked the .22 Magnum Ruger to make certain a shell
was in the chamber. Next, I switched
to a cottontail distress call and turned
on the motion decoy. The brown fake
bunny danced atop the snow like a
critter doing the twist at a 60’s dance
contest when I caught motion out of
the corner of my eye.
There in the distance I made out
two coyotes running directly at the
decoy like their tails were on fire. I
flipped the safety off the Ruger, tried
to center the Illuminated Burris crosshair on the big male but he moved
through the scope like a bouncing
ball. In a few short seconds the pair
zoomed in on the decoy and one dog
turned broadside offering a perfect
shot. I touched the customized two
pound trigger and the large male fell
in the snow. I racked in a new .22
Magnum Winchester Supreme hollow
point, put the cross hair in front of the
running target and proceeded to empty
the clip without cutting a hair.
My introduction to calling coyotes
with an electronic caller produced
impressive results. I’ve chased coyote
throughout Michigan using a hand

squeals but seldom
have twin dogs charged full steam
ahead. With the electronic devise I
found I could pull adult animals from
hiding during broad daylight and my
kills soared. That’s when I decided to
try night hunting.
White clouds raced across the full
moon as I grabbed electronic calling
brief case, rifle and headed through
deep snow to reach a fenceline leading to deep woods where coyotes tend
to hide. I was alone and when I set
up the rabbit decoy I could see my
shadow against the pure white blanket
of snow. For an instant I looked into
the bright moon, admired how the
light transformed the landscape into a
vast sea of drifting white snow interspersed with shadows from tall grass,
fence posts and the distant forest.
A cold wind blew into my face as
I settled into a snowdrift, loaded my
rifle and turned up the volume of the
caller. Immediately I got responses
from the forest nearby, then a return
call came from the east and another
from the west. I shut the caller off
and listened to the coyotes as they
called back and forth as if organizing
a raid on the intruder yelps made by
the electronic devise.
A second calling session brought
more return calls and on the third
calling sequence the animals seemed
to be coming on a string. I switched
to a bawling deer call, lowered the
volume and prepared for visitors. One
big adult coyote pranced across the
white blanket of snow to the west and
I watched him through the scope and
considered a shot but he was about

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Harvesting adult coyote requires skill and keen woodsmanship skills. Shooting can be a challenge too. Kenny Darwin photo
200 yards away. He stopped, sat in
the snow, raised his head toward the
sky and gave out a howl. His silhouette against the snow resembled
the Stoney Wolf Productions crying
predator logo.
I glanced to my right just in time
to see a coyote headed directly toward
the decoy. I swung the gun around
and the movement got his attention
and he stopped and stood facing me at
70 yards. The crack of the powerful
rifle dumped him in the snow and the
other coyote dashed for cover before I
could find him in the Burris Fullfield
E1 3x9 40mm illuminated scope.
The next two sets produced nothing; the third provided return calls but
no sightings. That’s when I set up
close to my buddy’s farm which bordered city property. The coyote in the
area were getting fat feeding on city
stray cats and dogs. A few days prior
to the hunt a small pack was spotted
feasting on road kill venison less than
400 yards from where I set up. When
I turned on the call I got an immediate

response from animals near the road
killed deer. A few more calling sequences seemed to bring them closer
when across an open field I spotted
several dark objects. At first I thought
they were deer spooked by the coyote
concert. But closer inspection through
the scope discovered there was a pack
of four coyote headed my way pronto.
I should have brought my Benelli
loaded with #4 buckshot to deal with
the gang. One shot from the rifle sent
a big female plowing into the snow
and the rest of the pack scattered as
I sprayed hot bullets without connecting. I walked over to the fallen
yodeler, admired the beautiful pelt in
the moonlight and thought back on
the fast-paced hunting excitement and
hunting techniques that work.
Electronic calls that are battery
operated and come with motion decoys absolutely provide insane predator hunting. With modern electronics
you can get the attention of wild
coyote the instant they hear your call,
day or night. Sometimes they come

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TIRED OF COYOTES GETTING TO THE DEER AND GAME BIRDS
excitement. This tactic is deadly during daylight and my favorite weapon
for close range coyote hunting is a
12GA Benelli Super Black Eagle
loaded with “F” goose loads around
waterfowl areas or #4 buckshot.
Coyote sneaking toward you through
tall grass or thick brush will get your
heart pumping. The goal of some
predator hunters is to call animals
into close range, get’em insanely
close, completely outwit them.
It is very important to set up with
the wind in your face. Coyote like to
circle downwind and once they catch
your odor they blast out of dodge at
lightning speed. Stalk stand locations and leave the vehicle far from
set up locations and do not slam the
door or make noise that will attract
the attention of wary animals. If the
sun is bright try to set up with the sun
to your back and avoid unnecessary
movement that will give away your
position. Many times I find hiding
spots next to a tree, old building,
bale of hay or stand location where
I can stand and have a solid rest for
my rifle. Most hunters use a tripod
to steady the rifle and a comfortable
seat. Coyote are very sly critters and
they have super-keen eyesight. It is
important to wear camouflage that
blends your human form into the
environment where you are hunting.
Wear white in snow, tan in stubble
corn or tall grasses and mossy oak
when hiding in brush or woods. Use
camo face paint to hide your white
face and cover hands and entire body.
Savvy hunters conceal their outline
by hiding in brush, grass, corn or
other natural cover.
There are a number of electronic
units on the market that will get the
job done. My choice is the Western
Rivers Apache Pro Camo electronic
predator call with decoy rabbit and
camo carrying case. It is lightweight,
powerful and the digital operation
makes it easy to run and offers great
variety of calls to attract coyotes and
stimulate predators into dancing into
gun range. Don’t overlook the Nite
Stalker Pro made by Western Rivers
or the Primos Alpha Dogg or Boss
Dogg. Each offers calls like canine
pup distress, cottontail distress and
coyote pack howling. These units
are lightweight; battery operated and
come with sound volume control and
motion decoy.
There are hunts when critters
come running and you get freaky
fast results. Often at night you get
bone chilling response calls from live
animals that will send goose bumps
up your spine. There are times when
you don’t see anything, when you get
no return calls and only dogged determination and patience will help you
succeed. But you will see more predators and harvest plenty of animals
if you use electronic calls that make
wary critters go insanely bonkers and
charge into easy gun range.n

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running at lightning speed, zero-in on
the decoy and you have an exciting,
fast and furious predator shoot. Other
times they call back, give you a return
bark, howling reply but refuse to
come into sight. Others do not reply
at all, remain silent but will creep
forward and take a peek, offering you
a relatively stationary long distance
shot. Each hunt is different, some
hunts are action packed. A few hunts
for coyote are downright frightful,
insane, and sort of unreal.
For most hunters the adrenalin
rush often begins the instant they
hear coyotes respond to calling. It is
always awe inspiring when you stop
calling, listen and packs respond with
loud sequences and howl, bark, squall
and wine at supersonic loud levels.
Sometimes returned calls from packs
of wild animals tends to leave you
weak kneed, feeling insecure, afraid
because the sound is loud, bold and
brazen as though coyotes are yelling
to let you know they rule the earth.
Some replies are made to announce
family groups and communicate with
electronic sounds, other replies seem
to say “this is my turf, stay away or
I’ll attack.” Many are completely
freaky when howling groups switch
into extra loud high pitched screams.
The out of this world sound is impressive, echoes off woodlands and
valleys and shakes the earth with
extra sharp, high pitch sounds. For
many the communication you have
with coyotes while using calls is the
true challenge of hunting and convincing wild animals to come close
for a peek is proof in the pudding;
especially when you harvest a critter. For some the challenge of coyote
hunting is how you play the game,
not the animal you kill. Others gauge
success by hides collected and the
majority would agree the most insane
tactic going is electronic calling.
The challenge of calling predators is to get their attention and have
them respond. Some simply talk
back, while others come running and
provide fast-paced shooting excitement. Of course understanding which
call to use to attract coyote is a bit
of an art. Some savvy callers begin
with a greeting call and after getting
a response they switch to an animal
in distress like rabbit screaming, deer
bawling; to finish off calling sequences. Part of the strategy to effectively
using electronic callers is determining
which call to use, knowing when to
switch calls and how to use loud or
soft sounds.
Some hunters use loud calling and
set up in open areas, snow covered
fields and shoot long distances with
rifles on tri-pods using large scopes
that are frequently illuminated.
Others prefer to get down and dirty
and call coyotes in swamps, woods,
valleys, draws, tall grass, standing
corn or thick brush and use shotguns
for close up in-your face-shooting

73

Calling in
LATE-ICE
WALLEYE

W

By Jeff Nedwick

hen it
comes
to ice
fishing for walleye on
Saginaw Bay, reliable,
on-ice transportation
is more than a convenience – it’s a
necessity. If anglers want to reach
the widely scattered pockets of fish
roaming the vast expanses of the
bay miles from shore in 20 or more
feet of water, they’re usually going
to need more than their boots and a
good pair of ice cleats.
Freshwater Fishing Hall of Famer
Mark Martin – host of a very popular mid-winter ice fishing school on
Saginaw Bay - understands this
particular walleye pattern better than
most but also points out that there’s

one time of year when
mobility on Saginaw
Bay is actually a liability; at late ice, when ice fishing is
more like duck hunting - find a prime
location, stay put, and call the fish to
you.
A walleye’s urge to reproduce
drives them toward spawning habitat
in late winter and in Saginaw Bay
that usually means near the mouth of
the Saginaw River or around the shallow inner bay reefs.“Walleye move
progressively shallower as spring
approaches,” says Martin, adding that
by March, most fish in the bay are
caught in less than six feet of water
and less than a mile from shore.
This migration concentrates thou- Mark Martin uses several lures for calling walleyes – the most common being jigsands of walleye in a relatively small ging Rapalas, spoons or rattle baits - but the key is to work them aggressively.

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walk quietly wearing ice cleats – by
assembling portable shanties, setting up electronics and positioning
minnow buckets, tackle boxes, etc…
within easy reach ahead of time.
Settled in? Good. Now it’s time
to start fishing.
Martin suggests a three-pronged
approach spanning a range of tactics
that target neutral to aggressive fish.
He starts with a tip-up rigged with an
eight pound test fluorocarbon leader
and a single, plain hook. A medium sized shiner is lightly hooked
through the back between the tail
and dorsal fin, which forces the
minnow into a nose down position
requiring it to swim in order to stay
horizontal. “Too many anglers hook
the minnow right in the middle so
it hangs horizontally”, says Martin,
adding that “very quickly the minnow stops swimming because it
doesn’t need to in order to stay horizontal”. Martin also suggests adding
a small split shot about 18 inches up
from the hook to keep the minnow
from swimming all the way to the
surface.
Martin’s second rig is a dead
stick – an ice jigging rod and reel
supporting a quarter ounce jig and

Freshwater Hall of Fame angler Mark Martin uses a combination of tactics to
attract and catch late ice Saginaw Bay walleye. Kenny Darwin photo
minnow suspended just off the
bottom. The jig is heavy enough to
anchor the minnow in place while
still allowing it to wiggle enticingly,
making it an easy target for walleye
that aren’t in a chasing mood.
The final rig is the key to Martin’s strategy, even if it may not
always catch the most fish. This is
the rig used to call walleye in from
great distances.
Several lures may be used for
calling – the most common being
jigging Rapalas, spoons or rattle
baits - but the key is to work them
aggressively. Quickly rip the lure upward and immediately let it free fall
to the bottom where it hits with an
audible “thump” that gets the atten-

tion of walleye in the vicinity. Even
though they may not be in an aggressive mood, the walleye’s inquisitive
nature causes them to come in to
investigate the commotion made by
the aggressively jigged lure stirring
up silt and mud.
On some days the aggressive rig
not only calls in the walleye but triggers the most bites as well. On other
days its sole function is to bring the
walleye in close so they see – and
bite - the less aggressive dead stick
and tip up presentations nearby.
Martin’s approach ensures
walleye will see a presentation that
matches their mood and is a great
way to be successful even when fishing in the middle of a crowd.n

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

area easily accessible to anglers on
foot – perhaps too accessible for
some, as this also leads to crowded
conditions.
Upon encountering such crowds,
many anglers instinctively look for
a place where they can fish undisturbed. However, freedom from
crowds too often means freedom
from fish at this time of year. Constantly moving in an effort to find
what passes for fish-holding structure in the featureless shallow flats of
Saginaw Bay is futile and more important, not necessary since numerous schools of walleye continuously
roam the shallow inner bay and are
never far away.
Rather than stressing over
crowds, Martin stresses techniques
that lead to success under these
conditions.
After selecting a likely location,
proper preparation is needed – get
set up early, then settle in. Drill and
clear out all the holes needed for the
day – not just two or three to start
– then set the power auger aside.
Firing up a noisy power auger won’t
work when you need to bring the fish
to you. Likewise, mitigate the need
for foot travel – it’s impossible to

75

What’s the depth beneath your boat?

S

everal years ago one midsummer afternoon I heard a NOAA
weather warning broadcast on
my marine base radio. It indicated severe thunderstorms and high
winds were expected in the area. I
had left my boat open, so I headed
down to the dock to put the canvas
on and add a few additional mooring
lines before the storm hit.
While I was aboard the boat
securing lines, a MayDay call came
across the radio. I answered the MayDay and learned a sailboat had run
aground. The captain said his vessel
was 38 feet in length, had a shoal-type
keel and it was heeled over. He told
me his depth sounder read 20 feet and
his vessels draft was 6 feet. From his
description, it was evident he was on
the edge of a reef.
Dark clouds bearing the severe
weather predicted were marching
across the horizon. I knew the quicker
my response to remove the boat from
the reef the better the chance to save it
and the people on board.
My crew had heard the radio traffic and responded to the dock. We got
underway and were at the scene of the
grounded vessel within a few

minutes. Winds had increased and wave heights
were building. We feared the
vessel would be driven farther
up on the reef.
While getting underway, I
called my base and requested
another boat be sent to assist.
After it arrived, by using both
vessels we were
able to quickly
remove the sailboat
from the reef and
take it in tow. As
we approached the harbor, the storm
hit. Dock attendants took lines from
the sailboat as we proceeded to moor
our vessels before conditions deteriorated.
After docking, we went aboard
the sailboat to discuss the incident
with the captain. He explained he too
had heard the weather warnings on
his VHF radio and was attempting to
make safe harbor as soon as possible.
He was watching his depth sounder
but running closer to shore than he
normally would. He had a constant
reading of 40 feet, so he felt certain
his course was safe.
The story the skipper told was not

unusual. Boaters frequently
misuse their depth reading
equipment. The placement
of the transducer determines
what depth you are over.
If the transducer is placed
towards the stern of the boat,
the reading on your depth
sounder is the depth you have
already passed over.
Too often, depth
sounders create a
false sense of security. A boat operator believes he has plenty of water. A
depth sounder can only tell you the
depth of the water below the transducer. It cannot tell you the depth
of the water ahead of your vessel.
Thus an encounter with a rock reef or
jetty could place you “hard aground”
before your depth sounder ever registered any change.
If you are using a depth sounder as
a tool for navigating, you must keep in
mind if it shows a drop in depth, you
still require some distance in which
to stop your boat. Only use the DF to
VERIFY your position to the chart –
not as a sole means of navigating.
Depth sounders were only one
of the electronic wonders introduced
in the late 80’s and early 90’s. They
have been a useful tool to assist in locating a position, submerged objects,
or schools of fish. They were never
intended to be the main instrument of
navigation.
When installing of DF, care must
be taken. A DF sends an electronic
signal down and times how long it
takes the signal to bounce off the
bottom structure and return, thereby
determining depth. When installed,
the transducer must have spacers or
adjustments so the signal is directed
straight down beneath the hull. If it
is on an angle, the reading will record
a greater depth than you are in. If the
angle is too great, it may not record at
all.
Many depth sounders can be cali-

