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MARCH 2015

$4.00

Woods-N-Water News
Michigans Premier Outdoor Publication

MORE...

TROPHY
BUCKS

SCOUT NOW

LATE
ICE EYES

Catch The Largest Brook Trout Of Your Life Coyotes vs Deer Trapping Tradition Grows
Estimating Deer Populations The Best Fishing Line Every Time Prepare Trolling Tools
Find More Sheds Plugging For Spring Steelhead $20,000 Ice Fishing Tournament Winner

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

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LY 20
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s can be made by phone mail

250.00 MINIMUM
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E.
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ply

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LAYAWAY NOW FOR NEXT HUNTING SEASON!

BEST FIREARM SELECTION CROSSBOWS AND


OVER 2,000 GUNS IN STOCK! COMPOUND BOWS

New for
2015

Large selection

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Mon. - Sat. 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

BLAZER
BRASS

19

380 ACP 95 gr. FMJ $


BLO5202. Reg. $22.99 . . Sale
9MM 115 gr. FMJ,
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Sale

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1799

2208 W. M-43
Highway,
Hastings, MI 49058
2 Miles West of Hastings
on M-37 & M-43

Phone 269/945-4106

STOP IN OR SHOP ONLINE AT BOBSGT.COM


Limited quantity available on all items. Not responsible for printing errors.

Sale prices
good through
Limited
quantityoff
available
all items.selling
Not responsible
for
All items
subject 01/31/2013.
to prior sale.
*Discounts
regularon
everyday
prices.
printing errors. All items subject to prior sale. Discounts off regular everyday selling prices.

Be Sure To Check Out Chapman's

BOAT SHOW DEALS & INCENTIVES


Before You Buy At A Boat Show!

2014 Lund

2014 Lund

2014 Lund

Windshield, third seat, gauge package,


snap down travel cover, horn, drivers seat
slider, fall marsh color option, galvanized
trailer, spare tire and trailer load guides.
The boat is powered by a 90 h.p.
Mercury four stroke motor.

Minn Kota 55lbs. thrust


trolling motor and Lowrance
fishfinder as standard equipment.
60 h.p. Mercury four stroke motor,
with power trim and tilt.

Cockpit cover, spare tire,


trailer load guides, anti-feedback
tilt steering, windshield and horn.
The boat is powered by a 115 H.P.
Mercury four stroke.

Mercury 9.9 Pro Kicker


with controls at the drivers seat, Air
Ride pedestals, extra Pro Ride seat, travel
cover, snap in carpet and transom saver.
The boat is powered by a 200 H.P.
Mercury Verado four stroke motor.

2015 Lund

2015 Lund

2015 Lund

2015 Lund

Pro ride seats, Air ride pedestals, addition seat, drivers seat slider, snap down
travel cover, Sport top, Infinity stereo with
USB port, 9.9 Pro Kicker with controls at
the drivers seat, plastic easy load trailer
bunks, spare tire, trailer load guides

Sun top, snap down travel


cover, air ride pedestals, ski pole,
bow cushions, additional seat, spare tire,
hydraulic steering, trailer and load guides.
The boat is powered by a 150 h.p.
Mercury four stroke.

Stand up sun top, cockpit cover,


under console drawer storage
Infinity stereo with USB and Ipod
port, kicker fuel line, spare tire and trailer
load guides. The boat is powered by
a 115 h.p. Mercury four stroke.

Mercury 9.9 Pro Kicker with controls at


the drivers seat, helm seat slider, hydraulic
steering, bow cargo nets, under console
storage drawers, 3 step boarding ladder,
snap down travel cover, Sport top, custom
bunk trailer and to make this new Pro V
one of a kind, special walleye graphics.

2015 Lund

2014 Bennington

2274 GL

2014 Bennington

24 SSRXDT

2014 Bennington

2375 GCW

Custom trailer with spare tire,


Mercury 9.9 Pro Kicker with controls
at the helm, cockpit cover, sun top,
walkway curtain, port and starboard
pilot chairs and stainless steel prop.

Chrome logos, R series captains chair,


Garmin depth/ fish finder, Sony stereo M6
upgrade with USB port and curved bimini
top. We can install the Yamaha motor of
your choice, up to 150 horsepower.

Tilt steering, deluxe console with


reclining helm seat, Garmin depth/
fishfinder, Sony m6 with USB port
and Java upgrade docking lights. We can
equip this pontoon with the horsepower
Yamaha motor that will fit your needs.

Seagrass aft flooring, Seastar hydraulic steering, R series


reclining chairs, stern lounge upgrade, 4 step aluminum boarding
ladder, Bluetooth Sony M6 stereo w/USB port, curved bimini top,
stainless steel docking lights housings, heavy duty rub rail and
Sharkhide tube protectant . This boat has 25" dia. tubes.
We can add the Yamaha motor of your choice to this boat.

1800 SPORT ANGLER 1875 CROSSOVER XS 1775 IMPACT SPORT

2075 TYEE MAGNUM

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SALES: 810-653-0490
5605 Davison Rd., 4 miles east
of Downtown Davison

Open 6 Days: Monday - Friday 9am-5pm;


Saturday 9am-2pm

www.chapmanssports.com

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

1800 ALASKAN SS 1650 REBEL XL SS 2000 ALASKAN SS

2014 Lund

By Tom Campbell

Field Notes...

Its wonderful sharing readers stories and


photos, we have plenty more in this issue including James and Michael Belmonte story (right). Just
keep sending them! (wnw@pageone-inc.com)

L.P. Wolf Survey

The MDNR is asking for help from northern


Lower Peninsula residences and visitors as they
begin the next wolf track survey to detect the
presence of gray wolves in the territory. According
to DNR wildlife biologist Jennifer Kleitch, The
probability of observing an actual wolf or its tracks
in the Lower Peninsula is low; its helpful to have
as many eyes as possible looking, so public reports
are important for this survey.
Wolf sightings or tracks believed to have been
from a wolf, through March 13, can be reported

also be very interested in any


pictures of a wolf in the Lower
Peninsula.
Wolves have been documented in Michigans northern
L.P. in the past and with the
U.P. wolf population and range
greatly increasing over the last
25 years the DNR needs this
vital information.
Information on wolves in
Michigan and links to other
wolf-related Web pages can be
found at www.michigan.gov/
wolves. The DNR will work
together with USDA Wildlife
Services, the Little River Band
of Ottawa Indians and the
Little Traverse Bay Band of
Odawa Indians in this survey
effort.

Bobs Gun & Tackle Shop

WOLF TRACK

COYOTE TRACK

to the DNRs Gaylord Customer Service Center at


989-732-3541, ext. 5901. Reports of observations
also can be submitted online at www.dnr.state.
mi.us/wildlife/pubs/wolf_obsreport.asp.
Kleitch added, Its important that observations
are reported in a timely manner so we can work
with fresh evidence. If the public finds what they
believe are wolf tracks, they should preserve the
physical evidence and disturb it as little as possible
or take a photo of the tracks with a ruler. Wed

SEASONS

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

Now-Feb. 14 - South Zone: late goose season


Now-Mar. 1-Badger trapping Zone 3.
Now-Mar. 1-Bobcat hunting units A, B and C.
Now-Mar. 1-Squirrel hunting statewide
Now-Mar. 1-Gray/Red Fox hunting/trapping
statewide.
Now-Mar. 1-Coyote trapping statewide.
Now-Mar. 1-Muskrat/mink trapping statewide.
Now-Mar. 31-Rabbit hunting statewide.
Now-April 15-Preserve hunting open.
Now-April 15-Coyote hunting statewide.
Now-Mar. 31-Crow hunting statewide.
Now-Mar. 15-U.P. inland waters, Great Lakes and
St. Marys River muskie, pike, walleye season.
Now-Mar. 15-L.P. inland waters muskie, pike,
walleye season.

MJC
ARCHERY
MACOMB

MJC
ARCHERY
OAKLAND

19744 15 Mile Rd
Clinton Twp. 48035

3001 Rochester Rd
Royal Oak, MI 48073

586-791-4600

248-589-2480

I am James Belmonte and the young man in the photo is my son Michael, he is seven
years old. Thanks to Michigans Mentor Youth License I now have a lifetime of
memories out of two separate hunts. Because Michael did so well in school and
at home he was able to hunt with dad (April 25th) when I was drawn for a spring
turkey tag in our area. He with a .410 and I with the 12 gauge doubled up on two
nice birds. His was 22 pounds and a 10.5 beard. This only got him even more fired
up for his first deer hunt in this youth season (September 27th). We had planned
on him taking a doe and set up a ground blind where we usually only see doe. But
much to our surprise (dads mostly) this buck walked out. I looked down at Michael who was over the top of his .243 (on the shooting stick) and he looked back
up at me and said Dad, I think that one has horns, can I shoot that one? All I can
wish for is that he asks me for advice on all the tough decisions in life. I have to
say thank you to the State of Michigan for having the mentor program and allowing my family these memories!

We wish Bobs Gun &


Tackle Shop in Hastings
the best of luck as the second generation takes the helm. Bobs has been a
family-owned business since its inception in 1962
by Robert Hayes and his late wife Wilma. Now
the family is taking steps to keep the business in
the family and the tradition alive for years to come.
Three of Bob and Wilmas kids, Steve Hayes, Deb
Williams, and Larry Hayes have been working full
time at Bobs for many years and will continue to

do so in their new capacity as owners of the business, while Cindy Faubert remains a stay-at-home
mother to her children. The Hayes family pledges
to put an emphasis on customer service and
competitive pricing while maintaining a staff of
friendly and knowledgeable employees. Congratulations to the Hayes family on 52 years of servicing Michigan sportsmen/women and good wishes
for the next 52 years!n

DNR receives updated Graymont proposal


for Upper Peninsula land transaction
The MDNR has received a revised land transaction application from Graymont, Inc. The company is proposing development of a limestone
mining operation in northern Mackinac County
near the town of Rexton. The land transaction
application amends a January 2015 version of the
proposal.
The revised land transaction application is
unchanged in the total amount and location of
public land under consideration. The new application proposes an increase in the offered royalty
payment for the limestone to be mined. Under
the revised application, Graymont would pay the
state 30 cents for each ton of extracted limestone,
up from an earlier offer of 18.75 cents per ton.
Those royalties would be deposited into the State
Parks Endowment Fund.
In addition, Graymont is proposing to develop a regional economic development fund
to provide grants for local units of government,
schools and/or small businesses. The company
has proposed to pay a timber consideration fee
on Tract A, limit wetland impacts on Tract E,
and has suggested possible routes for the relocation of recreation trails on Tract E. The entire
revised proposal, along with maps of tracts under
consideration, can be found at www.michigan.
gov/graymontproposal.
The transaction had been slated for a decision by DNR Director Keith Creagh at the Feb.
12 Natural Resources Commission meeting in

Lansing. However, in order to allow the public


and the DNR to thoroughly review this revised
proposal, the director will now make a decision
on the land transaction no earlier than the March
19 NRC meeting in Roscommon.
The company has a second proposal pending a mineral exchange application which
remains unchanged from a Jan. 15 application.
This proposal seeks to exchange more than 1,700
acres of state-owned minerals under the Hiawatha National Forest in Chippewa County for
1,700 acres of Graymont-owned minerals under
state-owned lands in northern Mackinac County.
The mineral exchange application will go before
Creagh for a decision at the Feb. 12 NRC meeting. The mineral exchange proposal can be found
on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/graymontproposal.
There are multiple ways people can provide
comments about these proposals. The public
will have an opportunity to make comments at
upcoming NRC meetings. The DNR continues
to maintain an email address for the public to
comment. Interested parties may send comments
to DNRGraymontProposalComments@michigan.gov. Mailed comments can be sent to the
Roscommon Customer Service Center, ATTN:
Kerry Wieber, 8717 N. Roscommon Road,
Roscommon, MI 48653.
Comments will be accepted until a final decision is made.

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

HUNTING

FEATURES

2014 was a good year


Richard P. Smith page 10

Estimating deer
population on small
areas not an easy task
John Ozoga page 36

Locating late ice walleyes


Mark Martin page 14

A conversation with
Richard P. Smith
Betty Sodders page 48

Turkey Hunting...
Six surefire trail
camera tips
Brian Miller page 26

Dealing with
nuisance animals
George Rowe page 66

Wintertime
squirrel hunting
Tom Lounsbury page 30

COYOTES
vs
DEER

Scout now for


spring gobblers
Kenny Darwin page 32
COVER STORY
State Land 10-Point
Jerry Lambert page 46
Hunting with grandpa
Jerry Lambert page 47
New inline technology
Joe Delaney page 86
Nontypical bow shots...
expect the unexpected
Jason DeLille page 96
Wild turkey hunting
and the NWTF
Len Jenkins page 96
Get your gear on!
Lane Walker page 98

FISHING
Spring Fling
Mark Romanack page 8
Catch the largest
brook trout of your life
Bill Ziegler page 12
Plugging Spring Steelhead
Jim Bedford page 21

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

The best line every time


Mark Romanack page 28

NEXT BITE...
Prepping the trolling tools
Gary Parsons/Keith Kavajecz
page 38

COVER
PHOTO

Buck-Richard Loweke
Turkeys-Kenny Darwin
Walleye-Kenny Darwin

Kenny Darwin ...page 18

Michigan's fantastic
LATE ICE fishing
Robert Dock Stupp page 40

Ice Trashers
Pick up your stuff!
Randy Jorgensen page 24

FISH TALES
Captain Fred Davis
page 72

Dear Fish Diary:


Nobody said life would
be fair now did they?
Ron St. Germain page 44

When BIG FISH


happen to panfish people
Mark Strand page 88
March Madness
starts with cohos
Dave Mull page 90

Better opportunities for


hunters with disabilities
MDNR page 59

A day on Oakland
County's largest lake
Roger Beukema page 97

PERSPECTIVE
Trapping tradition
grows in popularity
MDNR page 16
MARCH 2015

Michigan Meanders...
To catch a mink
Tom Huggler page 52

$4.00

-Water News

Christmas Trapline
Darryl Quidort page 62
My name is Cooper
Mark Sak page 69
Turn the electronics off,
gear up and get outside
Tricia Croney page 74
Vacation Confessions:
Romancing winter
Jonathan Schechter
page 80

Gun Chat...
Rabbit Guns
Lee Arten page 68
Sporting Collectibles
Two fishing rods
Terry McBurney page 82
TRAIL CAMERA PHOTOS
pages 84-85
Beating the 'widowmaker'
Len McDougall page 92

OUTDOOR NEWS
MDNR Fisheries shifts
focus to 'In-Shore Species'
Mark Sak page 34

Three new hunt of


a lifetime winners
page 67
Project to benefit private
forest landowners
page 73
Snowmobiling in
Northern Michigan
Jeff Pendergraff
page 74
St. Martin Island deer
BOOM to BUST
Richard P. Smith
page 89

BLACK POWDER
Traditional Black
Powder Hunting
"They leave no trail"
Dennis Neely page 64

OPINIONS
This land is...whose land?
Tom Carney page 75
What happened to
all of our deer?
Ed Spinazzola page 94

Father and
son win 2015
Midwest
Open Ice
Tourney
page 35
"Michigan's
Iron
Belle Trail"
from
Belle Isle to
Ironwood
page 61

Find more sheds!


Jordan Browne...page 70

DEPARTMENTS . . .
Trophy Page. . . . . . 78-79 Classifieds . . . . 100-101
Letters-Op-Ed . . . . . 74-77 Real Estate . . . . . 102-109

MORE...

TROPHY
BUCKS

SCOUT NOW

LATE
ICE EYES

Catch The Largest Brook Trout Of Your Life Coyotes vs Deer Trapping Tradition Grows
Estimating Deer Populations The Best Fishing Line Every Time Prepare Trolling Tools
Find More Sheds Plugging For Spring Steelhead $20,000 Ice Fishing Tournament Winner

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

Follow us on

www.facebook.com/woodsnwaternews

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

Spring
Fling
H

Small to medium sized trolling spoons are


also very good baits for targeting spring trout and
salmon. Because these lures have no ability to reach
depth on their own, most anglers fish them in coma haystack.
bination with an in-line weight of some sort.
Water just a couple degrees warmer can be all
The Off Shore Tackle Pro Weight System feait takes to concentrate baitfish and also trout and
tures an assortment of minnow shaped weights that
salmon. Once the water temperature starts to climb can be fished as in-line sinkers a few feet in front of
into the low 40s the fishing begins to pick up and
a spoon or by using the supplied OR16 Snap Weight
peaks when the water temperature reaches the mid
Clips the weights can be place well up the line to
40s.
avoid spooking fish.
Often these places are distinguished by very
Fished as both an in-line weight or as a Snap
shallow water that warms more quickly than the
Weight, this system is a great way to get spoons to
deeper main basin of the lakes. Its common to find depth and also to fish spoons in combination with
trout and salmon in water less than 15 feet deep and planer boards.
I routinely target fish in water barely waist deep!
Most spoons require a little faster trolling
Monitoring surface water temperature can be
speeds to achieve their best action. Trolling at 1.7 to
achieved with most modern sonar units these days. 2.2 MPH in the spring will help spoons come to life
For measuring sub-surface water temperatures a
and produce their best action.
special probe like the popular Fish Hawk should be
standard equipment on any boat targeting trout and
salmon.
Coho have a weakness for small dodger and
Often the warmest pockets of water are not
fly combinations in the spring. These offerings can
those near shore or at the surface. The only way to
be fished on downriggers, but a more efficient way
search for these hidden pockets of warmer water is of covering water is to use an Off Shore Tackle
with products like the Fish Hawk.
Tadpole Diver (No. 1 or No. 2 size) as a means for
achieving depth.
Simply clip the Tadpole to the end of your fishIn water this shallow trolling with boards is the ing line, then add about a 48 inch leader of 15-20
only practical way to contact fish without spooking pound test fluorocarbon line attached to a 000 size
them. A planer board mast system works nicely for dodger. Finish the rig by adding a small trolling
fishing four or more lines per side of the boat. Often fly on a 12-18 inch fluorocarbon leader behind the
seen in use by charter boats and other larger fishing dodger.
boats, big skis require a considerable investment in
This whole set up can easily be fished on a
hardware and also line releases.
planer board making it possible to cover the maxiFor smaller boats that arent fishing as many
mum amount of water.
lines, in-line boards like the popular Off Shore
Tackle OR12 are a more cost effective choice.
Spring trout and salmon trolling is about finding
Some anglers also argue that because in-line boards
keep pressure on the fish from the time it bites until warmer water and flooding that zone with as many
the fish is landed, they deliver a slightly higher ratio baits as possible. Planer boards rule the roost in the
spring when the fish are found most often in skinny
of hooked to landed fish.
water. By mixing up the program with stickbaits,
diving cranks, spoons and dodger/fly combinations
anglers have the best chance of catching multiple
In the early spring coho, browns, kings and
lake trout are very susceptible to crankbaits trolled species and having the most fun on the water.n

By Mark Romanack

Lake Michigan Side

For anglers setting their sights on the west side


of the state, the best spring trout and salmon fishing occurs from Benton Harbor south to Michigan
City. Great fishing also can be found heading up
the Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin side of the lake
at ports including Waukegon, Kenosha, Racine and
Milwaukee.

Lake Huron Side


MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

at 1.4 to 2.0 MPH. Traditionally the crankbaits of


choice have been stickbaits like the popular Rapala
Floating Minnow, Smithwick Rattlin Rogue, Long
A Bomber, Reef Runner RipStick, Salmo Sting and
Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow.
A growing number of anglers are finding that
higher action diving crankbaits -- fished by running
them right into the bottom -- are deadly on spring
trout and salmon. A few of the good lures to try in
this category include the Yakima Mag Lip 3.0 and
3.5 sizes, Rapalas No. 7 Taildancer, Berkley No. 7
Flicker Shad and the Salmo Hornet No. 6.
Most of these diving crankbaits are only available in bass and walleye color options. The Mag
Lip baits by Yakima come in 40 different colors
including the most popular gaudy shades aimed at
trout and salmon fishing.
By setting these baits back far enough that they
impact the bottom, they closely resemble baitfish
scurrying away from predator fish. Typically the
sandy bottoms along these shoreline areas feature
troths and ridges on the bottom. The fish tend to
lay in the troths and dart out to attack forage fish
as they happen by. Making sure the bait dives deep
enough to contact the ridges of sand is critical to
stirring up the bottom and causing the baits to rebound in an erratic manner.

Spoon Trolling Tricks

ere in Michigan
spring has a special
meaning to fishermen. Until youve lived through a few
of Michigans brutal winters, you cant
completely appreciate how awesome it feels to
launch a fishing boat into open water for the first
time every spring.
For those hard core anglers who are looking to
make that first trip of the year happen in March, Id
suggest targeting trout and salmon in either southern Lake Michigan or southern Lake Huron. During
the winter forage fish including alewives and smelt
migrate to the southern most part of these Great
Lakes because the water is a little warmer and there
is more food in the form of plankton.
Not surprisingly the game fish that feed on these
forage species follow suit. For a few weeks every
spring the trolling action on coho, kings, browns,
lake trout and steelhead can be literally amazing.
The water may be ice cold, but the fishing action is
often red hot for those who know where to fish and
what to fish with.

In the spring kings like this average a little


smaller than they do in August, but the author
knows nothing beats those first few open water
trips of the year on the Great Lakes.

For anglers who are heading east to Lake Huron, the fishing is good from Port Huron to Lexington and north to Harbor Beach. This fishery has
been surprisingly good in recent years with a mixed
bag of coho, kings, steelhead, browns and more
lake trout that you can catch in a lifetime.

Near Shore Fishing

Early in the season the majority of the fish are


going to be found in the warmest available water.
Concentrating on warm water discharge sites or

places where feeder creeks pour


into the Great Lakes is how anglers find the proverbial needle in

Dodger/Fly

Boards Are Best

Summing It Up

Good Spring Crankbaits

& Resort - Cottages on Lake Nettie

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Excellent Fishing - Pike, Perch, Bass,
Crappie, and Gills Galore!
>s
Loon Photography - Up Close Loons-n-Chicks

Stone Masonry - Real Stone

Split Bamboo Cane Rods

9011 W 638 Hwy., Hawks, MI 49743 / 989-734-4688


Or Call Mark on his cell: 989-330-0807
info@nettiebay.com / www.nettiebaylodge.com

,W

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

2014 Was A Good Year


Two Trophy Bucks, Mulie, Elk...By Richard P. Smith

larger antlers, Cropsey said, I feel better about getting


this deer because of the history I have with him. I have
been watching him for six years and have trail camera
pics of him each of those years.
Brandon first saw the 13-point whitetail in 2009
when it had a 10-point rack. He thought the deer was 1
nontypical.
years old then. By the following year, the bucks antlers
The day after bagging the 16-pointer, Brandon flew
had 13 points, making a dramatic increase in size.
to Montana for a combination mule deer and elk hunt.
I let him go twice when he was 2 during 2010,
And that hunt also went well. He shot a mule deer with
a drop tine first, but the buck broke the drop tine when it Cropsey said. I saw him once from my bow stand at 18
yards. Then I saw him again during gun season. I think it
fell. Cropsey then connected on a 5X5 bull elk.
was the day after Thanksgiving.
Then a month after Brandon scored on his trophy
I saw him a couple of times during 2011 when he
Michigan 16-pointer with bow and arrow (Dec. 14), he
collected a 6 -year-old 13-pointer with a muzzleloader was 3 , but I didnt have a chance to shoot him that
year. I wouldnt have shot him then
that he has been watching for years in Cass County that
anyway.
scored 148 2/8 with two broken tines. If those tines
By the time the whitetail was 4 ,
hadnt been broken, the antlers probably would have
the deer was old enough and his antlers
measured in the mid-150s.
The St. Joseph County buck that Cropsey arrowed on were large enough that Brandon probably would have been willing to put a
November 14 not only had a big rack, it had a big body.
tag on him. He saw the buck at least
The 16-pointer weighed 254 pounds with its back
twice that year, but not where or when
hooves still on the ground, Cropsey said. The rack has
he could get a shot. The same thing hapa typical 12-point frame and a third beam that has four
pened during 2013 when the animal was
points on it.
5 years old.
Brandon said he thinks the buck is 5 years old.
Last fall, he didnt hunt the property
After he arrowed the deer, a neighbor showed him trail
much where the 13-pointer lived due to
camera photos he has accumulated of the whitetail over
the presence of a large uncut cornfield.
the last three years.
Standing corn was present through gun
I had no clue this buck was around until the day
season.
before I got him, Cropsey commented. At 12:15 or
I only hunted the property three
12:30 p.m. on November 13, I saw him chase a doe into
or four times through gun season and
the woods. I was in a treestand in that woods the next
I didnt see the 13-pointer, Brandon
evening.
About an hour before dark, I could hear him raking commented. The last trail camera pic I
had of him was during September, but I
his antlers on a tree. I have a can call that imitates a doe
figured he was still there. Compared to
bleat. I tipped that three times and that brought him to
many other bucks I get on camera, he
me. He came right up to the tree eight yards away. He
was grunting all of the way. I grabbed my bow when he seemed to be kind of a home body. He
went behind two trees. That movement caused my stand never seemed to travel to neighboring
properties like many bucks I have seen.
to pop. The buck trotted a short distance and stopped 30
The cornfield where the Cass County
to 35 yards away. I took a shot when he stopped and I
13-pointer lived was finally cut during December and the
thought I hit him pretty good.
spilled grain that remained in the field attracted a lot of
Brandon did indeed make a good hit. The buck ran
deer. Brandon hunted the cornfield with his Thompson/
over a hill about 90 yards away and died. He shot the
whitetail with a 63-pound pull Mathews Chill bow and a Center Omega .50 caliber muzzleloader from a ladder
stand on the evening of December 10. The 13-pointer
carbon arrow fitted with a Rage Broadhead.
was the fifth of seven bucks that entered the field that
The kill was significant to Cropsey since 2014
evening, but he was 275 yards away, too far for a shot.
marked his 25th year of bowhunting. He started bowI watched that buck until dark, Cropsey said. He
hunting when he was 12 and hes now 37. His best buck
prior to 2014 was a nice 10-pointer that scored 152. The was 40 yards from the blind that I eventually shot him
muzzleloader buck Brandon got in December was special from.
Brandon was in that blind the next evening and he
in a different way.
Even though the buck I got with bow and arrow has saw more than 30 deer, eight of which were bucks, but

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

ural St. Joseph County deer hunter Brandon


Cropsey had an excellent year. He bagged
a 5 -year-old 16-pointer with bow and arrow on November 14 in St. Joseph County
that had a green gross score of 175 1/8 as a

10

Brandon Cropsey with his Montana mule deer and elk.

Above Brandon
Cropsey with his
16-point taken with a
bow and his 13-point
muzzleloader buck
with some of its shed
antlers hes found.

the 13-point was not among them. The best buck he saw
was a 10-point with a 21-inch spread, but the tines were
short. He wasnt about to shoot a smaller buck knowing
that the 13-pointer was in the area.
The big buck was also a no show on Saturday,
December 13, but entered the cut cornfield 25 minutes
before dark on the 14th.
The buck was 260 yards away when I saw him,
Cropsey said. I watched him for 10 minutes as he
gradually fed closer. I thought about shooting him when
he turned broadside at 140 yards, but I looked at my
phone and saw there was still 10 minutes of shooting
time, so I waited.
When the buck was just over 100 yards away and
three minutes of shooting time remained, Brandon finally
pulled the trigger of his front loader, dropping the deer
in his tracks. The black powder rifle was loaded with
100 grains of Triple 7 pellets and a Powerbelt Bullet.
Brandon didnt realize two antler tines were broken until
he reached the fallen whitetail.
I believe his best scoring rack was last year when
he was 5 years old, Cropsey commented. He went
backwards just a little this year. I am not sure if that is
because of his age or the hard winter we had last year.
Im guessing his rack last year would have put him in the
low to mid 160s.
The bucks antlers changed a little bit each of the last
three years. For the first time during 2014, the second
tine on the right antler was forked. But the left antler
only had six points instead of seven.
During 2013, when the buck was 5 , the bucks antlers
had seven points per side, making him a 14-pointer. He
had 15 points in 2012, with eight tines on the right antler.
Brandon had collected many of the bucks shed
antlers. Five of the eight sheds he has from the deer are
shown in the photo of Brandon with the deer.n

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11

LARGEST BROOK TROUT


Special Regulations
Brook Trout Lakes
in the U.P. Produce a
Unique Trophy Fishery...

By Bill Ziegler

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

n the late 1970s DNR fisheries


managers were exploring using
the Assinica strain of brook trout
with special regulations in northern Michigan trout lakes. The goal
was to stock this strain of brook trout
in smaller, single species trout lakes
and benefit from the superior growth
potential of this strain. This could
produce a trophy brook trout fishery.
Based on fishery management biologists previous experience, because of
the higher fishing pressure that trout
lakes generated, special regulations
would be necessary to realize the
Assinica strains full growth potential.
This strain originated from Assinica
Lake in the James Bay area of northern Quebec. This strain of brook
trout exhibited greater longevity
and survival in performance studies
compared to other brook trout strains,
allowing larger numbers of them to
reach trophy size.
Early in my career working with
the US Forest Service in fisheries we
partnered with the Michigan DNR.
Bud Jacob, the Crystal Falls DNR
District fisheries biologist, had me investigate potential remote trout lakes.
My fisheries crew conducted fisheries

12

Kimberly Wetton, former President of the TUs Fred Waara Chapter in Marquette, with another quality sized Assinica
brook trout she caught and released at one of the UPs Type D regulation trout lake. Author photos
surveys and winter dissolved oxygen

One of the special Type D brook trout lakes in early fall colors just before the
trout season closure at the end of September.

testing on remote lakes in the Iron


County area of the Ottawa National
Forest. We were looking for lakes
that could support trout year around.
The lakes had to have adequate dissolved oxygen throughout the winter
and cold oxygenated deeper water
throughout the summer for the trout
to survive. Potential lakes that met
the criteria were converted to trout
management using a chemical treatment to remove competing fish that
were present.
The lakes I worked on took considerable effort because they did not
have road access. This allowed the
new trout lakes to be managed as walk
in waters which contributed significantly to the likelihood of generating
a sustained fishery. Years of experience had taught fisheries managers
that easy access lakes were difficult
to maintain a quality trout fishery that
lasted though the open season.
The Assinica strain of brook trout

were put into lakes and protected


with special regulations. These more
restrictive regulations were eventually
converted in the Type D regulation
designation in the year 2000. Type
D Lakes are only open during the
regular trout season. Only artificial
lures may be used (live bait or dead
minnows may not be possessed).
The daily possession limit is one 15
inch brook trout. These regulations
are necessary to allow brook trout to
reach the relatively higher minimum
size limit of 15 inches. Numerous
mortality studies indicated that hooking mortality was likely to be around
30 percent on brook trout that were
caught and released with live bait.
The same studies indicated a much
lower hooking mortality with artificial lure hooked and released brook
trout. Restricting anglers to artificial
baits allowed sub-legal sized fish to be
caught and released with a reasonable
chance of surviving and growing into

me to teach officers that were new to


the area, the best ways to access popular trout fishing spots. If the conservation officers are realistically going
to detect illegal fishing violations at
these remote lakes it is important they
initially observe the anglers without
being detected.
This teaching arrangement had
developed since I had worked in the
area long enough to know all the
back walking accesses to these high
demand trout fishing spots. As a
fisheries manager I also had a strong
interest in maintaining good enforcement of these high priority trout
waters. As an example one opening
weekend a conservation officer and
I checked 13 different trout fishing

A 17 inch Assinica brook trout caught and released by the author recently on
one of the UPs trophy brook trout (Type D) lakes.
The complaint would often go
like this. I have fished the Type D
lake for years and never been checked
by a game warden. When concerned
trout anglers confronted me with this
by telephone or at public meetings I
would remind them that just because
the game warden had not spoken to
them, that didnt mean they were not
checked.
The local DNR law enforcement
supervisor had an arrangement with

A Nalgene bottle full of minnows that


a Michigan DNR Conservation Officer confiscated during an arrest at
Timber Lake, one of the UPs Trophy
brook trout lakes.

groups on a single 60 acre lake at


close range, without anyone realizing
that the officer was studying their
angling equipment. This allowed him
to determine that all the anglers were
following angling regulations by
determining all were using artificial
lures. Our conservation officers made
a number of arrests for the illegal use
of live bait or over limit catches. The
officers routinely checked these trout
lakes although when they did not see
anything out of order, they moved on
to new areas without making their
presence known.
Most of these Assinica lakes are
stocked annually. If survival rates are
good then fall fingerling brook trout
are stocked which are considerably
less expensive to rear than yearlings.
These lakes are managed as single
species trout lakes meaning no other
panfish or game fish are allowed to
persist. Some DNR Districts supplement the forage base by introducing
fathead minnows. The trout feed on
aquatic insect larvae, other aquatic
invertebrates, leeches, and as the
trout attain larger size they also eat
minnows. This management scheme
yields the greatest productivity of
these smaller lakes that typically are a

Benji Wood of Iron Mountain Michigan using his belly boat to attempt to catch
a wall mounting sized brook trout on one of the UPs Type D regulation
brook trout lakes. Author photos
few acres up to about 60 acres in size.
The lakes range in maximum depth
from about 35 to 55 feet.
Most walk in trout lake anglers
use an inflatable belly boat to fish
most effectively. Some anglers use
canoes and kayaks although carrying that and all the fishing equipment
can be quite a task into some of the
lakes. Iron Countys Timber Lake
has a mile walk to reach the lake
from the parking area. A few of the
small lakes with good drop offs can
be fished from shore. My favorite
method to catch the larger brook trout
is using a wet fly on a sinking tip fly
line. I am not an expert fly angler although fishing wet flies that sink is a
very forgiving way to fly fish. Many
wet flies work although a favorite
fly to start with is a woolly bugger.
Spinning rods can also be used effectively, normal trout spinners like
rooster tails and panther martins work
although some spinning rod anglers
also use a small lead head jig and
plastic twister tail. Obviously, some
anglers have luck with many other
trout lures including small spoons
or minnow imitators on spinning
gear.
These restrictive regulation trophy
trout lakes produce excellent results

as a general rule. I have participated


in the netting survey efforts and seen
the high size structure of brook trout
in several of the lakes mentioned.
More importantly my family and
fishing partners have caught a number
of brook trout over the years from 15
to 20 + inches. If you catch an 18 or
20 inch brook trout while you are in
a belly boat they put up a tremendous
fight and can spin you around in the
inflatable boat that gives an extra
thrill. Many of the regular Assinica
trout anglers I know release many
of the fish they catch since there is a
high likelihood they might catch that
fish again.
As a long time fisheries biologist manager of this type of lake I
observed the larger Type D Trout
Lakes I managed held up better to
fishing pressure, than the small ones.
It comes down to simple math where
a relatively larger lake can support
more legal sized brook trout than a
small lake.
This is not a good choice of a lake
if you are looking to fill the freezer,
although if you want to catch the
largest brook trout of you lifetime,
without booking a fly-in trout trip to
Canada, it is an excellent place to accomplish that goal.n

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

a quality sized brook trout.


Catching a large brook trout is in
great demand in the UP. Letters with
positive feedback for DNR management are not common to receive as
a field fish biologist, although the
most positive thank you letters I did
receive were related to these special
regulations trout lakes. Unfortunately,
the trophy brook trout lakes draw
both honest trout enthusiasts and
those who will bend the rules to boost
their chances of catching a bragging
sized brookie. Local Conservation
Officers and I also received considerable complaints from anglers who
suspected other anglers of cheating,
by fishing with live bait or other
violations.

13

Locating Late
Ice Walleyes
If you follow the
movements of walleyes
during last ice youll catch
more fish, no matter the
techniques you choose...

By Mark Martin

walleyes during last ice youll catch


more fish, no matter the techniques
you choose. Even more cool, this is
the time of year you might just land
the biggest walleye of your life.

The Reason For


The Late-Ice Season

Never more than now will walleyes be found in such tightly-knit


he month of March is most
packs. This is because these springcertainly a time of seatime spawners are schooling up and
sonal transition throughout
making massive migrations, heading
the Midwest. Apart from
towards the very areas they will lay
the rogue storm that rolls
eggs and emit milt.
through, most of the heavy
Even in waterways where natural
snows have stopped falling, the days
reproduction is limited or nonexisare warming and the amount of daytent, walleyes will at least go through
light is noticeably elongated.
the motions of procreating. And this
Overall, these are the triggers that will happen upon most any structure.
make walleyes less lethargic than they However, their preference will be to
were during mid-winter, and they are breed in areas with small rocks and/
now on the move under the slowly
or gravel; even more so if there is
decaying ice.
water rushing over them such as in
And if you follow the travels of
rivers and streams. Weeds, too, as well

The author, Mark Martin, holds a nice walleye he landed while fishing directly
over a breakline he found with his Lowrance Elite-5 Ice Machine and Navionics
mapping. David Rose photo
sandy bottom vicinities will do.

reach the low 40s, especially when a


full moon is the phase). This means
you should be targeting areas near
Now the fish arent ready to spawn spawning location, not on them, right
now.
just quite yet. (The act, more than
Generally, I look for steep breaklikely, taking place during open water
right after ice-out, when temperatures lines in close proximity to where the

Look Nearby

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hanky-panky will commence, or fish


as close to the inlets of rivers and
streams as safe ice will allow. And
these breaklines are easy to find with
the use of modern-day GPS.
At my ready at all times on the
ice is an Elite-5 Ice Machine by
Lowrance. And within the units card
reader is a SD card filled with hydrographic maps by Navionics.
With the Elite-5 in GPS mode
and the Navionics mapping showing in the background, I am able to
locate and drill holes precisely over
breaklines with ease. And when I
switch the unit over to sonar mode,
I not only can see fish that might be
swimming below me, but can spy my
jig and be able to move it up or down
in the water column and right into the
faces of the passersby.
The water depths I look for will
vary depending on the waterway I am
fishing. In some cases, I may only be
fishing the outside (deeper) edge of a
breakline in six to 10 feet, while other
times the water will be in the teens.
The most important factor, precedence over depth, is to make sure I
am as close to the actual breakline as
possible. And if there are any stillgreen weeds in the area, as well wood
or rock, Ill fish as close to those as I
can.
So how do I know Im fishing
close by structure if its not right un-

der me? Why with a MarCum underwater viewing system, of course


To this day I still use my MarCum
VS825SD color underwater camera for gathering information about
whats laying outside my sonars
transducer signal, including watching
fish. And new this year is the companys PanCam Camera System, which
works remotely via Wi-Fi from your
smartphone or tablet. Its very cool, to
say the least.
And before dropping my first
lure through a hole in the ice, I make
sure to bore as many as I can with
my StrikeMaster power auger, so as
to make all my commotion at once.
This allows the environment below
the ice to settle down as the morning
progresses. And how many holes, you
ask? Up to two dozen if the area is
large enough.

Tie One On

Once all my holes are drilled, Ill


check the depth as well any sign of
fish with my Lowrance. If fish are
spotted, Ill immediately drop down a
heavy lure tipped with either the head
or tail section of a minnow fresh from
my Plano bait container, or, with a
Berkley Gulp! Minnow Head.
My favorite jigs by far are size-5
and -7 Jigging Raps and Rapala Jigging Shad Raps. And when tipping
the lure, I do so to the treble hook

dangling from the lures belly so as


not to impede the action.
Ill decide which one to tie on
first depending on the baitfish in the
system I am fishing. If wide-bodied
preys such as panfish or shad are
present, I use the fat-body-shaped
Jigging Shad Rap; if long, slender
baitfishes are the norm Ill use the
narrow-bodied Jigging Rap.
Large spoons in 1/2- and
3/4-ounce weights will work wonders
this time of year, as well. In clear water, plain silver, gold and copper are
great color choices. In stained, bright
colors and lures with rattles will get
tied on.
When fishing either style of lure
and I am not marking fish on my
Lowrance, Ill jig aggressively with
10- to 12-inch quick lifts and drops of
my rods tip so as to draw attention to
the bait from fish that might be swimming afar. Sometimes Ill also lower
the lure until it hits bottom, and then
hop it up and down, which will rile
up the lake floor.
Once fish show up, Ill quickly
reduce the amount of action I present
to the lure, giving it a few short up
and down strokes of only an inch or
so, or, will just wiggle the end of the
rod, which will cause the lure to have
a nervous vibrating motion.
When jigging walleyes, I like to
use a medium-action ice rod, which

I couple with an ABU Garcia spinning reel. Spooled onto the reel is
8-pound-test Berkley FireLine Micro
Ice, a line that has nearly zero stretch,
making it very sensitive.
To the end of the FireLine, Ill
connect a 12-inch leader of 8-poundtest Trilene 100% Fluoro Professional
Grade line, which I attach to the FireLine with via a small Berkley BallBearing Swivel. To the other end Ill
tie on a Berkley Cross-Loc snap (not
snap swivel) in which to fix the lure.

All In All

Catching late-ice walleye is more


about knowing what it is the walleye
will be doing after ice out than anything else. Thats right, spawning.
By late winter the fish are on
the move, heading towards breeding
areas. And this time of year they can
be found along the breaklines very
nearby. Drill lots of holes and change
out lures often. Most of all, hang on
to that rod tight; this is the time of
year you could be hooking into the
biggest fish of your life.
Mark Martin is a touring walleye
tournament pro and instructor with
the Ice-Fishing Vacation/School, who
lives in southwestern Lower Michigan. Visit his website at markmartins.
net for more information about Mark,
the school as well links to the products in this article.n

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15

Trapping
tradition
grows in
popularity
Doug Reeves remembers
his first time as though
it were yesterday...
he first thing I
ever caught was
an ermine, a white
weasel, said
Reeves, assistant
chief of the Department Natural
Resources Wildlife Division and a
lifelong trapper. I sold it for 50 cents
to a traveling fur buyer. To me that
was big time.
He was 9 years old. And he was
hooked. The next year he got three
traps and starting chasing muskrats.
He progressed from there.
Back then you had to be 12 years
old to trap beaver, he said. The first
one I got I brought home in the basket
of my sisters fat-tire bike.
Now, 50 years later, Reeves is still
trapping muskrats, raccoons, coyotes, fox just about everything.
You have to learn a lot, Reeves
said. The learning curve is very
steep. The element of exploration and
discovery is a lot of fun. Its a blast. I
just love it.
Reeves isnt alone. In Michigan,
trapping is growing in popularity.
According to DNR records, more
than 10,000 people bought a fur harvester license in 1994. Two decades
later, that number has tripled.
Its been increasing, said Adam
Bump, the DNRs furbearer specialist. Some of it may be because of
pelt prices. When you have generally
increasing pelt prices, you have an increase in trapping and the last three or
four years the pelt prices for muskrats
have been near or at record highs. But
the price for every species varies on
its own, so just because rat prices are
up, that doesnt mean they all are.

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

16

Indeed, its not all about fur prices,


said Dale Hendershot, president of
the 1,200-member Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association,
one of three fur-taker associations in
the state. A 64-year-old retired diesel
mechanic from Gladwin whos been
trapping since he was 14, Hendershot
said the vast majority of trappers are
not professionals.
Most trappers are hobbyists, Hendershot said, recreationalists who can
probably make enough money to pay
for their gas.
Hendershot said its the challenge
that intrigues trappers. You really
have to know the habits of the animals
to get them, he said.
Trapping is not for the faint of
heart, he added. If youre hunting
and its below zero and the winds
blowing, you have an option you
can say Im going to stay in the cabin
today. But if you have traps out there,
you have to get out there in that stuff
and check them. Its a huge commitment.
The Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association formerly
the Michigan Trappers Association
holds fur sales for its members and
offers a landowner assistance program
to connect folks who have issues with
furbearers causing problems.
Typically its either beaver- or
coyote- related, but everybodys got a
problem with raccoons, Hendershot
said.
The association also helps the
DNR with its trapper education
program, which has been in existence
since 2009.
Trapping is misunderstood,
Hendershot said. Were trying to
make it better understood. We do a lot
of educational stuff. I would hope that
the educational movement is paying
off.
Just like hunting and fishing, trap-

ping is highly regulated by the DNR.


There are prescribed seasons for all
17 of the species that fur-takers can
harvest, and the means and methods
of capture are regulated as well.
We tend to set seasons when the
pelts are most valuable, Bump said.
Most trapping gears up in fall and
runs through the winter, though you
can trap beaver and otter into spring.
And weasels are open year-round.
Dwayne Etter, a research biologist
with the DNR, is a relative newcomer
to trapping.
As kids we messed around with
it, but we really didnt know what
we were doing, Etter said. I was
fortunate enough to attend trappers
college. The Michigan Trappers
Association and National Trappers

Association sponsor a biologist every


year for a week to go to trappers college. Its a week of intensive learning
how to trap, how to put up fur, good
stuff.
I immediately got excited, so
I got home, bought some traps, and
started trapping. Its kind of an addicting hobby it grows and grows.
Now Etter takes a weeks vacation
every year to go the Upper Peninsula
and trap.
Its kind of the same as deer
camp we go with the guys, hang out,
cruise around the woods and we have
the anticipation that were going to
catch something.
Trapping is also a tool for population management; when furbearer
populations begin to exceed the
carrying capacity, disease inevitably
follows.
Whenever raccoons get too
thick, you see a distemper outbreak,
Reeves said. When you get too many
coyotes, you get mange. Ive seen it
where I live.
To Reeves, being an ethical trapper is critical to wildlife management.
To me, its important that the
animal is well caught, that its dispatched humanely, and the fur is
handled in a respectful way, he said.
For others, the allure of trapping is
reconnecting to times past.
Its kind of a lifestyle to some
people, Hendershot said. Its a
throwback to when our country was
settled. And a lot of people like the
feel of it.
To learn more about trapping and
fur harvesting opportunities in Michigan, visit the DNR website
www.michigan.gov/trapping.n

Prepared By The MDNR

Father and son trappers John and John Bakos show off their muskrats taken
from a frozen marsh. Above John pulls a muskrat from the marsh. MDNR photos

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

17

Do Coyote Have An Impact On Michigans Deer Herd?

