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APRIL 2018 $4.


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

Crossbow - Typical
Get Dangerously
Close to the Roost

Crankbaits - Spoons - Stingers
• 2,176 Master Angler Catches in 2017 • Crossbow Tips for Gobblers
• 'Great White' Feeding Frenzy • Make Your Own Turkey Fan/Beard Mount
• Drain the Swamp? Never! • Deer Mount Stolen 41 Years Ago...Returned • Like us on facebook Follow us on

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By Tom Campbell

Field Notes... BIG BUCK!

Michigan Anglers to hunt Michigan can purchase a leftover
irst, a reminder to all anglers, license, “over-the-counter” (no applica-
you must purchase a 2018 fish- tion process) on a first-come, first-serve
ing license by April 1! basis. The turkey season(s) run from April
You must purchase a fishing 23 through May 31, 2018. Detailed infor-
license if you are 17 years of mation about spring turkey regulations,
age or older to fish. If you are management units, hunting hours and
under 17, you may fish without a license, more can be found in the Spring Turkey
but you are required to observe all fishing Digest. Spring turkey licenses cost $15
rules and regulations. (65 and older $6) and you must have a
Any adult actively assisting a minor base license to hunt in Michigan.
who does not have a license must have a Bear Problems
fishing license. Please note, a license is The DNR reminds residents in
required when targeting fish, amphibians, bear country, “the easiest thing people
crustaceans and reptiles. can do to avoid problems with bears is
Annual resident fishing licenses cost remove bird feeders during the spring
$26 and $11 for seniors (65 and older). and summer months. With an estimated
Nonresidents pay $76 for an annual fish- 2,000-plus adult bears in the northern
ing license. Residents can also purchase a Lower Peninsula and almost 10,000 in the
hunt/fish combo package for $76, which Upper Peninsula, there are plenty of bears
includes; your base license, annual fishing searching for natural food that is plentiful
license and two deer tags. in forests, fields and wetlands.
Do you sometimes forget to grab your Bears find birdseed and suet especially
laminated paper fishing license when attractive, as they are high-calorie and
heading to your favorite waters to fish? reliable compared to other plentiful and Larry Smith of Vassar, Michigan was hunting on private proper-
Well, the DNR can help you; they have natural food sources. Bird feeders can ty in Lenawee County when he spotted this monster. He’s been
developed an electronic license that al- draw bears past their natural habitat, watching it on the trail cameras for the past three years and
lows an individual to display an electronic where they would normally be enjoying he only came out at night. This the first time he had seen him
copy of his or her fishing license using an roots of early spring plants and insects in in the daylight. He got a shot and took it. His beautiful droptine
electronic device. Technology to help the
trees and logs. Bears also typically will buck should score in the 180s! Congratulation Larry!
Turkey Hunters to return to
Second, a reminder to all spring
turkey hunters unfulfilled license quotas...
a location
once they Submit your design for the first Deer
Management Cooperator Patch contest!
leftover turkey licenses are currently have found a
on sale to unsuccessful applicants. On food reward

Monday, March 19 anyone who qualifies there.”n
he Michigan Deer Management Cooperator • “Successful

Patch has been a collector’s item for hunters Hunter 2018” must be
since the early 1970s. This year, the included in the design.
Department of Natural Resources is asking • “Deer
April 1 - 2018 fishing license required the public to design the deer patch for the first time Management
Open All Year – Pike and walleye season on Lower Peninsula ever! Cooperator” must be
Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair & St. Clair & Detroit Rivers “Over the years, hunters or others have asked included in the design.
Open All Year – Salmon and trout season on Great Lakes, St. about or submitted patch ideas, but we have always • “”
Marys River, Lake St. Clair & St. Clair & Detroit Rivers hired an artist or used DNR staff,” said Jordyn must be included in the
Open All Year – Catch-and-immediate-release bass season on Richardson, DNR outreach technician. “This year, we design.
all Michigan waters open to fishing thought, let’s make it a contest so we can get a lot of • Submitted entries
Now-March 31 – Cottontail rabbit/snowshoe hare season different ideas and bring some excitement back to the must be scaled to a size
Now-March 31 – Crow season patch.” of 3 inches by 4 inches
Now-Dec. 31 – Pure Michigan Hunt Application Period The DNR has been providing the patch as a thank- or 3 inches by 3 inches
Now – Leftover spring wild turkey licenses go on sale to you to hunters for bringing their deer to DNR check (the final size of the
applicants only stations. At check stations, the DNR collects valuable patch).
March 19 – Leftover spring wild turkey licenses go on sale data about the state’s deer population. • Entries must include the DNR logo. (Feel free to
over-the-counter Those interested in participating in the contest create a circular placeholder. The minimum size of the
April 28 - March 15 – Walleye and pike open in Lower should submit their designs by April 2. Submissions logo on the final patch is 1 inch.)
Peninsula inland waters must include artist’s name, mailing address and phone • Once a patch design is submitted, it is the prop-
May 1-June 1 – Elk Hunt Application Period number. erty of the DNR.
May 1-June 1 – Bear Hunt Application Period All entries must be mailed to: DNR Wildlife The DNR:
May 15 - March 15 - Walleye and pike open in Upper Division, Attn: Emilie O’Grady, 525 W. Allegan St., • Reserves the right to not use any entries submit-
Peninsula Great Lakes, inland waters & St. Marys River P.O. Box 30444, Lansing, MI 48909 ted for patch design
May 26 – Dec. 31 – Smallmouth and largemouth bass catch- • Reserves the right to use any entry as the basis
and-keep on all waters, including Great Lakes (except Lake Contest Guidelines Are As Follows: for patch designs in future years.
St. Clair and St. Clair and Detroit Rivers. • Entries must be submitted through U.S. mail. • Will protect the integrity of winner’s design
June 16 – Dec. 31 - Smallmouth and largemouth bass catch-
• Entries must be postmarked by April 2, 2018. composition as much as possible.
and-keep on Lake St. Clair & St. Clair & Detroit Rivers
• Entries must include the artist’s name, mailing • May make changes to assist in the production of
*Consult the Michigan Hunting and Trapping Digest, Fishing Digest, or address and phone number. the patch.
other species-specific hunting digests for a more complete list of dates
and regulations regarding each season or hunt period. • Anyone can enter the contest. Children under the • Reserves the exclusive right to authorize the
age of 13 need parental/guardian permission. reproduction of the winning design.
MJC MJC (Permission is given by including parent/guardian sig- • Will not insure the entries received or be respon-
ARCHERY ARCHERY nature on the back of the entry.) sible for loss or damage to the entries.
MACOMB OAKLAND • Work must be original to the artist and must be • Has the right to use the designer’s name and
submitted by the artist or artist’s parent or guardian. image for promotional purposes without compensation
• Entries may be any medium but must be submit- to the designer.
ted on paper, hand-drawn or printed. • Has the right to destroy submissions.
19744 15 Mile Rd
Clinton Twp. 48035
3001 Rochester Rd
Royal Oak, MI 48073 • Entries must portray a white-tailed deer and The winner will be contacted in early May.
Michigan habitat or represent Michigan deer hunting. For questions about the contest, contact the DNR
586-791-4600 248-589-2480
• Entries may include a maximum of seven colors. Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.
Deer mount stolen Michigan Deer Camp Traditions
41 years ago...RETURNED! Jake Dykstra page 42
Millard H. Holton page 22
Boat Smart...Going Fishing?
Story of a rod builder... Captain Fred Davis page 49
An education for a lifetime!
Mike Simcik page 30 Part II
Drain the swamp? Never! Trapping Southern Michigan
Jeff Pendergraff page 64
Lake Superior’s unique Jonathan Schechter page 32
The nation’s first
Do button bucks play
coaster brook trout fishery an active role in the rut?
John Ozoga page 55
female conservation officer
page 80
Bill 18
Looking back to the
FISHING Betty Sodders page 60
Shifting to QDM to
COVER STORY... The prepared steelheader Harvesting the sweet bounty fight deer disease
State Record Typical Buck Jim Bedford page 8 Tom Lounsbury page 68 Guest Column page 73
Richard P. Smith page 10
Avoiding the worst when towing Sporting Collectibles...
Do It Yourself... Mark Martin page 12 Sport Show Finds
Turkey Fan and Beard Mount Terry McBurney page 78
Darryl Quidort page 14 Understanding fish
spawning instinct
Never say Never...
Persistence finally
Tom Huggler page 20 OUTDOOR NEWS
pays off in turkey woods Fine tuning crankbait bite for Conservation, hunting groups,
Randy Jorgensen page 26 GREAT LAKES WALLEYE DNR discuss Wildlife Recovery
Mark Romanack page 24 Drew YoungeDyke page 50
Crossbow tips for
spring gobblers ORV Safety eduction
Jigging for walleye...
instructors needed
to sting or not to sting page 58
Mark Romanack page 28

Part II...How to make a

DNR releases new Spring
Lake Michigan Fisheries
fly rod work for you
William Mangan page 44
Management Plan Strategies
page 58
Brian 34
Fisherman’s Digest... Taxes and Trapping
Fishing the east side John Chagnon page 65
CWD...many questions
John Bergsma page 52
TECHNOLOGY and few answers
Enhances DNR’s ability to Mark Sak page 74
ARE YOU READY? gather, share information about
Great white Kenny Darwin page 46 our natural resources GUNS/AMMO
Feeding Spoons for walleyes
Bob Gwizdz-MDNR page 66
Gun Chat...Winchester 97
Frenzy Michael Veine page 56 Figuring out the DNR’s budget
page 72 Lee Arten page 48

Kenny 16 Master Angler Black Powder Shooting Sports

DNR urges boaters
recipients increasing to take safety classes An Epic Colonial Musket
page 59 page 75 Dennis Neely page 62
Darin Potter page 36

Natural Destination Areas APRIL 2018 $4.00

John Eberhart page 38 Woods-n-Water News

Trophy Page. . . . . . 70 Classifieds . . . . . . . 82
Michigan’s Premier Outdoor Publication

Spring turkey tactics

George Rowe page 54 News/Op-Ed . . . 72-75 Real Estate . . . . 83-89

Crossbow - Typical
Turkeys Photo TURKEYS
Get Dangerously
By Kenny Darwin
Close to the Roost

Walleyes Photo
By Mark Romanack
Crankbaits - Spoons - Stingers P.O. Box 278, Imlay City, MI 48444
• 2,176 Master Angler Catches in 2017 • Crossbow Tips for Gobblers
State Record Photo • 'Great White' Feeding Frenzy • Make Your Own Turkey Fan/Beard Mount

• Drain the Swamp? Never! • Deer Mount Stolen 41 Years Ago...Returned

Provided By Gary Shear • Like us on facebook Follow us on


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A happy Brett Har tford with a
steelhead, and note spinner
box and pliers close at hand.

Struggling to unhook a steelhead

with just your hands usually results
in an overstressed or injured fish and
sliced up fingers.
Some other handy tools include
a reel wrench and screwdriver. In
addition to these take down tools I
also carry extra bail springs as this
is the most likely part to fail on my
spinning reels. A small bottle of oil
is carried to keep the reel running
smoothly. And, even though I’m


using the silkiest, most dependable
reels ever built, the original Swedish
Cardinals, I still carry a spare reel.
You never know when you might
get sand in the reel or dunk it in the
river in below freezing weather.
While it could be placed in the big
pocket in the back of your vest I

prefer to stash the extra reel in the
large pouch in your waders cre-
he steelies are in the gear while the angler on foot must of boxes of spinners, plugs, and/or ated by the wader belt. When a bail
river in big numbers consider weight and space limita- spoons. spring does break I usually switch to
and you have just been tions. Of course, those fishing from By taking note of the river size, the spare reel rather than changing
dropped off for an a boat must also carry tools and height, and clarity you can focus the spring on the water. Of course
all-day wade up three replacement parts for their motor. your terminal tackle for the condi- if something goes wrong with the
miles of river. Your When possible, a back-up motor is tions and leave some of that tackle spare reel you have a third backup in
partner has moved the car to your also important to have on board. behind in the vehicle. For example, the extra bail springs. Extra spools
take out bridge and is fishing the A vest is the wading angler’s I only carry two to three dozen spin- for the reels are also carried with
reach above you. The conditions are tackle box and having the right ners on the river but they are select- different strength lines.
perfect: a cloudy day and a slightly items stowed in it can be the keys ed from a stock of over a hundred While it is possible to stow a
up and stained river. to a successful outing on the river lures that are carried in my duffel. pack rod in the back of your vest I
Eagerly you begin tossing your or lakeshore. Most of these items Likewise my minnow plug selection usually leave my spare rod in the
lure into likely runs in great antici- are already in your vest but we will is also based on the conditions. car. I do carry extra tip tops, guides,
pation of a hard strike. It only takes discuss some things you haven’t Keeping your terminal tackle ferrule cement, matches, and a
two bends to get you thought of or did not in good shape and ready to catch roll of electrical tape. Sadly I have
hooked up to your first know were available. fish requires the stowing of several broken a graphite rod on more than
silver bullet. But, on your At the very least it will tools in your vest. A hook sharpener one occasion but the rod splinted
first cast after releasing get you thinking about allows you to touch up those points with electrical tape by wrapping
the steelhead you hear a optimizing the tackle in dulled by rocks. Either a hone or overlapping the broken sections kept
funny ping as you flip the your vest. a fine file will do the job and my me fishing. My dubious record was
bail. On your next cast My goal is to always favorite is the thumb file with a landing six steelhead on a wobbly,
your bail doesn’t return have the right items for hole in it so it can be attached on splinted rod.
and you know that the the fish and the condi- a cord to a “D” ring and be secure Good vision is really impor-
strange sound was your tions as well as the fix it from being dropped into the river. A tant to the river angler so polarized

By Jim Bedford
bail spring breaking. materials if some- File Saver pouch impregnated with sunglasses should always be tucked
Luckily, know- thing breaks down WD-40 will prevent rust and also away in a pocket. I prefer those with
ing that you were or leaks. Being keep the file from wearing a hole in a light amber tint because they let
going to be a long way from the car prepared maximizes your produc- your vest pocket. Needle nose pliers ample light through while still cut-
and fishing all day, you have a spare tive time on the river. Of course you are handy for straightening hooks, ting the glare. Don’t forget to wear
reel. Soon you are back in business, can’t carry everything so you also squeezing lead, and flattening barbs a hat with a wide brim or long visor
hooking beautiful steelhead. have to be selective and not try to in addition to unhooking steelhead. to shade the bright sky from the
For most of us our time on the carry all the tackle you own. Line clippers or small scissors will sunglasses.
water is precious and we don’t want Terminal gear is obviously a save your teeth and the scissors can A small first aid/personal com-
to squander a minute of it. Even as a very important part of the tackle that also be used to trim yarn or spawn fort kit can make your day on the
retiree who fishes 3 to 5 days week you stow in your vest. If you are a sack material and cut braided line. river more pleasant. Mine includes
I want to keep fishing and not be drift or bait angler you’ll want your Split ring pliers will be helpful when chapstick, bandaids, aspirin, toilet
walking back to the car for some- hooks, sinkers, leaders, swivels, you need to replace a ring or a hook paper. Obviously, in late spring
thing I forgot or replacing equip- floats, drift lures, yarn, flies, bait on that plug that is working so well. through the summer mosquito repel-
ment that failed. I also want to be jars, and attractant scent all orga- While a good number of the lent is a necessity and I usually also
prepared for changing water condi- nized and easy to get to. A separate items described here for a well- wear a thin, nylon shirt with long
tions, the weather, biting insects, bait container may be needed and stocked vest are optional, the above sleeves to reduce the area where
minor mishaps, etc. can be attached to your wader belt. mentioned pliers or sturdy hemo- repellent is needed. On some of my
The focus of this article will be Good sized pockets allow for leader stats should be required for aiding favorite trout and summer steelhead
on things that will keep the angler cards and pre-tied rigs. It’s a little in the unhooking of fish. Walleyes, creeks the poison ivy is extremely
on foot fishing but all will also ap- simpler for the lure tosser since northern pike, and all members of lush so a small bottle of Oak ‘n Ivy
ply to boat fishermen. It is easier for except, perhaps, for a few snaps and the trout and salmon family have cleanser is added to my vest so I can
the watercraft angler to carry extra swivels, all you need are a couple sharp teeth and tough mouths. wash up when it is likely I’ve been
in contact with this “evil plant.”
Water and some high energy
food also keep you feeling good and
fishing hard. In the past I’ve frozen
water in a plastic bottle and drank
it as it thawed. New water bottles
with a built in purification system
allow you to utilize river water.
This is especially appealing when
you are fishing a cold trout
stream on a hot day. Dried fruit
and granola bars provide energy
and are easy to carry. Celery
sticks in a plastic bag can satisfy
both hunger and thirst.
Notes on the size and location of
the fish caught and river conditions
are kept using a pen and the backs
of old, out of date business cards
stashed in a small plastic bag. A
DeLiar type scale and tape lets you
measure the fish on the river. Water
temperatures are also taken and
recorded utilizing a cased, pocket
thermometer. Usually I stay with the
river but for those times when cut-
ting out across country a compass is
a good thing to have in the vest. A
small flashlight will help you see the
trail or read the compass when the
fishing is so good it keeps you on Mike Haars admires steelhead before release. Mike has a well stocked vest under his waders in
the river after sunset. addition to his outer fishing jacket with plenty of storage pockets. Author photos
The large back pouch in your
vest is a great place to store a pack-

able wading rain jacket. If it is cool elongated cord loop around
or threatening rain I will just wear my camera that goes around the
the rain jacket but if the rain stops photographer’s neck and in many
years of hard use it has never seen

and the hot sun emerges it is great to
have place to stash the waterproof the river. A Ziploc plastic bag
coat. will protect the camera when it is
As long as we’re talking about stowed and not in use. Of course,
staying dry it is important to be able you could buy and use a waterproof
to patch your boots on the stream model. But, just don’t drop it (or
if you have a bad encounter with
barbed wire or a sharp snag. The
a phone) in deep, relatively turbid
water. Buyers of Logs & Standing Timber
flexible hot melt ferrule cement There are lots of vests to choose
in your rod repair kit can also be from on the market. Pick one that • Wildlife Habitat Improvement
has the right number and size pock-
used as a temporary wader patch
but a better plan is to have a tube ets for your gear. If you fish both in • Selective Harvesting
of AquaSeal UV in your vest. This the summer and the winter you may
product cures in a minute in sun- want two--a lightweight, smaller,
nylon mesh model for the hot
• Timber Management
shine and slightly longer when it is
cloudy and cold. It also adheres to weather and a larger capacity one
wet waders. Regular AquaSeal is for winter. Based on my experience
plain cotton vests are very comfort-
Ensuring Landowners Maximum
compatible with the UV product so
you don’t need to try and remove able but don’t last long. So I suggest
sticking with the polyester blends
Value for their Timber
For over 35 years.
it when you make the permanent
repair at home. for more durability.
While it is especially important In recent years it seems that
to me as an outdoor writer, I think some anglers are opting for back-
a camera belongs in the vests of all packs instead of vests. They allow
wading anglers and on the boats more room for gear, but the extra Walnut Timber
of anglers afloat. It allows you to weight can be a negative as your
capture action shots as well as the back ages. Often they need to be Landowners—Get paid
fish when they are freshly caught taken off to get at the gear you want,
and still alive. “Having proof” also another negative. for your Veneer!
makes it easier to release those tro- Hopefully this has given you
phy fish. Point and shoot auto every- some ideas on what to carry in your
thing cameras are ideal. Obviously
cell phone cameras will also take
vest that will keep you prepared for
most anything you might encounter Tony Bryant
good photos but many don’t have a this spring and thus keep you fish-
way to be attached to keep you from
dropping them in the river. I have an
ing. Similar items stashed on your
boat will do the same.n 269-967-2850
Typical Buck...

f it weren’t for Gary March. Another typical crossbow
Shear, we probably kill that scores higher could surface
wouldn’t have known that by then.
his twin brother, 78-year- Like so many older bowhunters,
old Cary from Ann Arbor, Cary hunted with a compound bow
bagged a pending state until he could no longer consistently
record typical crossbow buck last draw his compound under hunting
fall in Washtenaw County. conditions.
“My brother talked me into “What convinced me it was
having the antlers scored by Com- time to switch from my compound
memorative Bucks of Michigan to a crossbow was one day I was
(CBM),” Cary said. “I wasn’t even hunting over a mock scrape,” Cary
going to have the deer mounted, explained. “During the time I was
but my brother talked me into that, waiting for a deer to show up in
too. He told me, ‘You will never see my treestand, I got cold and started
another deer like that,’ and I’m sure shaking. That’s when an 8-point
he’s right.” showed up at my mock
The big 12-pointer that scrape. I tried to pull my
Cary shot with his Barnett bow back five times and
Wildcat Crossbow and couldn’t do it even though I
Rage Broadhead late in the had been hunting with that Cary Shear almost didn’t have his record book 12-pt. scored. His
day on November 11, 2017, bow for years.” twin brother talked him into typical score was 175 5/8.
has an official gross score Cary has been hunting stand when a doe came out of the said he doesn’t use trail cameras, so
of 185 2/8 and nets 175 5/8, with a crossbow for about woods, walked across the food plot the whitetail could have been in the
according to CBM. The six years. During that time, and entered a cornfield. area and been primarily nocturnal
mature buck he’s scored on a
By Richard P. Smith
“The buck came out of the until the day he saw it. The arrow
also had a big couple of aver- woods on the doe’s tracks and he from Shear’s crossbow scored a
body, dressing age 10-point- was following her. When he stopped great hit, so the buck only went
out at 219 pounds. ers and a number of 8-points, all of at 38 yards, I took the shot. He was about 80 yards before dying.
The previous state record typi- which had antlers that were much ready to head the other way after the “I was really shocked when I
cal crossbow buck was arrowed by smaller than the 12 he got last fall. doe. I knew if I didn’t take that shot, saw the buck laying on the ground.
rural Allegan County resident Trent “I’m not a trophy hunter,” Cary I wasn’t going to get one. I have never seen a deer that big in
Smith in Allegan County on October said. “I hunt for the meat. But if a “I think that buck was lost. I had my life.”
22, 2016. That impressive 10-point- big buck comes along, I don’t have never seen him before.” Cary said he’s been deer hunting
er had a CBM score of 175 2/8. a problem shooting it.” The doe that buck was following for about 65 years. He started when
The Shear buck is a “pend- That’s exactly what happened was most likely in heat, and that’s he was 15. The only deer Cary has
ing” state record because the 2017 when Shear got the 12-pointer. He what attracted him to the area. Cary had measured prior to the 12-point
scoring period goes until the end of was hunting a food plot from a tree- was a big 8-pointer he shot with a
firearm in 1993. The antlers on that
Hot Shot Outfitters
buck measured 128.
Long tine length of the second,
Ray Hoody third and fourth points on each
antler contributed to the deer’s

 high score. The second point on
the right antler was 14 inches long,
for example. The same point on the

DEER & TURKEY Goose Hunts

Youth Deer Hunts
left antler was 11 4/8 inches long.
Differences in tine length from one

antler to the other were deductions.
Turkey Hunts • Coyote Hunts Length of the third tine on the right
Whitetail Hunts side was 11 3/8 inches compared to

Go To: 6900 Huron City

Port Hope, MI 48468
12 inches on the left.
The antlers also had heavy
bases, measuring 5 4/8 inches
Commemorative Bucks of Michigan • P.O. Box 615 • Grand Ledge, Michigan 48837 • Phone (517) 679-6226 Mon - Fri: 989-428-5071 on the right and 5 5/8 on the left.
Commemorative Bucks of Michigan is a non-profit organization that measures and maintains records on trophy class Whitetail Deer, Weekends: 989-670-4336 Beam lengths were 24 1/8 and 24
Black Bear, Elk and Turkeys, taken by fair chase in the state of Michigan. We use the Boone and Crockett method to score all three
big game species. Visit our web site to learn more and get connected to the latest in Michigan hunting. 7/8 inches. The inside spread of the
antlers was 16 3/8 inches.n
LET US buy your
Fishing License
Buy any new G. Loomis rod, from February 15 to May 1,
at an authorized Dealer and receive your 2018 Michigan
State resident fishing license.





Avoiding the worst when towing
Even if you fish close to home, you can have trailer problems...By Mark Martin

hen it comes just finding a flat tire in the drive-
to spending way is it increases your chances of
hour after having a bad, even fatal, accident
countless hour tenfold.
with mul-
tiple sets of Slip Sliding Away
tires rotating upon the road, there’s Proper greasing of wheel bear-
no doubt in my mind that career ings is another must. Water and
fishing-tournament anglers lead the dirt can creep their way into hubs,
way when it comes to cross-country even if you think they are totally
travel with boat and trailer in tow. sealed from the elements. And when
But just because you may only this happens it’ll only be a matter
travel short distances to and from of time before you, too, are one of
your favorite fishing waters doesn’t those poor souls that have to pull off
mean you’re immune to the same to the side of the road and wait for a
towing woes as those of us who flatbed truck to haul your boat, with
cross state lines often. In fact, due bent axle on its trailer, off to the
to the nature of the road network repair shop rather than spending the
leading to where you fish most fre- day on the water. Not fun.
quently, you may be a candidate for Even trailer bearings that are
trailer problems more readily than surrounded by hubs that have zerk
those who pack on the miles. fittings for easy filling need to be
From ruts, potholes, extended taken apart and re-packed with fresh
washboard surfaces and every exte- grease at least once a year. Do it. Mark Mar tin, in the stern, fishing with friends; without proper trailer
rior in between, each road condition Save yourself the headache. preparation to haul his Lund beforehand, this trip may never have
will take its toll on your boat, trailer, And trailer hubs like what is un- come to be. David A. Rose photo
motor and tow vehicle. der my Lund Pro-V, which have oil
There are several things you can reservoirs instead of being packed ways of travel; which may also By far the best insurance for
do, however, to keep problems from with grease, are no exception. They reduce my personal time behind the anglers I have found is through
occurring, as well as money-saving need to be gone over annually to wheel. Worldwide Marine Underwriters
tips and tricks you can employ all make sure all is in working order. For example, the latest way I (
year long. And because I am not the most have found to save on both is actu- Having great boat-owners insur-
mechanically inclined person, I take ally quite old school. ance is my piece of mind that no
I’m Tire’d my trailer to professional mechan-
ics—in my case Matteson Marine
After doing the math, when
traveling west from my home in
matter what unexpected accident,
no matter how major or minor, that
What are the most important
pieces of equipment on both my on Gun Lake in Shelbyville, Michi- Michigan’s southwest Lower Pen- all my equipment, big or small—as
Lund boat’s trailer and tow vehicle? gan—to make sure all is right with insula, I have found taking the S.S. well any persons involved—are
Why tires, of course; they are the them; thus I don’t have to spend Badger from Ludington, Michigan, covered financially.
only thing holding both snug to the my time waiting for help along the to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, not only Trust me on this, although boat
road. No matter the weather condi- roadside. saves me the time of driving around coverage added to homeowners or
tions. Cover Me... Lake Michigan, but even when pay-
ing for my vehicle, trailer and two
car insurance policies may look to
be enough, it rarely ever is. Make
I’m sure you’ve heard it before
(and now I’ll mention it again),
I’m Going Fishing passengers, saves me a quite a bit of sure you are covered by a boat
Taking a vacation with boat in money in gas and tolls. policy written for anglers and all the
always be positive the air pressure tow? Looking to increase your gas
in all your tires, including the spare And it’s just a short, 4-hour ride unique gear they use.
mileage all the while keeping the while the captain of the ferry does
Tow, Tow, Tow
tires, are at the manufacturer’s sug- interior of your boat in good shape?
gested pressure for the load before all the work of getting me west of
hitting the road.
Then by all means, cover it.
My Lund came with a custom-fit
the big lake; the employees of the
S.S. Badger even load my Suburban
Your Boat...
Keeping tires at the perfect canvas cover, and I use it when pull- Looking to go fishing stress free
pressure allows their tread design to and Lund onto the vessel for me. All this coming season? Just make sure
ing it, especially for long distances. I do is pull up to the dock and let
perform to their maximum ability, It’s a proven fact that a boat you have everything in working
permitting them to move water, dirt, the crew do the rest. It’s a different order.
wrapped in a snug-fitting cover change of pace for me, to say the
snow and ice out from under them creates less air resistance; thus your Make sure your tires are fully in-
and keeping the most pure surface- least. flated, have no damage and that their
tow vehicle will have improved per- Over all, in today’s economy,
to-surface traction possible. And this formance compared to when pull- hubs are properly lubed. Cover your
is a good thing. taking ferries or other means of get- craft when towing it, find alternative
ing one that is uncovered. And then ting passengers, vehicle and boat in
Proper tire inflation will also let there’s the rain, dirt and sun damage routes that may save you time and
both vehicle and trailer move along tow to and from one point to another money, as well as make sure you are
that can be thwarted by enveloping more than likely outweighs the cost
with the least amount of resistance, your boat in canvas. properly insured.
thus will increase your tow vehicle’s of gas and wear and tear on your ve- Your days on the water will be
In short, using a cover will save hicle. Do the math… It’s well worth
gas mileage to it greatest. you big money and lots of hard more stress free, I promise.
Another thing most folks forget the time and expense. Mark Martin is a touring wall-
to do is check their tires for dam-
cleaning up later on.
Didn’t See That Coming eye pro, as well an instructor with
age. All it takes is one single rub Changing Times Last but definitely not least is the Fishing Vacations/School found
against a curb, a hard ramming into You don’t need to have me tell being prepared for the unforeseen. throughout the Midwest. Check
a pothole or just “checking” (splits you that gasoline prices rise during This means being properly insured out his website at
caused from sun damage) from age peak seasons, which are the months so as to cover my boat, motors and for more information on Mark, his
and blowouts can occur. And the I usually have my boat in tow. And all equipment in case of an accident schools and links to any of the infor-
worst thing about blowouts versus this is why I find less expensive both on and off the water. mation mentioned in this article.n
Do It Yourself... 1
Turkey Fan and

Beard Mount
ild turkeys Although borax is not acutely
have captured toxic, I suggest using common
the interest of sense when handling it. Wear rubber

many hunt- gloves and don’t breathe the dust or
ers, especially get it in your eyes.
now, after Making your own turkey fan and
their very successful reintroduction beard mount is relatively simple.
into most areas of Michigan. Some Preparing the Turkey Beard
hunters look forward to the open- 1) Carefully cut a small patch
ing of spring turkey season with as of skin from around the base of the
much anticipation as they have for turkey’s beard. Remove all feathers,
the fall deer season. leaving only the long “hairs” of the
Calling a wild turkey gobbler beard on the skin.
into range is an exciting challenge. 2) Remove any remaining meat
Success on the sharp eyed birds or fat and liberally dust the skin
doesn’t come easily though. There- with borax.
fore, after a successful hunt, many 3) Hang the turkey beard up and

hunters would like to preserve their allow it to air dry. The borax will
wild turkey trophy to hang on the mothproof and preserve the dried
den wall for future enjoyment. skin.
Preparing the Turkey Tail-Fan
This can pose a problem. Since
wild turkeys don’t have a hard tissue
trophy, such as horns or 1) Carefully skin out the rear
antlers, we are deal- of the turkey, leaving
ing with a soft tissue enough skin, with feath-
trophy. Unfortunately, ers attached, to cover
soft tissue trophies, like the base of the finished
mounted turkey tails and tail-fan mount.
beards, are susceptible 2) Sever the tail
to damage by insects bone, keeping the
such as clothes moths triangle shaped “tail

and dermestid beetles sponge” attached to the
even after they have tail feathers. (Photo 1)
completely dried out. 3) Using a sharp
The larval stage of these knife, remove all meat
and fat from the
By Darryl Quidort
insect pests feed
on the keratin skin. Carefully
protein of the remove the top
dried skin and feathers on the trophy and bottom of
causing great damage to the mount. the tail sponge, leaving the quills
Therefore, a soft tissue trophy must of the tail feathers intact. Clip the
be treated with a mothproofing agent end of the tail bone from between
to preserve it. the quills. Remove as much meat
Years ago, taxidermists dusted and fat as possible from the quills.
mounts with powdered arsenic to (Photo 2)

avoid this problem. When taxider- 4) Liberally dust all skin and
mists realized the health dangers feathers with borax powder and
involved with using arsenic in their “pack” the tail feather quills with
work, the change was made to borax borax. (Photo 3)
mothproofing. Many of the modern 5) Spread the tail-fan out evenly
dry preservatives used in taxidermy on a sheet of stiff cardboard and
today are borax based. Mothproof- staple or pin strips of cardboard
ing with borax works especially over it to hold it firmly in place as it
well with thin skinned species such dries. Arrange the tail feathers in a
as birds. natural overlapping fashion to form
Borax (sodium borate) is a a perfect fan and carefully posi-
naturally occurring, alkaline mineral tion the back feathers to cover the
commonly found in the western base of the fan. Check the fan as it
states. The white powder is widely dries to make sure it remains spread
used in cosmetics, the cleaning evenly. Reapply dry borax pow-
industries, as an anti-fungal com- der as needed as the tail-fan dries.
pound, a preservative, and as an (Photo 4) or other suitable material to cover board covering and use hot melt
insecticide. Considered to be envi- Finishing The Mount the cardboard. glue to fasten everything securely in
ronmentally friendly, it is commonly 1) When the fan is completely 3) Make a small hole, centered place.
used to control fleas and cockroach- dry remove it from the cardboard. where the material is folded, and 5) The finished wild turkey
es in homes. Borax, often sold as 20 2) Cut and fold a circular piece push the skin of the dried turkey fan and beard mount can be
Mule Team Borax, can be found in of light weight cardboard to cover beard through the hole so the beard hung directly on the wall or
the laundry detergent aisle of your the base of the fan both front and will hang below the finished tail fan. attached to a plaque for hanging.
local store. back. Then glue your choice of felt 4) Center the fan in the card- (Photo 5).n
DRYDEN, Michigan 48428


Dadum... Dadum... Dadum... Dadum...


Fish were so thick our electronics
could not mark bottom as schools
zoomed past at lightning speed
chasing minnows to the surface
in a flurry of fins and tails. Bait-
fish inches below the surface
zigzagged to avoid thousands
of silvery bullets with gnash-
ing teeth slashed at the shiners.
That’s when my fishing partner
Jose Ruiz from Mason grabbed
his rod and made a short cast

into the swirling mass of fish.
ish on!” He shouted as he
cranked the reel with rod
bent double. Soon a silver
prize came to the surface
and Ruiz flipped it in the
boat. What a beautiful
chrome-sided prize with forked tail, large black
eyes and firm flanks from the cold spring water.
By the time I unhooked the prize and slipped it
into the live well, Ruiz had another in the boat
that flopped off the hook and he tossed the jig
overboard and immediately hooked another.
“Better get your line in the water Kenny D,” he
shouted as he struggled with another fish. “For-
get walleyes! This is the fastest pace fishing fun
I’ve had all spring. I’m not bored, no longer cold
and the fish are smashing every presentation,” he
We were fishing walleyes on the mighty
Detroit River in April when we discovered the
mass of Lake Erie silver bass schooled at a warm Jose Ruiz loves catching fish to feed his family. He’s a fish catching machine in the purest form and
water discharge. My rod was rigged with a 5/8 likes to stay on the water until he catches his limit. The last couple years he prefers hot white bass
oz. jig and plastic Wyandotte black worm. I casu- fishing to boring walleye outings. Kenny Darwin photos
ally tossed the offering into the current, allowed
it to sink a few feet and began reeling. POW! I We booked a room at the Best Western in frenzy. When he would lift a fish from the froth-
was greeted with a savage strike but I missed the Trenton which has a fish cleaning table, hose ing water several whites would splash near the
fish and continued reeling. BANG! I had another and fresh water. The next day we hit the Detroit surface attempting to get a bite. Ruiz was laugh-
solid strike and this time hooked the great white, early in search of walleyes but the big fish from ing out loud because he was no longer casting but
brought it to the boat and lifted the silvery prize the previous year were not to be found. What simply stripping only 6 feet of line off the reel
aboard. I admired the catch. Whites are special, happened to all those trophy walleyes from the and plunking his jig/plastic boatside and holding
thick bodied, stout with broad shoulders and the previous year? It has been my experience there the twister tail in the current. Bass were smash-
killer instinct to strike like a great white shark are two reasons massive sport species numbers ing his offering directly below the boat. It was
gobbling fresh whale blubber. There is nothing disappear, pollution and commercial gill nets. certainly a pleasure to see my son smiling from
dainty about the take. They smack the lure at I called my son Zach and he joined us at the ear to ear pulling fish left and right in the mid-day
mach speed and if you miss the hook set another Wyandotte boat launch around noon. We ran sun on a beautiful spring day. The scene illus-
will turn on the afterburners and attack the of- upstream to the discharge, tossed the anchor trates some of Michigan’s finest sport fishing.
fering. The fishing fun is simply exhilarating. and began casting for whites. The fishing action White bass are beautiful silver-colored prizes.
With this style of fishing you are constantly busy was off the hook exciting, unbelievable swarms The state record is a 6 lb. 4 oz. bass caught on
catching fish, unhooking, of hungry silver bullets attacked our lures. At Saginaw Bay. Most weigh about one pound
recasting, and reeling with times we would have triple headers with every- with relatively large mouth, huge black eyes
no time to relax. At lightning one cranking big fish. I snapped photos of Zach and a series of diamond shaped blackish stripes
speed we had our limit. No and Ruiz doubled up on dandy fish. The sun was that run vertically the length of their body. In
we didn’t land any 6-pound- high, water was emerald green and clear, seagulls spring, females are full of eggs and their sides
ers, but we put several in and Arctic tern joined in the frenzy as I sat back are bulging with roe, many tip the scales around
the box around 17 inches and watched my son and fishin’ pal giggle at the 2 pounds. When spawning fish arrive they gather
that pushed the scale past 2 constant action. Zach was using a white twister in huge schools by the hundreds, sometimes
pounds. tail but soon snapping jaws with sharp teeth de- thousands, and they can be caught on just about