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brated. To do so, you need to know
if it is reading properly. After installation, take the vessel to calm water
and anchor or drift. Drop a lead line
(a line with weight at its end heavy
enough to take it straight down) to the
bottom. After retrieval, measure the
distance from the water’s surface to
the weight. Compare it to the reading
on your DF. You can calculate any
differential and adjust to the instrument. If your DF has no calibration,
you may want to send it to the manufacturer for adjustment. Be sure to
make a note of the deviation and place
it on the instrument until you have it
corrected.
Any DF with stern mount transducer intended to show fish, lures, or
cannonballs behind the boat should
not be used when navigating. Depth
readings will be inaccurate. Most
fishermen who use a DF as mentioned
have a second one with a transducer
mounted at a right angle to read actual
depth while under way.
Depending on intended use,
proper installation of a DF will render
it a very useful navigation tool in conjunction with a chart, compass, and
other navigation tools.
The transducer on the sail boat
in the story above was mounted on
the stern of the 38-foot craft. While
the stern was actually over 20 feet of
water, the keel was hard aground.
If you purchase a boat with a DF
already installed, use the lead line test
to verify its accuracy. Never assume
it is reading properly until you check
it. Even then, keep in mind the distance it will take you to stop or change
course. The faster you’re traveling,
the greater the distance required to
stop.
Many pleasure boats used for fishing no longer use depth sounders.
They have replaced them with fish
finders and videos. It cannot be
assumed however with the use of
current equipment your depth is
accurate.n

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Browning BAR, Grade II my first good deer rifle
center, at 100 yards. I was impressed.
My folks got me the BAR when
I was in high school. My wood shop
teacher helped me mount a Weaver
1.5 to 4.5 power variable scope on it. I
was a very happy deer hunter that fall
even though I did not kill a buck. A
few seasons later, I took my first one,
with the BAR. Once I got a touch of
buck fever out of the way, it was an
easy shot on broadside spike,
at about 80 yards.
The buck ran after the
shot and that made me
nervous again. I wasn’t sure
I had it until I found two
pieces of deer hair lying in
the leaves where it had been
standing.
They were 18 inches apart
and that told me my
bullet had gone right
through the buck.
It had been raining
all day and there was no
blood, but I found the buck 30 yards
down the main deer trail. It had made
a final leap off the trail and into the
trees at the end and I almost walked
past it.
Just after I got the BAR my father
was invited to go to Wyoming to hunt
antelope with his cousins. His deer
rifle was a old 8mm Mauser with iron
sights. I thought the
BAR would do better out west where
shots were long. It did work well on a
young buck. The Mauser might have
too. Dad took his shot at the antelope
from 100 yards.
Dad passed on a shot at a large
mule deer doe the next day. The
weather had turned warm and he
thought the meat might spoil. One
of his cousins gave dad a small doe
he killed. With antelope and venison
in the freezer, we ate really well that

Gun Chat
By Lee Arten

winter.
The BAR was in on my only
western hunt. Dad and mom were
wintering in southern Utah and I went
there one fall to hunt mule deer with
dad. It was the first, and only, time I’d
flown with a rifle. Baggage claim in
Las Vegas took what seemed like an
awfully long time. I was quite relieved
when the hard case rolled down the
belt and into view.
I saw several does on that trip but
had no antlerless permit. A big buck
appeared uphill in a clearing between
scrub oaks. Unfortunately, I was the
second guy to see it.
(The first guy missed and the buck
faded into the scrub.) The BAR did
fine though, holding zero all the way
from Michigan to Utah and back
again.
After accounting for dad’s antelope, and my first buck, the BAR got
me a close-range coyote and a bear at
70 yards. (The Remington 150s were
pretty hard on the coyote.) My older
son hunted with it for a few years after
it became my back up deer rifle, but
did not get a deer.
The Weaver variable got tired and
I took it off the BAR and installed
it on aThompson Center .50 caliber
muzzleloader. I put a Bushnell Sportview 3-9 power variable on the BAR.
The bargain variable has been working well, so far. If I was using the
BAR more I’d probably put a Leupold

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on it. I’ve had a Leupold 2-7 power
on my current bolt-action deer rifle
for years and it is one of’ my favorite
hunting scopes.
The BAR was first produced in
1967 and redesigned in 1993. I’ve
always liked the look of the original
BAR better than the later version. The
.30-06 was in the first group of calibers offered in the BAR. Lighter and
heavier rounds followed. The magnums started with the 7mm Remington Magnum and the .300 Winchester
Magnum.
Neither of those calibers intrigued
me. The .338 Winchester Magnum
came later and did get my attention. A
BAR in that caliber just seemed like a
fine idea.

I handled a used BAR in .338 in
a gun store near the border of Minnesota and South Dakota years ago. The
price was $600. Having just spent lots
of money on a family trip to the North
and South Dakota, I talked myself
out of buying it. Sometimes I wish I
hadn’t.n

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FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

I

t wasn’t the first gun I hunted
deer with. That was an old ACME
12 gauge single-shot break-open
shotgun. It wasn’t my first deer
rifle. That was a sporterized 1917
Enfield in .30-06. But my Browning
BAR, Grade II, was my first really
good deer gun.
A review of several semiautomatic
deer rifles in a gun magazine helped
me make up my mind. I’d
been leaning toward a Winchester 100 but the Browning was more accurate in the
magazine’s tests. I liked the
look of the BAR too. My
first visit to the range with
the new Browning showed it
was accurate and had a good
trigger. I measured the pull
weight at three and a half
pounds and figured that
was just right.
I had thought about
some other calibers but
chose the .30-06 (It’sstill hard to go
wrong with it.) I preferred the engraved Grade II gun to the Grade I
without engraving. The BAR shows
wear from hunting now, but it’s still a
handsome rifle.
The only real drawback of the
BAR is that it is heavy. As a young
hunter the weight didn’t bother me.
Later, it was a factor in choosing a
light bolt-action as my second good
deer rifle.
With Remington 150 grain CoreLokt rounds, and my reloads made
with the same bullet, the BAR regularly shot three-shot groups of an inch
and an eighth at 100 yards from the
bench. A few years ago I loaded some
ammo, with the same bullet, that was
a bit hotter than usual. With those
rounds the BAR fired a three-shot
group of exactly one inch, center to

77

Hunt Of A Lifetime...

Young hunter
takes big
Michigan elk

My son, Ryan DelGaudio,
17 a junior at Howell High was
lucky enough to draw one of
the few Michigan elk tags that
were given out this year. Over
33,000 people applied for a
2014 elk permit, the DNR issued 100 tags, 70 cow tags and
30 bull tags. He got a bull tag
for the December hunt period.
Once you get a bull tag, you
can never apply again, it’s truly Ryan DelGaudio
a once in a lifetime hunt.
with his 5x6 bull elk
We hired guide Kevin Johnson from Big Boys Adventures TV in Gaylord, who has his own hunting
show which airs on the sportsman and pursuit channels. They filmed the
hunt which is due to come out in the fall of next year.
Ryan’s hunt started on December 6. It was challenging hunting the first
few days with the unusual lack of snow in the area for this time of year.
Although we were able to track down a few smaller bulls, Ryan decided to
wait for a bigger one. On December 9, the fourth day of the hunt we woke
up to some fresh snow. That morning we were able to find fresh tracks and
started following them. We were able to catch up to some bulls, but could
not get a good shot. After tracking them through woods, up and down
hills for about a mile, finally he was able to sneak up and get a clean shot at
around 2:00 p.m. on this nice 5x6 bull that weighed 500 lbs. dressed out.
It was an amazing experience for both of us, one that we will remember for the rest of our lives.
Submitted By Chuck DelGaudio

Deer Tracks
Ranch
Buffalo • Elk
• Deer •
Hu
nts Als
Availableo

Celebrating another great year of QDM!

15th Thumb QDMA REACH Banquet
Dr. Craig Harper is a Professor of
Wildlife Management at The
University of Tennessee. Craig is
widely considered to be one of the
nation’s leading experts on land
management practices for wildlife.
He is a Certified Wildlife
Biologist®, a Certified Prescribed
Fire Manager, and has authored
more than 100 peer-reviewed
publications, including 2 books on
managing early successional
habitat and food plots.

Dr. Craig Harper
Special Guest Speaker

Saturday, February 28, 2015
Ubly Heights Golf & Country Club
Dinner, Drinks, Guns, Bows, Games, Raffles, Auctions
Order your tickets by February 15th! No ticket sales at the door!
Doors open at 3PM, Speaker at 4:30PM, Dinner at 6PM.

Fun for the whole family! Bring your deer for scoring!
FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

Cut & mail to: QDMA, P.O. BOX 82, Bad Axe, MI 48413. Check payable to: Thumb Branch QDMA

78

or MasterCard / VISA accepted (circle card type)
Card # ____________________________________________ Exp. Mo/Yr ________________

HOG
HUNTS

PLEASE CALL FOR
COW ELK & WHITETAIL
BUCK SPECIALS!

231.258.0617

____ $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: ________________

“Hunting for Health”
Changing lives and making a difference!
Presented By The PCUPS Foundation...

160 hunters, will raffle
off guns and many other high dollar
items. And we hope to raise close to
$30, 000,” said Strickler.
Strickler added, “I think we all
enjoy the event from start to finish.
There’s usually a few of us that start
set up Thursday night. And we go
all the way through Saturday night.
I know I enjoy the excitement early
in the morning when everybody is
having breakfast getting ready to start
the hunt. We’ve been lucky the last
few years to have a growing number
of youth hunters involved. The kids
have brought a new excitement to the
hunt.”
The PCUPS Foundation continues
to promote men’s health and wellness
through sport and recreation. Currently, the PCUPS Foundation grants
funds to six hospitals throughout
the Thumb Region and has recently
started working with the Urology Department at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. To
learn more about the PCUPS Foundation, please visit www.pcups.org.
PCUPS have had a number of
success stories over the past couple
years of saving men’s lives through
screening. Lamm has seen first-hand
the health benefits of regular screening and check-ups.
“I was working a few months ago
when one of my coworkers called me.
He told me that one of our customers
was recently diagnosed and treated
for Prostate cancer. He then told
me that the he only went and got his
PSA test due to the PCUPS Program
which is made possible by our annual
Hunting for Health event. I know I
would have never heard about this
success story if it hadn’t have been
for coworker telling me and he only
knew it was us because he attended
the hunt over the past few years and

knows where the money is spent. My
customer has currently beat cancer
and it’s a great feeling to know that
something you helped create is the
reason for this success,” says Lamm.
The cost is $250 per hunter per
day but includes clay target shoot, full
breakfast, eight pheasant per person
release, European Pheasant Hunt,
catered lunch, walk—up hunt, bird
cleaning and tip for dog handlers.
Youth hunters (17 years or younger)
are also welcome at a discounted price
of $200 per day. Hunters attending the
event will want to wear orange and
protective eye care. Ammunition can
be brought or purchased at the hunt.
Organizers would like to thank partici-

pants and sponsors for their support
and they are planning on making the
2015 even the best one yet.
“People can count on good food,
fun & competitive hunting, beautiful
hunting land and LOTS of shooting.
How many number of shells you think
you need…..be sure to double it!” said
Strickler.
This event has been aired on state
(Michigan Out-of-Doors TV) and
national (Maximum Outdoors TV)
television. you can not attend this
event, want to donate, or host an event
for the PCUPS Foundation, please
feel free to email tom@pcups.org, call
810-705-3181 or visit www.huntingforhealth.org n

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6 Bird Special $120 per gun ONLY Thru December

Affordable pheasant hunting on 317 acres of
switch grass, dwarf-milo sorgrum, and corn.
Traditional Ringneck Pheasants • Extra birds shot are free.
Morning or afternoon hunts. • Bird Cleaning is available.
Excellent dogs and guides - $60 per 1/2 day - $100 per full day
Steel shot loads only.

www.affordablepheasanthunting.com
Walkiewicz Farms

6115 Chapin Road • Deford, Michigan 48729

1-989-683-2749

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

H

Fast forward to
By Lane Walker gun.
2015, we expect over

ow important
is your health?
Your family?
What if one, quick health screen
could save your life? Health screenings are vital and early detection can
make the difference between life and
death.
One excuse men can’t use is
that a health screen costs too much.
Thanks to the PCUPS Foundation,
prostate exams are free and easy to
schedule. PCUPS Foundation raises
money through their annual “Hunting
for Health” event held every March.
PCUPS stands for Prostate Cancer Understanding, Prevention and
Screening.
This year, organizers are hoping
even more hunters take part in the
yearly tradition which will be held on
Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March
21 at the Rooster Ranch just outside
of Ubly.
The goal of the event is to increase
awareness towards prostate cancer and
offer free screenings. Last year, the
event nearly sold out!! It raised over
$26,000 and had 157 hunters participate in the two-day event.
The event originally started as a
one-day hunt in 2008 but switched to
a two-day hunt in March 2012. The
first ever event benefited the American
Cancer Society with 34 hunters raising just over $1,000. Since 2012, the
two-day event has raised $54,000 and
currently has paid for over 1,000 prostate cancer screenings. Recently, the
PCUPS Foundation has received the
Sanilac County Silver Lining “Crystal” Award presented by the Sanilac
County Community Foundation.
Co-founders Tom Albrecht, Paul
Lamm and Shane Strickler started the
event because they wanted to raise
money for cancer research, which is
close to the heart of these men.
“After losing my dad to cancer,
our team looks forward to putting on
this event. We are fortunate to have
designed an event that caters to all
ages and gives everyone the opportunity to enjoy the day hunting pheasants,” said Albrecht.
After hunting several times at the
Rooster Ranch, the men knew where
they wanted to host a professional
fundraiser. Sponsorship opportunities
are available in a variety of ways such
as becoming an Event Sponsor, Lunch
Sponsor, Breakfast Sponsor, Hunt &
Hut Sponsor or Hut Sponsor.
“I don’t think any of us would
have thought that Hunting for Health
would have turned into what it has
become. When we started the hunt
many years ago, it was to get a few
people together and try and raise a
few hundred dollars by raffling off a

79

Reader Trail Cam Photos
Send your Reader Trail-Cam Photos to:
wnw@pageone-inc.com
Randall Beard
sent us this
wolf caught
on a trail cam
in Chippewa
County near
Barbeau. This
is Randall’s
first year
setting trail
cams and we
hope he sends
us more.

Charlie Underwood of McMillan got trail cam photos of this young
doe who showed up every day during the hunting season. Charlie
commented he thought the doe liked to pose for the camera.

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

Mark Geneseo captured this family of black bears on trail cam in
Roscommon County in mid December.

80

Joe Lunkas captured this interesting scene from nature, a dandy
buck, healthy doe and a rabbit who joined the party as well. Joe
likes the genetics of this buck and will be watching him all year.