COYOTES vs DEER

t was an ugly sight as the three


coyotes circled the healthy adult
doe caught in waist deep snow.
She was bleeding from her lip and
rear where the dogs had savagely
ripped away pieces of flesh. After a
long exhausting dash in the deep snow
she was tired, tongue hanging out as
she struggled to breathe and avoid
the sharp fangs. The coyotes looked
happy, wagged their bushy tails as
they pranced on top of the snowdrift
in a deadly dance around the floundering helpless adult deer.
I watched the brutal attack through
powerful Nikon 50mm binoculars and
when the coyotes eventually drew
blood and took the deer down I found
their actions extremely violent as the
bloodthirsty dogs ripped flesh from
the deer that was still very much alive.
The disgusting event made my blood
boil and I glanced at the .22 magnum
Ruger rifle and thought about surprising the coyotes with some hot lead.
The spectacle reminded me of National Geographic film specials showing
feeding lions, hyenas disemboweling
prey, leopard and other predators as
they take down large game animals
and rip them to shreds. I turned my
head, drove away but visited the area
the next day. There in the snow were
the remains of the perfectly healthy
deer minus the hind quarters, vital
organs and just about all the meat but
stomach content and intestine filled
with feces were still intact. The head
was still attached to the hide but the
animals skin was turned inside out
and all meat was missing. The sight
made my stomach turn and I spent
several days in the immediate area
calling coyote at night and shooting
the hell out of them. Every time a dog
would bounce into the scope I would
envision the mangled deer and shoot
with a vengeance.
A recent letter from a
reader asked Do coyote have
an impact on Michigans deer
herd? I guess I have a very
biased opinion about coyote
based on several encounters
regarding whitetailed deer
and coyotes. Ya know, I kind
of love coyote and
look forward to seeing
them and after all they
are one of Natures
wild creatures and need to eat too. But
then I think about the gross visions
that come to mind of coyote deer kills
and I quickly become a coyote hater,
big time. Keep in mind that I have
witnessed in the field how coyote
kill turkey and deer, seen them take
life and witnessed brutal attacks that
would turn the stomach of seasoned

most parts of Michigan.


Last fall in Jackson County I made
a liver hit on a big 10-point during
archery season but the blood trail
soon ended and I lost the deer. Later
I recovered the beautiful rack but the
deer was almost totally eaten by coyotes. This is now common in southern
Michigan because the coyote population is out of control. In the inner city
coyotes dine on road kill. Coyotes live
to be fat near the city because they
also kill and eat neighborhood cats
and dogs. If you live in a Michigan
community and you have a bird feeder
that attracts squirrel, rabbit, birds,
turkey and deer I guarantee that coyote will visit your yard in the dead of
night looking for a late night snack.
The snow and cold temperatures
last winter gave coyote an opportunity to chow down on venison. Deer
struggling to move in deep snow are
easy targets for hungry coyote that
can prance across the white blanket.
Last spring I found plenty of deer
carcasses indicating that coyote had
easy hunting winter 2014. When I ask
Michigans DNR deer specialist about
the increased number of deer killed
during severe weather by coyote they
simply agreed more than sportsmen
would estimate but they have no
clear data. It is my opinion the DNR
has no idea how many coyote are
roaming Michigan, poor data on the
When coyote charge prey they lower their nose parallel to the ground, slump dynamics of the population and no
way of determining how many deer
body or hunker down and sprint forward at lightning speed. Author photos
they eat.
outdoorsmen. There is nothing pretty most of the state they responded to
Im no biologist but I can guarabout how coyotes kill deer and it is
the increase in food by having more
antee that coyote raise hell with deer
interesting how they secretly, silently pups. In some counties they double
when hunters are looking the other diare killing deer year round and few
pupped and out of nowhere the coyote rection. No they dont steal them from
Michigan residents have the faintest
population skyrocketed to meet the
deer camps, or destroy the population
idea these wildlife murders take place demand for more predators to eat the
in winter but spring is when they dine
nightly. Coyote are brazen and bold,
sick and dying deer. The following
on fresh venison on a regular basis.
they rule the rural environment and
year the deer numbers were drastically Ive seen it happen several times and
it is amazing how quickly
reduced, the EHD epidemic was over so have plenty of other spring turkey
they took over inner-city turf. and less sick deer were available to
hunters. In early spring coyote will
Some would say coyote rule feed coyotes. So Michigans coyote
come to a turkey call like a magnet,
the earth when the night is
population is super strong and the
searching for a turkey dinner. Ive
dark and citizens are sound
deer herd is low and stumbling from
dusted my share of coyote with BBs
asleep.
the massive die off and cold winter
charging turkey decoys and so have
To answer the question, I of 2014. This means the remaining
many other Michigan turkey hunters.
would say coyote absolutely healthy deer are constantly harassed
But come late April and early May
make a huge dent in Michiby roaming packs of coyote.
coyote seem to disappear, they are no
gans deer herd. Keep in
In the past it was common for
longer chasing love sick toms gobmind that Michigans Upper Peninsula deer hunters to lose
bling every few minutes and loudly
coyote population is
venison if they allowed a crippled
announcing their exact location. This
at an all-time high
or dressed animal to remain outis because deer are giving birth to
following a severe deer epidemic
side overnight. This is now the case
fawns and coyote are getting fat on
of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease
throughout Michigan and savvy
fresh fawn venison steaks. When
(EHD) which is a viral hemorrhagic
hunters are reluctant to leave animals weather warms; adult does drop fawns
disease causing extensive hemorrhag- overnight because come daylight the
in late April and early May. There
ing in Michigan deer. EHD is viral
venison is devoured by hungry coycomes a time when the does separate
and caused by biting midges and our
ote. It is also common for travelers to from herds and if you jump a doe and
deer herd was devastated in 2012.
see coyote feeding on road kill along
go to where she jumped up you will
This means there was suddenly an
Michigans highways and expressabundance of dazed, sick and dying
ways. If you wound a deer you might
Coyotes vs Deer page 20
deer available for coyotes to eat. In
as well kiss the venison goodbye in

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

By Kenny Darwin

18

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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

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19

TIRED OF COYOTES GETTING TO THE DEER AND GAME BIRDS

BEFORE YOU DO?

DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

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Is this a coyotes number one target for dinner? A young fawn is an easy
meal for predators because once mother moves away the baby deer instinctively lays flat and uses its camouflage to hide.

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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

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predatortactics.com

from page 18

find a fawn. Spring mushroom hunters often encounter fawns because


there comes a time when almost
every deer has a fawn hidden nearby.
I love spring when fawns are
everywhere because Ill jump a doe,
stalk the spot and there in the cover
is the cutest baby deer in the whole
world. No, I dont touch them but I
love to see them and take pictures of
the beautiful baby deer. Sometimes
doe will drop a fawn in very unusual
locations like open pastures, around
ponds, plowed fields, just about
anywhere. I think they give birth in
unusual locations in an attempt to
avoid coyote.
While turkey hunting I heard the
bawl of a baby fawn over the hill. I
grabbed 3-inch 12 ga. Benelli and
headed the direction of the screaming
baby deer. When I came over the hill
I witnessed a doe kicking and chasing
a full grown male coyote. The dark
male dog playfully pranced away
from the furious mother and when
she moved his direction I saw a fawn
lying nearby. The coyote quickly
switched directions, circled, zoomed
past mom and grabbed the fawn. The
baby deer bawled, mom struggled to
catch the coyote sprinting away with
her baby and eventually stomped
his tail with her hooves. The coyote
dropped the fawn, pranced away but
soon as mom chased after him he
circled and attacked the fawn again.
Thats when I stepped in, shouldered
Mr. Benelli and gave the yodeler a
blast of turkey loads square in the ass.
The big coyote immediately dropped
the baby deer and did plenty of howling and crying as he disappeared over
the hill headed for the woods. The
next morning the fawn was gone.
Two days later I was hiding in
thick cover near a new turkey hotspot
and caught motion in the underbrush
and spotted a coyote dancing through
the forest with a dead fawn in his

maw. I was surprised to see the coyote traveling with a baby deer in its
teeth. One shot sent the predator in a
tailspin and close inspection revealed
the baby deer was still bleeding,
somewhat alive and it became obvious the coyote had just made a kill.
Thats when it dawned on me that
coyotes were feasting on baby deer
during peak fawning periods.
I contacted the DNR but they
had never heard of such a thing. Hey,
what a surprise. After several encounters with coyote in spring and finding
fawn remains it is my opinion that
the predators have a feast in spring.
Trouble with fawns is they actually
have very little meat and an adult
coyote would need to kill several to
satisfy their appetite. If a coyote were
to simply stumble through the woods
during peak fawning time could he
resist the urge to kill each time he
encountered a fawn? I doubt it!
Therefore, it is my opinion that
Michigans deer herd is being impacted at an uncontrollable rate during spring and the DNR has no idea
murder is taking place on a grandiose
scale. I can assure you that in many
cases when you see a doe with one
fawn the other was snatched up by
a coyote. When you see a group of
healthy does in late summer with no
fawns Im convinced the little ones
got gulped down by hungry coyote.
Have you ever noticed there are far
fewer fawns in areas that are overrun
by coyote?
I hate to sound like a wildlife
hater but it is my opinion Michigans
rising coyote population is having a
negative impact on whitetail recruitment. Maybe coyote are not killing
many adult deer throughout the Great
Lakes state but they are absolutely
feasting on fawns in record numbers.
My solution to the problem is simple,
time to get out the electronic calls,
flat shooting rifles!n

PLUGGING
SPRING
STEELHEAD

he use of crank baits or diving plugs


as steelhead lures is nothing new. But
the most popular ones have been of the
compact banana shape with high action
and the ability to dive fairly deep. The
Hotshot, Wigglewort, River Walker, Hotn-Tot, Flatfish, Steeliewort, Kwikfish,
and Brads Wiggler are good examples of steelhead
plugs. Almost always they are held against the
current and slowly backed down the river, usually
from a boat. The term Hotshotting has been used
for a long time to describe fishing these plugs from
a drift boat that is rowed against the flow causing the plugs to dive as the craft is slowly slipped
downstream at a rate slower than the current.
Michigan guide Emil Dean was deservedly famous
for pioneering drop back plug fishing for steelhead
from an anchored boat back in the early 70s.
Until recently minnow plugs or stick baits have
rarely been used for steelhead in rivers. However,
they are popular lures for trolling on the Great
Lakes, especially in the spring for steelhead, brown
trout and salmon that are shallow in the spring
or fall and when steelhead concentrate near the
surface at vertical temperature breaks in early summer. Based on my experience over the past seven
seasons, I think they definitely have a place in the
river anglers arsenal for steelhead.
The stick baits seem to be most effective as
steelhead approach their spawning times. Fly
anglers have long been successful using the egg
sucking leech pattern when swinging streamers for
steelhead. I had always thought that the contrasting colors of the head and body of this pattern

Author with red sided male spring steelhead on a plug. Jim Bedford photos
were what made it more visible and noticeable and
thus so effective. This is still likely to be true for
summer and fall run steelhead but there may be
something to the theory that these fish are indeed
protecting or getting ready to defend their eggs
from being taken by small fish.
Just like with the typical high action, deep
diving steelhead plugs, the minnow lures are best
fished against the current. Casting them quartering downstream and then allowing them to sweep
across the river is a great way to find and elicit a

Minnow lures are best fished against the current, casting them quartering downstream and then allowing them to sweep across the river is a great way to find and elicit a strike from a spring steelhead.

strike from a spring steelhead. Once they have


swung below your position keep fishing by slowly
retrieving them upstream with an occasional pause,
back down, and then restart the retrieve. Suspending stick baits work especially well for this startstop retrieve. Floating lures will also work but
may rise out of the strike zone when paused.
You will find several minnow imitating plugs
in my vest at all times now. My favorites are the
suspending Bomber Long A and the Lucky Craft
Deep Pointer. These plugs dive to slightly different depths in the two and a half to five feet range.
Even though these lures dont dive very deep they
will still attract steelhead resting in five or six feet
of water. This shows again that, while steelhead
still orient to the river bottom, they look forward
and up. The prime strike zone is a foot or two
above the substrate and it is better to be a bit high
than to always be snagging up on the rocks and
logs.
In addition to the above stick baits, I also carry
two deep divers, the Deep Rattlin Rogue and
the Deep Long A Bomber. This allows me to get
deeper when I need to and I can still fish them in
the shallower runs by slowing the retrieve and raising my rod tip. The big lipped plugs will still have
good action and get deep enough to catch fish at a
slower retrieve. This attribute makes them a good
choice when the stream situation requires you to
make upstream casts and downstream retrieves.
Since we are targeting steelies in relatively
shallow water with minnow plugs and fishing for
them downstream from our position, its important
to be stealthy. In small and medium sized streams

Plugging for spring steelhead page 22

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

By Jim Bedford

21

Plugging for spring steelhead:


from page 21
it is best to wade upstream to keep
from spooking the steelhead. So you
must plan ahead in order to get in the
right spot above the holding water
to cast your plugs. Usually its just
a matter of keeping tight to the bank
on the opposite side of the river from
where you expect the fish to hold.
Sometimes it may be best to take to
the bank to get above the fish. This is
especially true when there is an eddy
on the shallow side that may carry
sand and silt upstream ahead of you
and circle it back into the holding water. Regardless of the situation, it is
critical that the steelies are not aware
of your presence. While you may get
lucky and catch a fish that has spotted
you, when using artificial lures you
are much more likely to catch steelhead that dont know you are there.
In most cases stick baits should
not be tied directly to your line,
especially if you are using a fairly
heavy pound test. A loose attachment
allows the lures to have their maximum wobbling action. While there
are special loop knots you can use
to keep the line from being cinched
down to the lure eye, Ive found a

small, size 2 black duo-lock snap


to be the better plan. Most quality
minnow plugs come with split rings
attached to the eye. While the split
ring achieves the loose attachment
goal, it is difficult to tie a good knot
to the split ring and it doesnt allow
you to change lures easily. I take off
the split rings and save them for when
I might have to replace a damaged
one attached to a hook. The exception to this plan is when you are using
a deep diving stick bait that has its
eye recessed in the big lip. Here I
leave it on and hook my snap to the
split ring because attaching to the
recessed eyelet is difficult, especially
with numb fingers.
Not only does the snap help your
plug work well, it makes you a more
versatile angler because you can
change your lure to match the holding water better. I change back and
forth between stick baits and spinners
many, many times in one outing. In
addition to allowing me to match the
lure to the depth and current speed
of the water, it gives the steelhead
a choice. The spinners are the first
choice when the water is deep and

fast and in pocket water while the


plugs are perfect for the large, flat
tail-outs and long gravel runs.
Because it is so easy to switch
lures with the duo-lock snap instead
of retying it is easy to neglect checking your knot and line. If you are not
checking your line, you can be sure
that a steelhead will find the nick or
fray for you and it wont be a happy
ending. I routinely test the strength
of the knot and last few inches of
line with each lure change and often
retie the snap after each fish even if it
seems strong and there is no noticeable fraying.
You can improve your success
when fishing stick baits for steelhead by watching the lure or the area
where you think the lure is located.
Steelies will often make an initial
pass at the lure without striking it. If
you are keeping a close eye on the
path of the plug you will see a flash
or possibly a surface disturbance
when they do this. Try several more
casts in the same spot to see if the
steelhead will come back and grab
your plug. If this doesnt happen,
its time to switch lures and keep
trying. You have found an active
fish and you need to give the steelhead every opportunity to bend you
rod.
My favorite stick baits imitate

minnows well and have dark backs


and silver or gold sides. The dark
back makes them difficult to see on
and in the water. Placing a small
circle or oval of a brightly colored
lure tape on the top of the head of the
plug makes it more visible. Fluorescent orange is a good choice for a
color and, who knows, the steelhead
might even think it is a minnow
stealing an egg. In any case, it really
makes it easier to watch your lure
swim a couple of feet under the surface. It also lets you see the lure as
you float it down to a boulder or just
the right distance above the lip of the
tail out so you know just when to start
retrieving or sweeping you lure.
Dont give up on watching
your plug until it is all the way
back to your rod tip. Just last
spring I had a large, red-sided male
make a pass at my lure just as I was
lifting it from the stream. I rested
the pool for a few moments and then
ran the stick bait through the same
area again and was ready when the
steelie hammered the silver and black
Bomber.
Whether you are a drift angler or
a metal tosser, put some stick baits in
your vest and give them a try on your
next time on the river. They most
certainly will put additional steelhead
on the end of your line.n

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23

ICE TRASHERS

We shouldnt have to babysit them anymore!

the majority, one who would


never dream of leaving our ice
covered lakes with a pile of
garbage. Hes one of the good guys.

Dennis would like to do his part
to stop the trashing of our lakes and is
asking us at the Woods-N-Water News
to help. To educate and encourage the
thoughtless to think.

He emailed me; Randy, I have
a couple of pictures taken of the trash
left on the ice from shanty fishermen on Burt
Lake. Its really disappointing. Propane canisters, pop bottles and other trash.
Maybe its time for an article? We responsible fishermen are tired of babysitting these so
called outdoorsmen. Let me know if you want
me to forward some of the pictures I have taken. Maybe Woods-N-Water News can help put
the word out you are looking for other pictures Coke bottle left on the ice by a careless and
from across our great state and see what other thoughtless ice angler.

Randy Jorgensen

n far too many of our


frozen lakes there is
garbage on their surfaces. The garbage is left behind from
ice fishermen who are careless, forgetful and lazy.
There are a few ice fishermen, not
many, but enough who are leaving
behind propane canisters, pop and beer
cans, candy wrappers, lure packages,
and other assorted trash. It would be
easy enough to pick it up before they leave, but
they dont.
These few ice fishermen are creating a
problem. A big problem. Our ice is littered in
the winter and it washes up on shore during the
spring. Some of it simply sinks to the bottom of
our lake as reminder of someones carelessness
or laziness.
Recently I was contacted by Dennis Krucker, a reader who has had enough. Hes one of

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

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responsible sportsmen email you. What do you


think?
I couldnt agree more with Dennis and
encourage all sportsmen to send us (WoodsN-Water News) pictures of not the trash left
behind by the few, but pictures of sportsmen
picking up and or cleaning up the area left by
the thoughtless and lazy outdoorsmen.
Perhaps we can all encourage sportsmen
clubs and organizations to either clean up an
area in our great state that has been disgraced
and send us before and after photos. And tell
us about those same clubs who are running an
educational or informative campaign on littering in the outdoors. And perhaps we can get
stories from bait and tackle shops, who have
started a campaign to clean up litter around
our lakes and streams.
We shouldnt have to babysit these few
sportsmen who are trashing this great state. At
the same time it is what responsible sportsmen
do, we educate, inform and teach by example
to protect and preserve the outdoors.
Its what we do.
(Send your pictures, comments and or ideas
to: wnw@pageone-inc.com in a jpeg format)

Just a reminder
Persons placing a shanty on the waters of
the Upper Peninsula shall remove the shanty
by midnight of Tuesday, March 31.

Wouldnt it be
just as easy to
carry a propane
canister back as
it was to carry
it out?
Woods-N-Water
News is asking you to send
us Before and
After Photos
of sportsmen
cleaning up
trashed places
in the wild.

Persons placing a shanty on MichiganWisconsin boundary waters shall remove the


shanty by midnight of Sunday, March 15.
Persons placing a shanty on waters in the
counties of Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac,
Bay, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Clare,
Crawford, Emmet, Gladwin, Grand Traverse,
Iosco, Isabella, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau,
Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Montmorency, Newaygo, Oceana,
Ogemaw, Osceola, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque
Isle, Roscommon, or Wexford shall remove

the shanty by midnight of Sunday, March 15.


Persons placing a shanty upon the waters
of the remaining portion of the Lower Peninsula shall remove the shanty by midnight on
Sunday, March 1. Shanties placed on Lake
St. Clair shall be removed before sunset on
Sunday, February 22.
In all areas, a shanty must be removed if ice
conditions become unsafe, regardless of the
date. After the above dates, a shanty must
be removed at the end of each days fishing
activity.

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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

BASS TOURNAMENT DAY

25

6 CAMERA TIPS
By Brian Miller

surefire trail

Stack the odds in your


favor by utilizing
trail cameras for spring
turkey hunting...

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

here is nothing like chasing birds with my son.


During a recent hunt, we
didnt even have a chance
to get to the blind before
the birds started arriving.
Everything happened so
quick, we simply had to setup in the
tall grass. I looked over at my son and
whispered, Stay down and get ready.
He can appear over that ridge at any
second.
I pulled out my slate call while
laying in the tall grass and started
softly clucking to bring the lone gobbler over the ridge. Those seconds
turned into minutes until finally we
saw a distinct red head bouncing in
the grass right in front of us. I gave
him the nod to take the shot. Boom,
his bird flopped over. There were
some pretty big high fives and hugs to
follow.
It was not an accident that we had
success that evening. The success of
the hunt started months earlier when
we began running trail cameras to
fine tune our hunting locations. This
hunting setup was hot; all the reason
to get a youth hunter on the action. We
utilized trail cameras to understand
the turkey patterns, time of travel,
and type of birds. Help double the
odds utilize these six surefire tips for
getting spring turkeys on your trail
cameras.

26

TIP 1 - TIME-LAPSE

Most trail cameras today come


with a time-lapse feature. This feature
has begun to revolutionize the way
we hunt. This technology was not
initially designed for turkey hunters
but has been quickly adopted. Timelapse offers the hunter a chance to
have the ultimate surveillance of an
area. There is no way we have time to
watch an area every day all day long.
Time-lapse allows for this capability
whether it is a woodlot or a wide open
field.
Creating surveillance on an area
really helps hunters begin to exclude
hunting areas and understand specific
travel routes. Once a pattern is understood it becomes easier to move in
until the exact location is spotted. Because a camera can only monitor one
corner of a field or woodlot, multiple
cameras can quickly cover large spans
of ground. Also changing the direction
of a camera can catch birds that were
missed in a prior setup.

TIP 2 - CAMERA HEIGHT


I have a trail camera routine when
it comes to whitetails. When turkey
season comes around it is an entirely
different game. Turkeys are smaller
therefore most often trail camera
height should be reduced slightly.
Knee high is about right for regular
trail camera use. Make sure they are
set straight to get the greatest ground
coverage.

Creating surveillance on an area really helps hunters begin to exclude hunting


areas and understand specific travel routes.
Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. Since birds are small
if there is a need to see into the grass
a higher approach might be necessary.
Most often I deploy this strategy when
running a time-lapse over a larger
field. It gives me a greater view of the
ground.

and over again if not disturbed. However, turkeys are not as wary as whitetails. You dont have to worry about
ground scent while checking cameras.
As long as you are not disturbing the
flock its likely they will maintain
the pattern. Most often I increase my
frequency of checking cameras during
the spring months. This allows me to
quickly move cameras into the areas
TIP 3 - GET UNSTUCK
with a higher concentration of birds.
It also allows me to move them into
Thats right, break away from the
various locations pinning down the
trees. Turkeys use all types of terrain
most utilized locations.
and often those places dont have
Often heading out at dark to locate
trees. Using a Stic-n-pic to get mobile
roosted
bird allows me to locate
will help you cover all types of tercameras
on travel corridors. This
rain. When utilizing a time-lapse camtechnique
allows me to pinpoint the
era it can be located far from any tree
most
traveled
paths. In addition, there
to survey a large area. Keep moving
is
less
likely
a
chance of disturbing
those cameras into the best location,
birds
on
travel
routes once they are
not just those with trees.
roosted.

TIP 4 - RAPID FIRE


Call me paranoid but I am afraid
of missing something important when
it comes to trail cameras. This becomes even more important because
turkeys often travel in flocks. Cranking up the frequency causes you to
burn through batteries and memory,
however I find it beneficial. Since the
weather is often warming up in the
spring battery life can be extended by
using lithium batteries instead of the
standard alkaline.
Multiple pictures allow for a
hunter to get multiple angles of a bird
allowing for a true assessment of the
age. In addition, as gobblers begin
strutting you can get some stunning
good pictures of spring birds.

TIP 5 - RETURN TRIPS


You can double the odds by utilizing these six surefire tips for getting spring
turkeys on your trail cameras. Brian Miller photos

Turkeys are creatures of habit and


will use the same travel routes over

TIP 6 - HISTORICAL DATA


Some years turkey hunting just
comes together with a long beard.
Tackle these birds long enough and
youll find this is not always the case.
These are the years when having lots
of trail camera data pays the bills.
This past year I was covered up
with gobblers. They were all roosted
within 100 yards but after the fly
down those gobbles faded off deep
into the woods. Those tense minutes
turned into hours of waiting. I dont
always want locations that produce at
first light. Midday and evening travel
routes can be just as important. I love
setting a camera over a dusting bowl
or tracking late day travel routes.
When the going gets tough these are
go to locations. This is especially
important for those hunters sneaking out for an after work hunt. Dont
ignore pictures regardless of the time
of day.n

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27

Monofilament, Co-Polymers, Fused, Super Braids, Lead Core, Fluorocarbon...By Mark Romanack

The best line every time

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

ime once was that the term fishing line


found itself on an anglers short list of things
to buy. Monofilament lines dominated the
industry and were in wide use for literally all
trolling and casting applications. The biggest
decision in selecting fishing line boiled down to
choosing a pound test.
These days the fishing line scene has changed
to the point even seasoned pros are left scratching
their heads as to what line makes the most sense in
different fishing situations. Suffice to say that no
matter how little or much time an angler spends
on the water, gearing up with the most appropriate fishing line is going to involve selecting a host
of products including monofilament, co-polymers,
fused, super braids, lead core and fluorocarbon line
types.
Because I find myself on the road fishing and
filming TV episodes almost every week, the tackle
drawers in my truck are routinely stuffed with
enough fishing line to stock a small retail outlet! A
novice angler might question why I carry so many
different types and pound tests of fishing line? The
short answer is to get the most from any fishing experience requires careful attention to the line types
used. One size doesnt fit all in fishing and when
it comes to fishing lines, the anglers who embrace
the latest technology and line types will catch more
fish.

28

For much of his open water trolling the author favors monofilament lines designed to deliver more abrasion resistance and lower stretch such as Maxima UltraGreen, Chameleon and Clear.
salmon or trout.
Monofilament lines are generally produced in
two categories including stiffer and more abrasion
resistant lines suitable for trolling and using on
level-wind style reels. The second type of monofilament line tends to be softer and more limp, making
it better suited to casting and using on spinning
gear.
Using the limp stuff for trolling is a poor choice
because the line will have too much stretch and
tends to abrade and fail easily. In the same token
using a hard surfaced line for casting applications is
like trying to keep a coiled spring on the spool of a
spinning reel!
So trolling is pretty straight forward in that
anglers need to focus on hard surfaced and abrasion
resistant lines like Maximas UltraGreen which was
designed to hold its tensile strength even when the
line gets nicked and abraded.

Super braids are made by braiding and twisting


Spectra fibers into a line that has amazingly strong
tensile strength and very low diameter. UnfortuTROLLING
nately not all super braids are made the same way.
Most Spectra braids are created under light pressure
For open water trolling applications, Im still
which yields a line with little shape or body. The
using a lot of garden variety monofilament fishmore expensive Spectra braids are created by wraping line. The reasonable cost, controlled amount of
ping and twisting the fiber under pressure and then
stretch, exceptional knot strength and exceptional
coating the line with a sealing agent. This process
abrasion resistance monofilament thrives at providcreates a line that has more abrasion resistance, the
ing is ideal for not all, but a large slice of trolling
maximum amount of tensile strength, thinner dichores. Unfortunately, not all monofilament lines
ameter and just as importantly enough body to load
are worthy for the chores of trolling up walleye,
properly onto a reel spool.
One of the common problems with fused and
braided lines is they are often so soft and limp that
when loaded onto the spool of a reel, they prevent
the drag system from functioning properly. What
happens is when the line is pulled tight, instead of
the spool spinning and the drag slipping, the line
simply cuts into itself on the spool. This annoying
TROLLING FUSED/BRAIDED
property is most commonly found with fused lines
and braids that are not wound under pressure.
The discussion on trolling lines might end here
Premium braids like Maxima Braid are created
except for the latest generation of fused and super
from eight bundles of fiber which are all twisted
together under pressure to form the ultimate super
braid lines that have a growing popularity among
braid fishing line. The tighter the braid is wrapped
trollers. Often lumped to together under the catand the more pressure that is used to wrap the line,
egory of braids actually there are considerable
the more premium lines tend to resist abrasion
differences between fused and braided fishing
The majority of anglers troll using monofilalines.
ment line, but there is a growing niche for trolling
Fused lines are generally made from a fiber
with super braids. The thin diameter of braid allows
known as Microdyneema with is very slick, has
near zero stretch and is exceptionally thin in diam- crankbaits and diving planers to achieve greater
eter for its respective break strength. Fused lines are depth and the low stretch characteristics insure better hookup ratios. Braid is also UV resistant which
rather limp, deliver poorer knot strength and they
means it doesnt need to be replaced as often as
have only modest abrasion resistance. On the plus
side, fused lines can be used on either baitcasting or monofilament.
Fishing line is becoming a complex subject. With the spinning gear.
addition of new line types, the face of fishing has
CASTING MONOFILAMENT
Super braids are made from a different fiber
been changed forever. If WNWN readers have ques- known as Spectra which is also very low in stretch,
tions about specific line types and fishing applicafeatures an amazingly high abrasion resistance,
For certain casting applications, monofilament
tions the author welcomes those questions on the great knot strength and they can also be used on
is a top contender. When fishing in freezing condiFishing 411 with Mark Romanack Facebook site.
baitcasting or spinning reels.
tions, monofilament line resists freezing much bet-

A Williams classic.
The second lure
introduced by Williams
following the Wabler.

ter than most fused or braided lines.


I also like monofilament for casting applications when using crankbaits, spinnerbaits and
in-line spinners. The controlled amount of stretch
monofilament provides means that when a fish
strikes, it doesnt instantly feel unnatural resistance.
Using monofilament gives an angler a few extra
seconds to set the hook before the fish recognizes it
has made a mistake.
Fishing with floats is another application where
monofilament shines best. Because monofilament
floats, it is ideal for fishing slip bobbers for panfish,
walleye, stream trout and even steelhead.

CASTING/JIGGING BRAID
Monofilament works well for some casting applications and not so well in others. When fishing
small jigs either pitching them or vertical jigging,
the ultra-thin diameter and low stretch of super
braids make the most sense.
With jigging most anglers struggle to feel subtle
bites. The low stretch of super braid line makes it
much easier to feel these bites. Low stretch braids
also have another advantage. Not all bites occur on
a taunt line. If the line is slack when a fish bites, no
tap is felt in the line. Instead the fish is detected as
a sensation of weight when the line is tightened up.
Super braids enable anglers to detect super subtle bites and or the sensation of weight that would
be impossible to duplicate with monofilament lines
that are designed to have stretch.

FLUOROCARBON LINES
Fluorocarbon fishing lines can be used as main
line in place of monofilament or as leader material. Like monofilament, fluorocarbon lines are
produced in stiffer versions better suited as leader
material and more limp version ideal for mainline
casting applications.
Because fluorocarbon line is virtually invisible
in the water, it makes for the ultimate low vis
fishing line type and this can be important when
fishing in ultra-clear waters.
A fluorocarbon line type to avoid is the coated
fluorocarbons which are essentially monofilament
lines with a thin coating of fluorocarbon over the
top. This type of line is little more than a compromise aimed at reducing the cost. Premium 100%
fluorocarbon lines are expensive, but worth the
investment.
Fluorocarbon lines spooled up as main line are
most often used in casting applications. Because
fluorocarbon line has a little less stretch than monofilament, many anglers feel it is more sensitive
and easier to detect bites when casting with fluorocarbon. Honestly, the difference in stretch between

mono and fluorocarbon line would be very hard for


the average angler to notice.
Last season I spooled up my downrigger rod/
reels with 25# test fluorocarbon and found it
worked nicely for trolling up trout, salmon and
steelhead. Compared to using only a fluorocarbon
leader, I cant honestly say it made a significant difference in my fishing success, but did cost me a lot
more cash to spool up with fluorocarbon. In 2015 I
plan on spooling up my rigger lines with monofilament and using a six foot fluorocarbon leader at the
terminal end.
For main line trolling fluorocarbon line doesnt
make as much sense. For most trolling applications it is still best to use either a premium braid or
monofilament and then simply tie in a fluorocarbon
leader at the terminal end.
Lead core fishing lines have really enjoyed a
face lift lately. Since Nylon/Dacron was invented
back in the 40s lead core has been made by taking a soft lead wire and coating it with a sheath of
Nylon/Dacron fiber.
A couple years ago a new generation of lead
core lines hit the market using the same soft lead
wire, but covered with a sheath of Microdyneema
fiber which yields a line thinner in diameter. Soon
afterwards other manufacturers introduced lead
core line with a sheath of Spectra braided fiber,
which is also thin in diameter and it has more abrasion resistance than Microdyneema.
No doubt other lead core lines will hit the
market that are designed to be thinner and to fish
deeper than traditional Nylon/Dacron based lead
core lines. The advantages of these lines arent just
that they fish deeper. The thinner diameter means
an angler can now spool lead core onto smaller
reels that are more enjoyable to fish.
Historically the reels used for fishing lead core
are huge, heavy and expensive. Now for the first
time lead core can be fished effectively on smaller,
lighter and less expensive reels.

SUMMING IT UP
The types of fishing lines available have literally exploded in recent years. Admittedly, its a
little tricky staying on top of these new developments. The effort however is rewarded by being
more efficient on the water and also by catching
more fish.
Because there are so many different species and
presentations for targeting fish, not every fishing line situation could be covered in this article.
If you have specific questions regarding which
line type is best for respective fishing situations, I
suggest e-mailing me at Mark@Fishing411.net or
contact me via Facebook at Fishing 411 with Mark
Romanack and Ill do my best to answer specific
questions.n

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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

For casting in-line spinners like pictured here or crankbaits and spinnerbaits the author favors monofilament line. Mark Romanack photos

3 Sizes, 16 Colors
4 1/4 - 3/4 oz
thru
6- 1 1/2 oz

29

here is little doubt in my


mind that a highly underutilized outdoor pastime
is wintertime squirrel
hunting. Personally I
thoroughly enjoy
every opportunity to go squirrel hunting and I have my
favorite spots on both private
and public land (actually the
Thumb offers excellent squirrel hunting opportunities at
the various State Game Areas
found in all three counties).
Ive heard complaints from some
hunters about the
new base license that forces them
to basically purchase a small game
license when in fact their only interest
is in deer hunting. My response to that
is for them to give small game hunting
a try, because they dont know what
they are missing, and I personally
dont have a problem with the base
license issue. The fact is I believe it
is a good incentive to get more folks
involved in small game hunting, a
pastime that has seen numbers of
hunter participation dropping in recent
past years.
I was real pleased when squirrel season was extended all the way
through the first day of March, and
this allows me to pick and choose
my days according to winter weather
influences. Ive found that cold and
blustery days arent that conducive to
good squirrel hunting, but when the
wind calms down a bit and add some
sunshine, Ill be in the woods seeking
bushy-tails, which are great to eat
with a whole bunch of recipes to use.
Being a resident of the hardwoods,
squirrels are tree rodents that live primarily on a wide variety of nuts, berries and buds. A key factor to know is
that oak trees had an abundant acorn
crop last fall, which means there are
plenty of squirrels taking advantage
of acorn caches theyve made in the
woods to see them through the winter.
If you find oak trees, you should be
able to locate plenty of squirrels.
With leaves gone and snow on
the ground, winter squirrel hunting
is a much different atmosphere than
the early fall season, and has its own
share of distinct challenges. While it
is easier to see squirrels in the winter
landscape, it is also easier by the same

token for sharp-eyed squirrels to spot


hunter movements. Being prey animals with a wide variety of predators
after them, squirrels are quite alert and
hunting them during the winter is usually not a slam-dunk affair.
An advantage to winter
squirrel hunting however is
due to the nut caches which
are usually located on the
ground. A majority of my
shots at squirrels during the
winter are actually on ground
traveling/feeding squirrels.
Because of this I
more often than not
prefer a .22 rifle that
allows me a little more reach on wary
winter squirrels, and I do appreciate

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

By Tom Lounsbury

30

This hunter bagged his limit of gray squirrels (some in the black color
phase) on public land in the Baldwin area, while using a Savage .22/410 combination gun which is actually quite ideal for wintertime squirrel hunting.
the white, snowy backdrop for this
type of shooting. When it comes to
shotguns for this atmosphere I prefer
the small bores such as .410 and 28
ga. stoked with number 4 lead shot (I
dislike my squirrel meat being peppered with birdshot).

Brunswick Stew Recipe

quirrel stew is a meal unto itself and about as American as you


can get. The key ingredient of course is squirrel, which gives you
a good reason to go out and do a little winter squirrel hunting. An
old time favorite created down south is called Brunswick Stew
and it is a recipe that makes my taste buds water thinking about it.
Ingredients:(for about 10 servings):
4 large onions, diced up.
5 tbsp. Bacon fat
6 to 8 squirrels (parboiled and de-boned)
6 cups of water
One 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup of sherry
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Two 10 oz packages of frozen lima beans
2 cups frozen corn kernels
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
4 tbsp. Melted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
These directions recommend using a Dutch oven. Fry the onions in
the bacon fat and remove them. Without draining the fat, add the squirrel meat and cook until browned. Add the water, tomatoes, sherry and
Worcestershire sauce. Simmer partially covered for 30 minutes and then
add the lima beans and corn, and simmer another 30 minutes. Add salt
and pepper, sprinkle in the bread crumbs and drizzle butter over the top,
and stir. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes. It is said that Brunswick Stew is
ready to eat when a wooden stirring spoon will stand straight up in the
pot.
This recipe is from Field & Streams The Total Outdoorsman Manual that covers 374 necessary skills you need for camping, fishing, and
hunting. It is available at bookstores (I purchased mine at Barnes &
Noble) and makes for a very good read by the fireplace on cold, winter
evenings.
By Tom Lounsbury

No matter what firearm I use, I prefer to focus on a headshot whenever


possible, not only to prevent meat
damage (and no, Ive never had a hankering for squirrel brains a Southern
delectable), but also because squirrels
are surprisingly tough and resilient
despite their small stature. When you
clean squirrels you have shot and
remove the hide, you can readily see
their very muscular and lean stature
that allows them to scamper through
the trees as fast and gracefully as they
can do.
The two squirrel species hunted in
Michigan are the fox squirrel (which
is the largest specie) and the gray
squirrel (which often features a black
color phase). Here in the Thumb the
most predominate specie is the fox
squirrel due to our agriculture rich
atmosphere it much prefers. There are
however pockets of gray squirrels and
one of my favorite local hunting spots
features both species, and I dont
mind the variety at all and once in the
pot they all taste the same, which is
always very flavorful, and ultimately
fat-free
A key I use in selecting my
winter days for seeking squirrels
is that if I notice a likely number
are out and about in an urban
environment, the chances are they
are out and about in the woods where
I can hunt them. My favorite wintertime method is usually spot and
stalk and I dont appreciate crusty
and crunchy snow that renders this
particular method practically useless. Like I said earlier, I do pick and
choose my days.
Nothing beats a fine day spent
in the squirrel woods (which are
readily available on public land
in the Thumb), and Ill take that
over being a couch potato
anytime to shorten the winter
months.n

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31

SCOUT
NOW FOR
SPRING
GOBBLERS
Can you pattern turkeys
like deer, waterfowl or
other critters?

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

32

ou bet and if you scout now during the


pre-season break-up when turkeys disperse
you can get a handle on gobbler numbers
on your hunting grounds. More importantly, locating gobblers now can make the
difference between easy spring turkey hunting and
frustrating outings. This point is best made by the
following anecdote.
It was an ideal spring morning. Following
heavy rain the eastern sky broke clear and when
the sun turned the horizon bright pink a mature
gobbler opened up with a loud gobble. His voice
echoed across the southern Michigan farm land like
the wail of a loon on Houghton Lake. Other birds
joined in and soon I could hear hens and subordinate gobblers talkin turkey. I made several wake
up calls followed by some loud yelping to get the
attention of the boss gobbler and draw him from the
other turkeys. He responded and I could hear huge
wings beating as he flew down and hit the ground
running my direction.
My mind drifted to thoughts of a group of
adult gobblers I spotted on a March outing, all had
exceptional beards over 10 inches long. The bird I
was targeting was absolutely huge and he sported a
paintbrush-looking double beard measuring at least
12 inches long. My thoughts were interrupted by
the sound of a turkey jogging in my direction. Soon
I could see his cotton top and black shoulders waddle my direction. I readied telephoto lens and when the brute stepped into
the clearing I snapped his image. He was a
big beautiful adult gobbler with an 11 inch
beard but not the monster I was hunting.
But the fact is I had a dandy adult gobbler
kissin close at lightning speed because I
was hunting in a gobbler-rich location.
The sun slowly creeped over the
horizon as a few hens and jakes
made their way past my blind. I
became sleepy and contemplated
a mid-morning nap when I caught motion headed
for the clearing. Bingo! I could see this bird was
huge; robin breasted and carried twin monster
beards. He slowly moved into the opening, fanned
out and began to spit and drum as I snapped photos.
I was overjoyed to capture the trophy gobbler on
film but I forgot my TenPoint crossbow and I had

Locating adult gobblers can require long hours scouting. All turkeys are different, some remain in exact
locations their entire life while others are free ranging and will cover 1-5 miles in search of food and
receptive hens. Kenny Darwin photos
perfect opportunities to harvest the large gobbler.
Once again, being in the right location at the right
time was the key to success and pre-season scouting helped me to locate the turkey mecca.
Obviously there is more to fooling adult
gobblers than simply going outdoors
and making some calls. If you want easy
hunting and fast-paced shooting action try
scouting tricks that work.
Michigans turkey population is in
transition and some areas have dense populations while others are void of birds. Poor
spring recruitment due to cold weather and
rain has destroyed nests and killed
poults by the thousands. Some nests
flooded, some eggs didnt hatch
because the weather was simply too cold and poults
that hatched out died from extreme cold weather
exposure or pneumonia. In many parts of Michigan
the turkey population is in a tailspin and gobbler
numbers are substantially down.
Last spring I had to cover new ground, scout
new territory and locate new birds in order to score.

By kenny Darwin

My gobbler recon outings began in March. Soon


I found healthy populations on dairy farms where
farmers had spread fresh manure laced with corn.
Other hot spots included stubble corn fields and
areas highlighted by thick brush, tall timber and
agricultural fields nearby. Many locations that had
healthy populations just a couple years ago supported few turkeys. My goal is to find photo birds, you
know, monster gobblers black as coal and sporting
beards that drag on the ground. Once I find some
adult gobblers I scout the hell out of them, figure
out their daily travel routes and try to intercept them
with camera, gun or crossbow.
Its interesting the majority of my prime spots
held good numbers of big gobblers from March
through May. It is my opinion that some mature
gobblers nail down specific home turf during spring
break-up when winter flocks disperse. If you can
identify a boss gobblers home ground, locate his
feeding zone, and determine where he likes to roost
you can have fantastic hunting in Michigan. But
this requires work, discipline and plenty of time
scouting.

Adult gobblers playing in deep snow is a clear indication they are getting ready for spring mating.