By Kenny Darwin
stroyed the plastic and he switched to chartreuse any lure using any presentation. While many
with sparkles that drove the whites into a feeding Michigan fishermen think walleye is king along
east Michigan, it is my opinion that last spring the Ren Cen to the Elizabeth Park boat launch to the boat.
white bass earned the Motown crown. Last spring in Trenton Channel. Some prefer to cast from Jose Ruiz has a large family and several fish-
the walleye fishing was dismal at best but the the wall at Belanger Park but parking is limited loving grandkids that love deep fried great whites
great whites rocked. Consider the zillions of fish and you might have to wait until anglers catch and he has a recipe that will knock your socks
caught by hundreds of anglers in boats and shoul- their limit and leave an open car parking spot. off. “The trick to maintaining the flavor of fresh
der to shoulder along the bank during the spring Another location is found along West Jefferson fish is to keep the fish on ice,” he explains. “I like
run, the outdoor recreation white bass provide is west of Mud Island, slightly upstream from the to toss my fish in the live well and keep them
unrivaled. The feeding frenzy great whites offer Ecorse boat launch. This park has a long cement alive until I have enough ice to cover the catch
anglers is legendary in Motown. walkway with shoreline metal railing and room and keep the meat ice cold. Next I fillet fish soon
I caught my first white bass in the 70s, fish- for hundreds of people to cast for bass. At times and rinse the meat with cold water. Place them in
ing for walleyes on the Tittabawassee River off the park gazebo is filled with musicians playing a large dish, cover with ice water and allow fish
the South Center Street boat launch in Saginaw instruments, providing live music for happy fish- to sit in the refrigerator overnight to remove any
in early May. Come late May the Tittabawassee ermen filling 5 gallon buckets with fresh fish. fish taste. “Great whites are delicious eating and
would get a run of monster white bass that were The location of our discharge hot spot is no my kids gobble them because they taste just like
master angler size. With fond memories I recall a secret and plenty of white bass anglers are famil- bluegills after I toss them in Drakes batter and
trip with Fred Trost and Bob Garner from Michi- iar with the steel mill discharge found a couple deep fry golden brown,” he explains.
gan Outdoors TV and we all caught master angler hundred yards downstream from the Belanger I’ve spent a lifetime chasing trophy walleyes
certified monster white bass over 16-inches long. boat launch. Launch fee is $10 at Belanger and from Lake Gogebic to Saginaw Bay, Lake Erie,
At times the Tittabawassee is choked with huge you motor a short distance downriver to the steel Muskegon, White Lake and many more. Come
bass and anyone casting small cranks can pull fence where water roars into the mighty Detroit the first thaw in March I ready my boat for De-
fish like crazy. The Saginaw still gets a run of River. Whites gather at the discharge in unbe- troit walleyes but last spring walleye fishing was
monster white bass and each year many trophy lievable numbers and you can fish in 3-20 feet the pits. Oh sure, I caught plenty of eater wall-
white bass are caught by trollers pursuing wall- of water. Some folks anchor and cast spinners eyes but finding 8-pound fish was very difficult
eyes on Saginaw Bay. Also, don’t overlook the tipped with plastic twister tails, some throw small and most anglers said they were not there. I got
fun that white fishing Lake Macatawa and the St. cranks. Most drift downstream with the current tired of boating dinky walleyes and freezing my
Clair River provide each spring. and use a bow mounted electric motor to work buns off and I made the switch to great whites.
The great white bass run on the Detroit jigs tipped with minnows along bottom in search The white bass were always accommodating,
system is much larger and lasts longer, well of walleyes. This tactic produces some walleyes biting like crazy, providing fun filled adventure
into June. Limit catches of 50 fish are common, and allows fishermen to mark exactly where the all day every day. I made treks during mid-day
although if you fish the Canada side the catch is big schools of white bass are located. Once you and caught limits faster than a speeding bullet.
unlimited. Both sides of the mighty Detroit host find them, see the huge schools on your electron- When Zach joined me at noon we were back at
monumental numbers of white bass. Some show ics you switch to jigs and twister tails, forget the launch by 3 o’clock with a cooler stuffed with
up in early April but the spawning run arrives expensive minnows and you work fish that are fish. That’s when it hit me, catching great whites
when the Detroit River water temperatures hit the suspended. One sure-fire strategy is to anchor at is fantastic fishing. This winter I’m dreaming
45-50 degree mark. Last spring was very warm the discharge outlet and cast exciter lures into the about warm spring weather and exciting outings
and massive schools of whites were available fast current and crank the offering upstream back to Detroit’s hottest fishery going…white bass.n
in early April. But when weather cooled the run
continued to strengthen with unbelievable num-
bers arriving throughout May and June.
Great whites will strike just about any pre-
sentation but after making several trips we settled
on twister tails. We prefer white plastic twister
tails 3 inches long, although we caught fish on
all plastics we used like worms, minnow imita-
tion plastics and many more. The Detroit has a
relatively fast current and in deep pockets we
used 5/8 oz. jigs and in shallower water 3/8 oz.
jigs. Jig head design makes little difference to
white bass. Just a plain jig will get the job done
but other colors that produced excellent results
included white, chartreuse, yellow, black, purple,
lime green, orange and many more. Some anglers
prefer to cast spinners like a Mepp’s, Vibrax or
Rooster tail. Worden’s has a Rooster Tail spin-
ner called Bleeding Shad and Chrome Whitetail
in 1/2 oz. size that whites love. Many anglers
prefer casting crappie spinner baits tipped with a
jig head and twister tail. Silver and white spinner
blades are popular colors for Motown bass, ham-
mered chrome is a favorite.
Ruiz hit on a honey hole one day when he
noticed flocks of Arctic Tern and seagulls swarm-
ing a discharge slightly south of Belanger Park.
The water at the discharge was slightly warmer
than the river and whites were crammed into the
swirling current like sardines. It was simply im-
possible to cast into the current without hooking
a fish. We quickly forgot about walleyes and con-
centrated on catching white bass. Soon our live
well was packed with fish and we ran to the boat
launch, iced ‘em down, put the packed cooler in
the truck and headed back out for walleyes.
When the whites arrive, thousands of fisher-
men flock to the Detroit River shore in search of
fresh fish. They congregate along the shore from Zach Darwin with a dandy white bass caught on a beautiful day with calm wind and bright
sun. Detroit River white bass come from Lake Erie where the population is booming.
Lake Superior’s unique
coaster brook trout fishery
brook trout that mi-
grated from tributary
streams to Lake
Superior was his-
torically reported as
widespread and com-
mon. This type of lake-run brook
trout was referred to as a “coaster”
by anglers. The mystique with this
variation of the native brook trout is
great since they can grow to a large
size. The classic fisheries text Fresh
Water Fishes of Canada reports a
14.5-pound brook trout (coaster)
was caught in the Nipigon River
of Ontario in 1915. According to
the Great Lakes Fishery Commis-
sion’s Brook Trout Rehabilitation
Plan for Lake Superior, historical
evidence indicates coaster brook
trout spawned and lived part of their
lives in 106 Lake Superior tributary
Coaster brook trout were very
vulnerable to exploitation (especial-
ly angling) and reportedly coaster
numbers rapidly declined in many A coaster brook trout caught during MDNR survey on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Lake Superior tributarie. Troy Zorn, MDNR photo
areas of Lake Superior in the late brook trout found in Lake Superior by one good fisherman and one poor had implemented protective regula-
1800s. Coasters first declined in the and its tributary streams. He also one; fish 2 to 3 pounds are com- tions on the Michigan Lake Superior
most accessible areas of Lake Su- referred to heavy exploitation of mon.” tributary streams and that was their
perior. Reportedly, coasters within those fisheries and the vulnerability Henry Quinlan, Fisheries Biolo- highest probability of reestablishing
30 miles of Marquette were “fished of fisheries that were readily acces- gist for the US Fish and Wildlife coaster brook trout. The new regula-
out” by 1865. Intensive sible. In Roosevelt’s 1865 Service in Ashland, Wisconsin said tions are a relatively high minimum
logging in the watersheds book, Superior Fishing, there were several major factors size limit (MSL) and bag limit of
and barriers like dams in when he stated “The finest limiting coaster brook trout reha- one on all brook trout, splake, or
tributary streams to Lake trout fishing in the world bilitation. Those being brook trout lake trout in the defined lower sec-
Superior also degraded can be obtained in Lake exploitation and lack of regulations tions of 8 streams. Zorn said “this is
coaster spawning and nurs- Superior” he was referring protection, habitat degradation, and the same regulation that was produc-
ery habitat. Coaster brook to numbers and size. He competition with other fish species. ing positive results on coasters in
trout were reduced to a few also wrote of extremely Quinlan said that larger minimum Minnesota.” The regulation affects
streams of Lake Superior large numbers of trout be- size limits and low bag limits in the Pilgrim, Silver, Slate, Ravine,
by the mid-1900s. ing taken by anglers. He Minnesota and Ontario, and Isle Big Huron, Little Huron, Iron (Lk.
By Bill Ziegler
Robert Barnwell wrote in the vicinity Royale National Park (near shore Independence outlet), and Big Gar-
Roosevelt in his 1862 of Bayfield, Wiscon- waters) were producing positive re- lic. Special regulations were already
book, Gamefish of sin (Apostle Islands) sults in coaster brook trout surveys. in place on the Salmon Trout River
the Northern States of America and “250 pounds of speckled trout Troy Zorn, MDNR Fisheries in Marquette County (see page 55 of
British Provinces, referred to large (brook) have been taken in one day Research Biologist, said the DNR the 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide).

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Zorn felt that over-harvest was the Both biologists Quinlan (US- Iron River National Fish Hatchery There have been a number of
greatest limiting factor restricting FWS) and Zorn (MDNR) confirmed maintains approximately 10,000 recent successful reestablishment
coaster brook trout recovery and coaster brook trout have not been adult and juvenile captive lake trout efforts on wildlife populations in the
these regulations addressed the found to be genetically different and coaster brook trout brood stock. northern lake states. A few examples
highest priority streams to affect than wild brook trout in Lake Su- USFWS biologists need to keep are bald eagle, wolves, U.P. moose,
coaster recovery in Michigan. perior area streams. It appears that adding wild genetics to this captive and fishers. The coaster brook trout
Quinlan felt stream habitat coasters result from a natural be- brood source by periodically captur- appears to have potential to be
degradation for coasters was most havior to move down some streams ing wild fish and taking spawn from another successful reestablishment
severe in Wisconsin, Michigan, and into a lake environment. Once in them. These efforts have been tar- of a historical unique fishery in Lake
Minnesota. Some of the trout habitat the lake, forage conditions and geted at the wild coaster population Superior and some of its tributary
degradation is still present from growth potential are significantly at Isle Royale. Biologist Quinlan streams. Recent survey evidence
intensive logging that occurred on greater than in streams. As a result, said “we’ve developed a Lake Su- suggests the potential for coaster
the Lake Superior tributary water- the coaster grows to much larger perior coaster brood stock from Isle brook trout increases are good.
sheds in the late 1800s and early size than resident stream trout. In Royale over the last two decades. Zorn felt there is potential for coast-
1900s. This would consist of loss 35 years of inland trout surveys Production fish are stocked in Lake ers in the more remote streams in
of long lived conifer riparian zones, handling many thousands of brook Superior at various locations. In upper great lakes, especially the
sedimentation of spawning and food trout the largest stream brook trout recent years, three tribal natural U.P.’s east end along northern Lake
production gravel, sedimentation we captured and measured was 16 resource departments; Keweenaw Huron.
of holding pools, and loss of large inches. Stream trout over 10 inches Bay Indian Community, Grand Por- Note of interest…the author,
wood cover from deadfalls of large are very rare. Of course, that would tage Band of Lake Superior Chip- Bill Ziegler, used to supervise the
riparian trees. be a small coaster brook trout. pewa, and Red Cliff Tribal Fishery Ashland USFWS Fisheries Office
Additional habitat degrada- The US Fish and Wildlife Department, have stocked these before coming back to the MDNR in
tion occurs when historically high Service (USFWS) Wisconsin’s fish.” the U.P. in the early 1980s.n
abundance of beaver resulting from
ample riparian aspen (regrowth
after logging) leads to damming
coaster trout migration up streams.
Increased beaver also results in in-
creased sedimentation of gravel and
warming of streams (due to beaver
impoundments) sometimes above
summer water temperatures that
would be tolerable to brook trout.
More recent habitat degrada-
tion to coaster habitat would result
from numerous culvert road cross-
ings that can often act as a barrier to
stream movement by these fish that
require movement to live out their
life cycle. Of course, man-made
dams are also major barriers to trout
movement in streams in addition
to all the sedimentation and stream
warming covered above.
Quinlan also felt coasters were
impacted by competition from other
fish species and salmonid (trout
and salmon). Many former coaster
streams have strongly established
Coho salmon, Chinook salmon,
brown trout, steelhead, splake,
suckers and other warm waters fish
species that would not have been Coaster brook trout sur vey by MDNR Fisheries crew on one of Lake Superior’s coaster research
present in those streams historically. streams. Troy Zorn, MDNR photo

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Understanding fish spawning instinct
ow he cruised the mediately he began using his fins
weedy, warmer shal- and tail to sweep way the dead
lows of the lake’s vegetation and to expose the hard
north end. The bass, sand beneath. The male was build-
a three-year-old ing a nest.
male, weighed a Fish spawn in many different
pound and was 12 inches long. He ways. Some species, such as wall-
was searching for something he had eyes, yellow perch and northern
never seen before. Somewhere in his pike, are broadcast scatterers: the fe-
piscatorial brain an electric im- male lays her eggs while suspended,
pulse insisted upon this wandering and one or more males fertilize them
behavior. So he finned his with milt. The eggs then
way from place to place, fall to bottom. Here they
stopping for a moment near attach to gravel or rocks—
a drowned log and then a in the case of walleyes—or
drop-off. Weeds, both old sticks or weeds if the adults
vegetation and new growth, are northern pike or yellow
increased after he entered perch. After completing
a shallow bay between two reproduction the broadcast
rocky points. spawners abandon their Smallmouth males nearly always choose nesting sites in gravel,
Later in eggs. rough sand or small stones. They build their nests in deeper wa-
ter—up to 20 feet—and they vary in diameter from 15 to 30
the spring, his
near cousin, Michigan Meanders The
stranded eggs inches. Illustrations by Ed Sutton in honor of his memory!
the smallmouth
bass, would By Tom Huggler of striped bass
and white bass able. The nests are usually several This is nature’s way of separat-
find the gravel actually drift in feet apart, and they are built close ing the species and ensuring that
off those points highly attractive. the current until they find something to shore in water that is usually less various ages of fish are available as
But this male, a largemouth, swam to attach themselves to. The nest than five feet deep. food for others throughout the year.
on. builders, though, are different. One Smallmouth males nearly always Nature is thorough in another way,
He grew excited at a spot in the fish, usually the male, builds a nest, choose nesting sites in gravel, rough too. Broadcast spawners usually lay
dishpan bay, close to shore where attracts a spawning female, fertilizes sand or small stones. They build more eggs than do nest builders,
the water was three feet deep. Im- the eggs, and then protects them un- their nests in deeper water—up to which produce more young than do
til they hatch into fry. Some minnow 20 feet—and they vary in diameter those that reproduce through live
species lay their eggs upside down from 15 to 30 inches. Spawning oc- birth. This’s because the odds for
on pieces of wood to protect them curs when water temperatures are 60 survival to adulthood improve dra-
from predators. Others, like the to 70 degrees. Depending upon lati- matically for living things that take
stickleback, build a nest that they tude, both species sexually mature at increasing responsibility for the care
can enter and exit. Catfish choose an two or three years of age or about 10 of their young.
enclosure or depression, such as a inches in length. Both largemouth and small-
muskrat hole, that they can get into. Over evolutionary time different mouth females will carry from
Largemouth and smallmouth kinds of fish have come to spawn at 2,000 to 7,000 eggs per pound of
TM body weight. How many hatch and
bass are nest builders, too. In the exacting conditions that vary from
northern latitudes the largemouth species to species. Thus, some fish, grow to fingerling size? The number
spawns when water temperatures such as walleye and northern pike, varies greatly but in self-contained
warm from 62 to 65 degrees. The are early spawners, laying their eggs pond studies in Michigan, research-
nest will usually be less than two soon after the ice melts. Bullheads, ers found that survival could be as
HISTORY«HERITAGE«MARKSMANSHIP feet in diameter and about a half- on the other hand, spawn in sum- high as one in eight or as low as one
foot deep. Sand or gravel is pre- mer. Salmon and most trout lay in 8,000 or more. By comparison,

Fundamentals ferred, but the male will choose silt their eggs in fall, but some strains studies show that the odds of a wall-
or even clay if nothing else is avail- of steelhead spawn in later winter. eye living from spawning through
the first year of life are about one
of Rifle in 10,000. With yellow perch the
survival rate is much lower again.
Marksmanship After awhile, a female swam
close, and the male darted out to
greet her. He bumped into her excit-
Upcoming edly and then swam around her
Weekend Courses several times while touching her
with his nose, fins and tail. Enticed,
April 21&22 Battle Creek she entered the spawning nest with
him and deposited several hundred
April 21&22 Dorr eggs. Instantly he fertilized them
with milt.
April 21&22 Fenton The female left but came back
later in the day, and the pair re-
April 28&29 Lapeer peated their behavior. Still later,
May 12&13 Houghton Lake another female, this one much larger
than the first, laid eggs in the nest,
May 19&20 Watervliet and the young male serviced them,
too. Then he positioned himself as
For Information and to Register Both largemouth and smallmouth females will carry from 2,000 to a sentry over the eggs while rapidly
7,000 eggs per pound of body weight. How many hatch and grow fanning his pectorals. He did this for to fingerling size? two purposes: to provide life-giving
current with its dissolved oxygen to away. Somewhere in another part of next try. He was surprised at how the eggs would hatch, and the fry
the eggs and to keep the nest clean his brain, an electric spark prompted tenaciously the small fish fought. remained on the nest until absorb-
from silt. the male to attack. On the third pass After bringing him alongside the ing their bulging yolk sacs, nature’s
Meanwhile, the sky darkened he left the nest to follow, and on the boat, the fisherman carefully re- way providing food until they could
and the temperature fell. A cold fourth pass, he struck. moved the hook, held the fish forage on their own.
front had arrived and it brought with A boat fisherman tossed his underwater a moment, and released Eventually they would grow
it a spring storm. The male noticed red-and-white crankbait to what he it upon feeling life surge through into fingerlings and then adults,
that waves were beginning to build thought was a bass bed. Shaped like his hand. provided there was enough food and
and the lake surface was dimpling a lunar crater, it appeared opalescent The bass, unaware of anything their instincts were strong enough
with thousands of raindrops. Al- in the light of this brilliant morn- other than the sting of steel in his to elude predators. These included
ready turbidities from suspended ing. He had seen the fish move on jaw, returned to the nest and re- their mothers and once-protective
particles were clouding the nest, and his third cast and hooked him on the sumed his vigil. In a week most of fathers.n
this prompted him to increase the
tempo of the fanning process.
The fertilized eggs of fish may
lie unmolested for long periods
of time before they hatch. Fe-
male salmon, for example, build a
redd—a hollowed-out area which
may contain several nests—deposit
their roe, and then cover them with
gravel right after the male has done
his part. The protected eggs incu-
bate over the winter and will hatch
in spring if they are not eaten or
Lake trout, on the other hand,
do not spawn in rivers but rather lay
their eggs over shoal-water reefs.
The eggs require cold water, from
40 to 50 degrees, to survive. Salmon
species typically die after their first
spawning because they age more
rapidly and are exhausted after
long journeys that include ascend-
ing swift rivers. Such fish may live
only two to four years, compared to
largemouth bass. Biologists know,
for example, that a 20-inch large-
mouth may be 10 years old and
nearing the end of its life cycle.
If all goes well, 80 percent of
bass eggs may hatch in as soon
as five days if water temperatures
suddenly reach 80 degrees or in 10
days if the temperature averages 65
degrees. A sudden drop in tempera-
ture may cause the female to stop
laying eggs and the male to desert
the nest. Besides becoming a target
for predators, the unprotected eggs
may also develop a fungus that will
kill them.
In the Great Lakes, whole year
classes of smallmouths have been
lost when chilling temperatures and
high winds conspire to drive the
males from the nest and cause the
females to stop spawning and reab-
sorb their eggs. This phenomenon
can occur with panfish, including
bluegills, too.
Shafts of light began to penetrate
the bedding area. The young male
had not eaten since building the nest
although he could have dined on any
of the minnows that winked silver as
they scooted by in the morning light.
Later he noticed faint vibrations
that grew steadily stronger and then
suddenly stopped. There was a light
splash and a small object entered
the water nearby before swimming
Deer mount stolen
41 years ago...
RETURNED! By Millard H. Holton

his past January 30 I
cal inches. The buck sported brow
received a call fromtines that scored almost 10 inches in
a former neighbor, length.
Darwin Shaver, who As the story unfolded, it was
amazing to me that the antlers could
enthusiastically related
a story about how a have endured the following events
stolen mount of a trophy buck he and were able to survive in such
good condition. I was advised that
had shot as a youth had been located
in Northern Michigan. Now, as a this deer was first spotted in late
long time measurer for Commemo- August, 1963 by State Trooper,
rative Bucks of Michigan, I had Doug Holiday on my farm just north
previously scored some big bucks of where I built my home. After a
for Darwin. few sightings along Edgar Road the
Darwin proceeded to relate the deer was not seen again for a few
entire story of the stolen deer mount The record book 8-point after its reunion with hunter Darwin Shaver
to me that included the harvesting of On November 28, 1963, Thanks- who shot it in 1963 and then had the mount stolen in 1976. Since
the buck, the subsequent events of giving Day, 23-year-old Darwin the recovery the tall-tined trophy has received a new cape.
was hunting with his father and two
the theft, and the circumstances that ary 19, 2018. Chan Gerber, a retired for a clue as to the deer’s ownership,
uncles less than two miles north
led him to recover the deer. He fur- Sergeant from Arenac County without success.
of my home in a field just south of
ther advised that a local taxidermist, Sherriff’s Department stopped by Based on the information Chan
Steve Snapp, was in the process of Kiwanis Park by the old Holt High the home of a member he knew learned from the club member, he
changing the cape on the mount and School. The open field contained from the Bone Head Hunting Club contacted Darwin on January 19,
the antlers were now separated fromseveral swales and the deer was as a social call, and during their 2018, and advised him he might
spooked out of one of these hiding
the mount. He requested that I score conversation an inquiry was made possibly be in possession of his
the antlers for the State Record places where he encountered a slug by Chan, referencing anyone at the missing deer mount. Darwin, armed
Book while he waited on a new from the barrel of Darwin’s shotgun. club ever having a big deer head with a 1963 picture of the deer that
cape. On January 31 I scored the big Darwin had the deer mounted stolen. The member recalled the had formerly been published in the
eight-point buck at 149 6/8 typi- and hung it in his home until he disappearance of Darwin’s buck and Lansing State Journal, headed north
moved to a new house the information was enthusiastically with the hope and excitement that
in 1972. At that time passed on to him! he might at last find his long lost
he thought it would be Chan advised when he was trophy!
more appropriate if the 17-years-old, in 1976, his dad and After the long trip north, Darwin
big deer mount was three other hunters owned a hunting was able to see the deer and com-
hung in the lodge at the camp near Fairview, Michigan. One pare it with the above picture from
“Bone Head Hunting day at the camp, one of the mem- the Lansing State Journal, in order
Club” in Montmorency bers brought the big buck and left to prove it was his deer! He returned
County, where he was it in the cabin. When Chan’s father home with the antlers and contacted
a member. inquired where the hunter obtained me about measuring it.
In 1976, during the buck, he replied, “He bought One can only imagine the joy
the Labor Day Week- it.” Chan’s father was very skepti- that Darwin felt, when he saw the
end, Darwin’s new cal about the claimed purchase, deer mount for the first time in many
home near Holt was and stated, “No one sells a buck years and learned that it matched the
broken into and all of like that!” At this point the member above picture.
his guns and Police with the deer mount “clammed up.” It is easy to understand the im-
uniforms were stolen, The deer was hung in that camp for portance of recovering such a trophy
never to be recovered! years. When the camp was eventu- as this deer had also been featured
Darwin had served as ally disbanded in 2000, the deer on the Mort Neff, Michigan Out-Of-
a Police Officer for head was almost thrown away as the Doors, television show, as well as
36 years, retiring as owner no longer wanted it. appearing in both the,Detroit Free
Chief Deputy with the Chan hated to dispose of the Press and Outdoor Life Magazine.
Ingham County Sheriff deer head as it arrived under suspi- When the antlers receive their
Department. cious circumstances and he felt it new cape they will rightfully be dis-
Coincidentally, belonged to someone, somewhere, played among Darwin’s many other
the deer mount disap- and he retained that feeling over a trophy deer. Even though I have
peared from the lodge long period of time. Chan had taken never bagged a buck during my 65
at the Montmorency the deer head home to preserve it years of hunting that compares with
County deer camp on while trying to locate the rightful Darwin’s big bucks, being a CBM
the very same week- owner. Meanwhile he stored it in his measurer does allow me to see many
end, and Darwin never garage attic while the search contin- of Michigan’s finest trophies, as
Darwin Shaver with his deer in 1963 as it ap- recovered his trophy ued. Over the years Chan inquired well as hearing some of the rarest
peared in the Lansing State Journal. until this year, Janu- of several area deer camps, hoping hunting stories ever told!n
Fine tuning the crankbait bite for

ost walleye an- simply have too much wiggle and

glers in the spring action to interest walleye when the
are thinking about water temperatures are hovering in
jigs and jig fish- the 40 degree range.
ing. It’s easy to Immediately following ice out,
see why jigs get the most productive crankbaits
so much attention during April in are the most subtle action lures
the Great Lakes state. Some amaz- available. Stickbaits including the
ing jig fishing opportunities exist on iconic Rapala Husky Jerk series
the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers, the and Smithwick’s Perfect 10 have
reefs of Lake Erie and also when very little action when trolled, but
the season opens in late April on this is precisely what walleye are
the Saginaw River and around the looking for when the water is cold.
dredge island in Saginaw Subtle action baits fished in
Bay. combination with the Off
Jigs are hands down the Shore Tackle Snap Weight
way to catch numbers, but is how anglers get these
when it comes to targeting baits to the deeper depths
larger fish the jig can’t hold where early spring walleye
a candle to the fish catch- stage prior to spawning and
ing powers of a crankbait. where they head immedi-
Early in the spring what ately after spawning.
could only The Preci-
be described
as “world COVER STORY sion Troll-
ing Data app
class” walleye
trolling takes By Mark Romanack provides depth
data for the
place on both most popular
the Michigan and Ohio waters of stickbaits including the Rapala Hus-
Lake Erie and also on Saginaw Bay. ky Jerk 12, Smithwick Perfect 10
Crankbaits are the lures that produce and Rapala No. 18 Minnow, fished
these trophy class fish, but not every in combination with a two ounce
crankbait is a winner when it comes Snap Weight. This data includes all
to trolling for walleye in icy cold the popular lead lengths and trolling
water. speeds including 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5
Cold Water Cranks MPH. Greg Yarbrough of Starcraft Marine took this impressive walleye
The shelves at popular tackle A Little More Wiggle trolling in the Michigan waters of Lake Erie on a Deep Jr. Thun-
shops are literally lined with hun- As the waters of Erie and Sagi- derStick, one of the few minnow divers that routinely produce big
dreds of crankbait brands, sizes, naw Bay begin to slowly warm up, walleye on Erie, Saginaw Bay and other Great Lakes fisheries.
models and colors to choose from. the crankbaits that produce the best have more action than stickbaits, but is also using planer boards to help
Among this literal “sea” of lure action become baits with a little these lures still have a fairly subtle spread out their lures. Both tradi-
choices, I find it ironic that only a more action than the stickbaits we action. tional “mast system” planer boards
handful of these baits are routinely just outlined. Diving minnow baits As the water warms to the upper and in-line boards are effective. His-
productive when targeting wall- like the Rapala Deep Husky Jerk 40s these minnow divers start to torically, mast systems have enjoyed
eye in cold water. Most crankbaits 10 and 12, and Bandit 5/8 Walleye become critically important for tar- an edge in that they allowed anglers
geting walleye. This is also the time to fish more lines per side than in-
frame when another iconic walleye line boards.
crankbait starts to shine. The Reef These days new rigging methods
Runner 800 Series Deep Diver has for in-line boards allows anglers to
a little more action than the Husky stack as many in-line boards as they
Jerk or Bandit. As the water natu- want per side of the boat. A rigging
rally warms, the 800 Reef Runner method popularized by Off Shore
becomes a critically important bait Tackle makes it practical and easy
to put into action. to stack, two, three, four or more
Other noteworthy crankbaits that boards per side of the boat! Even
have their days include the Berkley better, the Off Shore boards can be
Flicker Minnow 9 and 11, the Yo- rigged to release eliminating the
Zuri Crystal Minnow and the Storm need to clear inside board lines to
Original Deep Jr. ThunderStick. The fight a fish hooked on an outside
actions on each of these lures is a board.
little different and some days one The rigging method made pos-
bait produces better and on other sible by the Off Shore OR12 Side-
days a different lure lights up. Planer is a game changer. On the
Stacking Boards tow arm of the board a factory sup-
The EZ Crankbait Tuner is a new tool designed to take the guess Just about everyone who trolls plied OR19 (orange) planer board
work out of tuning crankbaits. crankbaits in open water for walleye line clip makes it easy to rig the line
to release from this clip. Meanwhile, board.
mounted at the back of the board a The Sam’s Release is the new
second line clip known as the OR16 kid on the block and designed to
(red) holds the line securely thanks allow braided line to be wrapped
to a pin between the rubber pads that around a plunger that is in turn
prevents the line from popping free controlled by a simple set screw for
of this clip. tension. Because the Sam’s release
When a fish is hooked, the is relatively new most retailers are
angler can simply give the rod tip not stocking them yet. The best
a little jerk to release the line from place to find these line releases is
the OR19 allowing the board to spin by using E-Commerce sites such as
around in the water, but remain at-
tached to the line via the OR16 Snap Cranking All Summer
Weight Clip. This simple system It used to be that avid walleye
keeps the board pinned to the line, anglers fished crankbaits in spring
but no longer planing to the side. until the water warmed up to about
The board and fish naturally slide 55 degrees and then they switched
to the back of the boat, where the over to trolling with spinner rigs.
angler can reel in boat the tripped Because both Lake Erie and Sagi-
board and fish without having to naw Bay are loaded with undersize
clear a single line. Slick! walleye thanks to some very pro-
Not only does this rigging ductive spawning years, a growing
method allow anglers to stack number of anglers are using crank-
boards without fear of having to baits to avoid the problems associ-
clear lines to fight fish, once a fish is ated with catching undersized fish.
hooked and the board released, the By simply speeding up the troll-
angler isn’t fighting the resistance of ing speed to around 2.5 MPH and
the board making the fight a more switching to higher action crank-
enjoyable experience. baits like the Storm Wiggle Wart
Some anglers still use the old and Hot-N-Tot, anglers can keep
school method of releasing the in-
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the catch rate focused squarely on
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it easy to release boards without
clearing lines, but once the board A Tuned Bait
slides down to the stop the fish pulls is a Happy Bait
the board under water making for a One of the biggest problems
miserable experience trying to reel
in the board and fish together.
associated with crankbait trolling is
many of these lures are not “tuned”
out of the package to allow the
The Off Shore rigging method is
not only easy to rig and use, trip- bait to dive straight into the water.
ping the board makes reeling in fish A crankbait that is out of tune will
a more enjoyable experience. Also, catch few fish because it does not Start a New Hobby, Become a Beekeeper
just as important because the board have the right action and/or diving
is tripped, fish cannot use the board ability.
as leverage to tear free during the
A needle nose pliers is the tool
most anglers use to tune crankbaits #3 Bee Package: $110.00
by bending the wire pull point on March 31st, May 3rd, May 19th
Mono or Braid? the diving lip of the bait a small
In years gone by the majority amount left or right to allow the bait
of anglers trolling for walleye used
monofilament lines. Modern wall-
to dive straight down into the water.
Pliers work, but they are a trial and New Beekeeper Kit w/ Bees:
eye trollers are about equally split
between using monofilament line
error tool that often involves more
failure than success when it comes $475 (see website for details)
and super braids as their main line to tuning baits. A new tool on the
market by Off Shore Tackle called
Woodware, Suits, Smokers, Hive
for trolling applications.
Monofilament is less expensive the EZ Crankbait Tuner is a modi-
when it comes to loading lots of fied pliers that features a spring ten- Kits, Honey, Beeswax & More
trolling reels. Super braids are more sion adjustable jaws ideally suited to
expensive, but more resistant to UV making tiny adjustments to the pull
rays allowing these lines to be used point of a crankbait. Like its name
implies, this unique tool makes tun-
Come Visit
effectively for two or three seasons.
Both the fans of monofilament ing crankbaits EZ.
and braid can rig their in-line boards Summing It Up
to release by simply using different Jigs are the lure group that most
Our New Store….
walleye anglers think of first when
releases and line clips. For mono-
filament rigging the OR19 release targeting spring walleye. The truth Avoca, Michigan
on the tow arm of the board and the is, jigs are great lures for catching 810-324-9108
OR16 Snap Weight clip at the back
of the board works flawlessly. Those
who prefer to use braid as their
walleye in cold to cool water.
The same is true for a select
group of crankbaits. Walleye anglers
main line can purchase after-market who slow troll with subtle action
releases like the Silver Horde Sam’s crankbaits, in-line weights and
Release for the tow arm of the board planer boards have the edge when You can thank a pollinator for 1 out of 3
and the Off Shore Tackle OR18
Snapper Clip for the back of the
it comes to boating big walleye all
across the Great Lakes basin.n bites of food you eat. Let’s help save them!
Never say
Persistence really can pay
off big in the turkey woods

few years back, I found those dog gone spring
wild turkey's to be about as cooperative as your
tax man.
It had been a long sea-
son, nothing went as planned.
I thought about packing up my calls
and gun and moving on to a long list of
items my wife wanted done around the
The harder I hunted for those birds
the worse the hunt went. I couldn't get
close enough to put a shotgun bead on By Randy
the head of anything other than a chicka- Jorgensen
I hunted one big old bird hard, and like I mentioned
each time he gave me the slip. Most often he was seen
in the center of a well wooded field, strutting around,
trying to garner as much attention from the many hens in
the area as he could. There was very little need for him
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to come to a call of a hen when year, if the ole Tom loses inter-
they were coming to him. est in your calls, it does not
And he was a big old boy, mean he will be more interested
although I didn't realize just if I call louder. Kind of like
how big until the very last the startle you get sitting next
day of my hunt, May 31st. to the speakers when the band
If there was ever a case of starts. Quiet, gentle strokes. I
being in the right place at the favor slate or box calls because
right time, well I certainly was I make too many mistakes with
on that day. The last day of the diaphragm calls.
season. Anyway, back to the hunt.
As always the wild birds At about 35 yards I noticed
would work their way along the just how big he was, his beard
edge of the woods next to this dragging the ground when he
field I was telling you about. lowered his head making his
It was a miserable day, high way closer to me.
winds, rainy and cold. But what I couldn't believe I was actu-
the heck, I thought, give it one ally going to get a chance at
last try. this bird. Making just a couple
It ended up being a classic more purrs, he walked within a
hunt. Like on cue, two hens few yards of me for a clean and
worked their way along the edge quick kill.
of this field, where I had been Never say never! The big-
seeing them. They fed as they gest fish is always caught on the
walked, not paying much at- last cast! And it ain't over till it's
tention to anything but feeding, over!
when I noticed the big old tom The old tom was bigger than
make his way from across the I thought, tipping the scales
field, angling his way toward the at 24 pounds, and was double
hens. bearded, 11 1/2 inches and the
As luck would have it the other 8 1/2 inches, sporting just
hens stayed close enough to over inch long spurs, my biggest
bring the tom smack dab into bird by far.
my lap. Occasionally, he would Maybe, just maybe 'Lady
drift a little too far west, so I Luck' shined down on me that
used my slate call with some day and maybe it was just pure
very gentle and quiet whines persistence that finally paid off.
and purrs. Each time I purred Either way, I was one happy
he would gobble and get back hunter!
on a more easterly angle to the I'm ready for the turkey
hens. woods again, it's been a long
I had finally learned that winter. n

A little help from a hen is key. Kenny Darwin photos

Jigging for walleye...
To Sting or not to Sting
By Mark Romanack

or most of my adult life ally large fish a No. 8 hook size is
I’ve had a love/hate acceptable.
relationship with stinger Stinger hooks work great when
hooks. Any walleye fishing minnows and most styles
fisherman who has put of soft plastic baits. Stingers how-
in his or her time fishing ever do not work well when fish-
stinger hooks knows exactly what ing live nightcrawlers as the treble
I’m expressing here. Stinger hooks hook tends to “ball up” the crawler
help us catch more walleye, but they destroying the natural action in the
are clearly a pain in the butt cheeks process.
to use!
Besides catching more walleye, Cold Water
stinger hooks have the annoying A stinger hook can be used any-
habit of catching on just about time an angler is fishing a jig tipped
everything else including the river with a minnow or plastic, but clearly
bottom, landing net mesh, in the the biggest advantage comes when
boat carpet, on fishing gloves and fishing in cold water and lethargic
literally everything else they come fish. Early and late in the season
in contact with! when the water temperatures are 40
A little discussion on how I deal degrees or below represent the ideal
with the question of “to sting or not conditions for stinger hooks.
to sting” seems appropriate con- In warmer water, most of the
sidering the best jig fishing of the time the bite is going to be good
season is almost upon us. enough that a stinger hook can only
marginally improve fishing success.
Stinger Technology That stated, on those days when the
fish are seemingly “closed mouth”
Before we dive into when to use a stinger will hook and land fish
a stinger and when not to use stinger that would otherwise be missed.
hooks, we need to first touch base a This tidbit of knowledge holds true
little on stinger hook technology. To regardless of water temperature.
be frank, most of the stinger hooks In other words, stingers are most
on the market are next to worthless. useful in cold water, but they can
Stingers tied on steel leader material also be useful in tough bites no mat-
and/or heavy monofilament line are ter what the water temperature or
way too stiff to be effective walleye time of year.
The stiffness of the stinger hook Heavy Jigs
robs the minnow or soft plastic bait The other rule of thumb involv-
of that natural flip action that trig- ing stinger hooks plays to the jig
gers strikes. I look for stinger hooks size. In general, the heavier the jig
tied on 10 to 12 pound test fluoro- used, the more likely a stinger hook
carbon or monofilament line. will improve fishing success. I gen- The author believes that stinger hooks are wor th the effor t, es-
The most productive size treble erally fish stinger hooks on 3/8, 1/2, pecially when targeting walleye in cold water conditions. Walleye
hooks for walleye stinger fishing 5/8, 3/4 and one ounce jigs. are well known for being a species that often bites light or strikes
tend to be No. 10 and No. 12 size When fishing lighter jigs, shor t. To maximize fishing effor t, adding a stinger hook often is the
hooks. When targeting exception- normally the fish has no trouble difference between a fish dinner and going home empty handed.

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inhaling the entire jig and minnow. I personally have no faith in caught jigging or live bait rigging. also true that using a quality stinger
Larger jigs are more difficult for dangling a stinger hook. My I like to use stingers when jigging hook helps anglers land more and
walleye to suck completely into feeling is this practice hooks for lake trout in deep water and I’ve bigger fish.
their mouth and hence best used few fish and increases the also found stinger hooks invaluable To sting or not to sting is a
with stinger hooks. chances of snagging. when rigging for pike and bass with personal decision every fisherman
will eventually be faced with. What
Attaching the Stinger Other Species large shiner minnows.
separates the men from the boys in
Different stinger hooks attach to Stinger hooks are often used Summing It Up this discussion is the knowledge that
the jig in different ways. Some have by walleye fishermen, but the truth It’s true that stinger hooks are stinger hooks really do help catch
small clips that can be attached to is stingers can be very useful for a pain to deal with and create more more fish when used in the right
the “eye tie” of the jig or a special a multitude of species routinely work for the angler. However, it’s situations.n
stinger hook loop molded right into
the jig. Others slip over the hook
point after the minnow has been
added to the hook. 229 W. 5th Street • Pinconning
For some time now I’ve been us-
ing a fairly unique stinger hook pro-
duced by Golden Gator Tackle. The
GGT stinger features a slip-knot tied
in combination with a small bead.
The angler slips the small loop over
the hook point and pulls the stinger
up tight to the hook shaft by pulling
on the stinger. When it’s time to re-
bait, simply grasp the bead and pull
gently opening up the loop so it can
be slipped off the hook point.
This unique set up in stinger
hooks technology also helps to keep
the minnow from working loose
from the jig hook. I typically fish
the three-inch models with a No. 10
treble hook.
Tying Your Own
For those anglers who enjoy
making their own fishing tackle,
stinger hooks can be tied up in a
jiffy. To get started anglers will need
a good supply of No. 10 and No. 12
treble hooks, some small clips, line
connector sleeves and some 10 to
12 pound test fluorocarbon line. A
quality round bend style treble hook
such as the Eagle Claw L960 Lazer
Sharp is available in bronze and fish
attracting colors such as red.
An Egg Loop knot is ideal for
attaching the treble hook because
it helps the hook lay straight on the
fluorocarbon line. At the other end
the small clips that fly fishermen use
so they can change flies rapidly are
ideal for attaching the stinger hook
to the jig eye.
For most walleye fishing ap-
plications the stinger hook should
be approximately three inches long.
Shorter stinger hooks tend to posi-
tion the treble hook too close to the
jig hook to significantly improve the
hooking ratio.
Stuck or Dangling
Normally a stinger hook is stuck
into the flesh of the minnow or
pierced into the soft plastic bait so
that the hook is positioned per-
fectly for short biting walleye. Some
anglers feel that letting the stinger
hook simply dangle allows the bait
to have the maximum amount of While supplies last. NO RAIN CHECKS
natural action. Check us out at . . .
An education for a lifetime
From 1957 to 2018, I have restored and rebuilt over 1200 bamboo rods…By Mike Simcik

t age 13, I never
lacked for things to
do as I became leg-
endary in our tiny
town for fixing just
about everything.
These things came easy for me as it
was never a problem to figure out
what to do. My course of action on
a project was always clear.
One Saturday morning, my
friend Freddie came over to my
house, yelling his usual comical
arrivals, “Can Mikey come out and
Freddie was a tall, lanky,
55-year-old gray-haired man who
hated his wife and mother-in-law
but was possibly the best fishing
buddy any kid ever had, next to my
dad. I mowed his lawn every week
in the summer and shoveled his
snow every winter.
Fredric Finedel worked as a
concierge and desk clerk at the
fanciest hotel in Chicago and he
commuted from our little town in
the ‘burbs to the Loop every day.
But Fred had a plan and a secret no
one knew about, not even me.
Freddie was standing on our The author in his happy place, making old rods look beautiful and functional again or creating a new
porch one day wearing a big floppy rod from scratch just like he did back then in his dad’s workshop. Author photo
hat, with his waders in one hand, a
spinning rod and can of worms in were born. chest and paced about 30 feet apart. over and handed it to Dad, with
the other. Mother laughed at him My magic wand of choice The action started in only a few an explanation of what happened
saying, “Kids come in all sizes, was a split bamboo fly rod Dad minutes with Freddie hooking the at the lake. Pop took his name and
small, medium and large.” had bought for me on one of our first black bass. phone number to call him when
Running out to the front door, I infamous train rides to small town We never expected anyone to the rod was ready to be picked up.
said: “Give me two minutes to grab USA, just to have lunch and get a join us, but I heard splashing on Dad, Mother, Fred and my friends
my stuff and I’ll be right with you.” haircut. the shore and turned to see what always had faith in my abilities to
We only had two blocks to walk to Freddie and I reached the was up. A stranger waded out to accomplish anything I set my mind
the lakeshore back then. Right be- water’s edge and we rigged a night fish nearby. He noticed the bamboo to.
hind Gene’s Park Side Tavern were crawler harness adorned with small rod in my hand and said, “I wish I First thing I did was go to the
the kind of lake weed beds where spinner blades and a small bobber knew someone who knows how to public library and I asked the lady
big fish stories and local legends to our rods. We waded out to our work on those kinds of rods.” He at the desk, “Is there anything
explained that he had been given on bamboo fishing rods or how
FOOD PLOT INSTALLATION one from his father.
Without hesitation, the words
to make them or fix them?” She
looked up a reference guide and
Let us do the work! just blurted out of my mouth, “I’ll
fix it!” The stranger asked, “What
found a book from the Herter’s
Company in Waseca, Minnesota.
Servicing Services include: could a kid like you know about After reading it cover to cover
Area • Brush Hogging fixing bamboo fly rods?” several times, I learned that only
• Hebicide Application Freddie waded over saying, “If basic hobby tools from a work-

• 3-point Disking Mike says he can fix it, I promise shop were required. My dad had a
you he will. Why not give the boy 16-foot lighted work bench in our
• 3-point Rototilling a chance and see what he can do. If basement.
• Firming of Seed Bed he ruins your rod, I will pay you the The bamboo rod was a Heddon
Land improvement full price out of my own pocket,” #20, in poor condition, so I took the
Hunting • Wildlife Viewing and he put his hand out to shake on
rod completely apart. Ferrules were
removed. The cork grip, the reel
Over 30 years’ experience in custom food plots. The stranger agreed to the deal. seat and each of the three pieces
Contact us today for more info on how to reserve a slot for your customized food plot. So, I gave him my address to bring had six segments that were delami-
the rod over to my house. Late that nating and had to be re-glued. Dad
810-531-1214 or email: afternoon, the man brought the rod ordered the proper adhesive, ferrule
glue, new line guides, thread, and a workshop. stream or off my dock. they were living together in a small
cast iron rod wrapper plus a small From 1957 to 2018, I have If you’re wondering whatever mansion, with his own personal
bottle of varnish and sealer from restored and rebuilt over 1200 happened to Freddie? Two years lake, in Eastern Pennsylvania.
the Herter’s Company. I used an old bamboo rods. And, from 1986 to later in March of 1959, Fred just There was a PS note on my card
long bread pan with a notch I cut 2018, I have built 477 new bamboo disappeared from home and work asking me to keep his whereabouts
out and filled it full of sand, then and hardwood fly rods. But the real one day. But later, I got a birthday a secret.
I heated it up on the stove top to fun for me is, I get to test cast every card from him telling me he met a Freddy also had faith in my
remove the cork grip and reel seat. one of those rods in my yard, on a beautiful, wealthy, widow lady and ability to see things clearly.n
It took me a week to strip off
the old varnish, re-glue all 18 seg-
ments together, bind them with
twine and get them straight by
hand. I then scraped, sanded and
varnished the completed sections.
The ferrules had to be re-glued and
the retaining pins replaced. The
cork and reel seat were put back
in place. I cleaned up the strip-
per guide and taped the new snake
guides temporarily in place on the
rod’s new spine. I learned how to
wrap the thread on the guides and
when finished, I sealed and var-
nished over the wraps.
Five weeks had passed due
to trial, error, and school. I had
ruined two shirts and a pair of pants • Daiwa • Fenwick • Jackall
with glue and varnish. I learned • Quantum • Shakespeare • Garmin
• Shimano • Berkley • Strike King
how to take out a set and find the • G. Loomis • Stren • 13 Fishing
new spine. But now it was finally • Minn Kota • Okuma • Terminator
finished and Dad called the man to • Humminbird • Rapala • Vicious
pick up his fly rod. • MotorGuide • Storm • Lucky Craft
•Abu Garcia • River2Sea • P-Line
What happened next surprised
even me. The owner of the rod
showed up at our house and looked
over his reconditioned fly rod in
amazement. He took it outside, Register To Win A Fishing
placed his reel on it and began to
lawn cast it. Satisfied with the con- Trip with Mark Zona
dition and cast-ability, he disassem- Plus, earn an extra chance to win for every $100 of Daiwa
bled the rod saying, “It’s perfect,”
then looked at me and asked, “How
merchandise purchased
much do I owe you, young crafts- during the show
I replied, “Not one dime
because I just got an education of
a lifetime and I will probably fix
many wooden rods for other people
in the future.”
The rod owner said, “Mike you
should keep this rod as it will be
put to better use and it will be a lot
safer here than at my house,” then
handed it back to me. Sixty-one
years later, I still have the Herter’s
book, the rod wrapper along with
that Heddon #20 and it is still in
solid fishable condition.
At the time, I didn’t know
how prophetic my statement about
an education of a lifetime would
become. I love being at my work-
bench with the radio on, listening to
the oldies on the radio. At 74, I’m
in my happy place making old rods
look beautiful and functional again
or creating a new rod from scratch
just like I did back then in Dad’s
Secrets of late winter cedar swamps in Michigan...