Larry Piotrowski sent us this photo of an Oakland county mega buck that he named
“Daggers.” Since the time of this trail cam photo Larry estimates the big buck has lost
40 or more pounds from the rut. Larry noted his ripped right ear as well.

Craig Sredzinski captured this trail cam photo of a coyote posing proudly on Christmas day in Roscommon. This is the same spot and camera Craig got a nice black bear
photo which was published in the January issue of Woods-N-Water News.

Peter Neumeyer got this trail cam photo of Mother
Nature at work. Peter asks if it is a fox or a coyote
with a rabbit in its mouth? We think a coyote.

Kraig Staples caught this nice young black bear on trail cam in his front yard of his Millersburg
cabin. If this photo looks familiar, Woods-N-Water News ran this photo last month but attributed
it to another contributor. We are sorry for the mistake.
Mark Jahn shares
with us this trail cam
photo of two very
nice bucks sparring
near Jeddo in early
December. Great trail
cam photo Mark,
thanks for sending.

Scott Taylor of Kalamazoo caught this photo of a white
turkey on trail cam. It does have some black pigment to
it, which we think would make it a Smoky Black rather
than a true albino.

Dave Sczepanski of Midland sent us this picture of his brother’s hunting property
in Gladwin last deer season. He didn’t see a deer on his property for two weeks...
after getting this photo he now knows why.

Here’s a monster
southwest Wayne
County buck taken
on trail cam by Tim
Elden. Tim tells us,
“I tagged out and
could only view
him and take a
couple daytime pictures of him and a
doe during the rut.
Should have bought
the combo.” Yep,
we think so too!

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

Russ Videan sent us
another trail cam
photo of a black
bear checking out a
feeder near Tustin.

81

Sporting Collectibles...By Terry McBurney

More sport show finds
I

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

will be setting up my “Made in
Michigan” fishing tackle displays
at the 2015 Novi Outdoorama,
February 26-March 1 and the 2015
Grand Rapids Ultimate Sports
Show March 19-22. The displays will
include new lures I have added to my
collection as well as several rod and
reel combos and fishing accessories
that will prove interesting to show
goers. I enjoy talking to people about
their old fishing tackle and will be offering free appraisals at both shows. I
also take photographs of special items.
Some are valuable objects, a few are
historically important and many times,
they are truly unusual. Many of the
items I photograph at the different
shows end up in my Woods-N-Water
News monthly articles. This month’s
article features four unique items that
I hope will appeal to my readers.
The first item, the Shooting Lure,
was brought into a show by Michigan lure collector, Bill Wazelle, of
Westland, Michigan. This wood
topwater bait was invented by machinist Thomas G. Prentice of Detroit
and was the first example of this rare
lure that I had personally seen. The
Shooting Lure has been found in only
two color combinations so far - red,
white and blue, as well as red and

82

Above: The rare Shooting Lure was a
spring-loaded wood bait made by Thomas
Prentice of Detroit - probably only for
one year in 1949. Bill Wazelle collection.
Right: The only Shooting Lure ad known
- from the June 1949 issue of Field and
Stream magazine.
white. The lure is stamped either with
“pat. pending” or is marked “Pat. No.
#2470861 Other Pats. Pend.”, and all
of the photos that I have seen of the
lure show a smudged stamping on its
side.
The spring-loaded Shooting Lure
measures 2 ¼-inches in length. There
is a line tie at the front end of the
lure that is attached to a rod that goes
through the center of the hollow bait.

the rod and treble hook into a cocked
position when it is pushed forward.
When a fish strikes the projections,
the spring is released and shoots the
treble hook into the fish’s mouth. The
lure has to be handled carefully or an
unsuspecting angler could be in for
quite a surprise.
Thomas Prentice applied for the
patent for his spring lure on September 1, 1945, and it was granted on
May 24, 1949. He also applied for
three separate patents for variations
and improvements for his Shooting
Lure, which were granted March 27,
1951, May 8, 1951 and March 2, 1954
respectively.
The Shooting Lure came packaged in a printed cardboard box with
the following copy: “A Strike-Shoot
- Sensational new fishing lure. When
struck it shoots hooks into mouth of
fish. Sure catch for bass, pickerel and
other game fish. Attractive colors,
surface float, weedless hooks. Get
yours now! Price One Dollar. Thos. G.
Prentice, Box 61, Detroit 31 Mich.”
I have been able to discover only one
ad for the lure, which appeared in the
The Dan Mac Angle Worm Harvester was a
June 1949 issue of Field and Stream
hand crank electrical generator salvaged
magazine with ad copy that was
from an old telephone. When it was cranked, it identical to the copy printed on the
would create an electrical current that would cardboard box.
drive worms out of the ground. Ron Kurtz colPrentice’s Shooting Lure had some
lection. Below: The October 1956 issue of Field stiff competition from another Detroitand Stream featured the Dan Mac Angle Worm manufactured spring lure during the
Harvester.
same period of time, the Mittig or the
Davis Trigger Fish, a plastic bait with
The rod, which is inside a spring, is
a similar shooting treble hook system.
attached to a treble hook at the back of The company’s biggest problem, howthe lure. There are raised projections
ever, was that they only had one item
on the outside of the lure that will lock to sell. They were another example

of a small lure manufacturer with a
clever concept that proved impossible
to market efficiently, therefore, the
company remained in business for
only short time.
The second item is unique and
something that made me smile when
Ron Kurtz explained to me what it
was and how it worked. Ron, from
Sturgis, Michigan, had it on display
at a recent show and allowed me to
photograph it for this article. The
item was a “Dan Mac Angle Worm
Harvester”. The device was marketed
by the Telephone Repair and Supply
Company of Chicago. It was a hand
cranked electrical generator harvested
out of some sort of old telephone
equipment and equipped with pipe
clamps and flexible insulated wires.
Using this contraption, the angler
could carry the Dan Mac Harvester
out to a likely looking spot on his
lawn, garden or compost pile, insert
the wires into the ground, and then
vigorously turn the crank creating
an electrical current. The electricity
would shoot from wire to wire driving
unsuspecting angle worms and night
crawlers out of the ground where they
could easily be picked up - all for only
$6.50 post paid!
I have only found one small ad
featuring the Dan Mac Angle Worm
Harvester in any outdoor magazine,
the October 1956 issue of Field and
Stream magazine. The company also
heavily advertised its main business in
Popular Science and Popular Mechanic magazines. They sold repaired and
salvaged telephones and telephone
systems. One ad promoted magneto
hand crank rural telephones, battery
operated telephones, motel telephone
systems, antique wood box crank telephones, and telephone lamps. They
also listed the worm harvester at the
bottom of these ads between 1956 and
1958.
The third item was brought into
the recent Grand Rapids Antiques
Market by Mark & Lynn Shoemaker
where I was appraising old fishing
tackle. It was a 3-inch red and white
plastic lure marked “Magnetic Weedless” on the right side and “Clyde C.
Hoage Original” on the left side of
the bait. What intrigued me was its
elaborate weedless hook harness. A
metal plate on the bottom of the lure
held a hinged set of twin weed guards
that protected the hook points. A
magnet, imbedded in the lure’s body
at the front of the weedguard, held the
weedguard closed until a fish hit the
lure. The strike forced the weedguard
up and the fish would hook itself.
The “Magnetic Weedless” system
worked quite well with the pivot-

Left/Middle: The Clyde C. Hoage Magnetic Weedless lure featured a magnetic weedless hook system. Mark and Lynn Shoemaker collection. Right: The green and yellow (perch) Magnetic Weedless in its cardboard box. Robbie Pavey collection.
ing weedguard opening and closing
smoothly. The lure was manufactured
in five colors: red and white, red and
yellow, green with yellow trim (frog),
orange with green trim (perch), and
black and white.
The inventor of the Magnetic
Weedless lure was Charles Clyde
Hoage. He went by the name Clyde
C. Hoage, which shows up on his
patents, numerous city directories, as
well as advertising sheets promoting

the magnetic weedguard. The bait
was manufactured by the General
Tool Company of St. Paul, Minnesota, which later became the Water
Gremlin Company. Hoage’s inventive mind was also responsible for
the wooden 4-inch Spoon Fin and 6
¼-inch Musky Spoon Fin, as well
as the metal versions of the Spoon
Fin developed in the 1940s. He also
created the Water Gremlin Spinner,
the Water Gremlin harness, the Silver

collection.
Several of my readers recognized the lures
and steered me to further
information on the lures’ inventor
Fred Phillips. Fred was born in 1884
on a farm near Millbrook, Michigan,
a small village located on the Pine
River half way between Blanchard
and Remus, Michigan. He spent his
early years working as a farm laborer
and later moved to Lansing where he
worked for the Durant Motor Company at their Verlinden Avenue plant as
a repair foreman. The plant was shuttered in 1931 when the final Durant
car rolled off the Lansing assembly
line. Fred returned to the family farm
in Millbrook where he started making
his lures throughout the 1930’s.
At first, he made the lures for
himself and then later started giving
them away to friends. Soon, he began
selling them out of his home and then
out of Emil Ratenger’s barbershop
in nearby Remus. His three-hook
minnows came in three styles. The
earliest was a “cross-hatched” lure
that was similar to the checkering on
a gunstock. The second style had a
dark color painted underneath with
dots of lighter colored paint on top
to give the lure a spotted effect. The
third design was finished with metallic paints in different color combinations.
The diving lips and diamondshaped hook hardware were hand

cut from galvanized metal while his
later models had diving lips made
from stainless steel. Some of his lures
had glass eyes, others had painted
eyes and a number have been found
without eyes. Most of Fred’s minnows were about 4-inches in length,
but he did make a smaller 2 ½-inch
model primarily to fish for walleyes.
Initially, they sold for $1 a lure and
later sold for $1.50 at the end of
production.
I will be out searching for more of
Fred Phillips minnows, so please contact me if you know of some. Email
me at antiquefishing@comcast.net.
Special thanks to the following tackle collectors who allowed
me to photograph these interesting
items: Bill Wazelle and his Shooting
Lure; Ron Kurtz and the Dan Mac
Angle Worm Harvester; Mark and
Lynn Shoemaker and their Magnetic
Weedless lure; and Jim Muma and
the Phillips Minnows. Thanks also
to Robbie Pavey for allowing me to
use his photo of the boxed Magnetic
Weedless lure. I would like to acknowledge Bob Slade’s chapter on
the “General Tool Company” from
his The Encyclopedia of Old Fishing
Lures: Made in North America and
Roy Jones for his article “The Phillips
Minnow” from the June 1997 issue of
the NFLCC Gazette.n

IT’S SPORT SHOW TIME AGAIN....
the lure. Born in 1894 near Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, by 1914 he
had moved to nearby St. Paul, Minnesota where he made a living as a
studio photographer. During the early
1930’s, Clyde and his wife, Grace,
moved to the small town of Tower,
Minnesota, which is southwest of
Ely, the gateway to the Minnesota’s
Boundary Waters and close to some
of the best fishing in Minnesota. In
was during this period that he started
patenting different fishing lures and
fishing rigs.
Clyde applied for a patent on the
Magnetic Weedless lure on May 2,
1946. Patent #2459819 was granted
on January 25, 1949, and featured

Slipper weedless lure, the HoageHoldright harness, and the Hoage
Clasp-On Troller harness.
The fourth item is one that I wrote
about in last year’s September issue
of Woods-N-Water News. I wrote that
the two baits were “a pair of unknown
wood lures that both measure about
4-inches in length… clearly handmade lures meant to closely imitate
early Pikie-styled baits first made by
Creek Chub”. Jim Muma, author and
lure collector from Belleville, Illinois
had allowed me to photograph them
at the NFLCC (National Fishing Lure
Collectors Club) convention and then
later had graciously presented them to
me for my “Made in Michigan” lure

Grand Rapids
Ultimate Sport Show
March 19 - 22, Devos Place
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
one of his restored classic boats along with a display of vintage outboard motors.
Dick will also be answering your questions and offering free appraisals.
Bring in your father’s or grandfather’s 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.

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

Fred Phillips from Millbrook, Michigan handmade these 4-inch wood lures during the
1930s. Terry McBurney photos

Novi Outdoorama
Feb. 26 - March. 1
Suburban Collection Showcase

83

Guest Column By Robert A. Soulliere

Father/Son harvest

TROPHY BUCKS
M
y son Ryan and I have been
hunting partners since he
was five years old. Whether
it was Layout shooting for
Divers, Coffin Blinds for
Geese, Flooded Cornfields for Mallards or in a tree stand for Whitetail,
we are always together. When it
comes to whitetail, we have been all
over Southern Michigan, Illinois and
Ohio. His first deer kill was at 10
years old with a bow, as he harvested
a doe at 30 yards. His first encounter with a Trophy Buck was in Pike
County, Illinois, where he missed a
170” at 20 yards due to Buck Fever.
So it began our pursuit of Trophy
Bucks, while practicing QDM and
Doe Harvest Management where ever
we hunt.
Years ago, we made a new friend,
Rick Kleiner, who had property in
Southwest Michigan. I soon realized,
this was a man with great whitetail
knowledge and an appreciation for
the outdoors. Rick is a true believer in
QDM and enforces it on his property.
“You can’t shoot a quality deer if you
keep shooting the young bucks,” I
can hear him say. We soon formed a
tight bond and become great hunting
partners.
Over the years, we have placed
strategic food plots and stands to offer the best opportunities to harvest a
quality Buck, which the area is known
for. We’ve studied whitetail movement via Trail Cams, named a few,
monitored them from year to year and
establish hit lists per season. All of us,
including Ryan, follow this strategy,
so that Any Given Sunday, “The
One,” might step out.

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

My 155”

84

So last year, after 5 years, my pay
off day came. On November 1st, with
my Mathews Reason in hand, a studly
155” Class Buck stepped into my area
chasing a hot doe. He presented me
with a shot, but the circumstances at
that moment kept me from closing the
deal. I thought the “Buck of a Lifetime “opportunity had past me by as
he bolted 80 yards out. After looking
up to the heavens and wondering how
this could be, he stopped downwind
on an oak ridge and picked up my
estrus scent line. He slowly worked
down the ridge paralleling my stand
trying to find his next mate unknowing that I was watching his every
move.
Along the ridge were to Cottonwoods that I knew were at 40 Yards.
I practice shooting 60 yards, so that
if I ever have to shoot a 40 yard shot,

I know it’s a given. I then realized, I
have a second chance at fulfilling a
dream. I was already in draw position
when he walked in between the trees
and stopped broadside, as if he read
my script. I took a deep breath, leaned
into the shot, exhaled and released
with the pin on his rib cage. He immediately mule kicked in the air, came
down on his front elbows and scooted
over the ridge. I was sure I made a
quality shot.
So the longest hour of my life was
sitting in that tree stand. After coming
down, I went to the two trees to find
the signs of a quality hit. Immediately the blood trail started. I slowly
went up and over the ridge hoping to
see him folded up. As older deer are
usually tougher, I was not shocked to
find he wasn’t there. The blood trail
thinned out and led me to an edge of a
tributary that was raging from a heavy
rainy season. I pulled out and returned
with my partner Rick. We searched hi
and low for days, but no luck. Day in
and day out, all fall, winter, spring and
summer, no luck. Where could he be?
My dreams of Utopia turned into
an agonizing pain in my gut. I stared
at the ceiling at night wondering
where he is and flipping thru trail cam
pics during the day, throughout the
year. This was not going away until
I can get back on that horse and ride.
Rick felt the pains, as well. A quality
deer on his property had not been harvested and might have become winter
harvest for a den of hungry coyotes.
As the summer months closed in
on Bow season, I often checked trail
cams for this year’s harvest. While
checking the cam in that area along a
ditch line, I noticed the trail was not
being used due to some deadfall. As
I went down the ditch looking for the
hot run, something caught my eye.
There sticking out of the reseeded
water, covered in fall colored leaves,
was a small white object that appeared
to be a Tine.
So down the ditch I went to some
deadfall, crossed over and raced to the
spot. As I grabbed some tag alders to
lean into the ditch, I reached down to
move the leaves away from the object
and there was my buck of a lifetime
in the dark water. Somehow, he had
ended up in the bottom of the ditch
not 50 yards from the treestand. How
we did not find him will always be
a mystery. I immediately returned to
the cabin to find Rick on the porch
and shared the moment. While we
were both disappointed in finding the
trophy last fall, we were both excited
to know, the search was over.