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birds not new recruits. Michigans Upper Peninsula


and northern counties are seeing turkey populations
going tube city and sportsmen are desperate to find
gobblers to hunt. In some parts of upper Michigan,
turkeys have vanished, along with deer populations
and hunters are very concerned. Some are wondering why hunting is allowed with so few birds
available.
Hopefully we will have a mild spring with
warm and dry weather and hens can hatch out
poults and raise them with ease. If not, maybe
the DNR needs to join forces with National Wild
Turkey Federation volunteers and begin live trap
programs to reintroduce wild turkeys to locations
in Michigan where turkey numbers are falling fast.
It is my prayer that the DNR contacts Wisconsin
and live traps and releases some of their giant toms
sporting 17-inch beards. There is no reason why
Michigan should play second fiddle to any Midwest turkey state. Michigan has exceptional turkey
habitat and zillions of landowners and sportsmen
willing to protect flocks. We should have many
more birds, trophy gobblers and open season with
across the counter license sales if the DNR would
simply get off their tail feathers and initiate population rebuilding projects.
Meanwhile I recommend you concentrate
scouting efforts in southern Michigan. Attempt to
locate large flocks with mature gobblers sporting
long beards. Talk with area landowners and nail
down a hunting location long before season starts
and keep an eye on gobblers to determine their
travel patterns and flock dynamics. When hunting season rolls around your pre-season scouting
efforts will pay off big time and you can expect
exceptional gobbler hunting.n

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cause birds had a difficult time pawing through the


thick blanket of snow to find acorns. Michigans
vast acorn rich landscape provided abundant food
for turkeys this past fall and many were in excellent
condition in December.
The problem with Michigans fast declining
numbers has more to do with cold spring weather,
heavy rain and poor recruitment. I would estimate
that southern Michigan flocks are down 50% and
there will be fewer gobblers available for hunters
this spring than there have been in several years.
However, Ive seen some large flocks of poult this
winter and some locations are loaded with birds.
My old stomping ground in central Michigan has
plenty of turkeys and Isabella County obviously
will provide excellent hunting this spring.
The old saying, The early bird gets the worm,
certainly applies to wild turkey hunting and anyone that scouts early, locates flocks and has hunting permission on land covered with gobblers will
have an exciting spring hunt. It is never too early
to check out local flocks, determine population dynamics and make plans for the coming spring hunt.
One of my hottest gobbler locations is where an
old farmer likes to feed wild birds, rabbit, squirrel
as well as wild turkeys. The landowner has deer
aplenty and more gobblers than I can remember
seeing. In February I counted several flocks in
the yard, final count was 53 gobblers. But if you
examine the large flock, there are very few jakes
and most of the birds are old adult gobblers sporting long spurs and hefty beards. One exceptional
tom has twin beards measuring at least 13 inches
long. My point is even with good numbers of gobblers in certain locations Michigans overall turkey
population is in a slump, comprised of adult, older

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Too many hunters put too much emphasis on


the roost. Locating a roosting site is always exciting because savvy hunters like to set up where
they will have a fast, easy hunt at daylight. But the
majority of roosting birds will fly away from rookie
hunters alerting them to their presence with ineffective calling. Once a wise gobbler is on to you
he will fly the opposite direction and all you see is
tail feathers. Thats why I try to avoid roosting sites
and prefer to stay away from where old gobblers
sleep. Id much rather allow them to hit the ground
and slowly move my direction.
Wild turkeys are very intelligent birds and they
have keen eyesight, hearing and fantastic instincts.
Scouting birds without being spotted is very difficult. Try using your vehicle and good binoculars
to locate flocks during early March when turkeys
are in large flocks. Do not disturb them and avoid
letting them see you stop the vehicle, dont alert
them. Use your vehicle to locate birds and contact
landowners far in advance of hunting season. Sure,
its okay to walk the woods, cover terrain and learn
habitat birds prefer but dont make the common
mistake of blowing birds out of the area. Sometimes just one encounter with humans and wary
gobblers will pack their bags and disappear. Other
times they will refuse to leave specific locations
and will be back on the food source, like spread
manure, at lightning speed. Make absolutely certain
not to alert birds as hunting season begins. Smart
hunters in search of a trophy tom avoid being seen,
period.
I use every trick in the book to get kissin close
to mature gobblers. Often I bait locations with shell
corn which draws turkeys and changes their daily
pattern so they come into camera range. Ill switch
to sunflower seeds once they are coming and I stop
baiting long before hunting season. Ive found extra
food can help to bring more and bigger turkeys to
any given area and tends to hold them for long periods of time. With drastically falling turkey populations I guess Im kind of confused why Michigans
DNR does not recommend private landowners feed
turkeys to help remaining birds to survive brutal
winter weather. But thats another story.
Winter 2015 was relatively mild in southern
Michigan and gobblers managed the cold weather
with ease. Oh sure there was some predation from
coyotes and red tailed hawks but with the warm
weather in December, turkeys started into January
in excellent condition. Some birds simply cannot
stand severe cold weather for long periods of time
and critters died. In northern Michigan deeper
snow had a negative impact on turkey numbers be-

33

MDNR Fisheries shifts


focus to In-Shore Species

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

andy Claramunt from


the MDNR Fisheries
Division in Charlevoix
came to the Michigan Outdoor Writers
Conference at Crystal
Mountain Resort as part of The
Newsmakers Session. His report
was extremely newsworthy and an

34

By Mark Sak

eye opener. Randy


discuss what would be
described as a shift in
focus by the Fisheries Division. This
significant shift in focus on our fisheries will affect both the Great Lakes
and inland fisheries. This got our
attention in what would be one of the
best Newsmakers sessions MOWA

has had in years.


First, the bad
news...as we have
already witnessed, salmon plantings are down and initial recruitment statistics have shown there was
very little to almost no new salmon
hatched successfully in 2014. To add
to this, Randy stated right now the

MDNR wants to see what develops in


the Great Lakes in regards to invasive
species impact, meaning there is no
plan right now to boost salmon plants
anywhere in the Michigan. That will
certainly make a bunch of salmon
anglers and salmon communities angry. But Randy went on to discuss the
issues with quaaga and zebra mussels
decimating plankton throughout the
Great Lakes. The near extinction of
alewives in Lake Huron from major
temperature swings has reduced this
salmon forage base to the lowest
level in years. That has had a ripple
effect on another major Michigan fish
species the walleye, because alewives
were known to gobble up walleye
eggs by the millions. So we officially have a fishery that is changing
dramatically with one of the main
forage bases almost removed, leaving one species on the decline and
another species bouncing back to
record levels.
If there is any good news coming out of this even though it may be
fleeting it is Saginaw Bays walleye
fishery is cranking out some amazing
recruitments. Actually probably more
than it can sustain. Without alewives
eating walleye eggs and some decent spawning conditions, Saginaw
Bay may see a change in regulations
from the MDNR according to Randy.
They are looking at the possibility of
changing both the legal length and
creel limit. There are many reasons
and it really all reflects back to lessons learned from the salmon fishery.
Mother Nature has all of the control
when it comes to our fisheries. We
can try to manipulate all we want
but it can still change dramatically
in just a year or two. It looks like the
MDNR Fisheries is looking to roll
with the changes instead of fighting
them.
The new MDNR Fisheries number one priority is to stabilize the
fisheries. Keeping out new invaders
will be a huge priority in the near
future as well as dealing with the
invasive species already here.
Being more flexible will allow
for better management for tomorrows anglers. Another item
Randy discussed is the MDNRs
in shore approach. They are turning
to manage species better in waters
90 feet or less. The species mentioned most in this part of his presentation were whitefish, smallmouth
and walleye.
As anglers, it looks like we are
going to need to adapt to continue
to be successful on the water. Stay
tuned it looks like it could be a
bumpy ride.n

Father and son win


2015 Midwest Open
Ice Fishing Tournament
nounced that the tournament would
return to Devils Lake next year, We love
that lake.
More than 100 buckets of fish were
weighed at Columbia Central High
School Feb. 1Prizes were awarded to the
top 20 teams, for the biggest bluegill and
crappies and for places 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, The 2015 Midwest Open Ice Fishing Tournament organizer Jim Knutson (center) pres80, 90, 100 and 102 last place.n
ents winners Steve Romsek, (lt) and Brian Romsek with $20,100 pay out!

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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

teve Romsek of Belmont,


called his wife Saturday night
after a day of pre-fishing for
the Midwest Open Ice Fishing
Tournament on Vineyard Lake
and told her his team would be
fortunate to finish in the top 20. Imagine
the call she received at approximately
5 p.m. Sunday letting her know that
Steve and Brian would be returning to
the Grand Rapids area with a check for
$20,100.
The father and son Romsek team
took the top prize during the 2015
Midwest Open Ice Fishing Tournament
and a lifetime invitation to the event.
The top 20 anglers each year automatically earn an invitation to the next years
event.
Teams in second and third places
made it a good day for family teams.
Brothers Zach and Isaac Bivins of
Brooklyn earned $3,500 for second and
Andrew Clement of Michigan Center
and Jeff Clement of Brooklyn claimed
$2,000 for third place. More than
$40,000 in cash and prizes were awarded
at the 15th annual event.
Team Romsek caught all eight bluegills and eight crappies during windy
and cold conditions on Vineyard Lake. It
is the first time the tournament has been
held on Vineyard.
We picked Vineyard because it is a
tough lake to fish, but we have the best
anglers in the United States here today,
tournament organizer Tom Knutson
told the crowd. The lake lived up to its
reputation.
The winning total of 5.36 pounds of
fish was more than 2 1/2 pounds shy of
last years winning total.
Brian Romsek said the duo fished in
shallow water early and went to deeper
water. We fished near the shallows
on little Vineyard, Brian said. As we
started catching fish a lot of people
started getting closer.

Steve taught his son how to
fish a number of years ago. I was his
teacher, but now I feel like the student,
Steve said. He is a great fisherman.
Brian won $200 for biggest crappie
and Jim Martin of Brooklyn won the
same for the biggest bluegill.
Team Bivins earned a big check a
top-3 finish for the first time after
competing nearly every year of the
tournament.
I fished the tournament as an
individual when it began, Zach Bivins
said. I started fishing with my brother
when it became a team tournament.
During pre-fishing I found the bluegills
and Isaac the crappies. Bivins said the
team was nearly perfect on the lake. We
fished flawlessly and didnt screw up . . .
we just didnt find any big fish.
Bivins just smiled when it was an-

35

Whitetail Biology...By John Ozoga

Estimating deer population on


small areas not an easy task

ounting deer tends to be an


integral part of deer study and
management. As noted by
Charles DeYoung, highly respected professor of wildlife
management at Texas A&M
University: researchers and managers
covet accurate, precise, and relatively
inexpensive techniques for estimating
deer population size. Unfortunately,
he adds, This goal has proven impossible to attain.
Despite this rather negative introduction to the subject of deer population size estimation, biologists (and
hunters) routinely employ a variety of
techniques to estimate annual trends
in deer numbers for management and
hunting purposes, occasionally with
some degree of success.
One of the oldest techniques for
estimating deer population size is
counting the number of fecal pellet
groups in an area. However, this technique -- not commonly used in recent
years -- requires sampling a large area
is expensive to conduct and produces

Estimating deer population size on small areas are not very accurate. Even under the most favorable conditions which are
exceedingly rare -- the best one can hope for is an estimate that is within plus or minus 20 percent of the true population size.
questionable results.
Some form of deer population reconstruction, based upon the age and
composition of deer killed by hunters,
has largely replaced the deer pellet

survey. However, the so-called SexAge-Kill (SAK) procedure is dependent upon certain (often unattainable)
assumptions and is not applicable to
small areas.
According to DeYoung, some of
the more popular methods currently
used for deer population estimate,
especially on small parcels, include
the following: track counts, infrared
thermal imagery, night spotlighting,
surveys by helicopter, infrared cameras, and mark-resight.

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The goals of managing deer


populations are frequently expressed
in terms of population size. In fact,
some estimate of deer population size
is essential in order to track population trends and to determine if management practices are producing the
desired results -- that is increasing,
decreasing, or maintaining a given
number of deer.
Hence, population size is the currency by which the success of a
deer management program is judged.
However, a single estimate of population size is of limited, and often questionable, value. Given the variable
accuracy of most techniques, several
estimates within the prescribed area of
interest, are important to assess trends.
The first order of business is to
consider the need for such information. And more importantly, ask the
following question: What will I do
with the estimate once I get it?

Track Counts

Track counts have been employed


to estimate deer numbers since the
1950s. This technique is conducted
by clearing dirt in a strip (generally
a road) and then counting the num-

ber of deer tracks crossing the strip


during the next 24 hours. The track
count technique has also been used
with some success in snow. Initially,
researchers assumed 1.6 deer tracks
per kilometer of road equaled 1 deer
per square kilometer.
In Wisconsin, researchers employed a system of counting deer trails
along random transects. They found
that trail counts agreed with results
from helicopter surveys conducted
during snow cover.
Although variations of the track
count technique have been tested
(and used routinely) under a variety
of environmental conditions, study
results indicate the technique requires
very intensive systematic sampling
and ultimately produces very conservative estimates. Even under the best
circumstances, this technique might
detect large changes in deer population size.

Infrared
Thermal Imagery

Infrared scanning equipment


senses energy given off by deer and
produces a television-like image of a
deer -- provided the deer is not hidden
and contrasts sharply with and produces more energy than the background. Hence, the best scenario for
infrared detection is a deer standing in
an open snow covered background.
Widely tested and used since
the 1960s, given the proper circumstances, infrared scanning generally
results in higher deer counts than
observations from fix-winged aircraft
or helicopters.
Researchers are patiently awaiting the release of more sophisticated equipment into the commercial

Night Spotlighting

Probably one of the most popular


methods used for deer population
estimation on small private parcels
has been the spotlight survey. This
technique uses light from a spotlight
reflected off the tapetum of a deers
eye for detection.
One of the earlier and more extensive studies of the spotlight technique
was reported by University of Michigan professor Dale McCullough, who
worked with the enclosed George
Reserve deer herd in southern Michigan. He found results highly variable.
Seldom were more than 50 percent
of deer detected. Bucks were typically under-represented, with highest
counts being in July. Fawns were also
grossly under-counted and did not
approach base counts until 10 months
old.
Other researchers have reported
similar, highly variable results attributed to dense vegetation. While some
suggest that repeated counts provide
better data, others say the spotlighting technique represents a waste of
resources and yields no reliable data.
Certainly, nighttime spotlighting
provides a minimum deer count. Even
so, its fun, and often gives one the
opportunity to see otherwise secretive bucks. However, the technique
produces highly variable seasonal results, especially in dense forest cover,
despite repeated effort. Sex ratio assessment is highly variable, depending upon the season, and fawns are
almost always under-counted.

Surveys by Helicopter

Given their superior characteristics for aerial surveys, helicopter


deer surveys invariably yield more
accurate data compared to surveys
using fix-winged aircraft. Some of
the earliest studies conducted in the
1970s soon found that helicopter surveys are best suited for counting deer
in enclosures or isolated areas with
adequate snow cover and minimal
canopy cover.
More recent studies have shown
accuracy of this technique varies
greatly depending upon the season, as
well as size of the area sampled. Surveys conducted over large areas during winter produced the best results.
Obviously, helicopter surveys
work best in snow-covered open habitat without woody cover. Also, given
the high variability from one count to
the next, multiple flights give the best
data, sometimes using correction factors to minimize sampling bias.
Infrared Cameras
Currently, use of motion-triggered

remote cameras is probably the most


popular technique used to count deer
on small areas. This system was first
evaluated by Mississippi State University professor Harry Jacobson and
his coworkers in Mississippi.
Jacobson and his group used passive infrared monitors that triggered
automatic cameras to photograph
deer. Previously marked deer identified in photographs provided a
means to determine the proportion
of marked versus unmarked animals
and estimate deer population size via
a method called the Lincoln-Peterson
Index. From this data, they developed
the camera census method.
The camera estimate was calculated by determining the total numbers of branch-antlered bucks, spike
bucks, does, and fawns photographed
while visiting randomly positioned
sites baited with corn. First, the
researchers determined the number of
individually identifiable bucks with
branched antlers on film -- probably
the most critical factor in the population estimate. From this data, they
could then determine the ratio and
number of spike bucks, does, and
fawns.
Camera density was found to
be an important factor determining
accuracy of the technique. Three
camera densities tested ranged from
161 acres to 640 acres per camera.
Generally, percent females in photographs increased as camera density
increased, indicating better estimates
of adult deer sex ratio at high camera
density.
Jacobson and his group concluded
the following: (1) minimally, the
camera census technique provides an
accurate estimate of adult bucks present, even at low camera density, and
(2) at camera densities of 1 camera
per 161 acres, the system provides a
good index to deer population composition and size, even in dense forest
cover. More recent studies also found
that does were often under-counted in
photographs and that sex ratio detection varied seasonally, contributing to
low population estimates. In addition,
deer attraction to baited sites declined
when other foods, such as acorns,
were abundant.
Although admittedly no panacea,
DeYoung concluded that infrared
camera surveys provide the best
chance of a reasonable population
estimate in forested habitat, but that
researchers may have to adapt methods on a regional basis.

Mark-Resight

The mark-resight method of deer


population estimation involves marking deer in a population with some
device (e.g., collars, ear tags, etc.)
so that marked deer are identifiable
during later surveys. Initially, markresight models were developed using
radio-collared animals.

A major assumption of the technique is that the population being surveyed is closed. Also, there should be
no losses or gains of marking devices,
no difference in natural mortality
among marked versus unmarked deer,
marked and unmarked deer must be
equally vulnerable to detection, and
so forth. Although the method is relatively simple, mathematically speaking, the habits of deer rarely satisfy
all assumptions.
Given recent developments in
computer software, DeYoung predicts
that use of the mark-resight method is
likely to increase among researchers.

Conclusions

The review of deer population


estimation techniques provided here
comes largely from Charles DeYoungs chapter concerning deer population dynamics which is included in
the new white-tailed deer book edited
by David G. Hewitt. DeYoung makes
reference to roughly 50 published
articles dealing with the subject of
white-tailed deer population estimation. However, he is quick to note that
his review is by no means exhaustive.
Despite having received considerable research attention, resultant find-

248-640-7950

ings indicate that methods currently


used to estimate deer population size
on small areas are not very accurate. Even under the most favorable
conditions which are exceedingly
rare -- the best one can hope for is an
estimate that is within plus or minus
20 percent of the true population size.
Almost invariably, actual population size is considerably higher than
estimated. Determining herd sex/
age composition is equally problematic because of seasonal variations
in deer behavior. Hence, using the
techniques discussed here, provide
little more than a minimum figure and
may detect only large changes in deer
population size.
Obviously, determining deer population trends in response to management efforts are important. However,
doing so on small areas is difficult,
as there are no simple, inexpensive,
and precise techniques currently
available. Even the best methods will
undoubtedly vary in estimation precision on a regional basis.
Literature Cited: DeYoung, c.
A. 2011. Population dynamics.
Pages 147-180 in Hewitt, D. G (Ed.)
Biology and Management of whitetailed deer. CRC Press. Boca Raton,
Fla.n

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

market by the military. Meanwhile,


infrared scanning will be best applied
in relatively open habitat with a cold
background, whereas deer detection
in dense conifer cover will be difficult.

37

The Next Bite...By Gary Parsons and Keith Kavajecz

Prepping the trolling tools

ts barely ice-out (or at least


close to it in the colder regions)
not typically the time of year
a walleye angler starts thinking
about a trolling bite; but perhaps it should be! Its a good
bet that many of the better walleye
sticks out there are spending at least
some time these days taking inventory
of their trolling gear - lures, line, rods,
reels, and boards - wondering what
its going to take to put walleyes in the
boat this coming season. This must be
true because we get a ton of trolling
related questions whether at sport
shows, in emails and through social
media. Anglers are getting antsy and
they want to know what its going to
take to have their best trolling season
ever.
One question that comes up again
and again is how do we set-up our
Off Shore OR-12 Side Planer boards.
From the factory, these are the best
boards out there; theyre tough and
perfectly ballasted so they ride upright
in the water under most any wave
conditions and work well at virtually
any trolling speed. One modification

we use for crankbait trolling however


is to change the clip set-up on the
board to what is referred to as The
Pro Set-up.
We remove the release hardware
and the OR16 (Red) release from the
back of the board. The board comes
from the factory with an OR19 (Orange) release that is mounted straight
out on the arm and we add another
OR19 just behind that one so its
aimed back at about a 45 degree angle
(the board comes with pre-drilled hole
for this modification). The advantages
to this Pro Set-Up are that it makes
the boards easier to read because they
will tip back more noticeably when
a fish is on. This set up also makes
removing the boards easier, especially
when youre fishing like a lone wolf,
fighting in the fish and clearing the
board all by yourself.
For most of our spinner trolling,
we use the Tattle Flag kits on our Off
Shore boards, but we put an OR18
Snapper Clip on the main arm and
move the OR19 clip to the back of
the board on the Tattle Flag device.
This makes for a stronger, more reli-

Walleye Angler Signatures Trolling Rods from Bass Pro Shops have
been around for years and have been
updated for 2015 to make them even
better than before. We helped design
this line of rods and there are models
for every walleye presentation at price
points much more attractive than other
quality rods on the market.
When it comes to reels for trolling,
nothing beats line counter reels for allowing anglers to duplicate successful
trolling patterns effectively. Reels like
the new Bass Pro Shops Strata Maxx
Line Counter Reel model STMX-20
are ideal for most walleye trolling applications, with the exception of lead
core line trolling tactics which require
the larger spool capacity. In that case,
we use the larger Strata Maxx model
STMX-30. We strongly recommend
building your trolling arsenal using
identical trolling rods and reels. This
way it is easy to duplicate productive
trolling sets precisely without having
to make concessions for varying reels
and line capacities. Thats not to say
that if youre just getting started in
the walleye trolling game you need to

able connection to the line, especially


when using no-stretch super-lines like
Berkley FireLine. These types of line
tend to be pretty slippery and the
Snapper Clip can be adjusted to hold
them very secure.
As you prepare your equipment
for the upcoming season, be sure to
check your boards for things like
loose or broken brackets, broken
releases, flags, or worn out floatation
in the back of the board. Replacement
parts for your boards can be purchased
from the Off Shore Tackle website.
Now is also a good time to take inventory of your trolling rods and reels.
Walleye trolling rods should have a
few key features: They should be at
least 7 feet 6 inches but by far the
most popular lengths are 8 to 8 feet
6 inches. Really long trolling rods,
in the 10 to 12 foot lengths, are also
becoming popular for flat-line trolling and some lead core presentations.
Trolling rods need to have a strong
backbone for handling such trolling
accessories as boards, weights, and
diving planers, but yet have a soft tip
section to aid in fighting big fish. The

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go out and buy six new trolling


outfits (although if you can we
encourage it), but its a goal to
work toward.
Of course youre going to
need good line to fill those trolling reels and this is one area
where the choices can muddle the
mind. Its tough to go wrong with
the old standby Berkley Trilene
XT in ten pound test. This line
has great abrasion resistance, just
enough stretch to act as a good
shock absorber when fighting
big fish, and lets be honest
its very cost effective for filling a
number of large capacity trolling
reels. For those situations where
youre trolling crankbaits in
deep water and are looking to get
your lures deeper than they can
go on monofilament, ten pound
test Berkley FireLine is tough to
beat. This no-stretch super line
has the diameter of four pound
test mono, which allows lures to
dive as much 30% deeper than on
monofilament. A newer version
of FireLine FireLine Tracer
features alternating 5 foot sections of smoke colored line and
high visibility Flame Green line.

Many anglers like this for trolling


because it helps them track their
lines, as well as giving them the
added ability of counting out line
by colors adding another way to
duplicate line out for trolling.
Obviously, everyone wants to
know what the hot trolling lures
are going to be for the upcoming
season and while we certainly
have some thoughts on that subject, well leave those for another
article.
If you are looking to have
your best walleye trolling season
yet, understand the one and only
factor you can truly control is
to be prepped to have the best
fishing season ever. That means
youre geared up and ready to
take on anything the walleye
Gods want to throw your way.
Start the season off having gone
through a thorough check list of
your trolling gear, make sure everything is ready to go and youll
be ready for your Next Bite!
If you have questions or comments on this or other articles
from Gary Parsons and Keith
Kavajecz, visit their website
www.thenextbite.comn

Anglers are getting antsy and they want to know what its going to take to have their
best trolling season ever.

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39

Last Ice Spawning Species To Target: Pike; Walleye; And Perch...By Robert Dock Stupp

Michigans fantastic LATE ICE fishing

fter the mid-winter blues


have slowed ice fishing
due to a lack of dissolved
oxygen and other factors
such as dying weeds, you
can bet that better days
are on the horizon. Daylight hours
become longer and sunlight begins to
penetrate through the ice. The Dead
Sea Period is over.
As many Michigan ice anglers
have observed for years, many of the
species they catch through the ice are
full of eggs and are in a pre-spawn
mode. You might even say that as
warm spring air comes in on the
winds of change, many species are in
a staging period, settling near their
favorite spawning grounds.
It is also important to remember
that the pre-spawn and spawning
periods are intense feeding times. Fish
are nourishing their bodies to keep up
their strength and endurance.
Yes, the last or late period of ice
fishing is easily the most productive
time. Scouting the shallows with keen
observation and due diligence will pay
off.

With a tip-up and a flashy spoon and a minnow-head attached, this nice pike decided to attack the authors perch pole
with jig and minnow as bait. Super fight on a light pole! Author photos
Remember my article in WoodsN-Water News February of 2013
when I listed Michigans Spring
Spawning Sequences of popular
spring fishing species (excluding trout

and salmon). Well, the following six


species also happen to be excellent ice
fishing targets and great table fare: in
order of earliest to latest spawners
pike, walleye, perch, musky (not good

to table fare), crappie, and bluegill.


This is, of course, good information to
know to chase the next hot bite.
Lets concentrate on the first three
spawning species to target at last ice:

Q U A L I T Y C OM E S NAT U RAL L Y
SINCE 1982

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

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pike; walleye; and perch.

Pike

Affectionately and scientifically


known as Esox lucius and disrespectfully known as Snot Rockets, the prespawn northern pike can be found in
shallow waters where shallow grass
and other vegetation are present. You
can catch them in late February and
March under the ice as shallow as two
feet. Big ones too!
Notable anglers that I know use
tip-ups with steel or 30-lb. fluorocarbon leaders. Put a dead-bait in the
form of sucker or smelt meat on one
tip-up, use another tip-up with a live
sucker attached, and finally, keep
busy with a heavy rod and a flashing
spoon to attract and trigger pike. Jig it
and let it fall then repeat. It works.

Walleyes

Late ice is the time to put more


and bigger walleyes on the ice. If
you know where the walleye spawning grounds are on your favorite lake,
you have a distinct advantage. Check
lake maps, locals, and the DNR for
tips. But, a sharp look at the shoreline of a lake where rocks and gravel
are showing on the banks or points

will give you a good idea of where to


start fishing.
Putting out a spread of tip-ups is
always a good idea, especially when a
group of guys work together and cover lots of territory. Live bait such as
suckers and shiners placed on small
treble hooks usually attracts schools
of walleyes for no other reason other
than more baitfish in one spot gets a
walleyes attention.
Jigging, however, may be the
most productive method of catching
late-ice eyes. When walleyes are on
the bottom and aggressively feeding,
snap jigging would be a good way to
start. Call it snap jigging, ripping or
power jigging, use this method first.
Then you can slow up the cadence.
Go to a slower jig-jig-jig pause
then raise the bait slooowly, then
bam set the hook. Let the fish tell
you what they want.
The raising of the minnow as if
it were escaping is the key, but pause
first and then raise the bait and pause
again. Find out what works best, but
if the minnow looks wounded or like
it is struggling, you have done your
job. To do this, match the weight of
the jig or spoon to the livebait.
Then there is always an alterna-

tive method the hybrid way. Windtip-ups allow you the convenience of
a tip-up and the jigging action caused
by the wind.
Jigging can also be done with
horizontal swimming lures like the
Jigging Rapala. Put the head of a
fresh minnow on the treble in the
middle of the lure.
For years I used a light bobber
and a fresh minnow on a 1/8 ounce,
lead headed jig. Then I swore to
myself as I missed another walleye
because the bobber was frozen in the
hole or I just didnt see the light bite.
Then I discovered deadsticking.
A dead stick is a limber rod usually
set on a bucket near the angler who is
jigging. The rod may be limber but it
also has some backbone. The limber,
almost ultra-light tip of these rods
quickly turns into a stiffer middle and
butt section. A spinning reel is filled
with six or 8-pound monofilament. A
lively minnow is attached to a small
lead-headed jig. The limber tip is less
restrictive on the minnow than a bobber is. The tip works with the minnow and also works the minnow, and
the minnow is allowed to be itself,
a naturally swimming little meal. A
good dead- stick will telegraph when

the walleye takes the minnow.


It is when walleyes are not as
aggressive that the dead stick is most
deadly. Neutral or negative fish
is what the dead-stick is made for.
Shakespeare and HT Enterprises have
a wide selection of them.

The Popular Perch

How can you attract a nearby


school of perch and keep them interested? Perch schools have a natural
tendency to roam and search for food,
gobble forage, and disappear into the
great blue void. Now, remembering
that you were catching perch in water
as deep as 45-feet and more during middle ice periods, you can start
looking for them either near the first
break in a shallow bay, near a shallow
hump in open water, or up near shore.
Use your locator to find these transitional perch schools, but perch move
and so should you.
One tactic to use, besides being
stealthy, is to use a heavier lure that
speeds up the process of getting down
to the fish while you are up on top of
them.
Of course, you also want to at-

Michigan late ice fishing page 42

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41

Michigans Late Ice Fishing:


from page 41
tract them from a distance with flash
and vibration. Shiny heavy spoons
will do that for you. There are a
variety of small jigging spoons on
the market for you to choose from.
A relatively new and neat, little lure
for perch fishing is the dropper lure,
categorized by a little gold chain and
hook design. Usually hanging from
a spoon-type lure, they get down
quickly and they can be jigged in a
subtle motion without the weight of
the spoon.
Because of the success of these
dropper lures -- innovation is spreading across the perching nation! Going
one step further, anglers like Elijah
Kudwa of Crystal Falls, in the U. P.,
are taking off the chain and adding
either a plain perch hook or a jig to
3 or 4-inches of 3- to 4-inches of
mono or fluorocarbon. Knowing
that the perch were a little finicky
that day, Elijah put a minnow on
a small jig attached to 4-inches of
mono, hanging from a Swedish
Pimple. His fishing partner that day
was little Eila, his daughter; she
gave her pole a couple of jigging

motions, felt a tug, and started reeling all on her own. Surprised, Elijah
came over and helped her pull a
jumbo perch out of the hole. Nice
catch, Eila!

Know When To Hold em

Teamwork and patience are integral parts of any sport and come into
play when ice fishermen decide its
time to hold perch under their holes.
Once a perch is hooked, the tactic
here is to hold the struggling perch
near the school while your buddy
hooks another perch. When he hooks
another one, reel yours up. Many of
you have seen this frenzy. When the
perch get wise, move.
Other practical tips include the
use of tungsten jigs when perch want
a smaller offering. They are also
heavier per comparable size and drop
through weeds easily. Russian hooks
with beads are also efficient perch
lures as are multiple, plain hooks. But
when perch are really on a hot bite,
bend down the barbs to efficiently
remove the hook and quickly get back
to the action.

Little Eila Kudwa went ice fishing with her Dad, Elijh Kudwa in Crystal Falls
and Eila felt a tug and started reeling in her first perch before her Dad could
help. Together they pulled the jumbo out of the hole.

Selecting For Jumbos

It has been my experience at


last ice when big mama, jumbo
perch come to dinner, be ready
for them. My assortment of
various color and sizes of horizontal,
Jigging Rapalas, Moonshine Shiver
Minnows or Sitka lures definitely
attract and trigger jumbo perch. Lift,

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jig, and let these lures circle and jerk


wildly. Watch the jumbos smash these
baits!
Finally, pound the bottom and
let the clouds of sand and debris and
noise and vibration send the message
that there is lots of action under your
hole. Use a bell sinker for maximum
pounding.
Perch equals a fine fry!n

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43

Dear Fish Diary: Fair Or Unfair, Not Everyone Gets A Trophy...

Nobody said life would be fair now did they?

y mom told me several


times growing up that life
wouldnt always be fair.
First, Im a Lions fan, so
I know a little about this
subject. But how unfair
life can actually be at times is still
a mystery. Do you ever notice how
sometimes the light just shines on
certain people? How even their pure,
utter, ineptness seems to always bear
fruit. How they can seem to bumble
and stumble, never really finding their
way, but somehow the way seems to
always find them. How some guy can
buy two lottery tickets for the first
time in his life and win millions with
both tickets, while youve won like
$2 for your entire lifetime of ticket
purchases. And lets not forget how
sometimes the laziest guy on the crew,
the one totally disconnected from the
job, who does the least and knows the
least, somehow gets the big raise and
promotion. Mom was right, life isnt
fair.
Enter Tia Wiese, who a little
over a year ago was just your aver-

age 12-year-old, fun, outdoor-loving


daddys girl. Until that day in March,
2014, when while ice fishing with her
father on Idahos Lake Cascade, happened to catch the biggest perch ever
caught through the ice... in the world.
Two pounds and 11.68 ounces. Thats
about five ounces more than
my entire perch stringer most
times.
Fair or unfair, not everyone gets a trophy. In real life,
its like what Ricky Bobby
said, If you aint first, youre
last. Pro ball players Hall
of Fame careers are mostly
judged on championships. In other words,
trophies. How many
great ball players are left out of the
Hall of Fame because they never won
the big one? Tia is going to the Hall of
Fame, you and I are not.
When you go to the large fishing
shows, why is there never a seminar
on How to catch a world record
fish? Because nobody doing the
seminars has caught a world record

fish, and most of us are just happy to


catch fish period. I remember fishing
with my godfather as a youth. The big
question was always, Is it a keeper?
The question was never, Is it a
world record? When fishing with my
friends there was a competitive battle
as to whom would catch the
biggest fish among our group,
not who would catch the biggest fish in the world.
Tia is too young to know
any better and probably expects to catch a world record
on every fishing trip while
the rest of us are just happy
to catch a keeper
every now and then.
We are satisfied to
catch one bigger than our friends. Tia
wont be satisfied until she catches
one bigger than the entire world.
Those are big waders to fill, but then
again, life isnt always fair.
How hard is it going to be for
some young man wanting to be Tias
boyfriend? First son, youd better
know how to fish. Second, whats the

By Ron St. Germain

biggest perch you ever caught? One


pound? Pffffffffffffffft Next.
While more and more youths are
catching and bagging trophies that we
adults spend our entire lives pursuing,
shouldnt there be an age limit on who
can actually take a trophy? Im all for
exposing our youth to the outdoors,
but shouldnt there be some kind of
seniority respect clause here?
You have to be 16 to drive, yet at
15 you can bag a record whitetail deer.
You have to be 17 to even qualify for
a Michigan fishing license, yet at 9
you can lay claim to catching one of
the states biggest catfish, even if you
needed help to land it. You have to be
18 to vote, yet at the age of six you
can catch a world record bluegill. You
have to be 21 to drink, yet you can
be 12 and catch a world record perch.
You can be fishing a certain hole for
an entire day using all of your knowledge, high end tackle and expertise.
Suddenly, some kid comes along with
a cane pole and can of worms and
nails a trophy brook trout bigger than
any you have ever caught right out

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is the day the sun shines on us. Sure


beats sitting around and watching the
light shine on others so often they are
burnt to a crisp. In reality, we arent
actually jealous of Tia are we? We are
actually happy for her arent we? On
the other hand, just once it would be
nice to catch a world class trophy, as
long as you are old enough to remember it, and not too old to enjoy it. That
would be fair.

Worst Fishing Day Ever?


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

Twelve-year-old Tia Wiese holds her world record perch. Most of us will fish our
entire life and never catch anything close to this. Life just isnt fair. Idaho Fish and
Game file photo

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

of that same hole. All you can do is


smile and laugh because after all, life
isnt fair.
As more youths find their way,
lucky or not, to catching trophy fish,
what does that say about you and I?
Are we willing to admit that Tia is
just better at fishing than us? Well she
is. In fact, I would like her to teach
me how to fish and I would go to see
her seminar at a big fishing show.
If size doesnt matter, then why do
we put so much emphasis on it? If
trophies dont matter, why do we give
them and make such a big deal about
it? Right, life isnt fair.
Billions of lures are sold every
year in the fishing sports market that
will never catch a trophy fish, not to
mention a world record fish. Millions
of reels will be re-spooled with the
next greatest fishing line and wont
produce a world record fish. Thousands of professional charter boats
will launch and return without a
world record fish. While I will spend
hundreds of hours just trying to catch
a fish any fish. Yes, life isnt fair.
Lifes unfairness strikes in many
ways that is beyond our control.
What choice do we have but to get
up in the morning and hope that this

45

Roscommon County

STATE
LAND

By Jerry Lambert

ifty-one year old Richard Loweke is one of


those guys, someone who is obsessed with
hunting. He even told his wife, Its not just
a hobby, its an obsession!
Loweke likes to follow his obsession
to the northern woodlands of Michigan.
Loweke told me via a phone conversation in January, Ive hunted all over Michigan and even had
permission to hunt a one-thousand acre property in
Washtenaw County but I prefer the vast woodlands
of northern Michigan. Now, I primarily hunt the
early bow season and the first couple of days of the
gun season in Roscommon County. The majority of
gun season, I head up north to the western Upper
Peninsula with my dad and brother who venture
north from Florida. We have been making this trip
for the last thirty-seven years. I love the wild terrain in the U. P. To me, that is Gods Country! Ive
had wolves howling right behind my stand. Even
though its a scary feeling, its also quite a rush.
Richard primarily hunts public land and has taken his fair share of mature bucks. In 2010, Loweke
tagged an 11-point in the U.P. and one other year
he took a wide racked brute that sported an outside
spread measuring an incredible twenty-six inches.
However; his latest buck came from the deep
wood swamps in Roscommon County. On November 15, 2014, Richard was hunting three quarters of
a mile from the road in an area that provides thick
cover. He says, I like to get away from the other
hunters and hunt off the beaten path. I scout with
trail cameras to find where the big bucks live. For
three straight years, I got photographs of a good

Richard Loweke with his 10-pt. with a 24 inch spread taken Nov.15 on state land in Roscommon Co.
sized buck that grew an impressive 10-point rack in
2014.
Loweke likes to place deer estrus scent out during the firearm opener to attract rutting bucks. The
plan for the day included an all-day sit. Richard sat
for eleven straight hours without seeing a deer but
remained optimistic. At 5:00 p.m., Loweke finally
saw a deer. All he could see was a neck and head.
He turned his scope to a higher power and could tell
that it was a buck. In fact, it was the big buck that
had posed for several photographs. Richard placed
his lever-action .35 Marlin on a shooting stick that
he brought with him and centered the crosshairs of
the neck. The buck went right down. The distance
was one-hundred and twenty-five yards. Loweke
adds, Ill tell you what. When I walked up on him
I was really happy. Hes quite a buck!

Hunting public land in Michigan is tough and


Richard will readily admit that the deer herd is
down, especially in the western U.P. Numbers are
quite a bit lower than they have been in the recent
past but hard-working hunters can still have success.
Lowekes hunting tips for public land hunting
are, I am a big believer in utilizing trail cameras
and my number one tool is the grunt tube. Two
of my biggest U.P. bucks came in after I used my
grunt tube. My number two tool would be using
estrus scent during the pre-rut and rut. He then
concluded with the following advice. I am a
QDMA guy. I know that we have some decent
bucks in the state but I firmly believe that we have
to stop shooting the little ones. To me, its just common sense.n

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Tuscola County

Hunting
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he opportunity to spend quality time with
children and grandchildren is priceless in
todays fast paced world. On September 20,
2014, fifteen year-old Courtney Alderton
went deer hunting with her sixty-one year
old grandfather, Ken Marker.
Their hunting destination is located in Tuscola
County; family hunting property in the Thumb area
of Michigans mitten. A forty acre chunk of woods
made up of ash, beech, cedar, maple, oak and pine.
According to grandfather Ken, We got off to
a late start. In my head I kept thinking, we should
be out there already. While driving, I kept seeing groups of deer still eating out in the fields. As
fate would have it, there was a big buck and two
does in the neighbors field when we arrived at our
property. I get along great with the neighbor and
have permission to hunt his field so I suggested
that we try to stalk the deer. Courtney and I found
a trail and started our stalk but were quickly busted
by one of the does and all three deer left the field.
We then went to my blind, a hunting shack that sits
about six feet off the ground. I see deer every time
I hunt from it. There are a couple of apple trees that
draw the deer in and I make my own concoction of
Lucky Buck and place it out in front of the shack.
Courtney and grandfather climbed up into the
shack and started to get settled for what they were
thinking would be a long sit. Courtney prepped her
gun, a pink camouflaged Remington 870, 20-gauge.
Ken unpacked some snacks that he brought and
then started setting up a video camera when a doe
walked out in front of them. They hadnt been in the

Courtney Alderton with her main-frame 10-point with three additional stickers and an inside spread of 19.5 inches.
blind five minutes when out walked the big buck
that they saw earlier in the neighbors field.
The big buck was only forty-five yards from the
blind. Courtney got her gun into shooting position
and grandfather offered quick counsel, Shoot it!
Courtney pulled the trigger and her pink gun
barked. The buck hunched up and took off running.
When the big deer disappeared, Ken looked at his
granddaughter and saw her hands just shaking.
Courtney said, I think I got him. I saw red on his
side and I saw blood.
Naturally, she wanted to get down and start
looking for it but grandfather said they had to wait
thirty minutes. While they waited two 4-points
came into view and started sparring. They were
followed by a 3-pointer. Four bucks within the first
hour of the season.
When grandfather gave the green light to start
tracking, Courtney took right to the task. Right
away, she spotted blood where the buck was standing and took to tracking. They didnt have to go
far. Courtney found him and became really excited.
Ken said, We were both whooping and hollering!

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Courtney knelt down beside the fallen trophy


and could barely lift his head. This is when things
got real. Courtney told her grandfather, I got
mixed emotions. I feel good and I feel bad.
After field dressing the deer, the two loaded it
up into the truck and Ken let Courtney drive the
buck back to Bay City. Ken says, Guys kept driving by giving her thumbs up. It was a lot of fun.
They weighed the heavy brute on a scale and
it registered 203 pounds. The rack is a main-frame
10-point with three additional sticker points measuring over one inch to make it an official 13-point.
The inside spread is just shy of the coveted twenty
inch mark, coming in at 19.5 inches.
Courtney is a well-rounded country girl. The
Pinconning High School student is also an equestrian rider, member of 4-H and competitive archery
shooter. This young huntress has taken her buck
to the taxidermist. When she gets it back, she will
have more than just a trophy for the wall. She will
have a life-long memory of quality time spent with
her grandfather. Just another one of the great outcomes from living the life of a deer hunter!n

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By Jerry Lambert

47

A conversation with Richard P. Smith...

Champion of Michigans wildlife and hunters rights


By Betty Sodders

proved to be a major mentor, taking us hunting and/or fishing almost


every weekend. As a youngster, I was
Richard P. Smith is one of
a voracious reader of outdoors related
articles and books. In high school, I
Michigans finest outdoors
figured I could write articles as good
writers; well known across
as those I was reading. At that time,
the state as well as
Ken Lowe was editor of the Marquette Mining Journal and I talked
nationally. Over his tenure
to him about contributing material for
he has published thousands
their outdoors page. He was exof articles and a number of
tremely helpful in getting my outdoor
writing career started. (I also got my
excellent books. He is a
start as an outdoors writer 31 years
candid champion of wildlife
ago through Ken Lowe.)
and hunters rightsEventually I started writing
a man more apt to be found
a weekly outdoor column for the
newspapera springboard to begin
afield than at his desk...
writing for magazinesthe next logical stepbooks. Additionally, two
e and wife, Lucy, teamed
biology professors at NMU, Dr. Wilup upon graduation from
liam Robinson and Phil Doepke, both
Northern University at
influenced me. Once, an established
Marquette, and since, she
writer, I met others who helped such
has served as business manager, bookas Dave Richey, outdoor writer for
keeper, backup photographer; basimany years for the Detroit News.
cally, a lady who wears many hats.
Even though I attended college
This month (March), Smith turns
with intentions of becoming a wildsixty-six and has lived in Marquette
life or fisheries biologist, few such
most of his life. He graduated from
Northern Michigan University in 1967 Richard filming a 4 1/2-year-old 9-point that he walked with as shown on the jobs were available when I graduated. Already a published author on a
having completed most requirements DVD, Walking with whitetails. Lucy La Faive photo
regular basis, I soon realized that what
for a Masters Degree at NMU. His
I was doing was a perfect way to use
first articles and photos were pubmy education, both in school and the
lished in 1965 or 1966; thus, he has
field, to share my knowledge with the
been actively writing for nearly 50
public. I strongly felt I should make
years.
outdoors writing my career and Ive
ULTIMATE DEER FOOD PLOTS -- BOOK & DVD
Smith advised, I was fortunate
been doing it ever since.
to grow up in a family of outdoorsOver the 25 years I have known
men. My father introduced my
you Richard, you have never been
brother Bruce and I to hunting and
shy about voicing your opinion when
fishing. When he served overseas in
it comes to wildlife management,
the Navy, various uncles and cousins
hunting rules and regulations, or habiwere kind enough to take up where he tat and land use issues. Tell us why
left off. My first whitetail, a doe, was you are so vocala champion of Fair
taken under the supervision of LeonChase hunting practices perhaps?
ard Yelle, my mothers brother. Dick
During my years of experience
Retaskie, married to one of my dads
photographing and hunting wildsisters, took us brook trout fishing and life, I have become knowledgeable
cousin Ed Lindstrom (Sundell) intro- about all aspects of regulations and
management. I have made it a point
duced me to trapping.
to do so. One of the most important
Our fathers brother, George,

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Q
A

Smith during recent book signing. Tyler Tichelaar photo


residents. There is something wrong
when the cost for a nonresident to
hunt turkeys is almost the same as
hunting deer. There are too many
problems with the new licensing system to cover here.
An evolving problem with the
DNR that many people may not be
aware of is the number of employees
who hunt and/or fish has declined
dramatically. If having hunting and
fishing experience is not required
to be hired by the DNR, employees
who dont have experience should
be required to participate in those
activities, so they have a better understanding of the activities they have
a hand in managing. For example,
I dont like having someone making
deer management decisions that have
never hunted deer.
Many hunters have found the
DNR Hunting & Fishing Digests
hard to navigate. Comment?
Yes, thats what happens when
there are too many regulations
for hunting, fishing and trapping. The
digests have become too complicated
for many newcomers to understand
and that is a deterrent to participation.
Trout fishing regulations on inland
waters have become so complex, I
stopped fishing. Hunting and fishing
regulations were simple and straight-

forward when I started participating.