Drain the swamp? Never!

ismal, dreary, forbid-
ding, impassable,
impenetrable and
treacherous. Those
words have all been
used to describe
swamps. Just say the word ‘swamp’
and the first image some conjure up
is a muddy mire “infested” with mos-
quitos, alligators and snakes; a wet-
land that must be drained to make it
safe for humans. Politicians of every
persuasion have used the metaphor
“drain the swamp” to generalize on
their political goals of change, forget-
ting, or perhaps not understanding
that wetlands - including swamps -
are in many ways giant sponges that
hold water, replenish aquifers, sustain
life and keep our landscape healthy.
Swamps are in fact one of na-
ture’s most amazing habitats. They
are diverse both in size and structure.
The development and evolution of
these post-glacial features of Michi-
gan differ, but they all started out
as a shallow body of water such as Creek flowing through a Michigan cedar/hemlock swamp.
pond, lake or even a slow moving
river. Shrubs and moisture-loving Swamps seem to evoke fear, an seen in morning mist or after an early in the southernmost part of our state,
trees took root in the shallow waters unfortunate fact of our language and spring snowfall. and our only venomous reptile, the
and as thousands of years passed, disdain for the word swamp, with the Windthrows are all too often Eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Aka:
decaying plant material accumulated exclusion of biologists and natural- looked at as a catastrophic phenom- swamp rattler) will slither about
and organic soils formed as ists that love the wonder enon rather than a natural disturbance its life in the shadows of the cedar
the water became shallower. of swamps. My love for that drives ecosystem patterns of the swamps in my home base of Oakland
It’s not easy to define a swamps started at about the swamp and actually aid in regen- County.
swamp with everyone hav- age of five or six, in rural eration and increase the value of the Last month I explored a cedar
ing preconceived notions, Connecticut where I was al- swamp to a myriad of creatures. Ce- swamp in Ogemaw County with Da-
but an acceptable layper- lowed to run barefoot at the dar trees in swamps are well adapted rin Potter, a DNR Parks and Recre-
son’s definition of a swamp edge of our swamp that to to the potential of toppling and unlike ation Division Park Officer. It was a
would read something like me was a wonderful world an oak tree that falls, the very act of spectacular blue sky day and we were
this, “A wetland dominated of sights, sounds and smells. falling creates opportunity for new en route to the Michigan Outdoor

By Jonathan Schechter
by woody I’ve been growth. The USDA Natural Resourc- Writers Conference gathering at the
plants, addicted es Conservation Service explains, DNR’s Ralph A. MacMullan Confer-
saturated ever since. “Layering may account for a signifi- ence Center on the north shore of
soils during growing season, and Most Michigan nature lovers and cant portion of northern white cedar Higgins Lake in Roscommon County.
standing water during various times deer hunters (and often they are one reproduction in swamps, because Our planned diversion was perfect as
of the year.” and the same) are well aware of cedar adventitious roots can be produced we trekked under the tangle of cedars
Some North American swamps swamps, a swamp dominated by from any branch or stem. It is most noting the abundance of deer sign
are enormous, such as the 1.5 mil- northern white cedar (Thuja occci- common in young stands and those and the early emergence of sphagnum
lion acres Everglades National Park, dentailis). They are places of solitude with leaning trees, where the lower moss near the base of cedars that
a subtropical wilderness barely a and exquisite beauty, especially at the branches become covered by moss. gave way to storms in years gone by.
stone’s throw from Miami. And dawn of spring when pockets of snow New trees also develop vegetatively Potter said, “In Ogemaw County
then there is 26,276 acre Congaree persist. from uprooted trees where roots are where I live, vast areas of northern
National Park outside of Columbia, A cedar swamp is always chang- formed from vertical branches.” white cedar, which is the dominant
South Carolina, formerly known as ing and much of that goes back to The holes that are formed when tree species in these swamps, are
Congaree Swamp National Monu- its formation and the underlining the root mass rips free of the earth distributed throughout the region.
ment. Technically, Congaree is not terrain. Because the groundwater is creates mini habitats for amphib- These conifer swamps provide food
actually a swamp because it does not close to the surface, northern white ians, and in early spring are breeding and cover to deer, snowshoe hare and
contain year round standing water, a cedars are shallow-rooted. When grounds for wood frogs and some a variety of other species during the
defining feature of swamps. It’s actu- winds howl, cedars can quickly species of salamanders. The moist winter months.” Our trek inspired me
ally an intact old-growth bottomland topple, creating what is sometimes mounds of decaying matter and rich to dig deeper into the world of cedar
hardwood forest that floods about called a windthrow or tip-up mound. soil that cling to the exposed roots swamps and so while attending the
ten times a year giving it a swamp- Those mounds form when the roots rapidly become home to fungi, li- weekend conference, I explored a
like appearance. Interestingly, when and clinging soil are pulled from the chen, and mosses and often provide a small creek that meandered through
the “S” word, swamp, was dropped ground as the trees topple. Initially site for the growth of new cedar trees. another smaller cedar swamp adja-
from its name in 2003 when the na- the windthrow base may be more In another month, spectacular wood- cent to the conference center.
tional monument became a national than 12 feet tall and they create an land wildflowers will appear on top Fresh mink tracks drew my at-
park, the number of visitors soared. eerie almost ghostly spectacle when of some of the older moist mounds tention to where the creek emptied
in Higgins Lake and it was there I Armed with new “swamp”
found owl pellets that “belonged” to knowledge from the Michigan DNR,
Michigan’s swamp owl, the barred and my muddy boots on the ground
owl. At the base of the very same tree explorations, I will look forward to
were bobcat tracks, perhaps it was my next cedar swamp trek. And I
searching for a meal of snowshoe will remain an unabashed partisan of
hare. Later that day I watched a pile- Michigan’s cedar swamp diversity,
ated woodpecker whacking away for and the role it plays in the environ-
a meaty meal of grubs or carpenter mental theater of nature’s real life
ants in another cedar swamp near the drama, and the creatures that call it
Cross Country Ski Headquarters on home. Drain the swamp? Never!
nearby Cut Road. The concentration Jonathan Schechter is the Nature
of deer tracks in all the swamps cre- Education Writer for Oakland County
ated questions in my mind about deer Government and an active explorer
movement in the Upper Peninsula, of the wilder regions of Michigan.
an area I am less familiar with. At Email: oaknature@aol.comn Large windthrow in cedar swamp. Author photos
the suggestion of Russ Mason, Chief

229 W. 5th Street • Pinconning

of the Wildlife Division of the DNR,
and a speaker at our conference, I
contacted Terry Minzey, the DNR

regional wildlife supervisor for the
Upper Peninsula.
Minzey and I chatted and I
discovered that in the U.P. the closed
canopy of the cedar swamps is highly
attractive to deer, especially during
severe winters, and some deer will
travel over thirty miles during their
seasonal transition in search of winter
habitat. The reason: In dense cedar
stands, the temperature is warmer,
wind speeds are lower and the snow
is shallower than the surround-
ing area, factors that tip survival in
favor of the deer. Minzey went on to
explain that during the seasonal mi-
gration in the Upper Peninsula, deer
have been documented moving over
30 miles, with their favored winter
habitat being the cedar swamp, a hab-
itat that also hosts eastern hemlocks. I
queried him on how much less snow
is on the ground in these mixed grove
conifer swamps, and the answer was
50 percent, a factor that certainly
makes life easier for the white-tailed
deer. Knowledge of this sort is also
important as the Michigan DNR
monitors for chronic wasting disease,
which is spread through direct animal
to animal contact or by direct contact
with saliva, feces, urine, and blood
and contaminated soil.
Minzey also explained that deer
are able to withstand extreme cold
with relatively little trouble if they
are in good condition because of their
thick coat of hollow guard hairs and
their dense undercoat that keeps the
cold out and warmth in. Deep snow
can be a major problem, but deer
have also evolved a survival mecha-
nism, torpor. Minzey added, “As you
and I know, deer do not hibernate
but they do at times go into a form of
winter torpor which will slow down
their metabolism but about 20 per-
cent.” Coupling that factor with their
ability to “seek out closed canopy
conifer swamps” and they are able
to get by with less while conserving
energy and heat. And according to
the Michigan State University, “A
deer will lose less energy by eating
nothing under a cedar stand than for-
aging for food in deep snow and cold While supplies last. NO RAIN CHECKS
temperatures.” Check us out at . . .
Spring Turkey Hunting Strategies and Tactics...By Brian Miller

Dangerously close to roosting trees

Standing in the cool darkness of the spring
morning, I was excited to finally be back in the
woods. The stillness of the woods and poten-
tial of the morning hunt had me excited. I was
there early, almost too early for most hunters.
However, this wasn’t your easy going turkey
hunt. I was moving in close to a big tom’s
roosting tree and couldn’t take any chances.

ith all my gear how he puts together a complete
organized and strategy.
The Dark Side
gun in hand,
it was time to
sneak in. I knew When the alarm goes off at 4
exactly where I a.m. it’s easy to hit the snooze a
wanted to be and started a silent ap- couple times. That decision is one of
proach. It was lights off, no need to the most costly mistakes to sliding
alarm them of my presence. I slowly in on a roosted bird. Apel cannot
moved through the woods in a pre- stress the importance of getting
determined route. As I moved along into the woods well before daylight
I picked my way around the woods if you know where the birds are
avoiding any thick brush that would roosted. He is leaving the truck at
cause extra noise. least 1 ½ to 2 hours before legal
It didn’t take long before I found shooting light.
myself relaxing against a big tree Not only does he leave that ear-
trunk. For a while I was completely ly, but everything is organized and
relaxed, taking in the calmness. ready to hunt. The decoy is pulled
After a bit, the first glimmer of light out with the stake in it and ready
broke the silence. The birds started set, his mouth call is in, any Velcro
waking up the woods with their unleashed, zippers are open. It’s all
chirping, chipmunks scurried, and about being deadly silent from that
dry leaves began rustling. Not long moment forward.
after, the first turkey tree gobbled. By going in that early you’ll
It sounded so loud. I slowly moved often hear a bird gobble early. When
my eyes in an attempt to locate this happens, this is a big advan-
the turkey roosted above me in the tage because he just gave away his
trees. The silhouetted birds started position. With an early gobble you
appearing within sight. I was close, can make any last-minute changes.
deadly close. Make sure to move silently and not
Early in my turkey hunting rush yourself into making noise
career I could not have pulled that while getting set up. Apel says, “If
off. Putting myself that close to you take your time and get up ear-
a roosted bird doesn’t happen by lier you will see an increase in your
chance, it was planned. Only after success!”
learning some turkey hunting secrets
from nearly professional turkey How Close? The real question is how close do you dare to get to a roosted
slayer Colby Apel was I able to slide The real question is how close gobbler? Unfor tunately, there is no cut and dry rule. It really
in tight. Colby Apel, in his own do you dare to get to a roosted gob- depends on your situation, the location of the bird, ground clutter,
rights, is crazy about turkey hunt- bler? Unfortunately, there is no cut your comfor t level and how early you arrive. Kenny Darwin photo
ing. He is so intense about hunting and dry rule. It really depends on
spring gobblers that he guides an- your situation, the location of the saw the bird go in. Once he has gets a bird that gobbles, he slowly
other two dozen hunters throughout bird, ground clutter, your comfort reached the 300 yard mark he ini- closes the distance until he can see
the season and always comes home level and how early you arrive. tially will go to an owl call. Give a the bird up in the tree. He feels like
with a longbeard. Most importantly, it is key to locate few series of hoots. If there is not that’s what makes him different over
After talking with him, you a roosted a bird the prior evening. a response give a 60 second break, other turkey hunters. Quite frankly
realize just how much knowledge Apel is looking for birds from his then proceed with another series of that is far more aggressive than most
he carries along with him. It’s more truck and watching as they go into hoots that ends with a gobble. This of us hunt. However, Apel wants to
than just hunting a bird, his strate- the woods right before dusk. This second series is an attempt to shock see exactly what tree that bird is in.
gies, understanding behaviors, and gives him his first big clue that there gobble, so you can pinpoint his ex- He stated, “I have been as close as
stealth far exceed many. I was able will be a roosted bird nearby in the act location. He encourages hunters 30 yards to a roosted bird the next
to get Apel’s secrets on how to get morning. to not be discouraged if the bird or morning and not spooked him.”
dangerously close to roosted birds. The next morning he’ll walk other birds don’t gobble. How do you get this close? It
It’s a bit of an art form, so let’s learn within 300 yards of where he last Now it’s game on. Once Apel starts with his 4 a.m. routine of hav-
ing everything ready. Furthermore,
understanding how the terrain is and
how to use it effectively is impor-
tant. Using any hills, ridges, creeks,
logging roads, all to the hunters’
advantage when sneaking tight to a
roosted bird. “It is all about being
quiet and slowly picking the way
through the woods.” This is where
the extra time in the morning plays
a huge role. Apel says, “A huge
mistake I see is people rushing to
a roosting area in the morning and
unfortunately bumping birds.” It
doesn’t take much to ruin a morning
hunt, one snap of a twig, tripping
over some brush, or walking too
quickly through crunchy leaves.
Sometimes you’ll find birds
roosted on the edge of the woods. It’s all about being deadly silent and everything organized and ready to hunt from the moment you leave the truck.
When hunting open fields or a fence
row, Apel want to be 80-100 yards Hunters are doing the opposite. We right after they are flying down. action packed. Birds will respond to
from that roosted bird. If he is hunt- are wanting to call the bird to us When Apel is targeting a big- the calls and move in very quickly.
ing in the timber, he closes the gap while in a stationary position. In ger group of birds he does not call Areas like this often have lower bird
to 50-80 yards. He wants to watch the wild, the toms gobble and a hen until they are off the limb. He likes densities and when a tom locates a
that bird from the time he wakes up, goes to the tom. Apel rarely will to let the group do their own thing. hen they will fight over her. Under-
so he can understand his behavior call to a roosted bird. The only time Don’t try force them to gobble in standing the tom to hen ratio in your
up on the limb. That is dangerously he calls to a roosted bird is when the morning when roosted. Big hunting area will really help you
close, and many hunters feel that is he can watch his every move in the groups are on a schedule so don’t understand the ideal decoy set up
getting too close a roost. tree. disrupt the norm. Instead, find out and calling techniques.
Over-Calling Block Party
the schedule and intercept after
they fly down and start moving and Get Moving
Limb Birds Locating a large group of toms strutting. Don’t hesitate to get close
to the roost unless you know where
Once you are setup under that
bird, you can almost taste the suc-
Over-calling is one of the big- and hens can be exciting. There is
gest mistakes a hunter can make. they are going. If you know where cess. This is turkey hunting and we
always lots of calling and move-
I’ve done it myself too many times the birds are going, set up at that know that everything doesn’t always
ment within the woods. Hunting
and paid the price. In the morning spot and wait patiently. come together. The bird flies down
big groups of birds is tougher than
in a different direction, he is pulled
it’s exciting to hear birds calling off
the limb. Most hunters want to get
hunting a single bird. In these situ-
ation’s it’s important to locate both
Lonely Birds away by some hens, or he catches
birds fired up before they fly off the We have all had toms pulled you moving. It happens! For most of
the roosting trees and where the
limb. A tom gobbles to attract other away by a group of hens. That is us it happens far too often, but that’s
birds are going. Big groups often
hens to him. While roosted, if he one of the most frustrating parts of what drives us to hunt these birds.
stick together and it’s near impos-
hears a hen yelping, cutting, or purr- spring turkey hunting. We’re com- When things don’t go as
sible to pull a lone bird away from
ing he’s going to stay up on the limb peting with the real deal. Apel loves planned, your hunt doesn’t have to
the group. You need to get to the
until he visually sees the hen. to target a lone tom rather than hunt be over. When Apel realizes that his
locations they want to strut and feed
a roosting area with a bunch of toms birds are heading away from him,
and hens. Most hunters get excited he is already working on a backup
around big turkey groups and would plan. After just 10-20 minutes when
naturally gravitate towards these he realizes that they are not coming
types of areas. The risk is that toms he makes a quick move. His goal
with hens are very hard to call them is to intercept them. Just because it
away. doesn’t happen right off the roost
Hunting a lonely tom or group doesn’t mean you’re packing it in
of toms are far more likely to com- for the day. Do whatever it takes to
mit to your yelping right off the maneuver ahead of the bird. This is
roost. Apel suggest only using 1-2 one time to be overly aggressive on
hen decoys when hunting a lonely moving, then get aggressive on the
tom. His favorite setup in this situa- calls. Sit tight in that new spot and it
tion is a breeder hen, an upright hen often takes just a few minutes before
and a strutter decoy. he’ll be right in your lap.
He has found that most lonely When it comes down to getting
toms have been attacked by other dangerously close to a roosted bird
birds and are excluding themselves it’s all about being prepared. Sliding
from being around other birds. this close means you need to be in
Therefore, in this situation using a the woods extremely early, become
tom decoy and hen decoy will often stealthy and determined with every
scare away a lonely bird. movement and understand turkey
If you’re hunting a group of behavior. When you put together
lonely birds Apel likes using a tom these things, a majority of the time
decoy with a breeder hen and some- you’ll walk away with a heavy bird
times adds an upright hen into the over your shoulder. Do your home-
mix. Since calling can be so effec- work correctly and the chances of
When hunting the timber you can close the gap to within 50-80 yards. tive on these birds hunting is often you killing that bird is very high.n
Crossbow tips for spring gobblers
Crossbows have become very popular for all turkey seasons...By Darin Potter

t’s no breaking news that crosshairs on an animal and pull the
crossbow has become a trigger, there’s a very good chance
household word when it that critter is going down fast.”
comes to hunting spring A few years ago my wife be-
turkeys in Michigan. came interested in crossbows after
Alongside a shotgun and shooting mine, which I had pur-
a compound bow, crossbows have chased used. She enjoyed shooting it
proven to be another excellent alter- so much that while walking through
native to putting a thunder chicken the crossbow section inside of an
on the ground. Many hunters are archery shop, a particular crossbow
choosing to hunt with a crossbow caught her attention. It was a Parker
over a compound or traditional bow Challenger. She decided to take
because it requires less motion when a few shots with it on the archery
a turkey comes into shooting range range and instantly fell in love with
and increases their level of confi- it. It fit her perfectly and she felt
dence. very confident in shooting it. Her
Mike Avery, the host and pro- decision was easy–this would be her
ducer of the Outdoor Magazine Ra- new weapon of choice for spring
dio Show here in Michigan has been longbeards.
hunting turkeys with a crossbow After practicing several months
for around eight years. He states, prior to the season she finally had The author’s wife Jody used a crossbow to take this spring gobbler.
“I hunt with a crossbow because the opportunity to take it with her
it gives me confidence in a quick, into the turkey woods. It wasn’t very longbeard, causing it to drop within help save you multiple trips down
clean, and humane killing shot. I long into the second morning of the fifteen yards. the range to see where your bolts are
realize it might not be the challenge 2014 season when she connected Before heading afield with your hitting the target.
of chasing gobblers with a recurve, with her first gobbler using her new crossbow this spring here are some It’s also a good idea to practice
which I have done before, but I crossbow. I watched as she placed a tips that will help increase your shooting while sitting down, kneel-
like the confidence that a crossbow Rage mechanical broadhead straight chances of notching a turkey tag. ing and standing if you plan on run-
gives me. I know that when I put the through the boiler room of the ning and gunning.
Practicing with your crossbow Tent Blinds
well in advance of the season is es- Even though a crossbow doesn’t
sential if you want to put a bird on require much movement it is still

the ground. There are several targets to your advantage to hunt turkeys

available on the market which are from inside of a tent blind. The dark
specifically designed for both cross- interior and small window openings
bow field tips and broadheads that provide enough concealment to talk
will allow you to remove your bolts turkey on a box, slate, or push-pull
with no issues. call without being spotted. It will
After sighting in your crossbow also allow you to make any last min-
Classic Rooster Tail w/HD
on a shooting bench, practice taking ute adjustments while getting into
Split Ring & Pre-Sharpened shots out of a tent blind (if this is shooting position if you opt to shoot
Black Nickel Hook what you will be hunting out of) in free-handed or from a shooting rest.
a seated position off a shooting stick Most tent blinds come with
Pulsating Hackle/Tinsel at a variety of distances out to your mesh netting that can be temporar-
Dressed Hook Attracts Fish
effective range. Also, when practic- ily placed on window openings,
Genuine Silver, ing I like switching up the angle of which prevent a turkey from looking
Brass and/or the target to imitate a turkey com- inside, yet allows the person sitting
Painted Blades
ing into shooting range at different in the blind to see out. Hunters using
angles. Using a range finder will a crossbow have the ability to shoot

Time to think of prevention of

those beaches, golf courses,
condo grounds, parks and
recreation areas.
This new Rooster Tail was designed with
input from professional angler Joe Thomas ULTRA CONCENTRATED CONTROL
and built specifically for bass and schooling
stripers. Special components make it extra Will solve your goose problems!
strong to handle the toughest fish, and it features all the
attributes that make Rooster Tail so productive. Available in two sizes, It’s time to order your
½ and ¾ ounce for long casts and fast retrieves, the Joe Thomas Series
Rooster Tail comes in 12 finishes hand-selected by Joe Thomas.
summer Control to rid those
pesky geese problems.
Remember when the grass starts
turning green its time to apply
bolts through these mesh covers shooting on a whitetail. You’re look-
without fear of it flying erratically. ing for the largest wound channel
On one spring hunt my wife possible. Two blade broadheads are
and I were seated in one of my tent very popular for whitetails because
blinds when a tom snuck up on us they provide an excellent blood trail.
from behind. Thankfully, he gobbled You’re not going to get a massive
far enough in advance to give us a blood trail with a turkey so the goal
heads up. Even though it was short is to inflict massive damage to the
notice, the blind saved the day by animal. A three blade mechani-
allowing her enough time to place cal offers a larger wound channel
her crossbow onto the tripod and and more blade surface than a two
prepare for the shot before it came blade.”
into view. When the gobbler ap- For those of you wondering
peared, it was so preoccupied with which grain broadhead you should
fighting the strutting tom decoy that choose Larsen adds, “Most cross-
I had positioned in front of us that bow hunters use the 100 grain tips
she was able to take her time and that come with their crossbows and
make a perfect broadside shot. arrows. Moving to 125 grains will
Although running and gunning slow the arrow down initially but
for turkeys with a crossbow offers the energy carries better downrange. A tripod shooting rest will steady your aim when a gobbler comes
some challenges it is possible to More importantly, adding more into shooting range. As proper shot placement is extremely impor-
take a turkey with this method if you weight to the front of the arrow tant when hunting turkeys with a crossbow due to their small vitals.
take the time to conceal yourself. increases accuracy. Keep in mind, if
When choosing a location to setup you switch to 125 grain tips you’ll die. Shoot low, they go.” wing right in the middle of its back.
on a nearby longbeard find a tree need to sight in your crossbow If the bird is facing you, put Again, if the arrow is right on you
wide enough to hide your outline if again. If there isn’t time to sight in, the crosshair right at the base of the will break his back. If it’s off a bit
at all possible. It will also provide stick with the 100 grain.” neck where the wattles meet the you’ll be right in the vitals.”
some concealment if a gobbler ap- After purchasing new broad- feathers. If the arrow hits the spot Although I currently hunt tur-
proaches you from behind. When on heads take a couple of shots at a you will sever the spine right there. keys with both a shotgun and a com-
the move bring along either a 3-D crossbow approved target. This will If you’re slightly off, the arrow will pound bow I hope to someday take
leaf cloth that is roughly six feet help give you piece of mind on your go right into the vitals. along a crossbow and try my best to
long or a wrap-around style blind. bolt’s shot performance. If the turkey is moving away tip over a longbeard. After all, they
Both of these will allow you to get
into position in less than one minute Shot Placement from you look for the spot where
the right wing crosses over the left
have proven to be deadly accurate
and stealthy in the turkey woods.n
when a gobbler is approaching fast Proper shot placement is ex-
and time is valuable. tremely important when hunting
turkeys with a crossbow. With
The Business End small vitals and the fact that they
With a wide variety of broad- leave very little if any blood for
heads available for crossbow bolts trailing it is essential that you place
that are designed specifically for a bolt in the vitals so that you can
turkey hunting it isn’t hard to find easily recover your bird. Accord-
one that will put a gobbler on the ing to Larsen, “When it comes to
ground. If you are unsure of which
type of broadhead to use, stop into a
shot placement, broadside is bestRandy’sRandy’s
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Bowhunting...By John Eberhart

Natural Destination Areas

s bowhunters we pursuing 2 ½ year old and older
oftentimes tend to bucks in hchp areas, if your loca-
make things much tions offer some form of perimeter
more difficult than security cover at them and transition
they need be. For security cover to them from known
instance from the late bedding areas, the likelihood for
60s through the mid-80s the amount opportunities will be far greater than
of hours I spent on stand per kill if the locations are visually exposed
was much higher than what it’s been to open areas or there’s no security
since. In fact, since the late 80s the cover understudy in the area.
amount of time I’ve spent on stand While I had above average
has steadily decreased whereas success in my early years because
my success rate has significantly I spent a lot of time on stand, even
increased. back then I paid attention to and
How did I hunt differently back evaluated my failed hunts and sea-
then compared to now? I used to sonal success and adjusted accord-
hunt short crop field treeline edges, ingly. As seasons passed I began
perimeters of marshes, swamps and focusing on more precise locations
bedding areas, in stands of ma- and noticed a very consistent up-
ture timber with no security cover swing in my success rates.
understudy, at water sources in areas By the late 80s I was focusing
with lots of water and along well nearly 100 percent of my scouting
used runways in areas with many and hunting time on precise natural
of them. All of which are a shotgun destination locations and tight pinch
approach to hunting. points within transition areas that
A shotgun fires a blanket of offered both perimeter and transition
pellets in hopes that one will hit the security cover. Being laser focused
target and those locations required on where and how to prepare loca-
many hunts per season because there tions and how and when to hunt
were so many entry and exit routes them became key to hunting smart,
into the bedding and or feeding spending less time on stand and
areas, so many waterholes for deer having more consistent success on
to choose from, and many runway The author with his Michigan 10-point taken from along a standing mature bucks.
options in each type of area. cornfield in 2015. In no particular order, depend-
I’ve abandoned the broad shot- ing on the time of year or season,
gun approach for a single projectile nation location, it’s meaningless for are in the bedroom closet within a mature buck movements revolve
approach that requires precise aim hunting if it were made during the few feet of the bed, in or next to the around food, bedding, sex and
at a very specific target location security of darkness due to the lack kitchen where the drinks and food security during daytime movements
and now am laser focused on small of security cover because the odds are located, along the driveway, or and just like us they have preferred
natural destination locations, tight of a daytime visit by a mature buck at their workplace. specific areas for each.
pinch points in transition corridors are slim to none. I love hunting as Remember, I can’t move and During daylight when mature
and at small water locations in areas much as the next person, but hunt- notice I didn’t say in the garage be- bucks are most vulnerable, adequate
otherwise devoid of it (very rare by ing over meaningless sign is a waste cause they may choose to park out- perimeter and transition security
the way). of my time. side and go in the front door, nor in cover is essential at destination loca-
Since I exclusively hunt public If you’re happy taking sub- the dining room because they may tions for daytime visits. Perimeter
and knock on doors for free permis- ordinate bucks and does or just choose to eat or drink elsewhere in security cover doesn’t mean being in
sion properties, I deal with heavy like seeing deer, which is totally the house after leaving the kitchen, the middle of a briar patch or being
consequential hunting pressure understandable, the security cover next to an entry door because most totally surrounded by tall marsh
(hchp) where there are 10 to 25 requirements negates exposed open homes have two or more entries, or grasses or autumn olive, it sim-
bowhunters per square mile and the areas as hunting sites for mature along a route to work as they may ply means there needs to be some
majority of them are targeting any bucks. While monster bucks in choose a different route for some adequate height cover protecting the
legal antlered buck. In such areas managed and lightly hunted areas reason. Hiding in these secondary location from a visual to open areas
bucks surviving beyond their first are filmed being taken in short crop locations would lower my odds of around it. The transition security
set of antlers seemingly have PhDs fields, food plots, and in exposed an opportunity and may require I cover is required for an entry to the
at avoiding hunters. areas on a regular basis, you likely make additional attempts which destination location as well as for a
The most critical requirement don’t have the luxury of hunting would up the odds of either getting quick and secure exit area from the
that every natural destination loca- such areas. caught or interrupting the target location if needed. If a mature buck
tion in an hchp area should have There’s no better way of ex- victim’s routine before the task is uses a transition zone with security
is some form of perimeter security plaining the importance of natural accomplished. cover to enter a destination location,
cover around the kill zone as well as destination locations than to put it in The point is, the more defined he will use the same route as an exit
adequate transition security cover to a human perspective. If I wanted to and small the destination location, strategy if there is danger because
a known bedding area. On many oc- take photos of humans and couldn’t the higher the odds of a kill encoun- he had already used it safely.
casions I’ve scouted properties and take another step once I planted my- ter. Whereas the more peripheral As hunters it’s our scouting job
found natural destination locations self for the stakeout, which is what the ambush site is from an actual to identify destination locations suit-
without adequate security cover we do when ambush hunting, there destination point, the less likely of able for daytime mature buck visits,
and in each case, I abandoned the are places with nearly a 100 percent an opportunity and the more likely properly set up at them, choose
property. chance of an opportunity on the first of altering routines with several the right time of day and season to
No matter how much or awe- attempt and all of them are natural intrusions. hunt them, and enter and exit them
some the buck sign looks at a desti- destination locations. Examples For blue collar bowhunters properly.
If you own or lease property season’s rut sign and spooking deer
with natural destination locations is irrelevant. I learned over 30 years
that don’t offer sufficient security ago that spooking mature bucks with
cover at or to them for daytime my pre-season scouting and location
visits by mature bucks, you should preparation intrusions turns them
consider intervention in the form of nocturnal through the early part of
property manipulation by creating the season.
areas of security cover around them When I go out-of-state, my
and security cover in the best transi- scouting and location preparation
tion zones to them from known is done the day or day and a half
bedding areas. before I begin hunting. I would
On a few private parcels I’ve never have that as a seasonal plan in
scouted for others I was mildly Michigan.
shocked to see food plots where In order of importance; primary
they were not needed and were in scrape areas, fruit and mast trees,
my opinion a hindrance to success. interiors of bedding areas, pinch
It’s became clear that many property points within transition corridors
owners or leasers think that if they and water sources in areas other-
don’t have food plots, they can’t kill wise devoid of water are the top
mature bucks. After all that’s what five types of destination locations I
the vast majority of TV and video search for.
personalities and print media writers
have programmed hunters to think.
I’ve never hunted over a food A primary scrape area can
plot and will admit that I don’t know consist of one very large scrape to
much about them other than they of- as many as a dozen scrapes in a
relatively open yet small area and Author, John Eberhar t, inspecting a primary scrape area found dur-
fer a preferred food and are exposed ing post season.
areas. However, I do know deer they are always located in high
behavior in heavily pressured areas doe traffic zones most commonly primary scrape areas surrounded by until dawn.
and I am absolutely positive that if within close proximity to a preferred some form of security cover with If in timber with lots of oaks,
you have access to natural destina- food source, at pinch points within adequate transition cover leading to search for white oaks, and if there
tion food sources and other types transition corridors where multiple them. are a lot of them, choose the one
runways converge and where differ-
of destination locations offering closest to the best transition cover or
adequate security cover, food plots ent terrain features meet and force nearest a known bedding area as it
are not needed and can have a nega- consolidation of general deer traffic. When fruit trees such as apple, will likely be the first tree a mature
tive impact on your hunting psyche A primary scrape area is not to be pear and crabapple, and mast trees buck would visit in the evening.
and success. confused with runway scrapes along such as oaks that are located within White oaks are identified by
In hchp areas, if you have mo- a particular buck’s travel route. perimeter security cover bear food their rough bark up the tree and out
tion cameras on food plots, most Each ground scrape will have they are awesome locations that each branch, rounded lobes on their
if not all the mature buck pictures one to several overhanging lick- oftentimes become primary scrape leaves, and their dime sized acorns.
you have will be taken during the ing branches that are socially scent areas due to the consistent doe traf- Burr oaks found in wet areas like
security of darkness. Having bucks marked by does and bucks in the fic feeding at them. swamps or along rivers are a species
you want to kill yet can’t because of area with their saliva, preorbital, During post season scouting you of white oak that have big fuzzy
the manner you altered the property nasal, and forehead glands and the won’t know if the trees will produce caps on their acorns.
and hunt can impact your hunting appeal of them increases leading up food in the fall, but if they fit the Red oaks are identified by their
psyche. While food plots in large to the rut phases with peak activity security cover requirements, they smooth bark up and out each branch,
managed and lightly hunted areas being during pre-rut. should be set up as hunting locations pointed lobes on their leaves, and
might work great, they are definitely While scrape areas are usually and checked prior to season for food large quarter sized acorns.
not a daytime traffic cure all on perennial, crop rotations and fruit and deer sign. If they don’t produce Do yourself a favor this fall and
small private parcels surrounded by and mast production can cause them that fall it will be less work you’ll pick up one of each. Shell them and
hchp properties. to appear only during the seasons have to do when they do produce eat the white first and then the red.
While the film media may want the trees produce food and the fields food. You will not forget this test and will
you to believe their generic hunting are in the right crops. In hchp areas, Isolated fruit and mast trees are immediately know why deer prefer
methods and techniques work no if a scrape area is located on the excellent early season as well as whites. You’ll spit out the red due to
matter where you hunt, that can’t be perimeter of a short crop field or rut phase locations if they are still its strong bitter tannins.
farther from the truth because they large exposed area and it’s being dropping food. The fewer of them Deer definitely eat red oak
don’t. Successful bowhunting meth- used by a mature buck, it will likely there are in an area the more deer acorns, but if there are whites in the
ods, techniques and tactics should be during the security of darkness will compete to get there first in the vicinity and they offer similar secu-
vary greatly according to the type of whereas subordinate bucks may visit evening. I will not hunt fruit trees rity cover, they will visit them first
area you’re hunting in. it during daylight. on morning hunts because I used during daylight.
While rare, if a scrape area is too to consistently spook deer feeding
In Michigan for instance, I
put much more thought into every large to cover or the terrain design at them with my before daylight
aspect of every step I take when doesn’t allow full coverage from a entries and in big timber areas with Depending on the circum-
hunting than I do when I travel out- single ambush point, choose a loca- no surrounding ag fields I don’t stances, for the life of me, I can’t
of-state to areas where there’s far tion within a comfortable shooting hunt oaks in mornings for the same understand why hunters don’t stra-
less hunting pressure, more mature distance to the largest and most reason. tegically hunt within bedding areas
bucks, and where deer in general are cupped out scrape as it will likely be I will hunt oaks in mornings in where mature bucks spend most of
far less wary of human intrusions the one most used by older bucks. agricultural areas where deer are their days.
and move with more regularity dur- If they’re all similar sized, set up to typically in crop fields at night and Bedding areas have many entry
ing daylight hours than their breth- shoot to as many as possible while I will be on stand a minimum of an and exit routes with unlimited direc-
ren in hchp areas. keying on the one with the most uti- hour and a half before the crack of tions a deer can go when outside
In hchp areas, 90-plus percent lized overhanging licking branches. dawn so as not to spook a mature them, so with limited rut phase
of my scouting and location prepa- No matter the area or state, well buck that may leave an exposed hunting time, why not strategically
ration is done during post season over half the bucks I’ve taken in the crop field before daybreak and may
when I can still identify the previous past 30 seasons were from active feed on acorns in a more secure area Natural Destination page 40
Natural Destination Areas:
from page 39
hunt within the tighter confines of cornfields are also great locations as
their home? deer will oftentimes skirt their edges
In hchp areas the vast majority when transitioning. These locations
of daytime chasing and breeding by may require a ground blind be pre-
mature bucks takes place within the pared later in the summer.
secure confines of bedding areas. On private parcels, if there are
Never forget that killing and not several hunters with equal authority,
listening from the outside perimeter if you hunt within the bedding areas,
of a bedding area, is the end goal. they may want to as well. Interi-
Many state gun seasons coin- ors of bedding areas are for very
cide with the peak rut when mature specific and strategic solo hunting
bucks are typically with or are in so if this is the case, leave them as
search of estrus does, so unless you sanctuary areas otherwise multiple
have control over a large area, the hunter intrusions will severely alter
likelihood of a mature buck wander- daytime movements.
ing beyond your fence line and get- Most public lands are large
ting shot is pretty good. So why not enough that if you research aerials
strategically plan a couple all-day and do the legwork, you can usually
interior bedding area bowhunts just locate an isolated honey hole where The author crossing a river during post season to access remote area.
prior to gun season. others are unwilling to go due to the
Interiors of bedding areas need
to be scouted for more precise des-
work involved in getting there and
those are the exact locations mature
NUMBER 5 likely places to find them are with
bedding areas. The odds of mature
Pinch points or funnels within bucks searching these haunts for hot
tination locations. This scouting and bucks are pushed into once the ava-
transition corridors can be simulated does during daylight hours are high
location preparation must be done lanche of pre-season scouting and
to an hour glass where deer move- due to the peaking of their testoster-
during post season when spooking hunting begins.
ments from one area to another one levels and hunting them midday
deer with your intrusions will be Two musts when hunting with
tapers down to its narrowest pas- between the hours of 11 a.m. and
irrelevant to fall movements. bedding areas, you must be quietly
sageway point. While pinch points 3 p.m. have proven to be the most
When scouting, search for on stand an hour and a half prior to
are not true destination locations productive.
scrape areas, isolated mast and daybreak so as not to spook bucks
where deer linger, they are natural My top four location options
fruit trees, scrape and or rub lined transitioning into them prior to day-
travel corridors that connect destina- all have one common denomina-
runways, rub clusters, and small light, remain on stand all day and
tion sites or areas. tor; they are all natural destination
openings where several runways not leave until after dark. Anything
Funnels can be between or in locations where deer will linger for
may converge. short of that and you’re likely going
large stands of timber, long mean- a period of time making proper loca-
Large standing cornfields are to spook deer.
dering saddles and draws, along tion preparation an absolute must
bedding areas and mature bucks will Another must is a serious scent
brushy and marshy areas that border so you don’t get picked. Because I
transition between them and border- control regimen as deer may come
and follow rivers and creeks, bed- hunt from a harness I set up on the
ing timber wherever the most secure in from any direction.
ding areas, along terrain feature opposite side of the tree and use the
transition route butts up to them.
While I never hunt perimeters of NUMBER 4 breaks such as along bottoms of
ridges, at the tip of a protrusion of
trunk as a blocker from the destina-
short or picked cornfields in Michi- While rare, a small pocket of tion site. For stand users make sure
cover that extends out into a crop you’re set up high enough to not get
gan, I do hunt perimeters of stand- water in an area otherwise devoid
field, dry ground gaps in boggy picked as lingering deer are always
ing cornfields and punched my first of water is a phenomenal
marshes and swamps, and where looking around in trees.
2015 buck tag on a 10-point from destination location, especially
crop fields are misconfigured. I can’t reiterate enough that a
such a location. during warm weather. Areas
One of my favorites which are requirement every destination loca-
If you know a field will be devoid of other water sources
visually difficult to identify are shal- tion in an hchp area should have
planted in corn and there’s a lone exclude areas with wet swamps,
low areas of creeks and rivers. Deer is some form of perimeter security
oak within it, it needs to be prepared creeks and rivers and areas after
as a location. During the years the know where shallow areas are in cover around the location as well as
a hard rain when there would be
oak has acorns and the field is in standing pools of water. Deer have waterways and will go out of their adequate security cover along the
standing corn, hunting it at any time to have water and if the source of- way to cross there because they can transition routes to it.
of season can be productive. fers the right security cover it will walk across the waterway as op- John has 31 bucks in the Com-
Swales or openings in standing have daytime traffic. posed to having to swim across. memorative Bucks of Michigan
Pinch points between bedding record book from 19 different
and feeding areas get used the entire properties in 10 different counties
season however the amount and type and has another 19 P&Y bucks from
of hunting pressure an area receives 13 different properties on 22 out-
coupled with the security cover the of-state bowhunts while exclusively
transition corridor offers will dictate hunting public and knock-on-doors
whether or not a mature buck will for free permission properties.
use it during daylight hours. Eberhart’s Whitetail Workshops
• Drive-in housekeeping camp for Walleye, Pike & Smallmouth From an amount of sits standpoint, - Whether you hunt public, free
my history of success on mature permission, family owned, leased,
• ATV-in island outpost on Wenebegon Lake for Walleye & Pike bucks in hchp areas in funnels be- managed or out of state properties;
• Train-in outpost on Goldie Lake for Pike & Smallmouth tween bedding to open feeding areas attending one of John’s 2 day in-
is so dismal that I rarely prepare field/classroom workshops will give
• Black Bear hunts, excellent success rates, all baiting, retrieval those types of locations anymore. you the knowledge to take those big
Transition corridor funnels bucks you get on camera.
skinning and quartering included. Tree stands or ground blinds. between bedding areas are a prefer- For information on Eberhart’s
ence and are only hunted during
705-864-0201 Chapleau, Ontario / 352-503-9577 Nov. 1 - April 30 the rut phases as mature bucks are
Whitetail Workshops please visit: or contact
Web: • Email: laser focused on searching their core John by e-mail at: deerjohn51@
areas for estrus does and the most gmail.comn
Arguably there is no one more adept at consistently filling his tags on heavily pres-
What is an Eberhart’s Whitetail Workshop? sured trophy whitetail bucks than John Eberhart. I would like to think that after 40
years of pursuing whitetails across North America that I know a thing or two about
They are 2-day (day in woods and day in classroom) events aimed at taking years off your learning bowhunting them. However, there is one whitetail expert out there who’s advice
curve by providing the insights to take mature bucks. I still heed when I hear or read it and that is John Eberhart. John knows whitetail
They are NOT land management workshops but rather educational workshops for hunters wanting to deer and what it takes to consistently be successful, year after year. As I mentioned
earlier, when John talks, I listen.
learn how, when, where and what to do to take mature bucks whether hunting public, knock-on-doors for Tom Nelson - Host - American Archer TV Show
free permission, family, leased or managed properties, or travel hunting.
After all wouldn’t you rather wrap your bare hands around the antlers of the bucks you pursue rather “John Eberhart is the most impressive whitetail hunter I’ve ever met. His ability to
dissect hunting properties and target specific animals is legendary. John is also an
than looking at their pictures taken from a motion camera. extremely effective hunting educator who is always willing to share his tips and tac-
Hunters spend hundreds of dollars on upgrading equipment, new advertised gadgets, land manage- tics with others. His skills and abilities make him one of the most popular guests
ment, stands, bait and oftentimes food plots that are not needed with the belief these things will make on my Outdoor Magazine Radio show…..”
Mike Avery
them more successful hunter’s, and that can’t be farther from the truth. Whether or not you have the best
of everything money can buy is irrelevant if you’re hunting skills and strategies don’t offer the opportunity Real deer hunting experts are the guys who can kill free-ranging deer on their own,
to take advantage of them. and do it through hard work and determination, not through a fat wallet or a friend
who happens to be a land baron. I’ve been unbelievably fortunate to have known
If; you hunt public land or in a heavily pressured area and feel lost trying to figure out what to do and learned how to hunt from a handful of true whitetail pioneers. John Eberhart
to see let alone take bucks; you were mentored with old school hunting methods that don’t seem to be is near the top of the list. His no short-cuts approach to hunting pressured deer is
working; you rely on the expense and routine of hauling bait to see deer; you’ve spent thousands of dollars among the best I’ve seen in my 20+ years with Deer & Deer Hunting, America’s
First and Foremost Whitetail Source®.
on land manipulation yet struggle to kill the mature bucks caught on your motion cameras; you want to Dan Schmidt – Deer & Deer Hunting magazine - Editor-in-Chief
prepare more locations but can’t afford the stands to do so; you get nighttime photos of mature bucks yet
I was brought up in a hunting family and blessed with a curious mind and a strong
can’t get daytime opportunities; you struggle with choosing and properly preparing locations, how to enter desire to learn. Having been in the hunting industry since 1991, I’ve discussed
and exit them without spooking deer and what’s the best daily and seasonal time to hunt each of them; hunting techniques, tactics and observations with many industry writers, TV and
your scent control regimen is such that you have to hunt according to wind direction; or you’re a novice deer video hunting personalities, and guides. Most agree that due to their cunning be-
havior and ability to adapt, that taking a mature whitetail buck in a pressured area
hunter that simply wants to cut years off your learning curve. is the ultimate trophy. No hunter has shown more insight, fortitude, in depth knowl-
If any of those hunting scenarios sound familiar or you have other issues hampering your success, at- edge and had more success on pressured mature bucks than John Eberhart. If I had
tending a 2 day workshop will address them as John feels there’s no hunting situation he hasn’t partaken new land, wanted to learn the best way to hunt an existing property and otherwise
wanted my best opportunity at taking trophy bucks, John would be my go to person
in at some point in his 50 plus years of deer hunting. John’s goal is for you to utilize your time to its fullest for guidance. John’s advice has aided me on taking specific bucks and made me
potential by learning the skills to be successful in pressured areas and once that’s accomplished you can a better overall hunter; knowledge I may never have gained even in 100 years of
go anywhere in any state in the country and consistently put yourself on the best bucks the area has to hunting! Invaluable lessons!
Greg Sesselmann - Founder and Inventor of Scentlok Technologies
Dedicated, passionate deer experts don’t copycat. Instead, they are notorious for
Why John? establishing their own ways of hunting. John Eberhart is such a person. If anything,
he is an extreme example who has mastered the craft of tackling big bucks on
In John’s 50 plus Michigan seasons he’s scouted 18 public parcels and over 100 knock-on-doors for heavily pressured hunting areas. He accomplishes what many say is impossible,
free permission properties and has taken fifty eight 2 ½ years old and older bucks from them with 31 be- and it is in this wisdom that I have learned so much about ‘real’ whitetail hunt-
ing. There are few in my realm of knowledge that can hunt whitetails on par with
ing listed in the Commemorative Bucks of Michigan record book. John has also taken 19 P&Y bucks on John. He is packed with genuine experience and knowledge that will help anyone
his 22 out of state bowhunting trips from 13 different properties in 5 states. improve their deer-hunting success.
What separates John from most other successful hunters is he’s exclusively hunted on public and Joe Bell, Executive Director, Pope and Young Club
Former Editor, BOW & ARROW HUNTING Magazine
knock-on-doors for free permission properties while keying on what the property naturally has to offer. Author, TECHNICAL BOWHUNTING