Webby, Moosy...this monster buck had plenty of nicknames but it was 16
year-old Ryan Soulliere that harvested the 19-pt. opening day of gun season!
feed patterns, wind direction, moon
phases and cam Intel were weekly
Four years ago, while sifting thru discussions. We were sure to be in the
trail cam pics, one scrappy 1 1/2 year game, but nature has a way of changold stood out. He was a palmated 4 by ing the rules throughout the season.
on one side and a fork on the other.
So every week was a new game plan.
My son Ryan nicknamed him “WebStill, bow season produced no opporby.” I discussed with Rick on taktunities to the show.
ing him out of the gene pool. Rick’s
The night before the opener, Ryan
response was to let him go and see
and I showed up at camp. After sharwhat he turns into. The second year
ing some Intel with Rick and the rest
indicated a little growth with nothing of the hunters, it was time to prepare
exciting to look at. Year three sent us for the morning activities. We scented
a message. He was slowly maturing
down and slipped out into the woods
into what looked to be a sensational
to swap trail cam chips. We carefully
future harvest. This was year four and navigated thru the property with a key
we picked him back up in September. on as little disturbance as possible.
As I sifted thru the pics, I ran across
I pointed out to Ryan the two man
Webby with wide open eyes. I called
ladder stand I put up in August, that I
Ryan over to the computer to see what thought would be a great spot for him.
he had evolved to. Ryan was ecstatic. So back to camp we went, with chips
We immediately sent the pics to Rick, in hand. After dinner with the boys
followed with a phone call. After nu- in town, we sifted thru the numerous
merous conversations, it was obvious; pics and filtered out the shooters to
this was number one on our list.
be considered. With Rick being the
Throughout bow season, there
leader of discussions, we established
were no opportunities to harvest this
the possible list of harvest bucks. This
magnificent animal. We did manis always followed by Rick’s knowlage to see him on cams from time to
edge of any given Sunday; any big
time, but mostly nocturnal. Rick and I buck could step out. Just don’t shoot
had numerous discussions on how to
the young ones, quality bucks only.
strategically pursuit this buck without Stand selection is then the last busidisturbing his natural traffic thru the
area. Scent control, stand selection,
Father/son trophy bucks page 86

Ryan’s 19 Pointer

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85

Father/Son trophy bucks:
from page 84
ness to discuss. After that, it’s off to
bed and dreams of Booners all night.
Opening morning came around
with 20’ cold temps and a 1/2” of
snow on the ground. The plan was
to hit the ground running at 5:30 and
head to the stands. Ryan and I were
the first ones out the door and down
the two track we went. We came to
our split up point, high fived, wished
each other good luck and both faded
into the darkness. Ryan set up in the
ladder stand, which overlooked a bedding area and a cut corn field. While
I used a climber and shimmied up a
pencil stick overlooking an oak ridge
and a marsh.
As daybreak approached, the
anticipation of the first glimpse of a
deer was overwhelming. By 8 am, it
sounded like an invasion had taken
place, but yet no activity. I felt the
buzz from my phone, which implied
a text. With no action, great visibility
and good wind to cover my tracks, I
felt safe in answering. It was Ryan.
He had seen 19 deer, of which five
were bucks. He had indicated that he
passed on a specific buck that made
me quite proud of his QDM skillsets.
Still, no action for me.
By 8:30, I was wondering whether I chose an active area. Then suddenly, they started to come in. Bucks

Love
The
Outdoors?
#Unplugged

chasing does, does with yearlings and
young bucks following my scent trail.
By 9:00, I felt confident it was going
to be an exciting morning with visual
activity. Then the phone call came!!
“Dddddd Dddddd Dddaddd…
.I… I...I… j… j… j…juuuusttttt sh…
sh…sh…shoot a..a..a..m..m..m..m..
mmonsterrrrrrr!”
“Calm Down, take a breath,” I
replied and asked, “Which one did
you shoot?”
“I don’t know. It happened so
fast. He came in corralling two does
at the same time like a sheep dog. It
was so cool. It’s the only thing that
kept me calm.”
“ Ok, I’ll come down in an hour
to help you look for him.”
Ryan came back with a quick,
“No Dad, he’s dead. I shot him 30
yards in front of me in the cut cornfield and he dropped right on the
spot.”
I told Ryan to wait 20 minutes
and climb down and send me a picture as I had a buck heading my way.
I will never forget the conversation as long as I live. Meanwhile, the
text messages were coming in from
around the area. “Was that Ryan?”
“Did he shoot a big buck?” “Which
one did he shoot?”
Twenty minutes later, the sec-

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Robert A. Soulliere with his trophy buck that took him nearly a year to find.
ond phone call came in, “Dddddd
Dddddd Dddaddd….It’s… H… H…
Himmmmm! It’s Webby! Dad, I shot,
The One!”
I questioned him, not believing
him.
“Dad, He’s in my hands. I shot
the man! By the way, I have a buck
and a doe walking up to me right
now. What do I do?”
“Is he a shooter?” I asked. After
Ryan send no I was on my way I fast
as I could.
By now, the text traffic was off
the hook. I soon let out the news of
Ryan’s accomplishments. The text
read “Ryan just killed Webby and
has him in his hands!” Most of the
responses were two fold, “Ohhhhh,
Mannnn” and “Congrats.” Rick was
on the scene in minutes. After a
quick Good Ol’ Boy Body Slam into
the ground, Rick grabbed Ryan and
hugged him for closing the deal on a
lifetime achievement. I soon joined
them for the activities and celebrated
my son’s accomplishment.
After struggling to get him on a
quad, we made our way to the pole
barn. We were soon joined by neighbors and local law enforcement that
had heard the news. “Wow, word
travels fast around here.” Everyone
wanted a picture of what is known to

the area as “MOOSY.”
After cleaning him up, it was onto
Jerome’s market for the Puck Pole.
We were soon in the company of Troy
Sandy, a gentleman we met a few
weeks back. He asked if anyone had
shot the big buck from the trails cams
that we shared. As I pointed to Ryan
and the tailgate, his eyes lit up. As we
dropped the tail gate down, the crowd
exploded on the scene with Troy at
the helm of the story line.
Soon we were escorted to the
pole with spectators in tow. They had
reserved a spot at the end of the pole
for “The One” and here it was, Ryan’s
Monster Buck. Over the course of
the weekend, Ryan went from young
deer hunter to hunter with celebrity
status.
He maintained the largest buck
for the two day event and was rewarded on stage on Sunday night.
Once again, Troy grabbed the mic
and gave Ryan his kudos, which the
crowd cheered him on. As we left
the event to head home late Sunday
night, we both walked out beaming
with joy. This was a great hunting
community that appreciates the tradition of hunting the elusive whitetail
deer of Michigan. We were now and
will always be part of this great
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Guest Column By Tim Miller

A tribute to
my father!
M

The author’s father, mentor, sportsman and ‘good guy’ passed away in
November 2013.
So, early this year I started scouting
and placed my trail cameras. Within
two weeks I had pictures of him and
many other nice deer with potential.
Then I started thinking about how
much I wished my dad was here
looking at these deer instead of me. A
person might hunt his whole life and
never get a buck like the one I had
on camera. Then the summer months
started flying by and I could never put
a distinct pattern on the brute. He was
very hit and miss. The youth season
started to get closer and I actually got
some daylight pictures of him, which

gave me hope. The youth season came
to an end, and two of my four nephews were able to harvest their first
bucks. This was very emotional as I
wished their grandpa would have been
there, he would have been so proud.
Then bow opener! I was super
stoked, ready as you could ever be!
Just before first light opening day
I had a buck which sounded like a
bruiser come through the thicket. I
could hear his antlers hitting branches
and him sniffing a mock scrape I had
put out, but couldn’t see him. Then
he was gone. The next three weeks I
spent hunting this deer without seeing
a single deer. I was starting to get discouraged and really wanted to harvest
something.
I went out to some state land in
Manistee County and harvested a nice
8 point. It felt great to get some meat
in the freezer! Then it was back to the
big boy. Pre-rut was kicking in and
he had scrapes everywhere. Finally
I had an encounter with him! Going
in to the stand about an hour early, I
ran him out of the short pines I was
hunting. It was a full moon so I could
see him out in the field. There was no
question that it was him. I checked my
camera, and he was on his scrape at
5:59 and I was there at 6:10. So after
that it was “game on!”
I started getting in the stand two
hours early to try and beat him there.
Needless to say those two hours
where some cold ones! After hunting
the stand seven times without seeing
him or another deer it was the morning of November 5, and there was
perfect wind straight of the west. I
got in the stand two hours early once
again. At 6:30 I could hear a bunch
of deer trampling around in the woods
but couldn’t see them. I knew it was a
buck on a doe, but I had no clue what
buck. Then it got quiet. Too quiet.
Couldn’t hear a thing. The sun started
to rise and I was discouraged, but happy I had action. Then I saw him cut
across my opening at about 60 yards.
I was shocked. I started to get ready
because he was working the wood line
to a fresh scrape. He stepped out as
I was already at full draw. Made two
swipes on a scrape, and then turned
and gave me a shot at about 17 yards.
I let my arrow and watched it hit just
behind the front shoulder, but had
very little penetration, which scared
the heck out of me.
I got down and looked for blood
for a few minutes and there was very
little. So I went to the house and sat an

Tim Miller with his record book buck that green scored in the 150s.
hour, one of the most anxious hours of will be the new Wexford County bow
my life. Changed my clothes and tried record.n
to warm up and started calling people
to help but no one was available. I
decided to pursue him by myself. I
found specs of blood here and there
but nothing impressive. Then I lost
blood... So I went belly searching!
Walked about 250 yards and didn’t
see him. I literally stood there saying
“white belly, white belly, c’mon white
belly,” as I scanned the brush with my
eyes.
Discouragement kicked. I turned
ROOSTER RANCH
to my right to head back to pick up on
EUROPEAN
blood again. Then my heart jumped as
I see the big white belly beast laying
HUNT FUNDRAISER
only five yards away. Emotions kicked
Will you join us in this
in and I realized all my hard work
exciting
fundraiser opportunity
paid off. I couldn’t help but to look up
to enhance patient safety
and feel my father smiling upon me. I
was blessed. Like father like son. My
and quality of care?
father, Charles Thomas Miller, and his
buck! He green scored high 150s and

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FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

y father hunted this buck
last year, seeing him crossing the field a few times
but never saw him while
hunting. He was just going in for surgery on November 23,
unfortunately he never made it home.
He was such a good man and an awesome hunter. He taught me just about
everything I know. So, the rest of last
year’s season was spent trying to put
the buck my father wanted so badly
down. But he never showed up in the
daylight, and the season came to an
end.

87

An Off-Season Blueprint To Maximize Your Chances To Fill Tags During The Fall...

Early preparation for consistent

T

he 2014 Michigan deer
hunting seasons are now
in the can and many
hunters found lower deer
numbers and experienced tougher hunting
compared to previous
years. Even under ideal conditions,
deer hunting is still a challenging
endeavor, but many of Michigan hunters are facing lots of hurdles that have
contributed to an overall decline in
the deer hunting experience. It’s no
secret that the DNR has been trying
to lower deer numbers across much
of the state and by all accounts, they
have been very successful and some
might even argue that they
have been overly successful and have gone too far in
their deer reduction agenda.
Diseases have also reduced
deer numbers greatly across
much of Michigan. The bad
winters we experienced the
last couple years certainly
slammed deer numbers across much of
the northern half of
the state and last winter even whacked
a lot of deer in southern Michigan too.
A burgeoning predator population
including: wolves, bears, coyotes and
bobcats has also literally taken a bite
out of the deer herd across the state.
Now cougars are making a comeback
adding another top tier predator into
the venison eating mix. It would be
naive to believe that Michigan’s deer
hunters will face anything but increasing challenges for years to come. As
bleak as it seems, savvy hunters will
still find consistent success on quality
Michigan bucks every year. These
hunters make their own luck with year
round preparations that up their odds
greatly for taking the deer of their desires. Read on for an off-season blueprint on how to fully maximize your
chances to fill tags during the fall.

improved and for a number of years,
the deer hunting was good there once
again. Over the last few years though,
due mainly to over-abundant wolves
combined with over harvesting of antlerless deer in the area, deer hunting
on my land is now a shadow of what
it once was. Because public lands in
my area have had scant quotas for antlerless deer tags, I have found much
better hunting on select public land
spots and have shifted much of my
hunting effort to those areas. The end
result was a very successful 2014 deer
hunting season for me with plenty of
venison in the freezer and two nice
racks on the wall.
Hunting public land is not
the only way to stay mobile
in your hunting strategy.
These days, it is certainly not
easy to gain free permission
to hunt private lands, however with diligence, it is still
possible. Free permission is
quickly becoming a thing of
the past though with
sky-high land prices
and real-estate taxes,
one can’t blame land owners for wanting to offset some of their expenses by
leasing their lands. Leasing private
lands has become very popular in
Michigan in recent years. I have both
paid to lease hunting lands and have
also been paid to lease out my own
hunting lands, so I have a lot of experience in this arena. Regardless of
whether you desire free permission or
a lease, now is the time to make those
contacts with land owners. Prime
hunting lands tend to get grabbed up
early. If you even wait until spring to
start looking, you could be left with
the dregs. When you see an opportunity for a quality lease pop up, I’d
advise to not dilly-dallying either. For
example, when I advertised on the
Internet to lease a southern Michigan
property that I own, I had dozens of
people respond in just a couple days,
so in some areas, the demand far outpaces the supply.