Many of my readers have indicated displeasure of having to
buy a small-game license to purchase
a hunting license, especially when
they have no intentions of small game
hunting.
I think that is one of a number
of problems with the license
package. That regulation, above
all others, clearly shows the DNR
wanted to extract as many dollars as
possible from hunters pockets.

Why do you think U.P deer numbers are declining?


The DNR has tried to carry
too many deer through severe
winters by making it more difficult
for hunters to harvest both bucks and
does during fall hunting seasons.
Current regulations that limit hunters
who buy combo licenses to shooting bucks with at least three points
on one antler, attempts to stockpile
bucks, which is impossible during
severe winters that have occurred the
last two years.
We had three mild winters in
a row prior to the two tough ones.
Antlerless quotas should have been
increased much more than they were
to allow hunters to harvest some of
those surplus does. That would have
helped offset some of the reduced
buck harvest created by antler point
restrictions. Because that was not
done, there were too many bucks and
does for the habitat to support. Some
of those deer could have been saved
if the DNR had planned winter cuttings for deer yards on state owned
land or allowed hunters to supplement the feed where cuttings were not
planned.
By carrying too many deer
through severe winters without
enough food, those winter yards have
been degraded to the point that they

Richard P. Smith page 50

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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

lessons Ive learned is that those who


are the most vocal about the need for
changes do not know as much as they
think they do. I feel it is important
that all the facts surrounding an issue
be considered before decisions are
made.
And when bad decisions are
made, I am not shy about letting people know why and how things could
be done better. Ive also learned that
if I dont provide input on an issue, I
am not in much of a position to react
once a decision has been determined.
Hunters and anglers should become
more active in helping to shape regulations and management decisions.
Many hunters believe that the
Michigan DNR has grown too
large and that money takes precedence over proper wildlife management from whitetails to wolves.
Comment?
Over the course of my career, I
have seen DNR field staff gradually decrease rather than increase.
Before the license fee increases that
went into effect during 2014, DNR
staffing was at the lowest Ive ever
seen it. I would like to see the Department back to its former strength,
but I dont think that will ever happen
considering the current situation the
agency finds itself in. Many of the
problems they face are self-imposed.
There is too much politics
involved in the DNR now versus
the early years of my career. The
governor now appoints the director
instead of being hired by the Natural
Resources Commission. Due to political influence, the DNR has gotten
away from decisions based purely on
science, which has hurt the agency
big time, and will continue to do so.
Hopefully, passage of the Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Act will help
them get back on track.
And because of the politics, the
new license package approved last
year was designed to serve the needs
of the DNR instead of their customers. For the first time in the states
history, hunters are required to buy
a license they may not use. This
requirement has resulted in the loss
of revenue from residents and non-

49

Richard P. Smtih:
from page 49
will support fewer deer in the future.
For some reason, most hunters and
the DNR dont seem to understand
that the only way to increase deer
numbers in the UP is to make sure
they survive winter. Current management, which is actually, mismanagement, has protected too many deer
from hunters so they can die during
the winter!
As outdoor writers, we become
champions of many issues both
statewide and national. Please assess
the current Michigan wolf situation:
Anti-hunting organizations
such as the Humane Society of
the United States (HSUS) as well as
animal protectionist groups that have
joined them, have too many cards in
this game. With millions of dollars
to spend, they mold opinions of the
public with false information and find
sympathetic judges to make a mockery of the Endangered Species Act.
Wolves have long since passed the
point where they are endangered or
threatened in this state.
Part of the reason HSUS and
their like are able to be so successful
today in spreading their lies is due to
the lack of accurate, in depth outdoor
coverage in Michigan newspapers.
Ten years ago, most newspapers used

to have at least one outdoor page a


week. Some had full time outdoor
writers on staff. That is a thing of the
past! The public doesnt have access
to as much factual information about
wildlife and wildlife management
as they used to. Thank goodness for
publications like Woods-N-Water
News!
Passage of the Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Act last August was
a major accomplishment and will
bear fruit when wolves are returned
to state control. I hope that happens
soon. Wolves need better management than they currently have.
Why does it seem as though
annually our wolf population
numbers appear to be stable? What
about pups of the year?
When the DNR estimates wolf
numbers, they clearly state the
figure is a minimum number, which
is accurate. Wolf surveys are done
during the winter when snow makes
it possible to see tracks and packs
can be spotted from airplanes. By
winter, pups born the previous year
are deemed adults. Certainly some
pups survive every year to become
adults, but, at the same time, some
adults also die during the course of a
year. If pup survival is close to adult
loss, the population does not change
much. If the DN R were to estimate
wolf numbers during the summer to
include the many litters of pups born
during the spring, the tally would be
at least double what the winter esti-

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mate is. I think the DNR should do a


better job explaining to the public the
dynamics of wolf numbers.
To date has there been any wolf/
human contact?
I have interviewed two people
who were treed by wolves, both
of whom felt they would have been
attacked if they had not been able to
climb trees.
On June 29, 2014, a researcher
employed by the wildlife services
branch of the US Department of Agriculture who had trapped a wolf in
Gogebic County, so the animal could
be fitted with a radio collar, was bitten on a leg by an aggressive wolf.
As a precaution, that person underwent treatment for rabies. People
who think that there is no potential
for wolves to attack humans are out
of touch with the fact they are apex
predators that routinely kill animals
as large as moose.
Upper Peninsula whitetails face
brutal winters including starvation plus predation from wolves and
at times, cougar. Both large predators
survive the winter on deer kills. I
have been advised that UP deer herds
are today as low as they were in the
l970s. Do you feel as though our UP
deer herd is threatened or do you feel
they will bounce back?
There is no doubt in my mind
that UP deer will bounce back,
but unregulated wolf numbers will
slow that process. Although it appeared that the winter of 2014-2015
was going to be the third bad one in a
row, based on the way it started during November, the weather moderated during December. Most of the
snow fell in November melted and
deer were still feeding on acorns into
mid-January. Unless winter hangs on
into April again, this winter should be
mild to average.
Deep snow that fell before gun
deer season in the northern UP protected plenty of bucks from hunters
because in many areas they were not
able to get to hunting locations.
We have heard little of late
regarding our Upper Peninsula
moose population. How are they doing?
Projections of 1000 moose by
2000 were based on conditions

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that existed at that time.


They did not take into account
increases in the number of bears,
wolves and deer that occurred afterward. Both bears and wolves prey on
moose. Deer carry brain worm that
infected moose, killing some every
year. Moose increased more slowly
than expected due to higher rates of
mortality.
The moose herd was still increasing slowly two years ago when
the last DNR aerial survey was
done. Since then, wolf numbers have
increased further due to anti-management efforts of HSUS and deer
numbers have decreased. With lower
deer numbers, I think wolves will put
more pressure on moose, taking both
calves and adults.
The DNR really missed the boat
on establishing a moose hunt. In my
opinion, a limited hunt for bulls only
could have and should have been
started 5 to 10 years ago. It would
have been an economic boost to the
DNR and the UP. There have been
some 500 moose in Marquette, Baraga and Iron Counties for years, more
than enough to have a limited hunt.
The DNR does not have a clue how
many moose are in the EUP and have
made no attempt to find out. Thats
where some of the increased license
dollars should go that sportsmen and
women are now being forced to pay.
Lets talk hunting. Tell us about
your trophy animals, both deer
and bear, especially the 450-pound
black bear taken in Saskatchewan,
Canada? Being a spring bear, it may
have weighed far more had it been
harvested the fall.
Yes, that bear would have
weighed over 600 pounds in
the fall. I shot it with a .45 caliber
Knight muzzleloader. It is the second
highest scoring black bear for North
American muzzleloading records.
I shot a pair of monster whitetails in Saskatchewan with nontypical racks that had gross scores in the
170s. My best typical buck also came
from Saskatchewan; a 10-pointer that
scored in the 160s and made honorable mention in Boone & Crockett
Records. My best Michigan buck is
an 11-pointer that nets 148 4/8. That
deer weighed over 200 pounds and

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than any other outdoor writer I know.


Your series, Great Michigan Deer
Tales remains popular and many
hunters keep an entire set at deer
camp for downtime reading following
a days hunt.
Many hunters have told me they
read the books prior to season
to get pumped up for the hunt and
some bring one or more of the books
to their blinds as well, to read while
waiting for their own big buck to
appear. There are now six books in
the series. Ive already had a number
of people ask when Book 7 will be
availableperhaps in 2017.
Your newest release, Black Bear
Hunting: The Ultimate Reference, 2nd Edition is also available.
Tell us about this volume?
It is the most comprehensive
book about black bear hunting on
the market today. The 1st edition sold
out in 2013. I was flattered when used
copies were selling for more than
$100; new copies going for nearly
$200.
The 2nd edition holds six new
chapters plus new information has
been added in other chapters. With
a price tag of $34.95, the book is a
bargain compared to what the 1st edition was selling for when copies were
difficult to find.
I understand you are also a
professional photographer. This
enables you to virtually shoot bears or
bucks in and out of hunting seasons.
Have you won any awards?
I hunt all wildlife, but especially
deer and bear year round with
cameras. Ive won plenty of awards
for my still photos, magazine articles
and books. I took first place in a photo competition sponsored by Tamron
Camera Lensesprize was $l,000.
I believe I may be the only person in North America to photograph
a grizzly bear attack, which happened
in Montana more than 20 years ago.
I also have one of the most extensive
collections of whitetail deer, including albinos, and black bear photos
of anyone in North America. I have
plenty of other unique wildlife pictures too.
What organization memberships
do you hold? .

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I am a life member of Michigan United Conservation Clubs,


Michigan Bear Hunters Association,
Commemorative Bucks of Michigan,
the National Rifle Association and
North American Hunting Club. I
also belong to the National Wildlife
Federation, Nature Conservancy, Outdoors Writers Association of America, Michigan Outdoor Writers Association and UP Publishers & Authors
Association. I am a former board
member of Michigan Bear Hunters
Association and Michigan Outdoor
Writers Association. I am currently a
director at large for MUCC.
In your mind, what is the most
important out-of-doors issue that
we, as hunters, face?

Held at the
Moose Lodge #156
745 Lansing Ave.
JACKSON,
MICHIGAN

www.mhfcc.net or call 248-760-7785

Making the public aware of the


benefits of hunting, trapping and
wildlife management. Hunters and
trappers do more to benefit all wildlife and all residents of this state than
any other group of people.
Richard, how can people reach
you to purchase books or
DVDs?
My website is;
www.RichardPSmith.com and
my address is 814 Clark Street, Marquette, MI 49855. Phone number:
906-225-1002.

Q
A

Thanks Richard for granting this


interview. Keep up the good work
Champion of Michigans wildlife and
hunters rights.n

Fishing Benzie County is

Michigan Hunting & Fishing Collectors Club

March 14, 2015

Smith photographing a black bear he became familiar with at close range.


Readers should be cautioned never to do this. He was able to do so because
he spent a lot of time with this animal. Terry DeBruyn photo

Fish on some of Michigans finest waters,


in Benzie County, Michigan!
Enjoy Lake Michigan from our port city of Frankfort or try your
luck on one of our over 57 inland lakes, two rivers and several
streams. Our waters are rich with Coho Salmon, Steelhead,
Brown Trout, Bass, Pike, Walleye, Bluegill and Perch. Every
fishing enthusiast will find just what their fishing for. Crystal
Lake, Big & Little Platte Lakes, the Betsie and Platte Rivers and of
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that may just be the experience youre looking for.

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800-882-5801

Photos courtesy of
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Benzie County Visitors Bureau

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

was at least 5 years old.


Youve learned so much during
your lifetime regarding deer and
bear, I think my readers would enjoy
a brief rundown of your Walking with Whitetails DVD; one of
the most amazing DVDs Ive ever
watched.
Thanks for the compliment.
Besides the years I spent shooting the video, Lucy and I spent many
hours editing that production to make
it the best possible.
Ive been walking with whitetails, both bucks and does, for more
than 20 years. When I started shooting video in 2003, I was able to capture much more of the unique behavior I was witnessing than ever before.
I selected the best clips to produce the
90-minute DVD.
Deer behavior year round is
shown and I edited the video to try
to afford viewers the impression that
they are actually walking with me
and the deer I am showing. Lucys
help was necessary to film me in the
process of walking with and photographing deer. There are clips of
does nursing fawns, fawns playing,
amazing antler development of bucks,
bucks shedding velvet from their
antlers, rubbing trees, bucks fighting
and more.
Your bear hunting ability shows
in your DVD, Field Judging
Black Bears. I learned how to size
up a bear so as not to overestimate its
bulk. Using your method, it works
every time. Any remarks about judging bears?
Producing that DVD is one of
the things that prompted me to
start shooting video. It took many
years to become competent at judging
the size and sex of bears and I was
constantly reminded about how difficult field judging bears is by talking
to other hunters. I cover a number
of simple methods that anyone can
use to better determine the size and
sex of bears they see. Four Boone &
Crockett bears are shown being taken
on the DVD; two each with muzzleloader and bow and arrow.
I understand you have written
and released 26 books; more

51

MICHIGAN MEANDERS...

t happened on a Friday in November after spending all day on


the Flint River, paddling our Old
Town canoe with the easy, brown
current and checking the traps we had
set hours earlier on Thanksgiving Day.
My buddy Mike Wright and I caught
only a couple muskrats for
all our work, and by the time
we got home after dark we
were worn out, cold and
hungry. What high school
boy wouldnt be hungry
after having eaten luncha
cold turkey sandwich--at ten
oclock that morning?
I gobbled the warmed-up
leftovers Mom had set
aside from the family

supper and then fell into bed. After


all, Mike and I had to be up early to
run the river again tomorrow. But I
couldnt sleep. I kept thinking about a
set I had made a couple days earlier in
a neighborhood creek and had yet to
check. Whether it was trappers guilt
or trappers sixth sense, I got
out of bed, dressed, grabbed a
flashlight and headed out into
the night.
I could smell skunk
as I neared the set. Fearing
the worst, imagine the shock
and joy at discovering I had
caught a little mink! Very
much alive, she had cast her
scent all over the creek
bank and probably

By Tom Huggler

Mink are among the shyest of wildlife creatures and among the hardest of all
furbearers to catch.
would have escaped had I not gotten out of bed. I dispatched her and
pulled the trap, then decided to reset
it after adding a couple feet of wire to
the chain. If the lingering odor lured
another mink into my trap, this time
it would drown itself where the creek
was deeper.
Back home I woke up my brothers
and showed them the prize. Catching a mink was a schoolboy trappers
dream come true. My older brother
had earned $13a fortune in the
1950sfor a mink he took a few

years earlier from this same creek.


My younger brother had caught only
muskrats so far. Both brothers were
impressed with my catch.
So were Mike and the other kids
who trapped. Word travels fast when
someone catches a mink. I remember
the buzz Roger Bobb created with the
enormous buck he caught from the
Flint River, a pelt so large it stretched
more than 30 inches but I dont recall
what the fur buyer in Fostoria paid
for it. Ill never forget the excitement, though, my friend Brady Borton

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

SUCCESSFUL TURKEY HUNTERS

52

GET YOUR
TURKEY OFFICIALLY
SCORED
Go To:

www.buckfax.com

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

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

showed when I brought him a mink


he had caught. I checked his traps that
morning when he was down with the
flu. Brady nearly fell out of bed and
forgot all about being sick. His prize
fetched $18 from Sears Roebuck
in Chicago, where we sometimes
shipped our fur.
Catching a mink was such a big
deal that I dont remember anyone in
my circle of schoolboy trappers doing
it twice. Repeating such success was
as rare as going 10-for-10 from the
foul line. Or like getting a second
date with the Homecoming Queen.
Trapping has been on my mind
recently. A DNR press release says
there are about 30,000 licensed
Michigan trappers, triple the number
from 20 years ago. Thats great news
for several reasons. Trapping helps
keep predators like foxes and coyotes
and nuisance animals like beavers
and raccoons under control. Trapping is arguably the best way to learn
about the behavior of animals and
the habitats they frequent. It teaches
how to identify their signs, how they
react to weather conditions, and how
to outwit them. And trapping builds
character because you learn to play
by the unspoken rules (check your
sets) and the printed laws (traps must
contain your name and address).
Whatever skill I have as an
outdoor enthusiast, I credit largely to
trapping as a boy and young man. To
this day, the sport is a natural gateway to hunting, fishing and camping.
Trapping helps teach responsibility
and respect, traits a young person can
carry throughout life.
Im a bit dismayed, though, at the
current state of fur prices. A rising
dollar, too many cheap ranch mink
and a slowdown in foreign buying of
wild mink have sunk prices. At recent
fur auctions in West Virginia, for
example, mink pelts averaged only
$10; in Indiana, they ranged from
$7.28 to $11.21. One thing that hasnt
changed: Few trappers (then and
now), do it for the money.

As a kid, I read everything I


could find on the subject. Trapping
North American Furbearers by S.
Stanley Hawbaker was my favorite
book. I devoured my monthly FurFish-Game magazines and the advice
of E. J. Dailey, Carlos Vinson, the
Burnham brothers from Texas, and
other writers. The only time I met my
great-uncle, Jack Thompson, who
lived near Tawas City, he gave me
a No. 2 double-coilspring trap and
showed me how to make a set for fox
although I never caught one. Another
old trapper, a local man named Roscoe Bugbee, taught me how to find
mink sign along Butternut Creek, a
tributary of the Flint River.
I caught my first muskrat when I
was seven. Dad set the trap for me
at home, and I managed to carry it to
the creek without springing it. The
big rat it produced brought $2.50,
enough for family Christmas presents. That was in 1952, and I can still
smell the wild spearmint along that
section of stream.
Although I havent made a set in
40 years, I like to think that trapping
is still a big part of who I am. To this
day, Im likely to tell my wife, I
have to check my traps, when what I
really mean is the dogs and chickens
need to be fed. For years, having a
major article accepted by Outdoor
Life or getting a book contract was
always catching a mink.
Naturally, you can stop being an
active trapper at any time in this life,
but once youve strung steel, you
cant remove trapping from a mans
psyche. It is as embedded as your
fingerprints.
Thats why last spring I stopped
to check a couple of road kills near
bridges two miles apart on a stream
near my home. Both animals were
mink, which got me to thinking maybe its time to take down my old traps
from their hanging peg in the barn.
Oh, about that trap I reset more
than 50 years ago after catching the
little female? Next morningless

The author and his son Brian caught these muskrats in 1977 when fur prices
were much higher than today. Tom Huggler photos
than 12 hours later--it held a buck
mink, a handsome blue-black
animal that sold for $20. I havent

caught a mink since, and I never


did catch a date with the Homecoming Queen.n

THUNDER HILLS
World Famous Hogans Hogs Are Back!

No Hunting
License
Required!

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

www.michiganhuntingpreserves.com

Enjoy
Upland Bird Hunting
August 15April 30

CALL FOR INFORMATION

248-249-4710

Or Visit
Our Website

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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

Enjoy
Upland Bird Hunting
August 15April 30

53

DNR unveils 2015 turkey cooperator patch,


reminds hunters to apply for spring turkey license

he Department of Natural
Resources encourages hunters to think spring and get
in the turkey hunting spirit
by purchasing a wild turkey
cooperator patch and applying for a
spring turkey hunting license.
The 2015 turkey patch, designed
by Phoebe Talaga of Lake Orion High
School, is now available for purchase.
The Michigan chapter of the National
Wild Turkey Federation, in partnership with the DNR, coordinates the
wild turkey patch program. Proceeds
from patch sales are used to fund wild
turkey-related projects and management in Michigan.
Young hunters, 17 years old and
younger, who have a valid wild turkey
hunting license may receive a free
patch. To receive a patch, please send
name and complete address, along
with a legible copy of the youths
valid wild turkey hunting license, to
National Wild Turkey Federation,
Wild Turkey Patch Program, P.O. Box
8, Orleans, MI 48865. Please allow
four to six weeks for delivery. If you
have questions, please e-mail
michiganwildturkeypatch@yahoo.com.
Adult hunters, collectors and other
interested individuals may purchase

the patch for $5, including postage


and handling. Only the current-year
patch is available for purchase. You
do not have to harvest a turkey to
purchase a patch. Send orders to the
address above and please make check
or money order payable to the National Wild Turkey Federation.
The DNR also reminds hunters that
the last day for purchasing spring
turkey hunting applications is Sunday, Feb. 1. The 2015 spring turkey
season runs April 20 through May 31,
with several different hunt periods to

The winner of the 2015 turkey cooperator patch design contest, Phoebe
Talaga center with (lt-rt) National Wild Turkey Federation Michigan State
Chapter President Tony Snyder, DNR upland game bird specialist Al Stewart
and Troy Hopkins of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

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up-to-date with shows,
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54

choose from.
The application is $5 and may be
purchased anywhere hunting licenses
are sold or online at www.mdnrelicense.com. Beginning March 2, applicants can check whether they were
drawn for a license at
www.michigan.gov/huntdrawings.
Any leftover licenses will be sold
until the quota is met in each hunt unit
and hunt period.
The 2015 turkey cooperator patch is
Information about spring turkey
now available for purchase. Proceeds
hunting can be found at www.michigan.gov/turkey.
help fund wild turkey-related proj-

ects and management in Michigan.

A base license is required for every


resident and nonresident who hunts
in Michigan. Hunters may purchase a
spring turkey license only after they
have obtained a base license for the
year. The base license is also a small
game license.
Never miss an application period again sign up for DNR email.
Get alerts about application periods
and learn about upcoming meetings,
regulation changes, habitat work and
all things natural resources-related.
Subscribers can personalize the information to what interests them by topic
and location.n

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Frank Willetts
FLY FISHING

Tom Richardson
DEER HUNTING

ULTIMATE WALLEYE CLINIC


Saturday

Seminars & demos on

ULTIMATE BASS CLINIC


Saturday

110,000 gallon indoor fishing lake!

Features Mark Romanack and Tommy


Skarlis. Saturday Noon-2pm. FREE Admission.

With Michigans own Capt. Wayne Carpenter.


Presented by Combat Bass Fishing. Saturday
3-5pm. $25 fee includes goodie bag.

LAKE ULTIMATE

ULTIMATE SALMON CLINIC


Sunday

Features Capt. Dave Engle and Capt. Bill Bale


of Best Chance Too. Sunday 11:30-1:30pm.
FREE Admission.

ULTIMATE ELECTRONICS CLINIC

Sunday

Features Lance Valentine.


Sunday 1:30-3:30pm.

Marianne Huskey

Mark Martin

Jim Bedford

Dan Armitage

Big Buck Night-West


THURSDAY NIGHT ONLY
Presented by Michigan
Out-of-Doors TV Show.
Celebrity hosts Jimmy
Gretzinger and Jenny
Olsen will interview the
lucky Michigan hunters
who bagged some of the
largest whitetail deer of the
season.

Meet Jimmy Gretzinger


and Jenny Olsen from
Michigan Out-Of-Doors TV

Joe Thomas

Lumberjacks Are Back!

ULTIMATE SPORT SHOW GRAND RAPIDS


SPECIAL PULL OUT

BY THE TOP PROS

More Family Fun Features than ever!


The Annual
Grand Rapids
Open Turkey
Calling
Competition
Hosted by the Grand Valley
Chapter of the National Wild
Turkey Federation, the Saturday
evening event will feature some of Michigans top callers
as they compete for cash and prizes. Judges will include
some of Michigans best known writers and call manufacturers. Top finalists from the competition will be eligible to
compete in the National Calling Competition.

Michigan Charter Boat Assn.


Video Fishing Simulator

Big Brothers/Big Sisters


Rock Climb

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

Participants can climb a 25-foot wall featuring state of


the art hydraulic billet safety system. Test your skills! All
proceeds go to Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Pellet Shooting Range


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

Antique &
Classic Fishing
Tackle &
Sporting
Collectibles

Trout Pond

ULTIMATE SPORT SHOW GRAND RAPIDS


SPECIAL PULL OUT

Operated by Northern
Little League as a
fundraiser, you and
your kids are invited
to come and try your
hand at one of the
states best trout
ponds. It only costs $5 to give it a try. Fish cleaned and
iced by the Grand Rapids Steelheaders.

Fly Casting
FREE FLY CASTING INSTRUCTION! Meet Glen Blackwood of
the Great Lakes Fly Fishing Company and many other local
pros! Professional guides will provide tips and techniques
to improve your time on the water!

States Best Taxidermy

Bring in your old tackle for free appraisals. This is the


biggest display of antiques and collectibles ever to visit
the show.

Woodland Carvers!
Wood carvings of every kind will be on display and carvers
will be happy to talk about their work.

Cran-Hill Ranch Kids Area


Play a yard game, get your face painted and more in the CranHill Ranch Kids Area!

Archery Shooting Range


Back by popular demand!

REGISTER TO WIN

A Canadian Fly-In Fishing Trip filmed for


an episode of Fishing 411 television!

The Michigan Taxidermists Association Display will be


located on the 3rd floor Grand Gallery Overlook of DeVos
Place. If this year is your first time, come down and see
why the first thing so many people say when they walk
through the front door of the Sport Show is: Which way
to the taxidermy? The organization holds their annual
competition and convention at the Ultimate Sport Show
each year. Fish, deer heads, small and large mammals are
on display, upwards of 250 mounts are entered. Most
museums would love to have just a sample of this annual
display, and its free to see with paid admission.

Tony Gates
WLAV Food
Drive!

Bring a sack of nonperishable food for


FREE admission on
THURSDAY ONLY! Food
will be donated by
Michigan Sportsmen
Against Hunger to
Gods Kitchen and other needy organizations.

FREE K&E
Bass Stopper!

Were giving away 250 K&E Bass Stopper


to the first 250 attendees
on Saturday and Sunday!

ULTIMATESPORTSHOWTOUR

$2 OFF
One Adult
Weekday Admission*
(*Valid Thursday
& Friday only)

Details at UltimateFishingShow.com
Special thanks to Woods-N-Water News
for producing this flyer.

Visit the Woods-N-Water News booth,


Michigans premier outdoor publication,
at the Ultimate Sport Show and online at
www.woods-n-waternews.com. 1-800-387-7824

Present this coupon at the Box


Office to receive $2.00 off Regular
Weekday Adult Admission. Coupon
not valid Saturday and Sunday of
the Ultimate Sport Show-Grand
Rapids. Coupon valid Thursday or
Friday only. Offer not good with any
other discount.

March 19
March 20
March 21
March 22

Thursday*
Friday*
Saturday
Sunday

DeVos Place
303 Monroe Ave, NW
Grand Rapids, MI

3 pm-9:30 pm
11 am-9:30 pm
10 am-9 pm
10 am-5 pm
Admission
Adults
$10
Children 6-14 $4

Complete Show information,


seminar schedules, discount tickets and more at

UltimateSportShow.com

WNWN

Better opportunities for


hunters with disabilities

Robbie Ivey poses with a bear he took in 2008 with the assistance of Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Dave Painter. MDNR photos
with numerous organizations, such as
Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors, to create more opportunities for
more folks.
The Operation Freedom Outdoors
program is a partnership that includes
the DNR, Zero Day, the Eisenhower
Foundation and other groups. Centered around the Sharonville State
Game Area, Operation Freedom
Outdoors provides guide services and
specialized equipment to individuals
with disabilities including many
disabled veterans so they can experience opportunities similar to those of
able-bodied hunters.
This year, Operation Freedom
Outdoors took a few hunters out during the two-day Liberty Hunt in September. The Liberty Hunt is open to
100-percent disabled veterans, those
who have been issued a permit by the
DNR to hunt from a standing vehicle
or use a laser-sighting devise, or those
who are legally blind. The group also

enabled 15 hunters to go afield during


the four-day Independence Hunt in
October.
We had to hold a lottery, said
the organizations Tom Jones, who
coordinates events for disabled vets.
We had more folks who wanted to
come than we could accommodate.
Jones said the group has use of three
permanent 8-foot-by-8-foot blinds that
are easily accessible and five track
chairs for those with severe mobility
impairments. More of both will be
available next year.
The track chairs are pretty much
tanks, Jones said. They have tank
treads and with a full charge theyre
good for 10 miles. Its an amazing
piece of equipment, comfortable, and
the terrain is not an issue.
Although the special hunting
seasons are finished for the year Jones
will continue to take hunters on an

Better opportunities page 60

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

sources. Like Painter, many of these


employees have a passion for the
outdoors and a strong desire to serve
people with disabilities. That service
takes the form of ad hoc volunteer
efforts like Painters, and a number of
programs aimed specifically at people
with disabilities, including programs
such as Michigan Operation Freedom
Outdoors, which serves many veterans.
After his initial discussion with
Carrie Ivey, Painter contacted some
members of the Escanaba chapter of
the National Wild Turkey Federation.
The chapter has a program called
Wheeling Sportsmen designed to aid
the non-ambulatory. Painter set up
a spring hunt and the club gave him
access to a breath-activated piece of
equipment, with a camera on a scope,
which allows hunters without the
use of their hands to aim and shoot a
firearm.
Robbie harvested a nice tom,
Painter recounted. That outing was
only the beginning.
Weve kind of turned into hunting buddies, said Painter, who has
helped Robbie collect three bears,
three deer and two turkeys now. Hes
a neat kid.
Joe Robison, a DNR wildlife biologist supervisor in southeast Michigan, has developed a similar relationship with 17-year-old Brik Jacobs,
who was diagnosed with multiple
sclerosis and now uses a wheelchair.
Robison has taken Brik on successful
elk (at a game preserve) and turkey
hunts and on a waterfowl hunt that
didnt result in any game in the bag,
but he had fun, Robison said.
Jerry Rose killed a buck at the 2009
Robison has access to adaptive
Freedom Hunt at Fort Custer.
equipment through the Passing Along
The Heritage Foundation (PATH)
a nonprofit organization begun
who worked at the processor, told
by former Natural Resources ComPainter that she couldnt help noticing the pictures and asked if he might missioner Bob Garner and Garners
buddy, Bob Knoop that helps
spare a photo for her son, who had
persons with disabilities participate in
his room decorated with wildlife art.
During the ensuing conversation, Ivey outdoor recreation. PATH has created
a guide-training program to make sure
whod lost her volunteer firefighter
volunteers who are taking hunters into
husband to a car accident while he
the field have basic emergency healthwas responding to an emergency
informed Painter that her 12-year-old care knowledge (such as CPR) and the
ability to accommodate hunters with
youngster had a physical disability.
special needs.
Painter offered to take him hunting
Every year we take a few individsometime.
The youngster, who has muscular uals accident victims, stroke victims
dystrophy and uses a wheelchair, was or others with disabilities hunting
for turkey, deer or elk, Robison said.
all about it.
Its pretty rewarding helping out
Painter is one of 189 men and
individuals like that, getting them out
women who serve as Michigan conto enjoy the things that we all love to
servation officers and one of roughly
do.
1,300 full-time employees in the
The PATH Foundation partners
Michigan Department of Natural Ref you ask Michigan conservation
officer Dave Painter, hell tell you
his relationship with his sometimes
hunting partner Robbie Ivey was
pretty unlikely.
Painter, who is assigned to Iron
County in the western Upper Peninsula, was having photos processed
hed recently taken of a black bear
when he got a phone call about a lawenforcement situation. He asked the
attendant to look out for his photos.
Hed be back.
When he returned, Carrie Ivey,

Ed Maciejewski successfully harvested a deer at the 2009 Ft. Custer Freedom Hunt.

59

Better opportunities:
individual basis and has even taken
folks out just to take photographs.
Were reconnecting people with the
outdoors for the therapeutic value of
it and letting them know they can still
pursue those opportunities, Jones
said.
This year, Operation Freedom

Robbie Ivey was successful deer


hunting in 2014 thanks to adaptive
equipment supplied by Wildlife Unlimited in Iron County.

from page 59

Outdoors was able to put Robert Ludwick, Jr, a 42-year-old Navy vet with
a number of debilitating injuries on
a hunt, accompanied by his 11-yearold son. Ludwick wound up taking
a nine-point buck. A very big one
at that, Ludwick said. I think what
Operation Freedom Outdoors has going on is needed. Its spot on.
And this isnt the only militaryrelated program enabling disabled
folks to go hunting. For years, the
Michigan Department of Military and
Veterans Affairs has provided hunting
opportunities for those with disabilities at Fort Custer Training Center, a
7,500-acre Michigan National Guard
base not far from Battle Creek.
Jonathon Edgerly, a natural
resources analyst with Military and
Veterans Affairs, said, Weve been
offering opportunities for disabled
hunters at the fort for 10-plus years
now, providing blinds and people to
sit with them.
But Edgerly has focused on the
Freedom Hunt, which is held during the Independence Hunt season
in mid-October and is open to the
same hunters who are eligible for the
Liberty Hunt.
We hunt on about 3,000 acres,
Edgerly said. The whole event happens at the fort housing, mess hall
and hunting. Meanwhile, Edgerly

Brik Jacobs, left, poses with DNR wildlife biologist Joe Robison after a successful 2011 spring turkey hunt. MDNR photos
said the fort continues to host hunters
with disabilities during the regular
seasons deer and turkey with a
handful of people participating.
There are more opportunities than
just these. The DNR has accessible
hunting blinds for those with disabilities at a number of game areas,
including Maple River and at the
Rifle River State Recreation Area.
The DNRs new GEMS Grouse
Enhanced Management Systems are
designed for hunters who are maybe

$ 9.9 9

each

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

Prepared By MDNR

un
O u t d o o r Fo f
f o r k id s
all ages

O n ly

60

not as mobile as they once were, but


can manage a walking path.
No one is guaranteeing it will be
easy, but thanks to the efforts of the
DNR, its employees and plenty of
volunteers and dedicated partners,
people with disabilities who want to
hunt are getting more opportunities
than before.
Learn more about the states variety of hunting seasons on the DNR
website www.michigan.gov/hunting.n

Lane Walker
Author
Outdoor Writer
Professional Speaker
Book Lane for your next wildgame dinner or event

www.hometown-hunters.com
Hometown-Hunters

Michigans Iron Belle Trail


from Belle Isle to Ironwood

e asked and you answered to the tune


of nearly 9,000 name suggestions for
Michigans planned, statewide hiking
and bicycling trail stretching from Belle
Isle Park in Detroit to Ironwood in the
western Upper Peninsula. The Department of Natural Resources announced this showcase trail will
officially be called Michigans Iron Belle Trail.
This name effectively captures the beauty
and strength of our states exceptional natural and
cultural resources, said DNR Director Keith Creagh. Along the route from Belle Isle to Ironwood,
Michigans Iron Belle Trail will ultimately connect
communities, provide a variety of recreation opportunities, and showcase our great state to residents
and visitors alike.
Creagh said its important to note that while
Michigans Iron Belle Trail is a work in progress, significant portions of the trail already exist
throughout both peninsulas and are open right now
for public enjoyment and exploration.
The DNR received hundreds of variations of
the final name. To determine contest winners, three
names were randomly drawn from that smaller pool
of entries: Amanda Mailer (Rochester, Michigan),
Matthew Husted (Jerome, Michigan) and John
Meikle (Lapeer, Michigan). Each will be awarded
(via drawing) one of three vacation prize packages
at locations along the trail.
First proposed as a showcase trail by Gov.

Rick Snyder in November 2012, Michigans Iron


Belle Trail will stretch across Michigan and link
numerous existing trails to provide both a 1,259mile hiking route and a 774-mile bicycling route.
One end of the trail lies in Michigans newest state
park, Belle Isle Park (Wayne County); the other is
more than 900 miles away in Ironwood (Gogebic
County).
The Parks and Recreation Division of the DNR,
as well as other partners, currently is seeking private and public funding to secure and develop trail
corridors for Michigans Iron Belle Trail. Temporary connectors already are in place along much of
the trail and will be made permanent as resources
become available. For more information about the
development of the trail, please contact DNR state
trails coordinator Paul Yauk at 517-284-6141.
Additional segments of Michigans Iron Belle
Trail will open throughout 2015, with ceremonial
events in communities along the trail to locally
mark the occasions.
Michigans Iron Belle Trail follows the existing
North Country National Scenic Trail for most of its
length in Michigan (1,085 of 1,259 miles). North
Country Trail extends to the New York/Vermont
border to the east and central North Dakota to the
west. Spanning 4,600 miles, it is the longest National Scenic Trail in the nation.
Michigan a national leader in designated
trail miles and plentiful opportunities for hiking,

Mid Thumb Game Ranch

Michigans Iron Belle


Trail will feature
a bicycling route
(shown in red) and a
hiking route (shown
in blue), utilizing
many existing trails.

bicycling, snowmobiling, kayaking and other trail


pursuits continues to cement its reputation as the
nations Trails State. The state offers more than
12,000 miles of recreational trails total.
An extensive Michigan State Trails system
provides broad public access to low-cost, healthy
recreation opportunities and strengthens communities appeal by boosting quality-of-life amenities.
The Department of Natural Resources works
each year with local communities and partners to
celebrate and promote Michigans excellent public
trail offerings during Michigan Trails Week which
this year runs Sept. 19-26, 2015. The website offers
many planning tools and ideas for participating
community projects.
Visit the DNR website
www.michigan.gov/dnrtrails to sign up for email
updates and to learn more about Michigans Iron
Belle Trail and other recreation trail offerings.n

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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

$50 Deposit (personal check)

61

By Darryl Quidort

in trapping. His friend, Gary, had never trapped before but was interested
in learning. We already bought our
igh school was out for
trapping licenses, Chance assured me
the 2014 Christmas vacawith a grin.
tion. Muzzleloading deer
I refreshed his memory by demseason was open and
onstrating
how to safely set traps.
Chance Pestrue and his
#110
Conebears
and #1 footholds,
friend, Gary Hanson, were anxious to
both
used
for
muskrats,
were easy for
get started. Deer hunting turned out
the
young
man.
Then
I
showed
him
to be a big disappointment, but while
how
to
set
a
dog-proof
raccoon
trap.
scouting for deer sign the boys found
These
are
great
traps.
I
informed
something that opened up a whole
him. They are raccoon specific so
new adventure for them. There was
they can be used in populated areas
no snow on the ground, and as they
without any danger of catching pets
walked along a ditch that ran through
Unless someone has a pet raccoon, I
a wooded area something white
added. Chance took a bunch of traps
caught their eye.
with him when he left.
We just found a dead albino
The next morning I saw the boys
mink, or something, Chance exback by the ditch behind my house.
We just saw a muskrat, right there,
they pointed as I walked up to them. I
hadnt seen a muskrat in that ditch all
summer, but sure enough, there was a
place where rats had been leaving the
water to feed. I coached them on setUpland Game
ting a trap, but the boys did it themWing Shooting in Jackson County, MI
selves. Thats the only way to learn.
RINGNECKS - Dogs & guides available.
Good memories. A younger Chance Pestrue trapping with his grandpa several An observant trapper will learn a lot
Excellent cover. Full and half day hunts. No membership
about animal behavior and will soon
fees. One hour or less from Ann Arbor, Battle Creek,
years ago. Darryl Quidort photos
Lansing, the Indiana and Ohio State lines.
be noticing, and understanding, anion them and theres no snow, I exclaimed when I answered my cell
mal sign that others would miss. The
Gift certificates
plained.
phone.
boys soon had a couple of muskrat
AVAILABLE.
Chance stopped by the house that sets in place. I handed them a bottle of
Really? What does it look like?
night. We want to set some traps, he my homemade muskrat lure. Whats
I asked.
said. Deer hunting stinks anyway.
Small and pure white with a
in it? Chance asked as he cautiously
Finding that ermine had reminded
black tip on its tail, he replied.
sniffed the bottle.
FIELD HUNTS AND
him of trapping with his grandpa as
Sounds like an ermine to me.
Mostly beaver castor, I said.
EUROPEAN STYLE SHOOTS
You know, a weasel. They turn white a child. Im his grandpa, so I was
Muskrats like it. Smells kinda good
www.theringneckranch.com in winter, even if nature plays a trick pleased to hear of his revived interest to me too. Chance put some lure on
a stick and carefully stuck it into the
muddy bank behind the trap.
I was secretly pleased to see how
much Chance remembered about
trapping. It had been years since he
had accompanied me on my trapline
when he was a small boy. Those were
memorable days for me. First my
own kids, then my grandkids have all
trailed along behind me as we checked
the traps. Each one then proudly carITS ONE OF THE BEST
ried a muskrat home by the tail.