For more in-depth information and future workshop dates please visit: or
or email John at:
Michigan Deer Camp Traditions
A series of stories about Deer Camps in the Great State of Michigan...

very tradition, inevita- ing where these endeavors would provide more than enough room for a lease in Bark River. This property
bly, must have a begin- take place, an ultimatum was made four hunters to stay in. For the next featured a luxurious log cabin and
ning. Some traditions between the trio; “Before we get fifteen years, Mark, Doug, Brian 200 acres of private ground to hunt.
start merely out of habit. married, we must have a and Jerry spent the open- After twenty years of hunting from
Many deer camps start- deer camp tradition set in ing week of Michigan’s a wall tent, the idea of taking warm
ed with a grandfather place, that way after we’re rifle season hunting in the showers every night and sleeping in
purchasing a large chunk of wooded married, we never have to National Forest. Hunting a warm comfortable bed wasn’t too
land. As time passes, children move ask permission to go.” And, in the Hiawatha started off hard to take. With no reluctance at
away, and with grandchildren, the with the father’s full sup- great, and many deer were all, the group booked their annual
distance increases all the more, yet port, three had become four taken by the group there. As tradition for the second week of gun
the property that Grandpa purchased and a deer camp tradition time progressed, however, season. It wasn’t until they had ar-
still remains the knot that ties the was in the making. the deer numbers began to rived that they truly realized what an
family together every November for The excited decrease, and the opportunity laid before them.
decades to come. As customary as
this may be for many deer camps,
tradition setters
still had one mi-
By Jake Dykstra four found them-
selves searching
Since they began traveling to
the U.P. Mark, Doug, Brian, and
some traditions begin with a more
definitive purpose.
nor problem; they
still had yet to Wildlife Realty once again for
another place to
Jerry would start off every trip
by meeting in the Tractor Supply
It’s been said in the past, “If you determine where keep the tradition parking lot. After a short word of
do not know where you come from, they would hunt. Michigan’s Up- alive. For the next few years, they prayer thanking the Good Lord
then you don’t know where you per Peninsula had many other deer tried other hunting grounds includ- for the opportunity to hunt, asking
are, and if you don’t know where camps started in the past was at least ing Baraga State Forest, Manistique, for traveling mercies, and saying a
you are, then you don’t know where a starting point. With nearly 895,000 and even a lease in Escanaba, but blessing for the wives at home, the
you’re going. And if you don’t know acres of public land, the Hiawatha with many unpleasant experiences four would set off on the 6 hour trek
where you’re going, you’re probably National Forest offered plenty of with local hunters, the need to relo- to their newfound paradise. Without
going wrong.” space to start. cate to other hunting grounds was a a tent to set up, arriving late in the
For family members Mark, While vacationing in Oregon, recurring issue. evening, tired and sore from the
Doug and Brian, an annual deer Mark picked up a 15x15 wall tent, Doug recalls building a make- long trip across the state, was no
camp retreat had yet to begin. In which was exactly the tent that all shift ground blind late one after- longer an issue. The musty cabin
1983, however, not having any fall of the old school U.P. deer hunting noon, going to extra measures to air warmly greeted its guests as the
rituals to speak of, and not know- pictures had in them. This would brush it in nicely before he left. weary campers entered the front
When Mark and Doug approached door. There was no need to organize

the blind early the next morning, gear and sleeping bags to optimize
a voice came out of the darkness space, with spacious bedrooms and

and bellowed, “There’s someone a fully furnished bathroom, each
already here!” Before the last word could claim his own space and live
was uttered, streak of light flashed however he pleased for the next
in the air, and a shot rang out. As full week. With satellite TV, a fully
Mark and Doug took off running, furnished kitchen, multiple couches
they vowed never to hunt that piece to recline on, and a fully stocked
of land again. Although the flame refrigerator, this was truly a vaca-
keeping these camper’s traditions tion in a bachelor’s paradise. Having
alive was but a glow, the group was an established hunting base that
left with a hard decision to swallow; provided electrical hookups both
forfeit the deer camp tradition, or inside and out even allowed the
look for another alternative. group to bring their battery operated
It wasn’t until the summer ATVs. Outside of the cabin stacked
of 2005 that the spark needed to neatly against the wall was a pile of
reignite the flame was found. While cut and split firewood that could be
searching online for private hunting used to enjoy any warmer weathered
land options in the U.P. Mark found evenings that may occur throughout

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the week. the first week of rifle season.
As wonderful as this sports- On the third day of their trip,
man’s lodge may sound, the 200 Brian sat in one of the box blinds
acres it resided on was even more late in the afternoon. As he dozed
impressive. The current landowner in and out in the warmth of the sun,
took great pride in setting up his grinding out a long all day sit, he
guests for success in attempting to suddenly heard pheasant cackle.
harvest free range Michigan white- The startled Brian jerked upright,
tails. Three small hay fields sat be- and in doing so, was able to catch
hind the cabin. Five acres of finely a glimpse of movement through
manicured clover girdled the wood- the underbrush in the cedar swamp.
line. The Bark River ran through Having harvested many deer from
the property, which provided many this blind over the past decade, he
acres of thick cattails and cedar positioned his rifle out the window,
swamp bedding for the deer herd. pointing down a lane the deer would
To ensure that his campers would likely saunter through. As a strict
be able to find all six enclosed box buck hunter, Brian noticed that this
blinds in the dark, the landowner deer was much larger than most of
cleared lanes with a chainsaw from the deer previously harvested here.
the cabin to each one. Each of the Peering through the scope at 75
paths that navigated the dense river yards, he was able to make out four
bottoms was wide enough to drive points on both sides. Soon after, the
Mark’s three-wheeler through. rifle cracked, dropping the group’s
This allowed for hanging multiple first ever eight-point right in its
treestands on the first day of tracks. Throughout the course of
arrival without issue. One year, the week, Doug would shoot a wide Another successful week in the U.P. for Mark, Doug, Brian and Jerry.
Mark, Brian, and Doug hunted four-point without brow tines as
during the muzzleloader season. well as two additional does. Mark and memories with your family and you have taken. When your hunting
There was so much snow that walk- too would add to the buck pole, friends wherever you hunt. And if traditions are founded upon the rela-
ing to the stands would be almost harvesting a nice six-point and two you know where you came from, tionships made and your increasing
impossible. Unbeknownst to them, does as well, his first deer in the you can appreciate each and every love and passion for the outdoors,
prior to their arrival, landowner took U.P. in over twenty years. moment in the woods, regardless it’s impossible to be going wrong
his snowmobile through the trails, Although harvesting a large of antler size or the number of deer direction.n
packing down all the walking paths. eight point was a climax for Mark,
Such hospitality cannot be over- Doug and Brian, the group readily
stated! admits that their hunts are not mea-
For the first eleven years of sured by the size of the deer they
hunting there, the group actively shoot. It’s about the camaraderie;
monitored trail cameras located that’s what memories are made of.
over the major deer trails. These Each deer harvested, whether it be
efforts greatly helped them harvest a doe, spike, or a large eight-point
many does and smaller bucks over buck, provides an endless supply of
the course of time, but also allowed stories and excitement that will last
them to pinpoint larger deer move- for years to come. With each and
ment. Due to the thickness of the every moment shared in the field,
swamp, the bucks would only travel standing over a six-point buck with
outside the sanctuary during the rut, your brother never gets old. That’s
which Mark, Doug, and Brian were what hunting traditions are all about.
never able to time their trips accord- Like Mark, Doug and Brian, you
ingly with. In 2017, however, the may not know where you are hunt-
three hunters would be able to put ing on any given year, but you do
their prior knowledge to the test as know where you’ve come from. You
they booked their hunting trip for carry your deer hunting traditions

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Great Northern Michigan Fishing
• Cabin rentals include boat slip
• Onsite bait and tackle shop

Reservations call: 231-994-2108
How to make a fly rod work for you
By William T. Mangan (FFI) Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Part II:
# 2 Essential Casting Arc

ot only do I teach fly casting
here in Michigan, I also teach
fly casting schools out West,
each year. Several times a year I teach
with other Fly Fishing International
(FFI) instructors, from the United
States and other countries, quite often
having met them for the first time
just prior to instructing. One aspect
of the FFI I particularly like is that
the instructors use basically the same
methods and techniques to instruct, as
a result, students are able to compre-
hend the instruction and benefit from
Here are a few terms you should
familiarize yourself with. Author demonstrating shor t line/shor t casting arc, long line/long casting arc.
• Casting Arc: Rod angle created
by the rod butt as it is rotated during • Drift (translation): Hand transla- out passing the RSP. Fig. 1.
the cast, from RSP to RSP, with the tion during the pause in the direction The crisper the stop the tighter the In simplest terms remember; if
rod butt as the pivotal point. of the current cast. loop, this applies for both the forward you’re casting a narrow candy cane
• Translation: The piston like back • Rod Straight Position (RSP): and back cast. or V-shaped loop, the casting arc (rod
and forth motion during the cast. The location of the rod at the begin- The casting arc must accommo- butt angle from RSP to RSP) is correct
• Rotation: Rod angle change dur- ning and end of a casting arc when the date the rod bend, the deeper the rod for the amount of fly line, and ac-
ing the casting stroke, bending of the rod is straight (unloaded). bend the wider the casting arc must celeration (speed), in which you are
wrist, elbow or body. • Follow through: It is a second, be. Several things affect the rod bend. currently casting the line, the rod tip
• Casting Stroke: Total distance separate motion of the rod and casting The fly line has weight, therefore the will be traveling near a straight line
the rod tip travels during the cast. arm (without power) which follows more line you are casting outside the path (SLP).
• Total Casting Stroke: casting arc, the complete stop at the end of the rod tip, the more the rod will load If your loops are wide or open, the
translation and rotation combined. forward casting stroke. (bend). The faster you cast, the more rod tip is traveling in a convex (dome)
• Trajectory: Upward or down- • Turnover Point: The point at the rod will load. Also the weight of shape. The casting arc must be nar-
ward slanting direction of the casting which the rod stops, reversing its bend the line affects the rod bend. Take for rowed, (rod butt angle RSP to RSP),
plane, relative to the surface (water, from one direction to the other, and example a #5 weight fly rod with a think cast a smaller piece of pie!
grass etc.) during a casting stroke i.e. converts energy of the bent rod to the #5 weight fly line. The #5 weight line Most often, especially with begin-
casting high on the back cast and low line. has less weight/mass than a #6 weight ners, wide loops are caused by too
on the forward cast. The casting arc is the piece of pie line. All things being equal, line much wrist rotation. Typically there
• Tracking: The path the rod tip or V-shaped angle of the rod, specifi- speed and length of fly line outside should be no more than 20 percent of
travels (with good tracking the tip cally the rod butt, as it travels from the rod tip, with the same fly rod, now wrist rotation used. If you are using
travels in a straight trajectory, not wa- RSP to RSP, which are the start and oversized with a #6 weight line the too much wrist rotation, try increasing
vering side to side or up and down. stop positions of the cast. Note: At rod will load more, therefore the cast- the casting stroke length. By increas-
• Creep: Rod rotation during the the end of a casting arc the rod must ing arc must be widened with the #6 ing the casting stroke length, while
pause in the direction of the next cast. be stopped, which starts forming the weight line. maintaining the same casting arc, the
Allowing the fly line to move forward loop, the fly will go in the direction The shorter the amount of line you rod tip will travel farther, which will
while line is still extending on the that the fly rod tip was stopped. On are casting outside the rod tip, the nar- better accommodate the rod bend, get-
cast. the crisp stop the bent rod will unload, rower or shorter the casting arc must ting the rod tip to travel closer to an
• Drift (rotation): Rod rotation rod tip straightens to RSP, the tip be. The longer the amount of line SLP. Remember you can create rota-
during the pause in the direction of the counter flexes past the turning point, you are casting outside the rod tip, the tion with your arm and body instead
current cast. continuing with follow through with- wider or longer the casting arc. See of your wrist, this makes it less likely

Author demonstrating three finger wrist rotation with noodle tool.

you will over rotate.
The angle between the rod butt
and your wrist should be approximate-
ly 3 of your finger widths wide. If
you keep this angle you will not rotate
your wrist too much. There are differ-
ent techniques to aide in stopping to
much wrist rotation, like putting the
rod tip inside your sleeve or tying the
wrist to the rod butt etc. The problem
with these techniques, I believe, is that
it restricts the wrist to much.
If you’re having a wrist rotation
issue try my favorite technique: Pick
up a kids swimming noodle and cut
off about a 4 inch long section, then
trim 2 sides of the noodle section so Author demonstrating drift and follow through.
that the total width is approximately
3 of your finger widths wide. Now Tailing loops are caused from an now been shortened, there is now too forward cast, to eliminate any slack
cast with the section of noodle slightly abrupt application of power, some- much mass/weight of line, to properly that may exist in the system prior to
gripped (not a death grip), between where during the casting stroke. One accommodate the rod bend. reaching the critical starting point of
your wrist and rod butt. Keep just of the most common faults for a tail- Remember when the casting arc is the cast arc required for that particular
enough pressure on the noodle section ing loop is creep, and usually occurs too short for the amount of line out- amount of line. Although very uncom-
so that it stays between your wrist on the back cast. Creep, as already side the rod tip, the rod will load too mon, creep can occur with the forward
and rod butt, without falling out, if stated, is rod rotation during the pause much, causing the rod tip to travel in a cast, easily fixed with follow through.
it falls you opened your wrist up too in the direction of the next cast. For concave path, dipping below a straight See Fig. 3.
much. When applying the “crisp example, on the back cast instead line path, causing a tailing loop. There are several other causes and
stop,” slightly tighten your wrist on of stopping the rod at RSP, holding A good fix for creep, is drift, and fixes for a Tailing Loop, which will be
the noodle. This is the first go-to it there and pausing (waiting for the most good casters drift. After the covered in the final part of this series.
technique I use when students have line to straighten) the caster slowly “crisp rod stop,” move (drift) the rod See you with the next Essential,
a wrist rotation issue and it works. moves, creeps the rod forward, then back, in the direction of the forming enjoy, and tight lines!

Practice with the noodle section # until stops and waits. The farther the rod loop, which in reality lengthens the Bill is the owner/operator of
angle, between SELLING
rod butt and wrist, TRACTOR
creeps forward, HAS
the more slack that casting arc necessary for the particular Mangan’s Cast a Fly, an FFI Certi-
becomes second nature. Fig. 2. is introduced, and the shorter the re- amount of line being thrown. The fied Fly Casting Instructor and
If your loops are tailing, then you maining casting arc will be. Because extra length of the cast gives you a Michigan DNR Certified Fly Fish-

must widen the angle of your casting of creeping the distance needed for buffer zone by allowing more dis- ing Guide. Please check out his web-
arc (rod butt angle from RSP to RSP). completing the proper casting arc has tance of translation travel time on the site: www.manganscastafly.comn

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y buddy Jack Duffy unsurpassed. I tied on a favorite nymph and set my use the tactic in deep slow moving holes without and you get to witness the savage attack up close.
and I could hardly strike indicator about three feet, so the black fly disturbing skittish fish. Floats drift naturally with If your goal is to catch a big brookie this spring, ya
contain our excitement would linger just off bottom. Occasionally I would the current and provide a realistic presentation better find a source for skein.
as we slipped past tug the offering upstream, and then let it sit in the drawing big trout from shadowy lairs. They have The trick is to get some skein, cut it into bite
swirling holes full of current in anticipation of a solid strike. Jack was an insect profile with meal appeal and trout attack size pieces and roll the bait in 20 Mule Team Borax
trout. I begged Jack to using a similar presentation and soon we were both them like no other. powder soap. The Borax cures the skein, tightens
stop and allow me a hooking into dandy stream trout. I like to walk upstream to likely trout hideouts. the membrane and makes it easier to handle. I
few casts. He insisted that we continue to a honey I had a solid strike and when I set the hook my However, I prefer to fish floats by casting side keep king eggs caught in August and put them in a
hole in search of a huge brown trout with a mas- rod bent double and we could see a large torpedo stream and allow the offering to drift with the cur- Foodsaver plastic bag, suck the air out and freeze.
sive white tipped kype nicknamed “Booger Nose” shaped behemoth splash the surface. “That’s him, rent downstream. This means standing upstream Come opener I thaw the skein, cut with scissors
by Grayling natives. I thought he had completely you hooked Booger Nose!” Jack yelled. The 36- from trout and I learned to avoid wading while and sprinkle with Borax. Hey, cut skein also works
lost his mind and we had no chance of hooking the inch long finned submarine made a couple rod wearing bright clothing that can spook wary trout. for brown trout, catfish and just about any fish that
legendary brown trout on opening day. I pounding head shakes, turned and with a Sure, in larger rivers you can wade like crazy but swims. Try it!
was dead wrong! single sweep of his large tail ripped line off in most Michigan trout streams highlighted by Like many trout chasers I grew up in Michi-
We were fishing the AuSable River my fly reel and dashed into the shadows clear relatively shallow water I found you gotta go gan’s North Country fishing trout on a daily basis.
near Grayling where it intersected with the of a fallen cedar tree with sunken roots. I stealthy with your approach. Back in the 60s I drove a Volkswagen Bug down
Kid’s Stream that flowed from the DNR could feel my line rubbing on submerged You really have to scale down your gear for sand trails and had miles of river all to myself. I be-
trout hatchery. Several monster trout were branches, then it tightened and with a vio- fishing micro jigs in creeks. For small streams and came friends with trout club members and enjoyed
released by hatchery workers and the big lent tug the monofilament leader snapped. I creeks, I like a 6 ft. light action rod with fast action fresh fried trout cooked crispy served with wine in
brutes would roam from the trout rearing felt sick, heartbroken that I lost the trophy tip and reel spool filled with 8 lb. test. I use a small a log cabin on the banks of the mighty AuSable.
facility to the main branch of the Au- fish but we continued fishing and soon had ant size black barrel swivel made by Blackbird set The smell of cedar and pine enhanced the wilder-
Sable. It is rugged terrain along the mighty our limit of feisty spring trout. However, 18 inches above the jig. The split shot size you use ness environment where I learned the importance of

By Kenny Darwin
AuSable lined with brush and doing battle with a record is determined by the current; for most creeks I like opening day of trout season.
endless cedar swamps. But the book brown trout burned deep one shot or a couple BB shot above the swivel. I Trout streams are awesome places for family,
fish friendly crystal clear wa- into my memory. Just the sight like to use fluorocarbon Seaguar line for leader friends and kids, young or old. Most are closed dur-
ter is ideal trout habitat where the hatchery raised of his huge white maw, large black spots and wide material. ing winter but come the last Saturday in April they
models lived to monumental size. open eyes was an exhilarating trout fishing op- Back in those days when I chased big trout on come to life as fishermen scurry to test the waters.
Three canoes had already passed the loca- portunity that happens very seldom. Every winter I the AuSable near Grayling I would roll creek rocks The good news is that streams and rivers will soon
tion where Jack knew the big brown was hiding. As dream about the monster brown, the rushing water and catch hellgrammites. They bite the heck out of be opening and they are filled with trout. There is
skeptical as I was about Jack’s fishing hole, I knew babbling over rocks and sand and the sweet aroma you but if you toss them into trout water you bet- no better time than now to plan a trip. I guarantee
his instincts to catch record stream brown trout are of aquatic life on a Michigan trout stream and I ter hang on to your rod. Duffy and I would spend you won’t be disappointed.n
can’t wait for opener. daylight catching hellgrammites and when the sun
The huge brown was eventually caught by a went down we would position above large holes
Grayling kid and it made the cover of the local and drift the black demons into deep pools. Big
newspaper announcing the trophy catch which river browns would leave the comfort of undercut
weighed over 18 pounds. Even though many people banks and snag infested holes and slide into feeding
catch trout on the AuSable, the colossal trout was position above holes and in deep runs. We would
rare, legendary and I was fortunate to have a first- roll the hellgrammites across the sand bottom and
hand encounter with the monster. Since then I’ve feeding trout absolutely slam this offering. I think
had many trout outings but the exciting experience Rainbow trout are known for their beauty and acrobatic fighting ability. Rainbows can be caught they hit the crustaceans hard as heck because they
hooked me on trout opener fishing. This is also the on a variety of flies, lures and bait. Author photos don’t want to get pinched.
case for many Michigan trout chasers. The lucky My grandparents were caretakers on the Mc-
few do battle in close quarters with a behemoth or luck when warm spring rain brings oxygen, nitro- trout streams wearing polarized sunglasses to Carther ranch found on the banks of the AuSable
smart stream fish that simply kicks butt and serves gen and warming high water. pinpoint deep holes and fish holding structure like River northwest of Grayling and when I was a kid
up an everlasting bitter pill of humiliation. Most On many Michigan streams you will need to re- fallen trees, boulders, logs and more. I’d sneak side- I went bonkers over brook trout. I grew up on Sand
importantly the battle automatically kicks in an lease undersized trout or fish that are over 15 inches stream or upstream from holes and bottom bounce Hill Lake found near Hartwick Pines State Park
adrenaline rush leaving you shaking and kindles long. Check the Michigan Fishing Digest for lively worms in the current. The tactic was deadly with the AuSable River in our back yard. I learned
everlasting sweet memories that keep you coming regulations, size limits, daily possession limit and when I’d place a couple #7 split shot two-foot how to catch dainty, beautiful trout on a fly rod
back on opener for more. specialized rules regarding the water you intend above an Eagle claw style 181 size #8 hook. But before I was a teen. I tried every fly, bait and stream
Opening day has a strong Michigan tradition to fish. If the trout are snapping it is not unusual to once in a while I’d see larger fish that ignored my fishing tactic to put brookies in my creel. But it
and many trout clubs will come alive long before land plenty in a single outing. presentation. Eventually I made the move to casting wasn’t until I learned how to catch Great Lakes
opener. There will be card playing among members, Trout bite a variety of flies, lures and bait come small spinners like Panther Martin, Mepp’s and trout and salmon that I hit on the hottest brookie
plenty of wild game dinners, cold drinks and expen- opener. Dry fly fishermen may have to really work Rooster Tails. The switch to spinners brought fewer treat going, cut spawn.
sive liquor as trout anglers rally for opening day. to get a take but if they switch to sinking midges, trout but my overall size increased. You know brookies are robust biters and will
Most camping sites are full and off road vehicles nymphs or scuds their hook-up rate will definitely To make a long story short, I began catch- eagerly take a spinner, fly and any bait. But if you
will pound winding sand trails to reach distant increase. ing steelhead and found the deadliest tactic was take a quarter-size chunk of fresh salmon or steel-
trout hot spots. Trout opener has a strong following As a kid I spent countless hours fishing for trout float fishing using a small micro jig tipped with a head roe and put it on a hook and cast it gently
and thousands of wader clad anglers take to local on the Cedar River near Gladwin. I spent just about wax worm. So, I began throwing jigs for stream into a brookie stream you will catch trout like you
streams regardless of rain, wind, fishing pressure or every weekend chasing local browns and rainbows trout and had fantastic success on Michigan trout never dreamed possible. My strategy was to use a
high water. Most venture afield simply because it is and called the stream home. Man, I dreamed about streams. I’d use 1/80 and 1/100-ounce models on couple #4 split shot 19 inches above a single hook
the opener. those beautiful trout all winter and when opener creeks and 1/60-ounce size jigs on slightly larger and hold the egg cluster at the head of holes choked
At times the fishing conditions are ideal and arrived I wouldn’t sleep the night before and I’d be streams. While black and white are the hottest with brush, snags and undercut banks. Just hold
catches are impressive. Everyone is geeked to be on the water before daylight. I learned a lot about colors going I hand painted some models green or cut spawn in the current and watch it milk into
the first angler to cast to receptive fish that have trout while plying the swift currents of the Cedar, brown and matched up feathers from wood duck or the stream and send a strong chemical message to
not seen a hook since last September. Many times Sugar, AuSable, Pere Marquette and East Branch hen mallard. The drab colors imitate nymphs and trout holding downstream. Brookies go bonkers for
Camping along trout waters is an ideal way virgin trout provide unmatched action and slam of the AuGres. On small streams I hammered fish small crustaceans. the fishy odor and will slip from cover and dash Warm spring weather with bright sun and blue
to fully enjoy Michigan’s great outdoors, get offerings but cold weather, snow or frost can put a using garden worms dug fresh from grandma’s I’d drift the small jigs below a float and the upstream and pounce on the offering. Sometimes skies can bring crowds of anxious fishermen
away from modern living and catch wild trout. damper on hot bites. Over the years I’ve had best chicken coop. My strategy was simple, stalk along small profile did not spook wary trout and I could two or three trout will race for the egg cluster treat to Michigan’s trout streams on opening day.
y buddy Jack Duffy unsurpassed. I tied on a favorite nymph and set my use the tactic in deep slow moving holes without and you get to witness the savage attack up close.
and I could hardly strike indicator about three feet, so the black fly disturbing skittish fish. Floats drift naturally with If your goal is to catch a big brookie this spring, ya
contain our excitement would linger just off bottom. Occasionally I would the current and provide a realistic presentation better find a source for skein.
as we slipped past tug the offering upstream, and then let it sit in the drawing big trout from shadowy lairs. They have The trick is to get some skein, cut it into bite
swirling holes full of current in anticipation of a solid strike. Jack was an insect profile with meal appeal and trout attack size pieces and roll the bait in 20 Mule Team Borax
trout. I begged Jack to using a similar presentation and soon we were both them like no other. powder soap. The Borax cures the skein, tightens
stop and allow me a hooking into dandy stream trout. I like to walk upstream to likely trout hideouts. the membrane and makes it easier to handle. I
few casts. He insisted that we continue to a honey I had a solid strike and when I set the hook my However, I prefer to fish floats by casting side keep king eggs caught in August and put them in a
hole in search of a huge brown trout with a mas- rod bent double and we could see a large torpedo stream and allow the offering to drift with the cur- Foodsaver plastic bag, suck the air out and freeze.
sive white tipped kype nicknamed “Booger Nose” shaped behemoth splash the surface. “That’s him, rent downstream. This means standing upstream Come opener I thaw the skein, cut with scissors
by Grayling natives. I thought he had completely you hooked Booger Nose!” Jack yelled. The 36- from trout and I learned to avoid wading while and sprinkle with Borax. Hey, cut skein also works
lost his mind and we had no chance of hooking the inch long finned submarine made a couple rod wearing bright clothing that can spook wary trout. for brown trout, catfish and just about any fish that
legendary brown trout on opening day. I pounding head shakes, turned and with a Sure, in larger rivers you can wade like crazy but swims. Try it!
was dead wrong! single sweep of his large tail ripped line off in most Michigan trout streams highlighted by Like many trout chasers I grew up in Michi-
We were fishing the AuSable River my fly reel and dashed into the shadows clear relatively shallow water I found you gotta go gan’s North Country fishing trout on a daily basis.
near Grayling where it intersected with the of a fallen cedar tree with sunken roots. I stealthy with your approach. Back in the 60s I drove a Volkswagen Bug down
Kid’s Stream that flowed from the DNR could feel my line rubbing on submerged You really have to scale down your gear for sand trails and had miles of river all to myself. I be-
trout hatchery. Several monster trout were branches, then it tightened and with a vio- fishing micro jigs in creeks. For small streams and came friends with trout club members and enjoyed
released by hatchery workers and the big lent tug the monofilament leader snapped. I creeks, I like a 6 ft. light action rod with fast action fresh fried trout cooked crispy served with wine in
brutes would roam from the trout rearing felt sick, heartbroken that I lost the trophy tip and reel spool filled with 8 lb. test. I use a small a log cabin on the banks of the mighty AuSable.
facility to the main branch of the Au- fish but we continued fishing and soon had ant size black barrel swivel made by Blackbird set The smell of cedar and pine enhanced the wilder-
Sable. It is rugged terrain along the mighty our limit of feisty spring trout. However, 18 inches above the jig. The split shot size you use ness environment where I learned the importance of