By Michael Veine

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

A MOBILE APPROACH

88

For many reasons, the quality of
deer hunting spots often fluctuates
from year to year. Some of the most
constantly successful hunters that I
know don’t tie themselves down to
one small area. I own hunting property in the U.P. When I first bought
that property, deer numbers there were
very high there. Then two horrible
back to back winters in 1996 and
1997 really whacked the entire U.P.
deer herd. Deer numbers eventually

POST SEASON SCOUTING
A lot of deer hunters scout hunting spots during the fall just before
the season begins or even do some
in-season scouting, but it amazes
me how few people take post season scouting seriously. For me, post
season scouting occurs as soon as my
buck tags are filled, which is usually before the firearms deer season

The author’s wife, Donna shot this huge, U.P. buck that weighed 226 pounds
dressed in 2014. She shot this buck from a stand were dozens of hours of
prep work were invested. Michael Veine photo
is over. The best time to scout out
new spots for the following year is
right during the firearm deer season.
The second best time is right after
the season is over when the ground
is bare. Besides attributes of good
deer numbers, in Michigan, hunting
pressure, or lack there of, is perhaps
the most important aspect of a quality
hunting spot. Being able to adapt to
hunting pressure is usually the key to
consistent hunting success in Michigan. Therefore, scouting should focus
as much on hunting pressure analysis
as it does on deer sign.
In 2013, I got lucky and filled both
my buck tags during the early archery
season. To me tagging out early
really gives me a huge advantage
in preparing for the next years deer
seasons. That bit of fortune freed me
up for some serious scouting during
the firearm deer season which is usu-

ally the best time to scout for hunting
pressure. Earlier in the fall, while bird
hunting, I had found some spots on
public land with awesome potential. I
had kept an eye on the spots through
the early archery season and didn’t see
any activity there from archery deer
hunters, bird hunters or bear hunters,
so all through the early bow season,
the deer in that area were unmolested
by man. In the U.P. though, gun
hunters have a much bigger impact on
deer populations than bowhunters, so
I made sure to survey all my public
land spots carefully assessing any
impact that the gun hunters may have
had. As a result, I set up stand sites
for 2014 in areas that had no, or minimal hunting pressure during 2013.
Odds are that those spots will have
some older age class bucks remain-

Early deer preparation page 90

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89

Early deer preparation:
from page 88

SETTING-UP STANDS
I typically have over 25 deer
stands set-up every year in Michigan.
While to some, this may seem like
overkill on stands, I only consider my
stand count to be minimal as I know

some more serous hunters that have
twice as many stands setup than I
do. Having ample stands separated
so that you are hunting separate deer
family groups is essential to avoid
overhunting your areas, which causes
deer to change their movement patterns an oftentimes go nocturnal. I
split my hunting between private and
public property to help me spread out
my hunting pressure and maximize
my chances for success. I certainly
like to have multiple stands for all the
different possible wind directions in
the areas I hunt.
On my private lands, I go to great
lengths to create ideal ambush situations by creating open entry and exit
routes usually mowing them if possible. I also install food plots, mineral
sites and create man-made funnels
that focus deer activity for high odds
hunting opportunities. Some of those
setups were so complex that they
took multiple years to complete and
dozens of hours of labor to complete.
Some of the setups use treestands and
some use ground blinds, but I spare
no expense in building the finest,
most efficient stands imaginable.
On public lands though, my setups
are typically very simple affairs that
take advantage of natural deer travel
corridors and funnels. I hunt both
from treestands and ground blinds
on public lands. In the past, most of
my ground blinds took advantage of

The author will now be using portable ground blinds more on public lands due
to a change in the law allowing them to be left on public lands.

On private property, the author likes to meticulously prepare entry and exit
routs often mowing them so they allow quiet access to stands.
natural cover, but now that the DNR
made it legal to leave portable ground
blinds in the woods on public lands,
I will now start using my Ameristep
Dog House blinds a lot more. In fact,
as a result of that law change, I will
now be hunting some remote areas
that don’t have good natural cover or
large trees.
I hunt from treestands a lot on
public lands and in the past relied
heavily on a Tree Saddle for most of
my public elevated hunts. The Tree
Saddle was a good product, but unfortunately they are no longer made
and were not practical for long sits
anyway. Last year I started hunting
with a new, harness style treestand
called a Guido’s Web (www.guidosoutdoors.com). This is a mobile,
harness-style treestand that is like a
Tree Saddle on steroids with a super
comfortable seat for all day sits. The
Guido’s Web allows for a full, 360
degree shooting radius with its unique
design. You just wear the Guido’s
Web like a pack on your entry and
exit and it sets up very quickly for the
hunt. I have logged a lot of hours in
the Guido’s Web and highly recommend this product.
My public land treestand setups
are simple affairs. In fact I only
select spots that are nearly ideal and
require no trimming or cutting. My
goal is to leave no trace that I hunted
my spots so as not to draw the attention of other hunters. Using a harness
style treestand that sets up on each
hunt really helps me to keep my spots
hidden.
Getting to and from my public
land spots is typically aided by using
white colored, glow in the dark tacks.

I use a minimum number of the glowtacks and my entry and exit routes
are precisely planned for stealth. I
also mark my trail at least 100 yards
past my stand which throws off other
hunters that may stumble onto my
tack trail and thus lead them away
from where I’m actually hunting.

GET IN SHAPE FOR THE HUNT
One of the biggest impediments
to success for many deer hunters is
poor physical fitness. If I were not in
good shape, my success rate would
plummet because I wouldn’t be able
to hunt nearly as effectively. In fact,
most of my hunting spots would be
out of reach if I were fat and out of
shape. Now is the time to start getting in shape for next fall. Getting
in hunting shape is really an easy
endeavor. Regular hiking and walking exercise is really all that’s needed.
I’m not talking about taking a short
stroll either: Your walks should be no
less than one hour in duration and at a
sufficient pace to get your heart working into the realm of cardiovascular
exercise. I like to walk at least three
or four times a week and I augment
that exercise with some other simple
exercises that are targeted at helping
me to hunt better. I keep my upper body strong by doing push-ups,
pull-ups and sit-ups along with some
light workouts on a punching bag. I
also do some regular weight training
exercises for strength. An active lifestyle in the offseason will pay great
dividends for the fall hunting seasons
and may even extend your lifespan
too.n

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

ing alive for next season. This was
the exact formula I used the previous year in finding a new public land
area which eventually bore fruit in
the form of an 8-pointer that weighed
204 pounds dressed, which I shot on
Nov. 8, 2013. The second buck I shot
in 2014 was in one of my public land
spots that I set up in Nov. of 2013.
That buck weighed 180 dressed and
was aged by the DNR at 3 ½ to 4 ½
years old. In 2014 I found yet more
archery spots that were not hunted
during the 2014 firearm season and
hopefully the pattern repeats itself
this coming fall.
I also do a lot of post season scouting during the early spring. As soon
as the snow melts, deer sign left from
the previous fall becomes visible and
that valuable intel can assist hunters
in evaluating both new areas and old
haunts. I also like early spring scouting because the leaves are not out yet,
so it lets me see the woods similarly
to what it will look like during late
fall, which is important in selecting
stand sites.

90

Woods-N-Water News Classified Section
MISC.

MISC.

MISC.

FISHING

HUNTING

REAL ESTATE

WASHTENAW
COUNTY
PHEASANTS
FOREVER
BANQUET Saturday, February 28,
2015 – 5:00 p.m. Farm Council
Grounds, 5055 S. Ann Arbor Rd.
Saline, MI 48176. Tickets: 734-6465710 or www.washtenawpf.org/2015banquet. M-2-2
................................................
EXPERIENCE A TOTAL WILDERNESS ADVENTURE at
Isle Royale National Park. Guided
backpacking, hiking, canoeing. All
inclusive complete outfitter 5 – 9 day
trips $650.00 - $1175.00 per person.
Even a trip for seniors. For details
call 231-564-1631 or 231-258-0985.
M-2-3
................................................

A TEMPUR-PEDIC MEMORY
FOAM MATTRESS SET.
Clean. Never used. As seen on TV.
Cost $1700. Sell for $695. 989-8322401. M-4-14-TFN
................................................
AN
AMISH
LOG
HEADBOARD AND QUEEN
pillowtop mattress set. New. Sell all
for $275. 989-923-1278.
M-4-14-TFN
................................................
AMISH LOG BEDS, ANY
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
................................................

SPEARING SUPPLIES - Ice
saws, pike & muskie spears, bunny
boots & Pike Busters, the battery
powered decoy system.
www.dream-outdoors.com
F-11-4
................................................

HUNT DEER ON A PRIVATE
RANCH-just east of Frankenmuth,
Michigan. Thinning out our herd of
Fallow and Sitka deer-too many to
feed! Call for cheap hunt pricing!
Cell-989-233-4890-please leave a
message, your call will be returned!
H-2-1
................................................

SEARCHMONT, ONTARIO,
CANADA. 40 acres remote - hilly
terrain, hardwoods and creek. Fish,
hunt, camp, ski-doo, quad, maple
syrup, etc. Huge whitetails. $80,000
firm. Call 231-340-0867 or
davidgroverpainting@yahoo.com
RE-1-1
................................................
HUNTERS, “Just Land Sales” is
Here to help you Find & Purchase,
Your Hunting Land. Just Land Sales
586-419-6716
www.facebook.com/justlandsales
www.justlandsales.com RE-2-1
................................................
80 ACRES. U.P. Luce County.
Main Rd. Hwy. 415. North of
McMillian. 1320 x 2640. $35,000.00
Call Mark Farquhar C.B.P. Richmond.
810-240-3331. 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
www.facebook.com/justlandsales
www.JustLandSales.com RE-2-1
................................................

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-4-12-14
................................................

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FISHING CLASS OFFERS CLOSURE: Just
looking at that maze of tackle
you "sense" spontaneously,
virtually unerringly, how each
individual component affects
the fish audibly as well as visually, and defensively as well
as offensively. Capable now of
readily adapting to any situation, not only do you feel justified in having accumulated all
those tackle boxes full of stuff,
but even about adding more
stuff to them. No longer needing to travel miles on end to
experience top notch success
while targeting any specie we
choose, ultimately we wind up
fishing more, enjoying it more.
If you've sensed that this is how
angling could and should be,
should our instinctive approach
be followed to the letter, this is
how it can be. All species, all
baits, all presentations, all in
one session, all for as little as
$45 per person. For further details 810-395-4334 Mon.-Sat. 9
am – 7 pm. Instructor Larry R.
Walter, Sr. F-TFN

Use one of these useful classified categories...
A = Archery
ATV = ATVs
B = Boats
D = Dogs
F = Fishing
F = Free
FP = Food Plots

FW = Firewood
G = Guns
H = Hunting
HL = Hunting Leases
HW = Help Wanted
M = Miscellanous
RE = Real Estate

RR = Resorts/Rent
RVC = RV’s/Campers
SM = Snowmobiles
T = Taxidermy
TK = Trucks
TR = Trailers
W = Wanted

MARCH 2015 CLASSIFIED DEADLINE FEBRUARY 2, 2015
CLIP AND MAIL

Woods-N-Water News Classified Advertising
(Please print clearly. We are not responsible for unreadable orders.)
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NAME
ADDRESS
CITY                                           STATE                      ZIP
DAYTIME PHONE NO.
VISA/MASTERCARD#                                                       EXP:
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(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
(7)

(8)

(9)

(10)

(11)

(12)

HUNTING
HUNT NORTHERN ONTARIO
CANADA Guided bear hunts 2.5
hours North of Sault border. Large
bear management area, High success rate, Multiple bears on baits.
Harvest av. 2-300lbs, References
available. Gauranteed active baits,
started well ahead of time. $1,000
US plus tax and licences.Hunting
starts Aug. 15 www.murraylake.net
416-548-6124 H-2-4
................................................
FULLY GUIDED SPRING
TURKEY HUNTS available
in Northern Michigan. This is an
all-inclusive 3 day hunt for 2
hunters and 2 guests. Your
hunt will be fully guided on over
1500 private acres, includes
meals and lodging. The first is
4/20/15-5/3/15 in Hunt Area A
and the Hunt # is 0101. The
second hunt is 5/04/15-5/31/15.
There are a limited number of
openings available. Please call
810-223-4587. H-1-3

(13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18)
(19)

(20)

$30.00

$30.25

$30.50

$30.75

$31.00

$31.25

$31.50

$31.75

$32.00

$32.25

$32.50

$32.75

$33.00

$33.25

$33.50

$33.75

$34.00

$34.25

$34.50

$34.75

$35.00

$35.25

$35.50

$35.75

$36.00

$36.25

$36.50

$36.75

Enclosed is $                                               for
words to run                     months.

BOX MY CLASSIFIED - $5 Extra

SASKATCHEWAN SPRING
Trophy Black Bear Giant bears ...
average over P & Y 18” ..with many
bears over 20” world record with a
muzzleloader comes from this camp.
30% color phase...two 20” blonds
taken last spring! Then catch 20lb
Pike after you tag bear...walleye and
Lake Trout too. $3000 www.
SovereignAdventures.com 989-6400514. H-2-1
................................................

60.5 ACRES vacant land in
Baldwin Area. Priced to sell.
Near state land. Call Vera at
313-587-6836. Hunters and
developers paradise. H-2-1

NORTHERN
ONTARIO
BEAR HUNTS: Booking now for
fall of 2015. 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 www.texasandsons.
com H-10-12-14
................................................

RESORTS/RENT
LAKE LOUISE CAMP and
Retreat Center near Boyne Falls,
Michigan has two winterized lodges
available for rent. Close to snowmobile trails, geocache sites, North
Country Trail, and Boyne Mountain.
Each lodge sleeps 20 and contains
full bath facilities, refrigerator, microwave and spacious meeting room.
For more information
call 231-549-2728 or email
program@lakelouisecommunity.org
R/R-10-5
................................................

HUNTING LEASE
SEEKING HUNTING LEASE
for 2015-16 season within 2 hours of
Detroit. 2-4 ethical hunters, mainly
whitetail archery. Also interested in
gun and spring turkey. 100+ acres
ideal. Will pay $3,000+ for the season. Call Kim 248-506-9458. HL-22
................................................

WANT TO LEASE
I WILL PAY whatever you want
or work on your property for deer
lease from Washtenaw to Ingham
to Calhoun Counties. 734-449-8742.
WL-2-1
................................................

REAL ESTATE
40 ACRES of excellent hunting
land, creeks, ponds and a rustic
cabin. Grand Traverse Co. 231-7150057. $85,000. RE-2-1
................................................
BUYING OR SELLING?
Farms, vacant land or recreational
parcels throughout Michigan. Call
Doug Beasley at Faust Real Estate,
LLC 517-260-2939. RE-2-1
................................................

117 WOODED ACRES,
tyre Rd., Ubly, Michigan, hunting cabin, well, septic, electric,
30'x40' shed, pond. www.
thumbhomes.com/362075.
Seller will split. Osentoski Realty Company, Bad Axe, Michigan 989-712-0050. RE-9-6
BEAVER
ISLAND
120
ACRES, Under QDM management
for 15 years, food plots, heated
blinds, 30x40 pole barn, diverse
habitat adjacent to low pressure state
land, loaded with mature bucks, turnkey. Asking $325,000. Call Denny at
810-441-2053. RE-2-3
................................................
123 ACRES – Wooded Deer
Camp, 4 miles of Groomed RV Trails,
& Bunk House, 95% Wooded,
1329x4043 Possible Split, Paris Twp.
Huron County, $330,000
Just Land Sales 586-419-6716
www.facebook.com/justlandsales
www.JustLandSales.com RE-2-1
................................................
ROSCOMMON, MI 1050
SQ. FT., 3 bedroom, cabin on
1 3/4 acres near trails. AuSable
River, new windows, siding
roof, appliances and shed. furnished $39,900. 810-4341017. RE-2-1
44.44 ACRES – Unique Riverfront
Scenic Trails, with, Mill Creek’s edge
as, S/W Property Lines.530 x irregular. Brockway Twp, St. Clair County,
$169,000
Just Land Sales 586-419-6716
www.facebook.com/justlandsales
www.JustLandSales.com RE-2-1
................................................
BUCK COUNTRY! 23.77 acres
wooded with trails surrounded by
crops. 15 different bucks have been
recorded on a trail camera this fall.
One was a 15 point. For sale east of
Mt Morris MI. $213,000.00 248-8912024. RE-11-4

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

................................................