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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

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Ill help you set a dog-proof


coon trap, then you guys can go set
the rest on your own, I offered. We
baited the trap with mackerel and
marshmallows. (M&Ms) Then the
boys set off on their own trapping
adventure.
There is something magical about
even a small trapline. It involves
the challenge of recognizing animal
movement, properly setting the traps,
and the mystery of using bait and
lure. The anticipation of success is so
great that sleep comes hard and the
trapper wakes up early, anxious to
check his traps. Its easy to imagine
that your traps are set in Alaska or
somewhere in the Great White North
as you set out in the cold air to run
your line. The trapper also imagines
that if prices are good he might actually make money while having so
much fun.
The next morning the boys had
a big, male raccoon and a muskrat
in their traps. Success! Ill skin the
first ones for you, but watch closely
because you have to skin everything
else that you catch, I explained.
They agreed to the plan and were
ready to learn about proper handling
of the fur they harvested so that it
could be sold for top dollar. They
watched with interest as I showed
them how to put the muskrat skin on
a fur stretcher.
Even with less than a dozen traps
out the boys caught something nearly
every day for the next week or so.
They had some new experiences
too. One morning a big raccoon had
pulled the anchors and taken their
trap. We searched the nearby woods,
hoping to find him. Chance yelled,
Hes over here! When Gary and I
got there, Chance explained, I heard
the trap chain rattle as he ran into that
thick brush. While searching the
thick area, we found the chain caught
on the end of a hollow log. The coon
was inside. I started pulling on the
end of the chain with a growling raccoon pulling back on the other end.

exact same thing happened again the


following night.
After about a week of trapping the
weather turned very cold, the ground
froze, and their trapping came to an
end. They ended up with 8 raccoon,
5 muskrats, and a huge opossum. Not
bad for their effort.
I was pleased with the young
outdoorsmen. When deer hunting
became disappointing, they switched
to another good outdoor pursuit and
spent their vacation in outside activity
instead of sitting on the couch watching TV.
Were going to start trapping
earlier next year, they agreed as
they skinned the last raccoon of the
season.n

Gary Hanson (left) and Chance Pestrue enjoyed running a small trapline during
their Christmas vacation from High School.
It was a tug-o-war until we got him
out far enough for a clear shot with
Garys .22 rifle.
After checking their traps each
morning, the boys skinned their
catch. With the current low prices on
wild fur, this was a good year to learn
fur handling. A slip with the skinning
knife might cost you money when
fur is valuable but when the price
is down a small cut doesnt matter
much. They took turns skinning and
both boys were soon doing a good job
of it.
They had a corn feeder in the

woods near Garys house which was


intended for deer. However, their trail
camera showed that only a doe and
fawn were coming to it, and they only
came during darkness. The camera
did show several raccoon though.
They were fattening up on corn
before their long winter nap. It was a
good place to set more than one trap.
The next morning Gary texted
a photo of a coon with each front
foot in a dog-proof trap. Apparently,
although he was handcuffed on one
foot, he still wanted to eat the second
marshmallow. It seems odd, but the

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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

HUNT

63

They Leave No Trail


Traditional Black Powder Hunting...By Dennis Neely

ox squirrels evaporated in
barren tree tops. White-tailed
deer ceased moving about,
content with a midday nap in a
sequestered hollow or amongst
a brushy tangle. Legs cramped.
Back muscles ached. But worse, a
prodding wanderlust drove this traditional woodsman to gain his feet,
stretch and sling a bound bedroll over
his shoulders.
A quiet hush embraced the hardwoods. Black, trail-worn, buffalo-hide
moccasins with wool-blanket liners
whispered towards the earthen path
that snaked along the wooded hillside.
Bent forward, I felt the intertwined
branches of two red cedar trees tug at
the bedroll and grasp at the linen hunting shirts full-cut sleeves. I paused,
a step to the right of the path. Hoof
prints, most heading northwest, littered
the depression.
A soothing snow, the consistency
of coarse-granulated maple sugar,
began to fall. Despite the freezing cold,
the air smelled warm and inviting with
a hint of the wet-dog smell of a freshbroken oak limb. After surveying the
hillside, the nasty thicket and the far
slope, I followed the path in search of
telltale signs of another mans presence
in my wilderness Eden.
Years fell away like yellow maple
leaves in a gentle October breeze.
The outward trappings of a 1790-era
trading post hunter made little difference as my alter ego plunged headlong
into the December wilds of 1760, two The dried leaves of an oak top downed in a violent summer storm afford a
ridges east of the River Raisins frozen convenient lair in the midst of a still-hunt, consistent with journal entries
headwaters.
from long ago. Wild Rivertree photos

A heady euphoria overcame my being,


as if adrift, one with the supposed yellow maple leaves. But the 1790s me
grew concerned as I contemplated the
context of the new 1760 reality: Perhaps I am French? A Potawatomi?
or An adopted captive turned hunter?
Step by cautious step my centerseamed moccasins paralleled the path,
taking care to leave no trace. Encircled
by falling snow, the calming peace
returned, bringing with it a reassurance
of forest belonging. You see, when I
scrambled to my feet and walked to the
earthen byway I set chasing whitetailed deer aside, choosing instead the
simple pursuit of another sorta British Ranger.
That morning the historical me observed the faint, crescent-shaped image
of the right toe area of a heavy-leathersoled, Ligonier-style shoe pack. The
imprint was from the prior evening,
traveling to the northwest. Not far from
my stand, I came upon another partial
print, which sparked an overwhelming
need to unravel the comings and goings of the English hunter.
To my dismay, accumulating
snow began erasing all possibilities of
further pursuit. One last time I cast in a
modest circle, as if searching for a lost

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out over the River Raisins bottomlands. Downwind, ten paces distant,
I paused and leaned against the last
white oak. I planned to touch the
bucks rump, to know I was capable
of such a feat, to savor the ultimate
victory.
I took a step, hesitated, then
stepped back. A fit of common sense
overruled the folly. The rut was peaking. A large witch-hazel blocked the
bucks escape. I saw no alternative but
to speak. Hi there! I said.
Muscles tensed. Fur ruffled. Legs
flailed. Black hooves flashed. White
tines blurred. I saw the surprised fury
in the bucks eyes as he whirled about
and lowered his head. I spoke again,
louder, in my own defense. He spun
back, ducked under the witch-hazel
and ran hooves over antlers down the
hill. Leaves flew. Branches broke.
Black mud splashed. With his tail
down, the young buck disappeared in
the yellowed canary grass.
Years later I realized Frank Hubbells stories kindled a burning desire
within an impressionable youths mind
to become one with nature, to say
nothing of fostering a sense of kinship with the Native hunters at Seney.
Plus, I didnt know You cant sneak
up on a deer, especially a buck. Such
ignorance of accepted hunting wisdom
freed me to experiment, to seek new
knowledge and develop woodland
skills.
Those valuable lessons followed
me when I began forsaking what is
for what was. Many of the hunting stories in 18th-century journals
mirror those told by Frank Hubbell
and display a keen level of what some
call woodsmanship. In a living history sense, woodsmanship, or ones
acquired assortment of forest talents
and skills, varies with the individuals
persona.
The evening before that December
pursuit, Lieutenant Darrel Lang, a
member of Captain Wulffs Company

of Rangers, hunted the North-Forty in


the early 1760s. A wealth of historical documentation guided Lang, plus
20-odd years of service to the King of
England, first as a member of Jaegers
Battalion of Rogers Rangers, then
Wulffs Company, and in recent seasons, as an independent British Ranger
out of Fort Detroit.
Lt. Langs period-correct gear set
the parameters of his deer hunt, and
like all traditional hunters, he had
to work within the confines of those
limitations. In addition, Lang nurtures
a mindset grounded in historical fact,
so much so, that when he is dressed as
a British Ranger, he thinks like a British Ranger.
A myriad of woodsmanship lessons, each reflecting the specific forest
practices of a bygone era, abound in
18th-century writings. In 1758, in the
midst of the French and Indian War,
Shawnee warriors captured Mary
Jemison. Jemison was 15 years old at
the time and lived the remainder of her
life among the Seneca. In her famous
memoir, Jemison told of the journey
into the Ohio country:
our captors led us on as fast
as we could travel. One of them went
behind with a long staff, picking up
all the grasses and weeds that we had
tramped uponIt is the custom of
Indians when scouting or on private
expeditions to step carefully, avoiding
any spot where an impression of their

feet can be left. Thus they shun wet


or muddy ground. They seldom take
hold of a bush or limb, and they never
break onethey leave no trail
(Seaver, James E., Zeinert, Karen,
editor, Captured by Indians: The Life
of Mary Jemison, Linnet Books, North
Haven, CT, 1995, pg. 18).
Wherever possible, dedicated traditional black powder hunters seek to
incorporate such woodland teachings
into applicable outdoor experiences.
Discovering the first crescent-shaped
moccasin print, not two inches long,
opened the door for a more meaningful time-traveling adventure. The
diversion offered a difficult challenge,
in my opinion, greater than tracking a
wary white-tailed deer.
On that December morn, I only
came upon two indications of human
existence, both a small portion of a
moccasin print. When we spoke about
the incident sometime later, Lt. Lang
nodded his head. A wry, satisfied smile
emerged, then I saw a familiar look in
his eyes as he slipped back into character. A good British Ranger can be
hard to track, he said. Adhering to the
historical record, I, too, made every
effort to leave no trail.
Give traditional black powder
hunting a try, be safe and may God
bless you.
Dennis Neely maintains a web site
devoted to traditional hunting at www.
traditionalblackpowderhunting.com.n

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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

blood trail. Yet, all the while I kept


a keen eye out for an ambush. The
diversion added a fresh, period-correct
perspective to a somewhat ordinary
18th-century excursion, if traveling
back to 1794, then 1760, might ever
qualify as ordinary.
I was about fifteen. Frank and
Mamie Hubbell chatted with my folks
in the breezeway. When I walked in,
Mrs. Hubbell said, Dennis, tell me
about your deer season. That took all
of a minute.
Mr. Hubbell offered encouragement, then began telling stories of how
the Native Americans hunted whitetails near the property, which was
deep in the woods near Seney, south
of Lake Superiors southern shore in
the Upper Peninsula. His observations
centered on stealth, patience, knowledge of the game and woodland skills.
He explained still-hunting and stalking
deer. I was awe struck when he said
that some hunters could sneak up and
touch a wild deer.
Inspired, I vowed to teach myself how to still-hunt and stalk deer,
to become as accomplished as the
woodsmen in Frank Hubbells Chippewa tales. Failure became a constant
companion; after each attempt I sat
down and rehashed the circumstances,
learning from the blunders, and on occasion, taking note of what went right.
By my late teens I could stalk within a
dozen paces of a deer, given the right
conditions.
Then one warm late-October afternoon I spotted a 6-point buck bedded
next to a rotting log. He faced nose-on
into a warm, gentle breeze, watching

65

When The Weather Breaks...By George Rowe

Dealing with nuisance animals

very year, late in the winter,


some of the wild creatures
leave the security of their
dens and hidey holes and start
wandering around. Most of them are
not true hibernators but they have
withdrawn, during the months of cold
and snow, hardly moving about at
all. When the weather starts to break,
however, they are out of their holes
and scrounging around, looking for a
quick and easy meal.
Beginning in March, we are likely
to see skunks, raccoons, and possums that we havent seen all winter.
We are also going to see more deer
and squirrels and rabbits than we
have seen in months. Some of these
animals can become a nuisance when
they raid bird feeders, get in garbage
cans, take over the dogs dish, scatter
the stuff in the burn barrel, frighten
small pets and eat the shrubbery.
At least some of the time, the best
solution is to remove the attraction.
We have one bird feeder, for instance,
that the coons can reach, climbing
up the wooden pole, and we have to
shut that one down in the spring and
fall, when the coons are most active.
We are also careful to keep the garage

This homemade
live trap has
accounted
for dozens of
coons, as well
as a number
of possums,
skunks and
rabbits
doors shut during those periods, so
they cant get in the garbage can or in
the sunflower seed (for the birds) that
is stored in the garage. The sunflower
seed had to be stored in a metal can
the chipmunks chewed right through
the plastic garbage cans but the
coons are smart enough to get the top

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off of it. Bird feeders will attract all


sorts of animals even deer and bear
-and you dont want some of them
around.
Some animals might have to be
killed to get them out of the picture
and you can shoot a coon or a possum if it is doing damage or threaten-

ing to do damage. While there is a


season for coon there is no closed
season for possum or skunk and no
license is required. No license is
required to take a nuisance coon on
private property but, for general coon
hunting or trapping, a furbearers
license would be required. Skunks
and possums are generally dealt with
harshly, even by folks who treasure
all wildlife, since both of them are terrible nest robbers and killers of young
birds and animals.
If you dont want to destroy a
nuisance animal, you can attempt to
live-trap it. You can buy a live trap,
make one or (sometimes) borrow one
from the DNR. Check the nearest
regional office. The photo shows a
sort of Rube Goldberg live trap that
I made up years ago and still use on
occasion. It is simply a plywood and
metal screen box about 12 by 12 by
36 inches. The frame is of pine and
the metal screen is half-inch hardware cloth. It has a trap door on one
end, hinged at the top with a latch at
the bottom. There is a hinged access
panel on the top at the other end, used
for setting the trap. The big door is
lifted and secured by a string and a

hook running down through the back


of the box to a mousetrap fastened
securely to the floor.. When the
mousetrap trigger is released by an
animal getting at the food or bait, the
door drops and is latched. The trap is
fairly heavy and stout, strong enough
to resist the efforts of a big male
coon. I have had as many as three
coons in it at once and it has also
trapped many possums, skunks and
rabbits. The coons and rabbits were
all deported and released far away
but the skunks and possums were all
destroyed.
Handling a skunk in a trap is a
little tricky. Deal with it only during
the middle of the day. The skunk will
be sound asleep, hopefully, since they
are almost wholly nocturnal. Cover
the trap carefully with a soft tarp,
pick up the trap and put it in the back
of a pickup truck. Drive to a remote
site and remove the trap carefully and
place it on the ground. Take the tarp
off then and open the door. You will
probably have to rouse the skunk by
throwing stones at the cage to get it
to leave the trap. When it leaves, you
can pick up your trap and leave as
well or you can then shoot the skunk,
if you feel that you should. Most
DNR people, including Conservation
Officers, will agree that the skunk
should be destroyed. If you should
get a porcupine in your live trap, bet-

ter get it out in a hurry. A porky will


chew apart anything made of wood in
a very short time.
There are special rules for live
traps. They may only be used on
private lands and only with 450 feet
of an occupied dwelling and associated buildings. Live traps must be
checked daily. Any animal captured
in a live trap must be immediately
killed or released. It is illegal to take
game animals or protected animals
live from the wild or to hold those
animals in captivity.
Deer can also be a nuisance, especially in suburban areas where they
cannot be hunted. To cut the damage
to your shrubs, they may be wrapped
during winter. If you have a garden
for either flowers or vegetables, you
will have to have a high fence or an
electric fence. Deer can be repelled
by a spray available at your garden
shop (really bad smells).
We have tried loud music and bright
lights but neither worked for very
long and the deer continued to eat the
buds off the prize day-lilies.
The nuisance period for animals
around the rural or suburban home is
fairly short, only becoming intense
during the spring thaw. As soon as
warmer weather arrives and there are
ample sources of food for the wild
things, they will no longer be hanging
around. n

Three new winners named in


Michigans hunt of a lifetime
The Department of Natural Resources announced the three winners
of the sixth annual Pure Michigan Hunt. Mike DiLorenzo of Rochester,
Jason Eurich of Saginaw and Michael Sikkenga of Whitehall each won a
pocket full of hunting licenses and more than $4,000 worth of hunting
gear.
I was thrilled and humbled to be picked as a Pure Michigan Hunt
winner, said DiLorenzo, who works for Michigan Planners. I've been
applying for a Michigan elk license for over 20 years, and to finally get
one, plus many other licenses, is amazing! I truly appreciate the Michigan
DNR and what they are doing.
Eurich's story is a bit different. His mother, Myra Eurich, applied for
the Pure Michigan Hunt and has transferred the entire prize package
and all the licenses over to her son, Jason. She thought it was a hoax and
called me right away, said Jason Eurich, owner of Eurich Home Improvement.
Sikkenga, who works for Consumers Energy, said he was ecstatic
when he got the call from Russ Mason, DNR Wildlife Division chief, letting him know he'd won. It feels like I've won the hunting lottery."
Each $5 Pure Michigan Hunt application purchased helps fund wildlife habitat restoration and management in Michigan.
Each winner receives elk, bear, spring and fall turkey, and antlerless
deer licenses to be used in 2015. In addition along with three hunting companions the winners will get first pick opening morning of the
waterfowl season at any of Michigans premier Managed Waterfowl Hunt
Areas. Sikkenga, DiLorenzo and Eurich each also won a package of gear
donated by Michigan businesses and organizations.
The winners were awarded their prizes officially at the Feb. Natural
Resources Commission meeting in Lansing.
Applications for the next Pure Michigan Hunt drawing will be available starting March 1. For more information, visit
www.michigan.gov/puremichiganhunt.

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67

By Lee Arten

GUN CHAT: RABBIT GUNS

hen it comes to small game,


Ive always been more of a
grouse hunter than anything
else. If I ran across a rabbit,
or a hare, Id take it (or try
to). That means that a lot of the guns
Ive hunted with have become rabbit
guns at one time or another.
My dad bought me a used Model 12
Winchester pump in 16 gauge around
the time I finished high school. It was a
much better gun than the hand-me-down
single-barrel 12 gauge Id been using.
That Model 12 was used to take squirrels, grouse, geese and one three-point
whitetail buck. I also hunted turkeys
with it a few times but struck out. Its
was never a rabbit gun, either.
I hunted with the Model 12 in

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Houghton, Keweenaw, Ontonagon and


Menominee counties but never killed
a rabbit, or hare, with it. I took the old
gun to Florida and thought about hunting wild boars there but never lined up a
boar hunt. In fact, never did any hunting
in the six months I lived there. Back in
the U.P. I hunted grouse frequently with
the old 16 gauge but never got a rabbit.
When one was seen my brother always
seemed to be in position for the shot.
A sporterized Swedish Mauser in
6.5 X 55, that I hunted deer with briefly,
accounted for one snowshoe hare in
a Menominee County cedar swamp. I
also killed a couple of snowshoes with
my Ruger 77RL in .250 Savage. I tried
to get too fancy in aiming and missed
one close up. Another was far enough
away that I couldnt find it with the lowpowered scope on the M77 at that time.
The 2-7 power Leupold on it now would
have worked a lot better in that situation, I think.
Where Ive been hunting, the last
few years, rabbits, or hares, are thin on
the ground. (Ive seen more around my
house in town.) I thought Id found one
while grouse hunting a few years back.
I shifted the shotgun into my left hand
and went to draw a .38 Special to shoot
it. As I moved the rabbit, which was
sitting underneath a tree, turned into a
grouse and flew away. Between guns at
just the wrong time, I didnt fire a shot
from either.
A few seasons later my son, Ethan,
jumped a young hare out of a brush
pile in the same area. It crossed in front
of me and I rolled it with my over and

under 20 gauge. We had that hare and


a couple of grouse for Thanksgiving
dinner that year. That shot was similar
to one Id gotten many years earlier.
My Springer and the landowners big
mutt were crashing around in a thicket
and pushed a rabbit out in front of me.
I missed with the first barrel but got it
with the second. The 20 gauge over and
under I used then is the shotgun that fits
me best. It has taken the most woodcock, grouse and rabbits of any gun I
own.
I hunted with a single-shot .410
years ago but got no rabbits with it. I
recently bought a used over and under
.410. Since another hard winter is in
progress here I havent shot it yet. If
spring comes early I may be able to try
a late winter rabbit hunt with it.
I carried a Thompson Center Contender .44 Magnum with CCI Hotshot
shot cartridges on a hunt like that on a
friends farm once. We walked right up
on a snowshoe but couldnt see it in the
all the white stuff on the ground. When
it moved I saw it, but couldnt get the
pistol on it before it disappeared in the
brush around us. The dogs with us took
off after it, but did not push it past us
again.
A late friend had a property five
miles out of town. The place held many
cottontails and hares and I could hunt
on it whenever I wanted. I got the hares
mentioned earlier with my deer rifle
during the November season there. One
October I was sneaking along looking
for rabbits and saw one in the hollow
under a pine. The gun I carried was a

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was .38 Specials
Id assembled. I killed that hare with
the Blackhawk. It was the first Id taken
with a handgun, and the first game animal killed with ammo Id reloaded.
The gun I most wanted to take a rabbit with was a Smith & Wesson M1917.
The N-frame was made in the .45ACP
when the supply of 1911 pistols ran
short in World War I. After the war the
Post Office had some 1917s in inventory. My father may have carried one
when he took cash from a Minneapolis
post office to the bank for deposit. (Colt
made a similar revolver and the gun dad
carried might have been a Colt. But dad
did say the S&W looked familiar.)
In 1937 Brazil bought some S&W
1917s for its armed forces. Many years
later they were sold as surplus and reimported to the United States. I bought
one, scrounged up full-moon clips for it,
shot it in a couple of PPC type matches,
and also took it rabbit hunting with my
.45 ACP reloads.
At the end of the season, if the snow
had melted enough, Id wander through
the woods behind my friends house. It
was usually cold, windy, but quiet in the
trees. Ive never seen so many old rabbit
tracks, and pellets, and so few rabbits
or snowshoes. Still, I had fun because I
was hunting. If I had access to the place
now, Id be planning to try again this
year.n

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By Mark Sak

My name is Cooper

the terrain. One of the things about


Cooper that scares me a little is he is
absolutely fearless. At 10 weeks he
would jump off the back of the couch
and bounce on the floor. He wants to
go into the basement because that is
where the cat food is. We put it down
there because neither of our older
Labs wanted anything to do with the
basement.
Like his father who is a Champion Field Trial Lab, Cooper has an
incredible nose. I opened a bottle of
pheasant scent from across the room
while he was sleeping and his head
shot up like the house was on fire.
Although we have started to work on
a few wing retrieves, we really wanted
him to get the basic commands down
pat so when he finally gets a bird in
his mouth he wont run to the woods
with it. Hes had some issues with our
cat as he thought she was his personal
tackling dummy, until he found out
cats have knives in their feet. One
day he decided to sell the farm on the

and put it on Facebook. Thats when


the Free Cooper campaign started
trending on Facebook and Twitter. It
was a lot of fun and took our mind off
our recent loss.
The best thing we have received
from this little guy, he has helped us
work through our grief. Dont think
for a minute one can sit on the pity
potty too long when you have a young
puppy in the house because they will
potty right in the middle of your pity.
They grab the wifes bra and run
across the house with company at the
kitchen table, and of course they chew
your best pair of flip flops.
But we will gladly forfeit those
things to help us through our struggles
and put it all in perspective. When
I took him in to the vet for his well
puppy check-up the same vet that euthanized Champ was checking Cooper
out. I could see tears in Dr. Atkinsons
eyes as she chuckled while wrestling
sleeping kitty and jumped on her from with him as he squirmed and nipped at
three feet away. I scolded him and put her. She had come full circle with our
family as well. I hope there is room
him in the kennel for a cool down.
in your life for a new puppy. We need
Then the thought crossed my mind
them as much as they need us.n
to take a picture of the pouting pup

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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

n November of 2014 readers of


Woods-N-Water News read our
heartbreaking story of our family
losing our 12 year-old chocolate
Lab named Champ. We all know
the difficulty a death can bring to our
daily lives. Our pets bring such an incredible comfort level to us. When life
gets tough they love us like no other
creature can. When life is great they
share in our joy. We mourned deeply
and still are mourning, especially
when a memory or picture surfaces
that shows his happily contented eyes
smiling at us. Christmas was especially tough as that was Champs favorite day. He would open everyones
presents whether you wanted him to
or not. But as we dealt with that grief
also came an understanding that we
needed to move forward. We are dog
people.
So Id like you all to meet Cooper. We searched the country looking
for the right breeding and medical
certifications. We found a litter with
11 chocolate Labs down in Southern
Ohio. Anticipation on our end was
growing daily. I can tell you honestly
that there was a little guilt there as my
wife Shannon and I knew this guy was
going to be sleeping in Champs spot.
But knowing we would be the ones
suffering without moving on made us
take this step and wow what a step it
has been. Puppy therapy is an amazing thing.
Cooper is all puppy. Another
chocolate Lab, we have found that
they are very special to both of us. He
is a lot different than Champ. He is
extremely smart like Champ but that
is where the comparisons end. To this
day Cooper explores every inch of our
house. He understands that we are his
pack leader but that took a while and
a lot of lip, nips and stubborn acts of
rebellion. He is going to be an incredible athlete, but still has puppy moments when his body just rolls with

69

Michigan may be one of the more


difficult states in the Midwest to
find a shed antler in. Author photo

bedding area, concentrate a bulk of


your efforts there. Every area is different, but in southern Michigan bucks
spend a large majority of their time in
or around the bedding area. Which is
exactly why you want to spend a bulk
of your time there. Not only do deer
spend a large amount of their time in
the bedding area, this is the only time
theyre somewhat concentrated in a
small area. These areas can range in
size but frequently they are not very
big, sometimes only a few acres.
Youll need to search these bedding areas very thoroughly. I like to
grid search them, allowing no more
than 10-15 feet between my last pass
or a second shed hunter. Its important
to remember that most of the shed
antlers youre looking for are going to
be from young bucks and will probably be quite small. Im relatively
young, with good eyesight and I routinely find antlers on my second time
through an area. Its amazing what a
difference a few feet here or there or
even slightly different lighting conditions can have on your ability to spot
an antler. If Im confident that there
are sheds in an area, I may walk it two
or three times just to make sure I dont
help you better understand why deer
are using a certain area and the travel leave one behind.
I occasionally will find a shed in
routes they may be using to get there.
what I believe is an actual deer bed
Trail cameras, if you have them,
but more often than not I find them in
can also help in the scoutrandom spots throughout the bedding
ing process. This applies
area. Deer spend large amounts of
both to finding the main
time on their feet within the bedfood source and to finding
ding area, so keep that in mind when
the bedding area. I use trail
youre searching. Youll notice that
cameras virtually all year
long and I always make sure most productive bedding areas, from
a shed-hunting standpoint, are those
I have several of them on
the properties I plan on shed with heavy amounts of browse; this is
no coincidence. Spend the extra time
hunting. Most of the time,
in the areas with the most browse and
I wont even check
youll often be rewarded.
these cameras until
Throughout the winter months you
spring. I like to limit
may
notice deer in small secondary
the amount of pressure during the
bedding
areas between the main food
winter months so as not to spook any
source and the main bedding area.
bucks that may be wintering there. It
These areas are small, usually less
only takes spooking a buck one time
than an acre, but are certainly worth
to have him run off and end up dropchecking for sheds. On several occaping his antlers elsewhere.
sions I found antlers in small thickets
As soon as the snow begins to
or treetops between these two areas. If
melt I will take my cameras down,
it looks like an area a buck would bed
checking them immediately for any
bucks that may have made it through. for the day, then there is a chance for
These pictures help me determine how an antler.
much time to spend in a given area.
I will concede that locating a priIts important to pay attention to the
mary bedding area is easier said than
frequency of buck pictures as well as done outside of southern Michigan.
the date. One random buck picture in But, the principles are the same. If
early January doesnt mean much, but you really want to find more antlers,
multiple pictures of the same buck in you have to put the time in scouting.
late February can mean everything.
Whether its with trail cameras, on
Theyre not the only factor, but having foot, or from a vehicle, scouting is
the right pictures of a few bucks duressential to your shed hunting sucing the winter months may make me
cess. Put the time in scouting, find the
spend an extra few hours in that area. bedding area, and you will find more
Once youve located the primary
sheds!n

Find more sheds!

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

70

think Ive finally figured out


what it is that we as shed hunters love so much about finding
an antler. It provides a different
kind of excitement then were
accustomed to. The excitement
stems from not only finding the
antler but also from the hope
that a single shed antler can bring. It
creates a relationship of sorts between
the hunter and that particular buck.
In the heavily hunted timber and crop
fields of southern Michigan, sometimes a single antler can keep you in a
stand all season long, hoping for just
one encounter with that specific buck.
Before we get too far, there is
something that all shed hunters should
know about looking for antlers in
Michigan. The mitten state may be
one of the more difficult states in the
Midwest to find a shed antler in. Lets
face it, not many bucks survive their
first season with headgear. A vast majority of bucks killed in Michigan are
1 year old bucks. As a result, there
are just not as many sheds to find as
there are in other states. Youre never
going to fill a pick up bed full of sheds
like you may see on some out-of-state
hunting shows. The immense amount
of hunting pressure coupled with poor
overall management makes finding a
shed antler pretty difficult. Although
its not easy, it can be done. So, how
do you find more sheds? Find where
the bucks in your area are wintering
and find their bedroom.
Scouting throughout the winter

months is crucial to finding more shed


antlers and it doesnt necessarily require a ton of extra effort. Its hard for
most deer hunters to understand that
when it comes to shed hunting, it doesnt matter where
the deer are during deer
season. It only matters where
they are in January and February, the time period when
most bucks will lose their
headset. Locating this area is
going to require some extra
work, but nothing that a little
post season scouting
cant take care of.
First off, find out
where the deer are feeding in the area
you plan on shed hunting, keying in
on their main food source. In southern
Michigan you can usually locate this
part of the equation from the truck,
just by paying attention to where
youre seeing deer in the fields near
your area. In other areas of the state
finding the main food source may be
a little more difficult. Concentrate on
the areas with the most natural browse
(leftover acorns, cedars, etc.) if youre
not in farm country.
Once youve found the food, its
time to find the bedroom. For the most
part, deer do not travel far this time of
year so the bedding area will be somewhat close to the food. Watch where
deer enter the field, where they leave,
etc. At this time, I will often enlist
the help of Google Earth as well. An
aerial view can frequently help you
locate the bedding area. It will also

By Jordan Browne

Woods-N-Water News
MICHIGANS
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Double Your Ice Catch!

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Wireless Age Of Ice Fishing
Are Antler Point Restriction
s Working? Mighty Muskeg
Catching Bluegills Prepar
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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

NAME

71

Have you ever caught a rare species of fish?


here are still a few such as the
Sturgeon, considered to be a
dinosaur, in fresh water. Some
fish may look like dinosaurs
and date back far enough but
most, like the burbot, are not rare. The
burbot, also known as the lawyer, lush
or dogfish, recently become
a popular fish to seek and
is plentiful throughout the
Great Lakes.
The sturgeon however
and some other rare fish are
thought to be approaching
extinction.
As a retired charter
captain on the Great
Lakes, I must admit
I saw a number of
odd fish come out
of the water. One such catch was a
blue perch- yes, blue. We all know
perch are normally green with a faint
yellow cast around the gill plate. They
were the target fish on my charter out
of Port Austin but I had caught them
in Lakes St. Clair, Ontario and Erie.
They are also found in many inland

lakes.
Perhaps thousands of perch were
caught by me and customers on my
charter boat without ever bringing
in a blue colored one. I kept it alive
and eagerly showed it to the local
conservation officer when we reached
shore. I asked, Have you
ever seen a blue perch? He
responded, Yes, yesterday
in Caseville (which is 18
miles away). So much for
my rare catch. At another
time I saw a youngster catch
a fish off the dock that had
two mouths that was pretty
rare.
The past thirty
years, I have fished
salt waters of the
Florida Keys, ocean and bay side. Ive
heard many fish tales but witnessed
only a few. One was a ten-foot shark
being hooked on twenty-pound test
line that took over an hour to bring to
the surface, tiring out three fishermen.
Another was when an approximately
eight foot Stingray jumped over my

Captain Fred Davis

bow from one side to the other without touching the boat. What a scary
sight that was.
While salt water fishing underway
to a new spot you often encounter the
friendliest fish in the oceans; actually they are not fish but mammals.
Im talking about the sea clowns; the
dolphins who are related to whales
and porpoises. They are very entertaining as they cavort around the boat.
They may decide to swim along with
your boat or cruise ahead, as though
leading the way. They can put a quick
stop to fishing if you have kids aboard
because not only do they scare the fish
away, the kids just want to watch the
show they put on.
Remember I mentioned rare fish?
Well I do have a tale about one. This
past December I received a call from
my daughter Lu asking me to book a
fishing charter for her husband Scott
when they came to visit. She wondered if I could find a charter that was
not just bottom fishing or trolling for
bill fish, something he had not done
before.

Rare, 5-1/2 foot


sawfish caught
on light line by
the authors
daughter Lu
Thrushman of
Lake Orion.
I called my friend, Captain Tony
DelosSantos who operates a backcountry charter on the Gulf bays off
Key Largo. Tony, better known as the
Lyin Hawaiian, is a highly regarded
captain and he assured me he would
do his best and thats all I could ask.
My kids were a bit skeptical about the
shallow water fishing but knew they

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would have a better chance to get on


the water backcountry. Scott insisted
Lu accompany him saying; She usually catches all the fish.
Their trip was one of the most
memorable fishing trips ever! They
caught sea trout, crevalle jack, snapper and barracuda. The crevalle jacks
are swift swimmers and can tire the
best anglers quickly. Although not
good for eating, the sport of retrieving jacks is among the best experiences on the business end of a fishing
rod. And speaking of tough catches,
Scott tied into a three-foot, black-tip
shark on the light tackle, which he
found to be a serious challenge.
Are you still wondering about that
rare fish I mentioned? Lu, who often
lives up to that reputation about being

Three foot, black-tip


shark caught by Scott
Thrushman of Lake Orion
on the Lyin Hawaiian
charter out of Key
Largo, FL.
the best at fishing, caught a rare sawfish that was over five feet long.
Dating back to 1992, the Sawfish
have been protected by Florida law.
In 2003 the smalltooth sawfish were
the first marine fish species to be
placed on the U. S. National Marine
Fisheries Endangered Species list.

In 2011, the largetooth sawfish was


added and listed as critically endangered, protecting them from commercial and sport fishing. They are
now both internationally protected
and recognized as near extinction.
Lu had no idea of her fishs history as she battled it and finally got

it up to the boat to look down at its


saw. Captain Tony was aware and
immediately cut it loose to swim
away unharmed. He remarked to Lu
Thats a fish rarely ever caught as
she nursed her sore arm muscles.
So perhaps your next fishing trip
could produce a dinosaur because
they still lurk below the surface,
sometimes not even very deep.
Check out more about backcountry fishing at www.lyinhawaiian.com
and visit the Florida Keys. Its great
fishing down here this time of year.
You may also want to look up the
Sawfish to see some amazing
video.
Capt. Fred Davis is a nationally
published author check out his website at www.captainfredsboattips.com.

Natural Resources Conservation Service and MDNR partner


on project to benefit private forest landowners in Michigan
cerns are more common on agricultural
lands that are tilled annually, they also
occur on forest land. The primary cause
of the concerns on forest land is recreational use or management activities
that utilize poorly designed forest trails
or inadequate stream crossings that can
be a source of soil erosion, soil compaction and sediment loading into nearby
wetlands, rivers and lakes.
All professional land managers who
work with private forest landowners in
Michigan will be eligible to attend the
training workshops which will be led by
DNR foresters. The DNR has extensive
forestry experience from sustainably

managing 4 million acres of state forest


land for more than a century.
The workshops will train foresters
and wildlife biologists to plan and implement conservation practices that address
resource concerns, protect the environment and sustainably manage the forest
according to each landowners personal
goals, Smalligan explained.
Forest landowners interested in
obtaining financial assistance to implement conservation practices on their
forest land must first obtain an approved
forest management plan. The NRCSrecognizes Forest Stewardship, Tree Farm
and Conservation Activity plans when

landowners apply for funding to implement conservation practices recommended in their forest management
plans. Forest landowners should contact
their local NRCS Service Center to apply
for financial assistance to develop a Conservation Activity Plan or to implement
conservation practices after their plan is
developed. For more information about
the project, contact Mike Smalligan,
DNR Forest Stewardship coordinator, at
517-284-5884 or via email at
smalliganm@michigan.gov.
To learn more about the DNRs Forest
Stewardship Program, go to
www.michigan.gov/foreststewardship.

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

The Michigan Department of Natural


Resources announced a $1 million,
five-year enhanced partnership with the
U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural
Resources Conservation Service that will
provide training for foresters and wildlife
biologists who assist private forest landowners in Michigan.
Under the project Training Foresters to Enhance the Sustainable Management of Private Forest Land the
DNR will provide technical assistance
to train 450 professional land managers,
including public sector foresters working for the DNR or local conservation
districts and private-sector foresters and
wildlife biologists who work with forest
landowners. The NRCS will expand its
financial assistance to forest landowners,
primarily by funding conservation practices on forest land through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
This innovative partnership will
combine the strengths of both of our
organizations to increase services to
the 400,000 private forest landowners throughout Michigan, said Mike
Smalligan, Forest Stewardship Program
coordinator for the DNR. Private forest
landowners own more than 12 million
acres of Michigans 20 million acres
of forest land. This project will allow
us to reach and help landowners meet
their goals to ensure their forest land is
properly managed for current and future
generations.
The project will provide training to
foresters on how to implement sustainable soil and water quality practices on
forest land (also known as best management practices) when harvesting timber,
implementing Natural Resources Conservation Service conservation practices,
or conducting other forest management
activities.
The Michigan NRCS has identified
state resource concerns of soil erosion,
soil quality and water quality degradation, said Andy Henriksen, the NRCS
state forester. While these resource con-

73

Letters And Hot Topics In Michigan Outdoors...

Snowmobiling in
Northern Michigan

By Jeff Pendergraff

here are 205,351 registered


snowmobiles in Michigan
according to the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association. Michigan ranks third, behind Minnesota and
Wisconsin. Michigan also has over
6,200 miles of snowmobile trails. The
trails start in northern Michigan and
run through-out the Upper Peninsula
all the way to Wisconsin.
Snowmobile enthusiasts are patiently
waiting for enough snow to fall so
they can hit the trails. We all remember how bad last winter was. Snow
came early and stayed very late. This
year after some heavy early snow
in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula just before the firearm
deer season, winter has for the most
part started out a lot milder with not a
lot of snow. But much colder temperatures are starting to arrive and the
snow is starting to fall.
Snowmobiling is big business for
local businesses that depend on snowmobilers to provide a large amount of
revenue and most of their income for
the year.
There are several snowmobile
clubs in Michigan. Many of these
clubs keep the trials groomed for the
snowmobilers. This makes the trails
smoother to ride and it also keeps the
trails safer for travel. There are 65
grant sponsors and over 150 grooming

The winter of
2012/2013 there
were 23 fatal
accidents and
in the winter of
2013/2014 there
were 14 fatal
snowmobile accidents!
tractors that work on keeping the trails
in peak condition.
Traveling north on I-75, normally
the first location where you will find
a lot of snow is in Crawford County.
Grayling north to Fredric is a major
snow-belt all the way up to Gaylord.
Both shorelines on Lake Michigan
and Lake Huron up to the Mackinac
Bridge will receive large amounts of
lake effect snow throughout the winter. Most of the Upper Peninsula and
areas along Lake Superior receives a
lot of lake effect snow. Normally from
Christmas on, you can generally find
snow somewhere in Michigan to ride

your snowmobiles.
With over 205,000 of snowmobilers operating In Michigan you
are bound to run into large numbers
of snowmobilers riding at the same
time. Weekends are normally the peak
times. When you have a large amount
of sleds on the trails you are going to
have accidents.
As I recall when I worked out of
the Gaylord Office in the late 1990s
we normally had over 40 fatal snowmobile accidents in Michigan.
In the winter of 2012/2013 there

Snowmobiling North page 76

Dont Listen To The Negative Weather Forecasters...

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

Turn the electronics off, gear up and get outside!


W

74

hen temperatures are hovering around 0 degrees you


better have the right gear to
face those temps or it is very easy to
say forget it, we are staying inside,
and not to mention if there is any
wind!
Although there has been
an evident trend in more
women and girls hunting,
that doesnt necessarily
ring true with some other
statistics that state, Nearly
142 million people enjoyed
outdoor recreation, up about
800,000 since 2011.
While participation
among children and
young adults remained steady, participation among
adolescents dropped, dragged down
by low participation among adolescent girls.

As a mom of a soon to be teenage


girl I can see where if you dont spark
their interest in the outdoors early
on; they may never be interested, but
more importantly if you as a mom
dont value your own participation in
the outdoors it is very likely
an adolescent girl influenced
by her peers to dance, gossip
and post pictures on Instagram will not either.
Last month I wrote about
my curiosities in ice fishing,
since then I have taken the
time to throw up the shanty,
auger a few holes and
learn a few things
about ice fishing. Of
course, I have included my tribe along the way. As we
began our adventure out onto the ice
it quickly became clear that the boys
wanted to skate and play hockey and

By Tricia Croney

my daughter wanted to figure skate.


We all got skates and had a blast with
it.
The reality is skating and hockey
is action packed fun, I knew there
was no way I was convincing them
to come and sit and watch the hole
in the ice versus slapping that puck
around! But I still wanted to satisfy
my curiosities about what was beneath the ice, both of which involved
being outside during subzero temps.
So, I am going to veer off the
above subject for a minute to chastise
the weather reporting on the news. If
only they reported the weather in a
more positive light, more watchers
might become more curious about
getting geared up and getting outside. When they talk about the snow
falls and low temperatures in such a

Gear up and get outside page 76

My Thoughts, My Views, My OpinionsAnd Letters

This Land Is...Whose Land?

n Jan. 21, 2015 at the Shooting Hunting and Outdoor


Trade Show in Las Vegas,
the Theodore Roosevelt
Conservation Partnership
(TRCP) announced the formation of a
new program, Sportsmans Access. This
coalition supports a grassroots effort by
sportsmen to urge lawmakers to reject
any actions that would deprive citizens of
their public lands.
Currently, and especially in the
American West, efforts are underway to
get the federal government to transfer
ownership of public (federally-owned)
lands to the states.
We are committed to keeping public
lands in the publics hands so that current
and future generations of hunters and
anglers can continue to access and enjoy
them, said Joel Webster, director of the
TRCP Center for Western Lands.
According to a report issued by the
TRCP, Some claim that the states can
manage these lands much more efficiently
than the federal government and so ownership should be transferred to the states
in which they are located. Such plans

Michigans
Wolf decision
is foolish

Dear Woods-N-Water News:


Thanks so much for the publication
of a fine outdoor magazine. I read it
every month.
I know Im preaching to the choir
but as an avid hunter and fisherman of
50 plus years Ive now seen it all with
the return of the gray wolf to the endangered species list. Its time for sportsmen to speak out. Why spend the money
of Michigan Tax payers for the management of wildlife in a biologically sound
way if a Federal Judge, single handedly,
can over turn that work at the whim of
Human Society advocates?
The Sportsmen of Michigan ought
to rise up and demand that Judge Beryl
Howard be removed.
The biological facts and management plans put forth by the MDNR concerning the wolf are what the people of
Michigan voted for back in 1995. They
ought to be the prevailing practice for
our Great State. There are things in life
that are right and there are things in life
that are wrong. This recent foolishness
of returning the wolf to the endangered
species list and the hands of the Federal
Government for management is just
plain wrong!
David Roose
Cadillac, MI

are rife with shortcomings.


One shortcoming of such sales is
painfully obvious: Once privatized,
these lands will become off limits to most
sportsmen in perpetuity.
The TRCP report explains, If privatized, millions of acres of the nations
most valuable lands and waters would be
closed to public access, and an American
birthright would be lost.
The group predicts that once the lands
are transferred to the states the management practices will follow a single path:
industrialization wherever there are
resources to be extracted.
To that point Webster said, If we
think about these lands as commodities,
we wont ever get them back.
According to the TRCP, currently
various efforts are afoot across nine
Western states to wrest public lands away
from the federal government and put
them under state ownership.
An article, Letter from Nevada, by
Christopher Ketcham in the February
2015 issue of Harpers Magazine, traced
those efforts to single-minded, private
concerns: ranchers who crave more and
more grazing land allotments.
Ketcham noted that in 1946, the same
year that a merger between the Grazing Service and the General Land Office
produced the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), members of the American
National Livestock Association met in
Salt Lake City to discuss how best to
undermine what few regulations had
been placed on them they wanted the
federal government to transfer control of
all federal lands, including the national
parks, to the states. In short, they wanted
to be able to use federal lands our lands
for grazing their livestock without any
restrictions.
Overgrazing ruins the land. There is
no simpler way to put it. And historically

we see that ranchers dont concern themselves with this inconvenient truth. In the
1940s, historian Bernard DeVoto observed, Nothing suggests that cattlemen
and sheepmen are capable of regulating
themselves even for their own benefit,
still less the publics.
Amid the Sagebrush Rebellion of
the 1970s and 80s, during which time,
according to Ketchum, cattlemen pushed
a law through the Nevada state legislature declaring that federal public lands
were now the property of the state, the
American Legislative Exchange Council
(ALEC) was formed. It brought together
conservative state legislators and industry
representatives in closed-door sessions.
These sessions produced laws similar to
Nebraskas in Utah, Arizona, Wyoming
and New Mexico.
In April 2014, fifty state lawmakers
from nine Western legislatures got together in Salt Lake City for the Legislative
Summit on the Transfer of Public Lands.
Ketcham reported that 27 percent of all
state legislators are members of ALEC.
Using party ties to Congressional leaders
on the U.S. House Committee on Natural
Resources, which also controls the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation, ALEC has been able
to gain some traction in Washington and
with the new Congress stands a chance of
seeing some of its goals achieved.
Back out West, the ranchers are
viewed as heroes, rugged individuals
standing up to the Man. The thing is
though, by ruining the land for the good
of their businesses they are not stealing from the rich and giving to the poor;
theyre stealing from all Americans and
lining their own pockets.
Now, unless they hunt or fish out
West, though, Michigan readers might
think, So what? This really has nothing
to do with me.

But unless theyve hidden their heads


in the sand so deeply that no news ever
reaches them, theyll recognize the projections and outcomes described above as
potentially realistic.
Not the selling off of the federal lands
part. But the inability of the state to be
able to manage state lands, the allure
of easy money, and the potential loss of
the peoples land to outside, in this case
foreign, interests.
Briefly, the Michigan Department
of Natural Resources (DNR) is evaluating a proposal to sell off 10,000 or more
acres, of contiguous, prime forestland in
the eastern U.P. to Graymont, a British
Columbia-based mining company, North
Americas second largest supplier of lime
and lime-based products. The Michigan
Chapter of the Sierra Club quotes unnamed DNR personnel as having described it as the most productive forest
land in the area. The company wants to
mine for limestone there.
The efforts of the Sportsmens Access
program would not apply in Michigan
because it works towards halting the
transfer of federal lands to the states, not
on any sales between a state and a private
concern. But the Graymont situation is
clearly an example of what can happen
when officials identify a way to bring
money into the state while at the same
time ignoring their obligation to protect
what is seen as an American birthright.
The DNR is charged with selling
off surplus land, and even though this
parcel, according to Sierra Club Forest
Policy Specialist and forest ecologist
Marvin Roberson Marvin Roberson,
meets no previously established definition of surplus land, officials have
accepted a proposal from Graymont and
are currently considering it.

This land is...whose land? page 77

Michigan needs politically incorrectness


Dear Woods-N-Water News:
I am a huge fan and a faithful reader
of your publication. I just recently
finished the January edition and I would
like to respond to the great letter to the
editor by Tom Antor. I just want to say
that I agree with him WHOLE heartedly
and his politically incorrect views on
fixing Michigans deer hunting problems. Working my entire life for a local
law enforcement agency, let me just
comment on the DNR and poaching.
First of all, I too applaud their efforts in recent expansion of conservation
officer numbers and increase in fines
and penalties. The problem that I have
is that we should have never let our conservation officer numbers get that low to
begin with. Do we really expect onetwo officers to be able to cover an entire
county AND be able to do anything
about poaching?

I know all about budget cuts because


of a recession AND I realize that law
enforcement is only part of the budget
for the DNR, but if you want to be able
to at least slow down poaching, than
you have to have more officers. The
problem is, as is the problem with most
law enforcement in Michigan, we want
laws enforced, but we dont put a high
priority on hiring, and yes paying for
more law enforcement.
Secondly, I agree with Mr. Antor
on hunter recruitment. I come from a
hunting family. I grew up farming and
hunting with my family. I enjoyed the
family atmosphere and the anticipation
of opening day of both bow and gun
hunting season. I have taken more than
my share of nice bucks off of the family
farm, as have my brothers. For that we
are very grateful. But, why do we have
to have special hunts for everybody?

Our family does not allow hunting


during the youth season on our managed 160 acre farm because we feel if
our children want to hunt, and ours do,
than we take them DURING the regular
season, just like we did growing up. We
see it as just another way for the DNR
to obtain more funds. We have three
months of hunting in Michigan, why
do we need to give people, kids or not,
more time than that?
Its really hard to believe that it is
not just simply all about the money!
More license sales, more cash.
Our farm rules include; 1) pass on
little bucks and 2) one buckperiod! If
you need venison, than take a doe! Our
herd is healthier and it is fair for everyone. Why cant we do this in this great
state? If we cannot adhere by

More politically incorrectness page 77

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

By Thomas Carney

75

Letters And Hot Topics In Michigan Outdoors...


Snowmobiling Michigans North:
from page 74

were 23 fatal accidents and in the winter of 2013/2014 there were 14 fatal
snowmobile accidents. What I noticed
about the difference in fatal accidents
from the 2012/2013 to the 2013/2014
is the fact that in 2013/2014 we had
snow all over the state for most of the
winter. This would spread the riding
of sleds all over the entire state which
may indicate that there would be less
of a chance of accidents.
Of those 37 fatal accidents in those
two seasons, 24 of those were determined that the operator was under the
influence of alcohol or drugs.
Seventeen of the fatal accidents the
operator had a collision with a tree.
Almost all of the accidents involved
speed as a contributing factor in the
accident. Ten of the fatal accidents
happened in the Upper Peninsula and
the remainder in the Lower Peninsula.
Since retiring from the DNR I
have worked for a northern county
sheriffs department. One of the jobs
I have had was snowmobile enforcement. I have worked eight fatal
snowmobile accidents. All of those
accidents involved either alcohol or
speed or both.
I have also handled many accidents with injuries that were not fatal.