By Kenny Darwin
AuSable lined with brush and doing battle with a record is determined by the current; for most creeks I like opening day of trout season.
endless cedar swamps. But the book brown trout burned deep one shot or a couple BB shot above the swivel. I Trout streams are awesome places for family,
fish friendly crystal clear wa- into my memory. Just the sight like to use fluorocarbon Seaguar line for leader friends and kids, young or old. Most are closed dur-
ter is ideal trout habitat where the hatchery raised of his huge white maw, large black spots and wide material. ing winter but come the last Saturday in April they
models lived to monumental size. open eyes was an exhilarating trout fishing op- Back in those days when I chased big trout on come to life as fishermen scurry to test the waters.
Three canoes had already passed the loca- portunity that happens very seldom. Every winter I the AuSable near Grayling I would roll creek rocks The good news is that streams and rivers will soon
tion where Jack knew the big brown was hiding. As dream about the monster brown, the rushing water and catch hellgrammites. They bite the heck out of be opening and they are filled with trout. There is
skeptical as I was about Jack’s fishing hole, I knew babbling over rocks and sand and the sweet aroma you but if you toss them into trout water you bet- no better time than now to plan a trip. I guarantee
his instincts to catch record stream brown trout are of aquatic life on a Michigan trout stream and I ter hang on to your rod. Duffy and I would spend you won’t be disappointed.n
can’t wait for opener. daylight catching hellgrammites and when the sun
The huge brown was eventually caught by a went down we would position above large holes
Grayling kid and it made the cover of the local and drift the black demons into deep pools. Big
newspaper announcing the trophy catch which river browns would leave the comfort of undercut
weighed over 18 pounds. Even though many people banks and snag infested holes and slide into feeding
catch trout on the AuSable, the colossal trout was position above holes and in deep runs. We would
rare, legendary and I was fortunate to have a first- roll the hellgrammites across the sand bottom and
hand encounter with the monster. Since then I’ve feeding trout absolutely slam this offering. I think
had many trout outings but the exciting experience Rainbow trout are known for their beauty and acrobatic fighting ability. Rainbows can be caught they hit the crustaceans hard as heck because they
hooked me on trout opener fishing. This is also the on a variety of flies, lures and bait. Author photos don’t want to get pinched.
case for many Michigan trout chasers. The lucky My grandparents were caretakers on the Mc-
few do battle in close quarters with a behemoth or luck when warm spring rain brings oxygen, nitro- trout streams wearing polarized sunglasses to Carther ranch found on the banks of the AuSable
smart stream fish that simply kicks butt and serves gen and warming high water. pinpoint deep holes and fish holding structure like River northwest of Grayling and when I was a kid
up an everlasting bitter pill of humiliation. Most On many Michigan streams you will need to re- fallen trees, boulders, logs and more. I’d sneak side- I went bonkers over brook trout. I grew up on Sand
importantly the battle automatically kicks in an lease undersized trout or fish that are over 15 inches stream or upstream from holes and bottom bounce Hill Lake found near Hartwick Pines State Park
adrenaline rush leaving you shaking and kindles long. Check the Michigan Fishing Digest for lively worms in the current. The tactic was deadly with the AuSable River in our back yard. I learned
everlasting sweet memories that keep you coming regulations, size limits, daily possession limit and when I’d place a couple #7 split shot two-foot how to catch dainty, beautiful trout on a fly rod
back on opener for more. specialized rules regarding the water you intend above an Eagle claw style 181 size #8 hook. But before I was a teen. I tried every fly, bait and stream
Opening day has a strong Michigan tradition to fish. If the trout are snapping it is not unusual to once in a while I’d see larger fish that ignored my fishing tactic to put brookies in my creel. But it
and many trout clubs will come alive long before land plenty in a single outing. presentation. Eventually I made the move to casting wasn’t until I learned how to catch Great Lakes
opener. There will be card playing among members, Trout bite a variety of flies, lures and bait come small spinners like Panther Martin, Mepp’s and trout and salmon that I hit on the hottest brookie
plenty of wild game dinners, cold drinks and expen- opener. Dry fly fishermen may have to really work Rooster Tails. The switch to spinners brought fewer treat going, cut spawn.
sive liquor as trout anglers rally for opening day. to get a take but if they switch to sinking midges, trout but my overall size increased. You know brookies are robust biters and will
Most camping sites are full and off road vehicles nymphs or scuds their hook-up rate will definitely To make a long story short, I began catch- eagerly take a spinner, fly and any bait. But if you
will pound winding sand trails to reach distant increase. ing steelhead and found the deadliest tactic was take a quarter-size chunk of fresh salmon or steel-
trout hot spots. Trout opener has a strong following As a kid I spent countless hours fishing for trout float fishing using a small micro jig tipped with a head roe and put it on a hook and cast it gently
and thousands of wader clad anglers take to local on the Cedar River near Gladwin. I spent just about wax worm. So, I began throwing jigs for stream into a brookie stream you will catch trout like you
streams regardless of rain, wind, fishing pressure or every weekend chasing local browns and rainbows trout and had fantastic success on Michigan trout never dreamed possible. My strategy was to use a
high water. Most venture afield simply because it is and called the stream home. Man, I dreamed about streams. I’d use 1/80 and 1/100-ounce models on couple #4 split shot 19 inches above a single hook
the opener. those beautiful trout all winter and when opener creeks and 1/60-ounce size jigs on slightly larger and hold the egg cluster at the head of holes choked
At times the fishing conditions are ideal and arrived I wouldn’t sleep the night before and I’d be streams. While black and white are the hottest with brush, snags and undercut banks. Just hold
catches are impressive. Everyone is geeked to be on the water before daylight. I learned a lot about colors going I hand painted some models green or cut spawn in the current and watch it milk into
the first angler to cast to receptive fish that have trout while plying the swift currents of the Cedar, brown and matched up feathers from wood duck or the stream and send a strong chemical message to
not seen a hook since last September. Many times Sugar, AuSable, Pere Marquette and East Branch hen mallard. The drab colors imitate nymphs and trout holding downstream. Brookies go bonkers for
Camping along trout waters is an ideal way virgin trout provide unmatched action and slam of the AuGres. On small streams I hammered fish small crustaceans. the fishy odor and will slip from cover and dash Warm spring weather with bright sun and blue
to fully enjoy Michigan’s great outdoors, get offerings but cold weather, snow or frost can put a using garden worms dug fresh from grandma’s I’d drift the small jigs below a float and the upstream and pounce on the offering. Sometimes skies can bring crowds of anxious fishermen
away from modern living and catch wild trout. damper on hot bites. Over the years I’ve had best chicken coop. My strategy was simple, stalk along small profile did not spook wary trout and I could two or three trout will race for the egg cluster treat to Michigan’s trout streams on opening day.
GUN CHAT: Winchester 97
ears ago there was a 97s for years. Then, a friend found a
small sporting goods 16 gauge, cleaned it up, and sold it,
store in a neighboring before I knew it was on the mar-
town. I bought fishing ket. I like the 16 gauge and would
tackle and a sheath have that 97 today if I’d known he
knife there. What was moving it. Later, the same guy
brought me into the place most was found a short-barreled 97 “guard
the used gun rack. gun” and we shot it in the yard of
One of the guns that fascinated his farmhouse. That 97 had been
me was a Martini-action single shot used by guards at a local powder
.22 target rifle. I was shooting on the company years earlier. It looked im-
JROTC rifle team then and pressive and still shot well.
wondered how the British But it was collectable and One of John Moses Browning’s designs, the Winchester 97 is harder
rifle would do against the too pricey for me. to find than it used to be. Author photo
Remington 37 and Win- I’d shot a little Cowboy chester 97 12 GA FULL” on the left
here, I haven’t managed to shoot my
chester 52 .22 bolt rifles we Action and knew that 97s side. On the right are MADE IN
97 yet. In the long run, it may not be
used. Unfortunately, I was were approved for the shot- USA, WINCHESTER REPEATING
shot much anyway. I bought it just
too broke to find out. gun stages of the game. I ARMS CO. NEW HAVEN CONN
because I’ve wanted one for years.
The other gun I looked always thought that I might and patent dates that run from 1890
I do plan to shoot it in practice a bit
at was a Winchester 97 find an old 97 cheap, have to 1910. That indicates that the 97
and then take it out for grouse once
pump shotgun. The the barrel shortened,
old hammer gun was
designed by John
By Lee Arten and shoot more
matches. I never
or twice. I might also use it as a foul
weather gun for grouse or deer.
was made in 1910, or afterward.
Except for the plastic “upgrade”
At some point the 97s stock had on the grip and the rubber recoil
Moses Browning. It predated his seemed to have the money when a pad, the gun is steel and walnut
been shortened and a recoil pad was
Model 12 pump by 15 years but the suitable gun was up for sale. throughout. The barrel is 21 and a
installed. Someone also “custom-
97 was made, alongside the Model Then, late last year, a 97 ap-
ized” it with a white plastic cap on half inches long so it may have been
12, until the 1950s. The 97 in the peared at a local pawn shop. The
the pistol grip. The gun shows finish cut down. That probably helped
rack was a long-barreled duck, or price was right, so I put some
wear and evidence of some rough make it less expensive than others
pheasant, gun. I couldn’t afford it money down in December and paid
use. The bore is in good shape, how- seen in recent years.
either. the gun off in February, 2018. Be-
ever. The barrel is marked “Win- I started deer and small game
After the store closed I saw few cause of cold and the depth of snow
hunting with a single barrel shotgun
with a hammer. After a while I got
Open Mon thru Fri good at cocking the hammer as the
9am-7pm • Sat 9am-6pm stock moved toward my shoulder.
Sun 9am-4pm The 97 will need to be handled
1380 N. Cedar the same way when I hunt with it.
(517) 699-0597 As soon as I can in the spring I
(½ Mile South of Holt, 127 to
Licensed Shooting Preserve intend to pattern the shotgun with a
Cedar St. exit, North 2 Miles) Mayville, MI variety of birdshot loads. I have 12
Over 2,000 Guns in Stock (989) 843-6576 gauge buckshot and slugs and will
try it with them too.
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BOAT SMART: Going Fishing?
y the time you read could even be totally unlawful.
this issue, March will If you are taking your own boat
be finishing up and and have not attempted catching the
April will be quickly big ones, take along a sturdy net. If
approaching. The mes- you intend to fish in salt water, you
sages were out there will need good rinse equipment to
– don’t go out on the ice, it’s just too flush your motor. You will want to
risky. The report of guys abandon- be sure to wash down your rods and
ing their ice shanty and ATV after your trailer. Salt water can ruin just
breaking through the ice near Sebe- about any fishing equipment and
waing probably convinced dissolve your trailer, if it’s a
everyone it was time to fresh-water brand, in a very
hang it up. Huron County short time.
Sheriff Kelly Hanson’s It can be tough to deter-
comment after he flew over mine all you may need to
the popular ice fishing area take. One thing to con-
was, “A person to go out sider if you haul your own
there right now is really boat is road service. Extra
pushing the envelope.” No, tools and trailer parts are a These markers guide you along what is known as “the bowling al-
I’m not the Sheriff’s cam- good idea, perhaps even a ley,” leading to the ocean from one of the many tributaries. Be very
By Capt. Fred Davis
paign manager, spare tire for mindful of each aid as you cruise along. Capt. Fred Davis photo
(I quoted him the trailer. A
in last month’s couple cans of rals. When you chose one, check to If you travel across a border to
article also). I just appreciate that Fix-A-Flat may come in handy and be certain they are licensed. Make fish, by land or trolling by water,
he looks out for everyone’s safety takes little room. Be sure to check sure they have all the required safety once again, do your homework. You
on the waterways. your first-aid box to be sure it is equipment including good PFDs will want to abide by that country’s
It’s still early, however, to well stocked. aboard. If you’re in a southern state, laws which may be different. Check
launch your boat and get on the big Chartering may present the best cover up with long sleeves and a out how to obtain emergency help if
water so maybe you should head option because everything is fur- hat to avoid sunburn. You may need required, that may differ also.
south for a fishing vacation. You nished. Look up the charter busi- something extra to keep you cool or Most of all have a great time and
will, however, need to do your ness online or ask around for refer- shed water depending on conditions. hope you haul in some big ones!n
homework. Are you taking your
boat or will you rent one? Perhaps
you will book a charter boat or plan
on visiting a friend who has a boat.
It’s a good idea to study the laws
and rules for the area you plan to
visit before you go. In some areas
if you fish on a charter boat, you do
not need a license. You will want
to know about what limits apply to • Adjustable
the various fish you will seek; size • Locking
and numbers. There could also be • Floats
restrictions on bait and tackle to be • Quick Release
used. Available in over
Fishing in an area totally un- 700 stores
known can present many variables
such as; can you use dip nets or drag
nets for shrimping. On some bodies
of water, spear guns are prohibited
at certain times of the year and 905-807-3221

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On Select Weekends! RINGNECKS - Dogs & guides available.
See Web For Rates and Dates Excellent cover. Full and half day hunts. No membership
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Walkiewicz Farms 517-524-8294
6115 Chapin Road • Deford, Michigan 48729 FIELD HUNTS AND
Conservation, hunting groups,
DNR discuss Wildlife Recovery
Meeting with Congresswoman Dingell takes place at the Detroit Zoo...

n a rainy Friday, conservation to keep species off the
February 23, Con- (endangered) list, but it also allows
gresswoman Debbie for some reactive conservation,”
Dingell (MI-12) met said Amy DeRosier, Wildlife Action
with leaders of con- Plan Coordinator for the Michigan
servation and hunt- Department of Natural Resources
ing organizations and key staff with (DNR). “These plans are really
the Michigan Department of Natural developed and ready to hit the road
Resources at the Detroit Zoo, joined running.”
by members of the zoo’s conserva- After a round of introductions
tion staff, to discuss the bipartisan from each participant, much of the
Recovering America’s Wildlife discussion turned to how the Re-
Act, which Dingell co-sponsored covering America’s Wildlife Act
with Republican Congressman Jeff can leverage sportsmen’s dollars to
Fortenberry (NE-01) in December. improve both game and nongame
Congresswoman Dingell and the habitat.
group toured the rehabilitated bald “The sporting community – at
eagle exhibit, directly across from least so far as I can speak for them
the bison exhibit – perhaps Amer- – is really enthusiastic about the
ica’s most iconic wildlife species, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.
and two of its greatest successes When we look at all the different
in saving species from extinction. interrelationships between game
After the short tour, the participants and sportfish species and nongame
sat down for a round table wildlife, you know we
discussion about the legisla- don’t manage habitats Left-right: Amy DeRosier (DNR), Brent Rudolph (Ruffed Grouse So-
tion. in silos and they aren’t ciety), Mike Shriberg (National Wildlife Federation), Congresswoman
“More than a third compartmentalized spaces. Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Dr. Paul Buzzard (Detroit Zoo).
of species are at risk of These are places that are
extinction right now, so we being used and utilized by they end up benefitting from, lots of life Act received an introductory
have a crisis,” said Mike both game and nongame other wildlife have benefitted from hearing in the House Committee on
Shriberg, executive direc- species,” said Dan Eich- and been recovered because of that Natural Resources - Public Lands
tor of the National Wildlife inger, executive director of funding mechanism and because of Subcommittee on February 15.
Federation Michigan that work. But there’s still far more While no vote was held on the bill
Great Lakes
Regional By Drew YoungeDyke United Con-
work that needs to be done, which
is testified by the fact that we have
that day, the roundtable participants
were optimistic about the opportu-
Office. Clubs. these Wildlife Action Plans.” nity provided by the legislation.
“This bill is so important because I “Historically, conservation Michigan has used the limited “The bill is very exciting,” said
think it’s the message we need: bold funding – at least in the state of funding it’s had for its Wildlife Ac- DeRosier. “I think that there’s a
action.” Michigan and this is generally true tion Plan to work with partner agen- real great opportunity, and there are
“The legislation takes $1.3 bil- across the country – has been born cies and organizations to recover partners that are ready and willing
lion, annually, of existing revenue in primarily by the hunting and fishing species including ospreys and the to help us move forward and really
oil and gas royalties,” said Ding- community through the excise taxes Kirtland’s warbler. take the next big step in conserva-
ell, “and it gives it to the states so on our sporting arms and equipment The Detroit Zoo, for example, tion across the country,”
that they can implement their state through (the Pittman-Robertson worked with the DNR and the U.S. “This is a really nice way to
Wildlife Action Plans. We’re not, at Act) and (the Dingell-Johnson Act), Fish and Wildlife Service on numer- extend the purchasing power of our
the federal level, telling people how but also through our hunting and ous bird projects through the years, sporting license dollars and be able
to spend money, where to spend fishing licenses as well. But even according to Dr. Paul Buzzard, field to bring in a new funding source to
money – the states are already doing though we have these wonderful conservation officer for the Detroit deal with what we all acknowledge
these plans. The states are the clos- 60- and 80-year old legacy funding Zoo. “We were involved with the is a huge backlog of need,” said
est to knowing what’s going on in programs, the demand and the need reintroduction of osprey to southern Eichinger.
their states, what species are endan- for doing wildlife conservation has Michigan and we still work with “The state Wildlife Action Plans
gered, what we need to focus on.” far outpaced the rate of growth in that species on some monitoring and are exciting; they’re there, they’re
Each state has an existing those funding sources,” Eichinger banding efforts. We also work on ready to go, and with the configura-
Wildlife Action Plan which lists continued. the piping plover recovery, which is tion of resources this way, it’s going
its species of greatest conservation “More hunters are aware, but a federally endangered species.” to have major impacts on species
need, and specific steps it plans to sometimes they’re not, about how “We have a demonstrated suc- across the board,” said Shriberg.
take to conserve and recover those much conservation is driven by the cess of working with rare species, That, of course, is if the legisla-
species, In Michigan, this includes investments they make,” said Brent and I’ll use the Kirtland’s warbler as tion receives the momentum it needs
animals like bald eagles, com- Rudolph, conservation policy direc- an example,” said Dan Kennedy, the from additional legislative co-spon-
mon loons, moose, sturgeon, and tor for the Ruffed Grouse Society. DNR’s endangered species coordi- sors to move in Congress.
monarch butterflies which, Dingell “And we will often claim a real nator. “We’ve been able to take that “There’s very little going to
noted, have declined by 90% in the great contribution by doing that, species from the brink of extinction, the Congress that’s bipartisan on
past 20 years. but the fact of the matter is there’s a to now they’re considering de-list- anything, but I think there’s an op-
“Michigan’s Wildlife Ac- mechanism there that collects those ing that species.” portunity to get this through,” said
tion Plan is really about proactive funds and directs them in ways that The Recovering America’s Wild- Dingell.n
(989) 569-3482 /
Oscoda, Michigan 48750
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Fisherman’s Digest...By John Bergsma

Fish the east

side this spring
Alpena’s early season of the fish aren’t suspended and usu-
There are many spring opportu- ally you can keep your lures closer
nities in the Alpena region that you to bottom with this technique.
need to experience if you have never Another world class fishery in
taken advantage of them before. Alpena is the lake trout fishing in
When the walleye season opens on the spring months. Large aggres- With nearly 17
the last Saturday in April, Hubbard sive Lakers prowl the shallow water miles of public
Lake has some great walleye action all along the shoreline and can be access, the
that remains strong until June. The caught as soon as the ice leaves the lower Au Sable
fish are hungry after the spawning harbor and lake. To target them ef- offers some
season and fall victims to crankbaits fectively you should use a combina- of the state’s
tion of downriggers, diver rods, and
trolled after dark in the shallows.
planer boards together. These fish
finest steelhead
Rapalas, Reef Runners, and Smith- fishing!
wick Rogues are just a few of the eagerly take many different styles
baits I have found to be successful of offerings such as spoons, cranks,
in taking limits this time of year. cowbells, and paddles/dodgers with
Usually the fish are found in less spin-and-glos. seem to resist this method. Running opportunity is the Atlantic salmon
than 15 feet of water, but it doesn’t Another deadly combination is deep diving cranks off boards can fishery. This fishery remains strong
take them long to move deeper. If copper/lead-core and a spoon behind produce limits of these hard fighting from ice out until June in the shal-
you aren’t having much luck shal- an inline board. 100-150 feet of fish in the shallow water. Variations lows. These spectacular fighters
low, gradually work out deeper copper or 5-7 color lead-cores are of chrome, chartreuse, and purple can be caught very shallow if you
and keep the lures close to bottom. deadly in the 40-60 feet of water. cranks have caught many of these target them like steelhead. They like
Trolling parallel to the shoreline will Running spoons near bottom re- early spring fish. smaller offerings and a much faster
produce the best results since most sembles an easy meal and they can’t Another phenomenal fishing speed than lake trout. I have caught

with your host

n B e r g sm a
Jo h Now on...
Fox Sports Detroit • Sundays 7am
Visit our website and find out about . . .
• Destinations • Fishing Reports •
• Our Show • Cooks Corner •


The author with a pair of
dandy Lake Erie walleyes.

limits of these fish when trolling a licensed captain to guide you on

smaller spoons high in the water the river. If you are looking to go
column. Keep your baits in the top out with a great local guide, my
15 feet regardless of the depth and friend Gene at Calypso Sportfish-
troll no less than 2.5 mph. ing Charters has served the area for
Some of my favorite baits are over 30 years. For a “Top Notch”
the Flintstone slammer spoons, and trip contact Captain Gene Kirvan,
number 7 and number 9 Rapala 989-739-2313, email calypsochar-
floating minnows. I run a combina- or visit the website
tion of body baits and spoons to see
which offering they prefer that day,
and then switch according to their Lake Erie
mood. These fish are known for Excellent hatch rates from 2014
their incredible fight and excellent and 2015 have produced millions of
table fare, not to mention they are legal-sized fish ranging from 18 to
one of the most highly prized trophy 22 inches that will be available for
fish. If you are looking for a great the catching. Early season ice-out
local guide, contact my friend Steve will start with a majority of the
Hubert at Chum Bucket charters. females spawning around the reef
He’s simply the best in the area. complex in the Western Basin with
Steve’s number is: 989-6574646. the males to follow. Jigging these
reefs early in the season will pro-
Au Sable River duce some very quick limits and a
One of the overlooked trea- lot of fun for those that wish to fish
sures of Northeast Michigan is that way.
the mighty Au Sable River. With Another great way to target the
nearly 17 miles of public access, larger females going to and return-
the lower Au Sable offers some of ing from the spawning grounds on
the state’s finest steelhead fishing. the reefs is to troll. Troll the outer hours on top of the reefs spawning, depending on the depth of the fish
From mid-March through April you range markers (A, B, C & D cans) mostly a night before moving off to will produce a great opportunity to
can experience an adrenaline rush covering water ranging in depth of deeper waters. Here they will rest catch a fish of a lifetime! A lot of
hooking up with a fresh run steelie. 15 to 20 feet. and feed to recover from the spawn anglers fish Ohio where 28 inch-
Hot shotting with plugs to floating Post-spawned females seem before they start their slow trek back plus walleye will be there to catch!
spawn bags, many of these chrome to like to retreat to 20 feet-plus of east. Trolling stick baits such as One of the better captains in the area
beauties can be had. The best way water after spawning. The female Reef Runners, Bandits, Husky Jerks, is Captain Kelly at www.eriegard-
to experience this fishery is to hire walleye typically spends only a few P10’s, and more, both high and low

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urkey season opens for keys in Michigan. The hunters would with both hens and toms announcing the open, they want a safe place. The
Michigan hunters on go out and walk the rustic two-tracks their presence. birds will have been roosted near by,
April 23. In some areas, or hike over the ridges, in the half- About 30 minutes after first light perhaps no more than a few hundred
mostly in the north, the light of evening, using some sort of but before sun-up, the first furious yards from the feeding/strutting area.
season will run shock-gobble call. An owl fluttering was heard as a turkey flew At dawn, they will fly down, get
through May 6, hoot or a tom turkey call was down from the roost. In the next few together and walk directly to the field
with some areas having the used to try to elicit an answer minutes, a dozen more hit the ground or clearing.
season split into two hunts. from a roosted gobbler. If and their get-together talk grew even The hens will feed actively and
Some southern units will there was an answer, the louder. The hunters added their own the gobblers will trail along, strut-
have four hunts, with some hunters crept close, but not calls, giving subtle hen yelps on a ting and showing off but perhaps not
extending to the end of May. too close, looked around the slate call with each being answered feeding at all. If there are any jakes
As usual, the “Guaranteed area carefully to locate some by at least three gobblers. Within 10 (young males) in the group, they will
License Hunt” will be most landmarks and made plans minutes, the first gobbler strutted into also trail along, hoping to get in on
of the month of May, starting to return in the morning. We view, followed by two more. The some mating activity, to no avail.
on the 7th and end-
ing on the 31st with By George Rowe didn’t have hand-
held GPS units then
hunter already had his shotgun braced
on his knees and as the gobbler strut-
They will forego feeding in vain. The
best bet for the hunter, in this situa-
no quota. but that would be a ted into range, he touched the trigger tion, is to get between the roost trees
Many serious hunters will have great tool now, for this hunting. and claimed a fine big bird. and the clearing and begin to call just
done their scouting by now and, hope- Before first light the next day, the as the birds fly down, hoping to attract
fully, have some birds located. There hunters were back at that same spot, The Feeding a tom before the hens gather them
are a number of traditional techniques having carefully moved in to about Strutting Area up. If the birds get together immedi-
for hunting turkeys in the spring. Here 150 yards of the roosted birds before Careful scouting will often locate ately, however, the hunter may lose
are three of the most promising. taking a seat next to a couple of big an area that attracts turkeys every his chance. If the gobbler is following
trees. As the light started to seep into day. It could be a hidden crop field or the hens as they walk to the clearing,
Roosted Birds the woods, the first quiet clucks were perhaps a small meadow surrounded all is lost, at least for the moment. It’s
This was the favorite technique heard from the tree-tops and then a by woods. It will almost always be a very difficult to call a tom away from
used by locals when I hunted in New couple of thunderous gobbles broke clearing of some sort and it is likely to the hens.
York and Pennsylvania, in those years the dawn. Over the next 20 minutes, be well away from the usual haunts of The hunter can still succeed, with
before we had good numbers of tur- turkeys were heard all over the area, man. When turkeys venture out into the application of a little patience. Af-

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ter the birds have fed (and that could
take two hours or more), they will
head back to the woods probably right
drive or walk around to a number of
likely locations and call at each for a
few minutes, to see if you can get a Do buck fawns play an
active role in the rut?
along the same route they used at response. Usually, by mid-morning,
dawn. If the hunter is stationed along the gobblers have already checked out
that route, it might now be possible to the hens in their immediate area and
call a gobbler away from the hens and they will be looking for additional
I have done that a number of times. female companions.
On one occasion, I had my decoy set This situation becomes even more
By John Ozoga

out along the edge of the field when likely in mid-May when the hens are
the birds first came into the field. tending to eggs in their nests. The
They ignored it at the outset but, hens will leave the males after an eer living on the fertile farmlands of the Midwest enjoy
two hours later, as they were headed hour or two and go to their nests. The mild climate, excellent year-round nutrition, and live at low
back to the woods, they spotted the gobblers immediately start looking for densities with minimal social stress. These superb living
decoy and one by one, the gobblers other hens and are really susceptible conditions permit both sexes to exhibit an advanced rate
split off and raced to the decoy, with to calling. At this time of the morn- of physical and behavioral maturity, and many achieve
the hens trailing along behind. I was ing, they can sometimes be spotted puberty when six
no longer behind the decoy, having walking along energetically, covering to eight months old.
moved through the woods to the spot ground, looking for hens. You may One-half, or in some cases
at which the birds had entered the have to try a number of spots in your more, of doe fawns com-
field. After the birds milled around “run and gun” activity until you locate monly breed on the intensively
the decoy, they walked directly to a bird but this tactic works more often farmed lands of Illinois, Ohio,
my location and the first big gobbler than not. Iowa, and southern Michigan.
that sauntered into the woods fell to During one of those endeavors, Although a few of them may
my shotgun. Even if you are unable we walked way back to a distant ridge breed during late November,
to call a gobbler that has been out in that sometimes held birds. We reached peak breeding for doe fawns
a field with feeding hens, you have a the top and let loose a short series of
normally occurs between De-
good chance of ambushing the birds yelps that was answered immediately.
as they return to the woods and that We put out a couple of decoys, backed cember 10 and 15, while some
has worked more often than calling to up to a big tree and called some more. may even breed in January and
a mixed flock. That bird must have come all the way February.
at a dead run because he was there in In other words, most doe
Run and Gun just a couple of minutes and he stayed fawns breed after intense hunt-
If you fail to call in a bird at a for dinner. ing pressure has removed 70 to
location you have scouted and it is There are many tactics and 90 percent of the adult bucks.
getting toward mid-morning, it might techniques that will put a spring How can this be?
be time to hit the road, provided that gobbler in the freezer and they all Certainly, if some doe
you know of other spots that might promise suspense, uncertainty and fawns achieve puberty and breed in any given population, some buck
hold some birds and you have permis- hunting thrills as well as a very spe- fawns must also attain sexual maturity. For example, 40 percent of 130
sion to hunt there. The plan now is to cial meal.n buck fawns collected in southern Illinois in January 1966, were judged
to be fertile. Likewise, sexual maturity and successful mating by buck
fawns has been documented with captive deer in New Hampshire.
Apparently, sexual maturity among buck fawns is a function of body
weight and age. In order for them to become fertile when six to eight
months old, they must be born early – during late May or early June --
enjoy a high level of nutrition, and grow to weigh 90 pounds or more by
December. These are the individuals that commonly develop polished
button (“infant”) antlers.
Buck fawns that develop “infant” antlers are presumably physiologi-
cally advanced, and probably fertile, because elevated blood levels of the
male hormone testosterone are required for antler maturation (mineral-
ization). Since antlers are secondary sex characters, antler envelopment
at fawn age in deer is considered indicative of their attainment of sexual
NATIONWIDE SINCE 1992. DURING THE PAST 25 YEARS, OVER The frequency of “infant” antlers among free-ranging buck fawns is
$3,561,632 HAS BEEN SPENT IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN! AS unknown. However, in our studies at the Cusino Wildlife Research Sta-
THE PROGRAM GROWS – SO DOES WHAT WE GIVE BACK! tion, in Upper Michigan, pen-raised male fawns fed unlimited nutritious
artificial diets routinely grew “infant” antlers by December 12. Like-
2018 BANQUET DATES wise, 84 percent of the male fawns raised in the Cusino square-mile deer
enclosure grew button antlers when provided with unlimited supplemen-
DATE EVENT CITY DATE EVENT CITY tal feed. Most achieved antler calcification and polishing during early
3 /22/2018 HOWELL 5/5/2018 MUSKEGON December, but some as early as late November, and all cast their small
3 /24/2018 MONROE 5/11/2018 CHEBOYGAN antlers before March.
4/7/2018 SALINE 5/12/2018 SAGINAW While doe fawns readily bred in our small pens at Cusino, it is
4/13/2018 ITHACA 5/17/2018 LUDINGTON noteworthy that only one of 208 doe fawns in the larger enclosure bred
during the same period. Thus, a high incidence of “infant” antlers among
4/14/2018 UNIONVILLE 5/18/2018 HILLSDALE male fawns may not necessarily indicate frequent breeding among
4/17/2018 SHELBY TOWNSHIP 6/1/2018 ALPENA female fawns in the same population. Even when well-nourished, social
4/19/2018 COMMERCE TWP 9/12/2018 BAD AXE and density stress may suppress breeding activity among young subordi-
4/20/2018 GRAND RAPIDS 9/15/2018 LANSING nate females.
What role buck fawns might play, if any, in the whitetail’s breeding
4/28/2018 LAWRENCE 9/27/2018 SAULT STE. MARIE season is unknown. Normally, the domination by older bucks would pre-
5/4/2018 WESTLAND vent buck fawns from mating. In areas like southern Michigan, however,
Please consider attending an event in your area, or joining a local at least in the past, antlered bucks were heavily exploited by hunting
during November, yet thousands of doe fawns bred during December
FNRA committee to help support this great fundraising program! and later, when mature bucks are scarce.
Visit For more information. Likewise, it’s important to recognize that whitetail does in estrus
respond more favorably to bucks close to their age. Given what we know
To find a committee near you; to help start a committee; or to request a grant application about the situation, one must wonder if buck fawns play a significant
and put this money to good work contact your Michigan NRA Field Representative. role in breeding doe fawns during late stages of the rut.n
Spoons for Walleyes
Try this highly efficient trolling method…By Michael Veine

nglers will see some be several inches bigger and anglers
prime walleye fishing on both waters will be inundated
with spoon trolling with those 2015 fish along with
programs at two of larger ones too from previous year
Michigan’s wall- classes. It’s that super abundant
eye hot spots: Both 2015 year class though that will
Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay had drive some behavioral changes in
huge walleye year classes in 2015 all the walleyes swimming in those
and those fish will be in the “prime two bodies of water. When walleye
eater” size range this spring and numbers are super high, they tend
summer. When walleye numbers to be a lot more aggressive feed-
are especially high, like they will be ers overall and they also suspend a
this year, then trolling with spoons lot more during the middle of the
becomes an especially deadly fish- day chasing baitfish nearer to the
ing method. Read on for some surface. When walleyes are super
leading edge savvy for catching tons active and up higher in the water
walleyes with this highly efficient column, that’s when spoons really
trolling method. shine as an ultra-effective walleye
I’m not sure what happened lure, especially when water tempera-
in 2015 in the walleye spawning tures are above 60 degrees.
world. In Michigan, 2015 brought Anglers will certainly still be
us a rainy, windy spring with high able to catch walleyes using spin-
waters in the tributaries. We also ner/crawler rigs or crankbaits and
had several big blows on the reefs when the walleyes are holding tight
during and right after the spawning to bottom, spinners may be the best
season. Nonetheless, for some rea- bet. The problem though is that
son, walleyes in both Lake Erie and other non-target fish (junk) also
Saginaw Bay pulled off a bumper seem to have had bumper crops in
crop of walleye recruitment and they 2015 too. White bass, white perch,
seemed to survive well since then sheephead and other non-desirables
too. In 2016 there were millions of will tear up crawlers mercilessly
cigar sized walleye pestering anglers and even crankbaits can get fouled
and in 2017 fishermen saw nonstop with junk fish at the slower trolling
action on both lakes from walleyes speeds necessary for those baits to
in the 13 to 14 inch range, which catch walleyes consistently. Spoons Spoon programs seem to work best when water temperatures are
were legal to keep with Saginaw though are best trolled at higher
Bay’s new 13 inch size limit, but speeds at or above 2.0 mph. Those
higher than 60 degrees. That’s when walleyes become very active.
were throwbacks on Erie. zippier speeds tend to leave junk walleyes have no problem chasing muss and fuss.
This year though those fish will fish in the dust, so to speak, but down those fast moving targets. These days, two of the most
Faster trolling speeds also allow popular ways to take spoons down
anglers to cover a lot more water to the active fish is with either
more efficiently so you can better diving planers or weighted lines.
find those heavy concentrations of Weighted line is typically lengths
active fish. Most spoon programs of leadcore line, sinkers or both.
are also quicker and easier to set I’ve used leadcore line plenty back
than anything else I’ve tried and in the olden days and just hate the
are certainly a lot less messy than hassle of using this method. I only
crawlers. Trolling efficiency is at its use sinkers with a spoon program
peak when running spoons. when fishing very shallow water or
There are lots of different ways when walleyes are right up near the
to troll with spoons. The simplest surface less than 10 feet down. With
way is to just long line a couple rods any type of weighted line technique,
out the back of the boat with sinkers attaining any degree of precision
to take them down to the fish. Most depth control is very difficult since
savvy anglers though don’t seem the lure running speed will greatly
to be too concerned with simplic- influence the diving depth.
ity and opt for a maxed out trolling For the brunt of my spoon fishing
spread using planer boards. A spoon for walleyes I prefer Luhr-Jensen
spread is so efficient to administer Jet Divers. I’ve tried several dif-
that many anglers really saturate ferent brands of round, mini-discs
the water with a dozen or more and found Jet Divers to be superior.
lures. I fall somewhere in between They dive down straighter, reach
though and usually just run an eight certain depths with repeatable ac-
rod spread with six Church Tackle curacy much better and they float
Walleye Boards and two more flat up on the surface when setting
lines set right behind the boat. Eight them back. If they sink to the bot-
rods have always been plenty of tom then they can become fouled,
firepower for me to put limits in so that is especially important in
The author’s favorite spoons are Moonshine Walleye Spoons. the box on most days with minimal certain areas where weeds or rocks
Trout, Bass, Pike, Walleyes, Catfish, Pan Fish,
can snag lures. Jet Divers also hit jobs are super tough and can with- Minnows for Fast Fish Growth, Hybrid Bluegills.
consistent depths at a wide range stand hundreds of walleye attacks
of trolling speeds too, so you can and still look good. One more thing • FARM PONDS • FISHING CLUBS • LAKE OWNERS
speed up or slow down without that I love about spoons is that they (Fish available during the months of We also sell pond supplies...
affecting the running depth of the don’t get all tangled up in the net April, May, October and November)
lures much. When fish hit a spoon, like harnesses and crankbaits, and Fish may be picked up in small pond dyes, chemicals,
a large enough Jet Diver will tend to the faster you can box a fish and re- quantities or we deliver by truck. aeration and fish pellets!
plane the fish to the surface so they deploy the lure the more fish you’ll
can be more easily reeled in without likely catch. Very efficient indeed. Imlay City Fish Farms, Inc.
tangling the other lines, which is The author offers fishing charters Fish Consultants
another big plus. specializing in Saginaw Bay wall- 1442 N. Summers Rd., Imlay City, Michigan 48444
My preferred walleye line is 15
pound test, clear monofilament. For
eyes. Contact Mike Veine at www. or 734-475- Phone: (810) 724-2185
Jet Divers I attach the snap swivel 9146.n
to the front end of the diver. A five


foot leader of 14 pound test fluoro-
carbon line connects the Jet to the
spoon. That leader has a snap swivel
on each end. If the spoon does not
already have one, a split ring may
need to be installed to increase lure
which theoretically will take a
lure down 30 feet with 100 feet of
line set back. That diving depth
though is highly impacted by the Place Your Order Now For Spring Planting Projects. We Offer Evergreens,
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yesteryear. The 15 pound line I use
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pound test line from decades ago,
so with 030 Jet Divers, I can hit 30
foot depths with as little as 80 feet East Lansing, MI 48823
HABITAT Phone: 517-324-5274 • Fax: 517-324-4435
of line set back. I have found though
that even if I do let out 100 feet of
line, those 030 Jet Divers seem to
max out at about 33 feet down. I ALCONA CD DELTA CD IONIA CD MISSAUKEE CD
have used 040 Jets before, but it 320 S. State St. 6822 US 2-41 & M35 431 Swartz Court, #300 6180 West Sanborn Road, Ste 3
seems like once walleyes are hold- PO Box 291 Gladstone, MI 49837 Ionia, MI 48846 Lake City, MI 49651
Harrisville, MI 48740 906-553-7700 616-527-2620, Ext. 101 231-839-7193
ing deeper than 30 feet, then spoons 989-724-5272
really don’t work all that well. In
that case, it’s time to break out the ALLEGAN CD 420 N. Hooper Street 4735 Holton Road
211 West Ganson Street
crawlers. I basically tested 030 Jet 1668 Lincoln Road (M-40 North) Kingsford, MI 49802 Ste 200 Twin Lake, MI 49457
Divers in various water depths from Allegan, MI 49010 906-774-1550, Ext. 101 Jackson, MI 49201 231-828-5097
269-941-6162 517-784-2800, Ext. 5
15 to 35 feet and can feel them hit-
ting bottom with a hand held rod. EATON CD
ARENAC CD 551 Courthouse Drive, Suite 3 940 West Rex Street
That’s how I developed my own
4490 W. M-61 Charlotte, MI 48813 KENT CD Fremont, MI 49412
personal dive chart for my setup. 517-543-1512, Ext. 5 3260 Eagle Park Drive NE 231-924-2060, Ext. 5
Standish, MI 48658 Grand Rapids, MI 49525
I can use 030 Jet Divers from 10 989-846-4565 Ext. 5
616-942-4111, Ext. 4
to 30 feet down by simply adjusting GENESEE CD OAKLAND CD
the setback. Oftentimes, we will tar- 1525 North Elms Road
BRANCH COUNTY CD Flint, MI 48532 7150 Dixie Highway, Ste 2
get fish all over the water column at 387 North Willowbrook Road 810-230-8766, Ext. 3
LEELANAU CD Clarkston, MI 48346
Suite F 8527 E. Government Center Dr. 248-922-7822
the start of the trip and then zero in Ste 205
Coldwater, MI 49036
on the hottest setbacks and patterns 517-278-2725, Ext. 5 GRATIOT CD Suttons Bay, MI 49682
for non-stop action. 301 E. Commerce Drive 231-256-9783 TUSCOLA CD
Ithaca, MI 48847 1075 Cleaver Road
There are dozens of different Caro, MI 48723-1166
CALHOUN CD 989-875-3900 Ext. 3009
brands of walleye trolling spoons 13464 Preston Drive LENAWEE CD 989-673-8174, Ext. 3
on the market these days and most Suite 120 1100 Sutton Road
of them will catch fish, but some Marshall, MI 49068 HILLSDALE CD Adrian, MI 49221
269-781-4867, Ext. 5 588 Olds Street, Bldg 2 517-263-7400, Ext. 3 VAN BUREN CD
are just better than others. I prefer Jonesville, MI 49250 1035 East Michigan Avenue
spoons in the 3” range for walleyes 517-849-9890, Ext. 3 Ste A
and colors with purple and pink MANISTEE CD 269-657-4030, Ext. 5
hues seem to be consistent produc- MACKINAC CD HURON CD 8840 Chippewa Highway
2847 Ashmun Street 1460 South Van Dyke Bear Lake, MI 49614
ers. One odd thing though is that Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783 Bad Axe, MI 48413 231-889-9666
walleyes on Erie seem to prefer 906-635-1278 989-269-9540, Ext. 3
spoons with gold backs, while MARQUETTE
Saginaw Bay’s eyes’ usually prefer CLINTON CD INGHAM CD COUNTY CD
spoons with silver backs. My favor- 2343 North US-27 1031 West Dexter Trail 780 Commerce Drive, Ste C
ite spoons are Moonshine Walleye St. Johns, MI 48879 Mason, MI 48854 Marquette, MI 49855
989-224-3720, Ext. 3 517-676-2290 906-226-8871, Ext. 102
Spoons as they have some super
productive patterns and the paint
ORV safety education instructors needed
Candidates must attend training in Roscommon or Escanaba...

he MDNR is seek- academies is mandatory, there is no
ing instructors for its charge for instructor candidates. En-
off-road vehicle safety rollment is first-come, first-served.
education program. Dates and locations are:
This volunteer op- • Friday, April 27, through
portunity allows ORV Sunday, April 29, at the Ralph A.
enthusiasts to pass along their love MacMullan Conference Center in
and knowledge of the sport to new Roscommon. The deadline to apply
riders, while teaching them safe and for this academy is Friday, April 20.
responsible ORV operating skills for • Friday, June 8, through Sun-
an enjoyable riding experience. day, June 10, at the U.P. State Fair-
All instructors must attend a grounds in Escanaba. The deadline
three-day academy to learn poli- to apply for this academy is Friday,
cies and procedures, classroom June 1.
management and teaching concepts. Anyone interested in becoming a
Instructors will have the chance to certified ORV instructor must:
experience various aspects of ORV • Be at least 18 years of age.
operation, including basic hands-on • Be a high school graduate
operational skills on off-highway or possess a graduate equivalency
motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, diploma.
utility-type vehicles and winching • Possess a current, valid driv- The DNR is accepting applications from qualified individuals inter-
recovery equipment. er’s license. ested in ser ving as volunteer instructors for its off-road vehicle
Current instructors also are • Have no felony convictions. safety education program. MDNR photo
encouraged to attend and brush up • Have no misdemeanor convic-
on their knowledge and skills, and tions within the past three years. review and may result in the rejec- check will be conducted once a
to become familiar with changes in • Have no convictions that tion of any application. completed application is submit-
equipment. resulted in the revocation of ORV • Maintain a high moral, ethical ted. Successful applicants then
There are two instructor acad- privileges within the last five years. and mental character. will be contacted to schedule their
emies and each class is limited to Other convictions of natural re- Applications are available by attendance at one of the mandatory
24 students. While attendance at the source law violations are subject to calling 517-284-6055. A background instructor academies.n

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Hunts Conducted On

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Master Angler DNR releases new Lake Michigan
recipients increasing Fisheries Management Plan
It was another great year for Michigan fishing,
as 2,176 anglers representing 24 states and Canada The MDNR Fisheries
submitted catches recognized in the state's Master Division has completed the
Angler program - a significant increase over 1,807 agency’s first Lake Michigan
Master Angler fish in 2016. The program, in place Fisheries Management Plan.
since 1973, recognizes large fish caught by recre- The plan can be found online
ational anglers and has more than doubled since through a partnership with
2014. Michigan Sea Grant at mdn-
Of the entries accepted by the Michigan Depart-
ment of Natural Resources, 1,250 were in the catch- The plan sets long-term
and-keep category while 926 were in the catch- vision and goals for the Lake
and-release category. A total of 266 anglers received Michigan fishery and estab-
certificates for fish placing in the top five lishes a process to continu-
for both categories. ously involve the public to The MDNR’s recently released Lake Michigan Fish-
Here is a breakdown of the most popu- seek alignment on shorter- eries Management Plan will help the DNR and its
lar 2017 Master Angler entries by species: term strategies and tactics. par tners manage the lake's world-class fisheries.
• 228 bluegill • 121 pumpkinseed sunfish This char ter boat leaves Grand Haven for a day of
The plan was developed Lake Michigan fishing! MDNR photo
• 118 smallmouth bass • 111 crappie through engagement with
• 95 rainbow trout • 93 freshwater drum focus groups, advisory committees, DNR staff and public meetings.
• 90 channel catfish • 62 cisco (lake her- “We’re ready to start implementing the plan and to continue to
ring) • 59 lake trout. receive feedback from stakeholders,” said Jay Wesley, the DNR’s Lake
Master Angler entries for 2017 in- Michigan Basin coordinator. “As we work together to manage Lake
cluded two new state records, a 27-pound Top: Dolores Jones caught-and- Michigan’s world-class fishery, it’s important to have a common vision
bigmouth buffalo caught on the River Rai- released this Master Angler red ear and to be adaptive in our approach to managing it. We will annually
sin (in Monroe County) by Roy Beasley of sunfish through the ice in 2017. report on outcomes during the fall of each year and will also make ad-
Madison Heights and a 6.36-pound cisco Bottom: Michael Paoletti with his
lake whitefish caught in 2017. justments to the plan based on public feedback and ecosystem changes.”
(formerly known as lake herring) caught The plan focuses on five goals:
in Lake Ottawa (Iron County) by Michael Lemanski of Florence, Wiscon- (1) Healthy aquatic ecosystems and sustainable fish populations, (2)
sin. Providing diverse fishing opportunities, (3) Strategic resource partner-
Submissions for the 2018 Master Angler program already are being ships, (4) Strategically focused assessment and decision support tools,
accepted, and will be until Jan. 10, 2019. To download an application, and (5) Strategic funding of plan priorities.
visit Anglers are encouraged to submit ap- For more information, contact Jay Wesley at 269-685-6851, ext. 117
plications as they catch their fish, rather than holding applications until or
the end of the year.

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

Erie’s Trophy
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Looking back to the ‘Dodge Lodge’
For over a decade, I searched for photos and text
of the historical Dodge Brother’s Lodge known as
the Munuskong Hunting and Fishing Club. Here’s
a looking back at John and Horace’s property in
the eastern Upper Peninsula.
Over time, the Dodge Brothers, an up north, hunting/fishing mecca
John and Horace, of Detroit auto- for their friends and associates. John
mobile fame, were recognized as and Horace Dodge more or less cre-
self-made millionaires, well known ated their own society. They were
for their accomplishments as well as extremely loyal to their friends; as
for their risqué attitude and playboy were their buddies towards them... a
appearance. It was well genuine mutual admiration
regarded that Detroit’s ‘old society! Research indicated The Dodge Lodge complex at Munuskong Bay, Chippewa County includ-
money’ society folk looked that the lodge was always ing three of five cabins, lodge, and boathouse. Carolyn Person, member
down on them and neither crowded with high-spirited Chippewa County Historical Society, Bruce Township Historical Society and
the Dodge Brothers nor friends of the Brothers Pickford Area Historical Society photos.
their spouses, ever attained Dodge!
status among the Motor The Lodge…bore the John’s preference. Besides the main the troll. The perch and bull-head
City’s high society. name, ‘Munuskong (Spell- or ‘great’ room, there was also a fishing are good all over the bay.”
Gossip followed the ing: Also known as ‘Mu- dining room and kitchen as well as It was the aim of the Munuskong
pair as they were well nuscong) Hunting & Fish- four bedrooms. Hunting & Fishing Club to make the

By Betty Sodders
known for their ing Club.’ An In the large kitchen area, sup- Club a ‘Hunter’s Paradise;’ a place
daring, their unnamed news- plies were kept in a tin-lined locker where members could hunt and fish
rudeness, their paper clipping, that prevented wild critters from from year to year and combine good
fast driving and their hunting and described the lodge and grounds in thievery when the lodge was va- companionship with the hunt.
fishing abilities. To the latter, they the following manner: “Munuskong cant. And of course, there was extra The property owners proposed
purchased a large tract of waterfront Lodge property held a main build- storage space for a generous liquor buying all the land touching the
acreage along the marshy Munus- ing, the lodge itself, plus a smaller supply. It was said that both Horace water which aggregates about 2,000
cong Bay shoreline of the St. Mary’s cottage for the caretaker and five and his younger brother, John, were acres. At that time period the land
International River, 15 miles east guest cabins that recorded as being heavy drinkers. Various reports drew could be bought cheaply and was
of the Village of Pickford in the far built somewhat later. All the build- attention to the fact that Horace deemed to become, without excep-
eastern end of Michigan’s Upper ings were of native white pine and had red hair and a temperament to tion, the best hunting and fishing
Peninsula. cedar siding that had been rubbed match.” property in that part of the world.”
Native Americans called the with linseed oil; finally finished Munuskong Hunting & Fishing Human interest stories regarding
area, ‘the Bay of Rushes.’ Ar- with creosote for added protection Club’s original founding members... the Dodge Brother’s Munuskong
cheological ‘digs’ have produced from the adverse Upper Peninsula “James R. Hayes, Oliver Nelson Club…Carol Story of Pickford
evidence of early man‘s presence weather. Gardner, Fred Postal, George Stroh, advised that her great uncle from
throughout these landholdings. For The inside of the lodge was George Osius, John Dodge, Horace the now ghost town of Stirlingville,
that matter, the entire St. Mary’s basically white pine, varnished and Dodge and A.A.Schantz.” often told a story about a day when
River shoreline including the Islands stained, holding a beamed ceiling in An assessment of wildlife on Horace Dodge stopped to observe a
of Drummond, Lime, St. Joe’s the living room; floors sported bird’s Club acreage…taken from the huge buck with a monster rack taken
(Canadian), Neebish and Sugar, all eye maple. Bookcases held glass December 1927 issue of The Wilson by Bill Hill whose brother Joe was a
bear a wealth of evidence towards doors to protect the many books Bulletin, written by the former club well liked game warden of that time.
historical Native American occupa- that were placed on shelves within. caretaker, K. Christoffersen: “Deer Horace asked if Hill would take $50
tion. The lodge was filled with famous and bear in large numbers and can for the buck. Bill accepted the deal.
The brothers wanted to provide Stickley (twig) furniture that was be seen frequently. Bear, moose, A few days later, a Detroit newspa-
foxes, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, per showed Horace in a photo aside
beaver, mink, weasels, porcupines, the monster buck and a caption read,
rabbits, red and flying squirrels are “Horace Dodge with a large, nicely
present throughout the acreage. racked buck taken in the Upper
Ducks use the marsh as a breed- Peninsula.”
ing ground including black, wood, The second story is from Doctor
teal, pintail, mallard and others. Richard Morrison, DDS of Pickford
Ruffed grouse are present in large regarding memories of trips to the
numbers. Four great horned owls derelict property; “I have memories
have been shot this year and two are of riding my bike as a kid out to the
held in captivity. A July 1927 census property from our home in Pick-
revealed 60 grouse with at least one ford with other kids just to spend
taken by owls.” a summer afternoon exploring the
A March 1906 issue of a publi- old cabins and lodge buildings. We
cation called, The Clarion, reported were able to get in the abandoned
on Munuskong Bay fishing: “The lodge and look around and we
fishing here is not excelled in the thought it was real cool and prob-
country. The bass fishing is less ably a little spooky. That would
than three miles from the clubhouse. have been in the late 1950s. My
There are miles of splendid pike Dad would take me out there to hunt
grounds, while in the deeper waters ducks. We kept a small boat on the
are excellent muskellunge fishing. shore during duck hunting season
Horace and John Dodge with gentlemen hunters at the Munuskong. These are caught principally with and would go out after school or on
the weekend and take the boat out to foot spruce log tourist observation
a duck blind we had constructed in tower was erected that was built by
the bay. ‘I always thought it would students of Dunbar Forestry School
be fun to research the history of that and the Dunbar CCC Camp located
property. I would love to see some some six miles distant. The park was
photos. As you probably know, the touted as being a remote ‘Nature
lodge was taken across the ice to Study Park.’ This all sounded good;
Rocky Point by Jack Babcock. I however, over the years, the visi-
believe it was in the late 60s or early tors just did not materialize in the
70s.” numbers anticipated.
Caroline Person, member of the Today, a DNR Forest Service
Chippewa County Historical Soci- Campground holding 50-campsites
ety, Pickford Area Historical Soci- and a double boat launch facility is Buck pole at Dodge Brothers’ Munuskong Hunting & Fishing Club, 15
ety, and Bruce Township Historical provided on a branch of the Munus- miles east of Pickford…circa: early 1900.
Society and Richard Wiles, a histo- cong River about one mile distant
rian from Petoskey, both searched from the landing to the stream’s Canada geese at Munuscong. removed. Even old nest boxes
their files and provided text/photos entry into Munuscong Bay of the What is Munuscong’s status to- have virtually disappeared as the
for this article. Through interviews, St. Mary’s River. During water- day? No records showed a refuge at DNR‘s Wildlife Division promotes
we exchanged a host of informa- fowl hunting, the campground is Munuscong between 1950 and 1965 Munuscong returning to its natural
tion about the era, the Munuskong nearly overcrowded on opening day; but the Dodge estate’s dike system state. The dikes are no longer in
Hunting & Fishing Club, the men however, it appears to basically be a was still evident and the Michigan service. Potholes have been created
involved, and eventually, the land one-day local use as hunter activ- Department of Conservation re- for waterfowl breeding areas. Wet
being deeded over to the State of ity falls off soon after the season tained them, declaring the marsh- meadow sections are being encour-
Michigan, and the eventual task opener. lands a posted refuge in 1966. Ref- aged. Today Munuscong holds over
of moving the buildings to Rocky Big changes occur at Munus- uge status was officially removed in 8,000 acres providing a unique
Point. kong…About the year 1947; the l997 by a Michigan Department of resource for waterfowl utilized by
The hunt club becomes the Michigan Conservation Department Natural Resources director’s order, hunters and nature lovers alike as
Dodge Brothers’ Munuskong State dropped the waterfowl refuge. The but the Munuscong’s Wildfowl Area it continues to return to its former
Park… By 1927, six of the founding park was determined as being too remained closed to motor and off- natural state.
fathers of Dodge Lodge were report- isolated for state park continuation. road vehicles. At Munuscong…vast marshes,
ed deceased. George Osious and A. Boy Scouts and various groups still Today all signs of former ponds and grasslands continue
A. Schantz, as surviving members utilized the property but it was not habitation are gone. The old hunt to provide unique resources for
of the Munuskong Hunting & Fish- until 1962 that plans were made to club cabins and lodge have been waterfowl.n
ing Club, represented the former move the buildings across the ice
owner’s heirs, sold the property to some six miles SE to Rocky Point
Dodge Brothers, Inc. then finally it which was being touted as a resort
was deeded to the State of Michigan development by Sault Ste. Marie
at no cost to the State as a memorial furniture store owner, Jack Babcock.
to John and Horace Dodge with the The large, 60 x 80-foot Dodge
absolute approval of their surviving Lodge building was chain-sawed in
spouses. Newspapers of that time half prior to the move and hauled in
period advised the land and Club two sections by bulldozer across the
buildings were valued at $80,000. It ice-filled Munuscong Bay to Rocky
was touted that Michigan residents Point. One half was purchased by
would have an opportunity to enjoy the Kennedy family and still resides
a wonderful new unspoiled rustic off Kennedy Lane in Rocky Point
state park. subdivision where nearby a light
Because of the care afforded house formerly existed with a crew
the main lodge and cabins, along that serviced the lower St. Mary’s
with the well-forested acreage itself, River buoys and range lights. The
some 600 acres out of the total acre- other half of the lodge was taken
age of 3,500 acres, were set aside to the end of Babcock Lane where
for a wildlife/waterfoul preserve. it remained until it burned to the
No hunting was permitted. Marsh- ground in the early 1960s.
lands controlled by a series of dikes In 1977, over 100 Canada geese
were still evident and placed un- were ‘planted’ at Munuscong Bay
der the direction of the Michigan by the DNR in order to encourage
Conservation Department providing the warm water/cold water marshes
an excellent breeding ground for not for usage by breeding waterfowl.
only area waterfowl but flight ducks With wings clipped, the geese could
and geese migrating to and from not fly, and they would breed at
Northern Canadian waters as well. Munuscong in the spring and take
The buildings were put to their young with them when they
good use by various groups, such would fly south in the fall. Most
as the Boy Scouts and the Michi- of the young would return the
gan Horticultural Society with the following year. The geese were
former Dodge Lodge serving as the shipped before ice- out. In addi-
park’s headquarters. Cabins were tion to the Canada goose project,
rented by vacationers, parking areas the DNR planted buckwheat, winter
provided, a campground established wheat, barley and oats to attract up
three miles to the north with miles to 150,000 migratory ducks and
of hiking trails provided through a up to 25,000 geese, including blue
pristine hardwood forest, and a 50- and snow geese over and above the
Black Powder Shooting Sports...By Dennis Neely

An Epic Colonial Musket

NAP!” Four onlookers, the guide I’m using to drill for the
all dressed in 18th-centu- tang screw. The tang is this metal
ry clothing, groaned at the tail on the breech plug, which is
sickening sound. Larry threaded into the barrel.
Horrigan stepped back and peered “Typically the tang screw
over his spectacles at the ragged doesn’t go up through the trigger
remains of a gimlet bit clamped in guard into the tang, but a few did.
the brace. “That’s about the fifth bit Some of the English guns used that
I’ve broken on this gun,” he said in style. In this case, they didn’t have
a matter-of-fact manner. a trigger plate to anchor the screw.
“You’re coming,” Dan Segel I drilled from the trigger guard up,
said in an encouraging tone. He, then Dan turned the stock over and
like several other living historians, I broke the drill bit boring from the
volunteered to apprentice with the tang down.
frontier gun builder. “I’m through the metal. If I
“Yup,” Horrigan replied as he can get a small hole through to the
scrounged in a dovetailed tool tray other hole, I can take a file and clean
for a pair of hand-forged pliers. it out,” Horrigan instructed as he
Sweat beaded on his forehead as turned the bit by hand. He picked
he worked the fragment out of the up a thin, rat-tailed file. A faint
maple stock. grin appeared on his face as the tip
A young lady in a white chemise of the file emerged from the hole,
and off-white petticoat printed with just ahead of the bow in the brass
pink flowers joined the spectators. trigger guard. The file worked back Above: Horrigan drilled a pilot hole in
“What’s Larry doing today,” she and forth. Fine sawdust drifted in the hard maple stock with an 18th-
whispered to one of the gentlemen. the morning breeze. “We’ve got a century brace and gimlet. A hand-cut
“I’ve got my line drawn,” Hor- good channel in there now,” he an- tap followed. The screw is made of
rigan said with a quiet smile as he nounced. wrought iron, not steel, so it’s soft.
pointed to the stock’s wrist. “This is “It’s really surprising how far Without tapping the hole, the head
would sheer off. Right: Using a wood
mallet cut from a yellow birch tree
Fishing... Hunting... Or Just Simply and a flat chisel, Horrigan finished
the lock mor tice. Wild River tree photo
A Getaway Cabin To Enjoy Nature!!
Larry came with the gun in a week,”
Solid Logs with Perma Chink between John Snyder said as he watched

Cedar or Pine
Horrigan turn the long screw up
through the trigger guard.
• Fully Insulated The 36th Annual Midwest
• Front Porch or Side Porch Styles Available Rendezvous returned to Michigan in
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‘N’ Ballers™ hosted the weeklong
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• Single and 2 Story Styles at 3576 26th Street in Hopkins.
• Delivered & Priced Fully Assembled The “Midwest,” as it is called, is
a history-based, primitive event. All open-sided, wood-shingled picnic
lodges (tents and shelters), clothing, pavilion. His wooden tool tray and
accoutrements and visible camp- a meager set of period-correct tools
ing equipment must be “pre-1840” occupied the structure’s weathered,
in style and appearance. The term rough-sawn plank workbench. To
“rendezvous” refers to the coming his left, a heavy trestle table secured
together of traders, merchants, trap- a blacksmith’s leg vise. That bench’s
pers and hunters of the Western fur base was wild cherry and the top
trade from 1825 to 1840. black locust.
From the joyous opening “I’ve got a bunch of antique
ceremony on Friday afternoon to tools here,” Horrigan said early in
the melancholy closing at noon the the week. “I’ve purchased some and
following Friday, registered par- had some generous donations from
ticipants live in a wooded canvas close personal friends who under-
village as their ancestors did cen- stand what I’m trying to demon-
Relax In Style! turies ago. Blacksmiths, weavers, strate. The gimlet is an antique as is
spinners, coopers, leather-workers, the brace, which dates to the 1600s.”
silversmiths and a host of other arti- “You’re building a gun the hard
1205 N. SR 5 way,” Roy Walker said. Walker
sans demonstrate their trade. Larry
Shipshewana Horrigan was the camp’s resident was the apprentice on Tuesday and
260-768-7511 gun builder, and his goal for the provided the educational commen-
week was to build a musket, start to tary while the master craftsman filed
Monday-Friday • 8-5
finish, using 18th-century tools and threads on a handmade woodscrew.
methods. “You have to remember there are
Saturday • 8-3:30
Horrigan set up shop under an only so many tools and supplies
you can bring in a canoe to set up a competent black powder gunsmith)
frontier gun shop.” and proof tested for safety.
A pierced-tin candle lantern “The lock is the Davis Colonial
sat to the left of the tool tray. The American flint lock. The side plate
hand-dipped beeswax taper offered is brass from a Brown Bess, but it
more than flickering light. When it had to be cut down and modified to
came time to cut the screw from the fit the lock’s length. The brass butt
wrought iron rod, Horrigan lifted the plate is also Bess, filed and shaped
glass, plucked a drip or two of wax to match the picture (of the origi-
from the candle’s base and rubbed it nal).
on the hacksaw’s blade. “Committee of Safety guns
Another time the colonial gun were built with spare parts, so this
builder used the candle’s soot to one is, too. They were knocking
black the lock’s sear bar to locate these guns out as fast as they could Throughout the week, crowds gathered in the makeshift gun builder’s
where it was hanging up in the mor- with the parts they had. War was shop and watched Horrigan’s fascinating work.
tice. “The lighting, or lack thereof, coming and they weren’t supposed
has been one of the most difficult to be pretty,” Horrigan explained. “I not sure what load to use in stander gasped. A large hole at the
things to deal with,” Horrigan said. Late Tuesday curly shavings this gun,” Horrigan said as he mea- upper left of the “10X” ring peered
“In Diderot’s Encyclopedia they and coarse sawdust started cascad- sured black powder. “I have ‘.675’ back at astonished onlookers.
show very large windows facing the ing into the dirt beneath his moc- and ‘.690’ round balls to play with.” Minutes later a second, solid “10”
predominant sun. What I’m do- casins. “I always begin on the off “Well, this is the moment of pushed the week-long vigil to epic
ing here is similar to what they did side, away from the lock, that way truth,” Dan Segel said, leaning status.
at Fort Michilimackinac, Fort St. I’m not tempted to shoot it. I work against the loading bench, reveling “A 240-year-old barrel, a maple
Joseph and Fort Ponchartrain. to the centerline on the wrist and in his friend’s accomplishment. slab, a flint lock and assorted parts,
“This is a Committee of Safety comb. I’m just getting rid of excess The shiny brass butt plate eased put together with no power tools
musket. During the American War wood now. I enjoy shaping, work- to Horrigan’s shoulder; his cheek under primitive conditions. Then
for Independence, the colonies ing the wood.” Horrigan paused and rested against the bare maple stock. the first two shots are ‘10s’? Well,
formed Committees of Safety. They scrubbed the sweat from his face The hammer fell. Sparks flew. The this ain’t a fly by night operation,”
needed muskets. This musket is with the tails of the block-printed pan flashed. Larry Horrigan said with a broad
based on pictures of an original scarf that hung about his neck. “Kla-whoosh-BOOM!” Yellow smile.
attributed to Pennsylvania. These Stock shaping, inletting ramrod flames belched from the musket’s Give the black powder shooting
were patterned after the British pipes, scraping contours and rough muzzle. White smoke churned. sports a try, be safe and may God
Brown Bess, with a round barrel, sanding ate up Wednesday. Late the “I don’t believe that!” A by- bless you.n
flat-faced flint lock, brass side plate, next morning, Horrigan marked out

Black Sheep
‘hazelnut’ trigger guard and brass the touch hole. The backcountry gun
butt plate. builder dug a bit from the tool tray
“The stock is hard maple, taken and started drilling by hand with a

Outdoor Services
from a slab I cut. The barrel is jeweler’s drill.
original; it’s military. A young man “This is the last hole I have to
carried it over his shoulder at the drill on this gun, so I can take my
Contemporary Longrifle Association time,” he said. “Twist drills aren’t Specializing in Wildlife Land Plots
Show. He offered to sell me the bar-
rel. I told him I was a barrel maker
period-correct for this job. They
started at the Civil War. Today we Over 25 years Experience
• Insured/Serving
and could duplicate that barrel. An call [the drill style] a spade bit. I
hour later he came back to my table don’t know what they called it back
and said, ‘I’m tired of carrying this
barrel around. Give me forty dollars
After a modest lunch at a
Northern Michigan
and it’s yours.’ I said, ‘I can’t make
a barrel for forty dollars.’
friend’s camp, the frontier gun
builder’s appearance and demeanor
• Selling High Quality Hay
“I inspected it, cut the breech changed. He donned a shot pouch • Offering Custom Food
off and installed a new breech and horn, left his spectacles at the
plug with a finer thread. The bore bench and wrapped a black silk Plots/Pasture Replanting
is .72-caliber. Now it is 41 inches, scarf about his head. With a lilt in
round and tapered from the breech his step, the seasoned woodsman • Brushcutting, Tractor/Track
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to the muzzle. Any older or original
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Muzzle Loading State Events Hauling, Lawn Mowing
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Trapping in Southern Michigan
Part II can raise havoc in their corn fields by pulling
down the entire corn stalk. I can tell you from
rapping has been around for several
hundred years. In the beginning, firsthand knowledge they can eat a lot of your
man trapped for food and money bait while you are baiting for bears.
either selling or trading the hides Raccoons are normally nocturnal. They live
for other goods. Native Ameri- just about everywhere and anywhere; from hol-
can tribes used raccoon hides not lowed out trees, abandoned houses and barns,
only for winter clothing, but for ornament. Our chimneys and attics, to the sewer systems in
country has a long history with trapping. In North urban areas. Their two biggest threats are hunters/
America trapping began with the first settlers trappers and motor vehicles. With their ability to
and is still going on today. But, trapping today climb it’s very difficult for another predator to
has dropped off to a much smaller scale. Today’s pose a threat to them.
trappers normally aren’t trapping for food, but for The fur market in the early 1980s was in full
money, sport or for predator control. swing and for a large prime raccoon fur
Last month I covered trapping you could get up to $50. Today, they are
coyotes and fox that damage our small only worth a few dollars. There aren’t
game population and deer. This article is a lot of trappers setting traps for rac-
about mink, skunk, raccoon, muskrat and coons but there are hunters who hunt
possum. Muskrats aren’t predators, but them behind their dogs. Many of those
they have been a very popular fur bearing hunters aren’t killing the raccoons
animal that have been trapped throughout because of the down market. Hunting
southern Michigan for a few hundred behind hounds started in America in the A mink Trail.
late 18th century. In the 19th
Muskrat dinners are still By Jeff Pendergraff century there were several
thousand coonskins taken
our bear baits and have caught as many as three
very popular in Wyandotte, raccoons in one evening, all close enough for the
Michigan during Lent and used for fundraisers in and many used as a means of payment for goods. others to see the other raccoons already caught in
churches and for wild game dinners in southeast Most trappers trap raccoons for predator another trap and they still keep coming in.
Michigan. For many generations of metro De- control or damage control on their property. My friend Charlie Sant Angelo is an example
troiters, mostly of French-Canadian fur trapper Raccoons will eat eggs of any birds; pheasants, of a trapper who traps for predator control on his
descent, muskrats are considered a great meal grouse and turkeys, just to mention a few. There farm. Besides catching fox and coyotes he is also
with the practice going back to the early 1800s. are some people who keep them as pets and the setting traps for raccoons, skunk and possum. At
Muskrats are everywhere, if there is a ditch males have been known to become very aggres- times he also catches those three in his fox and
alongside of a country road, a small pond or cul- sive as they get older or near mating season. coyote sets.
vert, most likely you will have muskrats. My first Skunks and possums, like raccoons will eat The number of turkeys and pheasant in his
experience with muskrats was when I worked in eggs they find. Both skunks and possums are area has dropped significantly over the past few
southeast Michigan in the early 1980s. A large omnivorous, eating both plant and animal mate- years. A big part of the reason is because there
prime muskrat (’rat) was worth close to $8. rial including frogs, snakes, salamanders, birds, are so many predators running around and there
There were so many ’rats along the Lake Erie moles and of course eggs. They play havoc on are very few trappers anymore because there is
and Detroit River coastline there were trappers our hatching game birds. no value in their pelts.
making a few thousand dollars a year trapping There are some people who do eat raccoon, With no management of predators, their
them. I knew one trapper from Flat Rock, trapped but there isn’t much of a market for either skunk numbers are growing by leaps and bounds and its
over 1000 ’rats in a given year. or possum. Both species are mostly nocturnal, having a tremendous effect on deer and our small
It’s hard work, especially if you are trap- and their biggest threats are trappers and motor game population.
ping in a marsh. The Point Mouille State Game vehicles. There aren’t really any predators out In the past few years Charlie and his friends
Area was a prime example, a large man-made there that prey on skunk because of their ability have been killing over fifty coyotes behind dogs
dike in a marshy area (for waterfowl hunting) to spray them. If given an opportunity to make a during the winter and it doesn’t appear to have
that contained thousands of muskrats and their meal out of a possum some of our larger preda- a major impact on the coyote population in the
lodges. You could see their lodges throughout the tors may do so. One positive thing about possum area he lives in. As of March 7, 2018, they have
marsh, which looks like a beaver lodge, but much is that they can eat up to 5000 ticks in a year. already killed 46 coyotes behind their dogs in the
smaller. Muskrats are well known for their de- Skunks and raccoons are also known to be carri- area of southern Michigan where they live.
structiveness in ponds, streams and dams. If gone ers of rabies! One fall I was hunting at his farm and before
unchecked they can destroy the banks near any Raccoons, skunks and possums are very easy I left to return home I went with him to check his
shoreline, including your pond. They are easy to to trap. All three spend a lot of time along creeks traps. Just in one night he had a possum, a rac-
trap with several methods. You can place a coni- and ditches looking for food. Simply placing a coon, a skunk and a coyote! That tells me there
bear trap in the runways they use in the water or leg hold trap with some smelly bait will do the are a lot of predators running around on his farm.
runways they use leading into a bean or soybean trick. Unlike setting traps for coyotes or fox you
field. You can find locations where they are eat- There is another type of trap that works very don’t have to worry much about human scent on
ing the cattails and place a leg hold trap there. A well that’s called a DP trap. DP means dog proof. the traps or in the area of your set trap. It doesn’t
colony trap looks like a small live trap. You place It’s a trap that has a small opening in it. You place really brother them.
it in underwater runways the ’rat(s) swim into it bait inside it and the raccoon will place its paw Mink fur has been highly prized for use in
and can’t swim out. in there and the paw gets caught in the trap. They clothing for decades. Trapping has been the num-
When most people, especially non-hunters, are very effective and designed to keep dog paws ber one way of harvesting mink, until farming of
think of raccoons, they think of those cute little out of the trap. mink gave way.
animals with a bandit mask on their face. It’s far You can also get a five- gallon bucket, cut Mink prey on fish and other aquatic life, small
from the truth! Raccoons can be very aggressive wedges in the top so you can place a Conibear mammals, birds and eggs. My friend had several
animals. They eat just about anything. Their diet trap in the opening and place bait in the back of chickens and discovered one morning that they
consists of about 40 percent invertebrates such the bucket. The raccoons enter the bucket to get all had been killed. He set a live trap and much
as snails, spiders, etc., 33 percent plant foods and the food and the trap goes off. I had a friend who to his surprise the culprit was a mink! Mink are
27 percent vertebrates such as mice and reptiles. was having problems with raccoons getting into very fond of rabbits and are known for depleting
Let’s not forget your garbage if given a chance. his barn and over the summer he caught 29 rac- a small pond of its fish.
Most farmers hate raccoons because of the crop coons in the bucket set. Mink like to live near the water and are
damage they do. They can eat a lot of corn and We have set several traps in the area around seldom found very far from riverbanks, lakes and
marshes. Even when roaming looking for food will trigger the trap and set it off.
they tend to follow streams and ditches, which Just a couple of years ago mink were going
is where most trappers set traps for them. They for about $20, now they go for less than $10.
are found throughout southern Michigan. Just These are just a few examples of how trap-
about anywhere you find a ditch along a road- pers set traps for skunk, raccoon, possum, mink
way, most likely you will find mink. and muskrats. There are seminars throughout
One method is called a pocket set, it also Michigan on trapping. If you are thinking about
works for raccoons. You get into the water getting into trapping you should attend one or
where there is a steep bank. You dig a hole in get with a local trapper and maybe he or she
the bank, place bait in the hole and set a leg might show you a thing or two. There are a lot
hold trap in front of the hole. As they search for
the bait, they step into the trap. Another method
of rules when it comes to trapping. Make sure
you read the hunting and trapping digest. 1-7/8” - 2/5Hz
is to find a trail they are using (the trail really
stands out in the snow) and set a Conibear trap
The author is Jeff Pendergraff, retired
Captain from the DNR Law Enforcement 16 HHHHuHH
in the trail. As they walk through the trap they Division.n
Taxes and muH�HpHHHHH HuHH.

By John

f you’re like me, you are going to continue to trap whether you make or lose money. The tax
laws were set up to collect taxes from profitable business and provide relief for those that lose
money. Most new trappers will not recoup their investment in trapping supplies in their first
couple of years. In the trapping industry we experienced a decline in the amount of revenue we
take in from furs, while the prices for traps and trapping supplies continue to increase.
Trapping is a business venture, whether you do it full-time or part-time. We collect revenue from
the sale of our furs and pay expenses in the process of collecting the furs. When the total amount we
collect from the sale of our furs is less than the amount we spend on supplies and other expenses; we
can take a loss on our tax return, which lowers the amount that we have to pay Uncle Sam and Mr.
State. Or, if you already have a refund coming, the trapping loss would increase your tax refund, as- H
suming you have a job that withholds taxes from your paycheck.
If you receive a Form 1099 Miscellaneous Income Statement from the sale of your furs, you will HHHHHHHHHHHHH
be required to report that income, because a copy of the form is also forwarded to state and federal tax
authorities. You could just report the income and pay taxes on it, or file a Schedule C and deduct your HHHHHHHHHHHHHH
expenses from the income.
We will leave the details for filling out the tax returns and Schedule C to the tax preparers. The
income side is easy. It is simply the money collected from the sale of your furs. The expense side is
any expense you incurred in the course of prospecting, trapping and handling your furs including lures,
baits, traps, wire stakes, trade magazines, any other supplies and your travel mileage. I would suggest
getting professional advice, because there are more complicated rules. Travel looking for fur, checking GHnuHnH HHHHHH,
traps and any other travel associated with your trapline, including travel to state and national trapping
conventions (or trade shows) are generally deductible. 24k HHHH H
Normally work clothes are not tax deductible, but trapping gloves, waders, and snowshoes used for
trapping could be deductible. Fur shed supplies like knives, stretchers, and even your fur sheds are de- HHppHH finHHHHH
ductible. Once again, if you are going to deduct your fur shed, a tax professional should be consulted.
The fur shed would be deducted over a number of years through depreciation expense. When you are
trying to add up expenses, you want to include everything used. The important thing is document all
expenses incurred during the year. It is too hard to remember details when you’re filling out your tax
return, and a whole lot harder to explain to an auditor. PROVEN HOLOUR AHHENTS + GLOW
A file should be set up to keep all documents, such as copies of checks for expenses, mileage log
book, invoices (receipts), and any notes that help clarify the trapping use. The mileage log book should YO GLOR BKCH
include dates, miles traveled and purpose. Any notes should include date, amount and reason the ex-
pense was incurred. Not only will this organization help you fill out and support your tax return, it will
provide you with useful information to use in the future.
For example, the logbook will let you know where you were last trapping season when you caught
10 foxes in one day. Or the copies of supply bills will let you remember which supplier provided the
items you liked or did not like.
The bottom line is if you incur an expense related to your trapline, it is tax deductible. And remem-
ber, you’re not cheating anyone by deducting them. You are just using the tax system that was set up
for all Americans, whether you’re corporate America or a proud American trapper.
Besides tax time for most folks April is a time that most of us put away our trapping gear for the
season. A little time organizing and cleaning equipment before storing for the season can save a lot
of time come next fall. Clean traps with a wire brush removing excess dirt and debris, also removing
stakes and drags. Traps and stakes that need repair should be set aside for repair during the summer
months. Any unused lure or bait should be stored in a dark cool place.
I freeze my coyote and fox glands and beaver castors during the fall and winter months and
thaw them to start the lure making process in April. With a little hard work I hope to have 2018/2019
season’s supply of Lenon Lures ready for the National Trappers Convention to be held in Escanaba on
July 26-28, 2018 at the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds, 2401 12th Ave. North, Escanaba, Michigan.
This will be the 59th Annual NTA Convention. The NTA annual convention will have trapping demon-
strations and suppliers from all over the country. /williamslures
I welcome you to visit my websites at and I always welcome
calls from fellow trappers at (989) 569-3480 ext. 225.
enhances DNR's ability to
gather, share information
about our natural resources
By Bob Gwizdz…MDNR

ith an electric cur- managing forests, fish or wildlife.
rent pulsing through Others are wide-ranging and involve
the waters of a the entire department.
secluded stream, Geographical Information Sys-
brook trout and tems (GIS) technology, for example,
other fish swirl into is used across the DNR. GIS uses
view – stunned briefly – before they maps and aerial photography to Mapping technology is an indispensable tool for DNR foresters.
are captured, measured, counted and display various layers of data, from
released. political boundaries like county trees – we have tools to go out in the if they have a source of electricity or
The information gathered from lines to forest types, locations of woods and map where the trees are. water.”
these sampling efforts helps fisher- campgrounds or other information. “We know how old the trees are, Michigan has been working on
ies biologists assess stream fish Maps can be created with GIS we know where we have diseased GIS since the late 1970s, but the
populations. displaying specific layers of data the trees and healthy trees, which trees data collection just continues to get
Meanwhile, the use of electro- user is interested in, while omitting need to be cut, whether they’re a more sophisticated.
shocking is one example of how the others. certain age or a certain size. We “We’ve got 1,000-plus different
MDNR employs technology to help “It’s all about data,” explained know where young trees are that data layers,” Forstat said. “We’ve
produce, retrieve or collect valuable David Forstat, who runs the DNR’s need to be thinned out.” been flying the state every year or
data on a wide range of subjects. Resource Assessment Section Forstat said the DNR’s Forest every other year to get high-resolu-
Technology is defined as the (RAS). “We work with all divisions Resources Division supplies 50 tion aerial imagery.”
application of scientific knowledge within the department.” percent of the RAS budget and is its Forstat points to a popular
for practical purposes. From that The Resource Assessment Sec- biggest beneficiary. DNR program – Mi-HUNT – as an
perspective, the DNR has always tion has 20 employees. Most of “If a chip board company wants example of how the DNR’s Wildlife
been a high-tech agency. these workers are headquartered to come into Michigan, they need to Division provides information to
But as technology advances, in Lansing, but several employees know where the trees are, a certain hunters across the nation from data
the DNR continues to adopt new are situated in the northern Lower age of trees, a certain size of tree, a provided by the Resource Assess-
concepts and techniques as it carries Peninsula with plans to add a person certain kind of tree,” Forstat said. ment Section.
out its task of managing the state’s in the Upper Peninsula. “They want to know about the trans- The online mapping applica-
natural resources. “We use the data to answer portation system, where there’s a tion directs hunters to the nearly 10
Some technological applications questions,” Forstat said. “We know big highway or railroad so they can million acres of land open to public
are explicit to the DNR’s various where the deer are, where the haul the lumber in, process it and hunting in the state.
divisions, like those specialized for wolves are, we keep track of the ship it out. They may need to know Wildlife biologist Mike Dono-
van, who heads up Mi-HUNT, said
hunters can find all the places – state
game areas, state and national forest
land, state park land open to hunt-
ing, even private land available to
hunters through the Commercial
Forest Act or Hunter Access Pro-
gram – they can go for their next
“It’s an interactive map that
shows you where the land is and
provides aerial photos – leaf-on and
leaf-off – topographical maps and
vegetative cover types,” Donovan
said. “It’ll tell you the size density
and the age of the trees.
“And it’s really the best place
to go for HAP information because
that stuff can change so quickly.”
The public has access to all the
RAS data.
“People who recreate outdoors
are probably our biggest users,”
Forstat said. “Most DNR field staff
use GIS, but the public – people
who use trails or camp or hunt – use
it more than our folks.
The DNR tags fish like walleye and sturgeon to help monitor habitat use. “We even have an app to find
morels, to look for a place where we
had a forest fire or a controlled burn,
because morels like to grow where
there’s been a fire.”
Forstat said the DNR uses GIS
data in its conservation officer ve-
hicles, on its boats when collecting
fisheries data and in state forests in a
variety of ways.
“When you have things that
come up quickly, like a forest fire,
you want all that data at your finger-
tips,” he said.
The DNR is also using geo-
graphic data to keep track of the
state’s cultural resources.“The
Resource Assessment Section is
working on a project for the Michi-
gan History Center to assist with One way the DNR uses electroshocking to briefly stun fish in order to collect data. MDNR photos
cataloging all the historical markers
with GPS coordinates,” Forstat said. go.” they’re using,” Whelan said. wetlandwonders.
“And we developed an application Forstat said that the big push to “An example is Saginaw Bay “Last year it had 30,000 views,”
that can be used on smart phone digitize this data came in the 1980s, walleye – we can find out when a Hilliard said.
devices. Staffers used the applica- when the DNR converted paper fish leaves the inner bay and we Even the technology used to
tion to verify marker locations, maps to digital maps. “I remember have receivers all the way up Lake collect that sort of information has
condition, and for the collection of we had one computer and you had Huron and all the way to the bridge. changed.
photographs of the markers around to sign up to use it,” Forstat said. They produce an ungodly amount of David Luukkonen, a wildlife
the state.” Now travelers and others “Now we have more data on our cell data.” research biologist, said that DNR
interested in Michigan history can phones than we had on that com- Another fish-tagging program staffers who fly over the state to
easily find historical markers with a puter.” involves using pop-up tags that survey waterfowl have always made
quick search at Gary Whelan, the DNR Fisher- attach to a specimen’s back and notes as they flew. Now they use
markers. ies Division’s program manager for eventually release, to record temper- voice recorders with an app that
Forstat, who studied geology, research and fish health, said acous- ature and depth data. The tags send applies a GPS pin as it records, so
began his DNR career inspecting oil tic tags – transmitters implanted in a signal to a satellite, so fisheries the DNR knows exactly where the
and gas wells. “You had to take all the body cavities of the fish – are researchers can locate and recover birds are.
of your books, all of your maps out giving fisheries managers access to them. This is coming in especially
there with you. I figured there had information that seemed like science “It tells us a lot about what handy, Luukkonen said, as the DNR
to be an easier way to capture the fiction just a few short years ago. habitat the fish are using day by is conducting a survey of diving
locations of all the wells in the state, The DNR has set up a series of day,” Whelan said. ducks and other pelagic (open-
their conditions and any pollution dozens of receivers that pick up the Other high-tech fisheries proj- water) birds. As energy companies
problems associated with them,” he tags’ signals. ects involve using remotely operated push to build off-shore wind facili-
said. “We have them in walleye, stur- vehicles, towed by fisheries research ties, the DNR data will show which
DNR staffers developed a pro- geon, whitefish – anything we want vessels that can carry video camer- areas of the lakes the birds use to
gram to track them from the office. to know when and where the fish as, hydro-acoustic units to estimate help avoid conflicts.
“After that, GIS just exploded,” he are using habitats – what spawn- prey abundance and water-quality Meanwhile, Luukkonen is
said. “Computers were the way to ing habitat, which prey resources monitors. “We’re using a lot of Go- working with a graduate student at
Pro cameras too,” Whelan said. “We Michigan State University on a mute
use them to count gobies – drop a swan study. Forty-five GPS-collared
GoPro on a tripod on a reef, for in- swans transmit data to cellular tow-
stance – and we’re using GoPros on ers whenever they are within range
our research nets, to see how they’re of a tower, which is practically all
fishing and whether fish are avoid- the time.
ing them.” “The idea is to develop a
The DNR has been using mod- population model of mute swans,
ern communications media, such as so we can effectively manage
Facebook and YouTube, to com- them,” Luukkonen said. “We’re
municate to the public for years. But finding out all kinds of things
it’s also developing communication about them we didn’t know. We
tools for department’s website that thought they were fairly residential
give the public more information birds, but we’ve found that they
than ever before. travel a lot more than we knew. And
Eric Hilliard, a digital media we’ve even found them feeding in
and web resources specialist with fields, something we never sus-
the DNR’s Wildlife Division for the pected.”
last five years, has recently com- As technology continues to
pleted an online waterfowl count advance, one thing is clear – im-
“dashboard” that shows hunters how proving the DNR’s ability to collect
many and which species are using and share information benefits both
the state’s managed waterfowl areas. Michigan’s natural resources and the
Tags implanted in fish provide DNR fisheries managers with a wealth It’s available at people who enjoy them.n
of information.
Harvesting the sweet bounty
Making maple syrup has become a seasonal family affair for all three generations...

ne of my fondest at that time of year, did have a daily
memories as a teen- effect on all the trees, causing sap
ager was working buckets to not be so full one day and
for a neighbor in his then to the point of actually over-
woods by gathering flowing the next day.
sap to make maple Other kids were working with
syrup. This began first with tapping me in gathering sap, and we each
maple trees with a hand-drill and had a pair of five-gallon buckets to
hammering in metal spigots (aka pour in the sap from each tree, and
taps) on which we hung special when they got to be on the heavy
metal buckets which had lids to side, we headed to a large tank on
keep out debris. Some trees on the wheels being towed by a tractor that
smaller side only required was following a winding
one tap while bigger ones trail through the woods.
could handle more. There This in turn was hauled to
was a lot of snow that win- the “sugar shack” where
ter and we had to do some my neighbor was tending
serious wading at first to the fire while boiling the
reach the trees, but eventu- sap down into maple syrup.
ally we established some It takes about 40 gallons of
notable trails from our sap to make one gallon of
continual foot- syrup, so that
travel through
the woods. By Tom Lounsbury represents a lot
of painstaking Bob Walker of Kingston checking the color and texture of boiling
The trees, I boiling. The maple sap in his “sugar shack.”
would discover, had their individual steam escaping from the roof open-
character when it came to produc- ings of the sugar shack had a distinct over a tree root and spilled the con- environment has a natural way of
ing sap, which almost reminded me earthy scent which is a very unique tents of a bucket all over me which keeping you warm.
of our milk cows producing milk. aroma announcing a sweet bounty soaked me to the skin, that it could Gathering maple sap in this
Some were dependable sap produc- being created during the bubbling be a bit sticky. I had to literally peel fashion often has a lot to do with
ers while others were on the moody process. my clothes off after I completed my dealing with thawing snow be-
side and only so-so one day, then Maple sap is usually about 98 day, and getting wet in that environ- cause freezing nights with daytime
doing double duty the next, and the percent water and 2 percent sugar, ment was nothing new due to some temperatures in the 40s is ideally
dependable trees let me know it and though it looks like water, it perspiring work in the continually required to start the sap flowing.
wasn’t just the weather. The weather does possess a slightly sweet flavor. thawing snow and besides all that, Depending upon the weather this
however, being variable as it can be I also discovered when I tripped hard physical labor in a woodland can be an on again and off again
experience. Usually early March
represents the typical starting

NOW TAKING RESERVATIONS timeframe, but the last two win-

ters here in the Thumb, everything


began happening by mid-February.
It is clearly in the hands of Mother
Nature and a touchy part about all
this is to accomplish gathering the
LIMITED HUNTS LEFT IN IOWA sap before maple trees begin their
natural transition of forming buds,
Illinois - Non Resident Archery Application Period – June 1-30 because when this happens the sap
5 DAYS WITH MEALS AND LODGING becomes cloudy and not as plenti-
ful or flavorful as before. Typically,
PRICES FROM $1,500 everything is finished by April in
our Thumb area, but in some years,
much sooner.
CALL FOR MULTI-HUNT DISCOUNTS Bob Walker of Kingston has
been learning all of this during the
last three years in his woods, which
he purchased near his home ten
years ago. On the first year of mak-
ing maple syrup, he boiled sap in
the open air, but the following year
he constructed a sugar shack, where
he and his wife Dar and their two
CALL RAY POTTER sons and their families all pitch in.
Making maple syrup has become a
AMERICAN HERITAGE OUTFITTERS seasonal family affair for all three
generations which they clearly enjoy
855-626-6900 and look forward to.
The maple syrup they create
together is strictly for their own use
and matters are kept on a smaller
scale than could otherwise be done. Walker sugar shack and soon spot-
They maintain 50 taps on about ted 14 year-old Hugh Walker of
three dozen trees which are in close Cass City using a splitting maul to
proximity to the sugar shack in downsize large chunks of ash to
order to keep the effort of gather- properly feed the fire, which can
ing sap to a minimum, and these be a hungry beast, in order to keep
trees have proven to be depend- things as hot as they should be.
able producers to meet their needs. Hugh’s father, Ryan Walker of Cass
Their woods certainly has a lot more City, was inside the shack helping
maple trees to offer which could grandfather Bob tend to matters
also be tapped, but the Walker fam- while the sap boiled in two large
ily clan is quite happy to keep mat- steaming pans on top of a big iron
ters in a more simple and laidback woodstove. One pan was for the
nature they all truly appreciate. It, actual boiling, while the other pan
however, still requires a lot of hard was for adding fresh sap and heating
work, but is clearly a labor of love it up before adding it to the actual
on their part and involving a bit of boiling pan. As Bob explained, only
family teamwork. using one pan can become a more
Earlier this year had been ideal lengthy process because adding
weather conditions for gathering sap fresh sap cools matters, and the boil-
when I decided to recently pay the ing process has to start all over.
Walkers a visit at their sugar shack The final process is transferring Gathering maple sap is a family affair for the Walker clan, when
and to get a grasp on how they do the boiled sap which has become the making enough maple syrup for three families.
matters. I have a number of maple right color and texture to a large pot
trees which I had planted almost on a single burner gas stove, where shack was the all important sap taps, because they are durable and
40 years ago along my driveway as it is poured into the pot through barrel, which had formerly been a can hold a lot of sap. The contents
well as in my backyard and they are a strainer to remove any possible 40 gallon, plastic water drum with of these were poured into buckets
of a size now (the tree needs to have debris. Then the boiling down is a spigot at the bottom. When full of which when full, were hauled to the
at least a 10 inch diameter before completed with a close eye kept on sap, it would represent one gallon sugar shack close by and dumped
it can be tapped) where I believe I the temperature, with 219 degrees F of syrup. The contents of this too into the sap barrel, a very simple
can tap them and start the process of being key when using a thermom- would be strained through some and handy process.
making my own maple syrup, some- eter. Bob also uses a spoon that mesh into a bucket during the trans- The end result, hopefully
thing I have been contemplating for when the syrup clings to it and drips fer of sap to the boiling pans. anyway according to the whims of
some time now. off just right, it is completed, and Ryan’s other two children, Mother Nature, is to harvest enough
As I meandered through the care must be taken during this final daughter, Claire and son, Oliver maple syrup to cover the needs of
woods using the smoke rising up process so as not to burn the soon arrived with their grandmother three families for a year. And noth-
out of the sugar shack’s chimney syrup, which of course would Dar to help gather sap from nearby ing is sweeter than maple syrup
to keep my bearings, I was greeted ruin matters. trees. The Walkers use heavy vinyl gathered and processed by a family
with the distinctly pleasant aroma Off to the side of the sugar “wine bags” for hanging on the in their own woods.n
of boiling maple sap steam blending

Church Tackle Co.

in with wood smoke wafting in the
wind, which automatically brought ALL MADE
New for 2016!
back wonderful memories of gather- WE DIDN’T INVENT THE PLANER BOARD, WE JUST PERFECTED IT! Locking Arm
easy to open & close
ing maple sap in my youth. Locking Arm
Adjustment Adjustment Screw

I was hearing a whacking and easy to open & close

Mini Lock-Jaw
thumping sound as I neared the For drop weights & Release Release Hole for drop weights
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Liz Merchberger, featured

in the March Woods-N-Wa- Andrew Martinez and his boys,
ter News, (the lady with the 6-year-old Jr. and 4-year-old Freddy,
recycled liquid fertilizer con- Emily Thompson of Manistee
caught this beautiful steel- Sara Thompson catching with the big 9-pt taken on Eichorn
tainer fish shack) speared
this 44.5 inch muskie. head on the Manistee River. bass on Portage Lake. family farm.

The Grajewski Family of Branch is grateful for a success-

ful deer season. Top: Diane, 8-pt. Nov. 29, Mike, 7-pt. Nov.
16, son Eric, doe Nov. 25, son Mark, 8-pt. Oct. 2 crossbow,
Granddaughters Amara, 13, spike Sept. 16 and Sophie, 7,
doe Oct. 15 crossbow. Grandson Miles, 10, doe Nov. 12
crossbow. Bottom: Diane, 8-pt. Oct. 25 crossbow, son Matt,
8-pt. Oct. 18 bow and John Weidner, 8-pt. Oct. 2 crossbow.

Isabella County Hunters Have

Successful season in Memory of
Tim Coughlin! Top: Tim’s wife,
Jean, 9-pt. Nov. 16, 7-pt. Oct.1
bow; Daughter, Trixie Onstott,
hunting dad’s blind 7-pt. Oct. 13,
6-pt. Nov. 16. Middle: Son-in-law,
Tim Onstott, 5-pt. Nov. 16; Grand-
son, Cooper Onstott, 6-pt. Sept.
15, 13-pt. Nov. 15; great-niece, Ky-
Christopher lie Pifer, doe during gun season;
Young, age 13, nephew, Jared Pifer, with son,
Rich Gusa of Har- harvested this Eli Alexandrian Brady, and 11-pt. Oct. 25. Bottom:
bor Beach caught beautiful buck took this six-point Tim’s dad, Dick Onstott, 5-pt. and
this red fox chasing near Brown City. near Olivet with a 8-pt. Nov. 15; and niece, Angie
a rooster pheasant. muzzleloader. Pifer, with a 9-pt. Nov. 15!
32 Annual - Woods-N-Water News


Outd o o r W ee k e n

Outdoor Exhibits!
Seminars, Puppies
Gun Auction, Wild
Animals & More

e b ra t i n g O u r O u t d o o r H e r i t a g e !
C el
September 7 - 8 -9 th th th

Eastern Michigan State Fairgrounds in Imlay City
Hot Topics in the Outdoors...

Figuring out the DNR’s budget

At first glance, the Michigan Department of
Natural Resources’ budget of almost $409
million this fiscal year is enough to make a
taxpayer blanch...” By Bob Gwizdz MDNR

owever, many Michi- The fund also receives money
gan taxpayers may not from the Game and Fish Protection
know that only 14 per- Trust Fund, which collects royalties
cent of the DNR’s cur- from oil, gas and mineral extraction
rent budget is financed or timber sales on lands acquired with
by state taxes. Game and Fish dollars.
Of the state’s $56.7 billion overall The Game and Fish Protection
budget, DNR funding is roughly 0.7 Fund receives $6 million annually,
percent. From the state’s primary or plus whatever interest and earnings
General Fund budget of $10.2 billion, the trust fund generates in a year. Last
the DNR receives 0.6 percent. The fiscal year, the trust fund showed a
state’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to balance of $190.4 million.
Sept. 30. Federal contributions make up the
“For the most part, we are a next-largest component of the DNR
pay-to-play department,” said Erik budget, about $70 million. Much of
Eklund, the DNR’s chief budget of- that figure comes from federal pro-
ficer. grams that collect taxes and fees for
The DNR’s bills are paid from specific activities and redistribute that
some 60 different funds, all of which money to the states. ture, accounts for $56.9 million of the improvements, such as building picnic
have various revenue streams, but In 2017, for instance, the DNR DNR’s budget. Those tax dollars are tables.
many of which are made up of user received $24.2 million from the spent for a variety of purposes. Otherwise, most DNR divisions
fees paid by those who hunt, boat, Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restora- In this fiscal year’s budget, the are funded through user fees.
fish, snowmobile, camp, harvest tion Act, a law passed in 1937 that largest share of that money ($15.6
timber, ride off-road vehicles or oth- collects an excise tax on firearms and Users Contribute
million) was allocated for a variety The DNR’s Parks and Recreation
erwise take part in natural resources- ammunition. The Dingell-Johnson of one-time appropriations, some
based activities. Sport Fish Restoration Act, which Division has the largest division
multi-million-dollar items, like state budget, $94.7 million. It is funded
From there, some of the details collects taxes on fishing equipment, park infrastructure improvements
can get complicated, but it’s worth the chipped in $10.7 million to the DNR by a variety of revenue sources, such
and development of the Iron Belle as sales of Recreation Passports,
effort to gain a better understanding of budget last year. Trail, and many smaller appropria- boat registrations, snowmobile trail
how the DNR is funded. “The federal funding we receive tions to deal with specific issues, such stickers, off-road vehicle license fees
Important Revenue Streams is absolutely essential,” said Russ Ma- as swimmer’s itch or shooting range
son, chief of the DNR’s Wildlife Divi- and trail stickers, and camping fees
The single biggest revenue source construction. collected at state parks and forest
for the DNR is the Game and Fish sion. “We access that money based on General Fund money also is used
the size of the state and the number of campgrounds.
Protection Fund, which contributes to fund operations that are outside the The DNR also receives two-per-
$83 million, about 20 percent of the hunters we have here.” realm of some DNR divisions’ main cent of the state’s gas tax – 80 percent
overall DNR budget. This fund is General Fund charges. of which goes to the Waterways Fund,
made up largely from hunting and State General Fund money, ap- The DNR’s Law Enforcement Di- used to operate and maintain harbors
fishing license fees. propriated by the Michigan Legisla- vision received more than $11 million and boat launch ramps.
this year to compensate for conserva- The Parks and Recreation Divi-
tion officer activities outside of their sion also receives money from the
typical duties, which are game and Park Endowment Fund, which col-
fish law enforcement, snowmobile lects the bulk of royalties from oil, gas
and off-road vehicle enforcement, and and mineral extraction on public land.
marine safety. Every year, 50 percent of the royalties
Michigan conservation officers are generated and any interest or earnings
fully empowered peace officers who from the body of the fund are avail-
do everything from conducting search able for spending.
and rescue operations to responding to “I am pleased with the strong
traffic incidents. public support for our great parks and
“Conservation officers are not recreation system,” said DNR Parks
just fish and game cops,” Eklund said. and Recreation Division Chief Ron
“They’re often the first responders in Olson. “We depend greatly on user
many rural areas in the state.” fees, and last year’s growth provided
Other General Fund appropria- for sustaining our world-class natural
tions to the DNR this year include resources that allow tremendously
$7.6 million to the Forest Resources diverse outdoor recreational opportu-
Division for wildfire protection nities.”
(much of which takes place on private The DNR’s Forest Resources Di-
land), $5 million for invasive species vision, with a $48.5 million budget, is
management, $4.7 million for the funded largely by the timber industry,
Michigan History Center and roughly which pays fees when harvesting
$1 million for the Summer Youth timber from state forests. The division
Employment Program, which brings also receives federal funds from the
License fees paid by hunters make a significant contribution to at-risk youth into state parks to teach
funding the Michigan Depar tment of Natural Resources. them job skills as they work on park DNR’s Budget page 74
Hot Topics in the Outdoors...Our Thoughts, Our Views...

Shifting to QDM to fight deer disease

By Erik Schnelle, State Chapter President, Michigan QDMA and Leon Hank, Chairman of the Board, QDMA
ecent developments important period spotlighting habitat bucks: If you are a deer hunter, what function of deer densities per area
regarding the spread is fawning season, when mature animal dominates your dreams the of prime fawning habitat. If nearby
of chronic wasting dis- does become most territorial and night before a hunt? Which animals territories are also filled by protec-
ease (CWD) in central exclude all deer from their fawning are you hoping to see in your trail tive mature does, dispersal rates
and western Michigan, territories. If the population is dense camera pictures? If you are not and distances can be quite high, as
along with a spike and the neighboring habitat is also a deer hunter, and want to better yearling deer will travel until they
in bovine Tuberculosis (TB) in the filled by mature does, yearling does understand what motivates hunters, find available habitat.
northeast, are creating unprecedented and bucks will be forced to disperse pick any deer hunting advertisement Given this risk, a pragmatic
concern for Michigan hunters, farm- great distances. (“Population den- in any hunting magazine. Which deer strategy would be to delay timing of
ers, and conservationists. Our deer sity influences dispersal in female is featured in ads? Advertisers know dispersal, reduce dispersal rates and
herd and hunting heritage are clearly white-tailed deer” by Lutz et al) To what motivates hunters. reduce dispersal distances. Quality
threatened, and hunters around the minimize disease, hunters, and the Seeing more bucks and hav- Deer Management practices have
state are asking what can be done. DNR will need to work together to ing the opportunity to harvest older been proven to support all of these
To prevent catastrophe, we will create and enhance more high quality bucks excites hunters, drives invest- outcomes.
need to manage deer diseases ac- winter and spring fawning habitat. ments in hunting land, equipment, • Increase Landowner, Hunter,
tively and intelligently, using sound • Harvest more Does: In the trips, habitat improvements, and Farmer, and State Partnerships:
science where it can guide us. We CWD and TB areas, along with licenses. Those older bucks motivate QDMA Deer Cooperatives have been
also need to recognize the role of much of the rest of the Lower Pen- hunters to sit in deer stands, improve growing rapidly across Michigan.
hunting and the importance of keep- insula, we have high deer densities. habitat, and to work together to bet- Research at Michigan State Univer-
ing hunters afield. The good news is Those densities result in greater ter manage our deer herd. sity has shown these cooperatives
if we can achieve this balancing act, disease risk, increased damage Why protect the majority of year- increase hunter engagement and sat-
we will slow the spread of disease, to wildlife habitat and crops, and ling bucks? Yearling bucks are no isfaction. This research also shows
keep prevalence rates low, and enjoy more human/deer conflict. Reduc- more likely to be infected with CWD deer cooperative members are far
quality hunting experiences for many ing doe numbers is the only proven than yearling does. They are roughly more likely to harvest does. These
decades to come. way to reduce herd size. Research only 25% as likely to be infected as same deer cooperatives have estab-
has shown to reduce the size of a 3.5 year old buck, and only about lished strong working relationships
Key Actions Necessary herd, more than 30% of the antler- half as likely to be infected as a ma- with their local DNR biologists,
To Meet the Challenge less component should be harvested ture doe. (Grear et al. “Demographic farmers and land owners. The growth
• Control the spread of CWD by every year. We aren’t coming close Patterns and Harvest Vulnerability of co-ops should be encouraged to
limiting the movement of both live to that number! of Chronic Wasting Disease Infected enlist these influential hunter groups
deer and deer carcasses: CWD has According to the 2017 QDMA White-Tailed Deer in Wisconsin”). in the fight against deer disease. We
been spread great distances through- Whitetail Report, Michigan is har- We see similarly low TB infection would also like to see these proven
out the U.S. by human transport. vesting does at a much lower rate per rates in yearlings, as well as increas- partnerships work to improve deer
Deer farmers have moved infected buck (.7) than virtually all of the top es in TB prevalence in older deer in habitat on state and federal lands.
live deer and elk, and hunters have whitetail states. Examples include northeast Michigan. Lastly, how can we ensure qual-
moved infected carcasses. We need Wisconsin (1.0), Illinois (1.3), Iowa • Minimize Yearling Dispersal: If ity hunting experiences when we
stronger measures to prevent addi- (1.2), Indiana (.9) and Ohio (1.4). yearlings are less likely to be infect- are working to significantly reduce
tional infection arriving from outside These comparisons make it clear we ed than mature deer, it is fair to ask, our deer herd? Let’s look at one
Michigan, as well as measures to can have high quality hunting while why should we be concerned about example:
limit the spread of disease within the harvesting more does. them with respect to TB or CWD? Pennsylvania implemented a
state. Additionally, we know from The answer is dispersal. Yearling comprehensive program in 2002
• Reduce spread through limita- DNR check station results our does deer disperse to new territories in that included liberalized antlerless
tions on baiting, recreational feeding, are much older than our bucks. At spring and fall, and can take disease seasons, antler point restrictions, and
and livestock feeding: The science is a late 2017 TB work group meet- with them when they do. For this a one buck rule. Today, Pennsylva-
clear; one of the most effective ways ing, Chad Stewart, DNR Deer and reason, dispersal should be consid- nia hunters are harvesting almost
to spread TB and CWD is through Elk Biologist, shared that 60 – 65% ered as a part of any comprehensive twice as many does per buck than
bait piles and feed troughs where of the does checked within the core approach to TB or CWD. In an Michigan hunters (1.3 vs .7), while
deer are exposed to high concentra- TB area were 3.5 years or older. article titled “Ready, Set, Scatter” in harvesting bucks at a rate similar to
tions of infected saliva, urine, and Research on CWD and TB tells us the November 2017 issue of Qual- Michigan’s (3.1 vs. 3.4 per square
feces. the older a deer is, the more likely ity Whitetails magazine, research mile). Due to these changes, Penn-
According to DNR surveys, bait- it is to be infected. Because ma- from Maryland and Pennsylvania sylvania hunters are also harvesting
ing is still popular with the majority ture bucks 3.5 and older are all too indicated Quality Deer Management much larger bucks than ever before,
of Michigan hunters. The DNR has rare in Michigan, the prevalence of (QDM) -simply defined as allowing evidenced by new state and county
also had difficulty enforcing baiting older does presents the larger risk. most yearling bucks to survive, and records every year. Most importantly,
laws due to unsuccessful prosecution We need to look at our regulations, increasing doe harvest, can reduce shifting to a “quality” approach has
of citations. All stakeholder groups seasons, and hunter education to spring dispersals by all yearlings, paid off in keeping hunters hunting.
are going to need to work together increase doe harvest. delay fall dispersals by bucks, and Over the past 10 years, hunter num-
to limit this risk, co-creating regula- For example, evidence shows reduce dispersal distances. bers have declined at a slower rate in
tions hunters will support, and law regulations protecting yearling In a paper titled “Effect of Pennsylvania (5%) than in Michigan
enforcement can enforce. bucks cause hunting pressure to Population Demographics and (14%). Antler point restrictions have
• Increase and improve wildlife shift towards does, especially in the Social Pressures on White-Tailed also retained a 60-70% level of sup-
habitat: When quality habitat is early years. At the May NRC meet- Deer Dispersal Ecology” research- port in Pennsylvania throughout 15
scarce, deer will congregate in high ing, Chad Stewart, DNR reported ers found after implementing QDM, years of implementation.
densities, sometimes travelling long in Antler Point Restriction (APR) fall dispersal rates fell from 70% to Nationwide, Quality Deer Man-
distances, to obtain the food and cov- counties of Northwest Michigan, doe 50%. They attributed this drop to the agement has become increasingly
er they need to survive. These high harvest was up 13% while doe har- presence of more older bucks, which popular, with polls showing 70% or
densities expose deer to infection vest declined 16% in the surrounding in turn reduced competition amongst greater support from hunters. While
from other deer and their environ- non-APR counties. To bring densities younger bucks. practicing QDM does not require
ment. In Michigan, winter is when down, we will need to achieve even In a study titled “Population den- APR regulations, the 2016 Michigan
thermal cover and food are most better results in our disease manage- sity influences dispersal in female Harvest Survey showed hunter sup-
scarce, and we see large groupings ment areas. white-tailed deer” by Lutz et. al. they
of deer throughout the state. Another • Protect the majority of yearling discovered spring dispersal was a Fighting deer disease page 75
Hot Topics...My Thoughts, My Views, My Opinion

CWD…many questions and few answers

uss Mason, the head herd. They’ve held regional meet- practice to manage CWD, there ability. Testing is vital. I’m sure we
of the MDNR Wild- ings to receive feedback on whitetail doesn’t appear to be a clear one can expect a strong suggestion to
life Division was the management in the past and were in most of the states that are in- get deer tested before we eat them.
featured speaker at overwhelmed with the response. fected. No one has ever been able to Another question is how that will
the Michigan Outdoor Some folks were supportive and eradicate CWD once it establishes be paid for, especially if the disease
Writer’s conference at some were angry. They in its second phase. Prions, continues to spread. MDNR paid
the Ralph A. MacMullin Center on are aware of the differ- which are abnormal protein over 1.4 million dollars to test last
the shores of Higgins Lake in mid- ent stakes many have held particles from the disease, year. If the disease goes statewide
February. Writers from across Mich- throughout Michigan. Bait are known to infiltrate the it’s a budget-breaker. CWD is in
igan eagerly anticipated a discussion dealers, agriculture, proces- soil, water and surrounding the same family of diseases as Mad
that would help us understand how sors, QDMA groups, people vegetation, and there is no Cow disease, which can cause
all things deer were going to change for and those against antler known way to get rid of it. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in hu-
in our state due to the recently point restrictions. Most of it Obviously, no one wants to mans. It is not yet known if CWD
discovered Chronic Wasting Disease really amounted to there is see the disease get to that can infect humans but as it mutates
(CWD). Would new rules be placed a great deal of passion second phase of con- and spreads the Centers for Disease
on high fence cervid facilities?
Will baiting in all of Michigan be
when it comes to the
deer herd in Michigan. By Mark Sak taminating the environ-
ment. Prions associated
Control will become more involved.
Sick deer need to be reported to the
banned? Will antler point restric- One of the most interesting with this disease are thought to have DNR so they can track the spread
tions be removed and for that matter aspects of our visit with Russ an incubation period of a year or of this disease. Some states have
will a cull be put in place to lower Mason is he immediately wanted to more so it has obviously been in suspended APR regulations in CWD
numbers in the affected areas? All highlight all of the positive things Michigan for some time. areas. Baiting will be banned in
appropriate questions for the head of that are happening with wildlife in Right now, at this moment, Russ CWD areas. We may eventually
Michigan’s wildlife division. Michigan. Turkey hunting and the Mason stated they are really looking see it banned in surrounding coun-
CWD is a neurological disease new pheasant restoration initiative at options but are not yet ready to ties adjacent to CWD zones. Not a
that causes spongy degeneration were all doing well. I felt like I had change things statewide. They are surprise.
of the brain and nerve tissue of just been thrown a knuckleball by surely hoping the change that really One thing that may be a posi-
infected animals resulting in ema- Phil Niekro. needs to happen is all of the groups tive for Michigan wildlife managers
ciation, abnormal behavior, loss of Why are we highlighting other involved will come together for is the fact that hunting continues
bodily functions and death. There programs when we have an assault what is best conservation practice in states that have had CWD for
are several phases of the disease and on one of our most sacred animals for our deer herd. There may be years. It is not an end to the white-
this turned out to be an important in our state? My personal opinion many changes down the road and tail legacy in our state. Who knows,
part of this discussion. More on that is he surely didn’t want to spread it will be much easier if all of the it may actually bring our hunters
later. Approximately 50 deer have the doom and gloom that CWD can groups work toward the overall closer together if we understand that
been identified with the disease in bring to any state. health of whitetail deer. What that bringing back basic conservation
five counties in mid-Michigan. When we finally got into the will be exactly has not been outlined strategies may be the best prescrip-
Russ Mason certainly knew the teeth of the discussion on CWD nor was he ready to throw options tion for battling CWD in Michigan.
questions were coming. The Michi- it was apparent that this disease is on the table. For more information on CWD
gan DNR obviously knows how one that has more questions than When we look at what other log on to or
strongly hunters feel about the deer answers. When talking about best states are doing there is much vari-

Figuring the DNR’s budget: from page 72

Isle ($100,000) and with privately
owned facilities for captive deer, elk
by the Game and Fish Protection
Fund and federal Dingell-Johnson
or other cervids ($115,000). funds, as well as lawsuit settle-
U.S. Forest Service. million in General Fund money this The DNR Law Enforcement ments from companies involved with
The Wildlife Division’s budget year to combat wildlife diseases, in- Division’s budget of $42.4 million is resources damages, such as power
of $42.5 million comes largely from cluding $1 million in one-time funds made up from 14 sources. The single companies whose hydroelectric plants
the Game and Fish Protection Fund for chronic wasting disease. biggest contributor is the Game and have caused fish kills.
(mostly hunting license fees) and The Wildlife Division also re- Fish Protection Fund, which chipped Overall, administrative expenses –
Pittman-Robertson funds. The divi- ceives an additional $215,000 in Gen- in $20.5 million this year, including everything from the Michigan Natural
sion received a little more than $2.6 eral Fund money for work on Belle 35 cents for every hunting and fish- Resources Commission ($77,100) to
ing license sold to fund the Report property management ($3.7 million)
All Poaching hotline. Other funding – are funded by contributions from
sources include money collected from the funding sources that finance the
ORV license fees and trail stickers DNR’s various divisions.
and watercraft and snowmobile recre- In short, 86 percent of the DNR’s
ation fees. current budget comes from sources
The DNR also provides over $40 other than state taxes.
million in grants through a variety Michigan is a year-round play-
of different programs. Examples ground with a wealth of exceptional
include grants for invasive species natural resources to enjoy. In large
prevention and control; motorized and measure, it’s the state’s anglers, boat-
non-motorized trail improvements; ers, hunters, snowmobilers, campers
acquisition and development of public and others who fund improvements
outdoor recreation areas; fish and and maintenance for the pursuits we
wildlife habitat improvement; assis- all enjoy.
tance to county sheriffs for We should all be grateful for their
ORV, snowmobile and boating significant contributions to Michi-
law enforcement; and the Summer gan’s proud natural resources and
Youth Employment Program. outdoor recreation traditions.
License fees paid by anglers make a significant contribution to The DNR Fisheries Division’s Get more information on the DNR
funding the Michigan Depar tment of Natural Resources. $31.6 million budget is funded largely at


Hot Topics in the Outdoors...
DNR urges boaters
Fighting deer diseases:
to take safety classes
from page 73
port for Antler Point restrictions at themselves make CWD or TB go
59%. If those expressing no opinion away. We will only be successful in
are dropped, statewide support is protecting our deer herd and deer Education is key to ensuring a safe boating season
65%. In Northwest Michigan, where hunting if all stakeholder groups can
antler point restrictions have been partner to co-create a comprehensive With spring approaching, the Michigan Department of Natural Re-
implemented, support for the regula- Michigan approach to fighting deer sources encourages boaters to avoid the rush and enroll in a safety course
tions has grown to 77%. Michigan disease. The QDMA at the local, prior to the boating season. The reminder coincides with the national
hunters will support a shift in man- state and national level is committed Spring Aboard – Take a Boating Education Course campaign that runs
agement approach to fight disease to working with the Michigan DNR, March 18-24.
and improve their hunting experi- Natural Resource Commission and
“Michigan and boating go hand in hand,” said 1st Lt. Tom Wanless,
ence. all other stakeholders to achieve this
We need to make a statewide outcome. Michigan’s boating law administrator. “But being on the water carries
shift from quantity to quality man- To learn more about the responsibilities, especially when it comes to safety. The best way to ensure
agement, and we need to make this Quality Deer Management an enjoyable experience is to be prepared before getting into a boat. Don’t
change immediately. CWD and TB Association – “Where Deer wait until the season starts. Sign up now for a boating safety course.
will not wait for us to act. Fight- Hunters Belong” visit us at www. There are many options across the state and online, making it affordable
ing deer diseases and protecting our and like and follow and convenient.”
hunting heritage is complex, as of us on Facebook (Michigan QDMA Boaters born after June 30, 1996, and most personal watercraft opera-
now, there are no magic wands, or & Quality Deer Management tors must have a boater education safety certificate.
regulations, or vaccines that will by Association).n Because of a growing number of accidents involving non-motorized
vessels, which include canoes and kayaks, Wanless encourages all boaters,
regardless of age or experience, to take a safety class.
My Thoughts, My Views, My Opinions The U.S. Coast Guard reports that of the nationwide accidents in
which the level of operator education was known, 77 percent of boating
Share your thoughts, views, opinions or shor t stories with deaths occurred on vessels where the operator never received boating
Woods-N-Water News readers by emailing education. or mail to During the Spring Aboard awareness campaign, some course provid-
Woods-N-Water News, PO Box 278, Imlay City, MI 48444 ers may offer discounts or other incentives for students who enroll in
or complete a course. The campaign is promoted by the National Asso-
Questions regarding Woods-N-Water News subscriptions, ciation of State Boating Law Administrators, the U.S. Coast Guard and
newsstand sales, Outdoor Weekend, stories, trophy page several public and private organizations.
contact our office Mon.-Fri. 9 am-5 pm 810-724-0254, Get more information on boating safety, including who is required to or facebook woodsnwaternews take a safety class, on the DNR website at

1/2 WEEK


Free habitat workshops
andowners looking to pollinate important agricultural crops. in St. Johns
attract deer, songbirds, These workshops are hosted • Eaton County: Tuesday, March
pheasants and pollinators in part by the Michigan Pheasant 27, at 6:30 p.m., USDA Service Cen-
like butterflies onto their Restoration Initiative Coalition. The ter, 551 Courthouse Drive in Charlotte
property, while improving Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initia- • Genesee County: Thursday,
air, water and soil quality, tive is a conservation initiative to March 22, at 11:30 a.m., Asbury
are invited to attend one of several restore and enhance Michigan pheas- United Methodist Church, 1653 Davi-
free workshops about the programs ant habitat, populations and hunting son Road in Flint
and tools available to help create qual- opportunities on private and public • Gladwin/Midland counties: to be
ity wildlife habitat. lands via pheasant cooperatives. The determined
Michigan United Conservation initiative works by acquiring state and • Gratiot County: Thursday, April
Clubs – along with local conservation federal resources to assist landown- 5, at 7 p.m., Gratiot-Isabella RESD,
districts, Quality Deer Management ers in the cooperatives to improve 1131 E. Center St. in Ithaca
Association branches, Pheasants For- wildlife habitat on their properties and • Huron County: Tuesday, March
ever chapters, the National Wildlife by improving habitat on selected state 13, at 7 p.m., Rooster Ranch, 7480
Federation, the Michigan Department game areas, recreation areas or other Germania Road in Ubly Lakeview
of Natural Resources and many other public lands. • Ingham County: Monday, April • Monroe County: Monday, April
partners – will hold a series of special Workshop details: 30, at 6:30 p.m., Wilson Talent Cen- 2, at 5:30 p.m., Cabela’s, 110 Ca-
habitat workshops around the Lower • Barry County: Tuesday, April ter, Rooms 505/506, 611 Hagadorn bela’s Blvd. E. in Dundee
Peninsula this spring about how to 17, at 7 p.m., Pierce Cedar Creek Road in Mason • Muskegon County: to be deter-
plant, manage and fund grassland Institute, 701 W. Cloverdale Road in • Kent County: Wednesday, May mined
habitats on private land. Hastings 2, at 6 p.m., Eagle Park, Room 105, For more information and to reg-
Grassland habitats provide • Branch County: Thursday, March 3260 Eagle Park Drive NE in Grand ister to attend a workshop, please visit
significant value to wildlife and to 29, at 7 p.m., Coldwater Township Rapids Please
Michigan citizens. They filter water, Hall, 319 Sprague Road in Coldwater • Lapeer County: Thursday, contact Anna Mitterling at amitter-
collect carbon to help clean the air • Cass County: Tuesday, April March 22, at 6 p.m., Hadley Old or 517-346-6454 with
and hold down soil to prevent erosion. 24, at 5:30 p.m., Camp Frieden- Town Hall, 3551 Hadley Road in additional questions.
They also provide homes and food for swald,15406 Watercress Way in Hadley For more information about
a variety of wildlife, including deer, Cassopolis • Mecosta County: Wednesday, the Michigan Pheasant Restoration
songbirds, turkeys, pheasants and in- • Clinton County: Friday, April 6, April 25, at 6 p.m., Hinton Township Initiative, visit
sects like bees and butterflies that help at 7 p.m., Smith Hall, 819 W Park St. Hall, 3 Mile Road/90th Avenue in pheasant.n



Among the Aspens Lots of NEW INFORMATION and ALL COLOR PHOTOS.
“A MUST FOR THE DEER HUNTER” ~ Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine
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Woods-N-Water News
Michigan’s Premier Outdoor Publication
A Heddon 210 Surface wood bait circa 1919 to 1934 was supposed to be painted blue and white. This one has a marbleized blue head. Author photo

he first lure pictured showed some age cracks. This made appeared to be original as well. This mous monster pike which resulted
in this month’s article sense because the lure was made convinced me to seek a “second in our boat banging freely about
turned up last spring at between 1919 and 1934, opinion” about the marbled from stump to stump – that is my
the Grand Rapids Ulti- the last year that L-rig blue head, so I contacted being pre-occupied with battling this
mate Sports Show and hardware was used. There Don Lyons at the Heddon beast. (Of course, there is no way
was easy to identify were also two significant Museum in Dowagiac. Don to confirm it but perhaps it could be
since it was stenciled “Heddon 210 tooth marks perhaps made agreed with me that the considered that it was Betty’s per-
Surface” on its belly. The wood bass when a northern pike had marbled paint was the real sistent screams which convinced the
bait was, at first glance, finished hammered the bait! What thing and had come out beast to let go. It was truly a trophy
in sky blue and white enamel, the was unusual was the lure’s the Heddon factory look- pike.”
classic color that Heddon used on head. Instead of just sky ing that way. He felt that Larry and his bride, Betty, went
their very first lure, the “Dowagiac”, blue, the head had what I the Heddon painter had on a tour of many of Michigan’s
introduced in 1902. The Dowagiac, would describe used too much best fishing spots for their hon-
and later the 210 surface bait, were
fished with a steady retrieve that
as a “marbled”
blue finish. At
By Terry McBurney paint thinner in
the blue paint,
eymoon in 1960. They picked a
very windy day, however, to fish
produced “two small fountain-like first glance, I assumed that the lure which created the marbled look. Fletcher’s Pond with winds gusting
spouts of water rising up from the had been repainted by some talented My question was whether this from 25 to 35 mph. Fletcher’s Pond
collar.” Anglers did not jerk or artist. The problem was that major lure was what is called a “Friday had been created in 1931 with the
twitch the bait. Doing that would repaints significantly hurt the value Night Special,” where someone had completion of the dam on the Upper
cause “the plug to ride up and over of wood fishing lures, so I put it done some experimenting with a South Branch of the Thunder Bay
one’s line when jerked. The belly away and forgot about it. special mix of sky blue paint, liked River. The dam created a shallow
hook then became entangled with A month ago, I took a closer the effect and then took the neat reservoir of 9,000 acres filled with
the line…” look at the Heddon plug examining looking lure home. Or was it a com- a forest of standing pines, as well as
The lure had a nickel-plated the age cracks and its other flaws. pany experiment to develop a new thousands of stumps left over from
slanted collar, what collectors call Every imperfection looked old, and painting technique. I tend to believe earlier logging. Add in the drowned
“L-rig hook hardware,” plus it after using a black light, the paint that it was probably the former, and trees and stumps along with weed
years later I was lucky enough to beds, and you have a perfect envi-
have discovered this unique cre- ronment for some great fishing…
ation…a one of a kind Heddon 210 for northern pike, largemouth and
surface bait. smallmouth bass, bluegills, black
The second lure this month came crappies and jumbo yellow perch.
out of Larry Walter’s tackle box They couple rented an aluminum
last September during the Woods- semi-Vee boat with a small motor
N-Water News Outdoor Weekend. and took off in spite of the increas-
Larry is a longtime outdoor writer ing wind. They headed across the
for Woods-N-Water News. In fact, turbulent open water to fish a stump-
his first article was in their second filled spot that had caught Larry’s
issue! He had some classic lures in attention. He started fishing the
this particular tackle box and was Barton spoon because casting just
nice enough to let me take a look at about any other lure into the wind
them. The lure that drew my inter- was almost impossible. The Barton
est was a “shoe horn-shaped” spoon spoon’s aerodynamic shape was
called the Jim Barton #2 spoon that perfect as it cut through the wind.
had been made in Detroit, a Made The northern hit the spoon hard
in Michigan lure I was not familiar and dived towards the protection
with. The tarnished 3 ½-inch spoon of the stumps. Larry kept fighting
had been carefully wrapped along what he estimated was a twenty-five
with a note he had written many pound pike while the boat pounded
years ago. into stump after stump with Betty
The note read - “Fishing Fletch- screaming in alarm as their boat
er’s Pond while on our honeymoon. came close to swamping. Soon, the
The 3 ½-inch Bar ton spoon that hooked and then lost the “Monster Pike” It was a Jim Barton spoon (this one big pike and the spoon parted com-
out of Fletcher’s Pond in 1960. Larry Walter collection I believe) which hooked that infa- pany. Larry lost the fish, retrieved
Three Jim
Bar ton
his spoon, got the boat under control tents for exhibitions, carnivals, spoons in
and headed off the Pond. outdoor meetings and contractor brass, black
Not much is known about the tents that would house construction and white
Barton Tackle Company spoon. crews, horses and machinery. They and red and
George Richey states in his book, also sold cots, stools and chairs plus white date
Made in Michigan Fishing Lures II, a nice line of camping accessories. from the late
that the 3 ½-inch spoon was made in Camping in the United States 1940s and
1950s. Bill
Detroit in 1940. The only colors that began after the Civil War when Wazelle col-
he had seen were copper and nickel- families and friends began enjoying lection
plated and no painted models were the simplicity of camping out and
known. I have seen two painted col- the adventure of being outdoors.
ors – black and white plus red and The popularity of camping exploded
white along with all chrome, copper with the advent of the automobile,
and brass. The ½ oz. spoon came especially with the introduction of
with a standard 1/0 treble or a weed- Henry Ford’s Model T in 1908. Cars burgh, Cleveland, Lorain, Buffalo, all things fishing, as well as being
less treble, and anglers could also became more affordable, our state Erie, Williamsport and a thousand an accomplished angler. Read one of
buy either the standard or weedless and national roads improved, and other small towns, we took our his three volumes of fishing history
models trimmed with bucktail. The public and private campgrounds camping outfit to the shore at Atlan- and you will be “hooked.”
box that is pictured is a cardboard were established near popular desti- tic City…to rest up. Then it started I would also like to thank Larry
to rain. Then it started to pour; then Walter for allowing me to photo-
it commenced to blow, and such a graph his Barton spoon and sharing
gale. Through the terrific storm…the the story of the monster pike from
BARCO stood…the test.” Fletcher’s Pond. Thanks as well to
I would like to thank Don Lyons Bill Wazelle for letting me photo-
of the Heddon Museum in Dowa- graph his Barton spoon collection.
giac ( Feel free to contact the author
for his help with the Heddon 210 at with
surface plug. I would also like to your questions. Photographs are im-
acknowledge Bill Sonnett’s excel- portant, so please send them. They
lent book Deconstructing Old Ads – help me with identification and give
Volume Three, published by White- me an idea of the condition of the
fish Press. Bill is a top historian of item.n


Michigan Hunting & Fishing Collectors Club
Saturday, April 7, 2018, 9 AM to 3 PM
Held at the Eagles Hall, 301
(Left) Har vey M. Shelley’s letter from the 1927 Barco catalog writing
about his family’s 4-week auto camping trip the summer before. (Right) Detroit St., Jackson, Michigan The
Page 7 of the Barco catalog featured “The Famous Barco Tourist Tent No. Michigan Hunting & Fishing Collec-
29” available in a 7’ x7’ or a 7’ x 9’ model with or without a floor.
tors Club (MHFCC) is holding their
box with a plastic lid, which was nations. By the middle of the 1920s annual Sporting Collectibles Show
available in the late 1940s and after. there were an estimated 12 million
More information needs to be found campers in the U.S. running from 9 AM to 3 PM.
about Jim Barton and his “shoe The BARCO catalog featured a The show will feature
horned-shaped” spoon. Hopefully,
one of my readers has some new
great letter dated March 3, 1925 that
was written by Harvey H. Shelley.
approximately 100 tables of
information and will contact me. Let me quote some of Mr. Shelley’s sporting collectibles including
The last item this month is an in- lines because they explain so well hunting back tags, fishing
teresting look at early auto camping the enjoyment of auto camping…
in the United States. My wife found especially with a BARCO No. 29 & hunting licenses, Michi-
a near perfect “BARCO” camping Tourist Tent. gan game & fish digests,
“We are regular auto touring
catalog entitled “Know the Plea-
sures of the Open Road,” which dat- fiends, and when warm weather Michigan license buttons,
ed from about 1927. BARCO was comes, we pack up our children successful hunter patches,
the acronym for the Barnett Canvas and camping utensils and harken Bear Archery items, vintage
Goods and Bag Company located in to the call of the open road, and the
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Cata- undiscovered country. Each year we fishing tackle – lures, reels,
logs and old outdoor magazines are seek new fields to conquer in the Tin rods & accessories, spearing decoys,
great sources of information, art- Can Tourists’ country, and each year
work and vintage ads that help piece brings us new scenes and greater waterfowl decoys & game calls.
together the stories of early sporting experiences…Last year, after tour- General Public $5 admission & chil-
collectibles and the companies that
made them. The BARCO catalog
ing for nearly four weeks, in a trip
which took us through Baltimore,
dren under 16 admitted free with an
featured canvas tents for auto camp- Washington D.C., Mount Vernon, adult. ( or call 248-
ing, family camping tents, specialty Hagerstown, Cumberland, Pitts- 760-7785).
The nation’s first female conservation officer
Huldah Neal nominated to Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame…
By all accounts, Huldah Neal was no one to fool with.
That’s not to say she wasn’t liked or respected through-
out Grand Traverse County, which she called home
for 70 years. In fact, her 1931 obituary mourned her
loss, describing Neal as a “loved pioneer” who was

“highly esteemed by a large circle of friends.”
ut, Neal was the the way she performed her danger-
epitome of what con- ous duties, and in how she broke
temporary newspapers free from typical roles that society
referred to as “the new forced on women at that time. She
woman” of the 1890s. paved the way for new generations
Civic-minded and of women who proudly serve as
socially engaged, Neal had little pa- guardians of our natural resources.
tience when problems were ignored Huldah Neal left a positive legacy
and allowed to fester. So, while it for our state. On behalf of all con-
probably raised eyebrows outside of servation officers, it’s a privilege to
Grand Traverse County, those who nominate her for induction to the
knew her likely weren’t surprised Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame.”
when she grew frustrated by the Born circa 1855 in Ohio, Huldah
rampant poaching of fish and game Jane Valleau moved with her family
in her area and requested an ap- to Grand Traverse County in 1861.
pointment as a game warden, so she She married Warren Neal in 1872
could handle the problem herself. and the couple raised two children These sketches of Huldah Neal accompanied a profile of her in the
With the stroke of a pen by state on their farm near Long Lake. She Aug. 15, 1897, edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer . Neal’s appoint-
game warden and future Michigan shared her husband’s love of the ment as the country’s first female game warden made news across
governor Chase Osborn in 1897, outdoors, a passion that didn’t go Michigan and the nation. Many contemporary repor ts expressed
Neal became a deputy game warden unrecognized by newspapers report- confidence in her abilities to perform the dangerous work of a
for Grand Traverse County, cement- ing on her appointment as deputy game warden, due to her tenacity and outdoor skills.
ing her little-known legacy as the game warden.
first female conservation officer in “Mrs. Neal is a woman of deter- Mrs. Neal will stand no fooling.” Neal carried out her duties on
the United States, according to press mined character, and has excellent Neal’s appointment generated horseback, in rowboats and without
reports of the day. qualifications for such a position,” statewide and national attention, communications equipment makes
To recognize her contributions, the Traverse City Record-Eagle including an extensive write-up in her accomplishments even more
and mark the observance of March wrote on June 6, 1897. “She is an the Aug. 15, 1897, Philadelphia impressive.”
as Women’s History Month, the active woods-woman, a good shot, Inquirer. After all, “The duties of In addition to her game war-
Michigan Department of Natural and can give cards and spades to game warden are of such a nature den’s duties, Neal was a community
Resources Law Enforcement Divi- any man in the manipulation of the that many men would not care to fixture, even delivering mail three
sion is nominating Neal for induc- fishing rod. Besides being an expert undertake to fill the position,” the times a week to Traverse City.
tion to the Michigan Women’s Hall in these respects Mrs. Neal is an ar- Inquirer said. Today, after leading a productive
of Fame. A panel of judges will dent supporter of the state game and News coverage in that era was life that bettered her community and
decide if she merits induction later fish laws, and takes much interest quite a departure from the social raised the ceiling for other women,
this year. in their preservation. The appoint- and journalistic norms of today, as Neal rests with her husband in Long
“Huldah Neal was a trailblazer, ment is a good one, and Mrs. Neal evidenced by descriptions of Neal Lake Township’s Linwood Cem-
literally and figuratively,” said Gary will wage an aggressive campaign as a “plucky little woman” and etery.
Hagler, DNR Law Enforcement against violators of the law; and of- the expressed amazement that she It would be 80 years before
Division chief. “She was fearless in fenders in her locality will find that “wears pantaloons just like those of Michigan hired its next female con-
men and can handle the rifle like a servation officer. Marquette native
veteran marksman.”


Kathryn Bezotte became Michigan’s
Press accounts also credited first of the modern era when she
Neal for having an immediate im- began her duties in 1977. Today,
pact on fish and game law viola- nearly 20 women patrol Michigan’s
Rev. Steven J. Moffett Evangelist tions. “She is energetic and watch- woods and waters as conservation
Email: ful, and already poaching has begun officers.
Website: to diminish. The worst gangs of law Neal and Bezotte were pioneers
violators have ceased operations,” in their own right. They opened the
Reaching out to those who love the Jackson, Michigan, newspaper door for subsequent generations of
the great outdoors reported in March 1898. women who have served their state
With the Gospel of Jesus Christ Hagler said Neal faced many of by earning the right to wear the
the same risks that confront today’s badge and uniform of a Michigan
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, DNR conservation officers. conservation officer.
that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in Him should not “Patrolling remote areas without The DNR is an equal opportuni-
perish, but have everlasting LIFE” nearby backup assistance always has ty employer. Hagler encourages men
been an occupational hazard of be- and women interested in becoming
NORTH WOODS MINISTRIES ing a conservation officer,” Hagler
said. “It’s still true today, even with
conservation officers to follow the
detailed guide to the application
Email: modern vehicles, weapons and com- process at
Website: munications. The fact that Huldah conservationofficers.n
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Woods-N-Water News Classified Section
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D = Dogs H = Hunting RR = Resorts/Rent TR = Trailers ..............................................
F = Fishing HL = Hunting Leases RVC = RV’s/Campers W = Wanted 920-3652. RE-4-2
F = Free ..............................................
wooded lakefront lot on this 400
Gwinn B.M.U. 1st, 2nd, 3rd acre +/- all sport Lake in SW
CLIP AND MAIL seasons. Seven day hunt/lodg- ARCHERY DEER LEASE
Hillsdale County MI. 100’ of water
Woods-N-Water News Classified Advertising ing/stands/skinning/tag/sealing
bear. Year around lodge. Great
WANTED. Jackson, Kalamazoo,
Ann Arbor area. 2 responsible, long frontage and almost ¾ Acre on a
quiet cove. Only $49,500. Central
(Please print clearly. We are not responsible for unreadable orders.) time hunters, looking for good mix
area for fishing, grouse hunting sewer. Call Larry at Faust Real
Make sure phone number is included in your ad! of timber and crops, 100 acres
and 4-wheeling. Convenience Estate, LLC 517-270-3645. RE-4-
NAME store, State and Federally li- minimum. Call Joe 708 670-3725 or
Larry 248 765-1901. HL-3-4 1
censed. Contact Tom Losiews- ..............................................
ADDRESS ki, North Country Hunting ..............................................
Adventures. 1-269-330-0480.
CITY                                           STATE                      ZIP Like us on Facebook. SPORTING GOODS
DAYTIME PHONE NO. with wide range of products,
REMOTE DELUXE HOUSE- guns, ammo, hunting, fishing,
VISA/MASTERCARD#                                                       EXP: SAVE A FAWN - REDUCE KEEPING COTTAGES. Great camping and outdoor gear.
COYOTE POPULATION ON fishing for walleye, northerns, bass, Turn-key operation with lots
CLASSIFICATION OF AD                      MONTHS TO RUN YOUR LAND. Experienced perch and lake trout. 519-636-3697 of room for growth. Excellent
hunter looking for places to hunt FR-4-3 hunting, fishing and camping

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) coyote. No cost or obligation to you. .............................................. nearby. Owner retiring. Asking
Will ALWAYS call for permission $149,900 plus inventory 989-
351-8256. RE-4-4
(7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) before hunting. Call Tom to discuss
(734) 612-8330. H-4-1

(13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) .............................................. work! 50 ACRES PRIME DEER
(19) (20) $30.00 $30.25 $30.50 $30.75 Specialist - We had 80% success. (810) 724-0254 HUNTING IN HILLMAN
Baraga, Gwen and Amasa Units - TOWNSHIP, west end of
$31.00 $31.25 $31.50 $31.75 $32.00 $32.25 Modular hunts start at $995. 7 days Monday- Hiawatha Lake. 3 out buildings, well
and septic. $130,000 Call for details
$32.50 $32.75 $33.00 $33.25 $33.50 $33.75
lodging included. Write for more
information on how to apply for bear
Friday – 810-656-4179. RE-4-2

$34.00 $34.25 $34.50 $34.75 $35.00 $35.25

permits on May 1st - 2730 S. Dort 9am-5pm ..............................................
Hwy., Flint, MI 48507 or call Dale at
$35.50 $35.75 $36.00 $36.25 $36.50 $36.75
(810) 814-8936 days 9-4 or eve-
nings John at (989) 257-2725 for
or try our Subscribe
Enclosed is $                                               for more information www.gonzo- website Today! Like us on
words to run                     months. BOX MY CLASSIFIED - $5 Extra Facebook. H-4-5 (810) 724-0254
Woods-N-Water News Classified Section 
NEEDED. I have 2 AKC champi-
and females available. Excel-
NEL: Bird dog training, point-
ing and flushing breeds. Point-
 100’ ON BLACK RIVER. Just up river
from Black Lake & seated gently atop a
slight hill offering great views! 3 bdrm,
2 baths, storage shed, a ‘’Bunk House’’
by the river, well maintained & move in
onship bloodline females - Lapeer
Co. willing to drive within 100 miles.
810-691-7194 ask for Tom. D-4-1
lent hunting dogs and superb
family pets. Close working
back-force breaking to retrieve
- gun breaking. Gun dogs, field
PAGES ready. Natural gas. $109,000 #302752

dogs with strong point and trial dogs, AKC hunt test and
retrieve instincts. Reasonably
priced for the sporting family.
Navda. Tom Godlewski, Irons,
Michigan 361-319-8028. D-3-3
OF NORTH BRANCH NOW Money back guarantee. Eulen-
OFFERING PRIVATE ONE- hof Kennels, Gladwin, MI.
ON-ONE training sessions, board
and train programs available and
989-426-4884 TRAINING AT ITS FIN- Fabulous sunset views. Premium wooded par-
lab puppies. Call 989-551-7790 or D-3-3 EST with pro-trainer Brett cel on the northeastern shore of Mullet Lake
Walla (586-482-4101). Avail- and on the famous Inland Waterway. Permit-
ability starting April 1st at ted building site mapped out (land evaluation
Rooster Ranch 989-658-2332,
Classifieds Work! (810) 724-0254
has been completed). $197,750 #307090 D-3-2

Your Woods-N-Water News is 93’ ON RAINY LAKE. This is a real

charmer with a country décor and stone
fireplace. 2 bedrooms, extra deep lot

“Just a Click Away!” and elbow room between the neighbors.

2 minutes to the trail system and State
land. Great fishing! $77,700 #311470
Carol Steiger, Associate Broker
(231) 627-9991 Office
(989) 351-0110 Cell
846 S. Main, Cheboygan, MI


• Email the Editor
• Classifieds - Buy, Sell, Trade
• Send Photos or Story Tips
33+ well wooded acres fronting 2 roads. Includes a 2 bdrm/1.5
80 acre Poncho’s Sand Creek Longhorn Ranch now
• Advertising Information bath 1360sf home with 2 car garage, plus an additional
structure/home on adjoining road to finish as desired.
available. Working farm with 5 bdrm/1 bath home, barns,
outbuildings, pastures and approx. 10 acres of woods.
MLS #1831615 $110,000 MLS #1819844 $215,000 OSCODA-$1,500, Nicely wooded lot located at Lakewood Shores in Oscoda. Ownership includes use
of all Lakewood Shores amenities. Private Lake Huron Beach front, private Cedar Lake beach front, tennis
courts, and much more. See for more details. MLS #1832422
WHITTEMORE-$8,500, 3.12 acre cleared building lot in a country setting at the corner of Nile and
Also, check us out on Keystone Road on a county maintained paved road. MLS #1835860
WHITTEMORE-$18,000, 11.15 acre parcel located on Nile Road. Previously farmed, this

Facebook cleared parcel would be perfect for a small hobby farm or a couple of horses. Additional smaller parcels
available. MLS #1835859
EAST TAWAS-$19,900, Potential building site on Tawas Lake with nice views and great fishing

and Twitter! opportunities. The deep 50x241’ lot has lots of mature Oak throughout. Located just minutes from East Tawas
and Tawas Bay. MLS #1832928
OSCODA-$64,900, 113’ of sandy shoreline awaits at St. George’s Point on Cedar Lake. What a great
location for your dream home. City water, underground electric and natural gas are available. MLS #1837111

It’s Easy . . .
OSCODA-$124,000, 227’ of sandy frontage on Cedar Lake in St. George’s Point Sub. Build your dream
home on this .74 acre lot surrounded by upscale homes. MLS #1826558
AU GRES-$150,000, 75’ of Lake Huron frontage. Paved street, city water, electric and natural gas. 380’
deep wooded lot with additional lot available. MLS #1825912


701 W. Bay Street, East Tawas, MI 48730
Office (989)362-4400 • Cell (989)370-2152



Offices Serving Lower & 10 ACRE PARCELS IN HORSE COUNTRY, 7 Miles west of Big Rapids,
a stone’s throw from 5,000 Acre Manistee National Forest trail system.

Upper Michigan High walkout sites. $30,000

Bringing people and places together since 1945 EAST OF BIG RAPIDS. Huge waterfront lots, ranging from 2.68 acres
with 237 ft. frontage to 8.9 acres with 300 ft of frontage. Priced from
VISIT OUR WEBSITE TODAY! $99,000. Build your dream home or get-away. LARGE 2 BEDROOM CABIN/COTTAGE with fireplace and deck on 4.15
Acres with 589 ft. frontage. Great fishing and recreational lake. $189,000
• Houghton A LARGE CREEK that looks like a small river. East of Big Rapids.
Beautiful building sites. 16.88 Acres, $59,500 • 34.28 Acres, $87,500

Newberry Jack Frizzell
Iron Mountain • Manistique •

• Gladstone
Escanaba • Onaway
• Powers • • Hawks
Menominee • Hillman
Marinette • •
• Atlanta
Alpena Absolute Auction -250+/- Acres Real Estate
Mio • • Harrisville Located at 9615 Keller Road, Delton, Michigan on:
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Personal Property sells at 10 A.M. – Real Estate sells at 1 PM
An exceptional property Near Gun Lake & Yankee Springs in
Barry County w/agricultural land, ponds, streams, forests, hunt-
ing land, home & buildings at absolute. This is a tremendous
• Almont opportunity to purchase a truly unique property that is protected
by a State of Michigan Conservation Easement. The 250+/-
Linden • acres will be sold as one parcel and the purchaser will take
title subject to the terms and conditions of the Conservation
Howell •
Easement which prohibits any dividing, development or division
of the property. Call for additional information.
Linda Blackmore, Owner
Stanton’s Auctioneers & Realtors
Contact Your Nearest State Wide Real 144 S. Main, P.O. Box 146, Vermontville, MI 49096
(517) 726-0181 office • (517) 726-0060 fax
Estate Office To Buy or Sell In Michigan Email: • Website:


1100 W. Chisholm, 49707 8383 Hwy. 451, 49743 1460 Marinette Ave., 54143
email: email: email:
989-356-2142 • Fax: 989-356-2144 989-734-4846 715-735-9964 • Fax: 715-732-1107

ALMONT 14938 State Street, P.O. Box 98, 49746
844 Van Dyke Road 856 W. Washington, 49855
email: 989-742-4523 • 800-228-7856 email:
810-798-8591 • Fax: 810-798-8079 Fax: 989-742-3931 906-228-9312 • Fax: 906-228-8069

500 Shelden Ave., 49931 3631 10th Street, 49858
Main Street, P.O. Box 305, 49820
email: email:
906-482-6955 • 800-676-6323 906-863-9905
906-586-9606 • Fax: 906-586-9607 Fax: 906-482-7699 Fax: 906-863-7935

HOWELL/LINDEN 102 West 8th St., P.O. Box 395, 48647
2209 Ludington Street, 49829 1285 S. Michigan Ave., Howell, MI 48843
email: email:
906-786-1308 • 800-900-0777 517-546-9060 • 800-531-4449 989-826-3292
Fax: 906-786-1388 Fax: 517-546-9148 Fax: 989-826-2108

231 East A. St. M-33 & M-68,
1401 Delta Ave., P.O. Box 478, 49765
Iron Mountain, MI 49807
Gladstone, MI 49837 906-828-2525 email:
906-825-9000 Fax: 906-828-2727 989-733-6522
email: email: Fax: 989-733-2427


430 S. US-23, 48740 10 N. State Highway M-149 W3776 US2 & 41, 49874
email: Cooks, MI 49817 906-497-4190
989-724-5711 • 800-655-5735 906-644-2304 Fax: 906-497-5328
Fax: 989-724-6833 email:


Blake Ver Woert 231-652-7000

Jake Dykstra
Hunting Land Specialists 616-916-8354


537 +/- 160+/-
Excellent Duck, Deer & Turkey Hunting. Area COUNTY
of Other Large Property Owners. “Man Cave” Trail System, Near Reed City, Tons of
w/Game Cleaning Station. Deer and Turkey Sign, Food plot areas
$1,074,000 $359,000

Antrim County 52+/- Acres, Arenac Co, 167+/- Acres Jackson County, 105+/- Acres Lapeer County 102+/- Acres,
Rolling Hills, Pole 3,500+/- ft Lake Huron, 6 Calhoun County, 74 Acres, Calhoun County, 67+/- Acres WRP Program, Mature Hard- Trail System, Mixed Mecosta County 70+/- Acres,
Barn Lodge, Snowmobilers/ Bedroom Lodge, Guest Cabin, 1/2 Tillable ,1/2 Wooded, 300 ft. All Sports Prairie Lake, woods, Great Deer, Turkey & Hardwoods, Pond, Food plot Mixed Hardwoods and Tillable
Hunters Paradise Great Duck & Deer Hunting. Trophy Buck Genetics Tillable Acreage Waterfowl Hunting areas, Tons of Deer Sign. Land with Pond
$119,000 $599,000 $280,000 $275,000 $211,000 $380,000 $154,500


Newaygo County, 40 Acres

Missaukee County Missaukee County, Newaygo County Newaygo County 20+/- Acres, 32x48 Pole Barn with Water &
Midland County, 80 Acres 46+/- Acres, Excellent 10+/- Acres, Amish Built Newaygo County 8.5+/- Acres, Custom Excellent Deer Hunting, Electric, 20 Ac Old Apple
12 Miles to Mount Pleasant, Hunting Setup, Log Home, 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1+ Acre Lot Sites, Built Home, Wildlife Galore, Mixed Hardwoods, Great Orchard, 20 Ac Hardwoods,
Excellent Hunting Mosquito Creek Frontage Adjacent to State Land Muskegon River Access. Class A Trout Stream Deer Bedding Great Hunting
$176,000 $87,500 $199,900 $37,000 $239,900 $50,000 $199,000

Newaygo County, 125 Acres, Osceola County, 163+/- Acres,

Newaygo County 80+/- Acres, Three spring fed lakes, Ontonagon County, 169 Acres, Great Trail System, Presque Isle County, 80 Ac Presque Isle County, 47 Acres, Wexford County 80+/- Acres,
Hardwoods, Swamp, Tillable, Excellent Deer, Turkey Extremely Secluded, Awesome Hunting, Creek Frontage, 24x24 Garage, Cabin and Pole Barns, Hunter and Snowmobiler Para-
Awesome Deer Hunting and Waterfowl hunting Wildlife Galore Rolling Hills, Must See! Excellent Hunting Great Hunting dise, Adjoins National Forest
$275,000 $375,000 $160,000 $290,675 $90,000 $99,000 $260,000




3,960 ft

Marlette 121
in Sanilac Acres
County $375,100
LEGENDARY JACKSON COUNTY 103 Will 3,100 per acre
all offers.
PRISON FARMS ONLY $399,995.00!
Once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase a
prime deer hunting 103 acre +/- parcel bordering

thousands of acres of non-hunted state prison
farmland! Owner has been practicing QDM
(Quality Deer Management) for 7 years as has his
larger landowning neighbors. The bucks grow big
on this beautiful parcel that has the Portage River

gently meandering through it. The state prison
farms that border the property on 2 sides provide
a sanctuary for bucks to mature and the practice
of QDM completes the perfect scenario for trophy
deer. The property includes a barn that is habitable
for staying in. Potential purchasers must provide
evidence of preapproval for financing, which I can
assist you with, or proof of funds available for the
purchase of the property before visiting the property.

Call real estate broker Loren Romain today at

734.216.1822 to arrange a private tour of the property.

Heritage Exclusive Marketing Agents for Northeast

House Michigan Properties
RealtyPC Located in the Heart of the Huron National Forest, on the
“Personalized Service is the Difference”
Shores of Lake Huron and the banks of the AuSable River

5710 Clouse Rd, Glennie 345 S Sleeper Dr, Lincoln 1009 Zimowske Rd, Mio
990 sf, 2 bed, 1 bath with 12 1000 sf, 3 bed, 1 bath with 1500+ sf, 3 bed, 1.5 bath with
acres on dead end road. some updates. Enjoy your detached garage and barn on
Interested in having a hobby evenings overlooking 50 feet 25 acres. Come see what
farm? This is for you, room to on Brownlee Lake. Looking living up north is all about on
roam, some fencing, ideal for that retirement retreat or your new covered porch or
location. $85,000 place to escape the hustle of covered deck with this Move
For more information text everyday? $74,000 For in Ready Gem. $149,000
R569702 to 52187 more info text R559197 to

4950 N Lakeshore Dr 1455 E F-30, Mikado 3464 Kimberlin, Glennie

2200 sf, 3 bed, 2 bath Cape 1420 sf, 3 bed, 1 bath on 1.5 20 acres perfect for building
Code with 100 feet of acres with full unfinished or hunting with small pond
gorgeous Lake Huron basement. Remodeled with and nice mix of wooded and
Waterfront. You must see to 2 car attached garage offers open areas. Structures have
appreciate all this Move in plenty of room to roam. no value and sold in “as-is”
Ready Home has to offer. $89,900 For More condition. $50,000 For More
$229,900 For More Info Text Information Text R615688 to Info Text R627991 to 52187
R435894 to 52187 52187

5684 Riverview Dr 124 Smith St, Oscoda 6997 Woodlea Rd

1800+ sf, 3 bed, 2.5 bath 930 sf, 2 bed, 1 bath well 2170 sf, 3 bed, 2 bath mostly
with deeded access to Foote maintained with attached remodeled with access to all
Pond. Move in ready home garage. Ideal location close Lakewood Shores has to
with 2 car attached garage. to everything Oscoda has to offer including private
Must see to appreciate all offer with this move in ready association access to Lake
this home has to offer. home. NEW $64,000 For Huron. $135,000 For More
$159,800 For More More Information Text Info Text R664325 to 52187
Information Text R435893 to R69609 to 52187

405 E Church, Harrisville 480 acres on Mitchell Trail 2485 Armstrong Rd

1750 sf, 4 bed, 2 bath Perfect investment for any 24 acres of mixed
Victorian in downtown sportsman/woman. 2 private woods/fields with well and
Harrisville. Own a piece of lakes, borders federal land electric on site make this an
history with this move in on all sides plus it has two ideal hunting / camping /
ready gem. $119,900. For cottages on site with electric. building location. Also has
More Information Text Hunting and fishing was pine river feeder creek
R306384 to 52187 never easier than here. frontage! $40,000 For More
$1,300,000 For More Info Info Text R381220 to 52187
Text R505657 to 52187

Call 800-650-5566 - Glennie or 800-982-0102 - Harrisville -


Broker, Land Specialist Agent, Land Specialist Agent, Land Specialist Agent, Land Specialist Agent, Land Specialist
Michigan Central Michigan Northern Michigan Southeast Michigan West Central Michigan
(269) 816-3010 (989) 600-4112 (231) 330-4107 (517) 937-2118 (616) 648-6156
Agent, Land Specialist Agent, Land Specialist Agent, Land Specialist Agent, Land Specialist
Eastern Michigan North Central Michigan Southeast Michigan Central Michigan
(248) 770-4898 (989) 330-4032 (586) 292-1812 (269) 420-9510

w hi t eta il pr ope rt ies .com

Whitetail Properties Real Estate, LLC | dba Whitetail Properties | Nebraska & North Dakota DBA Whitetail Trophy Properties Real Estate LLC. | Lic. in IL, MO, IA, KS, KY, NE & OK - Dan Perez, Broker
| Lic. in AR, CO, GA, MN, ND, TN & WI - Jeff Evans, Broker | Lic. in OH & PA - Kirk Gilbert, Broker | Lic. in TX - Joey Bellington, Broker | Lic. in IN - John Boyken, Broker | Lic. in LA, MS & AL - Sybil
Stewart, Broker | Lic. in TN - Chris Wakefield, Broker | Lic. in TN - Bobby Powers, Broker | Lic. in AR - Johnny Ball, Broker | Lic. in SC - Rick Elliot, Broker | Lic. in NC - Rich Baugh, Broker
Lic. in MI - Brandon Cropsey, Broker - Broker Address: 410 E. Chicago Rd., PO Box 165 White Pigeon, MI 49099


2 Storage Buildings Well Septic & Electric Well Septic & Electric Wooded Recreational 24x32 Rustic Cabin & Shed
MLS 17047388 $14,900 MLS 17029876 $16,900 MLS 17021677 $16,900 MLS 18006044 $23,900 MLS 18005459 $54,900


1 BD, 1 BA 1/2Acre, Garage & Deck 3 BD, 1 BA Garage & Horse Barn Garage & Storage Shed
MLS 18001717 $18,500 MLS 17055721 $29,900 MLS 17051149 $55,000 MLS 18004724 $57,900 MLS 18003214 $59,900

3 BD, 2 BA 2 BD, 1 BA 2 BD, 1 BA 3 BD, 2 BA 3 BD, 2.5 BA
MLS 17014727 $72,500 MLS 17019280 $144,900 MLS 17056932 $149,000 MLS 17028472 $189,900 MLS 17053602 $189,900

Looking for Affordable Vacation Property?

Call us today & get started on the path to owning
your own little piece of Northern Michigan!

2 Bdrm cottage. Sturgeon 1 Bdrm Camp. 7.5 Acres. 7

River frontage, snowmobile 2 Bdrm Camp. Built 2012. 160 Mile Marsh Rd. Built 2000.
trail access, Hwy 13. Nahma. Acres. Remote. Rock. Bark River.
$63,900 1105794 $189,000 1104899 $47,000 1104950

FROM $6,900 TO $707,420. 2 Bdrm, 1 bth, Waterfront cottage. 2
Acres w/225’ on Ostrander & Corner 1 Bdrm camp. 540 Sq Ft. Blk bath
Lk. Well & septic. Private on dead house. Out house. Great hunting. 80 Acre Hunting Camp on
Escanaba end road. Chain-of-Lakes. Wetmore. Stella Lk and Sturgeon River. Stonington Peninsula.
2209 Ludington Street $149,000 1106501 $59,900 1103597 $120,000 1103374
(906) 786-1308

W3776 US 2 & 41
(906) 497-4190

1401 Delta Ave.
4 Bdrm, 2 bth Lodge. 640 Acres! 1 Bdrm camp. 40 Acres. Nice 2 Bdrm, 1 bth camp. 18
(906) 825-9000
Mostly all high ground with high ground. Great hunting. Acres. 2 Car gar with deer
high timber value. LaBranche. Well built. Perkins. blinds. Ensign.
$789,900 1101443 $84,900 1101098 $49,900 1097355
1953 S. M-33 3160 North M-65 2575 S. I-75 Business Loop,
West Branch, MI 48661 Hale, MI 48739 West Branch, MI 48661
10 miles north of I-75 exit 202 “Gateway to Huron National Forest” 1 mile north of I-75 Exit 212

Local: 989-345-2662 Local: 989-728-2540 Local: 989-345-0315

Toll Free: 800-535-6520 Toll Free: 800-495-2540 Toll Free: 866-345-0315


4-bdrm, 2.7 baths, appliances, master suite, Lovely and spacious 3 bedroom home with ac- Bedroom home on full bsmt /2 car garage. Main 18 WOODED ACRES w/2 bedroom home is the perfect Neat 2 bedroom cabin with large fenced yard in
cathedral ceilings, 2 bdrms on each floor, full cess to “no motor” lake. AC, partly finished bsmt, floor laundry, recently updated kitchen & bath, place to call your hunting cabin that is also ADJACENT Skidway Lake area. Natural gas heat, newer roof,
walkout bsmt, 2.5 ACRES, finished garage, master suite, garage, deck, newer shingles & large covered rear deck with beautiful views and TO STATE LANDS!! Propane lights, range, refrigera- newer water pump & shed with electric & hose wa-
large deck, privacy fence and much more!! laminates!! Seller giving carpet allowance!! trails for nature walking or the hunter!! tor, wood heat, gravity tank and wired for generator!! ter hook-up. Great getaway also near many lakes!!
$209,900 1837404 $149,900 1838336 $154,900 1840412 $64,900 1805656 $24,500 1838322

Recently remodeled 3 bedroom, 2 ba w/garage on 2 Spacious 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath home w/garage and heat- Beautiful 3-bdrm home perfect for year round This 2 bedroom mobile home w/garage is near Hale w/ Enjoy access to “no wake” lake w/this 3-bdrm, 2 full ba
lots at end of cul-de-sac. Open floor plan, gas log FP, ed workshop and pole barn. AC, front & rear decks, full or nice getaway! Freshly painted, newer carpet, just under a half acre fronting on paved road. Afford- home with oversized garage, open floor plan, laminate
newer floorings and newer counter tops. Enjoy the public bsmt, paved driveway, maple & apple trees & more!! With large kitchen & living area, garage & nice patio. able weekend/vacation getaway in super recreational and tile floors, newer roof in Feb 2018, AC, custom oak
access and boat ramp at this desirable all sports lake!! some TLC, this could be your year round country home!! Near popular Clear Lk & acres of State lands!! area near lakes, streams & Huron Nat’l Forest!! cabinetry & natural gas heat. Definitely move in ready!!
$74,900 1840493 $129,900 1839823 $139,900 1842036 $29,000 1840769 $139,500 1843357

There are 2 homes included in this listing both w/one Spacious 3-bdrm home in need of some TLC, but has This one bedroom mobile home would make a Gorgeous custom built 3 bedroom, 2 full ba home has This cute 2 bedroom cabin sits on 6 lots and is in
bath and large lot. Near several lakes for swimming, been painted and newer flooring has been installed. pleasant getaway on an ACRE of property and over 1800 square feet, cathedral ceilings, floor to ceil- great resort area with several inland lakes nearby
boating and fishing and not too far from State lands Open floor plan, enclosed porch, wood stove, base- near lakes and the beautiful Rifle River for fan- ing windows on both levels, large deck, pond & heated for swimming, boating and fishing! Perfect little “Up
for the hunter! Live in one, rent or sell the other!! ment, a bath on each floor and large garage!! tastic fishing and superb canoeing/kayaking!! garage. Beautiful setting w/RIFLE RIVER FRONTAGE!! North” getaway for year round recreational fun!!
$19,000 1840529 $75,000 1838514 $25,000 1831259 $174,900 1839528 $19,900 1840716

2-bedroom home on large lot w/appliances, natural Custom built 3-bdrm home with garage on approx a 210’ of sandy frontage on popular, all sports CLEAR 60 feet of frontage on this all sports 208 acre lake 3 bedroom home with a view of all sports RIFLE LAKE
gas heat, family room, storage shed, fire pit and half acre w/40 feet on “no wake” lake. Open living and LAKE and just over 2 ACRES!! 3 bedroom home, over w/this 3-bedroom, 2 ba home. FP, newer furnace, and newer drywall, flooring, countertops, back splash
nice deck for relaxing outdoors. Cozy year round kitchen areas, separate laundry area, nice foyer, fire- 2600 square feet, full walkout bsmt, skylights, gas FP, roof & flooring, a place to dock your boat, fan- & updated bath. Garage, sunroom, bonus upper level
or affordable getaway in great recreational area!! place, master suite w/walk-in shower & move in ready!! garage, pole bldg, boat dock, apple orchard & more!! tastic views from lakeside deck & storage shed!! 16x18 room, garden area & a fenced spot for your pets!!
$37,500 1828738 $109,900 1843131 $139,900 1839256 $114,900 1843392 $80,000 1838970

Just over a HALF ACRE w/2 bedroom home & 221’ of 3 bedroom home w/detached garage, nice This “Saltbox” style home has 3-bdrms, 2 ba, 1732 This possible 2 bedroom home sits on nicely treed Nice 3 bedroom home with 2 car garage and access
frontage on Silver Creek. Newer roof in 20167, newer kitchen w/pantry, island & breakfast nook, square feet, AC, wood stove, newer carpeting in Feb lots and is not far from many lakes and the gorgeous to BUSH LAKE for boating, swimming and fishing.
well & newer septic, 2 storage sheds, screened porch, master suite, nice views from wrap-around 2018, 2 garages and 2 sheds, newer roofing on one Rifle River for excellent fishing and canoeing/kayaking! Large kichen, FP, natural gas heat, front and rear
beautiful views and near many lakes!! deck, on an ACRE with your own pond!! garage, near popular Clear Lake & on 1.54 ACRES!! Newer and windows in 2013, some furnishings & more!! decks, paved driveway & lake just across the road!!
$54,900 1832428 $149,900 1810533 $94,900 1843353 $31,900 1830854 $59,000 1840484

Gorgeous 3 bedroom, 2.5 ba home has heated ga- 2 bedroom singlewide, manufactured home on partly Lovely home w/frontage on allsports lake just min- Nice and cute 2 bedroom home w/spacious garage Lovely 3 bedroom, 2 ba home w/garage! Great kitchen
rage w/upstairs, fenced garden area, extensive deck- wooded property! Not far from all sports Long Lake utes from town. FP, large family room, recently re- that has a convenient lean to. Great setting with trails w/island and appliances, FP in spacious living area,
ing, wood floors, FP, AC, 8.8 ACRES & 1170’ on AU for water activities and near acres of National Forest modeled kitchen has newer cupboards, backsplash at rear of prop leading to Silver Creek! Pleasant year master suite w/walk-in closet and private bath. Great
GRES RIVER w/breathtaking views & much more!! for the hunter!! Great weekend cabin or hunt camp!! & laminate floors and so much more to enjoy!! round home or enjoyable weekend getaway!! location near lakes & State land w/gorgeous views!!
$265,000 1798150 $35,000 1838366 $99,000 1839413 $39,900 1833833 $129,900 1840732


Dan Dan The Mattress Man

Solid wood bunk w/ mattress $

- Woodcrest 2400 bunk 275 Rustic Tables
- Hundreds to choose
149 - Choose your fabric 649
Made in Michigan Wood Fouton $


Child Recliners $
249 Unique Log Beds
- Queens start at
$ Solid Wood
USA Chest
802 Ashman St. • Midland


It’s tim
to go


Angler Qwest Angler Qwest Angler Qwest

824 Pro Troll, 822 Troll, 822 Pro Fish,
150 hp four-stroke and Trailer 150 hp four-stroke and Trailer 150 Suzuki and Trailer

Call or visit Freeway Sports Center for these special package pricing!
Holding Power
Retrievability • Durability The Chene Anchor
201 Industrial Way, Fenton, MI • 517-202-2949
or available at...
Visit us at for a complete listing of boats!
Service Department • Indoor & Outdoor Storage
(810) 629-2291 Hours: FLINT FREEWAY
3241 Thompson Rd. Mon.-Fri. 9am - 6pm EXIT 84

Sat. 9am - 5pm
Fenton, MI 48430

w w w. f r e e w a y - s p o r t s . c o m
Closed Sunday's
20% OFF

31516 Harper Avenue

St. Clair Shores, MI 48082 Available at: Layaways Welcome
Phone (586) 296-2360
Fax (586) 264-8307

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