WANTED

91

REAL ESTATE

REAL ESTATE

DOGS

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY
IN LENAWEE CO.! Busy convenience store and 2nd bldg. was formerly used as an ice cream/pizza
business. Great location on state
hwy. Currently grosses over $10 million with lots of room for growth!!
Beer/Wine/Liquor License & Lottery.
$299,000 Call Diana at Faust Real
Estate, LLC 517-270-346. RE-2-1
................................................
53 ACRES, Variety, Farmland,
Hard Woods, Meadow Grasses, &
River/Creek, 624 x 2615 irregular. N.
Branch Twp., Lapeer County,
$145,000 Just Land Sales
586-419-6716
www.facebook.com/justlandsales
www.JustLandSales.com RE-2-1
................................................
UNIQUE, UPDATED 2500
SQ. FT. 4 BEDROOM FURNISHED FARM HOUSE ON
40 ACRES. Pond, kennel, club
house, barns, garage, great hunting,
currently set up for horses. On paved
road north Fowlerville area. Could be
a B & B, Equestrian Center, Vineyard,
Private Hunt Club, endless possibilities. $329,900 or $1700/mo lease,
make offer. 941-320-4781. RE-1-2
................................................
115 ACRES, Three lakes, and
Gated Entry. 30% Wooded. Trophy
Deer Live in the area. Irregular
Shaped Lot
Elba Twp. - Lapeer County, Reduced
- $290,000 Just Land Sales
586-419-6716
www.facebook.com/justlandsales
www.JustLandSales.com RE-2-1
................................................

140 ACRES, Wooded, Rolling
Hills, Scenic Trails, Lake, Flowing
Creek, Pole Barn & Great Hunt
Camp. 1990 x 2590 irregular shaped,
Delaware Twp. Sanilac County,
$449,000 Just Land Sales
586-419-6716
www.facebook.com/justlandsales
www.JustLandSales.com RE-2-1
................................................
ACRES GOULD CITY Mi, back
40 with bought-in easement. Fully
wooded with parking / camping area,
gated entrance with new driveway.
Land is not swampy, adjoining state
land two miles from town. Great hunting, bear, deer and birds. Trimmed
trails with blinds and feeders.
Snowmobile trail head minutes away.
Asking $45,000.00 any more questions call or e-mail Debbie Severn.
1-989-624-4670 or ddsesuntan@aol.
com RE-11-12-14
................................................
290
ACRE
WOODED
LAKEFRONT SPORTSMEN'S
PARADISE! 2000 feet on 90 acre
clear lake. 6000 feet on great county
roads. One mile from US 23 and
Lake Huron. Three bedroom, two
baths, pole barn. Wildlife haven.
9628 Balch Road, Ocqueoc, Presque
Isle County. See it at
w w w. l a n d s o f a m e r i c a . c o m /
listing/1514845 $350,000.00 Call
Dan Davenport, Re/Max Platinum,
810-599-2141. RE-11-14-TFN
................................................

TRI-COLOR
BRITTANY
PUPS: Parents hunted on grouse,
woodcock, pheasant and quail.
Shots, wormed, AKC. Can be seen at
Cabelas in Dundee: Jan. 16, 23;
Jay's in Clare: Jan. 17, 18, 24, 25
Also a second litter of English Setter/
Brittany Mix Pups. Call before you
come 810-280-8597 or 904-7423423. D-2-1
................................................
ENGLISH
SETTERS

RYMAN TYPE – 2 litters due
January 2015. Males $500.00,
Females $550.00. $50 deposit
required. Kalamazoo Area 269-2797599 or boondocks1935@hotmail.
com Andy Johnson D-2-2
................................................
TWO EXPERIENCED BIRD
DOGS. Both champion sired.
Female English Pointer 18 months.
Male English Setter 2 years. Outright
or co-ownership. Boondocks Kennels
- Kalamazoo area. Andy Johnson
269-279-7599. D-2-2
................................................
COUNTRY SIDE KENNELS:
Gun Dog Training, Obedience and
boarding. Winter discounts.
www.countryside-kennels.com
989-551-7790. D-1-3
................................................

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FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

Woods-N-Water News Classified Section

92

PROPERTIES

BIG BASS LAKE – 8885 W. ISLE PARK DRIVE – IRONS – Amazing home on Big Bass
Lake with 100’ of sandy beach frontage on this 290 acre all sports lake. The 3550 square
foot home or year around cottage features 5 bedrooms, 3 baths including a master suite on
the main floor giving you room for 20 of your closest friends or family in a separate wing of
the house. Enjoy amenities such as all hickory trim, hardwood floors and cabinetry, ceramic
tile floors, huge walls of glass, soaring 20’ ceilings that showcase the two-story gas/log fireplace a third story look-out tower, a heated garage and a massive deck overlooking the lake.
$449,000 (DEY)
LITTLE MANISTEE RIVER – 9568 E. RIVERSIDE DRIVE – IRONS – Log sided home on the
famous Little Manistee River with 370’ frontage and 2.5 acres. The home features over 2000
sq foot of living space plus the basement, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, open floor plan with kitchen
with hickory cabinets, dining area, and large living room with a stone fireplace with an insert
that you can use gas or wood in it. There is also a full basement. $342,000 (VANS)
LOON LAKE HOME – 5458 BASS LAKE ROAD – IRONS – Superb 4+ Bedroom, 2 ½ bath
home with 64’ of sandy beach frontage on all sports Loon Lake. Master bedroom with very
large walk-in closet and balcony overlooking the lake, large bath with soaking tub and privacy
shower stall on the main level. Kitchen offers granite countertops stainless steel appliances,
built in wall oven and counter cook top stove. Fireplace in the living room with stunning lake
views. Full finished walkout basement with extra tall ceilings, a huge family room, extra bedroom and ¾ bath. 3 car attached heated garage. Home offers 3270+/- sq. ft of living space,
underground sprinkler system. So much to offer! $259,900 (KIE)
HOME ON 20+/- ACRES – 9678 IRONS ROAD – IRONS – Large two plus bedroom, two bath
home on 20 +/- acres. Home offers a large living room that adjoins the kitchen. Second living
or family room overlooks the three season porch on the back of the home with a newer patio
area. There is a walk through room off the master bedroom that could be used as a third
bedroom or den/office. Home also features a two car attached garage. Property offers a barn
and several storage outbuildings. $159,900 (GRA)
SAUBLE RIVER HOME – 161 E SAUBLE DRIVE – FREESOIL – This home is located on
the beautiful Sauble River with 118’ frontage and a deck to sit at the water’s edge. The home
features 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, there is a sitting room/den off the master suite. The
kitchen has lots of cupboards and a pass through bar to the living room. Bank owned, sold
as is, bank will consider financing with 5% down if your primary residence. $149,000 (LOSS)
COOL CREEK CABIN – 11453 GLADYS LANE – IRONS – This charming chalet sits on 100’
of beautiful sand and gravel bottom Cool Creek. Enclosed porch leads into a large living room
with a widow wall leading to a deck that overlooks the creek. The kitchen leads to a bathroom
with many updates. A stairway on the living room access an alcove between the two bedrooms. A generous sized pole barn with an addition. $87,900 (LAU)
HOME ON 5+/- ACRES – 653 JENNY CIRCLE – BALDWIN – Very nice 2 bedroom 2 bath
home located on 5+/- nicely wooded acres bordering State Land. Home offers central air. 24
x 40 pole barn with a new wood burner and a storage shed. Ideal recreational location close
to the trail system. Great hunting and fishing location. Set up for a weekend get-a-way OR
could be used as a year round residence. $69,900 (HAN)
CABIN ON 10 ACRES – 88 W 4 MILE ROAD – LUTHER – Enjoy this fully furnished barn
converted 1,100 sq. ft. two bedroom, one bath cabin with a living room with double sliders out
to the back, wood burning stove to keep you cozy, kitchen with farm house sink, knotty pine
and wood detail throughout, just awaiting your minor finishing touches. Set upon just over ten
acres, with a large yard surrounded by the rest of your heavily wooded property. $62,500
(KLO)

“Hunters Call for our Acreage Parcels”
5963 W. 10-1/2 Mile Rd. • Irons, Michigan
231-266-8288 • 877-88-NORTH

www.BigRiverVentures.com • Info@BigRiverVentures.com

HUNTING AND
INVESTMENT PROPERTY

FOR SALE!

TROPHY DEER, BEAR
AND GREAT FISHING
in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Area
(within one hour of bridge)

Call for details and check our website!

LAJAMBE
ENTERPRISES INC.

120 Huron Street (across Street from Canadian Customs)
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario P6A 1P8

Telephone: (705) 541-9663 • FAX: (705) 541-9664
After 5 p.m. and weekends (705) 248-9663

Email: flajambe@lajambe.com Website: www.lajambe.com

z
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B Realty

inc.

758 West US-10 • Evart, Michigan 49631
Phone. 231-734-5554 Fax. 231-734-2055
Toll Free. 1-888-820-3647
email. britzrealty@sbcglobal.net
denniscbryant@sbcglobal.net

WINTER SPECIAL:

EVART AREA - 114 acres of prime hunting land including cabin deer turkey and
small game - this property also has food
plots hunting blinds and 40 acres of tillable
land - price reduce to 219,000

A NEW HOME FOR A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
NEW TO MARKET

MOVE IN READY

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GREAT OPPORTUNITIES

$299,900 – 2.5 Acres, Elegant Colonial

N
EW

$450,000 – 9 Acres, Fully Operational Kennel $247,900 – 7 Acres, Exceptional Architecture

The Real Estate
Market is finally
bouncing back in
Michigan.
We are attracting
buyers from across
the United States
because of our
partnership with
Sports Afield Trophy
Properties. Learn how
our connection with Sports Afield,
America’s oldest outdoor
magazine, benefits you when
listing your property with
Trophy Class Real Estate.
Call or visit us online today.

$427,000 – 2 Acres, Lake Front, Builders Home $399,900 –10 Acres, Custom Home,Horse Farm $335,000 –9 Acres, Modern, Energy Efficient

OPEN THE GATE TO HILLS HORSES & HOSPITALITY - METAMORA!
Highlands of Metamora - 1 Acre........... $32,900
Steeplechase - 1 Acre, Wooded........... $55,000
MGCC-Masters Dr - 1 Acre.................... $35,900
MGCC-Invitational Dr - 1 Acre.............. $27,000
Sutton Rd - 2 country Acres................. $29,900
Santa Fe - 3 Acres, Nat’l Gas................ $34,900

Peters Lane - 3 to 8 Ac........$54,900 to $89,900
M-119 - 8 Ac. on Lake MI.................... $495,000
Casey Rd - 23 Ac. on Flint River........ $179,000
German Rd - 40 Ac., Woods............... $159,900
Genesee Rd - 44 Ac., Splits................ $289,900
Sutton Rd - 90 Ac., Wooded................ $599,000

877-843-0910
www.TrophyClassRealEstate.com

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

B

IG RIVER

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100 WOODED
ACRES AND CABIN

989-329-0485 • $299,000

934 BREAULT ROAD • GLADWIN, MI

BEAUTIFUL WOODED PROPERTY WITH TRAILS THROUGHOUT
And several permanent deer blinds.Knotty pine interior,
Large 12’X12’ Kitchen/12’X15’ Dining room, with natural hickory cabinets. Unique stone bar, Vermont casting gas log fireplace. Upper level living area: 1200 sq. ft, Lower level: 1200
sq. ft. f/ entertainment, equipment, storage, etc. (2) 10’X10’
bedrooms with log beds. Living room, 17’ X 18’ and Bar area,
10’ X 13’. Full bath, 6’ X 8’. Electric water heater. All appliances and furniture included. Hunter Douglas window blinds.
Older garage on property, good for storage: 24’ X 32’

Tracy L. Collins

GREAT LAKES
MORTGAGE
FUNDING
NMLS# 137017

586-481-5577

www.HomeLoansByTracy.com

A LOAN MADE JUST FOR YOU
Because mortgage loans are uniquely individual, we offer a wide
range of loan programs tailored to your specific needs including:

Rural Development Loans • FHA And VA Loans
Conventional Fixed Rate Loans • Debt Consolidation
First Time Homebuyers • Non-Owner Loans
PURCHASES AND REFINANCES

12412 STATE ST.
ATLANTA,
MICHIGAN 49709

Matthew Farkas
248-884-8616

SOLD
340

Contact Maurer Real Estate
at (269) 673-3800
www.maurerrealestate.com

OVER 7 ACRES

159 ACRES

345 ACRES

Waterways RV Resort and
Campground. Turn-Key Business Opp w/ Living Quarters! 14
Slips on Cheboygan River. Boat
Ramp, 50 Camp Sites. On the
Famed Inland Water Way!

Roger’s Ranch accommodates up to 22
Guests. Main house is entirely renovated
with 5-Bedrooms, 3-Baths, 2-Eat in Kitchens, and a Wine Cellar. It’s meticulously
Refurbished with Full Kitchen, Serving
Station, Game Rooms, Sitting Rooms, Exercise Room, Reading Room and more.

Private, Rich in Wildlife w/Big Bucks and
Black Bear. Approx. ¾-mile of waterfront on
Clear Lake (91-Acres) in Northern Michigan.
New Custom built Log Home. Field Stone
Fireplace, radiant Floor heating, Guest Cottage w/ 2-car Garage. 2 large storage buildings 14ft high. Back-up generators.

$400,000 • MLS #286687

$895,000 • MLS #283240

$550,000 • MLS #287218

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

SOLD

94

117 ACRES

280 ACRES

120 +/- ACRES

Executive home or events facility
with 877ft of beachfront on Lake
Huron shores. Plentiful wildlife
throughout the trails. Deer, Bear,
Eagles, small game, everything
NE Michigan has to offer!

Log Sided Cedar Home with 4 Bed, 4
Bath, Huge Pole Barn with Trout Stream
running thru property. Tons of Deer on
this property as well as Black Bear, Turkey, Grouse, Woodcock, etc. Additional
120-Acres, Small Cabin w/ Pond adjoining may be available.

World Class Hunting & Fly Fishing Lodge built in 1928, abuts AuSable
State Forest, 510’ of frontage on Big Creek. Over 3,750 sf living area in
main house, Great Room 26x36 with 2-1/2 story open ceiling and field
stone fireplace with spacious dining area. Second floor has 7 BR off the
open balcony surrounding Great Room. Fully furnished, many custom
furniture pieces, well-equipped kitchen, freezer, canoe, piano and pool
table. Property also includes original 25x19 cookhouse and private pond.