In most of the accidents speed, alcohol


and inexperience were major factors.
One such fatal accident I investigated
involved an out-of-state woman in her
late 60s. This was her first time riding
a snowmobile. She didnt own one.
She borrowed a very large machine
and was in the lead when she took a
curve too fast and ran right into a tree.
What I have learned from looking
at the accidents from the last two years
and the ones that I have handled is that
all of them could have been prevented.
Driving a snowmobile and alcohol
doesnt mix well. Its one thing to stop
at a bar along the trail for a meal and
maybe having a drink. Driving while
intoxicated is just wrong. Save the
drinking for the end of the day when
the machines are put away. Most people dont realize that if you operate a
snowmobile while under the influence
in an area open to the public, such as a
public road, parking lot, snowmobile
trail or on the frozen surface of a lake
you can be arrested and charged under
the motor vehicle code which would
have the same penalties as if you were
driving your personal vehicle.
Operating at a safe speed is also
very important. Most trails have just
enough room for two machines but

some dont. There are curves on the


trails and of course most of the trails
are in the woods. Trees are everywhere. Sometimes the trail is also on
a county road. Currently there is no
speed limit on the trails but the law
requires operators to operate in a safe
manner. If you are operating on the
shoulder of a road the speed limit for
your machine is the same speed limit
as for motor vehicles.
There are a lot of experienced operators out there and there are a lot of
people operating machines with little
to no experience. With snowmobiles
that can travel well over 100 miles per
hour and you add in the above mentioned safety concerns you will always
have a recipe for something bad to
happen.
Now, having said all that, when
you realize how many snowmobiles
we have in Michigan, the vast amount
of trails and that most people operate in a safe manner, its a pretty safe
sport to be involved in. But one fatal
accident is one to many.
Conservation Officer John Morey,
the Snowmobile and ORV Coordinator for the Law Enforcement Division
of the DNR said that safety education
and reducing the amount of signage
on the trails has helped reduced the
amount of accidents that we have had
in Michigan.
There is a large push for snow-

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mobile safety classes being held in


Michigan each year. They are provided by some snowmobile clubs, sheriff
departments and the DNR.
Michigan along with other states
have reduced the amount of signage
on the trails and improved their placement so that operators are spending
less time looking for the signs and
more time watching the trail in front
of them. Keeping the trails better
groomed has also helped.
There are a number of law enforcement agencies that have snowmobile enforcement grants. Just about
every sheriff department that has
snowmobile trails in their counties has
a snowmobile grant. Some city police
departments as well as township
police departments have trails going
through their areas and are active in
enforcement as well as Conservation
Officers and State Troopers who enforce snowmobile laws in Michigan.
Other laws that you should pay
close attention to is that you must ride
with the flow of traffic if you are operating on a county road. You must have
your headlights on and wear a helmet.
You cant ride on a state highway (any
road starting with an M, i.e. M-93). If
your drivers license is suspended or
revoked you cant ride a snowmobile
and you cant ride or cross a freeway.
To find all of the laws on snowmobiles
and the use of them you can google
them on-line or you can obtain a
snowmobile safety booklet from your
local DNR office. It is important to
be safe to enjoy the thousands of trail
miles that we have in Michigan.
Author is Jeff Pendergraff, a
retired captain with the Law Enforcement Division of the DNR.n

Gear up
and get outside:
from page 74

negative light it is no wonder people


rationalize not getting outside!
To satisfy my curiosities, as the
tribe played hockey and skated I set
up fishing nearby knowing that my
curiosity would become their curiosity. It did, they would come over
check it out, of course ask me why
I wasnt catching anything and go
between that and hockey.
There is so much to be explored
outdoors, during every beautiful
season we have, whether it be an
outdoor sport or the sport of hunting
and fishing, simply turn off the TV,
gear up and get out!
There are several organizations
that are eager to see more women
and girls enjoying the wonder and
adventure that the outdoors offers.
As always I invite your comments, feedback and if you have a
story you would like to share, feel
free to email it to me tricia@prettyhunter.com.n

My Thoughts, My Views, My Opinions...And Letters

Maybe we are the reason for not seeing many deer?


getting a false idea of how many deer are
in our areas. This year, after a snow, I quit
hunting early and took a stroll through the
woods. Guess what? I saw more deer in
30 minutes than I sighted in thirteen days
of sitting. Now, I am disabled and walk
funny because of stroke. I cant shoot
a rifle without a rest, so this was just a
chance to see deer.
I remember the days we usually saw
twenty deer opening day in the area we

Dear Woods-N-Water News:


What is going on at the Michigan
DNR? For two years now, the DNR has
said that according to their scientific studies, bear numbers were way down in the
UP, so they needed to cut bear tags by 30
percent per year. Now they are saying
that those studies were all wrong, and
now according to their latest scientific
study, bear numbers are actually stable or
increasing. So what do they do?
They decide to further cut bear
tags! At the same time saying that bear
nuisance complaints are way up over past
years due to reduced bear harvest. What
are they thinking?
Part of their logic in reducing tags
is because a group of bear hunters were
asked if they want to see more bears, or
less bears. What did they expect them
to say? Of course they want to see more
bears! So lets further curb hunters ability to hunt and see bear, even though the
latest study said that bear numbers have

been stable or increasing. If they polled


a group of deer hunters in the Lower Peninsula with the same question regarding
deer, it is reasonable to expect them to say
they want to see more deer. Duh!
So what does the DNR do down there,
they continue to pass out doe tags like
candy and allow a three month season, reducing deer numbers as much as possible.
According to my math, from 2013
(11,742 tags) to the current recommendations (6,691 tags,) the DNR will have
reduced bear tags available by 43 percent,
that isnt management.
Any support Ive had in the past for the
DNRs resource management ability has
pretty much evaporated. I dont know if
the decisions they make are because of
political pressure, or just plain ineptitude,
but they continue to make no reasonable
sense whatsoever.
Sincerely,
Judd Knaup
Bellevue, MI

Bear population up...bear tags down?

This land is...whose land? from page 75


In an interview with the online site
Electablog in June 2014, Roberson
said, Graymonts action is like if you
went to a garage sale, and you didnt see
anything you wanted. But then you saw
a nice television inside the house and
decided you wanted that, instead.
The problem is, of course, that this
television belongs to the people of Michigan.
The job of Michigans politicians and
agencies is attend to the well being of
Michigans people and its resources. Allowing this proposal to go through would
default on both responsibilities. The
end game to this proposal would have a
foreign company removing the land from
Michigans citizenry, destroying some of
Michigans natural resources, removing
some others, and stashing the profits into
foreign pockets.
Proponents of the sale maintain it will
bring some jobs to the area and that the
state stands to make millions in fees for
its portion of the sale of any limestone
shipped from the mines over the next 100
years.
Opponents argue that the jobs wont
offset the loss of the combination of tourist dollars that come to the area plus the
value of the land for outdoor recreation.
In other words, proceeds from a land
sale, even if scheduled to last 100 years,
are only temporary. Land itself, however,
is forever.

To view a copy of the report, Locked


Out: Public Lands Transfers Threaten
Sportsmens Access, visit the TRCP
website: www.trcp.org.
For more information on the Sportsmens Access Program:
www.sportsmensaccess.org.
THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS
At the deadline, a report from CMU
Public Radio News said, Graymont mining has made an offer to purchase more
than 10,000 acres of land in the eastern
U.P. The DNR has rejected the proposal
for now.
According to Bill ONeill, Chief of
the DNRs Forest Resources division, the
deal is not dead.
A public meeting on this issue was
scheduled for Newberry on Jan. 28, after
the deadline for this story. However,
according to a press release from the
DNR, there are multiple ways people can
provide comments about the proposals.
Aside from the public meeting in
Newberry, the public will have an opportunity to make comments at upcoming
NRC meetings. Also, comments may be
emailed to DNR-GraymontProposalComments@michigan.gov. Finally, comments
can be sent through the U.S. Mail to the
Roscommon Customer Service Center,
ATTN: Kerry Wieber, 8717 N. Roscommon Road, Roscommon, MI 48653.
Comments will be accepted until a
decision is made.n

hunted around Grayling. Did we really


see that many different deer or the same
ones over and over? Also, it used to be
we were happy to see a hunter walking
through the other woodlot, that meant
they might move the deer. Fact is, I have
shot my share of bucks that some hunter
sent my way.
Either way, whether you sight a deer,
shoot one or just pick up some tracks,
you now have a firsthand idea of the deer
population in your area. Needless to say,
during your bow hunting efforts we are
dependent upon pre-season scouting,
proper placement of the stand(s), scent
control, and just completing the job by
accurate arrow placement.
Do I want to say we should not just
sit in our blinds 50-200 yards removed
from the edge of a cornfield or woods?
No. But, I do want to say that lack of deer
sightings is not always because the absence of deer. What I believe is that those
deer we dont see are just resting in their

bedding areas and we just let them sleep


the day away.
If you sit in your blind, see few deer
and dont like it maybe we could learn
to be a still hunter. If they wont come
to you, go to them. Yes, you might just
see a lot of tails at first. But as you learn
you will get better. The deer you dont
see might just make the day for another
hunter. But he might just make the day
for you.
Of course, property lines and safety
are of prime concern. I guess what I want
you to do is just what you find most enjoyable for you. Just thought that maybe
what we think we are seeing or not seeing
is not always the true picture. Of course
there are always other factors for deer
sighting. But, before we say the deer
are gone or just wont move in daylight
maybe there might be more to the picture
than what we see from our point of view.
Selden Novotny
Hart, MI

Doe permits increase after worst winter?


Dear Woods-N-Water News:
Grandpa, there are all kinds of bones
scattered along the swamp, declared my ten
year-old grandson. He and his mother had
just returned from a late April 2014 mushrooming venture on our property in Leelanau
Township. The next day I went scouting the
area he described and, sure enough, bones
were everywhere in and along the outside of
the swamp for about 200 yards. It was evident
to me that about three to four deer had died,
apparently from the brutal 2013-2014 winter.
Further into the woods, I found more bones.
Four months later, I was completely
astonished to see the DNR increase the
number of antlerless deer permits to applying hunters for this specific area. How could
that be? In the past the number of doe permits
was always set after DNR field personnel had
surveyed deer survival numbers from the past
winters. I had known several of these DNR
employees and marveled about how they
determined deer numbers from grids, pellet
counts, carcasses, etc.
In college I earned a major in science,
taught it in public schools, and was supportive of the DNR personnel who spent time
in the field to use first-hand science analysis
to manage and set the next years hunting
regulations. So, I was baffled as to how the
DNR could significantly increase the number
of doe permits to an all-time high this century
when the winter of 2013-2014, with 265
measured inches of snow or 22 feet, was one
of the worst ever.
From reports from my hunting friends,
they also found evidence of a lot of winter

kill on their properties. So, I began asking


questions and doing research. These increased doe permits did not come from the
field biologists and DNR officers recommendations, but rather from collusion at
the top level between Farm Bureau leaders
representing orchardists and Department of
Agriculture officials. The DNR field office in
Traverse City informed me that they have a
three-year plan to regulate any deer harvests
in Leelanau County.
My question, in view of the worst winter
in many, many years and readily observable
deer losses, is where is the data to support
increasing permits? In the past the DNR has
used science to base resource management
decisions. Are we now using politics? Has the
DNR now lost its ability to stand up against
special interest groups?
Hunters, beware of the changing landscape and plan accordingly. If you treasure
and really love deer hunting, wake up. Excessive harvests do jeopardize the fragile and
delicate balance of the resources.
In my opinion, we need to urgently discuss the proliferation of special seasons from
Sept. to January, which is way overboard and
so are all these new multiple program for
orchardists who claim crop damage but refuse
to fence properties or allow access to other
hunters. Those of us older hunters remember the 1952 fiasco and the many long years
it took for the deer herd to recover. Is that
where we are heading again?
Sincerely,
G.F. Bourdo
Northport, MI

More politically incorrectness from page 75

these rules, maybe we need to shorten


the seasons, as Tom Antor suggested.
Shorten the bow season by a couple of
weeks and if the DNR feels the need to
have a youth hunt, than have a bow
or crossbow only, the first weekend of
October. No September hunting . . . For
anybody!
As Antor put it, we need common
sense put back into the DNR. A former
supervisor of mine told me when it comes
to law enforcement, When what we do
becomes 100 percent all about money,

everybody is in trouble!
At the age of 50 I gladly join Antors
official old geezer club. If that means
more common sense and less political
correctness, maybe that is what this entire
state needs. Our greatest big game animal
should be maintained with the thought of
the herd, hunters and funding, equally. If
its all about money the deer AND hunters
are going to suffer.
Lifelong Michigander
Todd Brooks
Edmore, MI

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

Dear Woods-N-Water News:


We keep hearing about lack of deer
sightings and the deer are nocturnal.
Well, maybe the problem is ushunters.
With the use of portable and fixed blinds
being placed at the edge of many woods
and no one venturing into the woods, it is
quite probable that we sit for hours within
yards of many deer and dont see them.
I am not against blind hunting, but
maybe by using one I and others may be

77

TROPHY PAGES

Zachary Jackson took his


first buck this monster 9-pt in
Washtenaw Co. Nov. 29.

Joel Yatzek of Hudson took


this trophy 13-pt. Nov. 7
after grunting him in.

Craig
Hansen of
Watervliet
harvested
this beautiful 10-pt.
Nov. 7,
hunting in
Van Buren
County. His
5-year-old
daughter,
Olivia, was
very proud
of her
Daddy!

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

Eric Wilcox took the record book


buck near Swartz Creek, the 9-pt.
scored 147 5/8.

Jack Lavery of Central Michigan


got a second chance to spear
this pike and made it count on
the 36 inch, 14 pounder on Feb
2. Jack's grandson Jake took his
first pike on a tip-up, a 27 incher.

Ann Lavery has become addicted to trout fishing through


the ice! She had a unforgettable
New Years Day landing this 7 lb.
splake and a 21 brown.

78

Hunter Garchow's took


his first deer during the
youth hunt on his families hunting property in
Iosco Co.

Eight-year-old
Jacob Garris
on Potters
Lake near Lapeer with two
10" crappies.

(lt-rt) John
Morey,
8-pt. Bryce
Crook
8-pt. and
Bethany
Lenahan
7-pt, all
three
bucks
taken Nov.
15 in
Isabella Co

Brendan
Schanick, 10
with a doe
he shot on
state land
in Rose City
and Emily
Schanick, 10
took her first
turkey on
her first ever
hunt.

Jayce Barr, hunting with Travis


Maher took this unusual black
coyote in the Thumb area.

Jackson Kimes, 11 years old hunting


with his dad during the youth hunt,
took his first buck, a 5-pt. in Mason Co.
using his Grandpa's 270 Ruger.

Cousin's
Ellie Himebauch (lt)
12-yearsold, from
Maybee,
and Kendall
Himebauch
13-yearsold from LaSalle, each
bagged
their first
buck in
Charlevoix
Co. on the
same day.
Ellie's is a
7-pt. and
Kendall's is
an 8-pt.

TROPHY PAGES

Steve Jones of
Caledonia took this
monster nicknamed,
Brutus from trail
camera photos. On
Nov. 11 he arrowed
the Kent Co. 5
year buck!

Skip Collis of Watervliet took this


huge buck at 7:20 a.m. Nov. 15
near Keeler. Its Skips second record book buck in four years!

Bob
Collins
of
Oxford
took
this
beautiful
Bobcat
in the
Hubbard
Lake
area.

Nate Weingartz of
North Branch took
this nice buck, hunting
Lapeer Co. Nov. 16.

Brandon Buchanan,
11-years-old took his first
bobcat near Iron River.

Philp
Baumhardt
took this
nice 8-pt.
with a
broken
brow tine
on public
land near
Atlanta.

Ben Snyder of Vestaburg with a 14 inch


crappie caught on
Lake Isabella weighed
2.4 pounds.
Dave
Pedder
took
his
first
deer
Nov.
16
near
Evan Davis, 14 of Westland took
Black
this 8 foot gator taken in MooreLake.

Jason Himebauch,
10-years-old of Maybee, bagged a 6-pt. in
the velvet, in Charlevoix Co. This is his
second buck. He took
a 3 point last year.

Squirrel
hunting
and calling
expert Ken
Wilson of
Twin Lake
took this
rare white
tipped
tail black
squirrel
hunting
state land.

2014 Success For The Hall Family: (lt-rt) wife and husband, Rebecca and Howard Hall (83) took their bucks
while sitting on stand together Nov. 15 in Iosco Co. Granddaughters Megan Hall and Rachel Coggins took
6-pts. Nov. 15 and 17 also in Iosco Co. Colton Coggins took his 8-pt. Oct. 19 in Clare Co., Adam Hall took a
9-pt. during muzzleloader season in Tuscola Co. and Phil Allard took a 5-pt. Nov. 5 in Genesee Co.

Julie Swan took this 23


lb. tom with a 9" beard
in Berrien Co. with a 7
yard shot!

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

haven Florida with a .308.

79

Vacation Confessions:

Romancing Michigans Winter

arch is the perfect month


for late winter romancing of the woods; and
that differs from romancing in the woods. And
for a dyed-in-the-wool,
adventure-seeking tree hugger like me
the opportunities for winter adventures
of every sort are endless in
the northwestern corner of the
Lower Peninsula. This tale
of dog sleds, five-star Crystal
Mountain luxury, and a cozy
little motel that embraces
the rugged shoreline of Lake
Michigan and Sleeping Bear
Dunes majestic Empire Bluff
sprang to life the first weekend
of February.
This story is
in fact a tale of
two places on a two day working adventure with my compatriots and companions from the Michigan Outdoor Writers
Association. Crystal Mountain was our
host and the site was perfect. I love that
place. The food was perfect. How about
a desert of Strawberry Crme Brulee
after Boneless Short Ribs -- slow cola

braised. But I did not stay at the resort.


We shall explore where I stayed a bit
later; and why. And that will be the true
confession and something to keep in
mind if you enjoy raw and radiant walks
in the woods even in the waning month
of winter.
Now mind you, Crystal Mountain
is totally awesome. It grabs
your attention and not for one
moment will you be at a loss at
what to do. Crystal has winter
adventures and amenities that
suit almost every need including zapping-fast snowboarding
and downhill skiing and some
pretty darn good cross country skiing trails that embrace
woodlands and
cruise over
snow-capped
golf greens. And it is rich with all sorts
of enticing programs and recreational
opportunities that let visitors savor
the season in style and with luxury.
And where else can one get a DEEP
FOREST MASSAGE which Crystal
Mountain defines as, A full body massage that uses a blend of pine, sage and

By Jonathan Schechter

Church Tackle Co.

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pulled me through the twists and turns


on the trail and my brain stimulated
by watching ravens in flight. I still do
not know what pink peppercorn is, but
now I know Gee is the command for
right turn and Haw is for left turn. I
would not have learned that during a
body massage. The point I am making
is there is something for everyone at
Crystal Mountain but some of us need
to take the path less followed to fully
embrace nature. We NEED that walk in
the woods. Its a form of cheap therapy.
Tree-huggers understand.
I am the type of guy that wants to
be on my own and not feel like being
part of an army of ants lining up at a ski
lift; even if they are happy and friendly
and flirty ants. It is possible to escape
the crowds at Crystal if you set off on
snowshoes on seldom traversed terrains
but in my mind I would know I am still
at a resort and for me that makes the
difference. And so on both nights after
taking part in events at Crystal I drove
slowly along snow-packed roads to the
tiny town of Empire and stayed at the
Empire Lakeshore Inn, barely a stones
throw from the headquarters of Sleeping

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Cut-bait Head Flips up to easily to insert herring strip,
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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

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80

pink peppercorn to detoxify and clarify.


This stimulating, light to medium massage features a eucalyptus inhalation
treatment and targets pressure points to
relieve sinus congestion. A wonderful
service to enjoy during the cold and flu
season.
I passed on their sensual sounding
winter spa opportunity. And instead of
taking off clothes I added a few layers and tromped on over to Sled Dog
Express nestled away in the Northwest
corner of the resort to meet their marvelous musher Melissa. She hooked up her
sled dogs and before the ravens could
finish their raucous chorus the yapping
sled dogs fell silent and we were careening between richly scented evergreens
and over meadows of sparkling snow.
I planning on boasting that I became
a master musher of Michigan at our
writers dinner meeting until I discovered that even a two year old (accompanied by an adult) can partake in these
amazingly fun and informative Crystal
mountain sled dog rides. And for less
than half the price of the 80 minute
full body message my sinus congestion
evaporated in the cold air as the dogs

Adjustment holes along side let you


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Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.


Empire Lakeshore Inn is a cozy,
quaint and mostly quiet place with attractively simple rooms with all the necessities including internet access and a
very rich reward included in the modest
price: A five minute walk transports
guests to the raw and icy radiance of
Lake Michigans shoreline. And heres
a tip for ice-fishers, you need not a haul
a shanty if you plan ahead and make
reservations. The Inn advertises, Stay
and Play! 2 night Stay and 2 Day Ice
Shanty Rental!
The small village of Empire has
about 400 people and is a peaceful
paradise full of outdoor activities; and
the gateway to Sleeping Bear Dunes
National Lakeshore with over 100 miles
of trails and fishing and hunting opportunities. In winter some Empire shops
and stores are closed, but Joes Friendly
Tavern remains open and is just down
the street. And next door to the Inn is
Empire Outdoors. Six vehicles were
parked in the Inns lot on Saturday
morning and most had ice fishing gear.
The ice shanty rentals are convenient
when travelling on a whim and winds
are howling and fish are biting. Proprietors Megan and her husband Pete will
toss in fishing location tips for free.
And hour before heading back to

and ride between their trees.


Visit crystalmountain.com for information on Crystal Mountain Resort,
12500 Crystal Mountain Dr. Thompsonville, Michigan and
empirelakeshoreinn.net for details
on the Empire Lakeshore Inn, 11730
South Lacore Road, Empire, MI.
Jonathan Schechter is a naturalist/
paramedic and Wilderness EMT in
Brandon Township and the Nature Education Writer for Oakland County Parks.
JonathanSchechter@Frontier.netn

Hot Shot Outfitters


Ray Hoody

What better way to romance the woods than from a dog sled. Jonathan Schechter photo
the bustle of Oakland County I trudged was all the confirmation I needed to
up Empire Bluff for a goodbye salute to romance the woods as tree-hugger; in
the snowy forest and the icy lake below. solitude and silence. But on my next
winter trip up to Empire and the Inn I
Ravens were my companions, again.
will stop at Crystal Mountain first and
I thought about the words of Thoreau,
perhaps try some Fat Bike exploration
We need the tonic of wildness. That

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81

Sporting Collectibiles...By Terry McBurney

Two
Fishing
Rods
I
One Made Of Steel
And The Other Of Tonkin Cane Bamboo

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

normally write about fishing lures, fishing


reels and fishing accessories - key equipment needed to catch fish. Recently, I have
run across a number of antique fishing rods,
another vital part of fishing gear, and I have
decided to write about some of these unique
fishing rods. Here are the first two that I hope will
be of interest to my readers.
The first rod is a telescopic steel fishing rod that
I originally saw as part of an antique tackle display in 2009. I had been invited to give the owner
historical information on what was in the display.
I also found some great examples of vintage lures,
reels and fishing accessories - all dating from
around 1900. Having never seen a rod like it, I later
discovered that it had been manufactured by the
Horton Manufacturing Company of Bristol, Connecticut and was their Model #1 Bristol 9-ft. 6-inch
steel bass fishing rod. It measured 32-inches in
length when telescoped down into the butt section

Bristol 9 -ft. Telescopic rod, a Meek Blue Grass


casting reel atop the book, Tricks and Knacks of
Fishing published by Horton in 1911. Author photo
and weighed 11 -ozs. The rod was offered with
either a maple handle or a celluloid-wrapped handle
and sold for $3.50 and $4.00 respectively when
introduced in 1887.
There were several surprising things about the
Bristol rod that I liked when I first handled it. First,
the action was surprisingly good, a very fishable
rod. The rod bent nicely from above the first joint
all the way to the tip. It had a parabolic action and
was probably designed primarily for bass fishermen
who fished with live minnows. Secondly, there were
no guides, just a small tiptop. The line ran off the
reel and through a hole in the wood handle above
the reel seat and then all the way through the center
of the rod and out the tip.
Everett Horton, a talented machinist, manufacturer and inventor, was born January 14, 1842
in Bristol, Connecticut. Bristol was best known
as a clock-making city in the 19th century, and it
is where Horton became a skilled machinist first
working in the Dunbar clock factory making clock
trimmings, pendulum balls, etc. He worked at this
trade for a number of firms in the area until 1885
when he opened his own small machine shop. He

A Lucky Strike by Oliver Kemp from 1904 - one of the outdoor-themed paintings commissioned by Hor-

82 ton for their popular selling calendars and color prints. Courtesy of Langs Auctions, Inc.

held many patents on such diverse items as automobile tires, horsewhips, clock pendulums and other
clock parts, window sash fasteners, numerous metal
working machines, but his best-known patent was
for his telescopic steel fishing rod.
He applied for this patent on September 6, 1886
and patent #359153 was granted March 8, 1887.
The patent called for an improvement in fishingrods, the object being to produce a light and compact rod of superior convenience, elasticity, and
durability, and one in which the line is protected
against entanglement throughout the length of the
rod. The company started manufacturing steel rods
in 1887, but three years later in 1890 Horton sold
all of his rights under the U.S. and Canadian patents to three partners, Charles. F. Pope, president,
Charles. F. Treadway, treasurer, and W. H. Bacon,
secretary, who formed a new company to manufacture Hortons invention. Everett Horton died February 21, 1912 at the age of seventy.
His telescopic rod invention was the foundation
for the company that steadily grew into one of the
dominant fishing tackle manufacturers in the United
States. The earliest Horton Manufacturing Company catalog I have found was the 1898 edition featuring four pages of telescopic bass rods and three
pages of telescopic fly rods. They also cataloged
4-section steel casting and fly rods similar to other
competitors steel rods. These were durable and
easy to carry alternatives to the bamboo rods on the
market. The 4-sectioned casting rods ranged from
7-ft. to 10-ft. styles, and the 4-sectioned fly rods
ranged from 9-ft. to 10-ft. models. Prices varied
from $4.50 to a high of $8.50 based on the kind of
handle used, whether agate guides and tiptops were
installed rather than less expensive ones, whether
the rod came with nickel-plated brass furnishings
or German silver ones, and whether the rod came
finished in the less expensive black enamel or a
chromed finish.
The company continued to add new styles to
their fishing rod line including steel rods for the
saltwater angler. Horton also developed a different telescopic rod series with guides in 1921 that
could be extended to any length - full length to
shorter lengths, which gave the rod a stiffer action.
Originally, they offered bait casting versions as well
as fly rods. Soon, they built a convertible version
where the handle could be pulled from the bottom
section of the rod and then reversed, so that it could
be used either as a fly rod or as a bait casting rod.
These new telescopic rods proved an immediate
runaway success, and they continued building them
until closing their doors in 1950.
They also acquired a number of complementary
tackle manufacturers. Their first acquisition was

the E. J. Martins Sons line company of Rockville,


Connecticut and their well-known Kingfisher silk
casting lines and fly lines in 1916. Their second
acquisition was also in 1916 with the purchase
of B. F. Meek and Sons of Louisville, Kentucky
and the world famous line of Meek and Bluegrass
casting reels. Their last acquisition was the E. William Edwards and Sons Company, manufacturer of
finely crafted bamboo rods - bait casting, fly rods
and salt-water models in 1931.
Horton was not only one of the leading tackle
manufacturers during the sixty-plus years they were
in business, but they also were one of the largest
advertisers in the popular outdoor magazines of the
day. Many outdoor magazines included full-page
Bristol ads featuring great looking photographs of
anglers in action. They also promoted themselves
by commissioning the foremost artists of the time
to create calendar art for them featuring outdoor
fishing scenes. Annually, they sold out of their
popular calendars as well as prints of their calendar.
Several of the famous American artists featured on
the Bristol calendars include Philip R. Goodwin, N.
C. Wyeth and Oliver Kemp.
The second fishing rod I think worth writing
about is a light action bamboo casting rod I re-

One of many full page Horton ads promoting Bristol


rods, Meek reels and Kingfisher silk lines that ran
in outdoor magazines during the 1910s and 1920s.
From the August 1920 issue of Outers Recreation.

cently found one at a show in Ferndale, Michigan.


I picked it up and flexed it to see if it was another
stiff bamboo casting rod. I was amazed - the action
was relatively light with a fast tip, and I knew it
would be perfect for throwing smaller lures. The
rod was in fair condition and needed to be refinished, but the cork handle was good and the rest
of the fittings appeared to be 100% original. Two
other things stood out and surprised me. First, it
had an unusual black Pyralin spiral-locking reel
seat. Secondly, it measured 6-ft. 3-inches long
- again unusual because almost all bamboo freshwater casting rods measured 4 , 5, 5 or 6-ft. in
length.
At first, I believed it was a Heddon bamboo rod
made in Dowagiac, Michigan. Heddon made some
good-looking bamboo casting rods and built them
with a short butt and long tip style - the same as
my new find. This moved the ferrule closer to the
stiffer butt section allowing the longer tip to better
bend its full length. The rod cast better with greater
accuracy and equalized the strain of fighting a fish
over its long tip. Heddon also offered a Pyralin
spiral-locking reel seat during the mid-1920s.
However, my spiral reel seat was not identical to
Heddons, so with the help of bamboo rod expert,
Mike Simcik of Spring Lake, Michigan, we started
looking elsewhere.
An obscure Brooklyn, New York bamboo rod
maker, John G. Landman, had patented the spirallocking reel seat in 1890. His patent #434793
called for a simple, inexpensive way of efficient
fastening by which the reel may be quickly, easily
and securely attached to a rod or may be detached.
Landmans spiral-locking reel seat is an ingenuous way to mount a reel onto a rod handle. The
angler places the reels foot in the reel seat and then
twists the German silver band down no more than a
quarter turn and the reel is locked on the handle. It
is just as fast in reverse - turn the band the opposite
direction and the reel comes off the handle. This
reel seat proved popular with tournament casters
who needed to change reels quickly when they
were competing. My rod, however, was not that
old, so we knew another manufacturer had made it.
After some digging, Mike discovered that the black
Pyralin handle and the manufacturing style identified the rod as a Goodwin Granger light trout or
tournament casting rod from about 1930.
The Goodwin Granger Rod Company began as
a small rod shop in Denver, Colorado in 1918 and
grew as Grangers reputation for making superbly
designed bamboo rods spread. Sadly, Goodwin
Granger died in 1931 and production was taken
over by Bill Phillipson, his top employee. The company continued making top quality bamboo rods
until the start of WWII when the plant closed. The
Wright McGill Company, also of Denver, took over
Goodwin Granger in 1946 and started manufacturing bamboo rods under the Wright and McGill Rod
Company and the Granger names.

The front of Horton Manufacturings 3-story brick


building in Bristol, Connecticut, circa 1915. From the
book, Bristol Business & Industry by Lynda J Russell
bench, possibly by Bill Phillipson.
Thanks to Jerry Martin, Tom Penniston and
Bill Muth for their help researching Horton Manufacturing. I would also like to acknowledge Lynda
J. Russells 2010 book, Bristol Business & Industry. Thanks also to Mike Simcik for his skill and
knowledge when it comes all things that have to do
with antique bamboo fishing rods.n

ITS SPORT SHOW TIME AGAIN....


Grand Rapids
Ultimate Sport Show
March 19 - 22, 2015
DeVos Place
Dick VanRaalte and I will again be setting
up our antique displays at the Ultimate Sport
Show in Grand Rapids. I will be exhibiting my
Made in Michigan fishing tackle collection
and offering free appraisals on old tackle brought into the show.
Dick VanRaalte, from Starboard Marine Restorations in Grand
Haven, Michigan, will be exhibiting one of his restored classic
boats along with a display of vintage outboard motors. Dick will
also be answering your questions and offering free appraisals.
Bring in your fathers or grandfathers tackle box, old rods and
reels, or a vintage outboard motor. We will be happy to answer
your questions, as well as offering FREE appraisals. We are also
interested in buying old sporting collectibles for our collections.
Please stop by and enjoy our displays. We will see you there.

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

A Goodwin Granger 6-ft 3-inch light trout and tournament


bamboo bait-casting rod with a spiral-locking reel seat - a
simple twist would lock the reel on the rod. Author photo

Best known for their fly rods, Goodwin Granger also produced a lineup of bamboo casting rods
including their top-of-the-line Premier series with
six models ranging from 4 -ft. to 6-ft. in length.
There were also two 6-ft. Premier Tournament
models designed for tournament casting - one to
throw 3/8-oz. casting weights and the other 5/8-oz.
casting weights in accuracy competition. The
Premier casting rods were expensive selling for
$30 each in 1930, which converts to over $400 in
todays dollars! The catalog drawing looked identical to my rod except for the length, as my rod was
6-ft. 3-inches in length. After some discussion, we
guessed that the rod was made as a special order by
a Goodwin Granger rod builder on their custom rod

83

Reader Trail Cam Photos


Send your Reader Trail-Cam Photos to:
wnw@pageone-inc.com

Joshua Keller of
Auburn Hills sent
us this photo from
his backyard trail
cam. This nice
buck comes in
every so often
and scares off the
other deer. Joshua
enjoys watching the wildlife
and has many
trail cam photos
he will be sharing with us in the
future.

Debbie Tison of Goodrich sent in this photo of a


rare white squirrel that lives in her backyard. She
thought our readers would like seeing it.

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

Brian Sluck of Chesterfield Twp. shares this trail cam photo of


this great looking buck from St. Clair County. This photo was
taken during last season.

84

Gary Boyd got this trail cam photo of a black


bear in Crawford County. This bear seems to be
resting, most likely from dragging Garys feeder
over a hill and into a cedar swamp.

Joe Zedeck of Paw Paw in Van Buren County


captured these coyotes in his backyard. Its hard
to see in the photo but his says the mange is noticeable on these pesky critters.

Dan Kass got this photograph of a whitetail jumping a dog fence


in Lowell, near the Flat River game area.

Larry Piotrowski sent us this trail cam of


a big 8-pointer looking for food. He is
still holding his antlers on January 29th.

It may be a little hard to tell but this


was a trail cam photo provided by Tom
Toth of a Raber, Michigan cow moose.

Lauren Trainer
of Bellevue
captured
the trail cam
photo above
of a very nice
10-pointer on
a snowy night
and this very
curious doe to
the right.
Tim Foutch got this interesting trail cam photo of Gladwin
County black bears, one with a carrot sticking out of her
mouth. There are a few cubs shown in the picture as well.

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

Shaun Sullivan sent


us these impressive
trail cam photos from
Baraga County of
two separate moose.
They were taken
several months apart,
the locations were
within 1/2 mile of one
another. The photo
from January
has a second bull in
the background with
a missing antler. The
moose in the August
photo showed up
every couple of days
over a two week
period during
midday.

85

For Better Hunting...By Joe Delaney

New inline technology

here is good news for todays


muzzleloaders. However,
there are so many duplicating
components in the marketplace that its sometimes
confusing. As a range safety
officer I enjoy helping others
zero in their rifles. Off the gun range I
help many friends and acquaintances
clean and prep their rifles for off season shooting/storage. Unfortunately,
there is a lot of misunderstanding in
this black powder shooting/cleaning
business. I know, I was there initially
as a confused novice, more than a few
years ago.
Today there are some great new
rifles available, all with some very
admirable traits. Undoubtedly, however, the new Remington model 700
Ultimate inline is the standard to
judge all others. Originally designed
by Ken Johnston, from Okemos, this
is the only muzzleloader to completely burn four pellets pyrodex (200 gr.)
and drive a 300 grain bullet over 2400
fps. with no blow back and clean-up is Authors first deer with Ultimate Inline Muzzleloader using the very accurate
a breeze. (Review at www.remington- Barnes all copper bullet that expands 200 percent., even at close ranges.

FIND US ON YOUR
FAVORITE
SOCIAL MEDIA
PLATFORMS!

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

like and follow us to stay up-to-date


with shows, events, news, contests,
photos, new products, etc.

86

ultimatemuzzleloader).
I shot my first deer with an original Ultimate BP Xpress back in 2004.
I love that rifle and trained with it
regularly; but that is another story.
Todays focus is on a few of the
fundamentals and the components of
good shooting. Much of this information and knowledge was mostly
taught to me by the leading experts.
These are the technicians from the
companies that made the product.
(Most good companies have their own
website.) Years ago, as a competitive
round ball shooter, I was sponsored by
Thompson Center Arms. Technical
support was only a phone call away,
thank goodness.
Always bare in mind that no inline
muzzleloader is any better than its
maintenance and its loading format. In
fact, consistency in loading, shooting
and maintenance are major keys to
good ignition and down range accuracy. A solid one piece range rod
with a universal fitting jag and muzzle
protector is an absolute necessity. All
good black powder shooters use one.

Woods-N-Water
News
Hunting and Fishing
3.2K Likes
Like

Check In

Call

Important Components

Hodgdon Triple Seven magnum


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Harvester crush rib sabots very
are accurate and 50% easier reloading
www.harvestermuzzeloading.com
Barnes (all copper) Mz Expander 300 gr. Bullets provide deep

penetration, double diameter expansion, 100% weight retention. They are


very accurate with all loads. 1-800574-9200 www.barnesbullets.com
My preferred cleaning solvent
SP3 is a penetrating oil and an ideal
solvent for cleaning and wiping between shots. www.sp3sales.com
When bench shooting I carry
three small glass jars that dont blow
off the bench like plastic bags. They
are as follow: One;
3 oz. flat jar
(i.e. pickle relish jar) filled with about
fifty 2 dry patches. Two; 3 oz. flat jar
filled with wet saturated patches for
cleaning between shots. Three; 5-8oz.
jar for the dirty patches. Some lightly
soiled patches can be washed and
recycled.
Expect to use 25-50, 2 round/
square cotton/flannel patches for
every shooting session. You may
need more for final clean-up. Factory 2X2 cleaning patches can cost
over 10 cents each purchased in small
quantities. I make most of mine out
of old flannel, pajamas, bed sheets,
etc. Ordering large quantities saves
money if you dont make your own.
Flash hole pick to clean out
clogged flash hole. A clogged flash
hole prevents good ignition.

Heavy duty bullet puller can be


used as a patch puller as well.
This tool is a must!
Tipton chamber cleaning tool,
to use with paper towel strips cut 3
wide. Cut or tear absorbent sheets approximately 8 by 3. Twist the strips
into the chambers. After spraying
chamber recesses with solvent like
SP3. Repeat until clean.
Small flexible goose neck auto
(repair) light to checking bore after
cleaning. Available at auto supply
shops. A good source of cleaning
components is: Midway USA 1-800243-3220
I Never put bore butter inside
the barrel of an inline. Use a good
cleaning solvent; follow the instructions. Never clean an inline with soap
and water. Use a good bore cleaning
solvent (containing a minor preservative). Years ago a technician from
Thompson Center who first told me
never use bore butter in an inline
stated that if I had nothing else, use
WD 40 as a cleaning solvent. He
was right, it works.
Read/Reread your owners
manual of your rifle. They are the
technical designers of their product.
Never use a dry patch inside a

dirty gun barrel. Always start cleaning with a wet (solvent) patch. Then
wipe dry before loading.
A good way to completely clean
the bottom of the combustion chamber, the head of the breech plug
and the top of the flash hole when
cleaning/wiping between shots, is as
follows:
1) Initially push the center of the
cleaning patch part way down the
bore with your finger tip, creating a
nipple shape to the patch.
2) Center the jag and depress ram
rod as normal. Twist the ram rod 360
degrees several times when it bottoms
out on the top of the breech plug.
3) After cleaning, examine the
bore with the goose neck flashlight
for easy examination.
This produces a clean bore without removing the breech plug. On a
209 gun, you must pull the breech
plug for complete cleaning, i.e. at the
end of the hunting season.
In closing, allow me to reaffirm
that black powder and all substitutes,
are to be considered very caustic. After shooting even just one shot, clean
your rifle. Keep your powder dry and
your rifle clean for good shooting and
better hunting.n

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

The rifle ram rod is only a


secondary tool when hunting. My
36 range rod with a solid T handle
minimizes the difficulties of wiping between shots and after shooting
cleaning.
It also simplifies exact loading;
(almost) perfectly aligning the bullet.
A strong, one piece range rod is the
only tool to pull an uncharged bullet. Wiping between shots promotes
safety and eliminates short load
syndrome. Therefore, cold barrel one
shot kills are the basis of a clean harvest. For safetys sake, when hunting
always approach a downed animal
cautiously with a loaded weapon.
Quick reloading a just fired rifle is always easier with a previously cleaned
rifle.

87

Eyes on the OutdoorsBy Mark Strand Outdoors

When BIG FISH happen to panfish people


Thinking back over
the years, on every
outing, somebody
catches a trophy
something.

Dave Genz

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

hether its a largemouth,


smallmouth, walleye,
northern pike, muskie,
or another species, its
amazing how consistently at least one big fish
is reeled up through the
hole during a day on the ice with Genz
and his group. In almost all cases, the
outsized fish has a small hook firmly
embedded, and the battle takes quite a
while on a panfish rod.
Dave Genz for years thought of
these catches as accidents, but recently stopped thinking of them that way.
It happens too much, he says, to be
an accident.
We had a lengthy conversation
about this during the summer of 2014,
and Genz racked his brain recounting countless trips, on which most or
all fishing took place during daytime
hours because thats how the Genz
pack rolls and one big fish after
another returned to his memory banks.
These big fish are being caught when
the sun is up, on small baits we think
of as panfish fare. The classic notion
among anglers and its not unfounded is that the best fishing takes place
during the magic hours of sunrise and
sunset, especially sunset. Any good
catches during the midday hours, in
the old days, were considered unrepeatable gifts from God.
What if you knew, ahead of time,
that it would just be a matter of
time before you hook into a fish that
challenges the limits of your tackle,
potentially the biggest fish of that
species youve ever caught? This is
the real potential Genz and his friends
have happily celebrated for many
years, and you can, too, if you keep a
realistic, smallish, irresistible bait in
the water.

88

This is far from a scientific statement, but all other things being equal
in fishing (which they never are, but
anyways), fish seem to show a preference for smaller baits under the
ice than they do in open water. The
difference is especially glaring when
you compare ice fishing to the warm
summer months.
This apparent universal truth lends

On almost every outing with the Genz clan, somebody catches a big fish, even though most fishing takes place during
midday hours and the baits being used are designed to catch panfish. Here, Jesse Roberts, Dave Genzs grandson, and a
good angler in his own right, holds a giant pike! davegenz.com photo
support to Genzs notion that small
jigs that fish heavy are the best
choice for most ice-fishing situations.
Why might that be? Most likely its
because fish metabolism slows down
in cold water, and fish get a better
look at what they eat under the ice
than at any other time of year. Theres
no escaping the truth that small baits
catch everything, including eye-popping lunkers, especially when those
small baits are consistently presented
in a natural manner.