$690,000 • MLS #289486

$474,900 • MLS #290594

$725,000 • MLS #288564

231-652-7000
- or -

231-250-8200

WE NEED LISTINGS 40+ ACRES AND LARGER
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Alcona County, 40 Acres, Adjacent
to Public Land, Rustic Cabin
$55,000

Alcona County, 40 Acres
Nicely Wooded, Trail System, Ready to Hunt
$59,000

Arenac County, 70 Acres 3,500+/- ft. Lake
Huron Frontage, Duck & Deer Hunters Dream
$280,000

Arenac County, 146 Acres Rifle River &
Saginaw Bay Access, Tri-Level House
$399,999

Arenac County, 349 Acres
2 Ponds, Blinds, Trails
$523,500

Calhoun County, 61 Acres. 3,000+/- ft. St.
Joseph River Frontage, Big Buck Country
$129,900

Calhoun County, 88 Acres
45 Tillable, Balance Wooded
$299,900

Calhoun County, 336 Acres Caretaker House,
Lodge, Pole Barn, River & Lake Front
$1,150,000

Delta County, 75+/- Acres
3,000 ft Lake Michigan Frontage, Cabin
$294,000

Chippewa County, 80 Acres Log Cabin,
Pole Barn, Pond, 20 minutes to Soo
$260,000

Chippewa County, 1684 Acres 8,500 sq. ft. Log Lodge,
Guest House, Dock on St. Mary’s River, Private Lake
$2,490,000

Clare County, 136.76 Acres, Private Lake
5,000 ft. Muskegon River Frontage, Adjacent to National Forest
$350,000

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Clare County, 155 Acres
Rolling Hardwoods, Pond, Trails
$224,900

Gratiot County, 40 Acres
Surrounded by Ag Land, Excellent Hunting
SOLD - $87,000 - SOLD

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Jackson County, 51 Acres Rolling Terrain,
Big Buck Country, Mixed Hardwoods
$122,400

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Jackson County, 52 Acres
15 Acres Tillable, Big Buck Area, QDM
SOLD - $109,900 - SOLD

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Jackson County, 60 Acres Custom Log
Home, Pole Barn, Too Much To List
SOLD - $379,000 - SOLD

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Jackson County, 125 Acres
Big Buck Country, Small Creek
$187,500

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Jackson County, 162 Acres CRP Program, 6 Elevated
Blinds, 115 Ac. Tillable, Pond, Big Buck Country
$599,000

Kalkaska County, 60 Acres Heavy
Cover, Excellent Deer & Turkey Hunting
$71,600

Kalkaska County, 300 Acres Cabin, Rolling
Terrain, Professionally Managed Forest
$599,000

Kalkaska County, 480 Acres
Great Trail, Nice Hardwoods
$995,000

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Missaukee County, 75 Acres Pond, Creek,
Guest Cabin & 2 Bedroom House
$199,000

Missaukee County, 200 Acres
Cabin, Pond, 8 Enclosed Blinds
$329,000

Lake County, 320 Acres, 4,700 sq ft Lodge,
Outbuildings, Sm. Creek, Pond, Elevated Blinds
SOLD - $599,000 - SOLD

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Mecosta County, 1.6 Acres 100 ft. Muskegon
River Frontage, Paved Road, Utilities
$19,900

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Montcalm County, 30 Acres 2,500 sq ft
Log Home, 120x70 Outbuilding
$349,000

Montcalm County, 40 Acres Church Creek
Frontage, Rustic Cabin, Excellent Hunting
SOLD - $129,900 - SOLD

Newaygo County, 40 Acres Surrounded by
National Forest, Trails, Elevated Blinds
$85,000

Newaygo County, 140 Acres, Pond
Trout Stream, 40 Ac. Tillable, Food Plots
SOLD - $325,000 - SOLD

Otsego County, 160 Acres
Private 15 Ac Lake, 6,000 sq. ft. House
$1,749,000

Otsego County, 200 Acres
Rolling Terrain, Food Plots, Cabin
$399,000

Presque Isle County, 395 Acres
Remote Location, QDM, Travel Trailer
$276,500

Schoolcraft County, 2282 Acres
Fox River Frontage
$499,000

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Ogemaw County, 40 Acres House, Pond,
Abundant Wildlife, Great Hunting
$139,000

Osceola County, 112 Acres
Small Creek, Trail System
SOLD - $145,600 - SOLD

WildLifeRealty.com

www.

FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

O

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FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

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

10 miles north of I-75 exit 202

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

1 mile north of I-75 Exit 212

1953 S. M-33
West Branch, MI 48661

2575 S. I-75 Business Loop,
West Branch, MI 48661

WEST BRANCH
WEST BRANCH
LOOP OFFICE M-33/M-55 OFFICE
Local: 989-728-2540
Toll Free: 800-495-2540

“Gateway to Huron National Forest”

3160 North M-65
Hale, MI 48739

HALE
OFFICE

4.91 ACRES, 2882 SQ FT, 4-br, 2 full ba, porch, deck, indoor pool & hot tub, views . . . . . . . . . . . . . $89,900 W785593J
OVER AN ACRE! Super clean, painted, 3-br, 2 full ba, garage w/breez & wrkshp, AC . . . . . . . . . . . $82,900 M785477B
1.08 ACRES 3-br, needs some work, garage, fenced yard for pets/gardening, yr round . . . . . . . . . . $59,000 M785455C
4.7 AC, beautiful custom blt, 2 garages, Trex deck, 3-br, 3 ba, hot tub, walkout bsmt . . . . . . . . . . . $199,500 M785441C
10 ACRES, 3-br, wooded, great hunting, garage, carport & 14/20 outbldg, secluded . . . . . . . . . . . . . $69,900 M784322R
3 ACRES, 3-br, FP, full basement, family room, lots of updates, oversized garage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$84,900 M783672R
5 ACRES, move-in ready! 2-br, garage w/wood stove, beautiful pond, rear deck, views . . . . . . . . . . $52,900 M783267B
1+ ACRE, spac 3-br, walk-in pantry, appliances, country setting, deck, garage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $49,900 M783242B
2.5 ACRES, sharp 3-br Saltbox, heated garage, deck, porch, custom blinds, applian . . . . . . . . . . . $139,900 M783223D
5.4 ACRES, EXCELLENT LOCATION, 3-br chalet, pole barn, newer well, porch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $39,900 M782912B
HUNT CAMP OR YEAR ROUND! 2-br mob, appliances, newer furnace, 10 ACRES . . . . . . . . . . . . . $49,500 M782831R
HUNTING & FISHING GETAWAY! Near River, across from St land, 2-br, updates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $39,900 M782432L
ACROSS FROM FED’L LAND! 13+ AC, 3-br, garage, 2 stoves, knotty pine, trails . . . . . . . . . . . . . $146,900 M781903B
20 ACRES, 2-br log home, pond, open floor plan, great hunting, privacy, porch, gar . . . . . . . . . . . . $130,000 H782274B
ACROSS FROM ST LAND! ONE ACRE, full log 3-br home, newer roof & more! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $27,900 M779757B
2+ ACRES, 3-br ranch, attached garage, deck, open floor plan, knotty pine kitchen . . . . . . . . . . . . . $99,900 M775973L
104+ AC, custom blt 3-br, garage, 2 pole barns, St land on East, trails thru-out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $370,000 M775842C
2.76 AC, spac 3-br, nice country setting, FP, AC, garage, formal dining, great views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $55,000 L749835A
91.26 ACRES! HUNTER’S DREAM! 1394’ when finished, wood stove, applia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $189,900 M790081B
2.5 ACRES, beautiful country setting, part bsmt, near town, some updates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $42,000 M747242C
5 ACRES! 3-br, 2 ba, landscaping, garage, coverd porch, beautiful views, AC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $92,000 M747080C
1.7 ACRES, updated 2/3-br, heated gar, lean to, knotty pine, loft area, all appliances . . . . . . . . . . . . $82,000 M746227B

FAWN LK! Private lk access, nice 3-br, walkout bsmt, deck, over 2300 sq feet, garage . . . . . . . . . $179,900 M784971R
ALL SPORTS LK OGEMAW ACROSS RD! , 4-br, full bsmt, priced for quick sale! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $44,900 M784418L
VIEW OF SAGE LK! Totally updated, 2/3 bedroom, newer applia include, shed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $64,995 M783945B
ALL SPORTS FOREST LK 2-br, covered porch, newer roof 2012, fireplace, getaway . . . . . . . . . . . $44,900 M783538R
BUSH LK & BOAT LAUNCH just across road! 2-br, furnishings, deck, garage, FP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $54,900 M781909B
BEAUTIFUL LK VIEWS! Lrg 4-br, extensive decking, 2 garages, amenities galore . . . . . . . . . . . . . $169,000 M780746B
PEACH LAKE VIEWS, 3-br, gar, heated wrksp, 2 sheds, AC, deck, walkout bsmt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $89,900 M777391L
BEAUTIFUL LK VIEWS & steps to access, 2 br, large family rm, FP, part bsmt, deck . . . . . . . . . . . . $64,500 M777233B
RIFLE RIVER! Cute 2-br, private River access, 2-story garage, covered porch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $54,900 M748071B
GEORGE LK! 3-br, view of lake, deck, 2 outbldgs, wood floors, FP, updated, 6 lots . . . . . . . . . . . . . $40,000 M747414R
WALK TO POPULAR CLEAR LK! Newly remodeled 2-br, steel roof, family rm, FP . . . . . . . . . . . . . $49,900 M784601L
SAGE LK! 2-br, lakeside sunroom & patio, wood floors, knotty pine, walk to access . . . . . . . . . . . . . $34,500 M782759R

NEAR GOLFING, RIVER & NAT’L FOR! 2-br, garage, storage bldg, well-maintained . . . . . . . . $21,900 L793473A
YEAR ROUND/AFFORDABLE GETAWAY! 2-br, deck, garage, appliances, lrg yard . . . . . . . . . $42,900 M792805B
LARGE 3 BDRM, 2BA, built 2002, spac kitchen, hot tub, AC, deck, shed, newer pump . . . . . . $59,900 M792240B
NEEDS YOUR TLC!! 1-bedroom, near lakes, St lands, River, 2 sheds, rec area . . . . . . . . . . . . . $9,900 L791499A
VICTORIAN W BRANCH! Tons of updates, 3-br 2 ba, deck, AC, gar, appli, paved dr . . . . . . . . $69,900 M790664L
NICE 2 BDRM, at end of road, nr acres of St Land & Clear Lk, garage, knotty pine . . . . . . . . . $49,500 M790413B
PRICED TO SELL! Large 4-br, needs some TLC, some updates, garage, bsmt, porch . . . . . . . $39,900 M790150L
CITY LIVING! 3-br ranch-style, appli, fenced yard, AC, garage, wood stove, patio . . . . . . . . . . . $44,900 M788298C
NICE 3-BR MANU, 3 lots, all appliances, mostly furnished, 30x30 garage, lrg deck . . . . . . . . . $59,900 M787757B
LARGE 4 BDRM, garage, fruit trees, raspberry bushes, wood & tile floors, bsmt . . . . . . . . . . . . $69,900 M787138L
ACROSS FROM NAT’L FOREST! 3-br, needs TLC, deep lot, almost an acre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $52,500 L786801A
A PROJECT FOR YOU! 4-br, 1300 sq ft, needs work, applia, front deck, great area . . . . . . . . . $24,000 M786718D

OVER HALF ACRE, cute 2/3 bungalow, patio, garage, near lakes, River, St land . . . . . . . . . . . $32,500 M786132R
UPDATES & GORG FINISH WORK!! 3-br, part bsmt, family rm, encl sunrm, gar . . . . . . . . . . $139,900 M785803R
DOUBLE LOT, full log 3-br home, garage, near lakes, st land, River, LC terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . $39,900 M784124B
3/ 4 ACRE! 3-bedroom, garage w/heated wrkshp, 2 sheds w/elec, deck, fenced yard . . . . . . . . $64,900 M781209R
OLDER VICTORIAN HOME! 6-br, garage w/loft, screened porch, 2000 sq ft! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $45,000 M778577C
2 CORNER LOTS, 1.5 story 2-br, year round, wood stove, encl sunroom, garage . . . . . . . . . . . $64,900 M776995R
NEAT & CLEAN! 2-br, mostly furnished, affordable, nr lakes & river, getaway! . . . . . . . . . . . . . $19,900 M748585L
APPROX ½ AC! 4-br Chalet, extensive decking, nice views, wrkshp and an addition . . . . . . . . $94,900 M747265G
MOVE-IN READY! Updated 3-br, newer flooring, AC, deck, garage, landscaping . . . . . . . . . . . $49,900 L745941A
NR ACRES OF ST LAND! Cute 2-br, garage, 12x20 bonus room, mostly furnished . . . . . . . . . $25,000 M745810R
COMPLETELY UPDATED, 3-br, wd floors, full bsmt, guest cabin, nr boat launch . . . . . . . . . . . $49,900 M754301R
ACROSS FROM ST LAND! 1416 Sq ft, 3-br, garage, FP, family rm, near lakes . . . . . . . . . . . . $59,900 M753184R

HOMES/CABINS ON LOTS

PRIV LK ACCESS, 330 acres, all sports, 2-br, garage, nice deck, two lots, great subd . . . . . . . . . . . $41,900 M791882R
SMALL FISHING LK access, needs TLC, 1500 sq ft, 3-bdrm, garage, pole bldg, porch . . . . . . . . . . . $59,900 M791169L
GEOR & RIFLE LKS! Updated 3-br, deck, garage, blktop dr, walk to lk, nr hunting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $77,500 M790790B
WALK TO LK ELNI/NEAR CLEAR LK!! 2-br, shed, knotty pine, FP, pond, 1.1 AC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $49,900 M790741B
FOREST LK! Beautiful 3-br, garage, pole bldg, full basement, 1.23 wooded acres . . . . . . . . . . . . . $179,000 M789509B
WALK TO ELBOW LAKE! 2/3-brm, garage, knotty pine, appliances, patio, FP, shed . . . . . . . . . . . . $59,900 M788194B
AFFORDABLE GETAWAY! LK OGEMAW access, 2-br, 2 sheds, shade trees, firepit . . . . . . . . . . . . $22,500 M787257D
JOHNSON LK ACCESS, 2-br, sunroom, wood stove, appli, furnishings, needs work . . . . . . . . . . . . $26,500 M787148D
WALK TO POPULAR CLEAR LK! 3-br, gar w/rec room, lrg pole barn, newer roof . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $99,900 M786999L
LK GEORGE ACCESS, 2/3 bdroom, needs work, covered porch, garage, FP, getaway . . . . . . . . . . $19,500 M786481C
WALK TO BEAUTIFUL RIFLE LK! 3-br, knotty pine, deck, 3 lots, landscaping, shed . . . . . . . . . . . . $56,000 M786270C
SAGE LK! 2-br, lakeside sunroom & patio, wood floors, knotty pine, walk to access . . . . . . . . . . . . . $34,500 M782759R

WATER ACCESS HOMES & COTTAGES

3.3 AC, 2-br, full bsmt, 2 car attached garage, DISCLOSURE for mold to be signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $8,900 L794336A
4.56 AC, 3-br, family room, deck, covered porch, 2 garages, trails, appliances, gener . . . . . . . . . . . . $89,900 M792591B
13+ ACRES, wooded, 3-br mobile needs work, BORDERS ST LAND, garage, sheds . . . . . . . . . . . . $59,900 M791877B
1.5 AC, tons of great updates, 3-br, 2 full ba, deck, applia, wd flrs, 32x40 pole bldg . . . . . . . . . . . . $105,900 M791280B
15+ ACRES!! Poss 4-br, wood stove, garage, pole bldg, deck, covered porch, blktp dr . . . . . . . . . . . $69,900 M791089B
2.1 AC, NESTER CREEK, 3-br, garage, AC, FP, covered porch, rear deck, fenced yd . . . . . . . . . . $139,900 M790635B
2.41 ACRES, spac 3-br, needs work, full bsmt, garage, lrge barn, FP, wood floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $54,000 M790417B
10+ ACRES, beautiful custom built, 2 garages, jet tub, rear deck, FP, move-in ready . . . . . . . . . . . $149,900 M789899R
15 AC, 3-br, covered porch, garage, pole barn, lrg shed/lean to, AC, updated 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . .$125,000 H789770B
5 AC, 3-bedroom, sits back off road, 2 FP, newer flooring, deck, gar & pole bldg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $139,900 M789713B
STUNNING PARK-LIKE SETTING, 4-br, walkout bsmt, pond, garage, 62+ AC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $249,900 M787816R
UPDATED FARMHOUSE, 1.17 AC, 4-br, full bsmt, deck, wood floors, gar, barn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $60,000 L787736A
16 AC – PARK-LIKE SETTING! 3500 sq ft, 4-br, 2 FP, fami rm, den, deck, sunroom . . . . . . . . . . . . $239,000 M787699C
GOLFERS & PET LOVERS!! 1.77 ACRES, fenced, borders Golf Course, 2-br, TLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . $39,900 M787467L
FARM HOUSE!! 80 ACRES, 5-br, garage w/loft, outbldg, guest house, pond, views . . . . . . . . . . . . $229,900 M787448R
FARM HOUSE!! 5 ARCRES, 5-br, garage w/loft, outbldg, gorgeous views, spacious! . . . . . . . . . . . . $85,900 M791873R
REMODELED 2-BR, 2 AC, lrg garage, fenced yard, 16x16 shed, nr lks, golf course . . . . . . . . . . . . . $54,900 M787375R
ADJACENT TO ST LAND!! 18 AC, 2-br cabin, nestled in woods, great hunt camp! . . . . . . . . . . . . . $69,900 M786738R
POSS 5 BDRMS!! VIEWS, 3 ACRES, creek, pond, fruit trees, 2 FP, family rm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $194,900 M786279L
1.5 ACRES, 2-br mobile, needs TLC, garage, newer well & septic, trails on property . . . . . . . . . . . . $24,900 M786212B
5 ACRES BACKING UP TO ST LAND!! 3-br, garage, appliances, wood stove, views . . . . . . . . . . . $89,900 M786126B
BACKS TO STATE LAND!! 3 ACRES, 2-br yr round or hunt cabin, FP, deck, views . . . . . . . . . . . . . $39,900 M785814R

40 ACRES, gated, partly wooded, great hunting, lots of wildlife, great area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $69,900 M785451D
10 ACRES!! Mostly wooded, small clearing, great hunting, add’l 10 acres available . . . . . . . . . . . . . $29,000 M787383C
10 ACRES! Rolling, secluded & wooded, great hunting, great recreational area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $22,900 M783220R
60 ACRES, food plots, 20 BLINDS, partly wooded, prime hunting, lrg bucks taken . . . . . . . . . . . . . $199,900 M780713L
3 ACRES, some cleared for building, county maintained road, electric available . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $16,500 M780319C
60 ACRES! Wooded, elec at road, 24x24 pole bldg w/cement floor, great hunting area . . . . . . . . . . $139,900 M780006R
5 ACRES, mostly open, on paved road, nice views, potential bldg site, near Nat’l Forest . . . . . . . . . $13,900 M779693R
101 AC – ST LAND ON 3 SIDES!! Ultimate hunting parc, older bldg w/heat & lights . . . . . . . . . . . $224,900 M779538B
120 ACRES! Trails-thru-out, excellent huning, lots of wildlife, secluded, gated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $179,500 M776912B
10.06 ACRES, wooded, driveway, elec at road, near State lands, camping trailer incl . . . . . . . . . . . . $28,900 M778297B
WALK TO HOUGHTON CREEK, 2.1 ACRES, elec at road, nice views, bldg site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $7,900 M776054B
15 AC & FRNT ON STYLUS LK!! Great hunting parcel, lots of wildlife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $32,000 L775186A
ST HELEN! 10 AC! Heavily wooded, excellent hunting, SECLUDED, easy access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $24,900 M748824L
87.52 AC, ACROSS FROM ST LAND, trails, food plots, blinds, rustic bldg/cabin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $174,000 M747501B
10+ ACRES, insulated 2-car GARAGE, W/heat & kitchen, outhouse storage shed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $57,900 M745040B
40 ACRES! Nice mix of trees, near 2 allsports lks, great hunting, lots of wildlife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $80,000 H743334B
72 ACRES & LKFRONT! Beautiful, rolling, lots of wildlife, gated, maintained rd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $145,000 M763946R
10 ACRES, great hunt camp, elec at road for poten bldg site, mostly wooded . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $19,900 M762277B
TWO PARCELS, acre+ each, slopes to Perry Creek, nice bldg site, each . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $7,000 M761380-81R
2.5 ACRS ON PAVED RD & on Campbell Creek for your new home! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $14,000 M761714B
1.37 ACRS for your new home on paved rd not far from West Branch! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $14,000 M761715B
20.14 ACRES, rolling, wooded, BORDERS ST LAND, great hunting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $63,900 M763333R
HUNTER’S PARADISE! 40 Ac borders St land, tons of wildlife, poss bldg site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $74,950 M763481R
20 ACRES, rolling, wooded, open area for plots, trails, deer blind, excellent hunting . . . . . . . . . . . . . $31,500 M776729R

FOREST LAKE! All sports private lake, 60’ frnt, potential bldg. site, nice subd . . . . . . . . . . . . . $46,000 M780595B
LAKE OGEMAW! Over ½ ACRE, wooded, all sports lk, nice views, poss bldg. site . . . . . . . . . . $96,900 M790612R
LITTLE LONG LK! 66’ water frnt, partly wooded, nice views, potential bldg site . . . . . . . . . . . . $42,000 H763152B
15 ACES & FRNT ON STYLUS LAKE! Great hunting parcel, heavily wooded . . . . . . . . . . . . . $32,000 L755186A
SHARED WATERFRONT, 7 lots, potential bldg site, mostly wooded, paved road . . . . . . . . . . . $28,000 H784326B
WATER ACCESS W/24 X 32 GARAGE, North Dease Lake, potential bldg site . . . . . . . . . . . . . $36,000 M786155B

ISLAND LK, 2-br, gar w/loft, ¾ bath & bdrm, lakeside patio, great views, no wake . . . . . . . . . . . . . $209,900 M783692R
LK OGEMAW! 4-br Saltbox, stamped patio, dock, 77’ frnt, ¾ acre, great deck, gar . . . . . . . . . . . . . $199,000 M783506C
RIFLE RVR!! 10 AC, full log, 3-br, 4 ba, amenities galore, decks, porches, balcony . . . . . . . . . . . . .$595,000 M782802R
3.5 AC - LEWIS LK! 3-br, 2 ba, deck, 32x40 pole barn, 295’, small lake, wooded, LC . . . . . . . . . . . $115,000 M782163R
LITTLE LONG LK! 4-br, extensive decking, gorg views, stone FP, 2 sheds, 60’ frnt . . . . . . . . . . . . $159,900 H781901B
LITTLE LONG LK! Cozy 2-br, 2 garages, encl porch, covered porch, 64’ frontage . . . . . . . . . . . . . $119,900 M780107R
HARDWOOD LK! 1.31 ACRES, 3-br, garage, AC, newer steel roof, deck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $149,000 M780038B
SKIDWAY LK! 2-br log home, lakeside sunroom, garage, FP, fenced yrd, full bsmt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $87,500 M776963B
RIFLE RIVER! 3-br, garage, wrkshp, updated, open floor plan, views, deck, sunrm . . . . . . . . . . . . . $159,900 M776647R
CRANBERRY LK! Cozy getaway, boat dock, some furnishings, lakeside patio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $81,900 M749638C
AFFORDABLE LAKEFRONT! FP, patio, encl porch, views, garage, PONTOON! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $54,900 M749664B
WATERFRONT LOT across rd! 2-br, lk views, garage, 2 sheds, covered patio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $69,900 M749221L
EVERETT LK! 240’ frnt and 5 ACRES, 4-br Cape Cod, deck, covered porch, dock . . . . . . . . . . . . . $106,000 M793162B
20 AC & FRNT ON SAGE & LITTLE SAGE LKS! 3-br, secluded, wooded, deck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $299,000 L759898A

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BIG WMS LK! Updated 3-br, 2 boats, 123’ frnt, 10x28 deck, wood stove, steel roof . . . . . . . . . . . . $129,900 M791552B
100% REMODELED RIVERFNT!! 2/3-br, fam & rec rooms, garage, MUST SEE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $119,900 M791231L
1.4 AC, NO WAKE LK! Custom 3-br, covered porch, garage, FP, applia, loft, dock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $154,000M790900C
FAWN LK! Nice 3-br, garage, large deck, nice views, all appli, move in ready . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $84,900 M755449L
HENDERSON LK! 2-br, newer roof & flooring, decks, boat dock, 95’ frnt, views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $84,900 M789599B
80 AC & 1400’ on RIFLE RVR! 2-br, pond, apple trees, secluded, trails, blind, fishing . . . . . . . . . . $249,900 M776325R
W LONDO LK! Spacious 4-br, upper/lower decks, views, fruit trees, landscaped . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $169,000 L787658A
HARDWOOD LK! 156+ sandy frnt, 2-br, walkout bsmt, 14’ boat, dock, 3 sheds, view . . . . . . . . . . . $159,000 M786820B
S DEASE LK! 3-br, 1728 sq ft, 2 decks, garage w/stove, furnishings, lawn equipment . . . . . . . . . . $159,000 M786169B
LAKE ELNI! 100’ frnt, 3-br, FP, wrap-around deck, views, full bsmt, dock, turn-key . . . . . . . . . . . . . $165,000 M786081B
“NO WAKE” BIG WMS LAKE! 2/3-br, nice views, 64’ water frntg, log cabin, shed . . . . . . . . . . . . . $109,900 M785706D
LAKE OGEMAW! 1800 sq ft, 3-br, walkout bsmt, deck/patio, 65’ frnt, sandy, dock . . . . . . . . . . . . . $162,900 M784779C
21 ACRES/PRIOR CREEK!! 5-br, 3 ba, in-law suite, blind, trails, rear deck, views . . . . . . . . . . . . . $184,900 M784501C
LK GEORGE! 2-br, tons of great updates, patio, views, garage, aluminum dock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $159,900 M783771R

WATERFRONT HOMES/COTTAGES

FOREST LAKE! All sports private lake, 666’ frnt, potential bldg. site, nice subd . . . . . . . . . . . . $39,000 M790834C
10 AC, 229’ ON MORRIS LK, 30X40 POLE BLDG, stoves, ¾ ba, kitc, bedrms, blinds . . . . . . $134,900 M790263L
1.37 AC & 50’ WATER FRONTAGE!! All sports 172 acre Hardwood Lk, great views . . . . . . . . . $39,900 M789290B
POPULAR SAGE LAKE! Wooded lot on canal to 785 acre all sports lk, poss bldg site . . . . . . .$20,000 L789247A
S DEASE LK! 60’on canal to all sports lake, potential bldg site, boat dock, wooded . . . . . . . . . $45,000 H788489B
LK OGEMAW! 1.1 ACRES, 32X64 POLE BARN, septic, well, electric, dock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $209,000 M782685C

WATERFRONT LOTS & ACREAGE

5.96 ACRES, potential bldg site, countryside view, maintained rd, elec at road . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $18,000 H778743B
GREAT FOR CROPS!! 10 ACRES, 420’ on paved road, poss building site, cleared . . . . . . . . . . . . . $28,900 M792445L
WELL, SEPTIC, DRIVEWAY, FOUNDATION!! 3 ACRES, woods at rear, nice views . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20,000 M792331D
10.01 ACRES, paved road, gated, mature trees, incl hardwoods, great hunt camp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $28,500 M791955R
14.72 ACRES, BACKS TO STATE LANDS, mostly wooded, lowlands, motiv seller! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $26,900 M791639R
HUNT & PRIV LK ACCESS!! 10 ac, Frost Lk w/perch,trout,bass, wooded, rolling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $29,900 M790885C
10 AC, walk to Fed’l land, mobile w/stove, sleeping area, furn, trails, wooded, hunting . . . . . . . . . . . $36,900 M790848B
10 AC, 229’ ON MORRIS LK, 30X40 POLE BLDG, stoves, ¾ ba, kitc, bedrms, blinds . . . . . . . . . . $134,900 M790263L
24X24 GARAGE & 7+ WOODED ACRES! Paved rd, corner, some low & open areas . . . . . . . . . . . $29,900 M790214R
10+ ACRES, near Huron Nat’l Forest, beautiful views, mostly wooded, mature trees . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25,900 M790106R
53+ AC, ST LAND ON 3 SIDES, “shack”, outhouse, shed, sugar beet bin, blinds, wded . . . . . . . . . . $94,000 M789618B
30 ACRES & POLE BLDG! 200 AC ST LAND across rd, great hunting or raise horses . . . . . . . . . . . $85,000 M789151J
40+ ACRES & CABIN! 1300’ on Johnson Crk, wooded, shed, wood stove, blind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$98,500 M788865G
60 ACRES! Wooded, elec at road, 24x24 pole bldg w/cement floor, great hunting area . . . . . . . . . . $139,900 M788919R
12X20 BLDG, 30+ ACRES, BORDERS NAT’L FOREST! Paved road, wooded, hunt . . . . . . . . . . . . $109,900 M788548R
BUNKHOUSE W/ 6.88 ACRES, 2 blinds, well, septic, AMMOND CRK frnt, wooded . . . . . . . . . . . . . $49,900 M788221B
11 ACRES, great hunting, heavily wooded, near state lands, electric at road, wildlife . . . . . . . . . . . . $27,900 M787819B
100.77 ACRES, ADJOINS ST LAND! Great hunting, lrg pond, small cabin, gated . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$139,900 M787752B
2.61 AC, LIKE-NEW, 3-br chalet, deck, gazebo, heated gar w/2 brms & ba, FP, air . . . . . . . . . . . . . $129,900 M787691L
10 ACRES!! Mostly wooded, small clearing, great hunting, add’l 10 acres available . . . . . . . . . . . . . $29,000 M787378C
ADJACENT TO ST LAND!! 18 AC, 2-br cabin, nestled in woods, great hunt camp! . . . . . . . . . . . . . $69,900 M786738R
11.83 ACRES, great hunting, heavily wooded, 12x24 insulated bldg w/furn, firepit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $35,900 M786561D
5+ AC, 200’ from St Land! 2-br, gazebo & pole bldg w/elec, deck, patio, trails, views . . . . . . . . . . . . $79,900 M786457C
10+ AC, WALK TO ST LAND! Well, septic, elec, shed w/hot water & tub, 8x20 deck . . . . . . . . . . . . . $36,900 M786070B

HOMES/CABINS ON ACREAGE HUNTING LANDS & ACREAGE

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