Generally speaking, says Genz,


if a lake produces large panfish,
there are large predator fish in those
same lakes. In other words, if a lake is
full of stunted bluegills, there probably arent a bunch of big pike in that
lake.

so they tend to resist. When youre using light line and a small hook, theres
a limit to how much pressure you can
put on the fish without tearing the
hook out or breaking the line.
Enter the value of a gaff hook.
If youre a Boy Scout, youre
packin a gaff and can ask somebody
get it out of your Fish Trap as you
battle the monster. But Genz has made
good use of the impromptu gaff he
So you set the hook and it feels
fashions out of a walleye rod and
like you have the bottom of the lake
on, only the weight is moving off and treble hook.
Most of the time, Genz says,
shaking its head. Its one thing to be
somebody
has a walleye rod along.
tight to that fish, and another to get it
Just
tie
on
whatever
lure you have
up on your side of the ice.
with
the
biggest
treble.
We have some
If you are using one of the latAs random as these big-fish-ongreat
video
of
a
big
pike
Steve Pennaz
small-bait catches might seem at first est ice rods, that performs like a long
caught
on
2-pound-test.
I
took a wallrod in miniature, it will flex and act
glance, there is a formula that makes
eye
rod,
tied
on
a
Blade
Spoon
with
as
a
shock
absorber
for
the
line.
And
sense, that can lead you in the right
a treble hook, wound the bait tight to
speaking of line, if your line is fresh,
direction.
the rod, and gaffed the fish with it.
Seek out places that produce big its amazing how strong 2-pound
We drilled a second hole, and
or 4-pound new line is, says Genz.
sunfish, crappies, and/or perch.
when
the fishs head came into the
And the drags are so much better on
Fish those areas hard with baits
hole

thats all you could see I


our reels now than they were even a
chosen to tempt panfish.
reached down and stuck the fish
couple years ago. With a good drag,
Happily accept whatever bites
in the jaw with the Blade Spoon
come your way, and dont be surprised even in the cold, you dont have to
backreel a fish anymore. You just let it and got his head started up and it
if you or someone in your group
was over.
take line when it has to.
tangles with a big one.
Dave Genz, known as Mr. Ice
Rare will be the fish you cant
Call them incidental catches if
Fishing, was the primary driver of
tame if you take your time and it
you want, but where big panfish are,
the modern ice fishing revolution. He
doesnt bury you in weeds or wrap
big predators prowl, and the same
baits that lure panfish will snag giants. the line around a stump or some other has been enshrined in the National
Youre trying to catch a big bluegill,
cover. Let the fish fight, keep the line Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame
but are you going to complain if a big tight, and eventually it will be finning and Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame
pike chomps down on your jig and
directly under the hole. The trick at
for his contributions to the sport. For
tries to make off with it, or are you
this point is to get the big fishs head
more fishing tips and to order his new
going to set the hook and go for the
started up the hole. They dont like to info-packed book, Ice Revolution, go
ride of your life?
have their heads directed into the hole, to www.davegenz.com.n

St. Martin Island deer

BOOM TO BUST
Refuge
By Richard P. Smith Wildlife
in Wisconsin, is

ack in 2009, photos


taken by Michigan
Department of Natural
Resources (DNR) law enforcement
personnel of buck poles straining under the weight of many rack bucks on
2-square-mile St. Martin Island caught
the attention of deer hunters across the
country. The Lake Michigan Island,
which was mostly privately owned at
the time, is part of the Upper Peninsula, being 10 to 12 miles from the
tip of the Garden Peninsula. Although
many hunters probably wished they
could hunt there, the photos masked
the real story.
A lot has happened on the island since those photos flooded the
Internet. The Nature Conservancy
purchased most of the island from the
previous owner during 2013 and they
plan on transferring ownership of the
island to the Fish & Wildlife Service.
By the spring of 2014, the islands
deer population was estimated at five
to eight animals. By next year, there
may not be any left. The goal of the
Fish & Wildlife Service, according to
Steven Lenz at the Horicon National

to eliminate the
deer from the island, if possible.
Ten to 15 years ago, there were
no deer on St. Martin Island, Minzey
said, and the DNR was not involved
in getting deer there.
Fred Luber from Milwaukee, Wisconsin owned St. Martin Island and
his daughter shared ownership.
I bought the island years ago,
Luber said, and I hired a caretaker
from the UP to look after it for us.
We suspect that the caretaker brought
deer to the island about 10 years ago.
Were not hunters, so we dont condone what happened.
The island used to be covered
with undergrowth of Canadian yew
(ground hemlock). Now the plants are
only bare sticks from overbrowsing by
deer. The island also used to be covered with trilliums in the spring. Its
been years since Ive been there in the
spring, but I suspect the flowers have
been damaged by the deer, too.
It was about 2000 when Luber
thinks the islands caretaker brought

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MDNR photo of the 2009 buck pole on St. Martin Island


deer there. Whitetails flourished in
the virgin habitat. They increased so
much that they decimated their food
supply. With emphasis on harvesting
bucks instead of does, that outcome
was inevitable.
Nature Conservancy spokesperson
Chris Anderson from the Minneapolis
Office commented that the island deer
population is thought to have peaked
at about 100 or 50 per square mile.
He said the conservancy acquired
the island because its an important
resting area for migrating birds. At
least 80 species of native birds use the
island during migrations. One of the
objectives of the Conservancy is to

ALCONA CD

DICKINSON CD

ALPENA CD

EATON CD

320 S. Satate St.


Harrisville 48740
989-724-5272
www.alconaconservation.org
1900 M-32 West
Alpena 49707
989-356-3596 x3
www.alpenacd.org

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1100 Sutton Rd.
517-543-5848 x 5
Adrian 49221
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387 N. Willowbrook Rd., Ste F GENESEE CD


1525 North Elms Rd.
Coldwater 49036
Flint 48532
517-278-2725 x 5
810-230-8766 x 3
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www.gettrees.org

CHARLEVOIX CD

restore the habitat that the whitetails


destroyed.
To do that, deer had to be reduced.
The Conservancy obtained 60 deer
management assistance permits from
the DNR during the fall of 2013 to
help with that, but only 15 of them
were filled. The last two winters have
been severe in the UP, which helped
reduce the islands deer population.
When the island buck poles were
photographed on November 19, 2009,
that deer herd was already in trouble.
Average dressed weights of bucks had
declined by about 30 pounds. That
deer population went from boom to
bust in a short period of time.n

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Ionia 48846
616-527-2620 x101
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COUNTY CD

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Marquette 49855
906-226-2461 x102
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231-924-2060 x101
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OAKLAND CD

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Clarkston 48346
248-922-7822
www.oaklandconservationdistrict.org

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1900 South Morrice Rd.


Owosso 48867
989-723-8263 x3
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231-839-7193
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Paw Paw 49079
269-657-4030
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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

89

By Dave Mull

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

March madness starts with cohos


H

90

ere are some interesting


things I learned recently
about coho salmon, those
delectable delights that
swarm the waters of
southern Lake Michigan throughout
the winter and offer great targets for
early spring trolling.
First, everyone always assumed
that the coho came to the southern end
of Lake Michigans warmer waters
during the winter and made a gradual
migration to the west, from Indiana
waters and up through Illinois and
then staying for the summer in the
cooler waters of Wisconsin. Apparently, that might not be true. They do indeed spend the winter in the southern
tip of the lake, but currents move them
to the east and up through the waters
outside of New Buffalo, all the way to
St. Joseph/Benton Harbor and some
years farther north to South Haven
and beyond. Then, instead of migrating along the shoreline back south and
to the west, the current actually carries
them across the lake into Illinois and
Wisconsin water. So that means, when
those fish show up in the shallows
around St. Joe and the mouth of the
St. Joe River, provide great action for
several days and disappear, we might
be able to keep having great fishing if
we follow them out into deeper water.
I just thought that was interesting.
Heres another bit of information.
Anglers from the shore were absolutely murdalizing cohos in January in
Trail Creek at Michigan City, Indiana.
Lots of limits. If the Hoosier anglers
didnt decimate the population too
badly, that bodes well for a pretty
good spring of catching them.
I love catching cohos because its
a great way to blow off the stink of
winter and a terrific reason to get out
into the frosty lake and do some real
fishingno more staring at a hole in
the ice. Over the years, coho fishing
on the second day of March Madness
became a tradition. I can remember
several years when we headed out of
Portage Indiana (which has a very
nice municipal launching facility) and
had to keep a wary eye on ice flows,
making sure that if the wind shifted
to the north, we could get back up the
lovely waterway (being sarcastic here)
known as Burns Ditch before the wind
formed a solid ice field at the mouth.
My favorite coho port is New Buffalo, though. Not only is it Michigan
water, but the ramp is nice and close
to the lakethere isnt a long idle
down the Galien River before you can
start fishing.
Last March, my fellow Hobie
Fishing Team member Rich Ofner
came over from Windsor, Canada

and joined me and longtime friend


Josh Lantz for some kayak fishing
for cohos. It was a rough daytoo
rough to take the Hobies beyond the
breakwall and into the lake proper,
but plenty of cohos were around in the
river itself. Josh was the only one who
had the winning presentation. Trolling
small Storm Thundersticks, he caught
six fish. I caught one while anchored
and rolling spawn in the current.
Rich caught a coho and then, trolling
upriver back to the ramp he nailed a
24-inch brown trout.
Cohos have the reputation of
being crazed aggressors or anything
that moves, and sometimes they are.
Lots of times, though, they can be real
finicky about what theyll hit. While
old standbys such as Storm Rattling
ThinFins in orange and gold patterns
still catch fish, sometimes they much
prefer something different. One year,
water was cloudy and stained but full
of fish, and they showed a mark preference for Rapala Taildancers, a balsa
lure in a sort of pearl color. I bought
five of them, and caught plenty of fish
on them that spring, but a coho hasnt
touched one any year since.
Cohos provide great sport for the
small boaters who might not fish Lake
Michigan much. Of course you must
watch the weather and make sure your
boat is in perfect shapebilge and
motor both in superb operating condition. But since cohos are often aggressive, you can probably catch them on
lures you already have in your tacklebox for bass and other species. Any
small hardbody crankbait that looks
like a smelt or alewife works. Often,
so does any lure thats orange. Weve
scored a lot of these silver salmon on
lipless rattle baits such as Bill Lewis
Rat-L-Traps. Spinners, such as the
inline Mepps, are another good option
for slow trolling.
One of my best, go-to, almost-neverfail coho lures season after season has
been a Reef Runner Little Ripper, especially one in the Copperhead color
pattern. For some reason it occurred to
me to remove both stock hooks, which
are smallish No. 4s and put one No.
2 Gamakatsu Extra Wide Gap Treble
on the tail split ring. This changes the
action a bit, but boy does it catch fish.
I like fishing it behind a Lurk Disco
Diver disk just 25 feet or so from the
boat.
That might seem awfully close
to a running outboard, but the boat
and turbulence often seems to attract
cohos. Not only do we often run our
divers close to the side of the boat, but
we also put lines out on online planer
boards just beyond the divers. I believe packs of coho come in and swirl

Shannon and MacKenzie Smith pose with a double of cohos that hit a Rattling ThinFin
and a Fuzzy Bear Magnum Hot Pants spoon. Young MacKenzie is doing her best to
smile despite being quite chilled by the early spring weather. Dave Mull photo
around in the disturbance the boat
causes, and the more lures you have in
the vicinity, the more likely you are to
contact fish.
Another setup well worth running
for cohos is the propwash rod. This
is a lure let back to where the prop
of your motor is causing bubbles
crankbaits such as Rat-L-Traps and
Lindy River Rockers are especially
good back here. One year a lad accompanying us asked if he could use
his push-button spincast rod from our

30-footer geared to the nines with all


sorts of fancy combos. Of course it
would be fine with me so I clipped
on a chrome and blue Rat-L-Trap
and instructed him to hold the rod
and let the lure swim just at the end
of the bubbles from the big Evinrude
outboard. He did as instructedand
caught the first three cohos of the day.
This year for early action, it
might be tough to beat trolling for
coho at the southern end of Lake
Michigan.n

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91

Beating the Widowmaker


By Len McDougall

few weeks ago, I lost a relative.


Details of the accident vary with the
person relating the story, but what is
known is that he was attempting to
fell a large tree in his rural front yard
with a chainsaw, and it hung-up in
the branches of another tree a phenomenon that
lumberjacks have known as a widowmaker for as
long as there has been a timber industry.
To extricate the tree, the man decided to use a
tractor. He walked under the hung-up tree, toward
where it was parked, and the branches loosed themselves. He was killed instantly when the multi-ton
trunk smashed down upon his head.
When the mans wife, a lady who I love dearly,
related the incident to me, knowing that Ive been
a lumberjack, professionally and privately, for decades, she seemed oblivious to how hard my tongue
was being clenched between my teeth particularly
when she said, He knew what he was doing
Clearly, he did not know what he was doing,
else hed still be having morning coffee with his
wife. In respect for his widows feelings, I checked
myself, offering only words of comfort, because to
do otherwise served no purpose.
But, Im going to free my tongue here, because
maybe, just maybe, his death will serve a valid
purpose. Maybe this too-common, but unnecessary,
tragedy can, in some small measure, help to save
someone elses family from needless sorrow.

Lumberjacking
Is Not Rocket Science
Anyone can learn to do it, correctly and safely,
usually quickly. But the operative word is learn.
No one is born knowing how to run a chainsaw,
handle guns, or skin deer, and, obviously, lumberjacking can be a very dangerous chore. I cannot tell
you how many lumberjacking-related injuries Ive
seen in half a century of living in the timber country of northern Michigan, but I can state, without
question, that most, if not all, were foreseeable and
avoidable.

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

Gear Check

92

Before you begin any wood-cutting, make certain that every piece of gear is in top shape. Make
sure the cutting chain is correctly installed (reversing them is surprisingly common), that the chain is
snug on the bar, that its cutting teeth are sharp, and
that the bar oil reservoir is full.
I sometimes violate these safety precautions
myself, out of long familiarity (which is a lesson in
itself), but always wear eye protection, a hardhat,
sturdy boots, and gloves. They didnt exist when I
was a kid, but Kevlar chaps and gauntlet-length
gloves are a very good idea these garments will
literally stall a revved-up chainsaw before it can cut
you.

Nothing To Chance
In the past half-dozen years, Ive seen as many
experts drop trees directly onto the very cabins and
cars that they were hired to protect. I can drive a
tent stake with a falling tree.

Never Try To Free-Fall A Tree


I blame my wife, whos downright dictatorial

T - I - M - B - E - R! The pre-load from the winch ensures that a tree must fall in the desired direction, but
the author is prepared to move back quickly. Len McDougall photos
about where a tree must land, and especially if its
within range of anything that I wouldnt want it to
fall onto. Not so long ago, I had a 50-foot jackpine
spin 60 degrees on its stump as it toppled. Had
the tree not been belayed, 15 feet up its trunk, to
another tree, it would have fallen onto our cabins
roof.

Controlling The
Direction Of Fall

tie it off to the winch hook with at least two hitch


knots one to secure the rope, another to lock the
first knot. Then crank the winch snug, just until the
winch is held off the ground, in line with the rope
too tight, and the tree will pinch your chainsaws
bar.

Cut The Felling Notch

Almost as much as the rope, this notch determines in which direction a tree will fall. Begin with
the lower cut, more or less parallel to the ground
The rope and come-along winch system that
that penetrates no more than halfway through the
Ive used since childhood guarantees that a tree
tree. Finish with a downward-sloping cut that
cannot fall wrong. I begin by using a ladder to tie
meets the first.
a 3-ton-rated rope at least 10 feet up on the target
With an axe, knock free the wedge created
trees trunk. The end of that rope is secured to the
by these two cuts, leaving a notch that, ideally, is
winch, preferably farther away than the tree is tall.
perpendicular to the direction you wish the tree to
The opposite end of the winch is secured to a rope
or cable tied low around the trunk of an anchor tree. fall. Then, before you make another cut, tighten
Draw the pulling rope as taut as you can, double the winch until the top of the tree being cut begins
the free end (a doubled rope is easier to untie), and to sway. With the tree pre-loaded in this manner,

(lt-rt) Tying a heavy rope fifteen feet up on the tree thats to be felled. Attaching a come-along winch between the target tree and the anchor tree. Knocking the felling wedge free with the flat side of a Collins
axe. A tree with felling edge removed. (Lower right) Making the final, felling, cut. (Below right) Success;
although the trunk rolled a couple of feet after it fell, it struck precisely where it was intended.

The Felling Cut


The felling cut is made on the opposite side of
the trunk. It should be parallel to the notch, and
begin about 6 inches above it, slanting downward,
until it meets the first cut. The slant forms a step
behind the trunk, in the opposite direction of way
the tree is meant to fall, and helps to ensure that the
trunk cannot slip backward, off its stump, as the
tree comes down.

Move!
A tree will start to fall before you can complete
this final cut, so be prepared to move as soon as it
starts to lean. A tree always gives plenty of warning, and it never falls quickly. But pay attention,
and make sure that all tripping hazards are removed
from the work area beforehand.
Even though a tree may fall smoothly, you

BASIC LUMBERJACKING KNOTS

Square Knot...Fastens two ends together

Bowline...Non-tightening loop

should be at least ten feet away from its butt when


it lands. Especially on a hillside, Ive seen the cut
end of a 3-ton tree bounce six feet into the air, before it finally comes to a rest. Anybody in the path
of that bouncing trunk will be swatted aside like an
insect.

Widowmakers
A cut tree may be checked in its fall by the
branches of a nearby tree. Whether it remains on
its stump, or falls off, if the upper branches become
entangled enough to hold the trunk above ground,
it becomes a proverbial widowmaker. Never,
ever walk under a widowmaker as the man in
the tragic anecdote at the beginning of this article
demonstrated, widowmakers are aptly named.
The correct way to deal with a hung-up widowmaker is to drag it down. The same rope and
winch that ensured that tree couldnt fall in any except the desired direction now provides the muscle
to drag it free of other limbs. Now it should
become clear why the anchor tree is farther away
than the target tree is tall so that you cant drag it
down on top of yourself.
Large dead limbs, and the tops of trees that
might snap off and fall, also come under the
widowmaker heading. Always look upward when
cutting down a tree, and be wary of dead limbs and
tops that might fall. Paper birch and poplar trees
are especially dangerous in this respect.

Be A Tree Hugger
In many circles, being called a tree hugger is
a derogatory metaphor. To a lumberjack, hugging a tree might be a life-saving action. If you
hear a sudden cracking of wood, or the crashing of
branches overhead, looking upward to locate the
source might be a dangerous delay. Instead, rush
to the nearest, largest tree, and press your body

Timber-Hitch (Choker) Log-Skidding Knot


Choker loop
Direction of pull

Double Half-Hitch Slipnot...


Noose tightens when pulled

Double half-hitch
slipknot noose

(lt-rt) Ropework is essential to lumberjacking, but you only need to know a few knots to get any job done. The timberhitch, or choker, knot is
used when theres a danger that a rope will slide lengthwise over the log being pulledthe tighter you pull, the more tightly the choker grips.

tightly against its trunk. The logic to this maneuver


is that live overhead branches help to deflect falling
objects.
Lumberjacking is a very dangerous activity on
a good day. Everything about it is hard, sharp, and
heavy, and doing it safely demands wits that are
sharper than tools. Too many people have proved
that the hard way. Dont be one of them.n

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

it cannot fall in the opposite direction, and, even it


has a spiral grain under its bark, it can only twist a
few degrees.

93

Heres My Thoughts...By Ed Spinazzola

What happened to all of our deer?

A Little Background

ere we go againhavent we
seen this before and several
times in the last 30 years? I
joined a large, 18,000 acres,
private hunt club, Mid forest
lodge in 1974 in southern Roscommon County. Our average buck
harvest was around 125 bucks per
year. We had super acorn crops in
1979 and 1980. Our land management then was intermittent with some
years no timber harvest and just a
few food plots of rye grain. Reason,
every oak tree was worth $1,000 and
never should a single one be taken
no matter how dense they were, plus
there wasnt enough mature timber
to harvest. This resulted in minimum
ground cover; deer forage. In spite of
the low deer browse 331 bucks were
taken in 1981. This shows the effect
of bumper acorn crops and especially
back to back ones. In 1985 I took the
big buck pool with a 2-1/2 year old
five point. In 1997, 59 total bucks
were taken. That was a wake up year
for the members of Mid Forest Lodge.
Today they have countless acres of a
variety of food plots, yearly timber
harvests, adequate doe harvests and
antler restrictions in place resulting in
obvious improvements from a more
constant and improved harvest, fawn
birth with fawn survival, age structure, balanced sex ratio and a 2-1/2
year old five point buck does not take
the buck pool anymore.

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

A Timber Harvest Plan

94

Where is it written that one needs


to wait for timber to be mature before
harvesting it. You can set aside a large
part of your timber land to be in a
continuous clear cut chipping program. Every seven years clear cut a
forth to a fifth in scattered locations
with no clear cut opening adjoining
another. If you have oaks leave no
more than eight good ones per acre
and take everything else out to maintain continuous ground deer forage.
Year 28 or 35 you are repeating the
chipping operation in the first clear
cut. This harvest cycle spaced season
years apart will now create continuous excellent ground deer forage plus
super deer cover and bedding areas
forever!
In 1981 the DNR clear cut 1,200
acres of state land bordering Mid
Forest Lodges north side. It was
a complete clear cut of two square
mile sections with nothing left standing, absolutely nothing, not even a
single oak. That same year I asked a
Roscommon County DNR certified
Forester why they didnt follow their
own advice and do a 25 percent clear
cut operation in scattered forty acre
parcels and come back in seven years
and save at least six mature oaks per
acre. I was very familiar with the

In March 2014 the authors Ultimate Corn Based Kill plot had over 200 deer; this year, you can count yourself!
area and hunted it for 12 years prior
to joining the Mid Forest Lodge club
and that there were many mature oaks.
The forester told me, the timber cutters wouldnt accept that scenario. I
asked him who was in charge. I still
fume from that experience.

ally change in density that much in


one year? I believe the answer is no,
except in the UP and everyone knows
why. I believe the main reason is the
bumper crop of acorns in many areas
of the lower peninsular, another is
the goofy and warm bow, firearm and
muzzle seasons. The third is the type
Some Problems
of deer hunting we do.
Some Answers
On March 25, 2014 we went to
Every year we hear from our state our farm in Gladwin to take pictures
and civilian conservation leaders that of deer. I received a call that there
a lack of adequate and maintained
were up to 300 deer on the 120 acres
habitat is the primary reason for the
of mostly open land. We have seeded
boom and bust cycle of our deer herd or left standing corn, soybeans, forage
and especially in the UP. How many
rape and sugar beets on this and other
times have you heard that story? How areas for deer winter carryover since
many times have you heard the an1980. We stopped farming full time
swer and what was their answer? How in 1996 and went to planting a few
stories where a conservation groups
acres of corn for income and seeded
planted 5,000 oak trees or seeded a
food plots for deer to last through the
two acre food plot in state land? Ive
winter season.
read them and praise their efforts for
We drove to a blind at 2 p.m. that
this warms my heart. This is good but borders a seven acre Ultimate Corn
it is not the answer.
Based Kill plot. We upset at least two
Dont we have over 7,000,000
hundred deer that were in the kill
acres of state and federal land not
plot, parked the truck and entered the
to mention millions more of private
blind and sat. We knew what would
forest land in our blest state? Food
happen eventually. It was a cold and
plots are great and if sufficient forage long winter these deer experienced
like field corn and sugar beets are left and it would be only a matter of time
standing for the winter season you
and they would come back from my
will see a significant improvement in neighbors woods. Within fifteen mindeer health. Fawns are born healthy,
utes we could see a couple sneak back
fewer die at birth, does are in great
into the corn field and within an hour
shape and nurse their fawns with little there were 120 deer with most in the
to no fawn abandonment and bucks
kill plot and a few within forty yards
grow better antlers. This is the same
of us. We took a few pictures and
story following good acorn crops as
showed them in WNW News April
mentioned above. Back to back acorn issue, Winters Stress article. Not
crops create excitement. Unfortua deer showed a rib, we counted 30
nately we cannot depend on continumale fawns and 25 antlerless mature
ous good crops of acorns and seeding bucks. Can you imagine our thoughts
enough corn, soybeans, forage rape or for the coming 2014 deer seasons?
sugar beets to carry deer through the
winter is expensive. What is not only
Our 2014 Hunting
cheap, (actually you get paid for it)
Well, they started pretty good,
and is very effective is a smart timber
the
September
youth hunt was four
clear cut harvesting program. Rememfor
four,
with
one
yearling doe, one
ber, deer are woodsy animals and if
6-point
yearling
buck,
one 8-point
your woods satisfy their needs year
2-12
year
old
buck
and
one 10-point
round you may well have a long last2-1/2
year
old
buck.
That
story also
ing new and exciting experience.
showed up in WNW News NovemWhat Happened
ber issue, It doesnt get any better
article. Then the acorns really started
To All Our Deer?
to fall. Im not going to complain, we
Back to our title, can deer re-

have many acres of really attractive


forage, and deer love soybeans that
are young and still growing leaves, so
we plant soybeans in bow kill plots in
early August. Deer love sugar beets
especially in the later seasons, so we
plant sugar beets with corn, soybeans
and a brassica blend. I seen 30 different bucks during the seasons, I let a
nice eight point go the first day of bow
season, I let a really nice 4-1/2 year
old nine point go the first day of rifle,
which my son Steve took the second
day. My son let three other bucks go
that were a minimum of eight points.
Yet it was still not right. I count
the shots on opening day until 10 a.m.
There were 10 when normally I hear
up to 75. That low count of 10 shots
told me a lot and the stories told to me
the rest of the seasons were similar.

Conclusion
The Mid Forest Lodge story
confirms the value of acorns. Deer
will bed as close to preferred forage
as possible and stay still until night
if necessary. I slit the stomachs of
all deer I field dressed since I was
17 and when there is acorns aplenty,
there can be up to 90 percent acorns
in their stomachs well into December.
Very few deer hunters now stalk, still
or sneak hunt and with good reason,
safety! This adds to less deer movement. Most if not all hunters in many
clubs have a designated blind and are
told not to leave it period. Also, the
weather plays a big role in the story
of deer movement and hunter success.
I hunted through out the December
muzzle season mainly to get some
video and pictures for my DVD. It
started all right but ended as a mud
fight. There were very few deer seen
and none taken by six hunters. Good
hunting with warm weather in December just doesnt happen. Never the
less expect a dandy season in 2015 if
Mother Nature cooperates, acorns can
make a big difference.
Keep the fun in hunting!
The author is an associate for
Tony LaPratts Ultimate Land Management, www.tonysulm.com or
www.deerattraction.com or call 586784-8090 for more information.n

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Michigans Outdoor Heritage
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September 11th, 12th & 13th, 2015


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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

EASTERN MICHIGAN STATE FAIRGROUNDS

95

Turkey hunting and the NWTF

Turkey
hunting
requires
both skill and
stealth. It also
requires good
marksmanship.
Its a challenging sport, in
many ways
like big game
hunting. If you
want to learn
more about the
wild turkey,
youll want to
attend one of
the NWTF
banquets
around
Michigan.

fund raisBy Len Jenkins ing Through


activities like ban-

he wild
turkey is
a magnificent bird magnificent for
its history, its origin, its
cultural meaning to the United States,
its resilience, and its status today as a
great gamebird. This is a bird that inspired Benjamin Franklin to promote
its use as the national symbol of the
United States because of its unique
role as native to only North America,
its significance in helping to save the
Plymouth colony from starvation, and
the red, white, and blue colors on its
head and neck. Obviously the other
founding father prevailed in making
the eagle our national symbol but wise
old Ben knew that any old European
country could be represented by a
mere eagle, but our turkeys were truly
indigenous to only North American
and represented our new beginnings.
The wild turkey was brought back
form the brink of extinction, a monumental undertaking by individuals, the
states, the Federal Government, and
more significantly, by organizations
of sportsmen bent on its preservation. One of these organizations is the
National Wild Turkey Federation and
in Michigan there are many chapters
dedicated to the proliferation of turkeys. The Whiteford Valley Gobblers
in southeast Michigan is one of the
staunchest proponents for the preservation and expansion of this iconic
natural renewable resource.

quets that raise money


for habitat work, the various chapters
are able to coordinate with state game
departments and the Federal Government for restoration trapping and
release to other areas, and breeding
of native birds to make introduction
back into the original range of these
great birds a reality. Cooperative arrangements between states have been
made. For instance, Michigan traded
ruffled grouse to Indiana in exchange
for Indiana turkeys. Wild turkeys can
now be found throughout their original range because of this commitment,
mostly encouraged by hunters working cooperatively with other hunters and with the various state game
departments.
The Whiteford Valley Gobblers is
one of the best banquets youll find
anywhere. The evening is filled with
activities for both adults and youth.
There is a live auction, a silent auction, games, lots of raffle prizes, and
door prizes. The meal is wonderful
and Grace is said before eating.
The banquet features a two gun
hunt at Len Jenkins Hunt Club in
Reading. The NWTF will entertain
you by providing an expert caller,
Steve Sharp. Jack Price is also very
proficient in calling and will be a
guide as well during the two day hunt.
Lodging is provided and this is an allexpense paid opportunity for novice

turkey hunters to learn how to hunt


this great elusive gamebird. Frequently one of the gunners will be a mentor
and bring a youth so both learn how
to hunt turkeys. The banquet will
be held on March 7th at the Dusseau
Reception Center in Temperance, MI.
If you wish to attend the banquet and
have the opportunity to bid on this
guided turkey hunt, call Jack Price at
(734) 856-1214 or go on-line.
Turkey hunting requires both skill
and stealth. It also requires good
marksmanship. Its a challenging
sport, in many ways like big game
hunting. If you want to learn more

about the wild turkey, youll want


to attend one of the NWTF banquets
around Michigan. Youll be contributing to continuing restoration efforts
through the fund raising the banquets
provide. Youll be entertained and
youll most likely go home with a
nice prize as well. By attending a
banquet, youll be contributing to
the turkeys survival as the funds
generated are used for habitat
work. The NWTF has made restoring turkeys through out all of their
original range on unmatched wildlife
success story thanks to the efforts of
hunters.n

Nontypical bow kill shots - expected the unexpected

five yards, he walked behind a tree


and I drew my Mathews, prepared to
make the shot when he stepped out.
Practicing out to 80 yards, this
Broadside and 20 yards...
shot would be a piece of cake. After
two minutes of holding, my deterioNot moving, looking away...
rating form caused me to accidentally
let down. Of course, this is when he
Buck of a lifetime
stepped out, paused briefly, and then
Waitthis never happens to me! kept moving toward me. At twenty
yards, he looked directly at me in my
enjoy exploring new and chaltwenty foot perch, or maybe I should
lenging shots. I practice year
round, so that I will know in any say he looked through me. I froze, and
particular circumstance whether as the old adage says from childhood
says, I didnt let him see the whites of
or not I can make a kill. I shoot
my eyes. I accomplished this by clos3D, league, and in my own backyard
ing my eyes most of the way, stealing
with buddies and my son.
glances through my eyelashes.
This past season I was blind ratAfter I endured purgatory, he
tling during the rut. I have rattled
finally flicked his tail and walked
without success plenty of times, but
toward the doe in estrous scent I had
have tasted rattling success enough
placed in the tree ten yards directly in
times to chance it during the rut, or
front of me.
when things get slow. A young buck
Suddenly, he turned 180 degrees,
responded within a twenty minutes on
his nose telling him he had passed
stand, midday.
He slowly came towards me, first the scent wick. His nose in air, I drew
my Z7 for the second time. I picked
appearing at a couple hundred yards.
He stopped frequently to sniff the air
a tiny spot well behind the vitals, and
and listen, and every time he stopped, released.
I hit him with a soft grunt. At thirty
The year and a half buck released

By Jason DeLille

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

I
96

This young freezer buck fell to a shot from behind and above, which needs to
be aimed well back, in order for the arrow to angle into the vitals.
a gasp of air, and I immediately saw
red pouring out his side as he bolted
away. The blood trail was like following a scarlet river, winding 80 yard
through the oaks. He expired only just
out of my line of sight.
Bowhunting is a game of chance.
Its a game of skill, and its a game
of patience. Things almost never

go predictably, and when they do,


its only because you expected the
unexpected. After hours of dedication
and hard work, when an ethical shot
finally presents itself, I will take it.
However, my repertoire of kill shots is
constantly growing.
Now for attempting that Texas
heart shot?n

A day on Oakland Countys


LARGEST LAKE - CASS LAKE
By Roger Beukema

he largest and deepest lake


in Oakland County gets a
lot of boat traffic in warm
months and decent ice fishing pressure when the water
turns hard. Cass Lake is home to a
diversified fishery including carp, catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, northern pike, smallmouth bass, sunfish,
walleye and yellow perch. Named for
former governor, Lewis Cass, it offers
public access through Dodge Park,
however, the ramp and park get very
busy during summer months.
Gerundegut Bay off Cass Lake
proper attracts snowmobilers and
four-wheelers on their way to the lake
during the winter. Its also an area that
draws ice fishermen. Glen Uhl and
I fished it for several hours recently.
As we were hooking up the shanty,
10-year-old Kyle Syron was ice-skating nearby with his grandfather, Ken
Obort and other family members.
Do you want to go fishing with
us, Uhl asked? The youngster said
yes and we were off after Uhl assured
Obort his grandson would be well
looked after.
When we got to the area we
wanted to fish, we cut several holes,
got buckets for seats to sit on and began jigging for fish in about 18-feet of
water. Uhl set a rod up for Kyle then
explained how to fish with a jigging
motion, setting the hook and winding
a fish (hopefully) in.
All the while we fished; Uhl kept
an eye on Kyle Are you getting cold?
Any bites yet? he asked. I think
something has been biting, Kyle answered, prompting a visit from Uhl to
check his bait before sending it back
down.
Nearby, father and son Brett and
Jax Carver were fishing out of a fourman shanty. From time to time they

would venture onto the ice for some


jigging action. Thats our tip-up
there, the elder Carver said pointing
to a bent flag at ice level. Holler if it
goes off, he said.
Inside the shanty, a decoy suspended several feet below the ice a
spear was nearby in hopes a northern
pike would swim by for a closer look.
About an hour after we were settled
in, Jax yelled to his dad, there is a
flag up on this tip-up.
In tip up fishing, a small flag is
attached to a flexible arm. That arm is
connected to the actual tip-up. When a
fish strikes and begins pulling line out
on the tip up spool, that flexible arm
releases and stands straight up with its
bright colored flag visible, indicating
there was a strike or a fish is on.
In this instance there was a fish on
and it was still taking line. Initially,
Brett handled the line, being sure
there was a good hook set. Do you
want to bring him in? he asked fiveyear-old Jax. Sure, was the reply.
Jax grabbed the line and began pulling
it in toward the hole.
Theres a big fish on here, he
said to his dad. Once the fish got near
the hole, both father and son landed it.
Soon, a 28-inch northern pike lay on
the ice.
Back over our way, the only thing
biting were tiny gills with an occasional sunfish. We were getting bit,
just not the right size. About an hour
on the ice and no action, Kyle decided
to quit fishing. Uhl returned him to
his grandfather and was back fishing a
new hole he had cut previously.
That feels better, he announced
as he was reeling in a fish with a decent bend in his rod. A nice, hand-size
bluegill had taken the wax worm at
the business end of Uhls line.
We fished until after dark changing lures from small spoons to teardrops. I had a gold teardrop with two
tiny blades that continues to attract

A 28-incher caught on a tip-up by Jax Carver of Dearborn Heights. Author photo


fish, but too small for the frying pan.
Safety Tips:
For the 3 or 4 hours we spent on the
When traveling to and from on the
ice we left with one good-size keeper ice keep in single file and keep space
fish. Definitely not the sort of action
between each person or machine.
we thought we would have. The bite
Someone carry a long rope to use for
seemed to be a late afternoon or evepossible rescue. Have a person in the
ning bite lasting about an hour before middle on the line carry it.
everything shut off. I would try an
Keep your helmet on but not buckled
early morning visit too.
so you can take it off quickly if you
Uhl, who has lived near the lake
fall through the ice.
for a long time says the ice near the
Keep ice picks out, hanging around
cattails that are abundant on the bay,
your neck for instant use.
is not safe. Thats true too for any
Remember, no matter how well
vegetation protruding through the ice. you know the ice and water things
Weeds and other plant life act like
change quickly and may not be the
insulation causing ice not to get thick same when you head back in toward
enough to support much weight.
evening.n

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97

Great Equipment Options for 2015By Lane Walker

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

98

GET YOUR GEAR ON!

he Christmas season has


passed; the dog days of
winter are officially upon
us. The excitement of the
fall hunting season seems
like a distant memory and most hunters are looking for something to keep
them busy this offseason. Turkey
season is still a couple months away,
making this a great time to get some
new hunting gear. Enjoy the down
time, explore and examine all the
great hunting products on the market.
Like most hunters, I am always trying to find that next product that will
make me a better hunter, giving me
an advantage in the woods.
Here are a few new products that
have caught my eye, ones that I am
going to put to good use during the
2015 hunting season.
HHA Optimizer Lite King
HHA has been making awardwinning archery sights for over 20
years. The company revolutionized
the hunting market by creating a
single pin adjustable sight that allows
archers to quick adjust their sight
based on yardage. This year HHA is
releasing the Optimizer Lite King,
which features a new interchangeable
wheel. The new wheel system allows
hunters to remove and replace their
wheels, allowing hunters to swap
their sight wheels. Making it easy to
transition from practice tips to broad
heads, shoot different size and weight
arrows or adjust their draw weights
without having to sight in again.
Also new this year, is the addition of a crystal clear magnifier and
a blue light burst that illuminates the
yardage tape. Archers can dial their
bows into a of a yard and see their
yardage tape in low-light or dark
hunting blinds.
Another great feature of the new
sight is how easy it to zero in at a
number of different yardages. Shooters need to sight in their bows at 20
and 60 yards. Once those yardages
are on, the sight is accurate up to 100
yards. This years model also has a
build in blind 20 feature, allowing for a fast, no look return to your
most predetermined yardage. This
eliminates having to adjust your sight
during a hunting situation. Before
if your sight was set at 40 yards,
the hunter would have to physically
adjust the sight to get it back to 20
yards. By adding the new feature, it
allows for a quick, no hassle way for
hunters to shoot 20 yards. The Lite
King is made of machined brass and
aluminum, there is no plastic on the
sight. All HHA sights carry a 100
percent lifetime warranty. There are
several options for the new Lite King,

including options for target shooters.


For more information, including videos and frequently asked questions
visit www.hhasports.com
H.S. Strut Penny Snood Decoy
Turkey decoys have come a long
way the last decade. There have been
times that I have found myself fighting back sleep only to jerk awake at
the sight of one of my decoys.
A good turkey decoy can help
even the most novice hunter fill their
spring turkey tag. Hunter Specialties
is releasing a new decoy in their H.S.
Strut line called the Penny Snood.
I have used the H.S. Strut line of
decoys for the past couple years and
have had great success. The Snood
decoys are lightweight and lifelike,
I have had gobblers running into my
set from over a quarter mile away.
The decoys are painted with a special
no flake-paint, which helps make the
decoys durable. There is a built-in
air valve which allows the hunter to
quickly inflate and set up the decoy
and minimizes the amount of space it
takes up in their turkey vest. Originally there were two decoys in the
H.S. line, the Jake and Suzie. The
Jake Snood is a juvenile tom that is
posed in a semi-aggressive stance
while the Suzie can be posed in a
content or breeding position. The
new Penny decoy is a feeder hen that
is positioned in a relaxed feeding
position. The Penny was created to
appear in a relaxed feeding position
for both gobblers and hens. Adding
the H.S. Strut Penny decoy will add
even more excitement to a turkey
hunters bag of tricks this spring.
For more information, check out the
new H.S. Strut Suzie decoy at www.
hunterspec.com

Lakewood Products
Bowfile Elite Bow Case
I have asked myself the same
question every August as I prepare
for the upcoming archery season.
Why do I spend so little on something so important? As hunters, we
spend a small fortune on our bows,
the latest gear and accessories, but
when it comes to protecting our
investment we often tend to take the
cheapest way out. If youre like me,
your bow is sacred and protecting
it should be priority #1. Bow cases
come in a wide variety of shapes and
sized, sometimes it hard to find one
that fits youre hunting or shooting
lifestyle.
Hunters across the country have
fallen in love Lakewood Products:
Bowfile Elite bow case. Its unique
and offers maximum protection for
your bow. The case is wide enough

H.S. Strut Penny Snood Decoy

HHA Optimizer Lite King

Lakewood Products Bowfile

to accommodate all types of bows,


even bows with a split limb design.
The drop-in feature is quick and easy,
it allows the hunter to put his entire
bow with a full quiver all in the case
at once. Hunters just need to grab
their bow and hunt. The case is lined
with ballistic nylon and has exterior
D-rings that makes for easy carrying. All Lakewood cases are airline
approved and made in the USA. The
cases come in a variety of colors and
camouflages, just adding Muddy Girl
Camouflage for the lady hunters.
For more information on the Bowfile

Elite bow case or any of Lakewoods


cases for firearms, archery tackle or
fishing gear visit them on their website at, www.lakewoodproducts.com
or call them at 800-872-8458.
The offseason is a great time to
learn from past mistakes and gear
up for the next season. I always try
to make improvements and enjoy
hunting products. As sportsman
and women, we are always trying to
make the next season memorable.
Take your time, do some research and
enjoy exploring all the great products
in the outdoor industry.n

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Woods-N-WaterNews Classified Section


MISC.

MISC.

MISC.

TAXIDERMY

HUNTING

REAL ESTATE

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

A TEMPUR-PEDIC MEMORY
FOAM MATTRESS SET.
Clean. Never used. As seen on TV.
Cost $1700. Sell for $695. 989-8322401. M-4-14-TFN
................................................
AN
AMISH
LOG
HEADBOARD AND QUEEN
pillowtop mattress set. New. Sell all
for $275. 989-923-1278.
M-4-14-TFN
................................................
AMISH LOG BEDS, ANY
SIZE $199. 5 drawer log chest
$199. Good quality. Lowest prices in
Michigan. 989-839-4846. M-4-14TFN

LOG BUNK BEDS. $495. Amish


lodge furniture. Call Dan 989-8321866. M-4-14-TFN
................................................

SALE: Large whitetail antler


collection, lg. B&C mounts,
scoring 190+ to 331 large U.P.
antlers. Details call 906-2802969. T-3-1

HUNT NORTHERN ONTARIO


CANADA Guided bear hunts 2.5
hours North of Sault border. Large
bear management area, High success rate, Multiple bears on baits.
Harvest av. 2-300lbs, References
available. Gauranteed active baits,
started well ahead of time. $1,000
US plus tax and licences.Hunting
starts Aug. 15 www.murraylake.net
416-548-6124 H-2-4
................................................

53 ACRES, Variety, Farmland,


Hard Woods, Meadow Grasses, &
River/Creek, 624 x 2615 irregular N.
Branch Twp., Lapeer County,
$145,000 Just Land Sales 586-4196716 facebook.com/justlandsales
RE-3-1
................................................

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

WANTED
TIMBER: Buying all types of timber, 5 acres or more, top price paid.
Cash in advance. Improve wildlife
habitat. Patco Forest Products, 989539-7588 after 6 p.m. W-4-12-14
................................................

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FISHING
LAKE ERIE WALLEYE AND
PERCH CHARTERS Captain
Bruce 517 740 5295 or
www.payableguideservice.com
Call now for Spring and
Summer booking. F-3-4
................................................
FISHING CLASS OFFERS CLOSURE: Just
looking at that maze of tackle
you "sense" spontaneously,
virtually unerringly, how each
individual component affects
the fish audibly as well as visually, and defensively as well
as offensively. Capable now of
readily adapting to any situation, not only do you feel justified in having accumulated all
those tackle boxes full of stuff,
but even about adding more
stuff to them. No longer needing to travel miles on end to
experience top notch success
while targeting any specie we
choose, ultimately we wind up
fishing more, enjoying it more.
If you've sensed that this is how
angling could and should be,
should our instinctive approach
be followed to the letter, this is
how it can be. All species, all
baits, all presentations, all in
one session, all for as little as
$45 per person. For further details 810-395-4334 Mon.-Sat. 9
am 7 pm. Instructor Larry R.
Walter, Sr. F-TFN

HUNTING
WEST KENTUCKY TROPHY
DEER HUNTS: Thousands of
acres private farmland, 4 day hunts,
farms and stands, lodging. $795.00
Call 270-213-0187. H-3-1
................................................
FULLY GUIDED SPRING
TURKEY HUNTS available
in Northern Michigan. This is an
all-inclusive 3 day hunt for 2
hunters and 2 guests. Your
hunt will be fully guided on over
1500 private acres, includes
meals and lodging. The first is
4/20/15-5/3/15 in Hunt Area A
and the Hunt # is 0101. The
second hunt is 5/04/15-5/31/15.
There are a limited number of
openings available. Please call
810-223-4587. H-1-3
NORTHERN
ONTARIO
BEAR HUNTS: Booking now for
fall of 2015. Includes comfortable
cabin, boat and motor, baited stands.
Very experienced guides. High success rate. 3 hours from the Soo.
References on request. $960 U.S.
705-869-3272 www.texasandsons.
com H-10-12-14

HUNTING LEASE
HUNTING LEASE FOR THE
2015 DEER SEASON. Active
duty military member and his family
looking to hunt close to home after he
returns home from deployment. Call
616-329-5388
or
email
mkester1826@yahoo.com
God
Bless! HL-3-1
................................................
HUNTING LAND FOR RENT.
Hundred acre woods limit of 3 hunters. Modern cabin available. $1600
per season. 231-590-1136. HL-3-3
................................................
SEEKING HUNTING LEASE
for 2015-16 season within 2 hours of
Detroit. 2-4 ethical hunters, mainly
whitetail archery. Also interested in
gun and spring turkey. 100+ acres
ideal. Will pay $3,000+ for the season. Call Kim 248-506-9458. HL-22
................................................

FOR RENT
MODERN CABIN FOR RENT
on Bear Creek. Sleeps 5. A/C, Sat
TV, full kitchen. 10 minutes from
Manistee River. 1.3 miles from state
snowmobile trails. Now booking for
steelhead. 231-590-1136. FR-3-5
................................................

REAL ESTATE
SELLERS, IT IS TIME, To Put
Your Hunting Land, On The Market,
Properties are Selling this Winter,
with the Snow Holding off. We are
Here to Help.Just Land Sales 586419-6716
JustLandSales.com
RE-3-1
................................................
139 ACRES, Amazing Large
Piece. With an X-Large Pond for
Fishing 90% Wooded - Irregular
Shaped Kimball Twp. - St. Clair
County $278,000 Just Land Sales
586-419-6716
facebook.com/
justlandsales RE-3-1
................................................
140 ACRES, Wooded, Rolling
Hills, Scenic Trails, Lake, Flowing
Creek, Pole Barn & Great Hunt
Camp 1990 x 2590 irregular shaped,
Delaware Twp. Sanilac County,
$449,000 Just Land Sales 586-4196716 JustLandSales.com RE-3-1
................................................
123 ACRES Wooded Deer
Camp, 4 miles of Groomed RV Trails,
& Bunk House, 95% Wooded,
1329x4043 Possible Split, Paris Twp.
Huron County, $330,000 Just Land
Sales 586-419-6716 facebook.com/
justlandsales RE-3-1
................................................

OUTDOOR ENTHUSIAST
OF ANY KIND will love
this real estate offering.
Whether you hunt, fish, hike or
snowmobile this property offers
it all. 180 acres with trails,
blinds, creek and food plots.
Property adjoins thousands of
acres of public land and less
than 2 miles to boat launch and
the St. Mary's River. Present
owners use as a G.U.P. camp
but the 1100 sq. ft. home and
32x42 garage will satisfy most
as a year round residence. A
great buy at $289,000. Please
call listing agent Mike Gillhooley
at 906-440-7389. Pictures and
more details can be found at
smith-company.com. RE-3-1
44.44 ACRES Unique Riverfront
Scenic Trails, with, Mill Creeks edge
as, S/W Property Lines.530 x irregular Brockway Twp, St. Clair County,
$169,000 Just Land Sales 586-4196716 JustLandSales.com RE-3-1
................................................
40 SQUARE Wooded Acres,
Excellent Hunting, a Creek & 2 Rd.
Frontages 1320 x 1320 90%
Wooded Burnside Twp, Lapeer
County $119,000 Just Land Sales
586-419-6716
facebook.com/
justlandsales RE-3-1
................................................
18 ACRES, Great Little Piece of
Farmland 573 x 928 (60 Easement)
10 % Wooded (tree-lined) Berlin
Twp., St. Clair County, $54,000 Just
Land Sales 586-419-6716 facebook.
com/justlandsales RE-3-1
................................................
TRAILS END RESORT on
Big Manistique Lake. 2 bedroom modern housekeeping
cabins. Boats - motors and pontoon rentals. Good fishing, hunting, birding. Central UP - Curtis,
MI. Call 906-586-3515. RE-33
COLORADO ELK HUNTING
PROPERTY. 40.1 acres in Costilla
County CO. Elk, Mule deer, Lion,
Bear, Grouse, Turkey, Bobcat on the
property and Big Horn sheep in the
nearby San Isabel National Forest.
Beautiful Ponderosa Pines and rock
outcroppings. Mt. Blanca is the fourth
highest peak in the continental U.S.
gives great views. This 40 acre parcel is part of an 18,000 acre ranch
that allows owners to hunt on the
majority of the ranch. $60k land contract possible. Call Cell 313-9290623. RE-3-2
................................................
80+/1 ACRES, near Alpena.
Cedar and hardwood trees. Drivable
trails and electric available. Only
$89,900. Call Dan at Faust Real
Estate, LLC 517-260-3068. RE-3-1
................................................

REAL ESTATE
ESTATE SALE Beautiful Lake
Front Home On Private Lake With 40
Acres And With 112 Additional Acres
Available. 5 Bedrooms 3 And 1.2
Baths, Extra Large 3 Stall Garage
With Bonus Room Above. Modern
Kitchen With Granite Countertops.
Land Is Wooded And Partly Tillable.
Three Fireplaces. North Of Lakeview
Area. 616-262-4040 $549,000.
RE-3-2
................................................
AMAZING 44 ACRES near
Rose City, Ogemaw County.
Hunt where Fred Bear and Ted
Nugent hunted. High and dry,
very private, 1,000 ft. frontage
on Houghton Creek, 30 ft. travel
trailer w/electric. Property surveyed $88,000 firm. Call 248249-6794 for details. RE-3-4
BUYING OR SELLING?
Farms, vacant land or recreational
parcels throughout Michigan. Call
Larry Barron at Faust Real Estate,
LLC 231-884-3831. RE-3-1
................................................
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY
IN LENAWEE CO.! Busy convenience store and 2nd bldg. was formerly used as an ice cream/pizza
business. Great location on state
hwy. Currently grosses over $1 million with lots of room for growth!!
Beer/Wine/Liquor License & Lottery.
$299,000 Call Diana at Faust Real
Estate, LLC 517-270-3646. RE-3-1
................................................

REAL ESTATE

REAL ESTATE

80 ACRES WOODED
RECREATIONAL borders
1/2 mile STATE land, U.P.,
cabin, garage. Hunt deer, bear,
turkey, grouse, rabbit, beaver
pond. Trails: snowmobile/fourwheeler, $79,000. Bob 517-8968976. RE-3-2

BEAVER
ISLAND
120
ACRES, Under QDM management
for 15 years, food plots, heated
blinds, 30x40 pole barn, diverse
habitat adjacent to low pressure state
land, loaded with mature bucks, turnkey. Asking $325,000. Call Denny at
810-441-2053. RE-2-3
................................................

ACRES GOULD CITY Mi, back


40 with bought-in easement. Fully
wooded with parking / camping area,
gated entrance with new driveway.
Land is not swampy, adjoining state
land two miles from town. Great hunting, bear, deer and birds. Trimmed
trails with blinds and feeders.
Snowmobile trail head minutes away.
Asking $45,000.00 any more questions call or e-mail Debbie Severn.
1-989-624-4670 or ddsesuntan@aol.
com RE-11-12-14
................................................
290
ACRE
WOODED
LAKEFRONT SPORTSMEN'S
PARADISE! 2000 feet on 90 acre
clear lake. 6000 feet on great county
roads. One mile from US 23 and
Lake Huron. Three bedroom, two
baths, pole barn. Wildlife haven.
9628 Balch Road, Ocqueoc, Presque
Isle County. See it at
w w w. l a n d s o f a m e r i c a . c o m /
listing/1514845 $350,000.00 Call
Dan Davenport, Re/Max Platinum,
810-599-2141. RE-11-14-TFN
................................................

DOGS

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AKC
REGISTERED
CHOCOLATE LAB PUPPIES
5 Males 1 Female $600 each Mother
and Father are both healthy, excellent pets, hunters/retrievers First
shots and wormed Please call 970948-8772. D-3-1
................................................
ENGLISH
SETTERS

RYMAN TYPE 2 litters due


January 2015. Males $500.00,
Females $550.00. $50 deposit
required. Kalamazoo Area 269-2797599 or boondocks1935@hotmail.
com Andy Johnson D-2-2
................................................
TWO EXPERIENCED BIRD
DOGS. Both champion sired.
Female English Pointer 18 months.
Male English Setter 2 years. Outright
or co-ownership. Boondocks Kennels
- Kalamazoo area. Andy Johnson
269-279-7599. D-2-2
................................................
COUNTRY SIDE KENNELS:
Gun Dog Training, Obedience and
boarding. Winter discounts.
www.countryside-kennels.com
989-551-7790. D-1-3
................................................
GERMAN SHORTHAIR
POINTER PUPS: Males
and females available. Excellent hunting dogs and superb
family pets. Close working dogs
with strong point and retrieve
instincts. Reasonably priced for
the sporting family. Money back
guarantee. Eulenhof Kennels,
Gladwin, MI.
http://www.eulenhof.com
989-426-4884 D-3-2

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FEBRUARY 2015 - WNW NEWS

Woods-N-WaterNews Classified Section

101

102-109
IG RIVER

PROPERTIES

BIG BASS LAKE - 8885 WEST ISLE DRIVE IRONS ELK TOWNSHIP
LAKE COUNTY - Amazing home on Big Bass Lake with 100 of sandy
beach frontage on this 290 acre all sports lake. The 3550 square foot
home or year around cottage features 5 bedrooms, 3 baths including a
master suite on the main floor giving you room for 20 of your closest friends
or family in a separate wing of the house. Enjoy amenities such as all
hickory trim, hardwood floors and cabinetry, ceramic tile floors, huge walls
of glass, soaring 20 ceilings that showcase the two-story gas/log fireplace
a third story look-out tower, a heated garage.$449,000 (DEY)
40 ACRES - 11518 W. 48 ROAD WELLSTON SOUTH BRANCH
TOWNSHIP LAKE COUNTY Year around home, 40 acres mixture of
hardwood, open pasture or tillable land. 3 bedrooms plus a room above
garage used as guest quarters. Custom kitchen, rustic hickory cabinets,
soft close drawers, stainless appliances, granite counter tops, open to
dining area and family room which has 14 pine ceilings, stone faced fireplace with top of the line woodstove insert with a blower, and custom book
cases, hardwood and ceramic floors throughout. Laundry area, breezeway
connects the 2 car garage. 24x50 pole barn, wood shed, covered porch
and deck overlooks the gardens. $339,000 (LON)

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

10+/- ACRE ESTATE HOME 584 E 10 MILE ROAD IRONS


NEWKIRK TOWNSHIP LAKE COUNTY - Superb Quality three bedroom, w bath home on 10+/- nicely wooded acres. Home features an
open floor plan with custom kitchen cabinetry opening to a cedar walled
living room with pellet stove insert on the fieldstone wall and exposed
beams. Stainless kitchen appliances, granite island, second level sleeping
loft and master bedroom offers a doorwall to stamped concrete patio.
Glass patio room offers heat making it a true four season room that overlooks the stunning landscaping which continues around the property.
Partial basement is finished with a bath, bar and two family rooms. Extra
deep attached 2 car garage and underground sprinkler system. 32x24 has
a finished second level living quarters with garage offering electric and
woodstove. 40x36 Pole Barn with 14 foot ceilings and door, cement floor,
electric and storage loft. This barn has a 34x24 addition and a 16x16
addition. Property also has a 12x16 drive thru shed. $264,900 (COU)

102

16.88+/- ACRES ON LITTLE MANISTEE RIVER 11 MILE ROAD


IRONS - Beautiful Little Manistee River acreage! 16.88 +/- acres with
224+/- feet of frontage on the banks of Little Manistee River. Property is
located close to the mouth of Cool Creek and has road frontage on three
sides. Property features a nice mixture of wooded and open field areas.
Great recreational location close to snowmobile trails and across the road
from Federal Land. $98,500 (ZDE) NEW PRICE!
12 ACRES - LITTLE MANISTEE RIVER ACCESS POMEROY
SPRINGS IRONS Come see this 12 acre parcel of prime hunting and
fishing property in the very desirable Pomeroy Springs area. Deeded
access to the Little Manistee River. The property consists of mixed woods,
is level and would make a great building site. This is a gorgeous property
has tons of evidence of wildlife. There is practically buck rubs on every
other tree. This could be your paradise. Dont miss out. $30,000 (MIL)

Hunters Call for our Acreage Parcels


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

www.BigRiverVentures.com Info@BigRiverVentures.com

HUNTING AND
INVESTMENT PROPERTY

FOR SALE!

TROPHY DEER, BEAR


AND GREAT FISHING
Large Acreages Available!
$200 Per Acre & UP
in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Area
(within one hour of bridge)

Call for details and check our website!

15% DISCOUNT NOW


THRU MARCH 30, 2015

LAJAMBE
ENTERPRISES INC.

120 Huron Street (across Street from Canadian Customs)


Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario P6A 1P8

Telephone: (705) 248-9663 FAX: (705) 248-1110

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

CALL

800-387-7824
TO PLACE YOUR
AD TODAY!

P.O. Box 278 594 N. Almont Ave. Imlay City, MI 48444


Phone: (810) 724-0254 Fax: (810) 724-8552

Check out our website:

www.woods-n-waternews.com

Hunting, Fishing and Farming Land in Michigan - Waiting for You!


The Land Experts You Can Trust
877-843-0910

www.TrophyClassRealEstate.com

Participating broker of

320 Acres
8 Bedroom Lodge
Dynamic habitat for deer and wildlife with 2 large ponds, sandy bottom creek, rolling
hills with hard woods and pines. The lodge sits atop one of the highest hills with a view
of only nature. It is ideally set up for a group or large family. Possible land contract. Lodge
and less acreage offered as well as vacant land option Ask for Ian Volchoff

ASKING $630,000

270 Acres
6,200 sf Cedar Log Lodge

280 Acres
Pigeon River Access

1.5 Acres - Little Muskegon


River Frontage

Magnificent, picture perfect lodge, two 18th-Century


barns, caretakers house. Possible land split.
Ask for Dave Pawlak

River, creeks, ponds, cut roads, endless hunting and


world class Trout Fishing!
Ask for Matt Farkas

Home in construction, adjacent to federal land.


Ask for Tim Dykstra

ASKING $2,595,000

ASKING $495,000

10 Acres
Private Luxury Home

132 Acres
Hobby Farm and Woods

52 Feet of Frontage
Gorgeous Hamlin Lake Home

Close to Caberfae Peaks Ski Resort and Traverse City.


Scenic views in every direction. Ask for Ian Volchoff

Tillable grounds and woods, farm home and outbuildings


Ask for Dave Pawlak

Live every day with stunning sunsets and great fishing!


Ask for Rick Rybicki

ASKING $399,000

ASKING $229,900

ASKING $289,000

ASKING $549,900

Three ConvenienT offiCe LoCaTions


Grand haven
219 north 7th street, suite 2
Grand haven, Mi 49417
(616) 414-5420

Traverse CiTy
4249 Us 31
south Traverse City, Mi 49685
(231) 233-3575

aTLanTa
12412 Main street
atlanta, Mi 49709
(989) 306-0372

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

Come visit us at Outdoorama at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, February 26-March 1

103

Offices Serving Lower &


Upper Michigan
Bringing people and places together since 1945

TARGET REAL ESTATE SPECIALIZES IN


WATERFRONT HOMES AND HUNTING PARCELS
WE REPRESENT BUYERS AND SELLERS
HOMES WITH ACREAGE

VISIT OUR WEBSITE TODAY!

0 AUSABLE DUNES
TRAIL, EAST TAWAS
$129,000

0 POWERLINE ROAD,
WHITTEMORE
$195,000

statewiderealestate.net

MLS # 1778247

Houghton
Marquette

Curtis
Manistique

Escanaba

Powers
Menominee
Marinette

120 acres located between Tawas, Hale and Whittemore.


This property offers terrain from low lands to ridges with
thousands of red and white oak and numerous areas for
food plots. There are deer, turkey, partridge, and woodcock
that make their presence known throughout this gem. The
road system makes property access easy. This property
also includes 100% of the mineral rights. Call now!

Newberry

Fife Lake

Onaway
Hawks
Hillman
Alpena

Atlanta
Harrisville
Mio
Oscoda

Skidway Lake

Clare

0 CEDAR LAKE ROAD,


GREENBUSH
$90,000

0 PIERSON TRAIL,
EAST TAWAS
$28,500

MLS # 1786436

MLS # 1778247
Ten acre parcel minutes from downtown East Tawas. Rolling terrain with a nice diversity of trees;
Oak, Red Pine, White Pine and several other tree
types. Potential for a pond in front of a possible
building site! Wildlife abounds at this location, deer
and turkey frequent the area on a regular basis.
Call today for details!

Almont
Linden

MLS # 1790268
This 10.09 acre parcel is one of the few left on the
shores of Lake Huron where the natural beauty of
the shoreline and surrounding woods can be enjoyed. The frontage is 195' w/natural dunes between
the wood line and shore line. Spencer Lake bi-sects
the property providing additional wildlife viewing opportunities. Bylaws and deed restrictions do apply.

Three parcels totaling over 347 feet of frontage on 1075 acre Cedar Lake. Nice wooded
location with lots of wildlife in the area. Frontage is natural which and several possible
building sites sitting up on the bluff. Call today for a copy of the survey and an information package.

MORE PARCELS ARE AVAILABLE


CALL TODAY FOR MORE DETAILS 989.362.4400

TARGET REAL
ESTATE COMPANY

Howell

701 W. Bay Street, East Tawas, MI 48730

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


info@TargetRealEstate.com
www.TargetRealEstate.com

Contact Your Nearest State Wide Real


Estate Office To Buy or Sell In Michigan
ALPENA
1100 W. Chisholm, 49707
email: alpswre@speednetllc.com
989-356-2142 Fax: 989-356-2144

HAWKS
8383 Hwy. 451, 49743
email: rita8383@yahoo.com
989-734-4846

ALMONT
844 Van Dyke Road
lafrancesharon@yahoo.com
810-798-8591 Fax: 810-798-8079

HILLMAN
14938 State Street, P.O. Box 98, 49746
email: statewidehillman@yahoo.com
989-742-4523 800-228-7856
Fax: 989-742-3931

CLARE
308 E. 5th Street, 48617
email: statewideclare@voyager.net
989-386-3396 Fax: 989-386-3800

HOUGHTON
500 Shelden Ave., 49931
email: dick@statewideofhoughton.com
906-482-6955 800-676-6323
Fax: 906-482-7699

CURTIS/NEWBERRY
Main Street, P.O. Box 305, 49820
email: swcurtis@sbcglobal.net
906-586-9606 Fax: 906-586-9607

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

ESCANABA
2209 Ludington Street, 49829
email: escanaba@statewiderealestate.net
906-786-1308 800-900-0777
Fax: 906-786-1388

104

FIFE LAKE
127 State Street, P.O. Box 190, 49633
email: swfife@charterinternet.com
231-879-4471 Fax: 231-879-4362
HARRISVILLE
430 S. US-23, 48740
email: sold@anjstatewide.com
989-724-5711 800-655-5735
Fax: 989-724-6833

HOWELL/LINDEN
1285 S. Michigan Ave., Howell, MI 48843
email: statewid@earthlink.net
517-546-9060 800-531-4449
Fax: 517-546-9148
IRON MOUNTAIN - KINGSFORD
112 S. Carpenter Ave., Kingsford, 49802
906-828-9079
MANISTIQUE
10 N. State Highway M-149
Cooks, MI 49817
906-644-2304
email: dekeysermary@yahoo.com
MARINETTE, WISCONSIN
1460 Marinette Ave., 54143
email: statewidemarinette@yahoo.com
715-735-9964 Fax: 715-732-1107
MARQUETTE
856 W. Washington, 49855
email: sw@statewiderealestate.org
906-228-9312 Fax: 906-228-8069

MENOMINEE
3631 10th Street, 49858
email: statewideone@newbc.rr.com
906-863-9905
Fax: 906-863-7935
MIO
102 West 8th St., P.O. Box 395, 48647
email: info@statewidemio.com
989-826-3292
Fax: 989-826-2108
ONAWAY
M-33 & M-68,
P.O. Box 478, 49765
email: bigdan@frontier.com
989-733-6522
Fax: 989-733-2427
OSCODA
335 South State St., 48750
email: lakehuronsw@chartermi.net
989-739-2050
Fax: 989-739-2280
POWERS
W3776 US2 & 41, 49874
906-497-4190
Fax: 906-497-5328
holly@statewiderealestate.net
SKIDWAY LAKE
2228 Greenwood Rd.,
Prescott, 48756
email: atlas@m33access.com
989-873-3601
Fax: 989-873-6914

WOODS & WATER AND WRAP YOURSELF UP IN ONE OF THESE!


HOME BUSINESS

MOVE IN READY

ARENAS AND BARNS

$450,000 9 Acres, Log Home, Kennel, Metamora $485,000 - 80 Acres, 2 Pole Barns, North Branch $785,000 23 Acres, Metamora Hunt Country

$229,900 14 Acres, Horses, Hunting, Almont

$399,900 10 Acres, Horse Farm, Oxford Schools $575,000 15+ Acres, Victorian, Hunt Country

OPEN THE GATE TO HILLS, HORSES & HOSPITALITY - METAMORA!


Highlands of Metamora - 1 Acre...................$32,900
Steeplechase - 1 Acre...................................$55,000
Metamora Golf & CC - 1 Acre lots from.......$27,900
Blood Rd 10 Acres, PENDING...................$89,900
Sante Fe - 3 Acres, Natl Gas........................$34,900
Peters Lane - 3 to 8 Acres......... $54,900 to $89,900

M-119 - 8 Acres on Lake MI........................$495,000


Brocker Rd 60 Acres................................$279,900
Casey Rd - 23 Acres on Flint River............$179,000
German Rd - 40 Acres, Woods...................$159,900
Genesee Rd - 44 Acres, Splits....................$289,900
Sutton Rd - 90 Acres, Wooded...................$599,000

231-652-7000
- or -

231-250-8200

WE NEED LISTINGS 40+ ACRES AND LARGER


LD
O

LD

Alcona County, 40 Acres


Nicely Wooded, Trail System, Ready to Hunt
$59,000

Allegan County, 71+/- Acres. Good Trail


System, Excellent Deer & Turkey Hunting
$114,900

Arenac County, 70 Acres 3,500+/- ft. Lake


Huron Frontage, Duck & Deer Hunters Dream
$280,000

Arenac County, 146 Acres Rifle River &


Saginaw Bay Access, Tri-Level House
$399,999

Arenac County, 349 Acres


2 Ponds, Blinds, Trails
SOLD -$523,500 - SOLD

Calhoun County, 61 Acres. 3,000+/- ft. St.


Joseph River Frontage, Big Buck Country
SOLD -$129,900 - SOLD

Calhoun County, 88 Acres


45 Tillable, Balance Wooded
$299,900

Calhoun County, 336 Acres Caretaker House,


Lodge, Pole Barn, River & Lake Front
$1,150,000

Chippewa County, 80 Acres Log Cabin,


Pole Barn, Pond, 20 minutes to Soo
$260,000

Chippewa County, 1684 Acres 8,500 sq. ft. Log Lodge,


Guest House, Dock on St. Marys River, Private Lake
$2,490,000

Clare County, 155 Acres


Rolling Hardwoods, Pond, Trails
$224,900

Clare County, 136.76 Acres, Private Lake


5,000 ft. Muskegon River Frontage, Adjacent to National Forest
$350,000

LD

O
S

Delta County, 75+/- Acres


3,000 ft Lake Michigan Frontage, Cabin
$294,000

LD

Gratiot County, 40 Acres


Surrounded by Ag Land, Excellent Hunting
SOLD - $87,000 - SOLD

Jackson County, 51 Acres Rolling Terrain,


Big Buck Country, Mixed Hardwoods
SOLD - $122,400 - SOLD

Jackson County, 52 Acres


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

Jackson County, 162 Acres CRP Program, 6 Elevated


Blinds, 115 Ac. Tillable, Pond, Big Buck Country
$599,000

Kalkaska County, 60 Acres Heavy Cover,


Excellent Deer & Turkey Hunting
$71,600

Kalkaska County, 300 Acres Cabin, Rolling


Terrain, Professionally Managed Forest
$599,000

Kalkaska County, 480 Acres


Great Trail, Nice Hardwoods
$995,000

LD

Jackson County, 125 Acres


Big Buck Country, Small Creek
SOLD - $187,500 - SOLD

LD
O
S

Missaukee County, 75 Acres Pond, Creek,


Guest Cabin & 2 Bedroom House
$199,000

LD

Delta County, 40+/- Acres


1,200 ft. Lake Michigan Frontage
$109,000

LD

Lake County, 320 Acres, 4,700 sq ft Lodge,


Outbuildings, Sm. Creek, Pond, Elevated Blinds
SOLD - $599,000 - SOLD

Jackson County, 60 Acres Custom Log


Home, Pole Barn, Too Much To List
SOLD - $379,000 - SOLD

O
S

LD

Missaukee County, 200 Acres


Cabin, Pond, 8 Enclosed Blinds
$329,000

NG

DI
EN

Montcalm County, 30 Acres 2,500 sq ft


Log Home, 120x70 Outbuilding
$349,000

Montcalm County, 40 Acres Church Creek


Frontage, Rustic Cabin, Excellent Hunting
SOLD - $129,900 - SOLD

Newaygo County, 40 Acres Surrounded by


National Forest, Trails, Elevated Blinds
$85,000

Otsego County, 160 Acres


Private 15 Ac Lake, 6,000 sq. ft. House
$1,749,000

Otsego County, 200 Acres


Rolling Terrain, Food Plots, Cabin
$399,000

Schoolcraft County, 2282 Acres


Fox River Frontage
$499,000

LD

Newaygo County, 140 Acres, Pond


Trout Stream, 40 Ac. Tillable, Food Plots
SOLD - $325,000 - SOLD

Ogemaw County, 40 Acres House, Pond,


Abundant Wildlife, Great Hunting
$139,000

Osceola County, 112 Acres


Small Creek, Trail System
SOLD - $145,600 - SOLD

WildLifeRealty.com

www.

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

Crawford County, 20+/- Acres. Nice Woods,


Cabin, Adjacent to State & Federal Land
$84,900

LD
O
S

105

MINTO
MARCH SPECIAL RANDY
Always Working Hard for You!

MONTCALM
COUNTY

MOTIVATED SELLER

Hidden Horns Licensed Game


Ranch in Howard City. Awesome
Opportunity! Turn Your Dream
Property and Passion into Your
Dream Job. Dont Miss Your
Chance of a Lifetime!

REALTOR

3,000 sq ft home, 4-car


Garage, 2 lg Pole Barns.
Over 1,000 ft on White River.

Direct:

810.449.1286
- OR Office:

$
499,950
299,900 810.653.4500
SPECIALIZING IN UNIQUE, LUXURY AND LARGE RECREATIONAL PROPERTIES
NEWAYGO COUNTY
120 ACRES

DEER

&

NATURE

149-ACRE
GAME RANCH

LOVERS

DREAM

PROPERTIES

OCEANA COUNTY

LAKE MICHIGAN

80 ACRES

1 1/2 Mile from one of the Best Public Beaches on Lake Michigan. Deer Hunter & Nature Lovers
Dream Property. 90 % Wooded. Hunt Hike Fish or just Chill at the Beach. $349,000

OAKLAND COUNTY

78 ACRES

3,000 sq ft home, 5 pole barns w/ heat, electric, water, 2 ponds.


Hunters or Mechanics, this is your Dream Home. $499,500

128 ACRES
GENESEE COUNTY
Newly Renovated, 41 tillable acres, 65% Wooded. Great Development
$599,900
& Commercial Possibilities. A Rare Gem!

LICENSED DEER RANCH

ALCONA COUNTY

ENJOY OVER
11,000 ACRES

Be a member of Lost Lake Woods. Awesome Hunting, Hiking & Fishing! Golf course, rifle range and archery range.
Enjoy 5 lakes and water activities!
$195,000

34 ACRES
GENESEE COUNTY

80-100 DEER
20-25 TROPHY BUCKS

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


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

37 ACRES 2 PONDS MONTCALM COUNTY


Over 1,000 ft of frontage on Class A Highway.
GREAT COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL $368,900

CEDAR LAKE

ALCONA COUNTY
COMMERCIAL

MARINE

Cedar Lake Marine, multiple outbuildings,


and Waterfront Home $585,000

121 ACRES
MUSKEGON RIVER

CLARE COUNTY

Great Hunting Hiking Fishing. Over 1 mile on the river. 90%


wooded, 3 mobile homes, 2 cabins, 2 sheds, 3 trailers. 6 parcels.

$339,800

GENESEE COUNTY 110 ACRES


GREAT DEVELOPMENT POSSIBILITIES
Davison,approx. 90 tillable acres, Wooded, ponds,
Historical home and 3 barns. $449,900

LAKE
HURON
120 ACRES
ALPENA
COUNTY

ALPENA
COUNTY
57.5 ACRES

Great Hunting. BONUS LOT. Access to Sandy


Beach on Lake Huron. Surrounded by State Land.

Great Hunting, 2 ponds,


Stream, nicely Wooded

$159,000

$63,250

OGEMAW COUNTY 9 ACRES


1,300 sq ft Custom-Built Home w/ 26 x 32 Heated Garage

$165,000

50.5 ACRES
GENESEE
COUNTY

40 ACRES
GENESEE
COUNTY

Great Hunting 50% Wooded,


active Oil Well

Great Hunting, 17 Tillable


acres, the rest Nicely Wooded.

$162,500

NG

$120,000

DI
EN

P
GENESEE
COUNTY
4+ ACRES

TUSCOLA
COUNTY
41 ACRES

NEWAYGO
COUNTY
46 ACRES

10+ ACRES
OAKLAND
COUNTY

TUSCOLA
COUNTY
20 ACRES

Great Farmhouse w/Barn. Lots of


space to roam. Davison Schools

Nicely wooded, Great Hunting,


Great Property

2 parcels Surrounded by 1000s of acres


of State land. Great Hunting, Location

Great Hunting,
abuts State Land

Great building site,


Brandon Schools

$144,900

$114,500

$149,900

$69,900

$99,800

GENESEE COUNTY
CLIO
3BD 2BA beautiful brick
ranch, open floor plan

$185,000

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

1400 FT ON
LAKE LINDA

106

10+ ACRES
GENESEE COUNTY
(2) 5+ acre parcels, Goodrich Schools, Great Location.
$45,900/each or $91,800

15+ ACRES
GENESEE
COUNTY
COMMERCIAL
Davison, (3) 5-acre parcels. Close to I-69.

$379,900

OGEMAW COUNTY
162 ACRES
Abundant wildlife, 80% wooded. 1/2 mile
from Augres river. $278,900

GENESEE COUNTY
3 ACRES
Davison. Zoned Commercial. Close to I-69,
Great Building Site. $299,900

GENESEE COUNTY
8 ACRES
Davison, Great Development Opportunity.
Previously 25-Condo lot. $189,000

GARROW & ASSOCIATES Call Randy Minto Or Visit: www.MIDreamProperties.com

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

HALE
OFFICE

ALE
S
R
O

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

3160 North M-65


Hale, MI48739

10 miles north of I-75 exit 202

WEST BRANCH
LOOP OFFICE

ALE
S
R
O

2575 S. I-75 Business Loop,


West Branch, MI 48661

Gateway to Huron National Forest

www.CAHANES.com

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

1 mile north of I-75 Exit 212

www.CAHANES.com

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

WATERFRONT HOMES
M790635B

M782802R

M776325R

STUNNING
LOG HOME!!

80 ACRES
ON RIFLE
RIVER!!

M784779C

3 bdrm home w/3-car garage & many great features like AC, newer carpet, FP, full bsmt, fenced
yard, beautiful views, deck and covered porch.

10 ACRES ON RIFLE RIVER!! 3-bdrm, 4


ba, over 4700 sq ft, garage, full bsmt, upper
balcony, covered porch, deck, FP. Splendid
& gorgeous country setting!

Cozy 2 bdrm getaway, FP and shed. Excellent hunting camp w/lots of wildlife,
including deer & turkey, in the area and
fishing at your doorstep!

SANDY
FRONTAGE
ON ALL
SPORTS LAKE
OGEMAW!!
3-bdrm, full walkout bsmt, wood stove,
updated septic & elec, covered wrap-a
round deck, boat dock & gorgeous lake
views!

$139,900

$595,000

$249,900

$162,900

2.1 ACES
ON NESTER
CREEK!

M783771L

ATTENTION
WATERFRONT
BUYERS! THIS
IS THE ONE!!

M791552B

SPACIOUS &
UPDATED!!

M776647R

RIFLE RIVER
FRONTAGE
ON 1.4
ACRES!!

3-bdrm, open floor plan, FP, sunroom,


redwood deck, beautiful views, heated
workshop and garage, nice cedar sided
home!

$159,900

M785706G

M793162B

M749221L

WATERFRONT
LOG
CABIN!!

EVERETT
LAKEFRONT
HOME!

LAKEFRONT
PROPERTY

Well-maintained on all sports LAKE GEORGE!


Lots of updates like hardwood floors and appliances. Garage, porch & more!

3-bdrm on BIG WILLIAMS LAKE! Year round


home with fantastic views, garage, steel roof
and newer appliances. Comes with your own
boat dock & paddle & fishing boats

Nice "no wake" lake and great fishing. 2-bdrm,


loft area, stone FP, landscaping, storage shed
and gorgeous views of tranquil lake. Year round
or perfect getaway!

Cape Cod, 4-bdrm home, full bsmt, FIVE


WOODED ACRES. A dock for your boat
and you can ride to Stylus Lake, deck,
porch & move-in ready!

A lakefront lot across the road is included


w/nice 2-bdrm year round home. Country kitchen, patio, fenced yard, garage &
2 decks. Priced right to sell quickly!!

$159,900

$129,900

$109,900

$106,000

$69,900

HOMES ON LOTS & WATER ACCESS HOMES


M790664L

M786481C

L786801A

L793473A

M778577C

ACROSS
FROM HURON
NAT'L
FOREST!!

WELL
MAINTAINED!!

SIX
BEDROOMS!!

Neat and clean, 3-bdrm, over $20K in updates,


over 1200 sq ft, metal roof, AC, garage, paved
driveway, deck & more. Walk to restaurants/shopping!

ALL
SPORTS
LAKE
GEORGE
ACCESS!!
2/3-bdrm, large lot, garage, FP, covered
porch and lots of shade trees. Needs some
TLC to be your year round or perfect getaway!!

3-bdrm home on deep lot, semisecluded, nice


shade trees, needs some work for year round
residence, near lakes in great rec area!!

2-bdrm, family room, garage, storage


building, in great rec area and near Au
Sable River, golf course & Huron Nat'I
Forest. Affordable "Up North" getaway!!

Over 2000 sq ft, screened porch, garage


w/loft, walk to shopping and restaurants,
near beautiful Iron's Park and not far from
lakes & State land!!

$69,900

$19,500

$52,500

$21,900

$45,000

VICTORIAN
WEST
BRANCH!

HOMES ON ACREAGE
M783267B

M782831R

M791089B

M781903B

M759407L

COZY
HOME ON
5 WOODED
ACRES!!

HUNT CAMP,
GETAWAY
OR YEAR
ROUND!!

15+
ACRES!!

ACROSS FROM
FED'L LAND &
13+ ACRES!!

ROLLING
10 ACRES!!

2-bdrm, garage, wood stove, rear deck and


beautiful pond. Move-in ready w/appliances and
near State land for hunting & Rifle River Rec Park!

10 WOODED ACRES w/2- bdrm mobile


home, deck, appliances, newer furnace. Perfect place to get away from it all or excellent
hunting prop!!

3/4-bdrm, garage, pole building, move-in ready,


blacktop drive, large pond, deck and covered
porch. Excellent getaway in great rec area
near lakes & State land!!

3-bdrm, over 2300 sq ft, oversized garage, large rooms, 2 wood stoves, knotty
pine, wood floors, AC, steel roof, berry
bushes, a pond & more!!

Gorgeous views from lots of windows in


this custom-built 3-bdrm home, full finished bsmt, quality workmanship thruout, garage and pole barn!!

$47,900

$49,500

$69,900

$146,900

$235,000

M789618B

H743334B

M763481R

W794245J

THIS IS YOUR
HUNTING
PARADISE!!!

LOCK &
LOAD FOR
YOUR NEXT
BUCK!!

40 WOODED
ACRES!!

HUNTER'S
PARADISE!!

40
ACRES!!

Beautiful wooded property on paved maintained


road. 101 ACRES WITH STATE LAND ON
THREE SIDES & older bldg w/propane lights
&heat. Minutes from I-75!

53+ ACRES WITH STATE LAND ON 3


SIDES!! Hunting doesn't get any better here,
heavily wooded with "hunting shack'" & blinds.

Lots of mature trees and wildlife for excellent


hunting or potential site for your new home or
getaway! Also near all sports Rifle and George
Lakes!

40 rolling acres, wooded with lots of wildlife for great hunting, or build your getaway or dream home here. ALSO BORDERS STATE LAND!!

Variety of trees, blueberry and raspberry


bushes, paved road, elec at road, old bldg
of no value, lots of deer, turkey & other
wildlife in the area for excellent hunting!!

$198,000

$94,000

$80,000

$74,950

$89,000

M787378C

M792445L

10
ACRES!!

10
ACRES!!

Mostly wooded with clearing for your hunt camp,


additional 1O ACRES ALSO AVAILABLE. Lots of
wildlife in area or potential site just to build your
dream home or getaway!!

Great property for building your dream year


round residence or getaway in area of nice
homes and cleared for planting or large garden. Only 6 MI from Clear Lake rec area!

$29,000

$28,900

FOR MORE LISTINGS


VISIT OUR WEBSITE:

M790106B

M778297B

M790253L

BEAUTIFUL
ROLLING
10 ACRES!!

CAMPING
TRAILER
INCLUDED!!

UNIQUE
10 ACRE
WATERFRONT!!

Excellent recreational area not far from Huron


Nat'l Forest for hunting or building your getaway or semi-secluded year round home!!

10 WOODED ACRES, great hunt camp


w/driveway and elec at road, wildlife galore in the area or site to build your dream
getaway!!

Beautiful acreage, large pole barn w/


lower level garage & upstairs area w/
kitchen, bath & sleeping areas. Lots of
mature oaks and 2 blinds!

$25,900

$28,900

$134,900

WWW.CAHANES.COM

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

VACANT ACREAGE
M779538B

107

Land and Lakes Real Estate Co.


"Serving the NorthCentral Upper Peninsula"

Phone: (906) 387-5100


www.landandlakesrealestate.com
Land And Lakes Real Estate Is Proud To Announce Our Exclusive Partnership With LANDLEADER
14392N W. Crooked Lake/Ross Lake Rd., Shingleton, MI 49885. WH-219/1084934
395' OF LAKE FRONTAGE, 26.8 ACRES & A RUSTIC CABIN BORDERING THOUSANDS OF
ACRES OF CFR and STATE LAND WITH YEAR ROUND ACCESS! Located on Ross Lake in the
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore area, this rustic cabin is surrounded mostly by State and
Nature Conservancy lands. Close to the main snowmobile trails in the area (450 to 8), there is no
need to trailer your sleds! Hunting, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, ATV riding can all be enjoyed here.
The cabin is NO FRILLS; however, it is very usable and can sleep a large group with its 1300 plus
square feet of space. It is rare to find the combination of large acreage, lots of water frontage,
privacy and a cabin on a good fishing lake- check it out! Priced at $149,900
N2714 Toms Road, Munising, MI 49862. WH-187 / 1077612
This full log cabin is a wonderful blend of rustic woods with the comforts of modern conveniences.
It has cathedral ceilings; a comfortable loft bedroom, lge windows, a FS wood fireplace (& electric
back-up heat), a metal roof & a lovely, new entry porch. The cabin is nestled in a beautiful pine &
spruce forest on the shore of Aleck Lake. Come to camp and enjoy the peace! Price Reduced to
$109,000
TBD Pellow RD, Trenary, MI 49891. AC-322/ 1083644
This hunting and brook trout fishing property is only 1/2 mi off US 41. Thousands of acres of CFR and State
of Michigan lands are adjacent to the west and accessed by walking off the back line. While taking photos,
woodcock and covies of ruffed grouse were flushing everywhere nearby. You can walk the top of the
Beaver Dam to access more high ground to the north or drive to it on a woods road just south of the
Whitefish River. This property contains about 55-60 acres of high ground, 20-25 acres of beaver pond,
creek and marsh. A nice building site contains an old camp of no apparent value. Priced at $74,000
E8310 Co Rd 440, Wetmore, MI 49895. RC-159 / 1080695
ATTENTION SERIOUS HUNTERS:
This professionally developed hunting parcel features food plots, deer blinds & stands, feeders, shooting
lanes & habitat cover. The 120 Acres feature, varying terrain, from river frontage to fields, cedar swamp
to hills. Additionally, it borders thousands of acres of Federal Forest land. The property was developed
for enhanced whitetail deer hunting; however, there is a wide range of other game found here as well
as whitetails to keep your hunting party satisfied throughout the year. The brand new 2 bed/1 bath cabin
is actually a BONUS! It has T & G throughout, a metal roof, full septic, a well & a tri-fuel generator that runs everything easily! Priced at $ 249,900
N6447 Percy Rd., Shingleton, MI 49884. RH-259 / 1081295
This 2-BD ranch home is simple in design & upkeep, well insulated, comfortable & peaceful. It sits on
30 acres with good access & utilities, adjacent to CFR lands. It has a 24X36 pole barn with a bunkroom in back, a 20X30 storage barn, a wood shed and an operating wind generator. This year round
home would also be a wonderful hunting or recreational cabin with bunk sleeping for a large group
and storage for equipment and toys. Life is good here. Price is REDUCED to $109,900

340

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

Contact Maurer Real Estate


at (269) 673-3800
www.maurerrealestate.com

108

ale 100 WOODED


S
r
Fo ACRES AND CABIN
989-329-0485 $299,000

934 BREAULT ROAD GLADWIN, MI

BEAUTIFUL WOODED PROPERTY WITH TRAILS THROUGHOUT


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

THOUSANDS OF ACRES AVAILABLE FROM $5,500 to $526,000. See all of our listings at swreescanaba.com

swreescanaba.com dandylandhomes.com

(800) 900-0777
VISIT OUR WEB SITE FOR ALL OUR PROPERTIES:

swreescanaba.com or dandylandhomes.com
VISIT US ON FACEBOOK AT: www.facebook.com/statewideescanaba

2209 Ludington Street


Escanaba, Michigan 49829

(906) 786-1308
FAX: (906) 786-1388
email:

escanaba@statewiderealestate.net

POWERS OFFICE:
W3776 US 2 & 41,
Powers, MI 49874

(906) 497-4190
FAX: (906) 497-5328

3 Bdrm, 1 bth quaint cottage.


110 Ft on Big Bay De Noc.
Beautiful sunrises. Nahma

3 Bdrm, 2.5 bth home/cottage. Unique Aframe


on private Lk, peaceful. Must see! Manistique.

$65,000 1083873

$154,900 1083871

3 Bdrm, 2 bth home.


150 Ft Gooseneck Lk frontage.
30x40 Pole barn. Wetmore.

1 Bdrm camp. 8 Plus acres.


Private. Green Lake frtg.
Federal land adjoins. Wetmore.

3 Bdrm, 2 bth home.


10 Acres. 140 ft frtg on Jug Lk.
Pole barn. Wetmore.

2 Bdrm, 1 bth Gooseneck Lk cabin.


All sports. Swim, boat, hunt,
fish, ATV. Wetmore.

$185,000 1083527

$119,900 1081508

$159,995 1080446

$86,900 1076204

2 Bdrm, 1 bth cottage.


Indian Lk. 26x36 Garage, sheds, dock,
appliances. Year around. Manistique.

2 Bdrm, 2 bth home.


470' Ft on Indian Lake. 57 Site
campground. Manistique

3 Bdrm, 2 bth home. 40 Acres. Older home.


Lrg rooms. Gar. Pond. Shed. Rock

3 Bdrm, 1 bth home. 80 Acres. 1/2 open, 1/2


wooded. Pond. Completely redone. All new. Carney

$119,000 1075421

$549,000 1067085

$124,900 1083581

$329,000 1080794

3 Bdrm, 2 bth Riverfront Lodge


40 Acres, secluded hunting and fishing.
Corp land surrounds. Watson.

2 Bdrm, 1 bth 40 acre camp. Three sides


USA land. Well, septic. High ground. Squaw
Creek. Nice! Stonington.

5 Bdrm, 2 bth camp. 120 Rolling acres, machine shed, barn, hardwood stand. Daggett.

3 Bdrm 2 Bth Home with 40 acres and


Squaw Creek Frontage. Stonington.

$164,900 1084088

$109,900 1081876

$360,000 1084440

$119,900 1084188

3 Bdrm, 2 bth home. 40 Acres.


All new in 2003. 2 Garages. Rock.

1 Bdrm, 1 bth camp. 20 Acres, well,


septic, electric new in 2012. Rock.

1 Bdrm, 1 bth camp. 40 Acres. Great hunting.


Adjoins State land. Elec. Cornell.

2 Bdrm 1 Bth, Once level.


5.2 acres, Fed Land across Road.
Full Bsmt, high ceilings, Walkout

$156,500 1084571

$68,900 1083817

$52,000 1082936

$119,900 1082732

120 Acres with Rustic Camp.


Hardwood and Cedar Forest. Good Roads
Throughout. Rock-Osier.

2 bdrm 1 bath camp on 280 acres,


food plots, pole bldg, & more. Perkins

Attention Hunters! Camp on 200 acres.


Drilled well. Sauna. Pole Bldg. Northland.

2 Bdrm, 1 bth home or camp.


48 Acres, everything included.
Borders state land. Nicely wooded. Rock.

$179,000 1079705

$425,000 1075830

$175,000 1074964

$65,000 1070425

MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

ESCANABA OFFICE:

109

DAN DAN

LOG CABIN
FURNITURE

THEMATTRESSMAN.COM

WHOLESALE TO THE PUBLIC

Queen Log Bed $19999

Queen Size Log Headboard

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WEB!

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199

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$

189

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149

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ONLY

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BUNK BEDS Solid Wood Complete with Mattresses $29999


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19999

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MARCH 2015 - WNW NEWS

from

110

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39999

MORE SIZES,
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99

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A
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(810) 629-2291

Exit 84 on US-23

FLINT
EXIT 84
59

FREEWAY
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FENTON

23

3241 Thompson Rd.


Fenton, MI 48430

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

PONTIAC

96
ANN ARBOR

DETROIT

SPORTS
CENTER
w w w. f r e e w a y - s p o r t s . c o m
sales@freeway-sports.com

STORE HOURS:
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Sat: 10am-4pm; Closed Sunday

Fax (586) 264-8307

Phone (586) 296-2360

31516 Harper Avenue


St. Clair Shores, MI 48082

Call for Details!!

Full Line
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www.michigunandtackle.com

Layaways Welcome

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Available at: