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Tribute to Bob and Wilma Hayes, founders of Bob’s Gun & Tackle Shop

Wilma & Bob holding Deb (left)

and Larry (right).
Picture from 1959

Bob and Wilma Approx. 1990 Approx. 1993. Bob working one of his food plots.

Robert F. Hayes was born July 6,1935 and passed away into the arms of his Savior on Friday, April
19, 2019 surrounded by his family. He was 83 years old. Bob was born in Izard County, Arkansas to
William and Bernice Hayes and moved to Michigan at 2-3 years of age. He was raised on a farm in Robert F. Hayes
Approx. 1955-1962. “Bob’s Supply
Freeport, Michigan along with his 8 younger siblings. He graduated from Middleville schools in 1954. 7/6/35 - 4/19/19
Center”. Bob’s store on wheels In his youth, Bob and his siblings were expected to work in the fields on the family farm. He also
before the shop was opened. developed a love and passion for the outdoors. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and spent as much
time as he could outside, exploring nature. He always described himself as a self-taught hunter and
He went back to Arkansas to visit family friends one summer and met a sweet Arkansas girl named
Wilma Taylor who would become his wife the following year after a brief courtship that consisted of
writing and sending letters to each other up to 2-3 times a week.
After getting married in Arkansas, they moved to Michigan where they eventually started their family.
Dad had been working a full time job at a local factory and was also selling from door to door, earning
money to pay his way through a 2-year sales program at Davenport College and also attended Dale
Carnegie classes. Decades later, he often credited this experience to much of his business success and
would recount certain instructors by name and valuable lessons he learned from them.
April 1963. Bob shown in front of
first addition. It was at this time in 1962 that Dad acted on his dream to combine his love for the outdoors with a
store. He and Wilma erected a tiny 9’x12’ shack with their own hands behind their Freeport area home
and Bob’s Gun & Tackle Shop was born. They opened the store with 16 guns, a few boxes of ammo, and
some reloading supplies. Business prospered as they expanded the next year and again 2 years after
that. Bob continued to work the factory job for the first 5 years of the business while Wilma tended the
business and raised their growing family. They put every penny back into the store in those first few years along with whatever they could
contribute from his factory job to build inventory.
Finally, in 1968 they purchased property near Hastings and built a larger facility which is where Bob’s Gun & Tackle Shop is located today.
February 1964 - Building at far left
Bob and Wilma worked long hours, often 6-7 days a week for many years to build the business. They endured the loss of a 10 year old
shows original 9x12 with 12x16’ daughter in 1971. Bob lost Wilma to cancer in 1992.
addition. Our home pictured on
the right. Dad always said, “No one
Bob and Wilma both valued hard work and carried the very best of ethics at all times. They made it a point to treat everyone well. To
started smaller than we did.” paraphrase what a long-time friend and former employee once said, “The thing I always appreciated was
you knew no matter what your status was in life, you always got treated the same.” Bob was driven and
didn’t have any quit in him. Although he was tough as nails, he was also kind and loving with a unique
sense of humor. Wilma was gentle and always had a kind word to say. Everyone loved her.
Bob continued hunting and fishing throughout most of his life. He enjoyed his out-of-state hunts and
pursued elk, moose, mule deer, antelope, caribou, and black bear in addition to Michigan whitetails. He also
enjoyed a relaxing afternoon with rod and reel in hand. He was passionate about making improvements to
his property to benefit wildlife. He planted hundreds, perhaps thousands of trees and continually planted
food plots whenever he could.
When Bob was in his 60’s, he decided to semi-retire from working at the store and handed management
October 1965. Larry, Sandy & responsibilities over to his children. It was during this time that he made the decision to accept Christ
Debbie shown with our 2nd
expansion. as his Savior. A short time later, Bob was set up on a date by one of his children and eventually married
Geraldine Damm in 2005. Together they enjoyed going to auctions, thrift stores, and local restaurants, with
a daily trip to Bob’s Gun & Tackle Shop to check in and see how things were going.
Eventually Bob developed dementia but was able to live out his remaining years at his home with his wife, Geri and also with several wonderful
caregivers. He was preceded in death by his wife, Wilma, daughter Sandra, grandson Derek Williams, parents William and Bernice Hayes,
sister Helen, and brothers Kenny and Richard. He is survived by his wife, Geraldine, son Larry (Jennifer) Hayes, daughter Debra (James
II) Williams, son Stephen (Jennifer) Hayes, daughter Cynthia (Gregory) Faubert, 19 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Bob is also
survived by brother Raymond (Linda) Hayes, sister Pauline (Mike) Schaendorf, brother David (Vicki) Hayes, sister Lois (Jamie) Carr, sister
July 1967 - Wilma shown in gun Virginia (Ken) Berryhill, brother Michael (Sue) Hayes and many nieces and nephews.
department at original location.

To Bob and
Wilma, our
parents; we
1968. Bob’s Gun & Tackle Shop
miss you both 2 Miles West of Hastings
On M-37 & M-43
as it appeared from the road
when we opened at our current dearly. 2208 W. M-43 Hwy., Hastings, MI
location. 269/945-4106
Summer is Fast Approaching . . .


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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
By Tom Campbell Great finds from
SHED HUNTERS Oakland County.

A deer nicknamed
Broadway was
found last year, an
11-pt. that scored

180-plus found by
y first shed find was prob-
ably like many others, RARE Larry Piotrowski (rt)
and a 9-pt., 183
unintentional. I was turkey
hunting near Hubbard Lake some 20
BIRD B.C. shed found
this year by Mike
years ago, using a deer trail to get Persichini. Oakland
through a thick area and there laid County rocks!
a matching set of 8-pt. sheds. Since
then I’ve spent numerous hours Gunnar
searching for sheds and never found
anything as nice. Miller
Seems I remember on that same and Drew
hunt, in the morning darkness, set- Geiger
ting up on a roosted gobbler once the
sun came up I noticed I was sur- with a
rounded by morel mushrooms! But ‘truck full’
check out these shed finders to the
right, amazing stuff and great photos of great
Terry Lancaster not only took
as well. his first turkey, it was a rare finds!
Speaking of turkey hunting,
there’s still time to get in on the
bearded hen, with rare color-
action, the season runs through the ing... a smoky-gray! He was
end of May and you can purchase a hunting Callhoun Co. this
tag over-the-counter. There certainly
seems to be some trophy toms out
there. We have a new state archery
spring and felt like he won
the lottery! Public comment opportunities available on
record bird already taken by Ross
Aldrich (see his story on page 38).
had a problem arise last month and
thought our readers would learn DNR recommended deer regulation changes
And Terry Lancaster’s first turkey; a from it. He took venison meat to The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has recommended a series
rare smoky-gray, bearded hen. have some sausage made as his first of deer regulation changes for the upcoming fall hunting seasons, which the
Need a place to turkey hunt? The batch ran out over the long winter Michigan Natural Resources Commission will be discussing over the next three
DNR now has four Turkey Tracts months. At the processers he was months.
with the opening of a new one in told his test specimen number did Several opportunities for public comment will be available before the com-
Oakland Co. near Holly. Turkey not show up on the DNR/LAB mission makes decisions expected in July. There are changes proposed state-
Tracts are designed to highlight site. Steve has taken his deer in to wide and for both of Michigan’s peninsulas individually.
public hunting areas where inten- be tested the past two years. So he The recommendations range from a baiting and feeding ban proposed for
sive habitat management for turkeys called the number on the lab stub the Core Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Area in the Upper Peninsula
has been conducted. Management and was told the DNR resets the and a moderate increase in U.P. antlerless deer licenses, to redefining bait to
practices include timber harvest, site at the beginning of the year, so exclude natural or synthetic food-scented materials not consumed by deer and
selective use of herbicides, invasive his number could not be accessed. moving the Liberty Hunt to the second weekend in September to avoid poten-
species treatment and removal, and Lucky for Steve the processer had tial conflicts between hound bear hunters and youth deer hunters.
prescribed fire. The other three tracts records and remembered him when Find out more on the proposed antlerless deer license quotas in the U.P.,
are in Allegan, Berry and Flat River. he went back with the information and the remaining proposed Wildlife Conservation Order changes, which were
Last chance to apply for bear and let him have his sausage made. offered to the NRC for information only at the commission’s May 9 meeting in
and/or elk license. The application From now on Steve will make sure Lansing.
period for 2019 bear and elk hunting he keeps a copy of the website page “Most any time changes are proposed to deer hunting regulations in Michi-
ends June 1. For more information results. He doesn’t understand why gan, you can count on a great deal of interest from hunters across the state,” and Michigan. he was never told about this over the said DNR Wildlife Division chief Russ Mason. “It is very important hunters
gov/Elk. have opportunities for their voices to be heard on what we are recommending
last two years. And now everyone
Long time reader Steve Melchert before any decisions are made.”
will know. Thanks Steve.n The following is a list of upcoming opportunities to offer public comment:
By email: or by mail: Michigan Natural Resources Com-
SEASONS mission, P.O. 30028, Lansing, MI 48909-7528
• May 22, 2019: Upper Peninsula DNR Listening Session: 1-3 p.m. EDT.
Open All Year – Pike and walleye season on Lower Peninsula Great Lakes, Lake Michigan Technological University, Memorial Union Building, Ballroom A,
St. Clair & St. Clair & Detroit Rivers Houghton. Comments will be recorded and provided to the NRC. NRC Chair-
Open All Year – Salmon and trout season on Great Lakes, St. Marys River, woman Vicki Pontz is scheduled to be in attendance.
Lake St. Clair & St. Clair & Detroit Rivers
Open All Year – Catch-and-immediate-release bass season on all Michigan
• May 22, 2019: DNR Western Upper Peninsula Citizens’ Advisory Coun-
waters open to fishing cil meeting: 5:30-8 p.m. EDT, Michigan Technological University, Memorial
Now - December 31 – 2020 Pure Michigan Hunt application period Union Building, Ballroom A, Houghton. A brief update from the May 9 NRC
Now - June 1 – Michigan elk and bear application period meeting will be presented, along with other topics. Public comment on all top-
Now - May 31 – Spring turkey hunting with various hunt units and dates. ics occurs during this regularly scheduled meeting.
Now - March 15 – Walleye, pike season on Lower Peninsula inland waters. • June 10: Upper Peninsula DNR Listening Session: 2-4 p.m. EDT. Munis-
Now - Sept. 30 – Salmon and trout Inland type 1 and 2 streams and type A and ing Township Hall, Wetmore. Comments will be recorded and provided to the
D lakes NRC. NRC Commissioner Dave Nyberg is scheduled to be in attendance.
Now - March 15 – Walleye, pike season on Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, • June 10: DNR’s Eastern Upper Peninsula Citizens’ Advisory Council meet-
inland waters and St. Marys River.
May 25 - Dec. 31 – Bass catch and keep season on all waters, including Great
ing: 6-8:30 p.m. EDT, Munising Township Hall, Wetmore. A brief update from
Lakes except Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River and Detroit River. the May 9 NRC meeting will be presented, along with other topics. Public com-
June 1 - March 15 – Muskie season on all Great Lakes, inland waters and St. ment on all topics occurs during this regularly scheduled meeting.
Marys River. • June 13, 2019: Public Comment to the Michigan Natural Resources Com-
June 1 - Dec. 31 – Muskie season on Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River and Detroit mission: Detroit Zoological Society, 8450 West Ten Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI.
River. • July 11, 2019: Public Comment to the Michigan Natural Resources
June 15 - Dec. 31 – Bass catch and keep season on Lake St. Clair, St. Clair Commission: MSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, 4125 Beaumont Road,
River and Detroit River. Lansing, MI
*Consult the Michigan Hunting and Trapping Digests, Fishing Digest, or other species- For more information on the Michigan Natural Resources Commission
specific hunting digests for a more complete list of dates and regulations regarding each
season or hunt period. visit: or for more on deer, go to To find
more about chronic wasting disease see
Next Bite...Is live bait dead? Michigan Outside...
Gary Parsons/Keith Kavajecz Trail running for fun and fitness PERSPECTIVE
page 26 Drew YoungeDyke page 24
Jika or Zeeka Archery Competitions and Keweenaw couple inherits
Dave Mull page 30 extinct elk antlers found deer feeding responsibilities
Randy Jorgensen page 32 Richard P. Smith page 28
Walleyes and Worms
Mark Martin page 42 Confessions of a frog lover FATHER’S DAY
Jonathan Schechter page 36 Tom Carney page 34
Top water bass
George Rowe page 44 TRAIL CAM PAGE...64 OPINIONS
Fish Marquette County Sporting Collectibles... Comparing Michigan’s
John Bergsma page 54 Readers questions and answers deer hunting numbers
Bow State Record Terry McBurney page 80 Mike Veine page 66

The schemes of fishermen
Calvin McShane page 60

Ross 38 Try these... On guard for 20 years

Sturgeon for Tomorrow
Kenny Darwin page 70
Spring sucker festival the
STANDING CORN Talaski Family way
Deer hunters’ friend or foe? Tom Lounsbury page 72
John Eberhart page 18
Flood Stage Steelheads
COVER STORY... Mike Gnatkowski page 74
Michigan Pheasant Hunting
Initiative creates pheasant
release program
page 27
Joel’s big buck A hotbed for world-class whittlers
Guest Column page 40 Tom Huggler page 16
BOONER BEAR Dear Fish Diary...
Richard P. Smith page 41 NEWS A whole different kind of fishing
Ron St. Germain page 67
Whitetail activity, Oak Wilt Fungus
patterns and vision Oak trees...trees of life? A new generation
John Ozoga page 45 William Drews page 39 of hunters and anglers
Mark Sak page 68
Using birds in training COVER STORY...
Len Jenkins page 52 Protecting natural resources
is everybody’s business! GUNS/AMMO
The Phantom Phenomenon Katie Gervasi-MDNR page 46
Dave Kushman page 58 GUN CHAT...Fishing guns?
Demanding deer season for COs Lee Arten page 55
FISHING Jeff Pendergraff page 50
Black Powder Turkeys
POWER TROLLING Stewart receives RGS award Darryl Quidort page 62
for summertime walleye page 61
Mark Romanack page 8 SMALLIE BOOM Wild mushroom season
Black Powder Shooting Sports
Living as our forefathers did
Coaster Brook Trout Kenny 12 page 66 Dennis Neely page 76
fishery in the U.P.
Bill Ziegler page 14

JUNE 2019

Woods-n-Water News
Atlantic salmon of Michigan’s Premier Outdoor Publication
Detour Passage's Trophy Page. . . . . . 56 Classifieds . . . . 82-83
Detour Passage ATLANTIC
Mark Romanack page 22 SALMON News/Op-Ed. . . . 66-68 Real Estate . . . . 83-93

COVER PHOTO 1-810-724-0254


Atlantic Salmon...Mark Romanack

Pheasant and Decoys...MDNR Keweenaw's
P.O. Box 278, Imlay City, MI 48444
• Michigan's SMALLMOUTH BOOM • Hunting Standing Corn

Deer Feeding...Richard P. Smith

• Booner Bear • Top-Water Bass • Father's Day • Trail Running

• U.P.'s Coaster Brook Trout • Michigan's World-Class Whittlers • Like us on facebook Follow us on


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Power trolling
For summertime walleye...

he trend in walleye quickly. That means that walleye in
crankbaits these the summer months are forced to
days is heading in feed literally every day.
a very predictable
direction. Min- What Exactly Are High
now divers like the Action Crankbaits
popular Rapala Deep Diving Husky When talking about crankbaits,
Jerk, Reef Runner 800 series, Bandit I find it useful to describe them in
5/8 Walleye and Berkley Flicker four distinctive categories includ-
Minnows are driving the show. ing stickbaits, minnow divers, shad
These select minnow profile baits baits and high action baits. Stick-
and a few others are popular be- baits are shallow diving minnows
cause they catch fish day in and day or what bass fishermen would call
out. No surprises here. a “jerkbait,” while minnow divers
When new crankbait models are are deeper diving minnow profiles.
introduced, it’s these popular baits Shad baits are just that, bait profiles
that are being emulated. In fact, if designed to imitate gizzard shad,
you look closely it’s not just emulat- thread fin shad, lake herring and
ing that is going on here. It seems other short and compact baitfish.
that the fishing industry is more High action cranks are a com-
adapted to duplicating what already pletely different category of lures
exists rather than designing new and that are defined by the wide and well
unique products. defined side-to-side wobble these
Minnow divers are for sure the baits generate. Some anglers might
category of “walleye crankbaits” go so far as to say that high action
most manufacturers are focusing cranks are actually “bass baits”
on. The growing popularity because most of the lures in
of trolling crankbaits early this category have a better
and late in the year is the reputation for catching bass
driving force behind the than walleye.
increasing sales of these Perhaps thinking of
lures. high action crankbaits as
The irony is that while bass baits is helpful, but a
every manufacturer of lot of these lures were actu-
crankbaits seems com- ally designed to catch cold
water species
By Mark Romanack
pletely focused
on building like lake trout,
subtle action salmon, steel-
baits designed for cool to cold water head and brown
trolling applications, no one seems trout. So as not to confuse anglers
interested in building crankbaits any more than necessary, let’s sim-
that catch walleye in the warmer ply say that high action crankbaits
periods of the year. The irony here is do a great job of catching both warm Summer time is crankbait trolling time if you know how to select the right
because walleye trolling with crank- and cold water species. baits, colors and where summer walleye are going to be found. Jake
baits used to be primarily about high We can also say with confidence Romanack of Fishing 411 TV caught this nice walleye on Lake Erie by
action lures designed to be trolled that high action cranks produce best keeping his crankbaits in contact with the bottom.
fast and in warm water. How times in warmer waters and also when
have changed. trolled at faster speeds. This makes Also, the sound lures produce adds up to crankbaits that are excep-
Having spent more than 30 perfect sense because as the water is a big issue regarding high ac- tionally effective at certain times of
years trolling for walleye on places begins to warm, predatory species tion crankbaits. High action cranks year.
like Saginaw Bay and Lake Erie like walleye become more active produce much more sound underwa-
and more willing to chase down Water Clarity Matters
has taught me a thing or two. Just ter than other crankbait styles. This Anyone who has fished crank-
because trolling crankbaits in cold desirable prey species. occurs because the faster and wider baits extensively will tell you that
water is currently what’s popular Digging A Little Deeper wobbling action causes the hooks the best crankbait bites occur not
doesn’t mean that walleye can’t be Now that we understand the to aggressively bang off the body of in clear water, but rather in various
caught trolling crankbaits in warmer different categories of crankbaits, the lure. It’s simply amazing how stages of stained water conditions.
waters. the question still remains why do much noise is created simply by the Clear water simply allows fish to
On the contrary, it could be high action baits perform better hooks striking the plastic body of see too much detail. Any way you
argued that catching walleye on than stickbaits, minnow divers and the lure. slice it, crankbaits have a “mechani-
crankbaits in the late spring and shad baits at certain times of year. It’s also true that high action cal action” that under close scrutiny
summer months is easier than get- I think the answer to this question cranks routinely feature rattle cham- can easily be determined as a “fake”
ting these fish to bite cranks in cold comes down largely to action, but bers whereas many other styles of rather than the real McCoy.
water. The big advantage here is other factors are involved. Fish that crankbaits do not have pronounced Stained water sets up a com-
that in the warmer times of the year, are active and feeding aggressively sound chambers. The combination
walleye are more active and burn are attracted to baits that have more of lures that produce an aggressive
through the food they consume more action. action and more fish attracting noise Power Trolling page 10
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Power Trolling:
from page 8

pletely different scenario. In stained

water fish can see things pretty well,
but not so well that fish can make
out fine-tuned details. Stained water
works in the angler’s favor as it al-
lows fish to be attracted from a con-
siderable distance, but at the same
time prevents them from enjoying
the benefits of closely scrutinizing
a bait. In this situation fish become
reactionary and either hit the bait as
it goes by or let it go.
Unfortunately, water clarity is a
slippery slope. When water condi-
tions are too clear, fishing becomes
tough and when water clarity condi- When power trolling, the author likes to set up his boat to feature a sonar/GPS unit at the back of the boat.
tions become too dirty fishing is The kicker motor does the lion share of the trolling chores in the summer time, but when the fish are active
also bad. Like Goldilocks, the “just the author also trolls using his primary outboard. The G2 Evinrude features digital throttle control that allows
right” water clarity conditions for the engine RPMs to be controlled to create precise trolling speeds. Not many V6 outboards these days will idle
fishing crankbaits is water that is down slow enough to be useful for trolling chores.
lightly to heavily stained.
Guys who fish crankbaits a lot to be trolled at speeds fast enough walleye as readily as it does cold savage than the strike from a wall-
will tell you that if you can look out to out distance non-target fish like water species. eye that has been leisurely following
the back of your boat and barely see white bass, white perch, drum and Mag Lip plugs are hand tuned a bait.
the prop on your outboard, those are even sub-legal sized walleye. Every making them deadly effective right Hooks Matter
nearly ideal water clarity conditions. Western Basin Captain I know uses out of the package. This is also one The final piece of the puzzle
Stained water is most common in the Wiggle Wart to make their life of the few lures on the market that when fishing high action crankbaits
the summertime when energy from easier and to box limit catches of feature a built-in “skip beat” or is to pay attention to hooks. Most
the sun produces plankton blooms Western Basin walleye. “hunting” action that causes the bait lures feature factory hooks that are
that turn the water a nice shade of The problem here is that the best to blow out momentarily before re- not exactly as “razor sharp” as they
green. lures are the ones that were made gaining control. This unpredictable could be. The answer is to either
prior to Storm selling out to Ra- change in action sends a message take the time to hand file hooks to
Exceptions to the Rule pala. Those original baits are highly -- “it’s getting away” -- triggering a
The thing with fishing is for a razor edge or switch out factory
coveted by anglers who own them strike response in the process. hooks for premium after-market
every rule of the road, there are and hard to find these days. Those Other high action crankbaits
exceptions to those rules. In dirty hooks.
anglers who are willing to sell origi- worth noting include the Brad’s The Eagle Claw Trokar is widely
water crankbaits can be surprisingly nal 3/8 ounce Wiggle Warts want Wiggler, Luhr Jensen KwikFish
effective at times. A good example considered to be the sharpest hook
from $10 to $20 each depending on K9, Salmo Hornet No. 6 and the ever built. Even better, these hooks
of this is when fishing in rivers. the color. Rapala Shad Dancer No. 5. All of are the only ones made in America
Because rivers routinely have color Also in the Storm Lures cat- these baits have that wide wobble to exacting standards simply not
to the water, fish like walleye get egory, the 1/4 ounce and 3/8 ounce and distinctive vibration that turns possible with other hook brands.
accustomed to feeding in situations Rattle Tot are excellent high action on walleye in warm water trolling Eagle Claw produces two dif-
where visibility is limited. lures. While these original lures are situations. ferent kinds of Trokar treble hooks
The same is true of impound- a little easier to find than the Wiggle including the TK300, a round bend
ments and natural lakes that natural- Stay in Contact
Wart, the baits produced by Storm If you talk to any bass angler hook, and the TK310, a wide bend
ly have heavily stained water condi- prior to Rapala buying them are style hook. Both are made from a
tions. In regions where the soil make who routinely fishes crankbait he
considered by many of us to be the will tell you that a crankbait should stronger wire than most treble hooks
up is mostly clay, fine sediment is superior crankbaits. which means they hold up to heavy
constantly suspended in the water. be kept in contact with the bottom,
Perhaps the most productive weeds, wood, rock or some other use without bending at the worst
In these waters, fish become highly high action crankbait to hit the mar- possible moment.
skilled at feeding without the benefit cover type. In the world of walleye
ket in recent years is the Mag Lip fishing, crankbaits are most often Final Thoughts
of clear sight. Instead, they use their series by Yakima Bait. The Mag Lip
lateral line sense to hunt down for- used to target suspended fish. Most of the crankbaits hitting
could be described as a FlatFish on High action cranks can be used the market these days are minnow
age fish and feed effectively. steroids because these lures have the to target suspended fish, but they divers or stickbaits designed for
High Action same distinctive side-to-side wobble shine best when fished in contact delivering a subtle action for slow
Walleye Baits? of the classic FlatFish, but the with bottom or cover that is holding trolling applications in cold water
A number of high action crank- Mag Lip can tolerate a much wider fish. Nothing is quite as desirable conditions. During the summer
baits do an excellent job of trig- variety of trolling speeds. Mag Lip as a crankbait that appears out of months when water temperatures
gering walleye into savage strikes. 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 all tolerate trolling nowhere, bounces off rocks or tears are warm and walleye become very
Perhaps the most noteworthy speeds from just one MPH on the through weed cover. active, high action crankbaits and
example takes place on the Western slow side, to 4.0 MPH making them This is how and why high ac- faster trolling speeds deliver better
Basin of Lake Erie. During May, ideally suited for warm water troll- tion crankbaits trigger such savage success. If it has been awhile since
June and early July when white bass ing applications. strikes. When trolling crankbaits you trolled crankbaits in the sum-
and white perch are a huge problem, Ironically, the Mag Lip was for walleye it’s typical for fish to mertime, it might be a good idea
charter captains in the know switch designed as a plug for cold water be lip hooked only by the back to dust off some of those lures you
out to the 3/8 ounce Original Storm species like salmon, lake trout, steel- treble hook. When using high action haven’t used in years and crank up
Wiggle Wart and speed up their head and brown trout. This is one of crankbaits it’s common for fish to that kicker motor a notch or two.
trolling speeds. the few lures that could be described have the whole bait crammed down Summertime is crankbait time
The Wiggle Wart has a very ag- as an effective “cross-over” as it their gullet. This occurs because if you know what crankbaits get the
gressive action and is stable enough catches warm water species like reactionary strikes tend to be more job done on walleye.n

By Kenny Darwin found near Bolles
could basin hotspots are
see the
fish Harbor and the
hugging bottom in 30 feet dumping grounds where fish congre-
of water straight out from gate near the uneven bottom once
Acme Creek in East Grand known as a walleye mecca. Now the
Traverse Bay. I dropped my goby uneven bottom provides a smal-
imitation tube to the bottom, let it lie oasis highlighted by water that
pause waiting for a bite, gave it a warms quickly with rocky humps
hop or two then inched the wiggly that attract gobies, baitfish and tre-
soft plastic across the sand near a mendous smallies.
big boulder. All of a sudden I had Erie smallies are large and it
a violent arm jolting strike and takes a five-pound average to place
instinctively set the hook. I could in local tournaments. The trick is
tell the fish was big because it to focus on natural and man-made
sulked near bottom, violently shook structures. Wind, current and water
its head in an attempt to shake the clarity are important factors influ-
hook, then sprinted directly away encing catch. Look for fish to con-
from my Minn Kota bow mounted gregate where currents brush past
motor and stripped line off the drag. structure and pool baitfish.
For a second I thought it was a big A variety of baits fool Erie smal-
lake trout but when I pumped back lies but most anglers use heavy jigs
line the fish zoomed from bottom, tipped with soft plastics or Berkley
sulked 15 feet below the boat then Powerbait. Savvy anglers work
charged my craft and leaped out of presentations fast when searching
the water sending droplets of water for fish in deep water. Many anglers The author is convinced Michigan’s booming smallmouth population
in a huge rainbow before crash- have 50 fish days casting plastics. will provide trophy six to eight-pound unbelievable huge brown fish.
ing down and immediately leaping Modern smallie chasers cast tubes
again. and pop ’em along bottom, resem- Connecting Lake Erie and Lake with spinning outfits. Savvy anglers
This was no laker, it was a bling a goby. Huron, this bronzeback mecca hosts use 3/8 oz. tungsten weights to
Michigan trophy smallmouth bass More recently anglers prefer fantastic numbers and impressive maintain bottom contact and feel. A
fresh from the depths of the Great drop shot tactics and whacky op- size. Catching four-pounders is variety of soft plastics attract small-
Lakes. When it neared the boat I tions that are very popular including standard size and five or six-pound ies on the hunt for minnows, gobies,
was in awe of its size highlighted Kalin’s Wac-O Worm, Jackall Cross pigs are common. At one time the sculpins and crayfish. Try a Gamak-
by a rotund beer belly, large tiger Tail Shad, and Strike King Half fishery was leveling off but recent atsu football 24 jig with Zoom Fat
striped colors and bright red eye. Shell worm, Berkley Gulp Min- hatching of baitfish populations has Albert Grub and don’t overlook the
This anecdote best describes the now, Z-Man Hula StickZ and Realis caused St. Clair’s smallie population smallie catching power of a Lunker
fantastic trophy smallmouth bass V-Tail Shad. When Great Lakes to boom. City Fin-S head and Hydrotail grub.
fishing on Michigan’s Great Lakes waves get rockin’ some anglers drag
Lake Huron
Miles of weeds and riprap is
and connecting waterways. Put sim- bottom while drifting downwind. home to a tremendous sport fishery
ply, we have the hottest bronzeback Others hop, swim or diddle plastics close to metro Detroit. Hard charg- Much of Lake Huron offers
honey holes in North America. across bottom to get the attention of ing bronzeback go nuts for tubes prime smallmouth habitat with
Here’s where and why. big water tigers on the prowl. in an assortment of goby colors endless jagged points, islands, reefs

Erie Lake St. Clair

dragged along bottom. On days and massive quantities of gobies,
when fish are aggressive, popping sculpin and crayfish. While alewife
From the mouth of the Detroit Many claim this is the world’s a tube a few inches off bottom can and smelt numbers are still stum-
River to West Sisters Island there greatest smallmouth fishery. There be the ticket, although a sweep- bling after the federal government
is a rich smallmouth bass fishery. is no place quite like it and the large ing retrieve works best. Casting overstocked millions of lake trout
Savvy anglers target the rocky bass numbers are simply over-the- short billed cranks produces savage and destroyed the forage base, goby
shoals along the river outlet and top unbelievable, and impressive strikes from smallies suspended numbers are still on the rise. Smal-
huge rock piles all along the Banana trophy fish come daily. Lake St. above the weeds in 10-18 feet of lies throughout Lake Huron are fat
Dike. Some anglers cast to the rocky Clair is an ideal summer fishery water. Some anglers cast Strike and sassy from burgeoning food
shore near the nuke plant and work and hosts thousands of bass anglers King KVD 300 series jerkbaits sources and numbers of trophy fish
the humpy, bumpy rocks straight throughout the dog days of summer through the vegetation. Once fish are booming at a monumental rate.
out from Stony Point. Other western when other fisheries fall flat. are located, switch to drop-shot rigs Gobies can be found throughout
Lake Huron and smallmouth bass pound fluorocarbon line used with is fantastic smallmouth fishing all and don’t think for a minute I don’t
prefer ambush points where they spinning gear. Some anglers prefer along the Lake Michigan coast enjoy a drift boat ride down the
can feed undisturbed. casting whacky rigged Senkos or from Benton Harbor north but I’ve Grand River in summer casting flies
Most smallie chasers prefer the green pumpkin grubs. The opportu- had the best luck in drowned river and tubes and landing hundreds
rocky shore found north of Harri- nity to land a seven-pound monster mouths. The lower Kalamazoo of smallies in the Portland region.
son, but they are overlooking some in shallow water can get your heart River is a good bet and Muskegon I love the solid tap of a bronze-
hotspots found along Point AuGres, beating and when a monster goes Lake and pier head can be red hot. back when I’m jigging for monster
Point Lookout, Alabaster, and the airborne I guarantee you will be I’ve seen massive numbers school walleyes on the mighty Detroit
huge boulders all around the Charity back for more. between the narrow pier heads at River in early spring. Smallies are
Islands. Savvy fishermen concen- Pentwater, Ludington and Frankfort. fast becoming the fish of choice for
trate on the flats between big Char-
ity and Gull Island highlighted by a
Traverse Bay But the best fishing exists north of
Empire all along the rocky coast of
many anglers statewide and many
are bent on landing bigger and
Years ago savvy Michigan
huge rock cluttered sand bar, jagged fishermen discovered techniques Glen Arbor, Port Oneida, Shelda more fish over four-pounds. Don’t
points and boulders the size of a for shallow wading and deep water Creek outlet in Good Harbor Bay wait until the fall bite to experience
kitchen table. Long distance casting casting for eight-pound huge small- and Carp River Point near Leland. I trophy fishing throughout the Great
with grubs and tubes to boulder hide ies in the Grand Traverse area. That love those hawgs hiding in the cre- Lakes. Now’s the time to go, during
outs produce unbelievable catches fishery is still alive and growing in vasses and shadowy lairs under the summer when weather is ideal and
of monster smallies in the four- leaps and bounds. Recent high water huge boulders all along the Leland you can experiment with different
to-six-pound class. Some anglers has increased the habitat for both jetties. presentations, seek out new destina-
prefer to work the shoreline of the smallies and massive numbers of Smallmouth bass populations tions and sample some of the best
Thumb from Caseville to Port Hope. gobies, crayfish, baitfish and sculpin are booming all across Michigan smallie action in North America.n
Limit catches and fantastic bassin’ which is the primary food source for
action awaits those who find rocky Traverse bass. Both bays pool warm
structure and work plastics around water and the overall biomass is
large boulders. ideal for smallies and populations of
Lake Huron’s shallow shore bottom dwelling gobies. Huge bron-
mixed with rocks, jagged points and zeback exceeding five-pounds are
ideal structure is a boon to wading common in this smallmouth para-
anglers in search of record book dise available to those who wade the
smallies. One well known hotspot is many flats, stalk fish along the shore
found along the Tawas Point State or cast in deep water.
Park, which is a long point jetting I’ve caught smallie at the mouth
into Lake Huron. The huge structure of the Boardman River to Bower’s
provides calm conditions from the Harbor all the way to Old Mission
rolling waves and impressive num- Point and Suttons Bay. But my
bers of brown bass are available on favorite area is the huge flats and
both sides of the point. This massive beautiful blue waters found on the
sand flat found on the inside loop of extreme southern end of East Arm
the long point is home to schools of Grand Traverse Bay. I prefer to
bass patrolling the edge of the struc- launch near Acme creek and begin
ture. Fishermen wade the shallows early morning trips by casting the
and make long casts to huge smal- flats and drop off using grubs and
lies going airborne on the hookset whacky worms.
and provide spectacular action. This Then as the sun gets bright
is a fly fisherman’s paradise with I move to deeper water past the
wide open spaces, huge flats and a drop-off where smallies congregate
beautiful environment resembling around boulders and slight changes
Bahama sandflats. in bottom structure. My hottest pre-
From Alpena all the way to sentation is a 3/4 ounce tube jig with
Cheboygan is fast becoming the soft plastic green pumpkin color.
smallie capital of Lake Huron with Deep water smallies tend to follow
its endless rock outcrops, jagged your offering as it ticks bottom and
reefs, islands, bays and ideal smallie resembles a goby puffing up sand.
habitat. Hotspots are many but don’t Coaxing strikes can be somewhat
overlook Thunder Bay Island, Sugar difficult if wave action is bouncing
Island, Scarecrow Island, Sulphur your boat but detecting strikes is
Island, Partridge Point, North Point, no problem. Deep smallies require
Crooked Island and many more. a second or third hook set in order
Thunder Bay and the entire coast to get the barb in their maw. They
going north offers refuge from pre- strike with such a vengeance they
vailing westerly winds and anglers slam their jaws shut on the tube
can enjoy fishing by wading or boat. making it difficult to get a solid
Some prefer to wade and cast to hook up.
large smallies finning around struc- The great thing about the Tra-
ture in Misery Bay, Potter Point, verse smallmouth fishery is often the
Huron Bay and Morris Bay. bays are calm and easy to fish when
The trick is to pinpoint the winds are howling out on Lake
structure holding fish and make Michigan. Bower’s Harbor protects
long casts using relatively light you from east winds and the East
line. Northern Huron’s crystal clear Shore Drive area is flat calm during
water helps you to locate those four- a west blow. Dog days of summer
pound-plus hawgs, but sight fishing may push big hawgs deep but winds
for trophy smallies requires long from the north can bump ’em back Smallie guru, Joe Bauer, with an impressive lunker trophy fish from
casting, use of polarized sunglasses to the warm water shallows. Lake St. Clair. He uses primarily three techniques: casting tubes,
to cut water glare and six to eight- Now don’t get me wrong there whacky rigs and cranking shallow diver hard baits.
Recent Research...
Pilgrim River typically in the spring
and are staying there in the summer
The researcher is tracking the
tagged brook trout with a series
of antenna stations at the Pilgrim
River and its mouth at Portage Lake.
When the marked fish moves past
the antenna station his equipment
records the specific fish and its
location. The PIT tag allows them to
follow individual fish as they move

Coaster brook trout fishery in the U.P.

around in the stream system and
out-migrate. Adams has commonly
observed brook trout movements
through stream reaches that have
fewer protective regulations, noting

that some coasters are vulnerable
to overharvest since they reside at
brook trout that trout spawned and lived part of their by fisheries management agencies times in waters having a seven inch
migrated from tribu- lives in 106 Lake Superior tributary and trout enthusiasts in taking steps minimum size limit for brook trout.
tary streams to Lake streams.
Superior was his- Coaster brook trout were very
torically reported vulnerable to exploitation (especial-
as widespread and ly angling and netting) and reported-
common. This type of lake run ly coaster numbers rapidly declined
brook trout was referred to in many areas of Lake
as a “coaster” by anglers. Superior in the late 1800s.
The mystique is great with Coasters first declined in
this variation of the native the most accessible areas of
brook trout because they Lake Superior. Reportedly,
can grow to a large size. coasters within 30 miles of
The classic fisheries text Marquette were “fished out”
Fresh Water Fishes of Can- by 1865. Intensive logging
ada reports a 14.5-pound in the watersheds and bar-
brook trout (coaster) was riers like dams in tributary
caught in the Nipigon
River of Ontario in By Bill Ziegler streams to Lake Su-
perior also degraded
1915. According to coaster spawning and
the Great Lakes Fishery Commis- nursery habitat. Coaster brook trout
sion’s ‘Brook Trout Rehabilitation were reduced to a few streams of
Plan for Lake Superior,’ historical Lake Superior by the mid-1900s.
evidence indicates coaster brook There has been renewed interest
to rehabilitate this coaster fishery in Unfortunately, the unprecedent-
Lake Superior tributary streams. Re- ed flood that occurred last June 17,
searchers, led by Dr. Casey Huckins, 2018 did considerable damage to
at Michigan Technological Universi- the infrastructure of the Houghton
ty (MTU) have been conducting re- area along with the Michigan Tech
search for a number of years. More antenna recording stations on the
recently, Michigan Tech graduate Pilgrim River. All of the recording
student Christopher Adams is lead- stations were destroyed, which was
ing a collaborative project follow- a big blow to this important but
ing coaster brook trout movement limited budget project. The Michi-
and behavior and habitat. Adams is gan Tech coaster study has received
also studying other factors like food financial support from the Copper
sources and river discharge that may Country, Fred Waara and Kalama-
affect brook trout movement in and zoo Valley Chapters of Trout Unlim-
out of the Pilgrim River in Hough- ited. Chris has been able to replace
ton County. Over 800 brook trout three of his antenna stations on the
have been PIT tagged in this study Pilgrim River and is looking to find
effort so far. Adams has documented funding to completely replace the
regular movements between brook other station. In addition, if fund-
trout from the Pilgrim River to and ing becomes available in the future
from Portage-Torch Lake, which is MTU researchers hope to study the
connected to Lake Superior. coaster brook trout recovery in other
Christopher Adams of Michigan Tech University holding a nice coaster Adams said the regular trout Lake Superior streams.
brook trout captured and PIT tagged and released on the Pilgrim River. movement between the Pilgrim Troy Zorn, Michigan DNR
Adams’ research study indicates there is a good population of coaster and the Portage Lake Waterway fisheries research biologist, said the
brook trout moving in and out of the Pilgrim River to the Por tage Water- “suggests that a coaster brook trout DNR had implemented protective
way and likely Lake Superior. Above right; The Pilgrim River and Houghton population persists. The rate of out- regulations on the Michigan Lake
area experienced a massive rain event and flood on June 17, 2018 that migration (brook trout leaving the Superior tributary streams and that
destroyed considerable local infrastructure. Here a road stream crossing river to Portage Waterway) gener- was their highest probability of
on the Pilgrim River near one of Michigan Tech University’s coaster brook ally increases after the fall spawn- reestablishing coaster brook trout.
trout antenna stations was completely washed out. ing period. The trout return to the The new regulations are a relatively
high minimum size limit (MSL) and a natural behavior to move down
bag limit of one on all brook trout, some streams into a lake environ-
splake, or lake trout in the defined ment. Once in the lake, forage con-
lower sections of eight streams. ditions and growth potential are sig-
Zorn said “this is the same regu- nificantly greater than in streams. As
lation that was producing positive a result, the coaster grows to much
results on coasters in Minnesota.” larger size than resident stream
The regulation affects the Pilgrim, trout. In my 35 years of inland trout
Silver, Slate, Ravine, Big Huron, surveys handling many thousands
Little Huron, Iron (Lake Inde- of brook trout, the largest stream
pendence outlet), and Big Garlic. brook trout we (DNR, USFWS and
Special regulations were already in U.S. Forest Service) captured and
place on the Salmon Trout River in measured was 16 inches. Stream
Marquette County (see pages 45 to trout over 10 inches are very rare.
54 of the 2019 Michigan Fishing Of course, that would not be a very
Guide). Zorn felt that over-harvest large coaster brook trout.
was the greatest limiting factor re- There have been a number of
stricting coaster brook trout recov- recent successful reestablishment
ery and these regulations addressed efforts on wildlife populations in the
the highest priority streams to affect northern lake states. A few examples
coaster recovery in Michigan. are bald eagle, wolves, U.P. moose,
Henry Quinlan, fisheries biolo- and fishers. The coaster brook trout
gist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife appears to have potential to be
Service in Ashland, Wisconsin said another successful reestablishment
that larger minimum size limits and of a historical unique fishery in Lake
low bag limits in Minnesota and On- Superior and some of its tributary
tario, and Isle Royale National Park streams. Recent survey evidence
(near shore waters) were producing suggests the potential for coaster
positive results in coaster brook brook trout increases are good.n
trout surveys.
Both biologists Quinlan and
Zorn confirmed coaster brook trout
have not been found to be geneti- Henry Quinlan, Fisheries Biologist U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Ser vice holds a coaster brook
cally different than wild brook trout trout taken during a sur vey of a Lake
in Lake Superior area streams. It Superior tributary stream. USFWS photo
appears that coasters result from

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Michigan is a hotbed for world-class whittlers
hances are you know and professional pursuit still attracts
someone who carves many who belong to clubs like the
objects from wood. Greater Lansing Area Woodcarvers
After all, interest in and the Woodland Woodcarvers in
this unique form of Grand Rapids. Some members are
American folk art world-class artisans whose coveted
has grown rapidly in recent years, work includes wildlife, both realistic
and so have the number of people and ornamental.
who collect the best works of favorite However, the days of the old-
artists. Hand-carved wooden duck- time carver, who shaped decoy
hunting and fish-spearing decoys bodies with drawknife and rasp and
from the “golden age”—roughly then created details with penknife
1850 to 1950 (before plastic models and other simple tools, are gone.
took over the American market)— Fortunately, some of their work has
can be worth a lot of money. survived.
For example, a few years ago, A few years ago I was invited
the “Ghost Fish,” a fish-spearing to visit the Decoy Room in the late Above: This canvasback decoy
decoy by Hans Janner, Sr. of Mt. William Stout’s southeast Michigan was car ved by John Kalash of
Clemens, sold for $42,000 at auc- home. The author of Saginaw Bay Gibraltar nearly 40 years ago.
tion. A drake canvasback by Detroit- Waterfowl Hunting and Decoy Carv- Right: Provenance of a working
area carver Ferdinand Bach ers and his wife Mary had decoy often includes the maker’s
brought $55,000. These very displayed nearly 400 pieces name and other details on the
best works, including some on their fireplace mantel, bottom. Author photos
decoys commercially made bookshelves, custom stands ing and not for ornamental reasons. until you consider the great value the
by Mason’s Decoy Factory and ceiling-high shelves in “Lots of decoys are not made well survivors now have.
in Detroit, can be worth several rooms. Their col- enough for collecting,” he explained. “Decoys make for great ambi-
thousands. lection easily overwhelmed “There’s a lot of junk out there.” ence in a room where hunting and
Because Michigan was the senses, in the way that Evidence of a working decoy fishing is the subject,” said Gaylen
a hotbed for decoy carv- paintings by the Masters do may include a weighted keel, tether Byker, former president of Calvin
Michigan Meanders
ing, it is now when admired hardware or shotgun pellet marks. College in Grand Rapids and a col-
a favorite for in a public mu- Actual proof will be rig marks: the lector for more than three decades.

By Tom Huggler
collectors. In seum. maker’s name, initials or other sym- Some of his favorite pieces include
addition to Sagi- “Invest- bol on the decoy bottom. Such brand- decoys by Ben Schmidt. “If the pro-
naw Bay, where ment” is the ing helped owners reclaim decoys totypical dog for duck hunting is the
more than 90 known carvers worked password for most collectors, but lost in storms, stolen or mixed up Labrador retriever,” Byker explained,
their magic into wood, Lakes Erie even the most ardent of speculators with other stools, a common occur- “then the prototypical Michigan duck
and St. Clair produced highly prized have a not-so-hidden passion. Many, rence when hunters teamed up to put decoy carver is Ben Schmidt.”
pieces by Ben Schmidt of Centerline, like Stout, who retired from Ford out spreads of 100 or more decoys. A former Wall Street banker,
Detroit’s Tom Schroeder, Edward F. Motor Company and was 80 when I Stout’s favorite pieces included Byker was introduced to the works
“One Arm” Kelly of Monroe, and met him, are avid hunters. a Ferdinand Bach drake canvasback, of Cadillac native Oscar Peterson
many others. “I collect duck and fish-spearing a pair of Ben Schmidt old squaws, a whose fish-decoy carvings were on
The collecting craze is national decoys because I like to look at pintail pair by Nate Quillen, and any exhibit at the Museum of American
in scope. A few years ago someone them,” he told me. “I paid way too of the 15 or so decoys he owned by Folk Art in Manhattan. Byker began
paid $1.1 million each for a pintail much for some, simply because I Hayes Finkle of which “no two are looking for Peterson decoys to own
drake and a Canada goose decoy, wanted to have them. I’m also sure I alike.” and now has several.
both made by A. Elmer Crowell paid too little for others.” Mary Stout, who introduced Byker said he specializes in
(1862-1952) of East Harwich on The best decoys, bearing their her husband to the joys of collect- buying “real good” decoys because
Cape Cod. You might want to dust makers’ names and initials—what ing more than 30 years ago, always they are less expensive than “perfect
off Grandpa’s old mallard, tucked collectors call “provenance”—might looked for character in the pieces she decoys.” Ben Schmidt carvings, for
away in the attic for years, and get a have sold for as much as $1 each in bought. “The bird has to speak to example, are “simple yet elegant
professional appraisal. the inflationary post-Civil War pe- me,” Mary said. “Bill is the techni- with good heads and correct paint.”
The golden age roughly paral- riod. According to Stout, today they cal expert; I’m the artistic expert.” To illustrate the difference be-
lels the Industrial Revolution, which could easily fetch $4,000 or more The Stouts built their collection by tween real good and perfect, Byker
also saw the development of the each. buying and selling at Midwest trade told of paying $1,700 for a repainted
modern shotgun and the consequent Like most serious collectors, shows and auctions. brant decoy by Massachusetts carver
growth of sport hunting and fish- Stout was interested only in “work- One of Mary’s favorite works Joe Lincoln. Another brant by Lin-
ing. Woodworking as both a leisure ing decoys,” those carved for hunt- is a Frank Trombley drake mallard coln sold for $70,000 because it was
she bought from a Clarkston antique in original (unpainted) condition.
shop nearly 50 years ago. Tromb- In the world of antique decoy
ley, who was born in 1849, was the collecting, surprises like that occur
son of the co-founder of Bay City. every day.
Written in old-style pen on the decoy Not surprising, perhaps, is the de-
bottom is “F. A. Trombley, Maker, sire to own something of value. This
South Bay City.” Four years ago the wanting is embedded in the human
piece earned “best vintage decoy” at psyche if not our DNA. Beyond the
a collector show near Cleveland. dollar value of any collectible object
“I’ve never encouraged an offer is its personal appeal. For decoy
to sell it,” Mary admitted. collectors who also hunt and fish,
For every collectible decoy that the connection is to a time when the
has survived, perhaps 10 or more world turned more slowly and men
This ice spearing decoy was made by master car ver Tom Schroeder of ended useful life in a fireplace or made things, at once practical and
Detroit who created a different set of only 12 fish species. landfill. That’s a shame, of course, beautiful, with their hands.n
Randy’s Hunting Center

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Deer hunters’ friend or foe?

ove it or hate it, field breeding does during estrus. than their brethren in lightly hunted Mother Nature must provide
corn is a common crop While mature bucks will also and managed areas, and standing the proper weather conditions for
that deer hunters have to bed in standing corn, it’s the does cornfields are as secure as it gets. bowhunters if they are to be suc-
deal with. While most spending so much time in them that So what does a limited property cessful at stalking corn. To mask
bowhunters want it to causes bucks to do so much of their access bowhunter do when their your noise of walking through the
be harvested before the signposting in the form of rubs and hunting area has large cornfields corn, extreme winds of at least 20
rut phases to improve their odds for scrapes around the field’s perimeters that are left standing throughout the mph, a steady rain, or a combination
opportunities, if it’s not, they want it and less in the more traditional areas season? of the two are required. The odds of
to remain standing throughout gun away from them. If they don’t have access to the getting an opportunity at a mature
season to improve the odds of bucks It’s common for some of the farm on which the corn is planted, deer on a calm day in a dry cornfield
surviving another season. saplings and trees along a cornfield’s their property doesn’t butt up to the are about zero!
Other than the rare dry cattail perimeter to have rubs on them or corn, there are no natural bedding Daily timing is also important.
marsh there are few if any other scrapes beneath them. After all, the areas on their property, and there Midday, between the hours of 10
types of vegetation that grow tall one common thing about primary are no natural food sources such as a.m. and 4 p.m., when the deer are
and dense enough to totally hide a scrape areas is they’re always made apple or oak trees that are bearing likely bedded is the most opportune
standing deer, headgear and all, and where there is consolidated food and are within some time. During early mornings or late
no others double as a major food and consistent doe activity. form of perimeter security evenings most deer will be up and
source. Mature buck signposts cover, there isn’t much they moving making it much more dif-
Corn is a crop that as it grows beyond the perimeters of can do other than pray to ficult to move in for the kill once a
transforms into a secure area that is standing cornfields will catch a buck pursuing a hot targeted deer is located. It can take
literally in a class by itself by the be fewer than in seasons doe. up to 10 minutes to move into posi-
time deer season rolls around. While when most crops in the area If you are fortunate tion for a shot once a deer is located,
standing, cornfields are secure are short like soybeans, enough to have access to and if that deer is up and moving, it
daytime bedding areas, transition alfalfa and cut wheat. It’s a large standing cornfield is very difficult to do.
corridors and feeding areas that also more likely and the corn is When stalking corn, 50 per-
diminish daytime deer movements,
routines and sightings beyond their
that mature buck
signpostings away
By John Eberhart tall enough to
offer security you
cent of your viewing distance will
always be downwind of you and
perimeters to the point of affecting from the field’s perimeters were might consider improvising your for that reason a complete activated
the area’s hunting situation either made or are being revisited during hunting methods by learning to hunt carbon suit and rubber boots are
negatively or positively depending the security of darkness because standing corn. advised. Since ScentLok doesn’t
on how you plan for them. they typically remain in the corn- During the early part of the sea- make a suitable pattern for stalk-
Unlike the unrealistic nonsense field until dark. son most cornfields will be standing ing corn it’s advised to purchase a
seen on TV and in large managed The negative byproduct of large no matter the weather conditions light beige exterior garment (doesn’t
areas where monster bucks routinely standing cornfields is they are secure and you can hunt in or along the have to be camouflage) that blends
waltz into picked cornfields during bedding and feeding areas, transi- field’s edge without harming the rest well in corn. The corn colored outer
daylight, in the real world once a tion corridors, and breeding grounds of the property with your hunting garment should be washed in a non-
cornfield is cut for silage or picked in which mature bucks spend a lot, intrusion. You can experiment with scent detergent prior to wearing it
it immediately loses its daytime if not nearly 100 percent of their stalking corn, setting up a makeshift over your properly cared for acti-
security status for mature bucks in daytime hours in. ground blind within it, or hunting its vated carbon suit.
heavily pressured areas. I interviewed two Michigan perimeter with little if any detriment You will want to dress on the
This loss of daytime security gun buck pole owners that told me to your pre-set rut phase hunting light side because you will be
cover eliminates the field’s acreage during seasons when the majority locations away from the cornfield slowly yet constantly moving. Once
as an area where mature bucks will of corn is left standing, general deer that should be left totally alone until you think you’re dressed just right,
enter during daylight and forces sightings and the number of bucks the rut phases. take off another layer. This will save
them into other secure bedding areas and especially big bucks brought The first method is to stalk you from having to go back to the
within their core living area which into their contests are considerably or still hunt. While I have taken vehicle to drop off excess clothing.
increases the likelihood of daytime lower than average. several bucks while stalking corn I Bows are cumbersome, so use a
activity in other more traditional They both also stated that if the have taken many does for property bow sling for carrying your bow or
hunting locations. majority of corn is down prior to owners and my own freezer, in fact carry it in the least invasive manner.
Most frequently corn is harvest- next year’s gun season, that there is on one afternoon hunt I took three You will quickly get frustrated if
ed prior to the rut phases, but throw a higher than average number of big mature does. you attempt to stalk corn with bow
rainy fall weather into the equation bucks entered confirming that many When gaining permission many ready and arrow nocked.
where corn fields remain standing bucks spend most of their daylight farmers will dictate that you take You will be stalking perpendicu-
longer into season than normal and hours, even during the peak rut of some does and this is the ideal lar to the cornrows and you start
it becomes a game changer. gun season, within the confines of manner to do so while still having the stalk about 50 yards up either
Why, because many does in the secure standing cornfields. a slight possibility of taking a big side of the field. Slowly poke your
area will bed and feed in standing In heavily pressured areas where guy. Also, deer shot while stalking head into each approaching row and
corn during daylight and movement most hunters are targeting any legal usually die within the field, leaving look both directions for bedded deer
habits of does is what breeding age antlered buck, bucks that survived no invasive human footprint outside and if nothing is seen look forward
bucks gravitate to leading up to their first antlered season severely of it. through the rows for deer bedded in
and during all phases of the rut. All react to human intrusions and are Weather conditions, daily tim- front of you before stepping into the
mature buck activity during the rut much more nocturnal and in tune ing, and scent control are all impor-
phases revolves around locating and with remaining in security cover tant factors when stalking corn. Standing Corn page 20


Hunting Standing Corn:
a blind, you can also use a pop-up excellent peripheral vision and will
blind of similar color to the corn likely immediately pick you off if
and stand some stalks against it for wearing a dark camo pattern against
added concealment cover. Any pop- the light vegetation.
from page 18 up blinds should be set-up and aired Occasionally there are swales
out (to rid them of human and fabric with trees within standing corn-
next row. of sightings. Deer can and will be odor) outside long before ever set- fields. The edges of these will likely
When stepping through a row, spooked if you go too fast no matter ting them up in any hunting location receive transition deer traffic and if
plant your boot against the root what the weather conditions. that will be hunted soon thereafter. a tree that offers suitable conceal-
of a stalk and push the stalk side- Another method is to set-up a Make a V for shooting lanes ment cover is available, set-up in it.
ways with your knee and then step makeshift ground blind within the with the blind area being at the bot- While rare, I have hunted and
through the gap. If the wind is blow- field. This method is likely your best tom of the V as this will give you a taken deer from large oaks within
ing in gusts you may need to remain bet if pursuing a mature buck. For visual lane and time to get ready for cornfields during the years the field
stationary and wait for the next gust this you need to walk the perimeter the killing lane and this will work was in standing corn and the oaks
before continuing the stalk. Contin- of the field that butts up to other from either direction. were dropping acorns. In this unique
ue this process until you have com- transition cover, looking for the Cut the cornstalks to the target situation deer can feed on another
pleted a pass through of the field, most used runways when doing so. area (shooting lane) about 24 inches preferred food source while remain-
then move down the field edge and When done, go back and follow the from the ground (just below a deer’s ing within the security cover of their
stalk back through in the opposite best-used runways into the corn and chest level). Leaving as much stalk bedding area.
direction and in the same manner. In natural openings within corn-
How far you move down the fields you can also set-up a mock
side of the field after each pass will scrape. Being as scent free as pos-
be dictated by how far down the sible, move to where the perimeter
rows you can see. For example if deer traffic is most concentrated.
you can see 40 yards down each row About four feet into the opening,
in each direction you would move set-up a mock scrape by digging a
80 yards down the edge before re- deep hole and planting a long four-
entering the field for the next pass inch diameter or larger wood pole
through. Basically you move down (make certain it’s not a treated pole)
the field edge twice as far as you can or cut tree into the ground, leaving
see down each row. Continue this at least six-feet above ground.
until you have covered the entire Bucks may rub their antlers on
field. it so it must be planted deep enough
If you see a deer, chances are it to take some side punishment and
will be bedded, and if it is a doe or a not tip over. The best option is
fawn, chances are it will have fam- to cut a tree that has a 3 to 4-foot
ily members bedded in nearby rows. long-branch sticking off to the side
If the deer is one you want to shoot, that will be at the right five to six
guess at how many steps it is down foot height to be a licking branch
the row and how many steps you over the mock scrape. When using
would need to take to get within a a pole you will need to cut a four to
comfortable shooting distance. Then six foot branch from a live tree and
step back five rows. Take your time; fasten it to the pole to be used as the
the deer isn’t going anywhere. Very licking branch.
slowly sneak down the row you are Make a mock scrape below the
now in, counting your steps as you licking branch and originally douse
go and keeping a lookout for other it with buck urine. You can also snap
deer that may be bedded ahead in While the author has taken several bucks while stalking corn and he the end off the licking branch and
nearby rows. has taken many does for proper ty owners and his own freezer. This leave it hanging and smear some
Once you’ve counted the doe is unaware of the author’s presence. John Eberhar t photos pre-orbital scent where the break is.
amount of steps you needed to take A mock scrape should be made
to get within a comfortable shooting try to find a location where other as possible will aid in your conceal- at least a day or two prior to hunting
distance, nock an arrow and slowly interior runways converge with it. ment. Make sure to gain permission the location. As soon as bucks rub
stalk back through four rows until Or you can simply walk the field from the farmer before cutting any their velvet they begin jockeying
you are one row from the row the (similar to the stalking process) corn stalks and leaving a pop-up for pecking order and dominance so
deer is bedded in. Slowly peek down looking for the rows that have the blind. mock scrapes can be made and hunt-
the row the deer is in and wait for most traffic. It’s also common within fields to ed over during any time of season as
its attention to be elsewhere before It’s common to find rows that have rock piles and small openings long as there is adequate perimeter
leaning into the row for a shot. are wider than others and usually that were too wet for the corn to security cover, which standing corn
If the deer is one you don’t those rows will have more traffic grow or for the tractor to plant in the offers.
want to shoot and it’s close, move a down them simply because it is spring and usually the inside edges If you make one make sure the
couple rows back, sneak far enough easier to transition down. If the field of these openings will be well trav- farmer knows where it is otherwise
away from the deer (counting your has a rotary watering system, the tire eled. This is another type of location when he combines the corn and
steps) so you can cross the row the tracks also turn into major transition that can be set-up in the exact same hits your pole he could damage his
deer is in without being detected. runways through the corn. Once the manner with cut stalks or a pop-up picker and you will likely lose your
Cross the row, count your steps field has been stalked, go back and blind several rows into the corn and permission and your inconsiderate
back to your original position, and set-up a location or locations in the V shooting lanes. nature will be passed on to other
return to stalking. At this point be best spots you found. If doing this As a side note, when hunting a farmers in the area.
extra cautious for other deer bed- during season, wear a ScentLok dry cattail marsh, you would set it Ambush hunting within stand-
ded nearby the one you just moved suit and gloves when making your up and hunt it in exactly the same ing cornfields are most productive
around. set-up. manner as hunting runways within a during mornings and evenings when
Stalking corn requires patience Using cut or bent over corn- cornfield. deer are up and moving but can be
because you may cover a lot of stalks, set-up a makeshift ground As described in the stalking effective at any time of day because
field before seeing anything. Do blind 5 to 10-yards to the side of the section wear a light beige exterior bucks can feed or pursue does at
not get overanxious and go too peak of activity. garment when ambush hunting in will in that type of security cover.
quickly through the field due to lack While I prefer using stalks for the corn of cattails. Whitetails have While entry and exit routes are
The author with a trophy 10-point he har vested along the perimeter
of a standing cornfield in rain.
critical for success with most typical I performed another sequence
hunting locations, when hunting in but he kept moving parallel to me
standing corn they are not because and farther down the field. After
deer can be anywhere. It is, how- paralleling well past my location
ever, important to be as quiet as he turned and walked directly to
possible when entering and exiting the field edge and began scraping
the field. Unlike stalking, weather under a tree 50 yards away. He was
conditions are not a factor when a wide 9-point with short tines and
ambush hunting within a cornfield. I decided to mess with him a bit as I
Ambush hunting along the wasn’t interested in taking him.
perimeter of a standing cornfield is I performed several soft grunts
another deadly method. This method and watched as the buck made three
requires you to walk whatever part more scrapes under three different
of its perimeter that butts up to other trees while working towards me.
transition security cover such as Once under my tree he freshened
woodlots, swamps, swales, weed both scrapes that were already there
fields, etc. and set-up on the best and thrashed the licking branches
sign. above them with his antlers putting
I like to set-up in locations on quite a show right below me.
where there are runways and sign- Hunting within or on the edges
posts within shooting distance on of standing corn can be extremely
either side of my location into the effective. Hopefully in the future,
field. If on the edge, it’s advised to by the time the rut phases roll
cut a 25-yard shooting lane into the around in late October, most of the
field, you never know when a deer corn will be picked, condensing
may pass down a row within shoot- deer into natural bedding areas and
ing distance and this will guarantee more traditional daytime movement
a shot. habits. But until that happens, or if
During late October while writ- it doesn’t happen, you will at least
ing this article I rattled in two bucks have options.
from a standing cornfield. The first The author has 31 bucks in the
buck was sighted out in the corn Michigan record book from 19
with a doe and a sparring sequence different properties and another
enticed both the doe and 8-point 19 P&Y bucks from 13 different
within 10 yards. They did not exit properties on his 23 out-of-state
the corn, but walked right through bowhunts and has co-authored three
the shooting lane I had cut into the instructional bowhunting books and
cornfield and eventually they lost an instructional DVD series. What
interest and disappeared back into separates John’s accomplishment of
the corn. having 50 record book bucks from
About 30 minutes later I saw the 32 different properties from any
tassels on a stalk of corn thrashing other hunter in the country is that
around. Because of the distance, I he’s exclusively hunted on public
performed a loud rattle sequence and knock-on-doors for free permis-
in order for him to hear it. The sion properties. To listen to John’s
thrashing immediately stopped and podcasts or for information on his
I could occasionally see the tips of books, DVDs and two-day Whitetail
his antlers as he moved down a row Workshops, please visit: www.deer-
parallel to the edge I was in.


Cover Story...By Mark Romanack

Like other salmon, Atlantics bite best early and late in the day. Being on the water before dawn and fishing until a few minutes after sun-

set is the best way to encounter fish like this exceptional specimen boated last June by the author.
bout a year ago my Aquatic Research Lab is modest crustaceans like crayfish and a host the surface than Pacific salmon.
friends Rob and Tara compared to the numbers of fish of aquatic insects. During our recent visit to Detour
Goedike invited Jake stocked annually by the Michigan Atlantic salmon are actually Passage, most of the salmon we
and I to spend a few DNR, the LSSU fish seem to enjoy more closely related to brown trout marked on sonar were in the top 40
days fishing for At- a better survival, better growth rates than their Pacific coast cousins. feet of the water column and the
lantic salmon at the and a stronger annual return com- Atlantic salmon and brown trout are majority of the fish that were caught
Detour Passage. For those who pared to Atlantics stocked by the similar in appearance and are com- came 20 to 30 feet down. More fish
aren’t familiar with this fishery, the Michigan DNR. monly mistaken for one another. were caught in the top 20 feet of the
St. Marys River is stocked annu- One reason the Michigan DNR A number of features can be water column than were caught 40
ally with about 30 to 35 thousand fish have not enjoyed the popular- used to determine brown trout from feet or deeper.
Atlantic salmon fingerlings raised at ity of the LSSU fish is the DNR fish Atlantic salmon, but the easiest to
the Lake Superior State University are stocked at a variety of ports up remember is that brown trout have Spoons Produced Best
Aquatic Research Laboratory. and down the Lake Huron coastline. spots or markings across both the Local anglers at Detour Passage
Roger Greil is the manager of Without a large concentration of fish top and bottom half of their flank. were fishing stickbaits and a vari-
the LSSU Aquatic Research Lab at any port, catchable numbers of Atlantic salmon have markings ety of other plugs, but during our
which will soon be called the Center Atlantic salmon remain fleeting. primarily on the upper half of their stay in mid-June it was the trolling
for Freshwater Research and Educa- With the expanded facilities on flank. spoon that produced the most bites.
tion. This new facility funded in part tap for the Center for Freshwater Atlantic salmon also live much We caught Atlantic salmon on three
by a million dollar grant from Rich- Research and Education at Lake longer than Pacific salmon. Atlantic different spoon sizes including the
ard and Theresa Barch is actually Superior State University, its hope- salmon mature at about three years Jr. Streak, Mini Streak and Standard
a state of the art 12 million dollar ful that more Atlantic salmon will be of age and can live to six, seven or Streak. Of these three sizes the Mini
project slated to open in 2021. raised and stocked in the future. even eight years of age. Streak and Standard Streak pro-
This expanded facility will Because Atlantic salmon are duced the best results.
provide a larger hatchery facility, Atlantic Salmon Are Different different, anglers need to approach Trolling speeds from 2.0 to 2.5
more classroom space, an interpre- For the angler interested in fishing for them with a different at- MPH worked well on downrig-
tive center and broader opportunity targeting Atlantic salmon, it’s im- titude. Unlike coho and king salmon gers, diving planers and also lead
for aquatic research in the Great portant to understand that these fish that are literal eating machines, core line fished using in-line planer
Lakes. Roger Greil is credited with are a different animal. Unlike their Atlantic salmon range from being boards. The most productive lead
establishing the most successful Pacific salmon relatives, Atlantic binge feeders to having literal lock core lines were the 5 and 7 color set
Atlantic salmon hatchery program in salmon have a much wider diet. jaw at times. ups.
Great Lakes history. While Atlantic Atlantic salmon readily target Bright Colors Please
salmon have been stocked in many pelagic forage minnows like smelt, Not As Temperature Sensitive It’s no secret that Atlantic
other places around the Great Lakes, alewife and gizzard shad, but they Atlantic salmon like their salmon like flashy tackle and also
the St. Marys River fishery is with- are also readily adapted to targeting relatives the brown trout are not as that orange is a very productive
out question the most noteworthy. bottom dwellers like round goby, temperature sensitive as coho and color. Our best spoon colors in-
While the number of Atlantic spottail shiners and sculpin. Also king salmon. As a result these fish cluded Orange Crush, Orange Chilly
salmon raised and stocked by the on the diet for Atlantic salmon are often end up feeding much closer to Willy, Candy Corn and Jerry Lee.
Other spoon colors also caught fish, Cedarville on Highway 134. Lodg-
but it was abundantly obvious that ing is also available at St. Ignace
spoons with a lot of orange in them and at Sault Ste. Marie.n
produced more bites.
Atlantic salmon like this are fin
Monitoring Fin Clips clipped by the Lake Superior State
All Atlantic salmon planted by University Aquatic Research Lab and
the LSSU Aquatic Research Lab and also the Michigan DNR to monitor
the Michigan DNR feature various the success of stocking effor ts and
fin clips to identify who stocked the growth rates. This fish features a
fish and the year they were stocked. right pectoral fin clip indicating the
Fish stocked by LSSU in 2013 fea- fish was stocked by LSSU in 2015.
ture a left pectoral clip, fish stocked
in 2014 have left pelvic clips, fish
stocked in 2015 feature right pecto-
ral clips, fish stocked in 2016 have
right pelvic clips and fish planted in
2017 feature left pectoral clips.
Atlantic salmon planted by the
Michigan DNR feature an adipose
fin clip. This rather unique fin clip-
ping schedule makes it easy for
successful anglers to determine the
age class of a fish and also what
hatchery they are from.
Most of the ports where At-
lantic salmon are routinely caught
have fin clip fliers posted to help
anglers better understand this stock-
ing program. Also, many launches
are designated collection sites that
allow the Michigan DNR to ana-
lyze salmon carcasses so further
biological data can be collected and
Detour Passage
The best fishing for Atlantic
salmon at Detour Passage runs from
late May, through June and into
mid-July. Atlantic salmon stage
at this natural pinch point prior to
moving upstream to spawn in the
upper St. Marys River.
The lower end of the St. Marys
River between Frying Pan Island
and the Detour Light is where
most anglers are targeting Atlantic
salmon. Both the east side of the
river channel near the eastern end
of the Upper Peninsula and the west
side of the channel near Drum-
mond Island are prime places to find
Atlantic salmon. Anglers need to
keep their head on a swivel because
this stretch of the St. Marys River is
exceptionally busy with Great Lakes
freighter traffic.
Bonus Species
This area of northern Lake
Huron has a good population of
lake trout and a few king salmon
also turn up in the catch. Clearly
the reason anglers travel to north-
ern Lake Huron is to target Atlantic
salmon, a species that is rare in the
Great Lakes compared to coho and
king salmon, steelhead, lake trout or
brown trout.
If You Go
Lodging in the Detour area is
limited. A small motel is located in
Michigan Outside - Finding fitness in the outdoors

for fun and fitness
by Drew YoungeDyke

he trail wound uphill trails in Michigan. My favorites
into the forest and I are the Potawatomi Trail in the
found a natural stride Pinckney State Recreation Area,
which made me feel combining the Orange, White, and
like our ancient an- Blue Trails at Bald Mountain State
cestors who persis- Recreation Area, the Shingle Mill
tence hunted African antelope, run- Pathway in the Pigeon River Coun-
ning them to exhaustion over long try State Forest, and the Escarpment
distances before killing and eating Trail in the Porcupine Mountains
them. At least that’s what I pictured Wilderness State Park. Michigan
in my head up until about mile 12 boasts 12,500 miles of trails and
of my first ultramarathon, when leg pathways, though, so there’s likely
cramps kicked in. I finished the final one near you. Most trailheads re-
19 miles alternating between walk- quire a Recreation Passport on your
ing and a slow jog, but I crossed the vehicle to enter and park.
finish line having run 31 miles, 50K, Gear for trail running starts
on a trail through our public lands. with the shoes. Trail running shoes
Just a few years ago, running an will have more aggressive tread
ultramarathon would have seemed and often a rock guard insert. Each
impossible. When I turned 35, I was brand and model fits and functions
50 pounds heavier, never ran, drank just a little different. Drop refers to
too many carbonated beverages, the distance from the heal to the toe;
and ate like I had the metabolism of I prefer the Altra Lone Peak model
the high school athlete I used to be. because they have zero drop from
Inspired by the burgeoning hunter- the heel to the toe, which I think
athlete movement popularized by helps me maintain a natural forefoot
Cameron Hanes, I ran the trail in the strike, instead of striking the ground
nature area across the street from with my heels, which can lead to
my house one day after work – for knee issues. Some runners prefer
one mile. But I repeated that every minimalist or “barefoot” shoes; oth-
day for two weeks until it was a ers prefer shoes with thick, cush-
habit, and that first mile set me on ioned soles like those made by Hoka
a path to finding fitness and eating One One.
healthier. Running clothes can be simple
Endurance and physical fitness – I started running in a tee shirt
used to be a critical component and basketball shorts. Now I use
of hunting. Dr. Dan Liebermann, The author found trail running is a natural fit for hunters and an- Patagonia Nine Trails shorts with
a Harvard evolutionary biologist, glers looking to improve their physical fitness. a built-in brief and their Capilene
theorizes that we actually evolved tee with odor-reducing technology
through persistence hunting. Maybe holds something new – a doe with Train To Hunt national finals in the because I can wear them on multiple
that’s why I feel the same instinct fawns, scurrying squirrels, birds of traditional bow division, and won a runs before I have to wash them. For
when I’m trail running as when every color, and the consistently 5K race in Boulder, Colorado. Last socks, I prefer merino wool running
I’m still hunting with a recurve. changing conditions of the woods year I ran my first half-marathon socks from Smartwool, which keep
At some point in our evolutionary throughout the seasons. Soon I was trail race and then my first ultra- my feet dry by wicking sweat. A
history, though, hunting and fitness running three miles, then six. My marathon (anything longer than a simple foam trucker hat will keep
diverged. I suspect that was more re- footwork improved to avoid roots marathon) at Run Woodstock, which the sun out of your eyes and your
cently, though, as we started relying and hurdle fallen logs and large uses parts of the Pinckney State head cool. If I’m running a longer
more on ORVs to take us to blinds rocks in the trail. My ankles grew Recreation Area. As my endurance distance, I carry water in a hydration
to sit all day. But even for stationary stronger. And when the fall came, I builds up over time, I continuously bladder backpack made specifically
hunters who use motorized transpor- found that I could still hunt longer want to push myself to see how far for running from Ultimate Direc-
tation, a healthy lifestyle can lead to across the public land hills I hunt I can go. Running those distances tion. If it’s cold, snowing, or icy, I’ll
more seasons afield as you age. And without getting exhausted. That year isn’t necessary to improve your fit- wear nylon running pants, a hooded
trail running is a natural fit for hunt- I killed my first deer with a bow ness, though: all that takes is to do fleece top like the Patagonia R1, a
ers and anglers looking to improve and then my first buck with a rifle, a more than you’re currently doing merino wool hat, light gloves, and
their physical fitness – after all, we three-and-a-half year old public land right now. trail gaiters or running crampons
already know our way around the eight-point, both by still hunting. Before you start trail running, over my shoes.
woods. The next year I ran my first trail the dormant lawyer in me is going Trail running is inherently slow-
That’s what I loved about trail race, a 5K held on the field archery to say to check with a medical pro- er than road running; you have roots
running at first – the setting. Run- course at the Tomahawk Archers fessional to make sure that you can. and rocks – and sometimes snakes –
ning on roads and sidewalks was club in Temperance, Michigan. I Okay, now that’s out of the way. to watch out for, the terrain is more
always too monotonous to keep me also entered my first Train To Hunt The next step is figuring out varied with hills and valleys, and
running on previous false starts over competition that year, and the next where to run. Luckily, we’re pretty the scenery is better. Don’t worry
the years, but every bend of the trail year I added a 10K race, made the blessed with abundant public land about how fast you run at first, or
The author’s footwork
improved to avoid roots
and hurdle fallen logs and
large rocks in the trail.
And when the fall came,
he found he could still
hunt longer across the
public land hills and hunt
without getting exhausted.
Drew YoungeDyke photos

how far. Take it slow and pick a

distance you can manage. If you’re
running an out-and-back, remember
to turn around at half that distance.
Unlike road running, a trail through

Reliability comes in all sizes.

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approval. Some exceptions apply. Example: 60 monthly payments of
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MICHIGAN MICHIGAN 48428 48428 (810) 796-3770 (810) 796-3770 WNW NEWS JUNE 2019 25
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Next Bite...By Gary Parsons and Keith Kavajecz

ell, not totally.
Hang a min-
now or a leech
under a bobber
and it might
scented plastics. For most other
presentations, including jigging and
slow death, the benefits of today’s
artificials shine through.
The first gain comes from saving
time. Save 15 minutes (and $10) by
driving past the bait shop on the way
to the lake. Save a few casts a day
because soft plastics do not fly off
the hook during a cast. Fish can-
not steal the bait so no more fishing
with a bare hook and no time spent
re-baiting after a strike. Short strikes
come back again (and again) until
they eventually find the hook. Final-
ly, plastics can be worked much more
aggressively to cover more water.
The second gain is options.
Brighter chartreuses and oranges
stand out in darker water to visually artificials really activates the straight- is the softest and most scent-filled now collection.
tempt the fish. Sizes vary from the tail of the bait. In this case the faster option followed by the Gulp! Fry Does the scent really matter?
small Berkley Twitchtail to the larger fall with a 1/4 to 3/8-ounce jig kicks and the Gulp! Crawler (especially Likely it does. Walleyes sample their
Ripple Shads. Vibration choices run out the tail at the top of the stroke the watermelon pearl color). Make food. They suck in a meal and clamp
the gamut from straight-tails in the as well. Since the bait will not rip sure the hook and bait combination is down with their sharp teeth. At that
Gulp! minnow to curly tails on the off the hook, we use Berkley Fire- tuned with the boat speed to spin the point they must determine if the
Power Grub and Rib Worm and boot line Ultra 8-Carrier braid instead of presentation correctly. This is one feel of the food is correct. Offen-
tails on the Power Swimmer. In ad- monofilament so we can feel every case where working plastics sive food that does not taste or feel
dition, the profile of the bait can be twitch and touchdown of the jig even side-by-side against live crawlers right is blown back out before the
chosen to match local forage. in deeper water. It is tough to find a highlights each of the advantages hookset. We are convinced that the
Third, with proper storage the jigging situation where a Gulp! min- listed above. combination of scent and texture on
baits can be kept in the boat all sea- now is not going to work. For color, the choice revolves the Gulp!, Powerbait, and MaxScent
son. Even if live bait is a great option If one angler in the boat is jigging around the amount of food in the lures have on many days been the
for a specific bite, scented plastics fill a Gulp! Minnow, the other generally lake. If the walleyes seem thin or ticket…we just experiment to see
in when the bait runs out and serve as tries a 3 inch to 3.5-inch Berkley starved and you rarely see bait on the which one catches the fish the best
a staple set of lures when the going Ripple Shad. The tail on these lures sonar pick a lure that matches the lo- during that time frame.
gets tough. The worry over invasive activates even at slow speeds. This cal forage. The nightcrawler-colored These small improvements in
species might just be the final straw lure can be jigged or used with a Gulp! Killer Crawler and the shiner plastics over the past few years add
for the drawbacks of live bait for straight retrieve like a crankbait. On Gulp! minnow would be our first up. Just like the extra time with your
walleyes. many days, we find that one or the choice. If bait is all over the screen lure in the water, longer casts, and
Not convinced yet? Here are other works best. and the fish come to the boat plump walleyes that eat instead of play
some details that we have worked out The infinite quivering action of and filled with food, gaudy colors with the bait. In most situations the
over the years. the Berkley Pro Twitchtail Minnow and/or flakes tend to produce better. tough, durable, and colorful lures
Colder water and certain times makes it the ultimate finesse walleye This is where chartreuse colors get with active tails can not only replace
of the year walleye want bulked-up lure. Similar in size to the 3-inch the pick as well as the mixed colors live bait, but get more of what you
thicker baits. Finding live bait that Gulp! Minnow, the Twitchtail has a and ice options in the Twitchtail Min- want—The Next Bite.n
mimics a thick shad profile can be thinner back half that will not quit
moving. When the fish do not need
Captain Roger Gibson
tough but piggybacking a 3-inch
Gulp! Minnow with a second 2.5- the full Gulp! scent and the vibration
inch version (or a small live minnow) of the Ripple shad is too much, the U.S.C.G. Lic
is now a classic option. Twitchtail often saves the day.
The Powerbait Rib Worm is The new Berkley Powerbait Between Sarasota and Fort Myers
another early-season presentation MaxScent line of baits (especially the Located in Tarpon Capital of the world
often used on the Mississippi. This is longnose minnow and flatworm) not ~ Boca Grande, FL
the most flexible type of worm bait only has a different scent than Gulp!,
followed by the similar-style Havoc it is also much more durable. These Large Groups Available
Beat Shad, then the Powerbait Pro lures can last all day and have shown
Jig Worm. Each of these products has to outfish other scents on some days. Snook & Redfish Year-round
a different color scheme, scent, and
vibration option within the slender
Slow Death rigging has its own
nuances when replacing live bait
Fly Fishing Available
Our top bait is a Bass Pro Shops
with scented plastics. Larger hooks
are the rule (size 2 or larger) to
Tarpon Season April-October
XPS Walleye Jig paired with a 2.5- handle larger offerings. Some hooks Contact me today to book your trip!
like the Berkley Fusion19 Slow-turn
inch to 4-inch Gulp! Minnow. The
stand-up design of the jig combined are specially designed to work with
with quicker lifts that we use with artificials. The Gulp! Killer Crawler
Michigan Pheasant Hunting Initiative
creates pheasant release program
Aims to get new hunters wingshooting this fall...

heasant hunters soon
may be finding and
harvesting more
pheasants afield thanks
to the Michigan Pheas-
ant Hunting Initiative,
through which select state game ar-
eas in the southern Lower Peninsula
will receive released rooster pheas-
ants over the next two seasons.
The Michigan Legislature
passed Public Act 618 of 2018,
which appropriated $260,000 from
the general fund to the Michigan
Department of Natural Resources
for a pheasant release program dur-
ing fall 2019 and 2020.
“This legislation was made pos-
sible through the partnership of the
Michigan Pheasant Hunters Initia-
tive and Michigan United Con-
servation Clubs,” said Amy Trot-
ter, executive director of MUCC. The program hopes to expose a new generation of hunters to the thrill of Michigan pheasant hunting.
“Releasing pheasants on state game
areas was widely supported among eastern and southwestern regions of one-time hunting opportunities will is open Oct. 20 through Nov. 14 and
our membership through our grass- the state, and that includes exposing be announced as hunting season in select portions of Zone 3 from
roots resolution process and was a new generation of hunters to the draws closer. Dec. 1 through Jan. 1. In select areas
one of the recommendations made thrill of Michigan pheasant hunting. The pheasant releases are of Zone 1 (Upper Peninsula) pheas-
by the blue-ribbon advisory group In addition to the state game happening in partnership with the ant hunting is open Oct. 10-31.
charged with the responsibility to areas listed above, Allegan State Michigan Association of Game Pheasant hunters will need a free
examine the uses of southern Michi- Game Area (Allegan County) and Breeders and Hunting Preserves. pheasant/sharp-tailed grouse en-
gan state game areas. The group Shiawassee State Game Area (Sagi- Association members will release dorsement on their hunting license.
recommended elevating small game naw County) will host one-time birds on a weekly basis at desig- Anyone hunting pheasants will
hunting as a management output for special events geared toward hunter nated game areas. need this endorsement except those
state game areas.” recruitment and retention. The Al- “We are pleased to have the op- hunting pheasant only on hunting
Pheasant releases will be di- legan SGA event is Nov. 2, followed portunity to partner with the Michi- preserves. This free endorsement
vided into two periods: the October- by the Shiawassee SGA event Dec. gan DNR on this project,” said Lyle will help to identify the number of
November hunting period and the 14. Jaworski, president of the Michigan pheasant and sharp-tailed grouse
December period. “The pheasant releases at Association of Gamebird Breeders hunters in Michigan. It also will al-
“A limited number of roosters Shiawassee and Allegan state game and Hunting Preserves. “One of the low the DNR to survey a sample of
will be released at each site through- areas will offer opportunities to goals of the hunting preserves and these hunters to get their input about
out the pheasant hunting season in introduce new hunters to the sport,” gamebird breeders is to help main- the management of this important
an effort to reinvigorate pheasant said Dennis Fox, DNR recruitment tain and expand pheasant hunting in bird species, as well as on possible
hunting in Michigan,” said Al Stew- and retention manager. “We want to Michigan.” changes for the 2020 release strat-
art, DNR upland game bird special- keep Michigan’s great tradition of Pheasant hunting in Michigan is egy.
ist. “In addition to increased hunting pheasant hunting alive for current for male pheasants only with a two- Visit to
opportunities, folks will have the and future generations.” bird daily bag limit. Zone 2 and 3 learn more about small game hunt-
chance to put a delicious meal on Additional event details for these (Lower Peninsula) pheasant hunting ing opportunities in Michigan.n
their table.”
Pheasant releases this year will
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Stewart said that the initiative
partners hope hunters take advan- AFFORDABLE FISHING SYSTEMS
tage of these additional pheasant
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•300 Plus Inches of Snow
•Winter Persisted into April
•350-400 Deer Fed at one time
•400 Pounds of Pellets per Day
•16 Tons of Food by Early April

Keweenaw couple inherits

deer feeding responsibilities
hen Richard and Recognizing that fact, the sports- get a permit from the DNR. hundreds of deer, the pellets have
Synthia Marsh men’s club started their winter deer The Marshes bought their cur- to be spread out over as large an
moved to their feeding program years ago, this is rent home from someone who had area as possible, too, to make sure
rural home near financed through donations been feeding deer on the all of the animals have access to the
Calumet dur- from the public. They buy property for 10 to 15 years. food. If there’s any fresh snow on
ing 2018, they deer food by the ton to get When they purchased the the ground, it has to be plowed away
inherited an important responsibility the best price possible, and property, they agreed to before the deer can be fed, and there
that they share with the Calumet- distribute the food to club continue the deer feed- were plenty of days that was neces-
Keweenaw Sportsmen’s Club. They members who agree to feed ing program. There would sary.
help keep many of the Keweenaw’s deer throughout the winter. have been a lot of hungry The Marshes use a pellet spread-
deer alive during the winter, and The deer food they buy is deer if the Marshes had not er mounted on skis made by the
that’s especially important during high protein pellets special- continued winter feeding. previous landowner to feed the deer.

By Richard P. Smith
winters like the one that just ended ly formulated to They estimated They pour about 200 pounds of pel-
when the peninsula got more than provide winter- that they fed lets in the contraption and then drag
300 inches of snow and winter ing whitetails between 350 it along a lane where they normally
persisted into April. Due to the long the nutrients they need to survive. to 400 deer when numbers reached feed the deer, leaving a line of pel-
winters and deep snow common in The pellets are also easy for deer to their peak. That was the highest lets behind them. When the snow’s
the Keweenaw, the deer herd would digest. number of deer being fed at one gone, they use a wagon they’ve
only be a fraction of its current level All winter deer feeders like location by members of the sports- modified to distribute food.
without winter deer feeding. Richard and Synthia are required to men’s club. The couple was feeding up to
“We got our first snows in Octo- 400 pounds of pellets a day when
ber,” Richard said, “but that melted. deer numbers were at their peak.
We’ve had snow on the ground since They went through more than 16
November. A lot of snow melted tons of pellets by April 13 and there
during December. Our first big snow was still plenty of snow on the
came on December 27. ground, but some of the deer they
“We only had 50 deer in Janu- helped survive the winter had al-
ary, but we got more every time it ready left to return to their summer
snowed or it got cold. By the end range. They said it was necessary to
of February, we reached our peak feed the deer until May during 2018
numbers of deer. There was 40-plus and it may be the same this year.
inches of snow on the ground by Not all of the deer the Marshes
then.” were feeding survived the winter.
Besides the protein pellets Such a large concentration of deer
provided by the sportsmen’s club, attracts predators such as wolves
the Marshes also bought hay for the and coyotes that prey on whitetails.
deer. They estimated that they spent “We found 8 carcasses of deer
about $2,000 of their own funds to around here that were killed by
feed the deer. That’s not including predators,” Richard said. “We prob-
all of the time they’ve spent actually ably didn’t find all of the predator
feeding the animals. kills, but they only killed a small
It’s a lot of work to feed that percentage of the number of deer
many deer. Since the protein pellets we had here. The deer that hung out
absorb moisture, it’s not a good idea in areas away from the house were
Synthia Marsh feeding a yearling doe named Peanut by hand. to distribute it in the snow. To feed most vulnerable to predators.
“I was amazed at how many
small fawns we had. If we hadn’t
fed the deer, I’m sure at least 30
percent of the fawns would not have
made it.”
After months of being fed, many
of the deer are used to being around
the Marshes and gather nearby,
anxious to be fed as they are filling
the feeder. In fact, some deer rush in
and grab mouthfuls of pellets from
the feeder as it is being filled. They
can feed one of the deer, a yearling
doe named Peanut, by hand. The
previous homeowner started feed-
ing Peanut by hand when she was a
Two adult does were injured
among the hundreds the Marshes Richard Marsh filling his pellet feeder, with many hungry deer standing around nearby waiting to be
fed. They both had broken hind fed. Some didn’t wait and would try to eat directly from the feeder/spreader. Richard P. Smith photos
legs. In spite of their injuries,
those deer appeared to be doing so the majority of them should give estimated at 125 to 175. They were on “donate” at the top right corner
fine. The Marshes assume those birth to twin fawns. Once fawns up to 300 in 2015 and 350-plus in of the page or click on the “Deer
does were hit by vehicles when are born, the herd should increase 2017 and 2018. Feeding” tab. Checks or money
crossing roads. significantly. Anyone wishing to donate to the orders can also be sent to Calumet-
Richard said that the most Based on feeding records of the Calumet-Keweenaw Sportsmen’s Keweenaw Sportsmen’s Club, P.O.
unusual deer they fed had white previous owner, deer numbers have Club winter deer feeding program Box 283, Calumet, MI 49913, with
feet. Most of the does they fed came gone up steadily since 2007 when can go to their website (http://www. a note about what the donation is
through the winter in great shape, the number of wintering deer was and click for.n

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Jika or Zeeka
This finesse rig
flat-out catches bass
By Dave Mull

he Jika rig (pro- knucklehead scholar who did the
nounced ZEE-kah) is translation decide to spell it j-i-k-a?
one of several new- These are the kinds of ponderings
to-me finesse rigs that can keep one awake at night.
discovered on You- So from here on, I’m spelling
Tube over the winter. it Zeeka and hope all red-blooded
The first time we had it in the water American fishing writers follow suit.
in April, it did not disappoint. But let’s talk about is how this
But before we get to the specif- nearly snag-free rig can be such
ics of this weedless setup for soft an easy-to-use and efficient way to
plastics that basically dangles a catch fish.
weight off the hook eyelet, I would According to the trusty internet,
like to question something: Why the Zeeka came across the Pacific
isn’t it spelled Zeeka? Everything I to American shores about a decade
can find out about it says it’s sup- ago. It consists of a weight that’s
posed to be pronounced “ZEE-kah.” attached to a hook eyelet with a split
The Jika was developed in ring. You could say it’s a drop-shot
Japan and according to the online rig without the drop.
Japanese-English dictionary, “jika” I first learned of this rig via a
means “straight.” So, why did the short video on the AnglingBuzz in-

Author Dave Mull poses with one of several bass caught on “Zeeka”
rigs at Gull Lake in April.
ternet channel. I was self-medicating a tasty critter going about its daily
for wintertime cabin fever by binge- business. Bass love to ambush and
watching fishing videos. The Zeeka eat such creatures.
video featured Capt. Ben Wolfe of In late April I finally had a
Sport Fish Michigan, (a group of chance to catch some fish on the
guides and charter captains). Capt. Zeeka. Longtime friend Jeff Wen-
Wolfe showed succinctly how to zel accompanied me in my 17-foot
rig a cylindrical drop-shot weight MirroCraft to Gull Lake, which is
on a split ring strung through the a sizeable, super-clear impound-
eyelet of an extra wide gap hook. ment between Kalamazoo and
He then rigged a standard tube bait Battle Creek. The lake has a great
Texas-style with the hook point reputation for producing lots of
barely nipping the tube’s skin to largemouth and smallmouth bass,
make the presentation resist snags. many of them bragging size. In fact,
The cylindrical tungsten weight and in the Michigan Kayak Trail tourna-
hook on the same split ring are what ment two days later, Rob Baginski
constitutes the Zeeka. The soft plas- of Windsor, Ontario would win
tic bait on the hook can be a worm, with five smallmouth totaling 100
a creature bait, a lizard—anything, inches that he reportedly caught on
really. jerkbaits. They were nearly cookie
But the video shows a tube cutter giants, the longest 20 3/4
on the Zeeka, and the result is a inches long.
phenomenal presentation. Under- That Thursday before the tourna-
water video shows how the long ment, I was in practice mode for that
weight touches bottom while the tournament and Jeff was helping
tube wavers along above, paral- me see what lures might work so
lel to the bottom (perhaps where I could achieve kayak tournament
the “straight” label comes from). glory. Unfortunately I would finish
It’s a unique presentation. A nose- 22 with a smallish five-fish limit,
weighted Texas rig or soft plastic but three of them were caught on the
on a jighead bounces along bottom Zeeka; the other two hit a Z-Man
nose-first, perhaps looking like a Jack Hammer chatterbait.
feeding baitfish. The Zeeka-rigged The Zeeka rigs I put together for
tube looks like a crawfish, goby or Jeff and myself were on the petite
minnow just moving slowly along side, incorporating Strike King
the bottom. The presentation mimics Coffee Fat Tubes, 2 3/4-inches long
The Zeeka rig consists of a
weight attached to a hook
eyelet via a split ring. A long
tungsten weight such as
these from Motley Fishing
in green pumpkin/purple—one of is it takes practice to put the hook transmits bottom composi-
the best colors for Gull, which is as on the split ring—best do a few at tion and avoids picking up
clear as Aquafina bottled water. home before you’re on the water. If debris. At top is a Strike
With a pair of split-ring pliers, I this rig grows in popularity, perhaps King Coffee Fat Tube, which
first threaded a No. 3 size split ring a hook company could create some is 2 3/4 inches long, rigged
through the eyelet of a No. 1 Ga- sort of weight holder near the hook on a No. 1 Gamakatsu Extra
makatsu EWG hook. EWG stands eyelet to allow anglers to easily plug Wide Gap hook. The bot-
for “extra wide gap,” and that style in their own choice of weight. But tom lure is a 5-inch Z-Man
works well with tubes. Next, I added for now, get your split rings, weights ZinkerZ worm on a 4/0
a 1/8-ounce tungsten drop shot and hooks and put together some of EWG hook with a 1/4-ounce
weight from Motley Fishing, which your own. The Zeeka’s ease of use
is the most economical source of and productivity will quickly make
Motley tungsten drop shot
tungsten weights I’ve found any- you a fan.n weight.
where. (Check the website at mot- With the split-ring
pliers, I had to pry and bend open
the tight line clip on the tungsten,
which is designed to clip to the drop
line of a drop-shot setup. Models available
Once the tube was rigged, we for any size home or
tied our 8-pound leader line of application.
Seaguar AbrazX on the split ring. More comfort for your entire home
On Jeff’s very first cast the
lure landed inches from shore in a
shallow cove and he caught about
a 12-inch largemouth. I was soon
in on the action and caught three
largemouth and a smallmouth in the
12- to 15-inch range. We later each
lost bigger bass on the Zeekas in Keep the fire and mess outside - EPA-Certified
another spot—Jeff’s was easily in long burn times (24 hours or more)
Classic Edge™
the 5-pound range. Titanium HD Series
I was sold. Outdoor Wood Furnaces

This is a rig that works on fairly Features a Titanium-Enhanced

Stainless Steel Firebox
clean bottom, but that can also come
through reeds and bottom-hugging
vegetation fairly well. We fished
it down to depths of about 5 feet More convenience,
with the 1/8-ounce weights, and I safety and savings than
rigged one with a bigger hook and a
bigger tube with a 1/4-ounce weight
any other method of
and threw it on baitcasting tackle. Burn less wood than an indoor stove,
deliver more heat
wood heat.
The fish seemed to prefer the much
smaller size as the big tube didn’t Call a Central Boiler dealer near you today!
get a bite. However, that heavier
setup maintained good bottom Valentine Enterprise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bannister, MI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 989-862-5972
contact in depths of 12 to 16 feet. Beaverton Outdoor Wood Furnace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beaverton, MI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 989-435-9240
Tournament day I switched from Gauthier Heating & Cooling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Black River, MI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 989-471-2478
the tube to a Loch Ness Battle Craw SOS Property Maintenance LLP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Caledonia, MI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 616-554-8669
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and had one vicious strike. I missed Nature Trail Enterprises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fremont, MI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231-924-7946
the fish. Hettinger’s Backyard & Power Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Galesburg, MI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269-484-9273
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on our practice day and I missed Able Heating & Cooling Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Homer, MI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 517-568-5522
whatever hit that Battle Craw, the Greenstone Renewable Energy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lake Linden, MI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 906-296-0417
Zeeka hooked fish well. With that B&S Wood Boilers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lapeer, MI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 810-664-5060
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Archery competitions and
extinct elk antlers found
Archery competition Challenge, the I.A.A. State Tour-
nament and the I.A.A. Archer of
at its very finest... the Year.
For some, picking up your C.R. LaFata introduced the
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check the sights and hit a paper tournament-style 3D archery
plate three times is enough. For format. He used his own experi-
others, it’s a year-around sport ences from shooting competi-
where placing an arrow in a dime tions, as well as other seasoned
size circle at 30 yards is not un- archer’s suggestions to build a
common. new association. One created
Sweeping the state is an ar- with the format, rules and classes
cher’s competition series called the archers wanted.
Independent Archer Association. With 30 or more shooting
The I.A.A. has well over a dozen classes available there truly is
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It features bow and indoor and outdoor 3D
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the Schup-
bach’s Sports ••••••

By Randy Jorgensen

y Sprin
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Rann Launstien and
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37 55
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1,000 pounds, that stood is over 160 years old.
OF Deer and Turkey
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Father’s Day
n the drive to Roscom- Then there was that one night
mon on a trout opener at our friends’ cottage on Mullet
on which neither the Lake. We were welcome to stay at
soles of my waders the cabin on the weekends when
nor the tippet of my my father would come up to do
fly line would touch plumbing repairs for them. I wasn’t
the Au Sable, I found myself drift- allowed with him on that voyage as
ing back in time. he headed into the darkness to troll Par t of the fun of taking kids fishing is watching them battle between their
The guy on talk radio was talk- for muskies. curiosity and uncer tainty when it comes to wet, wiggly and flopping things.
ing fish grillin’ with the host and Time passed. The night and the
was waxing delicious about the po- lake grew darker. I might have felt its own thin strip of wood he had ethinkingofgettingmarried. What do
tential of walleye, especially those a little apprehensive as I headed to notched at both ends to secure it. you think about that?”
“good eaters.” bed. We caught quite a few walleye “You’re both adults. I’d say you
“What’s your favorite way to By and by, the putt-putt of the on those trips that would begin with can do what you want,” he replied.
fish for them?” the host asked. little outboard signaled his return, Maureen’s and my arrival about 45 And I lived to fish with Charles
“Crawler harnesses. and I slipped easily into minutes before daylight. Mo didn’t another day.
Just the simple crawler har- sleep. fish but stayed inside visiting with But not all men are cut out to be
ness,” was the response. The next morning, he her mother. One time, her mother fathers. The lucky ones among those
The image of a nice, fat set to work carving up the was particularly amused by what become uncles. Our grandnephews
juicy nightcrawler doing fish. He preserved the head, Maureen had to say. Henry and George, Chuckie’s great
its twisty dance along the brought it home, hung it “He’s going to ask Dad if we grandsons, gave me the perfect
length of a red-beaded har- on a clothesline pole for can get married,” Maureen told her. birthday card this year. The front
ness immediately came to the insects to clean out, They both laughed at how outland- reads, “An Uncle loves you like a
mind. So did a steel min- shellacked it, mounted it ish that notion seemed in the mod- father … And laughs with you like a
now bucket, two on a small piece of ern times of the mid-1980s. friend.” Ohhhh, yeah!
buckets, actually;
the solid one to hold
By Tom Carney plywood, and hung
it on the wall inside
Well, let me tell you! I’m my
own man, and I wasn’t going to do
Then there’s that t-shirt that’s
now making the rounds with the
water and the one our garage. It stayed any asking at all. I was gonna’ tell chest legend, “Uncle. The Man. The
inside that, with the trap door and there for about 13 years until after him how things were going to be, Myth. The Bad Influence.”
colander-like holes to allow water to he died and my mother made me period. Yessir! The mothers and fathers of the
drain out and make it easier to grab throw it out. Just to be on the safe side, nieces and nephews I dote on are all
a lively emerald shiner or a black Truth be told, I spent much more though, I thought I’d better wait nodding in agreement with that one.
tail chub. fishing time with my father-in-law until we caught a keeper fish. … Not my fault man. If you
At that point, thoughts of blue- Charles than I ever did with my The fishing was slow. We had didn’t want me to uncle them, you
winged olives, Hendricksons and father. boated a single, 13-inch walleye, a shouldn’t have had them.
roll casts didn’t seem so important. Charles lived his entire life in keeper according to the regulations My first bad influence was
Like gazillions of other people, I Algonac, near the Flats of the St. set for the St. Clair River. Uncle Dutch. He was my mom’s
first dipped a line under the tutelage Clair River. When he retired, he Just to be on the extra safe side, brother Milton, and I don’t know
of my father, but unlike others I fished the river from the small boat I waited for just the right boat posi- where the nickname came from.
don’t remember much. An old black he kept moored in the canal behind tion. … We had one adventure when
and white photo in some long lost the house where the daughter of his There! As the boat’s drift swung he took me from our hometown of
family album shows me wincing late pal Barker lived. it to the closest point it would come Center Line up to Alpena to get in
with the sun in my eyes and stand- Talk about crawler harnesses! to the riverbank, I gauged I could some wonderful fishing in Lake Hu-
ing beside my kneeling father who Ol’ Chuckie had harnesses in every make the swim if Charles got mad at ron. As I recall, we got up there, ate
displays a stringer of perch that color bead you could imagine: me for asking … err … I mean tell- dinner, and went to bed in a lakeside
reached from my feet to the top of red, blue, clear, chartreuse, black, ing him what I came there to say. cabin he had rented. The next morn-
my head. orange; and he stored each one on So I blurted, “MaureenandIar- ing we got up early to fish, motored

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around in the boat for 10 or 15 min- You know what they say, “The grass
utes, then headed back in, loaded the is greener the farther out you can
boat on the trailer and left. cast your bait.” So I cast mine.
He had forgotten the boat’s drain Except I didn’t know how to
plug back home. cast, didn’t know how to place my
More memorable was the time feet for balance and didn’t know
he took me to fish from the dock about momentum.
at Lake St. Clair’s Metropolitan All I remember is being upside
Beach. I was about five then, and down and looking up through the
was standing there dabbing my hook water and seeing a hand reach for
and bobber directly below me in the my leg.
shallows. I noticed Uncle Dutch and My mother later told me that
some other guy casting their worms Uncle Dutch wrapped me in his
out there a ways. jacket and got me home as quickly
A child has no idea what adventures and memories await until an adult
hands him a fishing rod. Liz Balck photos
as he could. And then he fretted and us free rein. But once a year the
worried about what might have hap- boys attend a family reunion, and
pened and oh my gosh. we visit everyone for a day. Henry
As for me though, that might is still kind of cool to the idea, but
have been the first time in my life I when we visit, Georgie likes to get
thought, “Cool! No harm, no foul.” in some fishin’!
I’ve tried my best to badly influ- As of this writing he is at the
ence my sister Kathy’s boys Brian “curious but not enough to bait his
and Michael. But since they always hook or do more than poke a fish
lived so far away, I couldn’t get into with his finger” stage, but there is
any real trouble with them. hope he will develop as a fisherman.
Henry and George live close by, And I want to help.
and while it’s true we’ve been able For while not all of us can be
to have some messin’ around time fathers to children, we can all be bad
together, their Grand-Aunt Maureen influences and laugh with them like
is usually standing too near to allow friends.n

Up North
Confessions of a

’ve been in love with of biology first before I hop into my
frogs ever since I was a rambling dissertation on our long-
barefooted toddler splash- leaping, bug-eating, swamp-singing
ing about mud puddles amphibians of the wetlands and
and running half naked meadows of Michigan.
around the swamps near Amphibian means “two lives,”
our rural home. Not much referring to the fact frogs
has changed, but I’m a few begin their life in water be-
years older now and now fore hopping about the edge
I understand more of what of wetlands. In scientific Bullfrogs can be eight inches long and are the largest species of
happens when frogs get terms, “Amphibians are frog in Nor th America.
in the mood for love and a cold-blooded vertebrate the water and breathe through gills movement sinks the eyes down into
romance. And I keep my animal of a class that com- until they grow legs and develop the head and that helps push the still
clothes on during frog spy- prises frogs, toads, newts, lungs and climb out of water. They squirming food down the throat. As
ing expeditions. and salamanders. They are then frogs and little kids chase you may have guessed, frog eyes
April have an them. With that bit of science 101 excel at spotting movement of both
was Na-
tional Frog By Jonathan Schechter aquatic gill-
out of the way we’ll move on to frog
prey and predators, even when ev-
erything but their eyes and nose are
Month, and
now that all (I think) of the Upper
larval stage
usually followed by a terrestrial Frog Symphonies under the surface of the water.

Peninsula’s snow has finally melted lung-breathing adult stage.” Frogs do not “croak” because Frog Skin
it’s time for a belated celebration of That translates as: Frogs start they are happy. The males vocally Frog skin, unlike toad skin,
frogs. Frogs do some mighty strange out as eggs laid in or near water. establish territory and sing to lure needs to be moist. Frogs do not
things, at least in the eyes of hu- In their next stage the eggs turn the lady loves of their lives. The drink water. Because they absorb
mans. To set the stage I’ll share a bit into tadpoles. The tadpoles stay in courtship romance is short lived. water through their skin, frogs are
Spring peepers and chorus frogs excellent indicators of chemical
started their singing in late April containments in water. Dr. Ruth
down in my current stomping Marcec is the director of the Nation-
grounds of Oakland County but as al Amphibian Conservation Center
shallow waters warm, the creaky at the Detroit Zoo and is acutely
sounding duck-like clatter of wood aware of the plight of many species
frogs and the prolonged rumbling of amphibians, including frogs.
call of leopard frogs kick in and She also works with rare am-
reach top volume. They should be phibians and was quoted in the
singing up a storm in the U.P. by the Detroit Free Press last year saying,
time you read these words. “If you combine all the endangered
Gray treefrogs remained silent mammals and birds that still doesn’t
today as I scribble these words on add up to the percentage of amphib-
April 27 but that’s because frost is ians that are threatened and endan-
on the ground and a few snowflakes gered.”
fell in the highlands. As soon as a Consider frogs an early warn-
hot and humid afternoon, or warm ing system of our wetlands. When
weather thunderstorm rumbles into frog populations die, we should be
town, treefrogs may explode into concerned for in the world of nature
their insect-like trilling song from all things are connected.
the branches of trees and nearly We all have our favorite frogs.
impenetrable thickets. These five are mine:
Frog Tongues Spring Peepers
Frog tongues are attached to the
front of their mouths rather than National Geographic describes
attached way back in the mouth like spring peepers perfectly, “Spring
the tongue you and I have. When peepers are to the amphibian world
a frog sees a squirmy insect, wig- what American robins are to the bird
gly worm, or juicy bug it throws its world. As their name implies, these
sticky tongue out of its mouth in a frogs begin emitting their famil-
lightning fast maneuver and wraps it iar sleigh bell chorus right around
around its prey. Then it snaps back the beginning of spring. Found in
in and all but throws the food down wooded areas and grassy lowlands
the throat. near ponds and swamps in the
central and eastern parts of Canada
Frog Eyes and the United States, these tiny,
Did you know that frogs use well-camouflaged amphibians are
their eyes to swallow? rarely seen. But in mid-March the
Well, they sort of do that. When crescendo from amorous males is
a frog gulps down a meal, it squeez- for many a sign that winter is over.
es its large eyes closed. That muscle Spring peepers are tan or brown in
color with dark lines that form a a banjo string being plucked.
telltale X on their backs.”
Here’s another fact of interest. Bullfrog
Their Latin name, Hyla crucifer, is Bullfrogs can be eight inches
derived from the cross, or “telltale long and are the largest species of
X” on their backs. frog in North America. These pop-
eyed inhabitants of large ponds and
Gray Treefrogs wetlands are more than a mouthful
Gray treefrogs spend much of for some predators and occasional
their time in shrubbery and trees and turn the tables and eat snakes, small
sometimes use their suction cup-like birds, mice, voles, and other frogs.
toe pads to climb up the outside of They are well known for the deep
a window pane. They are not the baritone call which is heard most
Peeping Toms of the frog world, but often on sultry summer days and
they do know opportunity. When the nights and is often described as
light from inside the home attracts “Jug-of-Rum, Jug-of-Rum.”
bugs, the treefrogs climb up for
an easy meal. The scientific name American Toads
for the gray treefrog, versicolor, According to the University of
is derived from Latin and means Michigan’s Museum of Zoology An American toad buried in the sands of South Manitou awaiting
there is no scientific distinction
‘variable color,’ which relates to this
between frogs and toads. Frog and
dinner in the form of big bugs. Author photos
species’ ability to change color to
blend into their habitat of the mo- toads both belong to the Anura or- of some beholders. The springtime Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake-
ment. Gray treefrogs may be shades der, but are found in different fami- “penetrating sex trills” of the male shore. And in addition to hundreds
of gray, brown, bright green or a lies. The National Wildlife Federa- toads attract the female toads, hu- of campers and island day visitors
combination of colors. They are true tion explains the difference simply, man frog lovers and predators. that I encounter I have some mighty
masters of camouflage. in ways even non-herpetologists Hognose Snakes have a non- big toads that keep me company on
such as me can grasp, “Basically, reciprocating love affair with toads. my not so lonely watch; including
Green Frog toads are frogs that spend most of Toads are their favorite entrée. this “monster” toad partially bur-
Green frogs are the second their time on dry land. As a result These non-venomous snakes that ied in the sands of South Manitou
largest species of frog species of their skin is rougher, which helps can flatten their head like a cobra awaiting dark to ambush big bugs.
Michigan. They are the species most camouflage them in the knobby and hiss are rare in Southeast Michi- Jonathan Schechter is the Na-
seen, most loved, and most often world of dirt, sand and leaf litter.” gan but thrive in some sandy areas ture Education Writer for Oakland
pursued by children. I think that’s That simple explanation works of Michigan, including South Mani- County Government and still chases
what I used to chase, but back then for me too. Life can be tough for to Island, where I will be heading in frogs and other critters in the wilds
a frog was a frog. The song of the toads, a species that is renowned for just a few weeks for my fourth tour of nature. Email: oaknature@aol.
green frog is accurately described as its lack of beauty–at least in the eyes of duty as the Lighthouse Keeper for comn


Guest Column By Ross Aldrich

have hunted turkeys in getting closer to me. I decided to try
the past but usually I hunt to get out my box call and see what
only one day during my happens. I figured I had nothing to
season and call it quits lose. I gave a couple of yelps on
because I guess I am not the call and waited. Within a few
what you would call a minutes I saw the three turkeys that
diehard turkey hunter. I have taken a were by the creek now working their
total of two toms in the past with my way down the field edge toward me.
gun but never have seriously hunted At this point I focused my attention
with my bow for turkeys until this to them and kind of forgot about this
year. I had retired from one of my other gobbler.
part-time jobs at the beginning of the After several minutes of watch-
month so I thought this would give ing these three, they were getting
me a better opportunity to hunt with really getting close to bow range and
my bow this year knowing it would I was getting pretty excited thinking
probably be difficult to harvest one that I may really have a chance at
with the bow. this tom. About the time I thought
The turkeys had been winter- this, I was again hearing the other
ing on our property this year and I tom and he was extremely close to
would typically see at least 20 toms me. I looked out the other side of Ross Aldrich of Laingsburg with his state
and just as many hens for most of my blind and cresting the hill about record tom taken with a bow, his first
the winter right behind our house 50 yards from me stood this big tom turkey with a bow. The 5 beards measured;
and the adjoining fields. I knew surveying the situation. The two 10-1/2, 8-3/8, 7-13/16, 7 and 3-7/8
these birds would not be this numer- hens were now behind me dusting inches with 1 7/16 inch spurs. The previous
ous come hunting season and I sure themselves in the plowed field and record was set in 2002 by Phillip Blaske,
was right. As soon as the weather the tom with them was now behind a his Cass Co. bird scored 33 15/16.
warmed up around the first of April small rock pile, out of sight from the tention of these ladies. He kept get- would skin him out for me. I took
I rarely saw a bird or heard any toms tom on the hill. I had my hen decoy ting closer toward my decoy which the turkey over to his house to show
gobbling. To complicate things, the set up sitting directly on the ground would offer up the best shot for me. him and my nephew Eric was look-
farmer who leases our land tilled up in the food plot. As the tom seemed to take forever to ing the bird all over and mentioned
all of the farm fields on our property. The hill top tom now started to get in sight of my window opening that it had several beards. I told him
I had low expectations for a suc- strut for these hens but I don’t think he finally appeared. I drew back for I did see that it had more than one
cessful turkey season using my bow they were too interested in him. Af- the shot but he turned away leaving but he exclaimed there were five
so the weekend before my season ter they finished their dust bath they the window opening. I had to let the total! He remembered earlier in the
started I placed my portable blind started to slowly work their way to- arrow down and wait once again for year, when these birds were flocked
near the middle of the property. ward my location once again but this him to come back in this opening. At together, seeing one particular bird
My first couple days of turkey time they would be heading almost last he did and was still in full strut. that had multiple beards and long
season were pretty uneventful, directly at the base of my blind. This I drew back yet again and placed spurs. He said I should get this
watching two hens following the drew out the tom that was with them the 20 yard pin on him as he was scored because after he gave it a
same path to the creek, moving my originally away from his secluded perfectly broadside to me and let the quick measure, looked up the record
blind around and finally seeing a spot behind the rock pile, but now in arrow fly. Down he went! I could not book and said it might be close to
tom following the two hens. But late sight of the tom on the hill. believe it! There laid this big tom the Shiawassee County record.
Friday afternoon I saw a big tom I believe the tom on the hill must turkey, my first ever with a bow. I took the turkey the next day to
hanging around my food plot. have been the dominant bird be- I called my wife and had my Buck Hagy, an official CBM scorer,
So I decided to hunt out of my cause as soon he saw the other tom daughter, Lauren would drive back and he measured it. After I returned
blind I have on this food plot Satur- he went right after him. He ran on on our ATV because I thought she back home Buck gave me a call
day morning and heard a faint gob- a full sprint directly at him and that would be interested in seeing this and informed me that he checked
ble to the west of me. After listening first tom flew straight up and over bird and also she probably wouldn’t the record books as to where my
for a while it sounded like this bird the dominant bird and landed several believe that I really did get one. bird would place and he said that I
was on the move but not getting yards away from him. I guess this After tagging the bird we were probably had the new state record
closer to me. I kept looking to where was still too close because once admiring the nice long paint brush for a multi-bearded turkey taken
the two hens always came from and again he charged at him and this beard and his long, sharp spurs. As with a bow, and by seven inches! I
it wasn’t too long before I spotted time landed right top of him. That we were looking it over further we could not believe it. He said that I
them with a long beard in tow. They seemed to be enough of a battle for noticed he had what appeared to had to have it rescored by a panel of
were, as usual, working their way to the other tom as he took flight again, be another beard. We both thought three official scorers to verify this.
the south right to the creek although this time flying out of sight. that was interesting but didn’t give The next day I took it back over to
this day they decided to walk further The hens paid little attention to it a second thought. I was still more them and the three of them scored
away from me to the creek edge. all this commotion as they were now astonished that I was able to get one it once again. My official score was
I kept looking in that direction for right next to my decoy just slowly with my bow. We took a few pictures 40.6 inches which measures all five
any of the three to perhaps sneak up feeding their way back toward the and loaded him up on the ATV and beards plus the length of the spurs.
the creek edge toward me. While creek. Now that the tom had got- went back to the house. I was sure glad I decided to try to
watching for them, I kept hearing ten rid of any competition he set his After having lunch I spoke with bow hunt this year and also thankful
this other tom gobble every once in sights on these hens. He now was my brother-in-law Greg Young to that I listened to my nephew Eric to
a while and it sounded like he was strutting around trying to get the at- tell him the story and to see if he have this bird scored!n
Oaks Trees...
Trees of Life?
Don’t Risk Oak Wilt Fungus
Guest Column By William Drews
It was about 1956 or thereabouts food plots that at best are good for
when we would visit my grandma’s one or two seasons. I would esti-
house on Sundays to enjoy her com- mate the number of existing young
pany and a great meal. Later in the white oaks along the uplands of our
evening we would watch “Lassie” hunting property to be around 50.
and “The Ed Sullivan Show” on her They require very little care and are
12” screen TV (we hadn’t gotten reaching the maturity level where
that luxury yet). In the afternoon acorns are being produced. What
between those two events, I loved to value can be placed on those trees?
hang out under the big red oak tree Do you know the tree species A red oak canopy six weeks after being infected by oak wilt. The
in the front yard. Gathering up hun- component on your hunting prop-
dreds of acorns was great fun for a erty? Do you know where the good
disease will now move from this infected host through connected
five-year-old. My father would later mast producers are? roots killing additional oak trees. Julie Stachecki photos
show me how to whistle with the During a recent seminar presen- fections are easily started during the the trees);
acorn caps, explaining that should I tation at our annual arborists meet- spring and early summer when this • rapidly sealing wounds if they
ever get lost, the high pitched sound ing (Arbor-Con), Dr. Doug Tallamy, pathogen produces an abundance occur (beetles are strongly attracted
could be heard from long distances. Professor of Entomology, from the of spores and the beetles feeding to fresh oak wood and have been
So oak trees and I go back a University of Delaware explained on those spores are active – this is documented to arrive in 8-10 min-
long ways, and although that big oak the amazing role our oak trees play known as the HIGH RISK oak wilt utes!);
is now gone, the memories of family in the wildlife community. Many infection period. Any fresh wound • do not move firewood
reunions held under it will remain. animals utilize the oak mast but on an oak tree makes it vulnerable • monitoring for the disease and
Allow me to point out many of the various caterpillar populations are to infection. The risk of the new prompt, positive identification of its
wonderful benefits our oak trees so vital for bird nestling survival oak wilt infections continues mid- presence.
provide and ways to avoid any un- (1,000 caterpillars per baby bird summer through fall but biological • positive diagnosis of oak wilt
necessary risks you may be taking. raised). He calls oaks the tree of life. conditions make the risk somewhat requires the presence of spores and/
We all want to make our hunting Are you willing to risk losing lower than during spring-early or the ‘pressure pads’ that grow un-
properties as attractive to wildlife as any of your oaks by pruning, remov- summer. Red oaks infected by oak der the bark of oak wilt-killed trees
possible, so why wouldn’t we do all ing or hinge cutting during risk wilt will die quickly, often within or a positive lab analysis.
we can to promote oak mast? periods? 6-8 weeks despite the tree’s size – a While enjoying the benefits of
It’s been said, and I believe it Oak wilt is a serious threat to an 200-year-old red oak will succumb our native oak trees if you notice
is very true, that a deer will walk amazing resource. Certified arbor- as quickly as a 10-year-old red oak something unusual, particularly a
through a field of corn to get to a ists will agree that any warm season tree! change in leaf color, wilting and
white oak that’s dropping acorns. activity with oaks can be risky and Oak wilt spreads in two ways. rapid leaf drop at the wrong time of
I am convinced that deer know should be avoided. The following Overland infections occur when year, contact a Michigan oak wilt
exactly where every available food information will help you better un- native sap beetles (and a few other specialist to assist you with accurate
source in their territory is, and just derstand the criteria for identifying types) feed on oak wilt spores and diagnosis. Oaks endure a variety of
like a kid, will eat the candy first. oak wilt and how it can get started. then fly to wounds on oak trees, pests which can be easily confused
I have spent hundreds of dollars The disease is oak wilt (Bretzi- carrying the spores on their bodies. with oak wilt symptoms.
each year to plant and manage small ella fagecaerum). New oak wilt in- Once an oak tree is infected, the oak If oak wilt is diagnosed, suc-
wilt disease moves through the tree cessful treatment requires techni-
into the root system and into all oak cal expertise and a multi-faceted
trees that it shares roots with. management approach. Go to
Roots are connected in a vast to connect
system of “root highways,” allow- with trained oak wilt specialists,
ing oak wilt to move and kill acres learn more about ongoing oak wilt
of trees until the disease runs out research in Michigan, find helpful
of oak roots to move through. This management information, links to
below-ground activity across root many references and a gallery of
grafts is responsible for the great- photographs.
est number of oak wilt-killed trees. Author Wm. Drews is MI
A tree’s roots can grow twice the Oak Wilt Qualified; ISA Certified
distance that a tree is tall. So, for Arborist; Tree Risk Assessment
example, a 50 foot oak tree can have Qualified; ASM member; Oak Wilt
roots 75-100 feet out from its base Coalition member; owner Woodland
in all directions. Tree Services, Inc.; avid Michigan
Prevention of new oak wilt in- outdoorsman. Some information
fections is the key to managing this thanks to Julie Stachecki, MI Oak
disease and limiting its devastation. Wilt Qualified; ISA Certified Arbor-
Preventions actions include: ist, Tree Risk Assessment Qualified;
The oak wilt disease reproduces under the bark of oak wilt-killed trees. • Not injuring oaks during the ASM President; Oak Wilt Coalition
This bark has been pulled away and reveals nitidulid beetles feeding on growing season (when leaves are on member; Site Specific, Inc.n
the sporulating fungal structure of the oak wilt pathogen.
Joel’s Big Buck!
Guest Column…By Serge Bourdeaux

good deer story has few minutes into legal light in walks
to have some kind a young four-point buck. In seconds
of introduction. I he is broadside to us at about 30
have a grandson, yards, and I whisper to Joel to take
Joel DeVaughn, he is the safety off and take your shot.
15-years-old, stands After we calmed down a little I
at 6 feet 2 inches tall, is a sopho- let him know that the deer was hit
more in high school, plays guitar, and we can go find his buck. He
and likes to deer hunt and fish. is now firmly into this deer hunt-
Well now, about two years ing thing with a crossbow and after
ago the conversation in the family completing his hunter safety course
somehow shifted to hunting and this past summer was ready for the
either or both his mom and dad said next chapter in his life which leads
he wanted to try crossbow hunting us to the main storyline.
with grandpa. As time went on we Saturday September 22, 2018 Joel DeVaughn, 15, with his trophy 10-point and the author.
used my recurve crossbow and did a - Liberty Hunt, we left the house had caught our scent with the shift-
little practicing in the backyard that about five in the afternoon and back to the house and wait. Maybe
ing air currents and left in a hurry. 40-50 minutes later we came back
progressed to shooting at a deer tar- walked out to the blind for the The evening sit continued on
get at 20 and 30 yards. In the fall of evening sit. A little after 5:30 a equipped with headlamps, hand
2017 we got Joel a base apprentice fawn came in view out there about
for a while with no other sightings. light, sled, and field dressing gear to
license and during the early antler- 30 yards, and then the doe came
I knew that the waning light of the find Joel’s 10-point buck that died
day could bring in more deer so I tangled in that fence line, which was
less hunt he connected on a young along but from a different trail. I mentioned to Joel we were in the
deer near his home. whispered to Joel that she was a about 25 yards from where the buck
prime time of deer movement from was shot. What a beautiful buck he
Now then, he was ready for the mature deer and he should be ready daytime bedding to nighttime feed-
next step; to sit in the deer blind to take his shot. She was not giving was with nearly even beams and
ing. Around 7:30 I’m looking down tines and a likely candidate for scor-
with grandpa looking for a buck. In the broadside pose that Joel needed, at our stuff in the blind contemplat-
early October we set up in the blind when she threw her head up sudden- ing by Commemorative Bucks of
ing packing up things when Joel Michigan and a shoulder mount by
before daylight and right on cue, a ly and went to attention. They both bumps me and whispers, “Grandpa, Mark Ditzel’s Taxidermy.
buck!” We became aware of that bucks
We were in the last half hour of presence back in June when we
Superior Game Ranch legal light when in walks a 10-point
buck using the same trail as the doe.
He seems to not be in any hurry, but
were hanging out on the deck, he
decided to walk across the back
property just beyond the pond. His
Route 3 Box 163 • Cornell, MI 49818 I again whisper to Joel to wait for antlers back then went past his ears
that broadside pose. He stops at al- and with my binoculars I could see
Incredible U.P. of Michigan most the same place as the doe had, at least six-points above his main
Hunting Opportunities giving us a front quartering shot. beams. That sighting convinced me
Knowing what that doe did earlier, I to set out a couple trail cameras later
Private farmland in south Marquette whispered to Joel, “Take the safety in August which led us setting up a
County Michigan, fully guided off and take your shot at that buck.” blind off from a trail leading toward
His response was quick and that the back yard.
bow and firearm hunts in bolt was so fast that when I blinked Joel’s crossbow was given to
hunting preserve for: Elk, that buck was in full retreat. He ap- him in June by me when I upgraded
Whitetail Deer, Buffalo, Wild peared to stop at the south property my bow to a Ravin R9. I had pur-
Large Russian Boar line fence, and within view with my chased that crossbow from Schup-
Boar, Red Stag & Fallow Deer. Hunts Available! binoculars I could see him stagger- bach’s Sporting Goods several years
ing. I told Joel that he was hit but ago; a 6-Point GT Flex made by
we need to leave the blind and go TenPoint bows.n
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Manistee County...

Booner Bear
ast September, John Koon spot was a little bigger than the one I
from Manistee bagged a black shot. I didn’t have any photos of the
bear with a skull large enough one I ended up shooting.”
to qualify for national records John said he passed up two or
maintained by the Boone and Crock- three bears on the first day of his
ett Club in Manistee County, accord- hunt as well as others on subsequent
ing to Commemorative Bucks of days, but he wasn’t sure if the ones
Michigan. CBM measurers came up he saw each day were different ani-
with an official score of 21 2/16 for mals or the same ones.
the skull and 21 is the minimum for “I didn’t want to shoot a yearling
entry in all-time Boone and Crockett that only weighed 100 pounds,” he
Records. Bear skulls only have to said. “I’m not sure how many differ-
measure 18 to make it into ent bears I passed up, but I
state records. saw bears every day. There
Manistee County is in were quite a few of them in John Koon of Manistee bagged this big black bear that qualifies for
the Baldwin Bear Manage- the area.” national records maintained by the Boone and Crockett Club
ment Unit (BMU). The John was hunting from
bear John shot was smaller a tree stand about 40 yards 2017 that weighed approximately side.”
than the one he was after, from a bait. His grandson, 300 pounds. He was hunting the Then John put a bullet from his
but it still proved to be big Jacob, was hunting with same bait when he bagged his Boon- .30-06 through the bear’s chest.
enough. him. John said Jacob has er. It was the evening of September “He took off when I shot,” Koon
“I had applied for a 13 or 14 when John scored. stated. “He ran right underneath the
trail camera
pictures of a By Richard P. Smith state-issued
bear license in
“We saw what looked like a
shooter back in the swamp, but it
treestand I was in.”
The bruin had a dressed weight
bear that had a the Baldwin disappeared,” John remembered. of 435 pounds. Its live weight would
blemish on his back,” Koon said. “It Unit for a number of years without “The one I shot came to the bait a have been close to 500 pounds.
was actually a big brown spot. That success. As a member of the Little little later. There was still plenty of “It took four guys and myself to
was the bear I was after. It was the River Band of Indians, John drew a light left, and it was obvious he was get that bear out of the woods,” John
biggest bear that I had photos of. tribal bear license two years in a row. a shooter. I watched him for about said. “The bear’s ears, nose and face
“I think the one with the brown Koon shot his first bear during 15 minutes until he turned broad- were scarred up from fighting.”n

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Located at Ellens Equipment • 5297 W. Stoney Corners Rd., McBain, MI 49657
Whether imitation or real, worms
work for catching walleye in
open water…By Mark Martin

hey wiggle; they deeply in thought to figure it out.
squiggle; they’re Like all fish, walleye are opportunis-
soft and smell funny. tic feeders. In other words, they’ll
They’re worms. And eat whatever passes by when they
all that holds true are in the mood to eat.
whether they are mod- What about all those minnows
ern-day fake baits or the real deal. and bugs walleyes feasting on all
The best thing about worms? summer long, you ask? Well, yeah,
They work wonders when it comes they are still feeding on those, too.
to catching walleye in open water. But the cool thing about worms is
But not all worms are created equal. you can easily change their appear-
Not even the live ones. ance by adding a little bling to your
rig, or even just doubling them up or
Dive Right In nipping them in half. And you can
What is it about worms that fish them fast, slow, and all speeds
work so well for catching walleye? in between. To boot, the fish like the
Well, you don’t have to dive too way they taste.

You’d be hard pressed not to find live nightcrawlers in the author’s

boat anytime he’s on the water.
The Livelier in my vehicle and boat. The latter
of the two is often overlooked by
The Better anglers. Worms, no matter the type,
You’d be hard pressed not to find will perish quickly if jostled around
live night crawlers in my boat any- too much.
time I’m on the water. But lethargic, And when onboard, I keep my
lifeless crawlers won’t cut it. In fact, night crawlers in a cooler rather than
dying worms skewered onto a hook adding ice to the container itself. As
will repel fish rather than entice the ice melts it will saturate the bed-
them to taking a bite. ding and eventually kill the critters.
Crawlers must be kept cool and
moist… not wet. When purchased, Real VS imitation
most night crawlers are packed in Whether I use live crawlers or
rich, black dirt. They should be softbaits that imitate the real thing is
kept in this natural mixture for long up to the fish. And knowing when to
term storage, say, over a period of use one over the other comes from
months, as they get nourishment many years of trial and error while
from it. And they need to be kept on the water.
cool; somewhere in the mid-40 Seeing as I have confidence
degree mark is about right. For equally in live and fake baits, I
shorter term use, however, a pre- rarely start using one over another.
mixed worm bedding is ideal. Best Instead, I base my choice on the
if it comes pre-moistened with just environment of the waterway I’m
the right amount of water already fishing, my technique, as well the
added. Night crawlers don’t do other species of fish that reside in it.
well if their surroundings are too Take, for example, when perch
clammy. Keep their bedding moist, are present and pecking away at my
not wet. live crawlers on a crawler harness,
When bringing along worms nipping away at the meat until it’s
aboard my Lund for the day, I keep completely ripped from the hook.
them in an insulated container. A This is when I’ll change up and use
foam liner does two things, actually: Gulp! Night Crawlers instead of
It keeps the temperature inside the live ones. Gulp! is soft, yet tough
container constant and cool, and acts enough that small fish can’t tear it
as a shock absorber during travel apart before walleyes get a chance
to take a poke at it. And Gulp! ex- out any spinner ahead of it. If the
pels scent that predator fish love. water’s dirt and I feel a little color’s
When casting and jigging, on the needed to attract attention, I’ll slip
other hand, I’ll often start out with one to three small brightly colored
softbaits as they stay on the hook beads ahead of the hook. Just pinch
better when being ripped through a couple split-shot a few feet above
structure such as weeds, wood the hook, or tie up a slip-sinker rig
and rock. Berkley’s 4-inch Pow- and hang on.
erBait worm, for example, as well 2019 SUMMER/FALL CLASS SCHEDULE
their Jigworm are two of my go-to Worm Roundup
baits when walleyes are in vegeta- June 1,The2019 — Mt.
only Clemens,
problem MIof
I know
when it comes to using worms,
tion. I skewer them onto a 1/8- to June 1, 2019— Somerset, KY
1/4-ounce Metallic Eye-Ball Jigs as whether live or imitation, is the
this particular model has a BarbWire Julyendless
13, 2019 — Mt.
ways Clemens,
in which MIthem
to rig
for the fishing situation at hand.
worm and grub barb on it that holds August 10, 2019— Mt. Clemens, MI
Above were only a mere few, just to
the bait in place, snug to the head.
September 2019— Mt.
7, thinking.
get you Clemens,
When it comes TAK
MI to
Changing Form 2019 SUMMER/FALL CLASS usingSCHEDULE
worms, let your imagination
As I mentioned, worms work
October 5, 2019— Mt. Clemens, MI
June 1, 2019— Mt. Clemens, MI
run wild. TEST
wonders on walleyes that are fo- OctoberJust12,remember
2019— St. to keep your
Joseph, MI live
cused in on eating other forage. Af- Lethargic, lifeless crawlers won’t cut it. In fact, dyingJune 1, 2019
worms — Somerset,
skew- ones KY
APPROVED and use softbaits that
October 19, 2019— Gibraltar, MI
ter all, rarely do fish feed on worms, ered onto a hook will repel fish rather than entice July them to taking a
13, 2019— Mt. Clemens, MI
smell like the real thing. Do so and Prou
anyway, because they don’t live in bite. Crawlers must be kept cool and moist but not wet. you’ll catch
November fish— on
2, 2019 Baythem
water. They are a natural forage for August 10, 2019— Mt. Clemens, mer long,MI I promise. After all, the
fish, however, as a heavy rain will rig a night crawler onto a Northland Spinner. Walleyes are TAKE THE
more likely November
September 7, 2019— Mt. Clemens,
2, 2019
best thing MI
— Mt. Clemens, MI
about worms is they work Si
wash worms into the drink. 2019 SUMMER/FALL
Baitfish Spinner Harness.CLASSTheSCHEDULE
blade to take a bite at my bait if it’s been wonders when it comes to hood- 30 A
A spinner blade above a night onJune 1, 2019— Mt. Clemens,of
this rig has life-like images MI
shrunk down when TEST WITH US!
they5,are2019 — Mt. Clemens,
feasting winking MI walleye in open water.
crawlers, such as on a crawler har- minnows and small fishes imprinted on bugs. October 12, 2019— St. Joseph, Mark MIMartin is a touring wall-
June and
ness, give off the flash and vibration on them look—like
1, 2019 Somerset,
the realKY
thing. Worms, too, imitate the small eye tournament professional and in-
that attracts walleyes. Anytime I’m If walleyes are feeding on lampreys that Octoberoften
walleyes 19, 2019
eat — Gibraltar,
structor MI
with the Fishing Vacations/
July 13, 2019— Mt. Clemens, MI Proudly Serving
pulling harnesses, whether high in insects, such as mayfly nymphs, I’ll during the midsummer period.
November 2, In — Bay
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the water column behind Church August 10, 2019
use smaller blades— Mt. Clemens,
and only half MI rivers for example, I’ll just
“Thenip Great
the Lakes” corner of Michigan’s Lower Penin-
a worm on7,a 2019
Tackle in-line planer boards, or, near September single— hook spinner MI nose of a nightNovember 2, 2019
crawler onto Since— Mt.
a razor 1989!Clemens,
sula. Check MIout his website at mark-
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bottom behind bottom-bouncers, I’ll rig such as Crawler Hauler Speed sharp Diichi single hook with-
30 Anniversary for more information.n
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ass anglers don’t cast out over deep weedy cover or The popping plugs seem to be most
agree on much but next to the lily pads and allowed to effective early and late in the day.
most of them would just sit there for a few seconds. It is Year after year, the top-water plugs
probably concede shook or quivered then and allowed seem to produce the largest bass of
that catching bass to rest again. After several repeti- the season. While other lures will
on top-water lures is tions, it is retrieved slowly. sometimes produce more hits and
about as much fun as you can have, Most of the hits come as the more fish, the big surface plugs al-
fishing. On occasion, you can catch plug is twitched and the hits are most always deliver the largest fish.
more fish on top-water lures than on almost always explosive. It appears Fly rod lures are among the most
anything else and those occasions that the bass swim up to the plug, effective of top-water presentations.
are to be relished. examine it for a few seconds and Big poppers or deer hair bugs start
Let’s start with plugs. then, when it moves, they producing well as soon as the water
Top-water plugs come into bang it. When the fish are warms up somewhat late in May,
their own in June, accord- really aggressive, they will and they stay on top of the fish-pro-
ing to my records. It was also hit the plug on the re- ducing list until July, when the fish
my good fortune to live on trieve and that is also excit- leave the shallows and head for the
a small private lake with ing. There are other plugs depths. Until then, working a popper
a good bass population. I with more noise or action in the shallows and next to any kind
still fish it and, based on on the retrieve and they of cover or structure will be very This largemouth still wears the
a couple of years when I are also productive. Those effective. There is a period early top-water plug that fooled it.
counted, I usually in June when the dragonflies and
By George Rowe
with a big wiggle
catch around 800 or propellers seem damselflies are hatching from larval of the summer, they seem most ef-
a summer. The particularly effec- cases deposited on reeds and lily fective during the shoulder seasons,
most productive lure in June, by far, tive in June. pads. You can do some sight-fishing early and late in the summer, when
has been a floater and they come in Poppers are a special breed of then, cruising around and watching the fish are mostly in the shallows.
many shapes and colors. My per- surface plugs, with those dished for signs of feeding bass. If you see In June and July, working a spinner-
sonal favorite is a big jointed model faces making very satisfactory one take a struggling dragonfly and bait through a shallow bed of rushes
in silver and black. This goodie is blurbs when given that little twitch. cast your popper to that spot, you or reeds can set off some really great
are almost guaranteed an instant and strikes. Many times, you can see the

spectacular strike. fish coming in from the side, swim-
On occasion, bass and big ming at top speed to intercept the

bluegills will gang up on a shallow spinnerbait. This technique seems
flat downwind of a reed bed, feed- particularly effective on smallmouth
ing actively on hatching dragonflies bass. Spinnerbaits are also very ef-
and/or damselflies. If you can find fective in fishing over rather heavy
CHARTERS STARTING AT ONLY $400 - GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE! this situation on your fishing wa- cover. If you find a weed bed that is
ters, a fly rod will produce fish after growing in deep water with just a
Captain Mike Veine focuses on Saginaw Bay, which fish as long as they are rising to the foot or two of water on top of it, you
many consider to be the Walleye Capital of the World. struggling flies or until your arm can work that very effectively with
gets tired. If you fish much with a a spinnerbait. The bass will come
Saginaw Bay Walleye fly rod, you will confirm that you up out of that weedy cover and just
can cover more water with a buggy- slam that whirling lure.
All through spring and whip than with any other method of Top-water fishing is usually
summer our charters produce presenting a lure. Most of the hits, best early and late in the day, by
consistant, world class fish- remember, will come as the lure is mid-summer. If the day is cloudy,
worked on the surface, not on the however, or there is a little drizzle in
ing. Both eaters and lunkers retrieve. The retrieve, therefore, is the air, top-water can be effective all
are typically caught on most largely wasted effort and a consum- day long. Even in August, when you
charters for the perfect mix. er of time. just know that deep-running lures
Early Spring yields larger With a fly rod, there is no re- will catch more fish than surface
sized walleyes with some trieve, as such – you just raise the lures, it usually pays to try the top
trout and salmon mixed in for rod, lifting the lure to the back cast for at least a few casts. If you are us-
good measure. Late spring and shooting it forward to land in a ing a deep-running plug, try popping
new spot for a little exploratory new it at the surface before you pull it
and summer produces limit action. While fly rod fishing is my under for a retrieve. If you get a hit,
catches on most charters favorite, any month in the summer, you have a sure sign that you should
with more pleasant condi- I must admit that a big surface plug switch to surface lures for a bit.
tions and some perch, bass will produce more fish and larger The great pay-off in surface fish-
and pike mixed in. We fish fish, in June. ing for bass is, of course, that visible
both the inner and outer por- Spinnerbaits are classified as strike. “Takes” that you only feel
tions of the Bay including the
surface lures, at least in my book, are okay, but tame by comparison.
since you can see them as they are There is nothing quite like seeing
Charity Islands. retrieved (if you retrieve them fast) and feeling that big largemouth

and the strike is also visible. That engulf your lure. That is what makes
special version known as the buzz- bass fishing so popular across this
bait also fits those criteria. While great land and that is what makes
spinnerbaits can be used in deep- surface lure fishing for bass so water fishing in the warmer months special.n
Whitetail activity,
patterns and vision
easonally, whitetails They are well­adapted for crepuscu-
are most active during lar and nocturnal behavior, because
late winter and early of a membrane in the back of their
spring, and during the eye known as the tapetum lucidum.
autumn breeding sea- This membrane reflects light back
son, with a substantial through the receptor layer of the
decline in activity during summer. retina, brightening objects seen in
(Car-deer accidents follow the same dim light, and accounts for the eye-
pattern.) The high level of activity shine of deer when lights are shown
in spring is due to high metabolic upon them at night.
demands, in the face of low forage They can also see well in bright
quality and depletion of body fat – light, because of a ring of pigment
deer simply must spend more time that surrounds the cornea in the eye.
foraging to meet their needs. This unique structure acts as an
The decrease in deer activity antiglare device, and is not found
during summer can be related to in other mammals that are strictly
greatly improved nutrition- crepuscular or nocturnal.
al conditions, and an abun- According to noted Whitetails have an especially wide field of vision; 310 degrees. This
dance of quality food close researcher and professor, lets them see across a wide area and focus on the horizon, where
at hand. Despite the high Dietland Muller-Schwarze, predators might appear. MDNR photo
energy demands associated “Day or night, a deer’s
with lactation among nurs- visual acuity is excellent. Some researchers conclude that light conditions, day or night. They
ing does, and antler growth Under strong light, the deer may not need to distinguish also have an especially wide field of
among bucks, forage pupils of the eye close into colors in their natural environment, vision: 310 degrees. This lets them
quality and quantity tend a slit, focusing light onto even though they can do so in highly see across a wide area and focus on

By John Ozoga
to exceed metabolic a horizontal band controlled laboratory experiments. the horizon, where predators might
demands (except in across the eye’s Certainly, whitetails are well- appear – all without turning their
areas of deer over retina. In exactly adapted to seeing under a variety of head.n
population) – during summer, deer this streak are clustered the nerve
can “fill-up” with nutritious foods cells that function as signal conduc-
while expending a minimal amount tors, carrying messages from the
of activity. photoreceptors to the brain. The ar-
Deer become increasingly ac- rangement and density of the nerve
tive during late summer and early cells, called ganglion cells, in the
autumn, as many plants mature, visual streak account for the deer’s
become dry and hard, and decrease ability to detect danger from afar.”
in nutritive value. At the same time, In human beings, there is no
energy demands associated with visual streak at all; the human eye
growth, fattening, and breeding ac- focuses on just one spot at a time
tivity increase. The decrease in food and cannot take in the whole hori-
quality, if not quantity, means deer zon without movement of the eyes
then must spend more time forag- or head.
ing to meet their metabolic require- The visual acuity of deer is well
ments. demonstrated by an experiment
Whitetails are considered to be known as the minimum separable.
crepuscular creatures -­being most An animal is trained to distinguish
active at dawn and dusk. However, stripe patterns so that the researchers
they sometimes exhibit lesser peaks can determine how fine a stripe can
of activity occurring at mid-day, be seen at a certain distance before
when females are more active than the pattern blurs – kind of like a
males, and twice during the night. doctor’s eye chart. According to this
However, rutting bucks might be ac- test, deer have a visual resolution
tive at any time of the day or night. similar to that of most other hoofed
Typically, deer spend mid-day animals. Humans have a visual
in heavy cover, in preferred activity resolution about 12 times better than
centers, where they bed and chew that of deer.
their cud, rising occasionally to Deer apparently have the proper
shift bedding sites or browse for a photoreceptors, namely rods and
while. As darkness approaches, they cones, for color detection – although
become more active and head to not all studies agree. Some experi-
open areas that provide better food ments indicate that deer can dis-
sources, but generally are unsafe criminate colors, under laboratory
during daylight. At night, they will conditions, at least, but not all stud-
alternately feed and bed in the open, ies agree that deer can distinguish
then return to the safety of heavy colors in their natural environment.
cover at sunrise. At best, they probably rely upon
Whitetails see very well at night, their perception of only yellow and
and can detect even the slightest blue, and are less sensitive to orange
movement under any light intensity. and red.
Protecting natural resources
From conservation officers to private citizens...By Katie Gervasi-MDNR

ince the beginning of time, humans ets or arrests, every now and then, conservation Conservation Officer Cpl. Dave Painter of Iron
have relied on natural resources. officers encountered a poacher. County. “The great thing about texting the RAP
Our natural resources have provided Poaching is the illegal shooting, trapping or tak- hotline is you can quietly text from the field, so
for every generation, through every ing of game, fish or other natural resources from you don’t have to spook the game around you.”
century. Cavemen relied on game private or public property. This includes possess- Complaints received on the hotline go di-
and fish, just as many people still ing or commercializing fish or wildlife resources rectly to the DNR Law Enforcement Division’s
do today. Our natural resources are contrary to Michigan or federal law. communications center. A dispatcher collects
a valuable commodity, whether it’s timber for Poachers can be a significant threat to natural information provided from the complaint and
shelter, venison to feed a family, copper in a mo- resources. The penalties for this harmful activity then quickly contacts the nearest conservation of-
tor, nickel in a battery or water in a glass. But if vary and are meted out by local courts. A poacher ficer. The person calling or texting can choose to
overused or compromised, these vital resources could be issued a ticket, and need to pay a fine, remain anonymous.
are put at risk. or he or she could lose hunting or fishing license When it comes to poaching, “no one season
To keep the Great Lakes State great, Michi- privileges and serve jail time. is more prevalent then another,” Mooney said.
gan’s natural resources require protection. It’s the “There are not enough conservation officers “Typically, the opening day of a season is more
responsibility of a conservation officer to protect to catch everyone,” Mooney said. “The eyes and common, because a poacher can lawfully possess
and to preserve them for future generations. ears of the public can see more. The more people their game. As long as they can make their shot,
“If no one was out there to protect the re- calling and reporting, the more we know what’s and get their game to the car, they think they can
source, the resource would lose every time,” said going on and can narrow down situations and get away.”
Sgt. Steve Mooney, a conservation officer with poaching suspects.” The reasons for poaching vary.
the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ The Report All Poaching hotline (800-292- “With deer, we catch a lot of poachers prior
Law Enforcement Division in Van Buren County. 7800) is the DNR’s 24-hour dispatch center the to, and at the end of, the firearm (deer hunting)
In 2017, Michigan conservation officers public can text or call to report suspected poach- season,” said Mooney. “Just before opening
logged over 450,000 contacts with people. While ing. Annually, the hotline receives more than day, deer become more visible when they start
most of these contacts resulted in public educa- 36,000 public calls. to move. Some poachers are after the antler size
tion about rules and regulations, rather than tick- “We definitely need the public’s help,” said and don’t want others to have the chance to get
the big buck. Whereas at the end of the season, if
someone hasn’t taken a deer yet, sometimes they
start to get desperate, sneaking around and doing
something they’re not supposed to do.”
Among the methods to stop poaching, conser-
vation officers rely on citizens of local communi-
ties. As first responders, conservation officers live
in the places they serve, allowing them to create
and cultivate relationships.
“Once the community learns they can trust a
conservation officer, individuals feel comfortable
contacting us,” Painter said. “It can take years to
develop these relationships, for people to talk to
us, knowing that we will keep the conversation
confidential. We rely on communities being in-
volved. Recently, someone in the grocery parking
lot told me about a poaching event.”
When a conservation officer receives a poach-
ing complaint, whether from the RAP hotline
or directly from a community member, he or
she chooses the best way to begin investigating.
Sometimes, this involves the use of a decoy.
DNR decoys can range from taxidermied
animals or birds to more elaborate presentations,
including fish with tails that move with stream
currents and mechanical and remotely operated
deer or turkeys.
“There’s nothing like having a decoy – you
can see what someone’s hunting ethics are – you
can see what someone does when they think
nobody is watching,” Painter said.
As simple as the decoy process is, it involves
Complaints received on the Report All Poaching hotline (800-292-7800) go a minimum of three officers.
“It’s all about location,” Mooney said. “You
directly to the DNR Law Enforcement Division’s communications center. A dis- have to pick a location where the poachers are
patcher collects complaint information and then quickly contacts the nearest going to be.” One officer needs to be staked out,
conservation officer. eyes on the decoy. A second officer needs to
be ready to approach the poacher, and the third
needs to be in a vehicle nearby.
Decoys are great tools to catch trespassers or
people who have been shining lights or shooting
onto private property from a passing vehicle. If
a landowner reports this behavior, decoys are a
great bait to catch a poacher while in the act.
“Road hunting is where we get a lot of com-
plaints,” Painter said. “Camp owners, property
owners – they get upset when someone is shoot-
ing from the road and onto their property. Decoys
are a tool we use to make contacts, both good and
bad. Usually, the people hunting properly, ethi-
cally and legally, they love seeing us use decoys.”
Painter said he’s caught one poacher three
times, two of those occasions by using decoys.
“Once with a turkey decoy, once with a
grouse decoy,” Painter said. “The third time, the
judge took his gun because there was a pattern of
behavior and he wasn’t learning.”
Those patterns are common traits conserva-
tion officers see in poachers.
“When they’re breaking one law by poach-
ing, they’re likely breaking multiple others,”
Painter said.
Embedded within communities, conservation
officers can keep a close watch on changes on the
“We’re always looking for tracks,” Painter
said. “We’ve learned to investigate – why did
someone pull over on the side of the road in a
remote area? Most of the time it’s as simple as
someone walking their dog or picking berries.
“But other times, we’ll find evidence of
poaching – such as dumped carcasses.
We’re going to look into finding the reason
that someone was driving down a dead-end
Trash piles included, conservation officers
pay attention to everything.
“Poachers tend to disregard the land,” said
Conservation Officer Sam Koscinski, who patrols
in Manistee County. “When I’m on river patrol
during the day, I’ll see a pile of garbage. I’ll
check that spot later at night and find a group of
anglers illegally fishing or conducting other il-
legal activity.
“Most people are creatures of habit. If they Conservation officers sometimes use mechanical and remotely operated deer
get away with something once, they’re more than or turkey decoys to investigate poaching complaints. MDNR photos
likely to come back and revisit that area.”
Conservation officers aren’t just in the woods, niques aside, conservation officers agree com- fish and other natural resources, coupled with
they’re also in the air. Flight patrols are used munity involvement is an officer’s best tool for the efforts of dedicated conservation officers and
to look for signs of poaching. When conducted preventing or stopping a poacher. concerned citizens, the likelihood wildlife popu-
during the day, flights can help identify illegal “We heavily rely on public information and lations will remain vibrant for future generations
bait piles, tire tracks or even an animal taken on calls or texts to the RAP line,” Mooney said. to enjoy is increasingly secure.
private property and dragged to the road. Night “If poachers aren’t stopped, our game num- Report witnessed or suspected natural re-
flights can help officers spot illegal shining activ- bers could be depleted, like some species came sources violations immediately, by calling or
ity. close to in the 1800s,” Painter said. “Proper game texting the RAP hotline at 1-800-292-7800. DNR
Officers in the air communicate to officers management, including limiting hunting and dispatchers are always available. Individuals may
stationed on the ground, so the ground officer can angling methods and equipment, setting daily bag remain anonymous if they wish. Tipsters may
contact a suspected poacher. limits and establishing seasons, help ensure game qualify for a reward if information supplied leads
Back on the ground, officers may conduct a populations continue to thrive.” to the arrest and conviction of a poacher or other
necropsy as part of their investigations. A nec- Historic accounts tell us that once passenger violators of the law.
ropsy is like an autopsy performed on an animal. pigeons were so numerous their flocks blocked Michigan conservation officers are fully
Often, an officer will recover a bullet from a out the light of the sun, until excessive hunting commissioned state peace officers who provide
carcass, which will provide evidence for a poach- helped diminish the bird’s population to extinc- natural resources protection, ensure recreational
ing case. The bullet can be matched to the type tion. safety and protect citizens by providing general
of firearm that killed the animal, along with other Similar tales can be told of overfishing and trap- law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations
techniques that can indicate the time an animal ping. in the communities they serve.
was killed. With laws, rules and regulations established Learn more about Michigan conservation of-
Technology, airplanes and investigative tech- since those days to protect Michigan’s game, ficers at
Part II...By Jeff Pendergraff

Demanding deer season for COs

Our Michigan removed the woman’s tag from the a tip about a subject that had possi- CO Wright met with the suspect and
antlers and placed the remaining bly killed a bobcat. A check in RSS he was more than happy to show
Conservation Officers tag of the boyfriend on the buck. showed the subject had purchased a CO Wright pictures of the deer. CO
had another very This story was confirmed by the fur harvester license November 17 Wright learned the deer was at the
demanding deer boyfriend through a subsequent after shooting hours. CO Lockwood, processor and the suspect said that
interview. Evidence was seized, and along with CO Joe Myers, contacted it was tagged properly. CO Wright
season, this is just a enforcement action was taken. the subject at his residence. After went to the processor and found
few of the many cases During an evening patrol, CO a lengthy interview, he admitted the 10-point with the suspect’s
Jon Warner was working areas to having shot a bobcat without a girlfriend’s tag on it. CO Wright
they were involved in... known for shining deer in Iosco license. Warrants are being sought returned to the suspect’s house and
the suspect explained the he lost his
CO Justin Vanderlinde inves- deer license and when he found it
tigated a hunter who had killed a that it was unreadable, so he used
large 8-point buck without purchas- his girlfriend’s tag. CO Wright
ing a deer hunting license. The case looked at the suspects “old” tag and
was referred to the Benzie County it was unreadable.
Prosecutor’s office for review. When CO Wright asked the
CO Mike Hearn received a com- suspect if he were to check the
plaint from Camp Grayling Range suspect’s license history, if he would
Control regarding fresh foot-tracks see that it was bought before the
in the snow where someone had deer was shot. The suspect admitted
climbed a fence and entered their the he went and bought the license
tank range. CO Hearn responded when CO Wright went to the proces-
and set out on foot following the sor and destroyed it. The deer, de-
foot tracks. After nearly a mile, the stroyed license, and the firearm used
trespasser was located seated in full to take the deer were seized. CO
camo under a pine tree with a rifle Wright will be requesting charges
in hand. The hunter was arrested through the Tuscola County Pros-
and transported off the government ecutor’s office.
property. CO Joshua Wright received a
With the assistance of DNR dis- call from Tuscola County Dispatch
patchers, CO Mike Hearn responded Social media has assisted COs in many cases of poachers hunting of a person that witnessed a vehicle
to a South Boardman residence to without a license, using someone else’s license to tag their deer or shinning for deer and then heard
follow up on a complaint of a pos- purchasing a license after the har vest. gunshots. CO Wright was only a
sible illegally harvested 10-point mile away and could see the vehicle
deer. Contact was made with the County. He saw a light sweep against the hunter for the illegal coming towards him. CO Wright
hunter, who recounted the events of across the sky and started closing killing of a bobcat, as well as an un- stopped the vehicle and could see
the hunt to CO Hearn. The hunter in to locate the origin of the light. licensed taxidermist who had taken two antlerless deer in the back of
was vague about the specifics of the CO Warner found the vehicle that possession of the illegal bobcat. the vehicle. All four of the oc-
hunt, and when questioned further cast the light and watched it shine CO Quincy Gowenlock received cupants were uncooperative. The
began making contradicting state- several more fields. Upon stopping a complaint through the Report driver was arrested for operating
ments to earlier previously men- the vehicle and further investigation, All Poaching Hotline of a suspect under the influence and the vehicle
tioned details. Further questioning CO Warner located three firearms, hunting deer without a license and was impounded. A rifle and spot-
determined that the deer was har- two of which were loaded. Enforce- shooting two bucks. During the in- light were located in the vehicle
vested illegally. The head and meat ment action was taken. vestigation, CO Gowenlock located and seized. After CO Wright was
were seized, and a warrant is being CO Brad Bellville was con- social media posts with pictures and done at the jail, he was assisted by a
sought through the Kalkaska County ducting a commercial deer proces- a video of one five-point buck and Tuscola Sheriff Sgt. on locating two
Prosecutor’s office. sor inspection when he located an one seven-point buck being shot. other deer that were shot where the
CO Micah Hintze received an 8-point buck with a kill tag that was When the suspect was questioned, witness saw the vehicle. Ballistic
anonymous complaint from the RAP purchased after dark on November he denied hunting without a license. samples are being sought and will
hotline of an individual who had 18th and validated that same day. When asked if he used social media, be matched to the firearm that was
taken two bucks in one morning. After a short interview with the the suspect put his head down in seized. All four occupants are facing
The suspect asked his girlfriend to hunter, a full confession was ob- shame. The CO told the suspect multiple charges and the potential
purchase a license in order to put it tained. The man admitted to taking that he had seen his posts, pictures of losing all their hunting privileges
on one deer. CO Hintze was able to a deer without a license and buying and the video on Facebook. The for the next five years. Charges are
contact the woman and hear her side a tag later that night. Enforcement CO advised that they were all time being sought through the Tuscola
of the story. When asked she was action was taken. stamped with a date of two days County Prosecutor’s office.
unable to produce a kill-tag before COs James Garrett, Casey Pul- prior to the suspect purchasing a li- CO Sam Schluckbier received
claiming to have lost it. lum, Sgt. Bobbi Lively, and USFS cense. Knowing that he was caught, a complaint of an individual who
When the deer heads were Law Enforcement Officer Mike the suspect finally admitted to shoot- had shot three large bucks during
reviewed there were uncharacteristic Phillips conducted a group decoy ing the two bucks prior to having a archery season and was still hunting
signs of a tag that would have been patrol targeting shining activity. license. The antlers were seized, and deer with a firearm. The hunter also
a week old in the elements. After They contacted one vehicle for shin- warrants are being sought in Bay posted two of the deer on Facebook,
explaining the circumstances to the ing the decoy and located a loaded County for the suspect’s violations. indicating at least two deer were
woman, she admitted that she had 9mm handgun. The owner of the CO Joshua Wright received a harvested this season. CO Schluck-
purchased a license on her way to handgun did not have a Concealed complaint that a person was put- bier interviewed the subject at his
pick up the deer shot by her boy- Pistol License. Enforcement action ting pictures on social media of residence and located a third set of
friend. When they heard a CO was was taken. a 10-point deer they shot and for antlers. During the interview the
attempting to contact them, they CO Steve Lockwood received which they did not have a license. subject admitted to shooting a young
5-point and a large 8-point in Octo- shot and tagged the deer. Not sold
ber. Further investigation revealed on her explanation, CO Stawara
that in early November he shot contacted Sanilac County officers
an additional 12-point buck with to conduct an interview with the
his crossbow. The subject claimed boyfriend. CO Seth Rhodea later
that he didn’t tag them because he interviewed the boyfriend where he
wanted to continue hunting with his was able to gain a full confession
father. The deer antlers and meat that his girlfriend shot the deer and
were confiscated, along with the used his kill-tag to tag it to drop it
crossbow used. Charges are being off at the processor. The suspect was
sought through the Allegan County re-contacted where she too admit-
Prosecutor’s office. ted to shooting the deer. A warrant
CO Jeff Goss received a call is being requested by CO Rhodea in
from an MSP trooper about a com- Sanilac County with the assistance
plaint of someone shooting after of CO Stawara.
legal hunting hours. The trooper While checking hunters on
advised that the man had an un- Thanksgiving Day, CO Joseph Dep-
tagged doe in his barn. When CO pen received a call from Macomb
Goss arrived at the complaint the County Dispatch about goose hunt-
trooper briefed him on the situation ers discharging their firearms in the
and mentioned that the man said he north end of the county. CO Deppen
shot an 8-point buck earlier in the arrived and found a group of hunters
week. After discussing the untagged hunting just outside the safety zone
doe with the man CO Goss asked of a local fire station/police sub-
about the buck. The man freely station. Macomb County sheriff’s Illegal baiting keeps COs busy during the deer season.
showed CO Goss the photos of the deputies and CO Deppen conducted and the firearms were confiscated. our natural resources and because of
buck on his phone. CO Goss noticed a joint investigation relating to the An investigation is pending, and that we know there will be enough
the photos were taken Sunday night hunting activities. reimbursement will be sought for deer and other animals to hunt and
and knew that the man didn’t pur- The hunters had been hunting damages caused. fish to catch in the future.
chase his tags until Monday. When in the field and during the hunt, Again, lots of poachers shoot- The information about these
confronted with the discrepancy, the multiple shots were in the direction ing deer without first obtaining their cases was provided by the Michigan
man eventually confessed to shoot- of the fire station/police substation. hunting license. Greedy poachers Department of Natural Resources.
ing the buck without a license. There was vehicle damage to many taking more deer than they have There were over 40 pages of cases
While the man was scroll- of the vehicles on scene, including licenses for or out at night trying to that were reported over a two-week
ing through the photos, CO Goss patrol car windshields. CO Deppen poach a deer with the aid of an arti- period covering most of the 2018
noticed a large bait pile in one of the and sheriff deputies conducted inter- ficial light. After reading about these firearm deer season. That doesn’t
pictures. CO Goss asked if the man views with the hunters and started poaching cases and knowing it’s include the cases from September,
had any bait out and the man said an on-scene investigation of the just the tip of the iceberg you would October, the first half of November
a little. CO Goss informed the man field. Multiple shell casings were almost think there wasn’t going to and December.
that it was illegal to bait in Calhoun located, and the evidence pointed to be any deer left to hunt. Fortunately, Author is Jeff Pendergraff, re-
County and that the pile in the pic- a reckless discharge of a firearm by we have over 200 conservation of- tired Captain from the Law Enforce-
ture looked like it was quite substan- one or multiple hunters. Multiple ficers working diligently to protect ment Division of the DNR.n
tial. The man claimed that he put out pieces of evidence were recovered,
about 300 pounds of corn. Further
investigation of his phone revealed
a video of the man dumping a dump
truck load of corn in front of his
blind. Multiple charges are being
sought through the Calhoun County
Prosecutor’s office.
CO Goss was conducting a pro-
cessor inspection when he located
a deer with a suspicious tag. He no-
ticed the name on the cutting order
was the same man that he wrote a
ticket to three weeks ago. The ticket
was for loaning a buck tag to anoth-
er person. Turns out that he should
have kept his buck tag for himself.
Upon interviewing the suspect, it
was discovered that he shot a buck
but didn’t have a buck tag, so he had
his father go and purchase a tag for
the deer. Charges are being sought
for taking deer without a license and
borrowing and loaning tags.
CO Katie Stawara received
a complaint from DNR dispatch
regarding a suspect who posted on
social media that she shot her first
deer. The suspect did not have any
2018 deer licenses. An interview
with the suspect resulted in her say-
ing she posted the pictures as a joke
to make her ex-husband jealous. She
stated it was her boyfriend who had
Using birds in training
By Len Jenkins

e won’t be able to effectively pigeons or coturnix, the other birds enjoy legal
train your bird dog unless status as game birds so you’ll have to comply
we provide him with plenty with your state’s regulations regarding purchase,
of bird contact. If we rely on maintenance, possession, and use of game birds
wild birds alone, we’re not in order to keep your dog training activities on
providing enough predictable the right side of the law.
contact since we have no control over the birds’
location or numbers. Pigeons
To further complicate matters, we have no Pigeons are excellent for bird dog training.
control over the bird itself and have no guar- They are quite inexpensive and easy to keep. You
antee the bird will even fly. In fact, oftentimes can trap your own in barns or on city buildings
wild birds will run or just hide while other times by using traps or dead-falls. Commercially built Author, dog trainer Len Jenkins believes: There’s
they’ll flush wildly and unexpectedly at the most pigeon traps are available from various manufac- no way to train a bird dog unless we use birds
inopportune times. turers and distributors. If you don’t want to trap and eventually shoot birds over the dog.
Since we can’t rely on wild birds, we’ll have your own pigeons or pay someone to do it for Pigeons are great for training–they’re plentiful,
to provide your dog with bird contact by using you, they can be bought inexpensively at live- legal, inexpensive, and cooperative. Take ad-
pen-reared birds which we can control. After stock auctions or from pigeon breeders who want vantage of their easy availability and game bird
your dog has handled the tasks we’ve taught him to get rid of their culls. qualities, and you can develop a classy gun dog,
through set-up bird contact situations, we can While the maintenance of pigeons is dis- compliments of the common pigeon.
graduate him to wild bird work provided it is cussed for later, you can just buy what you need
legal to run him on wild birds since most states and not bother with keeping your own flock. Coturnix
prohibit this activity during the nesting season. Many fine bird dogs have had all their early The coturnix, also known as the Japanese
Face it. There’s no way to train a bird dog unless training exclusively on pigeons which were used quail, is suitable for bird dog training provided
we use birds and eventually shoot birds over the in pigeon harnesses or spring-style bird launch- they are good, mature flyers. These birds are
dog. ers. The birds fly well, particularly if they were fairly inexpensive because they are easy to raise
While providing birds for this purpose does trapped from the wild, and make plenty of wing- and lay eggs prolifically. If you use coturnix, be
entail some limited expense and trouble, the flapping noise when launched, creating excite- sure they’re mature flyers since young underde-
problems are not insurmountable. You can train ment for the dog. veloped birds are reluctant to fly, causing your
exclusively with pigeons or start with pigeons Pigeons are a good size for training. After bird dog training effort to fizzle.
and progress to quail, pheasants, coturnix, or chu- you shoot one, you can freeze it and take it out Coturnix work nicely in the spring launchers.
kars. While you should have no problem using periodically to work on retrieving with your dog. After your dog has worked them in launchers,

Tom Carney
Among the Aspens
Award-winning nature and outdoor
writer Thomas Carney returns to
form in his latest collection of
essays, Among the Aspens: Stolen
Moments in Secret Coverts.
As with his previous collections,
Sun-Drenched Days, Two-Blanket
Manufacturer of Fine Northern Hardwoods Nights; and Bird Dogs and Betty
Buyers of by the Semi-Load
Standing Timber Cakes, Tom employs a variety of
Buyers of Standing Timber perspectives and presentations
SFI Trained Loggers and Forest Consultants
SFI Trained Loggers and Forest Consultants
as his writing glides effortlessly
across the lines that delineate
Wildlife and
Wildlife andTimberland Improvements
Timberland Improvements serious writing, humor, nostalgia,
Select Cutting;
Select Clear
cutting; Clear cutting
cutting analysis, description and storytelling.
Mechanized logging and handcutting Different this time around: Instead
Mechanized logging and handcutting of moving from activity to activity
with the progressing seasons as he
Contact one
one of our buyers
of our buyerstoday
today did in his first two books of essays, or in Among the Aspens Tom delivers
(616) 634-1522 or or (989)
544-9342 the goods through a single form
2725 Larch Rd. • Harrison, MI 48625
(616) 634-1522 or (989) 544-9342 of outdoor recreation: upland bird
2725 Larch Rd. hunting.

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you can set them out dizzied and provide practice tain for short periods of time and are available send the dog out to retrieve this big gaudy mon-
and shooting over your dog as he hunts these from licensed game bird farms. Use a few quail ster. After this experience you’ll have a dog that
birds. Since coturnix are generally not consid- in launchers at the conclusion of your training wants more and more pheasant action. Again, you
ered game birds in most states, you can shoot program and your dog’s early bird-finding educa- have to follow your state’s regulations relative to
them over your dog anytime, provided of course tion will be complete. purchase, maintenance, possession, and shooting
you’ve checked your state’s specific regulations
Pheasants of pheasants.
in this regard.
Coturnix quail are very suitable for train- This is an excellent bird for use in training Chukars
ing; they’re inexpensive and legal. They are also except that they’re expensive. Unless sprung Chukars are useful for training in that they
the right size, and they’re easy to maintain until from launchers, they sometimes refuse to fly and fly powerfully for good distances so you can
you’re ready to shoot them. Give serious consid- even when sprung they will sometimes just go up make some excellent shots, giving your dog a
eration to their use, and you’ll be pleased with the a couple feet and come back down to sit or skulk better opportunity to practice marking falls.
results. Your dog will gain much experience at away. If you buy pheasant for immediate use in The chukar is a perfect size, being a compromise
minimal expense to you. your training, be sure they’re fully mature and between quail and pheasants. While they’re
flight-pen conditioned. more expensive than quail and usually a little
Quail Because of the expense, you may want to less costly than pheasants, they’re worth using
Bobwhite quail are excellent for training your use pheasants only in the final stages your in spite of the cost, particularly if you are a
gun dog. While you have to follow your state’s training. If you plan to hunt pheasants with grouse hunter.
regulations relative to purchase, maintenance, your dog, give him exposure to this particular Chukars can be sprung from launchers
possession, and shooting of pen­reared quail, bird during training. You can start your training positioned in the woods or brush land. You can
these birds provide plenty of opportunity. with pigeons and perhaps graduate to quail. Let set them out in such a way that they’ll provide
While it’s best to begin training with pigeons your training program culminate with three or great practice for your dog and be a pretty good
in the pigeon release harness, you can graduate to four raucous ringnecks sprung from a pheasant- simulation of a flushing grouse. Just be sure that
quail sprung out of the launcher. Just position the sized spring launcher and your dog will benefit in using chukars in this manner you mark the
bird in such a way that it will fly away from you. immensely. These birds are exciting to a dog and location of your launchers and set them out in
Have the dog work up to the bird. Then spring any prospective pheasant dog should have experi- consideration of wind direction.
the launcher by stepping on the lever if yours ence on pen-reared pheasants (even one) prior If the dog you are developing is to be a
is a pointing dog or pulling on a string if he’s a to being taken out in pursuit of the bird’s wild grouse dog, you’ll want him to point the bird
flushing dog. A mature, flight-pen conditioned brethren. from a sufficient distance, no closer than 30 feet.
quail will fly strongly. As it does, make your shot, The problem with wild pheasants is that they The chukar will work well for you in this regard
dropping the bird, and sending the dog out for the don’t play by the rules. They’ll run, sit tight, and will be worth the expense.
retrieve. skulk away or hide, but they often won’t fly. Your Since chukars are legal game birds in some
Quail are the perfect size for teaching early dog will have to learn how to handle this crafty states, be sure to check regulations. There’s no
retrieving. Dogs really like them and you can bird, but you can give him his first pheasant ex- point in having your training session cut short
feast on the shot birds at the conclusion of your perience on a launched pen-reared bird that must by a visit from the local sheriff or conservation
training sessions. These birds are easy to main- cooperate. Launch such a bird, make the shot, and officer!n











Come and fish
Marquette County
pen water fishing is back only do we have great access and
in full swing! You should beautiful scenery to go with it, we
explore Marquette Coun- have fish!
ty, one of Michigan’s The seasonal runs of brown
best fishing destinations. trout, steelhead, coho and king salm-
It has it all…whether you want to on are tremendous, not to mention
In addition to Lake Superior fishing, Marquette Co. offers plenty of
chase some fish in one of the many the never ending creeks and streams river and big and small inland lake fishing.
rivers, toss some small tackle and a that are always producing limits of you’re after, muskie, northern pike steelhead, lake trout, coho, who
slip bobber for excellent panfishing brook trout. and walleye opportunities are plenti- knows. Spoons, body baits, trolling
opportunites, get off the For those of you want- ful as well. While trolling for game flies are all popular, before you hit
beaten path to explore some ing to catch a nice mess of fish is generally a popular method in the lake be sure you’re fully stocked
remote pike and walleye fish for your next fish fry, much of the rest of the state, casting so you can change until you find
fishing, or hit the big Lake we can help you with that your favorite lure, jigging or live what they’re after that day. If
(Superior) for everything it too. Enjoy many inland bait under a bobber are most popular you’re wondering about colors,
has to offer. lake opportunities - es- here. With everything from large orange is traditionally the most
With the Escanaba pecially in the spring for bodied inland lakes, such as Lake popular color.
River to the south, Michi- bluegill, perch and crappie. Michigammee and Lake Indepen- If you’re heading to the area or
gammee River to the west, One of the best early spring dance, to small inland lakes with you’re thinking about planning a
Legendary Yel- techniques has remote dirt launches - you can find trip, be sure to stop in or contact The
low Dog River to
the north, Choco-
By John Bergsma been small leach-
es and jigs under
what you’re looking for.
Lake Superior is always a
Bobber Shop in Marquette. They’re
located at 1320 S. Front. They have
lay River to the east and everything a slip bobber. Watch for spawning favorite to visit. With great marina the largest selection of live bait in
in between, Marquette can provide beds in shallow water and edges of facilities and the ability to run to any the area, tackle for whatever you’re
you with endless miles of explor- weed lines early in the season. A lot of the favorite hot spots, Marquette targeting and lots of local knowl-
ing. If river fishing is something that of days you can sight fish them early is a great location to start your trip. edge. Stop in and say hi, give them
interests you, come check it out. in the spring while they’re in shal- Early spring you can expect a rush a call at (906) 362-3634 or check
River fishing is starting to emerge as low. Come check it out and be sure of excitement every time you reel them out on FaceBook @Bobber-
one of the fastest growing outdoor to bring your fillet knife. in a fish as you never know what ShopLLC, they’ll be happy to help
activities here in Marquette. Not If large toothy critters are what it could be - brown trout, salmon, you out!n

with your host

n B e r g sm a
Jo h Now on...
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GUN CHAT: Fishing Guns?
y early April, I’m tired Both are fine guns but I prefer re- with me. cylinder of the M28. I have under a
of winter and looking volvers as fishing guns. Except for the snubnoses, the half box left and am thinking about
forward to trout fishing. When I’m not carrying a larger guns I’ve carried fishing most are loading it into the Blackhawk if I
Since most places I fish gun I often take a snubnose .38. Ruger Blackhawks in .357 Magnum. take it fishing this spring. It almost
are still iced over, or in- The ones I have are among the I have two Old Models. My first duplicates my usual reload for the
accessible due to snow, easiest guns to carry, on was bought in Ontonagon .41 Magnum and may penetrate
I read about fishing while waiting the stream, or anywhere, in 1979. It was the second more deeply.
for winter to end. I often read Trout although they are not the centerfire handgun I owned The old Blackhawk and the
Madness and Trout Magic by Robert most powerful. I attempt to and came with a Hunter Hunter holster have covered a lot of
Traver. Traver’s descriptions of hedge my bets by loading holster. Although the gun ground since 1979. I first took them
trout openers in the Upper Peninsula them with Speer Gold Dot is heavy it carries well in in the woods in Ontonagon County.
are often classic laments about bad 135 grain hollowpoints. the old, scarred holster. Since then I have used them in sev-
weather and fickle fish. The rare The load is made for The second Blackhawk eral other parts of the Upper Penin-
tales of days when the weather and short-barreled guns and has an auxiliary 9mm cyl- sula, including Iron and Menominee
the fish cooperated give me a bit of has a good reputation as a inder. It shoots better with Counties. In the cedar swamps of
hope. stopper. the .357 cylinder but I Menominee County the .357 backed
Another thing to think about I bought a Colt By Lee Arten like the versatility of
having the auxiliary.
up my 16 gauge Winchester Model
while winter drags on is what gun to Woodsman .22 a few 12 in deer season.
take fishing. Traver wrote about car- years ago. It came with a holster It’s hard to run out of ammo for a The gun was also used in
rying a .38 Special revolver while and would make a good fishing handgun that can shoot 9mm, .38 NRA Hunter’s Pistol Silhouette
fishing. I’ve done the same but gun. I have passed it over, so far, Special, and .357 Magnum. Matches at the range at the
have also sometimes carried a 9mm in favor of larger caliber handguns. The last time I carried the older former K.I. Sawyer Air Force
pistol, a .41 Magnum S&W M58, or There are bears where I fish. My Blackhawk fishing it was loaded Base (outside Marquette), and in
one of my .357s. One year the .357 late parents used to see one every with rounds with lead semiwad- informal plinking sessions here
was a S&W M28, a former police is- time they visited a trout lake in cutter bullets that weighed 215 and there. It has a good trigger and
sue revolver. It fit the same holsters the next county. I’ve seen tracks grains and had a velocity of 1068 sights, and is a tough and accurate
that I used with the .41 Magnum and in that area, and elsewhere, every fps. The ammo was loaded by a revolver. I didn’t shoot the older
weighed about the same. One of the season that I’ve visited. Except for small company, no longer in busi- Blackhawk much last year. This
9mms was a Browning Hi-Power, when I was hunting them, I’ve seen ness. The ammo worked fine in the year, I plan to do something about
and the other a Colt Commander. bears only from a car. That’s OK Blackhawk, but was too long for the that.n

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Dick Wilt of Bath

Eli Alexandrian took Jonah Morningstar
Patrick Martin, Sr.’s first walleye of the Dave Vallin of Lansing, of Imlay City, took took this trophy
this tom at 26 yards hunting Clinton Co., this nice tom taken tom bowhunting
season on the St. Clair River in Algonac in hunting near took this big tom with in Lapeer County Clinton Co.
April fishing with his son. Marshall a 10.5 inch beard on on April 26.
April 22.
Ryan Hanson
and his son While fish-
Lane, 10, ing on the
were spear- St. Clair
ing pike in River Elijah
Mecosta Naylor, 11,
Co. in early of Ma-
March, this rine City
one was 40 ½ landed this
inches long.
21 inch
Xander Walleye .
13, Ne- Madilynn
waygo Brown with Chase Mecosta took Leroy Wertz took his
Co. catch her father this dandy tom with first gobbler on May
and re- Wess, Uncle an 8.5 inch beard and 4 in Van Buren Co.
Brett and one inch spurs using A 23 lb. bird with a 9
lease 39 his gram’s 16 ga.
1/2 inch her very first inch beard.
deer on the
pike. last evening
of the 2018
youth deer
Crane, 18,
of Manitou
Beach, took
a beautiful Noah
turkey with a Eisenmann
10 5/8 inch
beard and 1
of Brooklyn
inch spurs. harvested
Mason was his first tur-
hunting in key, a triple
Brooklyn bearded
with Connor tom, on
Davenport. opening
day. The
measured 5 Jeffrey Haselhuhn of
3/4”, 7 1/4” Paw Paw sat all morn-
and 10” Kaitlynn Demers of ing with daughter
long with Rockwood took a nice Elizabeth and took
3/4” spurs. bird on opening this dandy tom. His
morning. secret ‘Cheesy Poofs!”
Don Stone took
his biggest
perch while Faber of
on Saginaw Mt. Pleas-
Bay, during ant with his
Zack Slick was bowhunting son Gabe.
with his girlfriend, Savannah an annual trip
with friends to Brian’s first
Christensen, in early Oct. and turkey with
she harvested her first deer Linwood. His
trophy was a a bow, a
with a perfect shot. In Nov. trophy tom!
Zack took his first buck with a 15 inch, 1.75
bow, hunting with his dad. pound perch!
Ever wanted to be on the cover of the
Woods-N-Water News?
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The Phantom
Guest Column...By Dave Kushman

t’s amazing how mature year’s seven-pointer was now a nine-
bucks in Michigan can point with the same goofy charac-
turn into Houdini around teristics from last year, but this year
mid-September—leaving he gained some nice assets—lots of
no sign, photo, or hint of mass, crab claws, and much longer
their presence. Their cun- main beams.
ning maneuvers and basic means After determining that he was a
of survival routinely outwit hunters mature buck, I determined that my
season-after-season despite all of the next time in the area would be with
advancements with technology and my bow in hand. Archery season
equipment. couldn’t come fast enough, and I was
As hunters, we often wonder fortunate enough to have the perfect
where these deer vanish to during the wind direction to hunt his summer
season even though we keep pressure haunt the second day of the season.
at a minimum and hunt them strategi- Even though the wind was perfect and
cally. This “Phantom Phenomenon” there was a light rain that silenced
is fairly widespread throughout the my one-hour approach to my stand
entire whitetail range as hunters from via a cornfield, I did not see him that
all across the nation report of bucks evening.
vanishing completely—even for a sea- After the hunt, I checked film on
son at a time—then suddenly return- a camera that was very close to my
ing post-season. stand, and the buck had stopped using
After hunting the same piece of the area entirely around mid-Septem-
Despite heavy hunting pressure and against the odds, the author was
property for about eight seasons in ber. Clearly, checking SD cards at the
reminded through this experience that success can come at any time.
southern Michigan, I’ve experienced end of August didn’t tip him off to it was ironic that it was a south wind was at 140 yards quartering as my
the phantom phenomenon on numer- my presence, so I assumed the buck as the pressure was sky high (30.3 and CVA is a tack driver out to 200 yards.
ous occasions. Candlestick-tined gi- moved off to another food source as climbing) with temperatures in the I finally had the brute dead to rights
ants vanishing from their late-summer the apple tree near my stand didn’t low 30s. The south wind was perfect at a distance that is a chip shot for my
haunts. It’s as if they instinctively have anything left hanging. Logic told for us; however, my neighbor to the gun, and my heart sank knowing that
know when to put on the magic tricks me that he was gone for the season; south was hunting that evening, which he was about to make a mad dash for
and fade away. imagination told me that he could still meant that his “wind” was blowing bedding cover any second!
However, there are times—and be using the area just 10 rows into into a certain part of the field where For some reason, he put his head
very few times at that—when these the corn and off camera! Despite my most of the deer come to before dark. down and then slightly turned, so I
ghost bucks slip up, and I was fortu- imagination and optimism, the season As the sun began to set, I noticed thought that was my opportunity to
nate enough to be hunting with my was long and arduous without any a brown blob moving along the dirt take the shot. As I pulled the ham-
six-year-old son, Lucas, during the sign of him in person or on camera. road that separates bedding cover and mer back on the Accura and settled
2018 muzzleloading season when a After taking a few does off other my property. Pointing out to Lucas into the Leupold, I noticed numerous
phantom buck succumbed to his urge properties, I decided to spend the last that there was a deer coming our way, strands of corn stubble in my line of
to feed during daylight hours. week of muzzleloader season hunting we slowly brought our binoculars up, fire. “The plot thickens,” I thought to
The hunt for this buck began back the phantom nine-pointer. Actually, and then it happened. With one swift, myself!
in 2017 when he was a goofy look- I would have taken any mature buck graceful motion, the deer brought its The buck quickly picked his head
ing seven-pointer—tall, spindly, and during that point in the season! head up providing a side profile image up for a second time, and he stared
asymmetrical. During 2017, I had a The last week of blackpowder of the rack. Immediately, I recognized right in the direction of my neighbor.
few summertime photos of him—both season had two high-pressure, blue- this buck as the phantom nine. As he played the head juke game to-
day and night, and only one photo bird-sky days back-to-back, and I He was as slippery as a fox, for if wards my neighbor’s direction, I was
during archery season around mid- elected to hunt the second day with we weren’t looking at that spot at that able to slowly stand up—despite the
night. For the rest of the season while Lucas. Lucas and I have taken several time, we would have never seen him! fact that three other deer had entered
running four cameras, I did not catch does together, but we had never taken He used every hill and contour to hide the field—and then I was also able to
another glimpse of this buck, nor did a buck together and he was really his body and rack. He walked with the extend my shooting sticks. After all of
my neighbor, which is ironic as he itching for me to harvest a buck, es- grace and elegance of a cat; he made the adjustments, I thought to myself
holds some of the best bedding cover pecially after passing so many smaller more turns and sidesteps than a run- that I just may overcome all of the
in the area. bucks throughout the seasons. ning back! Covering about 75 yards in obstacles and get the shot off ethi-
During the summer of 2018, I set On the evening of December 18, less than one minute, it was appar- cally! The big buck looked straight at
up my four cameras in the usual areas Lucas and I settled in under the very ent that this older buck knew to keep us, and I settled the crosshairs in the
during a heavy downpour to cover treestand the buck was routinely com- moving until he found a safe zone in center of his throaty patch. Impulse
my scent, and I made sure wind was ing by during the summer months. the field to relax and begin to graze told me to pull the trigger; reason told
also in my favor. Around the end of Using both background and fore- upon the corn gleanings. As the buck me to wait for a better shot and to
August, I headed out during another ground cover to our advantage, we closed the distance, I routinely mut- slow the game down. Seconds seemed
downpour coupled with a favorable melted into the brush line absorbed by tered to Lucas to hold still, and I told like minutes, and eventually the buck
wind to pull cards, and it didn’t take a clump of black cherry trees; Lucas Lucas to brace for the shot as the buck put his head down and turned provid-
long for me to discover that I had a to my right sitting in a natural bench was about to walk into my neighbor’s ing a heavy quartering-toward shot.
real nice buck using my property. As formed between three trees as I sat in scent cone. Holding the crosshairs right
I reviewed the photos over-and-over, a chair between the clumps of trees. Catching my neighbor’s scent on the facing upper shoulder, I got
I initially thought that I had a satel- The CVA Accura was propped up on cone, the buck locked up at about 100 my breathing under control, and I
lite buck in my area that relocated shooting sticks in an effort to reduce yards; he was also facing me head- squeezed off the shot. The 100-grain
for some reason. However, over time any extra movement that evening. on! In that instant, I started kicking charge of Blackhorn 209 exploded in
I had made the connection that last The conditions were perfect, and myself for not taking him when he a throaty roar across the cornfield fol-
lowed by the familiar thud of the 250 would come back first thing in the
grain Barnes TMZ smashing through morning to search, and that is when
vitals—thwap! Despite the smoke, I realized my work schedule at the
I watched the buck collapse as if he school the next day would not allow
was struck by the hammer of Thor! me to leave. Retrieving the ghost buck
As Lucas and I celebrated as was starting to become more of an
quietly as possible, I hurriedly illusion instead of a reality, and for a
reloaded. Just as I poured another moment I wondered if this was one
powder charge down the barrel and giant dream altogether.
grabbed a bullet out of my reloading I spent the next day at work
bag, I noticed the ghost buck up and replaying the shot over-and-over
attempting to run—sidewinding and in my mind, wondering if I should
staggering his way—the short dis- have taken the neck shot instead. I
tance back to his bedding cover with couldn’t eat, I wasn’t present in the
his tail tucked like a guilty dog. moment with the staff or students, and
Before jumping the road, he I couldn’t wait until school got out to
stopped, and I watched his back get after him! Swapping the shirt and
legs collapse on him twice in close tie for blue jeans, boots, and a flannel,
succession. A million thoughts and I set out on a cavity search following
anxieties ran through my brain, and my pre-determined search grid. After
I was caught in an emotional roller making a pass about 30 yards deep
coaster. Logic superseded emotion and parallel to the road, I moved 20
rather quickly, and a calming sense yards deeper and continued dodg- The author was for tunate enough to be hunting with his six-year-
of confidence helped me to maintain ing thorn bushes, deadfalls, and deep old son, Lucas, during the 2018 muzzleloading season when this
my composure. I knew based on the bowls. phantom 9-pt. walked in.
deer’s reaction at the shot, the amount Walking half-way down a steep,
of time he spent on the ground, and brushy ridge, I used my eyes to scan but I reassured him season-after-sea- been exhausted.
how he ran off were all signs of a very carefully as I walked, and then son that someday it would pay off. Now, the European mount resides
mortal wound. it happened. White spot…one more Second, he was able to see that in Lucas’ bedroom, as promised, and
However, it was hard to watch step…hind quarter…one more step… even when success is knocking at I know that those antlers will be a
a buck of this caliber—one that I and giant main beam—thick, gnarly, the doorstep, adversity and challenge symbolic reminder of all of the hunts
thought ceased to exist in my area— and dark—sticking up toward the can still stand in the way, and a calm, we’ve shared so far, and the lessons
get up and move for cover, disappear- setting sun! The spike of adrenaline positive response can counter any learned along the way. Plus, it’s fitting
ing into the dense, dark tangles. Lucas catapulted me through the briars and setback. that the Phantom Nine is not part of
and I waited about twenty minutes crabapple thorns as if I was shot out Lastly, he observed that giving up my antler room; he continues to lurk
before approaching where the buck of a cannon. As I wrapped my hands is not an option until all efforts have in the shadows.n
actually dropped; we found evidence around his rack, I sank to my knees
of a mortal wound within seconds— as the adrenaline and emotion were
bright-red, bubbly, and prolific blood too much. Finally, the phantom nine-
in pools and splattered amongst the pointer was mine forevermore.
corn stalks. After marking the blood, He only had traveled about 150
we slowly eased our way along the yards total, and how he made it that
blood trail to determine the exact trail far is still a mystery—especially with
the buck used during his final vanish- the massive wound channel of the
ing act. Barnes. Also, we had walked within
Unfortunately, we could not find 15 yards of the buck three times the
blood on our side of the road; there- night before! The shot was slightly
fore, we elected to back out for a few higher than anticipated, but it came
hours just in case. The only problem in next to the spine and went straight
with backing out for a few hours was back on a downward angle demolish-
that as a middle school principal, I ing the lung, severing the aorta artery,
had to attend the Christmas Concert punching through the diaphragm,
that evening, so I knew it was going slicing the liver, and exiting before
to be a long night! reaching the ham. Logic tells me
After the concert and securing that if the buck would not have been
permission to track the buck across on high alert due to the neighbor, he
the road, Lucas and I returned to the would have never gotten up.
property around 8:30 p.m. to begin The phantom nine-pointer was a
our search with the help of a good classic case of the “Phantom Phe-
friend and his son. We immediately nomenon,” and bucks like these are
found blood across the street; how- constant reminders that anything is
ever, the blood trail eventually disap- possible when we are in the great
peared. Reading and assessing the outdoors. Despite heavy hunting
blood spore, I knew that I either had pressure and against all odds, I was
a high lung shot or a muscle hit that reminded through this experience that
may have nicked a lung. Either way, I success can come at any time. I was
was out of blood, and it turned into a also reminded that success comes
three-ring circus of climbing through through hard work and effort—both
tangles that would make a grouse prior to and during the season.
hunter cringe! Most importantly, my son was
My calm and grace under pressure finally able to make some valuable
was fading away into what could be connections about hunting and life.
compared to a four-year-old’s temper First, he quickly made the connec-
tantrum. It took all of my energy to tion that goals are only accomplished
remain positive and upbeat in front of through self-accountability, integrity,
my son. We searched for about three and reflection. It was hard for him to Open 7 Days
hours that night before calling it quits. process why we were passing all of Mon-Thur 8-6 • Fri 8-7
On my way home, I thought that I those smaller bucks over the years, Sat 9-6 • Sun 10-4
The schemes of fishermen
Is this beaver pond a portal to heaven...By Calvin McShane

s I mature into a when it came to my fishing educa-
well-rounded trout tion. As a kid, I was regularly con-
bum, I am starting to vinced to explore random streams,
master the schemes of far off lakes and other figments of
great fishermen. For my father’s imagination.
instance, when I am What I now know is these
throwing someone off my scent I am adventures served a dual purpose of
sure to sprinkle in a few truths in the intel gathering for my father and a
thick of deception. On the phone, lesson in scouting for me. He had
about a week ago, I was telling my an eager son who loved to fish and
friend John that last year about this loved more to impress his dad, so
time, the trout were still up tight what I lacked in skill I made up
to shore, holding off structure, but for with fervor. I never came home
hadn’t yet begun feeding on the empty handed, that is, if you con-
surface. sider a fisherman’s bounty beyond
The thing was I knew John bleeding gills.
wasn’t going to plan a trip out of John’s trip next weekend is
impulse but I was in dire need of much of the same exercise. He’s
help in regards to my early season visiting the U.P with the hopes of
brook trout plans. So even though bagging a couple big spring brook
the information I told him was true, trout, while I hope for a friend’s
the location of this observation help in dragging my flat bottom boat
was somewhere other than where to a place that exists only in my day-
I planned on taking the two of us. dreams. Why waste the prowess of a
Thankfully, his childlike gullibility young fisherman on a sure thing?
conceded to my concoction and he The spot I had in mind for John
agreed to head up the following and I comes from a hunch, a fish-
weekend. ing induced psychedelic vision I Fishing is following a hunch. Fishing is chasing, searching, learning, and
I was spared no grace period sometimes get while I drift off in a the reversion to childlike whimsy in the midst adult onset responsibility.
mid-day nap. In these visions the In a display of fishing genius,
trout are usually big and bite easily, I told John we’d be heading to a
the only schmucks I see wetting a reliable pond close to town, and
line are my alter egos. Such a hunch he was content to stick nearby and
sources from a hike along a small avoid horror movie-esque mobs of
feeder creek I took last summer. Af- blackflies. By the time he realized I
ter conferring with the map, I found had other plans, it would be too late
this creek to be a slight dotted blue to turn around and our bounty would
line that began in a conglomeration be worthy of his forgiveness. All I
of wetlands. The lower end of the had to do in the meantime was play
creek was scattered with crisp maize it cool, which I found pretty difficult
beaver chews and the alders lining to do when the road into my hunch
THE FRIENDS OF NRA PROGRAM HAS BEEN OPERATING the bank had been gnawed down to looked like a washed out alley in the
NATIONWIDE SINCE 1992. DURING THE PAST 27 YEARS, OVER inch long piers. aftermath of a category five Hurri-
$3,875,632 HAS BEEN SPENT IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN! AS As I figured, those wetlands had cane and the buddy in my passenger
THE PROGRAM GROWS – SO DOES WHAT WE GIVE BACK! been dammed up, probably since the seat was beginning to catch on to
high water of a few years back. By my bull.
2019 BANQUET DATES now, brook trout had to have found
their way into a paradise only they,
By the time John put two and
two together, we were close enough
DATE EVENT CITY and myself, knew about. that a few more lies would convince
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and put this money to good work contact your Michigan NRA Field Representative.


Stewart receives Ruffed Grouse Society award
The Michigan Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) and
American Woodcock Society Habitat Committee
recently honored DNR upland game bird specialist
him only a short walk separated us Al Stewart for his dedication to young forest wildlife
from our destination. After a three conservation with an award at the annual RGS State
mile hell hike, and plenty of com- Workshop.
plaining, we hit enough water to hop The organization’s State Drummer Fund, the only
in the flat bottom and pole our way program dedicated solely to ruffed grouse and Ameri-
in the direction of, what I hoped, can woodcock habitat enhancement, now has been
would be a beaver pond. named the Al Stewart Drummer Fund.
It was bigger than I anticipated. A portion of the proceeds from each RGS chapter event goes toward the
The lowlands that sourced the small Drummer Fund each year. In 2018, the Drummer Fund was leveraged to sup-
creek had been entirely backlogged port over $450,000 in wildlife habitat improvement projects.
with water, the edges suffocated “This recognition is well deserved! Al Stewart is literally an institution,
with half drowned cedars. We a biologist with a legendary and international reputation as a grouse and
cruised the shorelines looking for network of beaver slides descend- woodcock expert,” said DNR Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason.
structure and to gather an idea of the ing from a cluster of jackpines at Stewart’s career has spanned over four decades. He has been the state’s
layout. our backs, we smoked cigars while upland game bird specialist for close to 20 years. His contributions to young
The pond was uniformly deep, adrift and kept a close eye on a pair forest wildlife are global, with milestones accomplished on a national and
roughly five feet, with a mixed of loons feeding off our starboard. international level.
bottom of organic soot and debris. Back at the truck, we hardly Stewart has coordinated the enhancement of upland game bird habi-
Eventually, we stopped paddling and noticed the mosquitoes and little tat, including young forests, with numerous grassroots-based conservation
organizations. He also has coordinated research efforts, working groups and
allowed the canoe to glide atop the minded the bushwacking, there was
future management directions critical for young forest habitat. Stewart has
water’s surface, our wake diminish- nothing that could infect our morale.
been a champion for the RGS and numerous other conservation organiza-
ing, with our eyes glued to the sides As we drank beer back at my tions throughout the state.
of the craft. We counted out loud house, the day’s brook trout contin- “RGS wanted to recognize the lifetime of hard work that Al has invested
the darting green backs of sizeable ued to grow: “maybe that one was to ensure that the future of upland game bird and young forest habitat is
brook trout. We got well past ten even pushing twenty?” Facts and available for the next generation of upland hunters,” RGS wildlife biologist
before I was granted forgiveness and accuracy in fishing are meant for Heather Shaw said. “Al has been a mentor to me throughout my career, and
we agreed it was time to fish. the log, not for the reminiscences of I am thrilled to continue to foster a strong partnership between the DNR and
We alternated between strip- wonderment. RGS.”
ping leach patterns and dropshotting The next morning we would Scott Grush, regional director for the Ruffed Grouse Society, has touted
minnow plastics, slowly covering look back over photos and realize Al as being “incredibly supportive of RGS and its mission while participat-
every log and bush that jutted out our overzealousness, but for now ing in numerous organizational activities and events throughout the year. His
from the curvaceous shoreline. Four we had seen what others have not, a dedication to grouse and woodcock is unmatched.”
hours later, with the sun nearing the mystical hunch come to life.
treetops on the western end of the For as many intel missions I
pond, we had boated 14 brook trout went on as a child, few were suc-
(all released), the smallest around 12 cesses; a ratio that has slightly, if
inches, the largest somewhere near at all, improved in adulthood. But,
16. such is fishing. If fishing were a
I say this now, with confidence, guarantee, it would take on more
after a thorough scanning of the inauthentic egotistical qualities, like
photos post trip. During our expedi- the sort of mental exercises you see
tion, we were convinced each trout on the golf course. Scouting is fish-
might have been 17 inches, giddy ing. Bushwacking is fishing. Hyper-
like school children disregarding bole amongst friends is fishing.
authority. In the moment, we won- Fishing is relaxing when you’ve
dered if this beaver pond might be a had enough, smoking a cigar, watch-
portal to heaven or the manifestation ing wildlife. It’s bending the truth
of nirvana. Each fish seemed bigger to friends, and outright lying to
than the next, our excitement only everyone else. Fishing is following
contained by the small space within a hunch. Fishing is chasing, search-
the boat. Once we had hit double ing, learning, and the reversion to
digits, we decided to spend more childlike whimsy in the midst adult
time exploring than fishing. With a onset responsibility.n

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Is 40 yards the new 25?

Black Powder
By Darryl Quidort

ecently, I read an article Most of the old fowlers (shot-
in an outdoor magazine guns) were cylinder bored; that is
where the author, Brianthe barrel was a straight tube with-
Lovett, discussed the out any constriction at the muzzle.
new shotguns and “tur- They were not known for holding
key load” ammunition tight shot patterns but were effec-
which is now available for hunt- tive out to about 25 yards. I built
ing wild turkeys. The well written my 12 gauge flintlock double barrel
on a set of original Damascus bar-
article explained that new, precision-
made shotgun chokes and tungsten rels which are both cylinder bored.
shot pellets, which are actually Even after experimenting with many
heavier than lead, have greatly different powder, shot, and wad
improved long range shot patterns. combinations, I consider my maxi-
Although 40 yards has generally mum effective range for a clean,
been the accepted effective range on head shot kill on a big gobbler to be
wild turkey with a modern shotgun, about 25 yards with that gun. Past
the author opined that with the new that distance my 1 1/4 ounce load of
turkey gear, 60 yards is now the new #6 shot begins to spread too thin for
40. It’s amazing what technology a sure kill.
has done for shotgun ballistics. Sitting motionless against a tree,
Reading that article started me elbows on knees, and holding a
thinking of the ways muzzle load- shotgun up for a long period of time
ing shotguns have been improved while calling a gobbler all the way
for longer range effectiveness. I’m in to spitting distance can be an ex-
talking about original, or replicas citing challenge. While in that situ-
of original, muzzle loading smooth- ation, I quietly cocked the left ham-
bores. In addition to adjusting the mer on my flintlock double barrel as
combination of black powder, shot, my grandson, Chance, softly called
One of the author’s favorite flintlock guns. He built this double
and wad column, there are also other from behind me. A big gobbler barrel 12 gauge from a block of walnut and a set of original 19th
ways the old original smoothbores slowly strutted his way closer and century shotgun barrels. This 25 pound gobbler was taken on a
have been improved for better long closer to me. I held steady, with the memorable hunt with his grandson.
range shot patterns. front bead on his neck. At 30 yards my odds of success. behind watching a mixed group of
he stopped and stretched his Jug choking is a historical meth- toms and hens. Mike’s a good caller
head up searching for a hen. He od of improving shotgun patterns and he managed to call a tom away
was still too far away for a sure and it is still performed on black from the group. It came to him from
kill with my cylinder bore gun. powder smoothbores today. There is quite a distance across open country,
Then, in a half strut, he moved some controversy about just when but it held up when it didn’t see the
several yards to my right. Now jug choking was developed but the hen it thought should be there. Mike
my gun was out of position. process was patented by Sylvester took the shot and cleanly killed his
When his head went behind a Roper in 1866. The principal of jug gobbler at 39 long paces. An inter-
large tree I quickly shifted my choking is to ream out a section of esting thing about that bird is that it
aim. Slowly, the bird took a few the barrel near the muzzle to larger had three beards, one long beard and
more careful steps closer before than bore size. The amount of metal two small beards below the main
his head shot up and his pierc- removed and the angles of the ream- one. That was a real trophy to take
ing black eye locked onto me. ing can be adjusted to achieve im- with a muzzle loading fowler and
Time seemed to stand still. The proved long range patterns. This can Mike’s success can be attributed to
woods was completely silent. only be done on steel barrels with the jug choked barrel.
I imagined that his small brain enough wall thickness to accomplish Although many of us who shoot
had just realized that something it safely. Because a jug choke is not black powder enjoy shooting and
was terribly wrong. I touched a constriction type of choke, there hunting with guns that closely
off the left barrel. KaBoom! is no danger of excessive pressures replicate the guns of old, there are
That was the largest gob- being developed within the barrel. options for those interested in more
bler I’ve ever taken, a solid 25 One spring, Mike Yancey and I modern versions of “old timey” fire-
pounder with an 11 inch beard hunted down in South Texas for Rio arms. Interchangeable choke tubes
and an impressive set of spurs. Grande gobblers. Mike used a 12 are one concept that will improve
After the shot, as the turkey gauge, English Fowler made, and shot patterns on black powder guns
flopped his last, Chance said, jug choked, by gunmaker Danny just as well as they do on modern
“He was close! I kept wonder- Caywood. I was hunting a short dis- shotguns. Some replica black pow-
ing why you weren’t shooting.” tance from Mike when I heard the der shotguns can now be purchased
A large gobbler taken with a long After I explained the deal with boom of 90 grains of black powder with screw-in choke tubes.
shot from a flintlock fowler the author the shot pattern, Chance grinned pushing an equal measure of #5 My very first black powder
built using a “Turkey Choke” barrel. and suggested that I just pull shot. Mike was sitting on the ground turkey was taken several years ago
both triggers at once to better with only a large cactus to hide with a Pedersoli 10 gauge, percus-
sion, double barrel shotgun which when Mike shot, but his shot bowled see how far away I can
was equipped with screw-in choke the bird right over at 37 paces. That shoot game. The thing is,
tubes. I was hunting from a pop- was sweet! if I choose to hunt with
up blind set up in a clearing in the The next day a spring snow a muzzle loader I want it
woods. A hen decoy was stuck in the storm drove us down out of the to be a genuine one. Why
ground 20 yards out in front of me. mountains before I got a chance at a hunt with a primitive gun
When the turkeys flew down after Merriam’s turkey. That was disap- that has been “modern-
daylight my calling was ignored by pointing and I really want to try that ized” by technology. Isn’t
the big gobbler. He had live hens to hunt again sometime. that defeating the pur-
deal with and followed them away Our Michigan season was open pose?
from me, gobbling all the way of when I got home and I immediately All turkey hunting is
course. went after an Eastern turkey. I fig- enjoyable, but looking
I stayed put, calling every half ured the flock of turkeys I had seen back, I now realize that
hour or so. Mid-morning the gobbler near a small woodlot just before the big tom taken with
came sneaking silently back look- dark would be roosted there. Before my old cylinder bore
ing warily toward my decoy. Then daylight the next morning, I set up double barrel was one
he hung up about 20 yards short of in a fencerow across a small field of my most exciting and
the fake hen. I called to him softly, from the woods. After the birds flew satisfying turkey hunts.
but he wouldn’t budge. After a long down, I started calling aggressively The skill and patience
minute of indecision he turned to and soon four mature gobblers needed to bring them in
leave, I touched off 100 grains of came out of the woodlot and started close is what makes the
2fg black powder pushing 1 5/8 toward me across the corn stubble. hunt satisfying. I feel that,
ounces of #6 copper plated shot. To The competition soon turned their even though I was using
my delight, the shot knocked him approach into a sort of a walking a flintlock firearm, some
flat and after the smoke cleared I put race. This was looking good! of the turkeys I’ve taken
my tag on a beautiful, mature tom The whole group was approach- weren’t really called in.
turkey. ing at a fast, steady walk. Suddenly, They were just called
From patterning that gun, I knew when they were still 40 yards away, close enough to shoot.
that with full choke tubes screwed a hen came out of nowhere and ran This year I think I’ll
into the muzzles, it would put more past the group of toms squawking dust off the old flintlock
than 100 number 6 shot in a ten inch like crazy. Three of the gobblers double barrel and actually After the black powder smoke from the big
circle at 40 yards. That big tom was immediately turned and chased “hunt” turkeys again, not 10 gauge double barrel drifted away, I put
approximately that distance. Screw- after her. The fourth tom seemed just “shoot” turkeys.n my tag on a beautiful, mature tom turkey.
in chokes are not historically correct undecided. I was ready and when he
in muzzle loading shotguns, but they turned to follow the others I care-
certainly do work. fully aimed at his head and neck
A few years ago Mike Yancey and shot. A cloud of black powder Fishing... Hunting... Or Just Simply
A Getaway Cabin To Enjoy Nature!!
and I both built new muzzle loaders smoke rolled out toward where the
using the Colerain “Turkey Choke” gobbler flopped his last. That Coler-
barrel. This is a 20 gauge barrel that ain Turkey Choke barrel will really
is restricted at the muzzle in the reach out there! Solid Logs with Perma Chink between
normal manner of shotgun chokes
and is stout enough to withstand the
Using the same gun, the follow-
ing spring, my turkey tag was filled Cedar or Pine
• Fully Insulated
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• Front Porch or Side Porch Styles Available
load. After doing some patterning, killed at a distance of 42 long paces. • Custom Built to Your Ideas!
I settled on 80 grains of 2fg black Even with a choked barrel, that’s a • Stained & Preserved
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This gun will also put over 100 pel- Technology always marches • Sizes from 8’ to 36’ Long!!
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that I put a rear sight on my gun Technology certainly has changed
to insure that I wouldn’t miss on a turkey hunting with modern shot-
close range shot where the pattern is guns, and it has also changed hunt-
very small. ing with traditional style muzzle
That spring we headed for Wyo- loaders.
ming to try for Merriam’s turkeys. So…should 40 yards now be ac-
Hunting turkeys in the mountains cepted as the new 25 with a muzzle
was a new experience for me. It loading shotgun?
was great! I really enjoyed camp- Personally, I don’t think so.
ing and hunting on public ground Just because we can shoot 40 yards
during early spring in the moun- doesn’t mean we should. A lot can
tains. Nights were cold but the sun go wrong when you pull the trigger
warmed things up nicely during on a long shot; most of it bad. As
the day. On the second morning of the range increases, the chance of
hunting we had a tom answering
our calls so we spread out in some
wounding the game also increases as
the pattern of shot expands. Turkeys
Relax In Style!
open Ponderosa pines, pulled on are tough and a turkey’s head and
facemasks, and both plopped down neck makes a small, and often mov- 1205 N. SR 5
against a tree. The tom seemed to be ing, target at long range, especially
heading for Mike, so I quit calling with a fowler that has only a front Shipshewana
and watched as Mike called him in. bead to aim with. 260-768-7511
However, due to the open cover, the Even more importantly though, Open:
gobbler got wary when it couldn’t I hunt with old time guns for the Monday-Friday • 8-5
see a hen. From where I sat, I challenge and experience of hunt- Saturday • 8-3:30
thought it might be too far away ing like my forefathers did, not to
Join us in sharing interesting and sometimes rare
trail cam and/or outdoor photos with our readers.
Send your photos to:

Kayla Koresky’s trail cam caught these bucks with

early antler development in Sterling Heights. A beautiful barred owl with lunch
caught on camera by Andrea Trail cam visitor near Cedarville from Ed Green of Troy
Messina in Lincoln!

Duane Schunk’s trail cam caught deer photo-

bombing in the fields of St. Clair Co.

Night trail cam photo of a coyote

Larry Piotrowski photo of a boss tom with 13 hens
from Ken & Dawn from Newaygo Co.
Scott Higgins
captured a
couple of hunt-
ers...far left a
blue heron on
a beaver dam
and a mother
bobcat with
A beautiful bald eagle photo taken near
Loomis by Paul Vogel.

Doe and fawn trail cam photo taken in Onsted A close-up of a tom turkey taken in Livingston County by Eric Graetzel.
from Ron Stewart.
Be sure to listen to Mike
Avery’s Outdoor Magazine
on one of the following
radio stations each week! Air Time
Frequency SA (9 AM)
City 102.3 FM SA (5 AM) Mike Avery’s
95.3 FM SA (5 AM) Outdoor
SA (6 AM) tradition
SA (5 AM)
WBRN ISHPEMING 96.5 FM SA (6 AM) of keeping
1320 AM SU (6 AM) his listeners
1380 AM SA (7 AM)
and viewers
1400 AM informed
UL T ST . M 1450 AM
790 AM
SU (9 AM) and
SU (7 AM)
1450 AM SU (5 AM) entertained.
1320 AM SA (7 AM) Don’t miss
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WAAM Grand Rapids companies.
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Woods-N-Water News
Michigan’s Premier Outdoor Publication
Hot Topic In The Outdoors...

Comparing Michigan’s deer hunting numbers

here has certainly been Association (QDMA) puts out an an- country with the highest buck harvest
a lot of talk lately about nual Whitetail Report that inputs state rate (4 per square mile). I’m not sure
the deer hunting in deer hunting statistics into an infor- if that’s a good or a bad thing though
Michigan. Some people mative, very interesting read. There since Michigan also has one of the
love it, and some hate are lots of side-by-side comparisons highest rates of yearling bucks in the
it, depending I and insight in the report. harvest too. Almost half of Michi-
suppose on individual situ- It allows an evaluation of gan’s bucks are yearlings, which is
ations, attitudes, goals and the impact of various state a slight improvement from many
success levels. A lot of avid deer management programs years past, but poor none-the-less.
deer hunters from Michigan or perhaps even regional Surprisingly. Wisconsin which is
though are so put-off by the differences in hunters too. well known as a “big buck” state,
hunting here that they have The QDMA, and particu- led the nation with the highest rate
gone to the extreme of giv- larly Kip Adams, really did of yearling bucks in the kill at 65
ing up hunting in their home a good job overall with this percent. Michigan ranks a dismal
state altogether report and it is fifth from the bottom with a very low
and now focus all
their hunting ef-
By Michael Veine available to read
at the
percentage of bucks 3.5 years old or
older in the harvest (22 percent). That
forts elsewhere. So how does Michi- website. Keep in mind though that ranking would be even worse if it
gan stack up compared to other noted the report cites data from 2017 even weren’t for the 14 counties that have
deer-hunting states? though it is labeled a 2019 report.
The Quality Deer Management For starters, Michigan leads the Michigan deer page 68

Wild mushroom season brings culinary

delights, but also food safety risks

t’s wild mushroom season in as an approved mushroom identifica- “The bottom line is: please enjoy likely to grow. The morel Morchella
Michigan, and foragers are tion expert, or to have each mushroom hunting for and eating your favorite exhuberens often shows up the next
out in droves gathering the individually inspected and found safe wild mushrooms, but make sure you spring where pine trees have burned.
tasty morsels by the bushel. by a certified mushroom expert. know how to properly identify them,” To learn more about other mushroom
Wild mushrooms, like morels “There are many varieties of said Slawinski. “If you plan to sell search tools and tips, including reci-
and chanterelles, help define edible mushrooms that grow in your wild mushroom harvest, you pes, read this recent bulletin, “Show-
the forests of Michigan and provide Michigan, but there are also toxic, must be a certified mushroom identi- casing the DNR: Mi-HUNTing for
potential income streams for forag- poisonous varieties, so there is some fication expert; and if you operate a Michigan morel mushrooms.”
ers, farmers, restaurateurs and food risk involved,” said Tim Slawinski, store or restaurant and plan to pur- Mushroom poisoning refers to
entrepreneurs. director, Food and Dairy Division at chase mushrooms for resale to your harmful effects from ingestion of toxic
However, if improperly identified, the Michigan Department of Agricul- customers, they must be purchased substances present in some mush-
mushrooms can pose serious health ture and Rural Development. “There from an approved source and indi- rooms, with symptoms ranging from
risks. If you are purchasing wild are also many look-alike varieties for vidually inspected by a certified mush- slight gastrointestinal discomfort to
mushrooms, you should only pur- some of our favorite wild mushrooms, room identification expert. Finally, if death. Common symptoms associated
chase them from a certified mushroom including morels. These ‘look-alikes’ you’re purchasing wild mushrooms, with mushroom poisoning include
identification expert, as required by can cause serious illness or death especially online through social media vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain,
Michigan’s Food Code, to assure they when eaten, so it’s important to know platforms, always ask for proof of weakness, lethargy and yellowing of
are safe and edible. how to properly identify mushrooms certification before purchasing any the skin or eyes (jaundice). Mush-
Michigan’s Food Code requires and to only buy mushrooms from mushrooms.” room poisoning is usually the result
those who sell mushroom species someone who is a trained, certified Foraging mushrooms on public of ingestion of wild mushrooms after
picked in the wild to either be certified mushroom identification expert.” lands (including Michigan’s state misidentification of a toxic mushroom
parks and game areas) for personal as an edible species. The most com-
consumption and enjoyment is al- mon reason for this misidentification

Hunting Adventures
lowed and encouraged. However, is close resemblance in terms of color
the Michigan Department of Natural and general morphology of some toxic
Resources advises that selling wild mushroom species with edible species.
mushrooms harvested from public If you suspect mushroom poison-
Dear Woods-N-Water News: lands is illegal. Foraging of wild ing, seek immediate medical assis-
I read Randy Jorgensen’s article in May 2019 with interest. Hunting is in- mushrooms is allowed in national tance, and call the Michigan Poison
deed in decline among younger generations. While there are many causes, social forests, but a Commercial Use Permit Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
changes, electronic devices, the internet, one thing I’ve noticed is our own focus (available at each forest’s field of- For information about mushroom
on success at all costs. fice) is required for any individual identification training and certifica-
While reading a national outdoor magazine at the dentist I was struck by intending to sell the mushrooms. No tion, including upcoming courses, or
every deer article describing expensive leases, food plot management, restrictive mushroom picking (either commer- to view a list of certified mushroom
hunting methods, like not leaving the blind to avoid “contamination” of the area cial or for personal use) is allowed in identification experts in Michigan,
and ridiculing any buck under 150 B.C. points. national parks. please visit MAMI’s website at www.
I started hunting at 14 with adults who made sure that every day was an Check out the DNR’s Mi-Morels To report po-
adventure, walking in the woods, exploring, stump shooting and observing wild- map at tentially illegal sales of wild-foraged
life. It seems like we ourselves have lost sight of the wonder of those adventures. rels to explore locations where large mushrooms, contact MDARD at 800-
Sincerely, prescribed burns were conducted last 292-3939 or send an e-mail to mda-
David Guelette year, and where morels may be more
Dear Fish Diary: My Thoughts, My Views, My Opinions...

A whole different kind of fishing

Disposable doesn’t mean throw it in the lake or woods...
Dear Fish Diary: real evidence.” That’s actually not a
bad suspicion.
By now I’m sure you’ve heard As the Park Service desperately
of the shards of glass that have been tries to not only clear the beach,
washing up by the thousands on the they’d like to catch the person or
shores of the Sleeping Bear Sand persons responsible. There
Dunes. Let’s agree on a was a similar incident like
couple of things. 1) The this in 2017 in the same
amount of glass that has so area. You might possibly
far been recovered didn’t know someone in that area
get there by accident. It who collects glass bottles,
isn’t some freak thing with or even stores a large con-
the currents that washed centration of pieces of bro-
tiny broken pieces of glass ken glass. You might know
along that particular shore- someone who collects glass
line. 2) By all Volunteers comb the Good Harbor Beach looking for tiny shards
By Ron St. Germain
bottles for the
signs, this was purpose of of glass among the washed up rocks. Thousands of pieces have
an act of some- target practice already been recovered. Volunteers need more credit for the type
one who know- that lives in that area. It’s possible of fishing they do.
ingly did this. It should be looked at both of these acts were committed
as nothing less than a terrorist act. lands and beaches and rarely do they venturing the shorelines. And, if you
by the same people, I for one would ever get credit. I have a hard enough have a clue, or even suspicion that
Thousands of tiny pieces have love to see them caught.
been found along the Good Harbor time picking up after my grandkids, you might know who is behind this,
For the volunteers who frequent or myself for that matter. Picking call 231-326-4805 or email andrew_
Picnic Area and park rangers believe
the national lakeshore to keep it up after others, especially in our
it to be a deliberate act. To some,
clean, it’s a whole different kind
me calling this a terrorist act might
seem a bit harsh. But if your child of fishing. I find it very discourag-
protected parks, just sends me into a
panic attack. Funny fish stories wanted
was severely cut, bleeding badly, ing how disrespectful people can Wrappers, plastic water bottles Strangest thing
and you’re looking at a half hour be. The trash I see along the road, and plastic bags are all things I’ve you’ve ever caught!
drive, at least, to the nearest hospi- the empty fishing containers I see routinely picked up over the years. Send a short description of your
tal, you might think differently. A lining the forests of inland lakes, the Leftover food, sometimes still in the “best or worst” fishing day, or worst
terrorist act is one that is done with garbage I see left along hiking trails. wrappers and bags always makes fishing-related adventure, or strang-
malicious intent, and this, was a It all strikes a nerve with me. me shake my head. I find tin cans, est thing you’ve caught to me. You
malicious intent. I’m not sure I could emotionally bottle caps, fireworks leftovers, alu- don’t have to write the entire story,
Some believe that the glass handle working with those volun- minum foil, newspapers, magazines, just a brief outline of what hap-
was intentionally spread. It wasn’t teers without blowing a gasket every propane tanks and all kinds of con- pened. If it has some humor to it
dumped in a pile, as it is evident five minutes. When I found a dirty tainers almost every time I visit our I’ll be getting in touch with you and
that the glass was dumped along diaper I’d begin screaming – “I parks. Whatever people don’t want we’ll work on the completed story
the shore fairly evenly for several will find you and leave this on your at the time, they leave. What’s real together.
hundred yards. Terry Clark, a mem- porch or in your car.” When I found frustrating is sometimes how close Contact - Woods-n-Water News
ber of the Traverse Area Camera a condom I would begin scream- to an actual waste container they columnist Ron St. Germain by
Club, has another idea. The camera ing – “I will find you and put this are. The fact people can bring it in calling 517-626-2814, e-mailing
club does several beach cleanups in your coffee.” Cigarette butts – “I with them, but for whatever reason, Visit the
throughout the year and many times will find you and fill your yard with can’t bring it back with them and author’s Facebook page www.Face-
he’s found shotgun shells. “It’s these.” take care of their mess riles me up.
possible during the winter that glass These volunteers clean our Disposable doesn’t mean throw it in
pristine places four times a year, I’m the lake or woods, it means throw it
My Thoughts,
bottles were set on the ice and shot
for shooting practice,” Clark said. not even sure I could handle one. in the trash, just so you know.
“It’s just my suspicion though, no These are stewards of our beautiful They throw their trash all over
the woods and lakeshores and ex-
pect us to clean up after them. Yet,
when we find their wallet they want
My Views, My Opinions
us to return it to them. I want my Share your thoughts, views, opinions or short
retirement job to be the guy writing
$500 tickets to people discarding stories with Woods-N-Water News readers by
their trash in our parks. Shoot, I’d emailing: or mail to:
work on a commission, that’s how
upset I get. Can’t pay the fine? Oh, Woods-N-Water News,
well your living room or yard will PO Box 278, Imlay City, MI 48444
become a landfill as we get to dump
one giant load there just for fun. Just Questions regarding Woods-N-Water News sub-
to see the look on your face. scriptions, newsstand sales, Outdoor Weekend,
Leaving thousands of pieces
of broken glass on our beaches is stories, trophy page, contact our office
a whole new evil. If it happened
at Sleeping Bear, it could happen
Mon.-Fri. 9 am-5 pm 810-724-0254
anywhere so use caution when
Examples of the shards being collected. Author’s photos
My Thoughts, My Views, My Opinions...

A new generation of hunters and anglers

eems most discussions the regs to allow kids to get into the
around the future of hunting field for a mentor hunt and there
and fishing are more doom are many clubs offering both open
and gloom lately. Hunting water and ice fishing youth fishing
and fishing license sales are down. events to allow young people to see
We complain kids are playing video how exciting it can be. We are also
games all the time. Deep down we seeing many high schools offering
know that we are probably more to more fishing clubs and colleges de-
blame as adults than the younger veloping tournament fishing teams.
generation. Life is busy and It is still up to us to allow
sometimes it is easier to them to get involved.
allow younger folks to sit Last summer I fished my
and play video games than local lake with a seven-
pack their stuff and take year-old named Xavier
them fishing for the day or Britt. His mom Angela is
weekend. But there is some my wife’s cousin and they
silver lining in these dark purchased a small cabin
clouds. on our lake to be able to
come back to Michi-
By Mark Sak
Kids are kids.
Frankly, they just want gan to relax during our
some kind of excite- wonderful summers.
ment in their life. They are open Xavier had other ideas. He quickly Seven-year-old Xavier Britt with one of the many big bass he caught last summer.
to anything. I have been involved became a fishing machine. He
with several youth hunts and fishing wasn’t happy with just catching pan- really started to sink in to me that and will provide equipment and
events over time, and I have never fish. He started to target bass, and this youngster really loves to fish usually start out from shore fishing
once seen a kid say, “I don’t want he is getting very good at catching and how sad it would have been for bluegills or perch. Check local
to go.” No matter what the condi- them. Now he is watching fishing if he never had the opportunity to boat dealers as they often know or
tions or species, if they are with shows to try to refine his attack. Last try a sport like fishing that gives so sponsor youth events. County parks
supportive people and feel comfort- summer I saw him leave the cottage much back to us. I’m sure there are also offer youth fishing events quite
able, they are all in. The numbers at 10 p.m. to go cast the beach in thousands of kids all over our state often. On most occasions all some-
and decrease in license sales simply front of his cabin. The 7-year-old that would gladly participate if they one needs to do is ask and they soon
reflect on adults who are too busy, pounded them. He is now known had the opportunity. will have volunteers coming out of
lack access or have lost interest in as the X-Man. I took him out and I There are many ways to get them everywhere to help.
the hunting and fishing sports. I’d was immediately impressed at the involved. If you or no one close to Youth hunters need to pass that
be willing to bet that the numbers progress this young angler had made you has the equipment or knowl- hunter safety course and there are
of first-time hunters and anglers are in such a short time. edge to get them that first tug on many options to get in the field.
slightly up over the past few years. His bait of choice is a whacky the line that is so important, look at Pheasant Forever chapters across
Thankfully there has been a push worm and he throws it with one the various fishing clubs around our the state often offer youth hunts that
to expose and allow the younger thing in mind, catching the biggest state. There are several Michigan are spectacular, and there is nothing
generation to see how exciting our bass in the lake. He has caught some Steelhead chapters as well as many quite like seeing a youngster with
outdoor passions can be. Kids can very nice bucket mouths and hooked walleye clubs around our state such their first rooster. Here is hoping
see their friends harvesting fish and one of the biggest bass I have seen as the Lake St. Clair Walleye Asso- the youngsters in your life find that
game at very young ages on social on our lake in years, but it snapped ciation, the West Michigan Walleye special balance the outdoors can
media. Our regulatory agencies have his line because his drag was too Club or the Saginaw Bay Walleye provide. I’ll see you in the field or
done a much better job at changing tight. That was my fault. Then it Club that offer youth fishing events on the water.n

Comparing Michigan Deer Hunting Numbers: from page 66

MAPRs too where the number of easy winter, during the fall of 2017, is only 2 percent, which was quite taking top honors in that category.
older bucks in the harvest is greatly the U.P. produced only .6 fawns per dismal on the list (only one state We are also third in the number of
improved. Wisconsin was dead worst adult doe and that number was much was worse). Colorado, Wyoming, bow hunters per square mile with
though in that older buck category, lower after harder winters in previous Arkansas and Kansas were tops in Pennsylvania clobbering us there and
so it really baffles me how the badger years. Much of Michigan is experi- that category with a lot more out-of- surprisingly New Jersey beat us out
state is still the top producer of Pope encing a glut of predators and fawns state money pouring into those states there too. Our precipitously dropping
and Young entries, probably due to are the primary segment of the deer as a result. hunter numbers are most concerning
the very fertile western part of the population that gets slaughtered when Years ago, Michigan had the high- since Michigan’s losses have signifi-
state where QDM has really become predator numbers are out of whack. est number of overall deer hunters in cantly outpaced many other states.
entrenched for decades. Respec- Michigan comes in second only to the country with well over 800,000 In fact, some states have even shown
tively, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas in the total buck kill (226,656), deer hunters and perhaps over one double digit percentage increases in
Okalahoma and Arkansas were the with Pennsylvania and then Wis- million total hunters. We also had deer hunter numbers over the last 10
top three-plus-year-old buck rate pro- consin coming in a distant third the highest number of bowhunters years with Tennessee, Texas, Geor-
ducers, all with over half their bucks and fourth. Michigan had the fifth too. Now days though, the rankings gia, and Oklahoma leading the way.
being over three. highest antlerless harvest (150,709) of states with the highest number of It will be interesting to see if the new
Interestingly, Michigan did not with Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania deer hunters are as follows: Texas leadership of Michigan’s DNR, a new
share its fawn recruitment rates for and Wisconsin beating us out in that - 738,713; Pennsylvania - 700,000; wave of NRC commissioners and
the report. Probably because they order. Wisconsin – 642,517; Minnesota – Lansing’s politicians can reverse the
are only available in the U.P. and the Michigan has one of the highest 600,000; and then Michigan in fifth negative trends in Michigan’s deer
data there is alarmingly horrible. Top numbers of overall deer hunters in with 586,000. Michigan ranks third hunting and perhaps begin to lead us
fawn producing states like Illinois the country, but sadly the percentage in the total number of archery deer down the road to an improving hunt-
had 1.2 fawns per adult doe. After an of out-of-state tags sold in our state hunters (311,000) with Pennsylvania ing environment. We’ll see.n
Try These...

alleyes have fast become
Michigan’s most popular
game fish species. The
Great Lakes State of-
fers trophy fishing on a
monumental scale that
other states can only dream about and monster
fish tipping the scales over the 10-pound mark are
common in the Detroit River, Saginaw Bay, Bay
de Noc and a host of Great Lakes tributaries and
drowned river mouths. However, savvy anglers
are always looking for new hot spots producing
excellent catches. Here’s a rundown on some
productive waters not far from your home serving
up fantastic walleye action and plenty of hefty
catches for the fry pan too.
The Tittabawassee River will be over-run
with walleye fishermen on opener. You can
expect boat launches from Saginaw to Midland
to be packed with boats and trailers. The Tittaba-
wassee hosts one of the best river walleye fisher-
ies in Michigan. Once the opening day crowd
thins out you can still expect limit catches from
the pools, runs and walleye attracting waters.
My recommendation is to try the lower Tit-
tabawassee and launch in Saginaw at the Center
Street or downtown at the Rust Boat launch off
Lee Street. Motor upstream and concentrate on Kat Hawkes of Southfield
the deep holes and runs from M-46 to the mouth. with a huge walleye she
Jigs bounced along bottom tipped with a minnow caught at sundown while jig-
or crawler will guarantee strikes. When water ging a finesse minnow off the
temperatures reach 50 degrees, use nightcrawlers. Banana Dike in Lake Erie.
Savvy anglers also drag bottom with 1/8 oz. jigs
tipped with a crawler and use electric motors to
pull the offering over gravel bars and sand runs
where multitudes of walleyes are holding. Don’t spawners often congregate. Vertical jigging with holds fish during the day and vertical jigging is a
overlook the deep holes found slightly upstream minnows or slowly draggin’ a live bait rig across hot tactic. During overcast weather, rain and low
from M-46 at Shields and downstream from State bottom produces the most strikes. Make certain to light conditions walleyes move up on top of the
Road. wet a line around Grand Island and the cluster of humps. Slip bobber offerings work well in this
Cheboygan County’s Long Lake has long had smaller islands found north. Come warm weather, area. Hastings Point found further north is where
a history of producing great catches for those us- work the deeper water off Kaufman Bay or Whis- eater 2-3 pound walleyes like to congregate.
ing live bait and finesse tactics. Live bait rigging key Point. Trolling with crawler harnesses or deep diving
with long fluorocarbon leader material works like One of my favorites is Gun Lake found in cranks will outsmart fish hiding in the structure.
dynamite here and anglers rely on 3/8 oz. Lindy Barry County and is over 2,600 acres of prime At times I launch at Murphey’s boat launch and
Rigs to get crawlers, minnows and leaches into walleye habitat located in the Yankee Springs fish Murphey’s Point.
the strike zone. For information regarding Long State Recreation Area. A regular stocking pro- Don’t overlook the sleepy little town of Colon
Lake and other northern Michigan walleye lakes, gram has helped the walleye population to grow found south of Battle Creek in St. Joseph County.
contact the Gaylord DNR office. and there is excellent access which makes Gun a Colon has an active conservation club that stocks
Presque Isle County’s Grand Lake has an out- premier walleye waterway. There are two main walleyes in three lakes: Sturgeon (249 acres),
standing population of wall- basins on Gun Lake; east basin has deep water, Palmer (450 acres) and Long (220 acres). Palmer
eyes with some measuring islands, points and an abundance of walleye has sloping contour, gravel bars and deep water
around 27 inches. Grand holding structure. Chicago Point on the southeast 40 feet deep supporting healthy walleye popula-
Lake is a large body of corner is a walleye hotspot. I like to troll the drop tions. The 20-foot hole close to the boat launch
water with over 6,000 acres off with crawler harnesses and bounce fresh meat on the southwest corner provides steady walleye
and a multitude of ideal through the sand and gravel. Come sundown I get action. Locals drag crawler harnesses along the
walleye structure. Concen- out my in-line boards, glow stickbaits and slow drop-offs on the west and east shores. Cranks and
trate on points found near troll the shallows using the bow mounted electric worms take most of the fish here.
the islands where spring motor. Long Lake serves up excellent catches of
Make certain to try the series of humps found 24-inch walleyes falling prey to crawler har-
By Kenny Darwin west of Chicago Point in 12-35 feet of water
where walleyes congregate. The deeper water
nesses, live bait rigs and trolled cranks. Excellent
fishing is found near the boat launch on the west
shore where steep contour provides ideal walleye WHITEFISH®
Sturgeon Lake is the northern impoundment
of the St. Joseph River. It is not as deep as Palmer
or Long but provides plenty of keeper walleyes. Genuine Silver
& 24K Gold
Tactics that work in the more turbid waters in-
clude suspending live bait below bobbers, casting
crankbaits and slow trolling glow stickbaits and
crawler harnesses. For bait and information, con- finishes
tact Colon Bait and Tackle at 269-432-3633.
Diamond Lake in southwest Michigan is
loaded with walleyes as the result of stocking.
The lake is large (1,020 acres) and is one of the
most popular lakes in southern Michigan. The
lake has an abundance of points, ideal walleye
structure and maximum depth is over 60 feet.
Drop-offs, weed lines and diverse bottom contour
attract fish. Hot spots include Drummond Lake
Beach, north end of Drummond Island and deep
water off Sandy Beach and ever changing bottom
on the east shore.
Casting shallow-water crankbaits can be Walleyes in the live well are an indication
effective on the 5-12 foot Diamond banks sur- fishing is good and golden fried fish will
rounded by weeds. Savvy anglers fish in early be ser ved soon.
morning or late afternoon when boat traffic is
minimal. Some trollers work glow stickbaits and and each fall. Some call it the most productive
glow crawler harnesses in the shallows after dark. walleye waters along the big lake coast. Shortly
While the St. Joseph River is best known for after ice out the fishing is on fire but anglers must
its fantastic Skamania fishery, there is a grow- wait until the opener, the last Saturday in April,
ing army of walleye fishermen enjoying impres- before they can wet a line.
sive catches. There is fantastic fishing above My favorite Macatawa tactic is trolling in-
the Berrien Springs Dam where the water slows line boards using Rattle Tots and Mag Lip 3.5. I
and walleyes congregate in the swirling water. set lures far enough back so they are skimming
However, most anglers concentrate on the large the weed lines and bottom contour and I prefer
spawners migrating from Lake Michigan into to follow the shore. First thing I do is determine
the St. Joseph and provide great fishing almost wind direction and I troll downwind. Speed is
year round. Come opener boats will be plying usually 1.5 mph early in the season but as water
the prime holes with jigs tipped with minnows. warms I kick it up to at least 2 mph. Some days
But as the water warms the crawler bite turns red I hit the monster boulders in the water at the pier
hot. Most anglers anchor boats above deep holes head at the crack of dawn and catch big browns
and runs and they cast downstream and work jigs or salmon in addition to walleyes. Then I skip
upriver, making a crank or two and allowing the back into Macatawa and troll cranks in Holland NEW ‘YO’
offering to drop to bottom. Harbour, Macatawa Bay near the Yacht Club and
The Kalamazoo River has miles of unbeliev- the sand bar off Superior Point.
able walleye fishing both above the Allegan Dam The winter ice fishing for walleyes on Mus- AVAILABLE
and below. Lake Allegan has plenty of walleyes kegon Lake was on fire this year and great
and fishermen work the structure all the way to catches also came from White Lake and Pentwa-
Allegan. But some of the best walleye fishing ter. You can bet once again this spring when those HN
takes place in the Saugatuck area of the mighty drop-back walleyes hit Lake Michigan the pier Gold and Silver
fishing will be on fire. Last spring the walleyes
Kalamazoo as walleyes back down after spawn-
ing. Make certain you test the waters at the begin- catches were awesome at the mouth of Portage Nuwrinkle
ning of the long pier head where the Kazoo enters Lake, where the DNR has been stocking zillions
Lake Michigan. of fish. The Manistee pier provided limit catches
Drop back spawning walleyes tend to hold of big fish for about two weeks and White Lake
and feed in the extreme lower Kazoo and offer outlet was loaded with big water walleyes search-
some exciting fishing. When weather warms and ing for food.
thousands of spawning walleyes leave the river When spawning chores are complete, wall-
they will stop and feed at the mouth of the Kazoo
where it empties into Lake Michigan. Savvy troll-
eyes back down Lake Michigan rivers at light-
ning speed. But they stop and adjust to the cold • Stabilising ridge
ers use in-line boards and cranks to work silvery water of Lake Michigan at the pier heads. Anglers • 3 sizes, 17 colours
lures along the sand bottom. In May fishermen begin to line the cement walls at sunset and by
can use Yakima Mag Lip, Flatfish, Hot-N-Tot midnight there is standing room only as hundreds • Mirror, Honeycomb
and other cranks to harvest walleyes, beer belly of big walleyes are hooked and landed. Most cast & Nu-wrinkle finishes.
brown trout and salmon from the current of shallow diving stickbaits into the frothing swells
the river mouth where it empties into Lake and strikes frequently occur near the cement
Michigan. structure.
Lake Macatawa near Holland offers explosive So, if you are looking for a new walleye hot
year round walleye fishing. This large lake has spot and willing to expand your fishing hori-
been heavily stocked plus it gets a run of spawn- zon, please take a peek at the above suggested /williamslures
ing walleyes from Lake Michigan in early spring locations.n
spring sucker festival
the Talaski family way
hat Saturday recently resting on the river bottom were suckers, and being a large family uses 30 feet of heavy duty nylon
in mid-April, al- suddenly jerked up and out of the entailing a dozen children who were rope and a clevis to attach to the
though a bit breezy, water and revealed a treasure-trove already used to teamwork on their crosspieces, and the dip-nets are
dawned into a beauti- of squirming suckers, the farm, it would prove to be raised and lowered by hand (aka
ful and sunny day weight of which required a fortuitous decision. This brute force) from bridge railings.
as our caravan of other hands grabbing onto is especially so with their It is a fishing technique they have
vehicles headed out to the first of the ropes to get matters out farm being located near honed to literal perfection and with
many “tip of the Thumb” bridges. of the water high enough the tip of the Thumb which distinct teamwork being performed
Once there, I watched the natural for other helping hands features numerous rivers, automatically. What began with 12
teamwork of the participants getting with long-handled land- streams and drainages feed- children would eventually expand to
matters prepared and two large (8 ing nets that were used to ing into Lake Huron that at least four generations. It was al-
ft. x 8 ft.) dip-nets were eased over lighten the load, and allow are well known for annual most 20 years ago when Tom Sr. in-
the dip-nets to spring sucker
By Tom Lounsbury
the bridge railing, suspended just vited me to join his family for their
right by heavy duty ropes, and then be brought up runs. annual spring sucker festival, which
dropped in unison into the fast mov- the rest of the Once the is clearly also a family reunion. It
ing spring current, and allowed to way with the remainder of the fish. family discovered a source for is something I look forward to each
settle on the bottom. A couple of fig- When you realize suckers can often obtaining the large netting, the steel spring and I’m deeply honored to be
ures clad in chest waders and wield- weigh a couple pounds apiece, a crosspieces had to be figured out, treated as a member of this family.
ing long-handled fish spears about bunch of them in the large dip-net with the first being the curved tines I grew up sucker spearing near my
100 yards away began working their can add up. of an old (hay) dump-rake. Although family farm, and dip-netting for
way upstream toward the waiting The dip-nets being used feature this worked to a certain extent, it suckers was a whole new adventure
nets, using the spears to splash the spring steel crosspieces that readily was discovered the stiff tines had for me that I have come to truly ap-
water, and to probe underneath rock flex with a load and allow the nets no give or flex when a load was preciate.
ledges and sunken logs to roust and to become a large pouch to depend- applied. It would be discovered the As things happen and families
herd any suckers lying still in hid- ably hold fish and are the result of a best crosspieces were those made branch out, some family members
den pools. Any suckers trying to slip trial and error development process. from sewer rods entailing spring travel from various places such as
past the spearmen were certainly a It was about 50 years ago when steel. From then on it was a steady Detroit, Livonia and Midland to
target, but the main goal was to push the late Tom Talaski, Sr. of Rapson learning process of how best to use make this special event. Tim Talaski
the suckers to the nets. decided a great family involved the equipment. for example, has a five hour drive
On command, the two nets adventure would be dip-netting for In this case, the Talaski clan from his home in southwestern
Michigan, but wouldn’t miss this
springtime family affair for any-
Hot Shot Outfitters thing.
Originally, the Talaski clan
Ray Hoody always held this special day when
the sucker-netting season officially

opened, which was typically on
April 1st, no matter what day of
the week that was. However, with
more and more children becoming
Goose Hunts involved, they now select a Saturday
Youth Deer Hunts in order for family members of all
Turkey Hunts • Coyote Hunts ages (and from more distant parts)
Whitetail Hunts to be able to participate. This will
6900 Huron City even include toddlers and a stroller
Port Hope, MI 48468 or two, and a whole bunch of folks
Hello, this is Charlie Morse. are on hand to share the moment,
I don't have a lifetime to wait! Mon - Fri: 989-428-5071 and just being an onlooker is a
Air pruned containerized Weekends: 989-670-4336 whole bunch of fun and excitement
plants, equals RESULTS SOONER! too.

Green’s Deer Ranch

Whitetail Deer Hunts

3376 Mertz Road

Caro, MI 48723
I’ve learned with this family to side of their heads, and there are a
avoid breakfast that morning and to number of sucker species found in
arrive there hungry, because a major Michigan.
part of this scene is eating during the The most common species I’m
entire process. This entails home- familiar with here in the Thumb is
baked cookies, brownies, chips, the white sucker, but netting with
crackers, cheeses, hot cocoa and the Talaski clan introduced me to a
absolutely marvelous venison jerky sucker they refer locally to as “red-
and hunter’s stick from the Talaski sides” (not to be confused with red
smokehouse (they use hickory for horse suckers). The technical name
smoking venison and apple wood for it is the long-nosed sucker due to
for smoking suckers). Yep folks, its longer snout, and it features finer
I’ve never walked away from this scales than other sucker species and
family gathering being hungry. usually has a deep red stripe down
The sucker is considered by each side of its upper back. Our
some (unknowing) people as being catch that day entailed a number of
a trash fish similar to the invasive “red-sides” and they are truly beau-
carp, but such is not the case at all tiful fish venturing in from very cold
because suckers have been a part of and deep waters.
the natural scene for eons. They are Suckers are a great and delicious
an important prey species for game fish to eat cooked in a manner of
fish species such as northern pike ways, and smoked or canned. Con-
and muskellunge. Certain sucker sidered as being quite a bony fish,
species also spend most of their time I learned a long time ago to use a
in the deep water of the Great Lakes “scoring board,” which is a series of
and only venture up inland water- grooves cut into a hardwood board.
ways to spawn in the spring. They Filets are then placed on the board In the net is a treasure-trove of Upper Thumb squirming suckers.
are what can be defined as “clean skin down and “scored” (sliced)
bottom feeders” in that they feed on cross-grain using the grooves as a actually unnoticeable. going strong. There is no doubt in
aquatic insects, crustaceans, snails, guide and by not cutting through Tom Talaski, Sr. passed away a my mind that when family dip-nets
worms and in some cases, algae. the skin. Doing so makes the bones few years ago, but the legacy and hit the water each spring, his spirit
Suckers get their name from their more palatable, and when the filet tradition with family involvement is close by and as always, heartily
fleshy lipped mouths on the under- chunks are deep fried, bones are he started over 50 years ago is still smiling.n


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Flood Stage
t’s the steelhead fisher- heads take the path of least resis-
man’s worst nightmare. tance when moving and resting
You arrive at your favor- under flood stage conditions.
ite stream only to find it To intercept them, anglers need
roaring, out of its banks to think about where migrating fish
and the color of might take up residence
strong cappuccino. Faced and fish slower, slack water
with such a predicament the areas, current breaks and
angler has three options 1) the insides of bends, places
go home, 2) head to a dif- you might associate more
ferent river that might be in with suckers or walleyes
better shape or 3) deal with than with spring steelheads.
it. Steelhead can be caught Steelheads under flood con-
under flood stage condi- ditions are often hundreds
tions, but to be of yards from
successful you
need to change By Mike Gnatkowski typical lies or
in completely
tactics and learn to think outside the different locations than they would
box. be under normal conditions. In fact,
Steelheads don’t like high water many times they might be right
anymore than you do. Fighting under your feet and you’d never
strong currents saps the strength know it.
from migrating steelheads they That’s exactly what I discov- Anchoring above a likely steelhead lie and then methodically, meticulously,
know that they’ll need to com- ered on Michigan’s Big Manistee inching plugs towards the fish presents lures to steelheads where they
plete their real calling. They can’t River. The Big M was roaring after can see, feel and hear them, gives them plenty of time to strike.
breathe; they can’t see. So steel- a freak early spring thunderstorm. The river went sky high and turned weapons featured slashes of orange,
the color of a mud puddle. Know- red, gold, silver and chartreuse so
ing that the sudden flush of water the rainbows could not ignore them.
BOOKS/DVDS BY RICHARD P. SMITH would undoubtedly bring a wave of
fresh steelies in, I elected to inter-
Two prime runs produced noth-
ing. The third run was a so-so spot,
cept them in the lower portion of but in the high water I reasoned it
the river. But where would they be might have some potential. Under
Great Michigan Deer Tales in the rushing torrent? That was the
million-dollar question.
normal conditions the run is shal-
MORE BIG BUCK STORIES low, but today was different. There
With visibility less than one was four feet of water where there
foot, plugs were our best bet I rea- were normally two. We fished
soned. Plugs have the flash, vibra- through the run to the normal tail
Tracking Wounded Deer tion, and noise to call up steelheads
under adverse conditions. Not just
out, but I decided to take it a little
farther, and a little farther, 50 then
Lots of NEW INFORMATION and ALL COLOR PHOTOS any plugs, but really big plugs; 75 yards past the end of the run.
oversized, noisy, rattling, flashy, “There can’t be any fish this far
Quantity Cost
obnoxiously annoying plugs. Off down,” I said to myself. “In normal
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____ Walking with Whitetails DVD ($24.00) _______ the Magnum Wiggle Warts, 1/2 water.”
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____ Great Michigan Deer Tales - Book 6 ($16.50) _______
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rod on the shallow side bent double spawn slowly downstream along the many a steelhead from water that six-weight outfit at home and come
and a chrome jumper came skit- bottom presents steelheads with a was the color of chocolate milk. prepared with a stout eight-weight
tering across the surface with the sizable bait that they can see, creates West Coast anglers are used to rig or plug rods with some real
Magnum Wiggle Wart rattling in a scent trail that the fish can use to fishing murky, stained water. Great backbone.
his jaw. Fishing the “sucker water” locate your bait, and allows that su- Lakes steelheaders usually don’t Steelheads in high water are
in the next few runs produced three per slow presentation that gives the have to deal with such conditions. often on a mission. They take
more steelies. fish plenty of time to strike. Anglers who fish skein spawn can advantage of the higher flow and
Flood stage steelies are where If bottom bouncing is your only take a page form the West Coast camouflage of murky water to blast
you find ’em. They might be tucked option, slow your drift down. Use steelheaders’ notebook and add upstream to the first dam or barrier.
up in behind a logjam using the plenty of weight to slow your drift. some color. Use a commercial Intercepting them in between can
debris to break the current. You Rather than trying to achieve that spawn cure that will make the be difficult. Your best chance is to
might find them on the inside of rhythmic tap-tap-tap as the spawn spawn a bright fluorescent orange catch them in resting lies as they
a bend nearly at the feet of shore rolls along the bottom, don’t hesitate or hot pink to increase its attraction move upriver. But it’s a here-today-
anglers where the current slack- to let the spawn bag hang up or stop in high, murky water. You can add gone-tomorrow proposition. The
ens or on the flats long after a run to give steelheads a chance to see a piece of yarn or a Spin-N-Glow only other alternative is to join the
has petered out. Or they might be it and bite. And let the spawn bag or Birdie Drifter ahead of the skein fray and head for the dam or below
nose-tight to a midstream boulder. bounce completely through the drift to draw attention too. A rig like a barrier. Fishing pressure will often
You can bet though that they won’t and all the way below you into the that would normally scare the heck be intense in these areas when word
be where you’d find them under slack water. Steelheads in murky out of a Great Lakes steelhead, but gets out that the fish are in. If you
normal conditions. Steelheads move water aren’t nearly as spooky either under certain conditions it is just the can, get there early, fish on week-
into much slower, slack water when so make short, controlled drifts and ticket. days, or give it a try after dark.
rivers are roaring for two reasons- slow your presentation down. The Because steelhead can’t see as Another location worth checking
visibility and comfort. Steelheads ultimate controlled presentation well under high water conditions out when rivers are roaring is below
don’t like the debris and suspended might just be to attach a hunk of you can bulk up your tackle and feeder streams and creeks. Fresh
particles in the water they have to spawn to a pyramid sinker, plunk it you’ll need to if you plan on land- steelies congregate below clearer,
breathe so they position where the into a likely location and wait. It’s ing a good percentage of fish. Going and often warmer, feeder streams
water is clearer and where they can not glamorous, and definitely not from a four- or six- pound test and creeks. Such locations can be
see better. very hands on, but it can be very ef- leader to eight- or ten-pound test is great spots to hit to intercept fish on
Because visibility is limited, fective when other tactics strike out. a good idea and you won’t get any their way upstream.
anglers need to slow down their Another way of positioning fewer bites in the dirty water. The Catching steelhead under flood
presentations regardless of the baits in slack water areas where heavier leaders and line will come stage conditions can be difficult, but
technique they’re using to give steelheads might be resting is under in handy too when it comes time to not impossible. And to tell you the
steelheads more time to find, see a bobber. Bobbers are great for muscle a chromer in heavy current. truth, as long as I’ve got a line in the
and strike their offerings. Anchoring presenting baits at eye level for Don’t spare the rod either. Leave the water I’m happy.n
above a likely steelhead lie and then prolonged periods of time to give
methodically, meticulously, inch- steelheads the maximum amount of
ing plugs towards the fish presents time to see and find the bait under
lures to steelheads where they can adverse conditions. Bobbers excel
see, feel and hear them, gives them in slow pools, behind logjams and
plenty of time to strike and takes along current seams where the cur-
advantage of a plug’s maximum rent is so slow that other presenta-
flash, attraction and vibration. tions aren’t practical.
The key is to slow down and give Steelhead fishermen need to take
rainbows time to react. The fish will advantage of the additional attrac-
often take advantage of the murky tion of color and scent when condi-
water to move through the shallows tions are tough. Plugs and crank
throughout the day and anglers can baits offer the advantage of lots of
sit in one location and intercept flash and vibration, but lack the at-
them. Instead of going to the fish, traction of scent. You can add scent
the fish will come to you. to your hard baits by placing a jar
Many anglers don’t realize it of Vaseline in a pan of boiling water
but spinners can be deadly high- and allowing it to liquefy. Pour the
water lures. The thumping blade, melted Vaseline into a film container
flash and vibration can help steel- filling it half full; add your favorite
ies home in. Spinners can be fished scent and stir. The concoction can be NO TIME
very effectively in the slack water applied as a paste to your plugs to FOR A WEEK
areas that flood stage steelheads will add the element of scent for attract- AWAY?
be found in. Many spots that can be ing high-water steelies. CALL FOR GREAT
fished with spinners can’t be fished Baits, like spawn, already have 1/2 WEEK
any other way. You can flip spinners the attraction of scent, but you need SPECIALS!
in behind logjams, in shallow tail to make them more visible in high,
outs and under overhanging bushes. dirty water. Dime-sized spawn bags
The best spinners are big thumpers are the norm when the water is clear.
with number five or even number In murky conditions you might want
six blades in gold, silver, and black to tie jumbo bags the size of a quar-
highlighted with shades of hot col- ter. Use fluorescent colored netting
ored tape. too. A friend who is an expert spawn
Back bouncing or walking fishermen used to add a chunk of
spawn can be a good option when chartreuse- or cerise-colored yarn
fishing with spawn under flood stage in his bags before he tied them. The
conditions. Rather than rolling or yarn provided some additional at-
bottom bouncing with spawn posi- traction, but didn’t float the spawn
tioning above the fish and slowly off the bottom and kept it at the
working a sizable chunk of skein fish’s eye level. I watched him pluck
Living as our forefathers did
re you ready?” A dry tongue tried to damp a
the range of- linen patch. With the half-wet side
ficer asked. of the patch over the muzzle, a
“Remember, wooden short starter poked a lead
your ramrod musket ball into the bore. The ram-
must remain rod again slipped from the thimbles.
in the thimbles, except when load- The flared end thumped against the
ing. This event is shot from the ball with short, firm strokes. The
pouch. Please demonstrate that your seasoned competitor knew bet-
flintlock is unloaded. ” ter than to take long strokes which
“Yes, I’m ready,” the forty- might over-flex the wooden rod.
something gentleman, Despite his care, he thought
outfitted as a 1760-era pro- he heard the hickory rod
vincial militia captain, said crack. With a deep sigh,
as he removed the English he stopped with the ball
fowler’s wooden ramrod mid-bore. If he continued
and dropped it down the and the rod broke, a serious
bore. The flared, brass rod hand injury might result.
tip pinged when it hit the About that time another
steel breech plug. shooter passed outside the
“Very good, roped-off, Sene-
your time be- By Dennis Neely ca-run course on “Smoothbore frolics” test a shooter’s prowess with round ball, shot loads,
gins when you his way to the knife and tomahawk throwing and sometimes, fire star ting. Fun is the
step between the stakes. Good luck.” upper range. The militiaman asked name of the game! Wild River tree photos
After a deep breath, cowhide to borrow the newfound friend’s
moccasins whisked over the imagi- steel loading rod. Fortunately it was classification.” ties tucked away in the corner of a
nary starting line established by two long enough for the English fowler’s “I have a spare rod at camp, so shooting box sometimes save the
steel tent stakes. The stop watch 42-inch barrel. With the patch and I’ll be back,” the disappointed pro- day; there is no such safety net for
clicked; the sweep-second hand ball firmly seated on the powder vincial officer said as he buttoned loaded-from-the-pouch competi-
began counting in silence. charge, the militiaman primed the his sleeveless waist coat. tions.
White linen shirt tails, dusty and firelock’s pan and discharged the Experience, attention to detail The rationale for primitive
dirty from re-living history, flapped load into the backstop, preserv- and strict adherence to safety rules shooting is grounded in a fervent
and fluttered as the slightly out-of- ing the tin-cup target for the next pay big dividends, as the provin- desire to duplicate the situations and
uniform colonial reenactor followed shooter. cial militia captain demonstrated. circumstances documented in the
the weathered rope that marked the A few minutes later, the disap- History-based black powder shoot- writings of our forefathers. With the
trail to the first target of the Seneca pointed competitor explained his ing events are fun. The rules gov- founding of the National Muzzle
run. The course zig-zagged around predicament to the range officer. A erning primitive matches are often Loading Rifle Association in 1933
two large sycamores, several small slight flex broke the hickory rod, different than those for shooting and the advent of Muzzle Blasts in
maples, then veered east to the dry confirming his fears. “I dumped the “line matches.” 1939, interest also grew for recreat-
creek. load into the bank. I didn’t spoil the Depending upon the event, ing primitive-style competitions that
Breathing heavy, the gentleman first target, so number six is open to “period-correct dress” is usually mirrored those of long ago.
grounded the fowler’s butt, pulled someone else,” he said. required. Gun restrictions might Black powder enthusiasts sought
the plug of his powder horn with “Thank you. You made the right apply, such as “flintlock only,” “no a broader shooting experience, one
his teeth and poured black granules choice. You were lucky. Unfortu- rear sight,” or not allowing auxiliary that captured the texture of a bygone
into a copper measure that shook in nately that disqualifies you from the loading rods. And many of these era. Thus the exploits of historical
his left hand. The powder tumbled smoothbore Seneca, but you can matches require all shots be “loaded figures like Daniel Boone, Simon
down the smooth-bored flintlock. compete in the “open or flintlock from the pouch.” Kenton, Jim Bridger, Alvin York and
Loaded-from-the-pouch calls for countless others spawned the primi-
a different mindset on the part of the tive genre.
shooter. All supplies needed to cre- Warren “Hawk” Boughton
ate an effective load must be carried devised “Kenton’s Run,” which in-
in a shot pouch or on one’s person. cluded knife and tomahawk throw-
For line matches, oddball necessi- ing and sought to emulate daily life

Muzzle Loading State Events

May 30-June 2 - NMLRA Skeet & Trap Territorial: Grand Valley Cap n BallersTM: 616-836-5760
June 1-2 - Spring Shoot Rendezvous: Lansing Muzzleloading Gun Club: 517-393-2772
June 8 - 5th Annual Memorial Shoot: Sauk Trail Long Rifles; Tecumseh: 517-879-3096
June 8-16 - NMLRA National Championships: Friendship, IN: 812-667-5131
June 9 - Woods Walk: Clinton River Muzzle Loaders: Detroit Sportsman Congress: 586-292-6821
June 14-16 - Bridgeport Family Fun Rendezvous: Bridgeport: 989-746-0723
June 14-16 - Father’s Day Shoot: Howard City: 616-887-9716
June 15 - Sporting Clays (Modern Shotgun): Grand Valley Cap N Ballers™
616-836-5760 or 616-307-7728
June 15 - .22 Pistol Woods Walk: Clinton River Muzzle Loaders: Detroit Sportsman Congress:
June 22-23 - Shoot Time Manistee: Manistee: 231-723-6768
June 16-17 - NSSA: Lansing Muzzle Loading Gun Club: 269-965-0764
June 30 - 39th Annual Fun Shoot: Linden: 810-629-0478
At the Sauk Trail Long Rifle’s Hog Shoot, three woodsmen load from the June 29-30 - Steak & Dollar Shoot (trap & rifle): Grand Valley Cap N Ballers™
pouch, each using a different method, yet achieving the same results. 269-792-4384 or 616-307-7728
in the backcountry. Max Vickery pouch. Smoothbore frolics usually
created the “Seneca Run” to simu- add three or more flying birds to
late woodland warfare along Laugh- the mix, which scores the combined
ery Creek, which flows through the proficiency of multiple skills.
NMLRA’s property in Friendship, And in the end, all accoutre-
Indiana. ments, all choices must work
The first woods walk evolved together in harmony. A loose fitting
as a two-day trek with one night shot pouch, a flying powder horn or
spent in the forest as “a reflection an unsecured knife or ’hawk burden,
on the past.” The course started in rather than assist the shooter.
Lamb, Indiana and followed “the After all, the goal of load-from-
Greenville Treaty Line” to Friend- the-pouch events is to have safe
ship. Participants signed an Alaskan fun while recreating a meaningful
wolf hide, which now resides in the black powder shooting experience,
NMLRA museum.
to approach as close as possible the
Mountain man contests, smooth-
bore frolics and peg shoots became On a cold March morning, Rick Evans pushed his powder horn to his back everyday circumstances of Boone,
popular, along with competitions
for safety, then clicked his flint to the steel striker. A spark caught, and Kenton, Bridger and York, to live as
after three hear ty puffs, the tinder erupted in flames. “Six-point seven our forefathers did.
based on buffalo hunting, old-fash- seconds,” the range officer declared.
ioned turkey shoots and an assort- Give the black powder shooting
ment of legendary tales. Snuffing a patch lubricant, wads and potential ’hawk hang from the belt, along sports a try, be safe and may God
candle flame, splitting a ball on an cleaning supplies must be addressed. with a fire-starting kit in a leather bless you.n
axe, cutting a quill and “killing the A spare flint, touchhole pick, ball-
spider” (an “X” on a log) continue puller, worm and a turnscrew (18th-
today. century name for a screwdriver) are
In the Rocky Mountain States, common items, either contained in
“trail walks” incorporated a story a small leather or linen sack or just
line with “shoot” or “don’t shoot” allowed to remain free in the pouch.
scenarios. A wrong choice by an un- Many shooters opt for a loading
suspecting competitor might result block for timed matches. Five or
in a simulated “rattlesnake bite” or more holes bored in the hardwood
“grizzly bear attack.” Such fur trade slab hold patched round balls ready
scenarios added a new meaning to a for the muzzleloader’s bore. The
“sudden death match.” block is placed over the charged
The black powder shotgun bore, a short starter punches the
sports—trap, skeet, quail walk, and patched ball into the muzzle and the

sporting clays—created “hunters competitor seats the ball with the
matches” at the behest of upland ramrod, thus minimizing loading
game hunters. These events focus time.
on emulating actual field conditions Often load-from-the-pouch
and call for loading from the pouch matches include throwing the knife,
in a designated area, often wooded. tomahawk and/or starting a fire
Like real hunting, each hammer fall with flint and steel. The knife and
counts, whether the charge ignites
or not.
The common thread in all of
these matches is “loaded from the
pouch.” The question becomes,
“What to carry?”
The loaded-from-the-pouch re-
quirement assumes the participant’s
black powder is carried in a flask
or horn that complies with standard
safe-handling rules. Further, these
same NMLRA safety regulations
require a separate powder measure,
attached to the horn strap, bag strap
or tucked in the pouch.
The items chosen for the shot
pouch depend upon the match and
the experience level of the competi-
tor. In addition, loading from the
pouch is an acquired skill. Line
matches provide sturdy benches
that support the rifle, smoothbore or
pistol while loading. That is not the
case with this type of competition.
Learning to keep the barrel pointed
up and away from body parts while
measuring powder and seating a QUESTIONS? PLEASE CALL
projectile takes thoughtful care and THE BAY CITY STATE PARK
range practice. (989) 667-0717 OR EMAIL
Sufficient projectiles, round ball, MASSUNGJ@MICHIGAN.GOV
bird shot or both, to complete the OR

course of fire are a must. Patches, SAGINAWBAYWATERFOWL@GMAIL.COM


Sturgeon for Tomorrow...
According to the DNR, there
have been no repor ted inci-
dents of poaching sturgeon in

On guard for 20 years

the past fifteen years.

Limited Partnership all contribute to

this enormous project of guarding
and maintaining the sturgeon popula-
tion. As stated earlier, the mission of
SFT is to assist fisheries managers
in Lake Sturgeon rehabilitation, to
advance education, to further other
charitable, educational, and scientific
objectives, and to engage in and fa-
cilitate scientific research. This group
has direct interest and involvement
in the current and future sturgeon
fishery, rehabilitation of the popula-
tion through the streamside hatchery
program and efforts to restore river
function, outreach and educational
activities, and the Sturgeon Guarding
By Rick Fowler Program.

In addition, Michigan State
University has worked cooperatively
ay 2019 marked trated in these areas 24 hours a day researchers are constantly focusing to secure grants and conduct research
the 20th year of the to protect the sturgeon from harm on factors that may contribute to on various aspects of Lake Sturgeon
Sturgeon Guard- and poaching. If the poaching were reproductive success i.e. those that life history traits, while also rearing
ing Program under left unchecked, it would reduce the can be quantified by data collected Lake Sturgeon for recovery efforts.
the auspices of population and eventually destroy the from the Radio Frequency Identifica- Tower-Kleber Limited Partnership,
the Sturgeon For sportfishery.” tion antennas as mentioned, that are under Article 406 of its current
Tomorrow organization on the Upper Protection is vital to survival, placed throughout the Upper Black license agreement, cooperates with
Black River. This undertaking has but so too is need to repopulate the River, including migratory patterns the MDNR in implementing sturgeon
proven that citizens who watch over species. The 2019 Black Lake re- and sperm quality. recovery through the establishment
the river have significantly reduced search season began in late April and According to a MDNR Manage- of the Upper Black River streamside
the poaching of these magnificent usually operates until late May. The ment Plan issued in 2016, the 30-year hatchery.
fish while helping to ensure the process involves Michigan State Uni- license for this dam and the others on The Black Lake Association
protection and proliferation of the versity and Michigan Department of the Black River was renewed in 1994 works cooperatively with the agen-
species. In fact, local Conservation Natural Resources researchers who with specific direction to the licensee cies to maintain the high quality
Officer Tim Rososhacki says, “There capture adult Lake Sturgeon ascend- regarding assistance as mitigation to cool water fisheries of Black Lake,
have been no reported incidents of ing the Upper Black River. As of this the Michigan Department of Natu- whether through additional stock-
poaching sturgeon in the past fifteen article, 170 had been captured during ral Resources’ efforts to protect and ing efforts, habitat enhancement, or
years.” the current spawning season. enhance Lake Sturgeon in the Black information exchange. Tip of the
Each spring, sturgeon migrate up River downstream of the projects. Mitt Watershed Council organizes
the rivers to spawn at known spawn- The license requires the owner the volunteer lake monitoring studies
ing sites. At this time a large percent- to operate the project in run-of-river crucial to understanding the chang-
age of the adult population in the sys- mode, and to work with the MDNR ing parameters of Black Lake. The
tem are concentrated in a small area. to construct a Lake Sturgeon rear- charge of the Northern Inland Lakes
When sturgeon are spawning along ing facility when deemed necessary. Citizens Advisory Committee is “to
the rocky riverbanks they are fairly Eventually the MDNR determined review, understand, and provide rec-
oblivious to nearby human activity stocking was necessary to help reha- ommendations and direction into the
and are susceptible to poaching. bilitate the Black Lake population of fishery goals, objectives and manage-
According to Brenda Archambo, Lake Sturgeon. ment plans for lakes in the Inland
President of the Board of Directors In 2005, a temporary streamside Waterway and connecting waters.” It
for Sturgeon For Tomorrow (SFT), rearing facility was constructed near is a platform for information shar-
“Here we are 20 years later and con- the mouth of the Upper Black River, ing between interested citizens and
tinue to remain true to our mission. and research concentrating on the rel- managing agencies.
Two decades is a long time, relative- ative fitness of Lake Sturgeon rearing Dave Borgeson, Northern Lakes
ly. Yet Lake sturgeon can live 80-150 in the streamside rearing facility Huron Management Unit Supervisor,
years, so in terms of our long range Brenda Archambo, President of the versus those reared in a traditional Fisheries Division of the MDNR told
strategic plan we are just nicely get- Board of Directors for Sturgeon hatchery was conducted. The results volunteers and researchers gathered
ting started and beginning to see the For Tomorrow, has been passionate of this research revealed that stream- recently overlooking the sturgeon
fruits of our efforts. We know that and a par t of this sturgeon project side facilities were preferable to capturing site, “This is the best stur-
sportsmen and women care about for all 20-plus years. traditional hatcheries. Consequently, geon study in the United States. Look
the sturgeon here and support our Tower-Kleber Limited Partnership, at all the efforts of so many people,
program. These adult fish are analyzed, in consultation with the MDNR, con- groups, and agencies.”
“However there are also dozens weighed and implanted with a pas- structed the current streamside Black Arcahmbo reiterated her passion
of volunteers who are not anglers but sive integrated transponder tag which River Lake Sturgeon rearing facility for saving these fish that are native to
just want to assist in the welfare of will aid future management efforts. adjacent to Kleber Dam in time for Michigan, “We have to work col-
these fish. As a result, we have been Their movements are also monitored. production to begin in 2009. laboratively with so many others. We
able to guard the sturgeon, leverage When these tagged fish pass by Collaboration was and is needed have to do legacy work so the work
research on the species and educate strategically placed antennas along for successful operations to thrive. we are doing now will galvanize the
with outreach programs. Yet all of the river, the tags notify researchers In addition to the State of Michi- next generation.”
these behemoth efforts could not which fish came by. gan and tribes, Black Lake Chapter Interested in the Guarding Pro-
continue without the collaborative The current research efforts also of Sturgeon for Tomorrow (SFT), gram for next year? For more infor-
efforts of different organizations, include collecting eggs and sperm Michigan State University, Black mation on Sturgeon For Tomorrow
agencies and of course volunteers. which are then transported to the Lake Association, Huron Pines, Tip memberships, camping ambassadors,
SFT oversees the Sturgeon Guards. Kleber Dam location which houses of the Mitt Watershed Council, the and stream guards please visit their
Conservation Officers and other a nearby rearing hatchery where Northern Inland Lakes Citizens Ad- website: www.sturgeonfortomorrow.
volunteer groups are also concen- reproductive work begins. However, visory Committee, and Tower-Kleber org or call 231-625-2770.n
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Sporting Collectibles...

Readers’ questions
and my answers
get a lot of questions over designed for ice fishing. It was not. the company because other versions
the year about all kinds of The Stubcaster was designed for the of the Stubcaster were created for
old fishing tackle. Some everyday freshwater angler and for several of the major retailers of the
are emailed to me, but most trolling or casting. day, including Sears under their J.C.
I get at the different sport Waltco Products was the sport- Higgins brand name. I would think
shows and antique shows I ing goods subsidiary of Kleinzway, that two other key Chicago-based
attend. I know the answers to many Inc., a Chicago dry cleaner that retailers, Montgomery Ward and the
of them. However, sometimes I need specialized in cleaning furs. Kleinz- True Value Hardware chain, were
a little help, so I go to my way was owned by Walter also clamoring to buy their own
library of books that I carry L. Klein and his younger private-label versions.
with me. Other times I get brother, Sidney J. Klein. Waltco also began promoting the
on my smart phone and call The first mention of Waltco Stubcaster at regional sport shows
one of the experts if I get Products I have been able
stumped . . . and now and to turn up was a series of
again, I end up doing some identical ads run in the late
hard research to come up spring and early summer of
with the answers. Here are 1948 promoting the “New
three challeng- Stubcaster.”
ing inquiries By Terry McBurney The ad high-
and my an- lighted several
swers that should be of interest to key points: “Thrilling, live 5-ft.
my readers. action – Yet only 21 in. long!” and
My first “question and answer” “coil spring action gives full length
involved the Waltco Stubcaster steel rod action” all with “greater accu-
rod. Though it was made in Chicago racy – maximum distance” . . . and
and not in Michigan, I normally it will fit in your tackle box – “21”
display one in my “Show and Tell” overall, breaks to 14.” This first
display that I take to different sport Stubcaster print ad reminded me of
shows just because it is so unique some of the exaggerated statements Top: The Waltco Prod-
and provokes so many comments. that Ron Popeil claimed twenty ucts Stubcaster 21-inch
Normally, a show goer picks it up, years later when he promoted his rod – the first model is
gives it the once over, flexes the revolutionary Popeil Pocket Fisher- on the right side and
21-inch rod and wonders out loud: man so successfully on television. the second version is
“What kind of ice rod is it?” My re- The Stubcaster ads were hyper- on the left side. Author
sponse surprises the many Michigan bole to the maximum. They must photo Middle: The Stub-
anglers who think it was originally have been extremely successful for caster came packed in
an attractive cardboard
box. Almost none of the
rare boxes have sur-
vived but were thrown
away. John Kuenzer col-
lection Bottom: A press
release photo from the
January 1948 Illinois
Spor tsmen’s Show
features 17-year-old
Betty Lehman admiring
the newly introduced
Stubcaster rod.
in early 1948. Accompanying this aluminum handle with Tenite plastic
article is a press release photo of inserts. A new improved “second-
17-year-old Betty Lehman, of Ar- version” Stubcaster came along
lington Heights, Illinois, examining several years later but was built with
the Stubcaster at the Illinois Sports- a circular coil that supposedly gave
man’s Show. The press release “50% greater tip action.” Waltco
stated: “. . . the Stubcaster, new type also introduced their 4 ½-foot
fishing rod on display at the Illi- Longcaster steel casting rod at the
nois Sportsmen’s Show here. Short same time, which complimented the
enough to make a neat trolling rod, Stubcaster rod. A complete Long-
the design of the device gives it full- caster, handle and rod blade, sold for
length rod action for casting. Rod is $7.95. Or anglers could buy just the
made by Waltco Products, 2300 49th Longcaster blade for $4.95, which
St. Chicago.” would then fit into the unique Stub-
The “first-version” Stubcaster caster pistol grip handle. Accord-
came packaged in a descriptive ing to these Waltco ads “300,000
cardboard box and featured an fishermen can’t be wrong” and these
This was Waltco’s first ad promoting the Stubcaster, which ran during the national ads were being run in Out-
spring-summer of 1948. Right: This 1957 Stubcaster ad is one of the upright circular coil spring on a
chrome-plated steel rod. The rod door Life, Field and Stream, Sports
last ones they ran. They were selling off remaining inventory at “½ off.” Afield, Popular Science, Boys Life,
was mounted on an attractive cast
the Saturday Evening Post, Esquire to feature and to demonstrate. Quite
. . . and many more plus advertising a few anglers have asked where
in 305 newspapers. That’s quite a they could buy one or two of them
lineup. because they could easily be carried
Waltco also introduced an ar- with a mounted baitcasting or spin
ray of solid fiberglass rods starting casting reel and then packed away
in 1950 that ranged from $7.95 to in a tackle box, a glove compart-
$13.50 retail. And again, they must ment or in the trunk of a car ready to Above: The neat Kitkast Pocket Rod
have been successful because they fish when the opportunity presented came packed in this cardboard box
ran full-page ads the following year itself. My answer is to be patient John Kuenzer collection. Right: The
promoting C. W. Frale of Chicago and keep looking considering their only known Kitkast Pocket Rod ad
who caught a 54-pound muskie on rarity. ran during 1950.
September 8, 1950 at Moen’s Camp, The Kitkast rod measures 17
Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Cana- ¼-inches long at full extension and WWII he helped organize a commit-
da. Mr. Frale’s muskie won the first only 12 ¾-inches when the rod is re- tee of scientists and noted saltwater
prize in Field and Stream’s fishing tracted. It has an aluminum reel seat anglers to design a survival fishing
contest for the largest muskie caught and fittings, a chrome plated spring kit that our servicemen could use
in 1950 . . . and on a 5-foot Glass- steel blade and a comfortable handle to catch fish while they drifted in
caster solid fiberglass casting rod! of extruded cork. The only ad that I open boats and rafts after the loss
By 1957, Waltco’s Stubcaster have found for the Pocket Rod was of a ship or a downed aircraft. The
sales evidently dropped substantially from 1950, which listed a $3.00 first thing this committee did was to
as they ran national ads promoting retail plus 25¢ handling. This well- interview over two hundred survi-
the rod for half price or only $3.47 done ad featured the “World’s Most vors to hear their stories, and then
postpaid. The ad humorously added Compact Precision-Made Casting these experts sat down and over a
that the offer was “limited to first Rod” as the title, and emphasized two-month period put together two
5 orders from any county in the an interesting point that the angler basic Emergency Survival Kits, a
U.S.A.!” could fish with the Pocket Rod us- small one for use in collapsible rub-
My second “question and an- ing an overhead cast as well as an ber rafts carried aboard airplanes.
swer” item this month is the rela- underhand cast on bushy streams. The second kit was a larger version,
tively hard-to-find Kitkast Pocket The last item has bewildered a and it came packed in a water-tight
Rod made by Maguth Industries of number of readers for some time, metal can that weighed about three
Carlstadt, New Jersey. In a lifetime so I have dug out some information pounds. When taken out of can,
of collecting, I have only seen a half that I have saved over the years. the kit either was worn as a vest or
a dozen of them. I own two of them A Woods-N-Water News reader apron over the life preserver of the
and use them at sport shows to dis- first sent me photos of an example man in charge of the boat. It con-
play special casting reels that I want that he had purchased over twelve tained extensive instructions printed
on waterproof parchment paper on
how to use each item in the kit, as
well as what seafood or birds were excellent article written by saltwater
good or not good to eat. The instruc- angling expert, Kit Farrington, in the
tions also included information on May, 1943 issue of Field and Stream
what to do if confronted with sharks magazine entitled “Men Adrift –
or whales! New Emergency Fishing Kits Will
The Emergency Fishing Kit had Save Lives in U.S. Armed Forces.”
twelve compartments that contained Feel free to contact the author
the instructions, a packet of dehy- at
drated pork rind bait, a number of with your questions. Photographs
different fishing rigs, a small har- are important, so please send
Above: This Emergency Sur vival poon or spear head that could be tied them. They help me with identifi-
Fishing Kit was built during WWII by to an oar, as well as a floating knife cation and give me an idea of the
the Ashaway Line and Twine Manu- and a sharpening stone. The kit also condition of the item.n
facturing Company of Rhode Island. contained a snag hook that could be
Left: This “To Bring ’Em Back Alive” thrown if the fish were not biting.
ad featuring the Emergency Sur vival There was also a folding dip net that
Fishing Kit ran in the May 1943 is- was used to scoop small fish out
sue of Field and Stream magazine. Every so often, I
of the water. The last compartment come across some-
years ago in Kalkaska. The photos contained a pair of cotton gloves thing in an old tackle
showed a green canvas bag with supplied to protect the men’s hands box that has me
twelve sewn-in compartments that from sharp teeth and fins when completely stumped,
held various kinds of fishing tackle fighting a fish. Everything packed so I decided to run
that were clearly meant for saltwater in the kit was designed to float with a “What the Heck
fishing. What he had found was an each different rig tied around indi- is This” sidebar this
Emergency Survival Kit made by vidual wood line-winders. month and every so
By the way, the Ashaway Line often in the future
the Ashaway Line and Twine Manu-
and Twine Manufacturing Company when I spot some-
facturing Company of Rhode Island thing really unusual.
during WWII. I have always won- is still in business today making
world class racket strings, medical This item was at the
dered how that Emergency Survival bottom of a tackle
Kit got from saltwater to Michigan, threads, as well as braided twines
for the textile industry, braided box that I recently acquired. My
but somehow, it did . . . maybe there first impression, of course, was
was a good buy years ago at a local nylon cores for fly fishing lines, and
many other custom braided lines. that it looked like a little hatchet.
Army-Navy Surplus Store.
I would like to thank John Kue- It measures 6 ⅝-inches in length
Gifford Pinchot, who served two and is made out of steel. It has not
nzer for allowing me to photograph
terms as Governor of Pennsylvania been sharpened. So, readers, let
from 1923 to 1927 and again from his Stubcaster rod and the Kitkast me know what you think it is and
1931 to 1935, was also a noted Pocket Rod, both in their original what it was used for. Email me at
forester and ichthyologist. During boxes, for this month’s article. I
would also like to acknowledge the
Woods-N-Water News Classified Section
WOOD TO LUMBER. We Want to go fishing? Come to fish for stocking. Large selection of great pheasant hunting, 15 NEWBERRY UNIT. Join
have a mobile Norwood sawmill Northern Walleye Lodge for lake, pond and watergarden sup- different farms! Excellent cover. us at Yooper Outdoors #906 –
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.............................................. .............................................. frontage and miles of wooded
person with 4 or more. Includes multi-day hunts. Open 7 days board. We hunt over bait on
trails available. Clean quiet and
remote lake front cabin with a week, now through April mostly private land. We hunt
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WANTED own dock, 2 people per boat,
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Black bear hunts available. years, we do the work so you LAKE COUNTY near Branch on
Cash in advance. Improve wildlife Contact Chris at 734-765-9325 or
3.5 hours North of Sault Ste. don’t have to. Bows and guns 2000 acre family preserve. 3 bed-
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TRIP OF A LIFETIME – are welcome, two baits per
and more info . . . HUNT IDAHO! Elk, Mule Deer, hunter. We skin, quarter and large dock, swim raft, swings, fire
12/18 com for more information. H-6-1 Bear and predator hunting. Guided pit, etc. Excellent fishing for bass,
.............................................. .............................................. freeze. Give us a shot, we’ll pike, trout and panfish. Miles of
email: fishingtrips@outlookcom rifle or bow hunts. 208-935-8186. give you one! Call John Rahn
BERGLAND UNIT: Guided bear streams and hiking trails. Caretaker

Toll free 1-877-434-2440 hunts over bait. State and Federal
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F-12/17TFN licensed bear guide. Call Rich 715-
.............................................. $1200 per week. 248-559-7744.
663-0459 or H-6-3

NORTH FORK CUR- NORTHERN ONTARIO ..............................................
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Most varieties, pond, lakes. SERVICE: Bergland and Baraga
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(810) 724-0254
Units. Federal license. 27 years TIONS. Located below High
days; 269-624-6215 evenings. bunk house that holds 8 hunt- 2020 starting May 10th and May
experience. Cell 906-231-9136 Bridge, your own private dock
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F-5-2 Home 906-827-3731. H-6-3 on the Big Manistee River. Look
heat, air, large TV and rec Includes comfortable cabin, boat
room. Deer hunting includes and motor, baited stands. Very us up at Riverview Hideaway,
big, home cooked meal every experienced guides. High success Big Manistee Info/Contact 231-
To reach an immense outdoor market use the . . . night. Good deer blinds with rate. 3 hours from the Soo. 690-2855. RR-4-3

Woods-N-Water News Classified food plots for all hunters. $950

per hunter/week for deer. Call
References on request. $1,650 U.S.
single hunter, including taxes and
Classified ad rates: $30 for the first 20 words for bear hunting with baited non-resident bear license/tag.
Every word over 20 is .25¢ per word -- Box your classified, $5 additional charge
lines. $2,000.00 Book early, will Cheaper rate for more than one TRAILS END RESORT
This effective advertising is simple to do, place your ad by . . . sell! Call Rich at 734-341-7397. hunter. $650 deposit required. Call ON BIG MANISTIQUE
• Calling 810-724-0254 Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
H-5-5 705-869-3272. www.texasandsons. LAKE, Curtis Michigan -
• Email your ad to Hunting, fishing and sightsee-
com H-8-12/18
• Faxing your ad 810-724-8552
• Complete your Classified online at .............................................. ing. 2 Bedroom modern house-
• Mailing your ad to Woods-N-Water News, P.O. Box 278, Imlay City, MI 48444 GONZO BEAR CAMP - Bear keeping cabins. Boats, motors
Specialist - We had 80% success. and pontoon rentals. Call 906-
Classifieds MUST be paid in advance of publishing; MasterCard, Visa accepted. Make 2019 MICHIGAN BLACK
Baraga, Gwen and Amasa Units - 586-3515. R/R-6-1
check/money orders payable to Woods-N-Water News. Classified ads can not be BEAR HUNTS. Newberry/
billed and once a classified is processed no refunds can be made. Limit of 75 words. Modular hunts start at $995. 7 days Gwinn B.M.U. 1st and 2nd sea-
lodging included. Write for more sons. Seven day hunt/lodging/
All classifieds posted to our website FREE!
information on how to apply for bear stands/skinning/tag/sealing
Use one of these useful classified categories... permits on May 1st - 2730 S. Dort bear. Year around lodge. Great HUNTING LEASE
A = Archery FP = Food Plots HW = Help Wanted SM = Snowmobiles Hwy., Flint, MI 48507 or call Dale at area for fishing, grouse hunt-
ATV = ATVs FW = Firewood M = Miscellanous T = Taxidermy (810) 814-8936 days 9-4 or eve- ing and 4-wheeling. 42 years
B = Boats G = Guns RE = Real Estate TK = Trucks HUNTING LAND FOR
nings John at (989) 257-2725 for of service, convenience store,
D = Dogs H = Hunting RR = Resorts/Rent TR = Trailers RENT: 100 plus wooded
F = Fishing HL = Hunting Leases RVC = RV’s/Campers W = Wanted more information www.gonzo- state and federally licensed. acres. Manistee Co. 231-590-
F = Free Like us on Contact Tom Losiewski, North 1136. HL-3-4
JULY 2019 CLASSIFIED DEADLINE JUNE 3, 2019 Facebook. H-4-5 Country Hunting Adventures.
.............................................. 1-269-330-0480. Like us on
CLIP AND MAIL Facebook. H-4-4
Woods-N-Water News Classified Advertising BEAR PAW
(Please print clearly. We are not responsible for unreadable orders.)
Make sure phone number is included in your ad! TARIO: Excellent bear hunt-
ing service. Baited stands, HUNTERS OR NATURE
NAME preparation meat and hide for HUNTS: Newberry/Gwinn.
you to take home. Average wooded acres in southern Lenawee
ADDRESS Just outside of Seney Wildlife
size bear 200 pounds, we've County close to state highway and
Refuge. High success rate.
taken 500 pound bears before. Ohio line. Surveyed. $30,000. Call
CITY                                           STATE                      ZIP 35 years. State and Federal
$1,200 U.S., $200 deposit, Diana at Faust Real Estate, LLC
licensed and experienced.
517-270-3646. RE-6-1
DAYTIME PHONE NO. book now for spring and fall. Guaranteed active baits. 6
Over 25 years of experience, nights, 5 day hunt includes
VISA/MASTERCARD#                                                       EXP: call Willie 705-369-2013, P.O. lodging and meals. Start at
Box 149, Opasapika, Ontario $750. Bow and rifle deer hunts. LOT 727 AND 704 AND
CLASSIFICATION OF AD                      MONTHS TO RUN Canada POL-1Z0 H-6-2 $125 per day. 906-439-5242. HALF INTEREST IN 703. Located in Indian Glens of the

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
H-6-4 AuSable in South Branch Town-
RAY’S U.P. HUNTING – Over ship, Roscommon, MI $10,500.
(7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) 25 years experience guiding for 517-403-1294. RE-6-2
deer and bear. Baited stands in

(13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) Amasa, Baraga, and Bergland
Units. Lodging Available. Call Ray BAIT PRIME HUNTING LAND. 150
(19) (20) $30.00 $30.25 $30.50 $30.75
at 906-265-9420 or cell 906-284- Acres. Deer, turkeys, small game.
2216. Licensed and Insured. H-1- BAIT & FEED: Sweet Cherries Located in Mason County. QDM
$31.00 $31.25 $31.50 $31.75 $32.00 $32.25
12/19 with syrup in barrels. Cherry Syrup practiced. Very nice, must be seen.
.............................................. in barrels or 250 gal. tote. Cherries $2000/acre. Call 231-510-1492.
$32.50 $32.75 $33.00 $33.25 $33.50 $33.75
ELK & DEER GUIDED in syrup blended with wheat midds, RE-6-1
$34.00 $34.25 $34.50 $34.75 $35.00 $35.25 HUNTS 100% success, Northeast a moist feed or bait. Also a limited ..............................................
MI no license needed. Plus, great amount of dry ground cereal with
$35.50 $35.75 $36.00

Enclosed is $                                               for
$36.25 $36.50 $36.75 fishing for bass and bluegills, cabin
with boat and motor. Text or call
granola bars. Call or Text for more
info. 616-862-0122. More Classifieds
Next Page
989-493-2909. H-9-12/18 BT-6-1
BOX MY CLASSIFIED - $5 Extra .............................................. ..............................................
words to run                     months.


Woods-N-Water News
Classified Section  E
67 ACRES Prime Hunting land
PAGES 83 - 93
for sale in Mecosta County 178,000. ED PARCEL IN GOOD FOREST with a not so rustic
Roughly, 30 acres open rolling fields DEER COUNTRY with all oil, cabin located in the middle of thou-
remaining acres encompass woods, gas, and mineral rights included. sands of acres of state land.
pond, river, creek and marsh. Email $75,000. Call for more details. Call Hundreds of miles of orv, snowmo- or call 989- Koske Realty Co. 989-732-1012 bile, and 4wd trails right out the front
423-7874. Please leave message if Gaylord, MI RE-6-1 door. This is a Sportmans paradise.
no answer. RE-6-1 .............................................. Call 989-802-2095. RE-5-2
.............................................. 10 ACRES WOODED PAR- ..............................................
CEL with hardwood trees and lake

WOODED ACRES secluded access. Also has a driveway. Good
estate property in SWMI Wine deer country. Ideal for camping or DOGS
Country. Includes rolling hills, wet your new home. $26,500. Land
lands, ravines, hardwoods, and Contract terms. Call Koske Realty BIRD DOG TRAINING BY

wildlife. Build your own estate or Co. 989-732-1012 Gaylord, MI THE BEST! David Grubb is the
have your own hunting preserve. RE-6-1 only trainer in history to win a na-
Glendora Road, Buchanan, MI .............................................. tional championship bird dog in five
$509,000 Contact Dennis Bamber 160 WOODED ACRES WITH different game birds. David has won
almost 100 open championships
Cressy & Everett Real Estate 269-
273-8431. RE-6-1
IOSCO COUNTY NEAR and was elected to the National Bird
Dog Hall of Fame. He has retired
EAST TAWAS. Cabin has fur-
nace and wood stove with well from bird dog field trials and now
water, cell phone and internet ser- will only train gun dogs for the foot

HUNTING CAMP WITH hunter. With all this experience, let
40 ACRES AND POND vice available. Prime hunting, 2
ponds with Kunzy Creek running him train your dog/pup today! Labs
- Three insulated blinds, three welcome. David Grubb 248-860-
bedrooms, one bath and sun- through the back of the property.
Lots of deer and other wildlife 1009. D-6-2
room. Hermansville, MI. Asking 
$70,000. Call 231-525-8269. including partridge, coyote, bobcat, ..............................................
RE-6-1 coon and more. Also listed on Zillow P.O. Box 278 • 594 N. Almont Ave. • Imlay City, MI 48444
GOLDEN RETRIEVER Phone: (810) 724-0254 • Fax: (810) 724-8552
with many photos. Asking $289,000.
989-225-0362. Check out our website:
ily raised, easily trained, great
LOG RE-6-3
with children. 1st shots, vet
checked, and started on crate
training. $1,000. Call or text
Sitting on 43 private gated acres. U.P. hunting land with many nice
810-956-3971 or 810-488-
Property includes stocked pond and cabin sites. Deer, bear, grouse and
3967. D-6-1
shooting range. 10459 M 60, Three more. Excellent snowmobiling and
Rivers, MI 49093 $889,000. Contact ATV area. Property has good sea-
Dennis Bamber Cressy and Everett sonal access and borders State
Real Estate 269-273-8431 RE-6-1 Land $27,000 231-689-2067
.............................................. RE-6-2
LAKEFRONT WITH A ..............................................
smart and sweet. Basic training Beautiful log sided home with an open floor plan, Nearly 3000 sf of living space, 3 bedrooms, 3
started. $1500. Call or text 810- lots of windows, an unfinished walk-out basement baths, finished walk out basement w/family
GARAGE WITH ELECTRIC SALE One in the U.P. with Great
956-4268. D-6-1 and a new roof. 40x48 pole barn with 12’ OH door, room & 2nd kitchen, wrap around deck,
DOOR OPENER. Driveway Lake frontage $485K. One in North electric & concrete floor. Close to lakes, snow 3-1/2 car garage w/heated workshop, 1 car
and gate on 2.69 acres. Ideal place Central Michigan $700K. Briggs trails and State land. Just listed at $159,888 MLS storage garage, RV station w all hook-ups.
for camping. $37,900. Call Koske Realty GERMAN SHORTHAIR #318477 (Hawks/Millersburg area) Excellent hunting! $329,500 #313950
Realty Co. 989-732-1012 Gaylord, 616-942-1071. POINTER PUPS: Males
MI RE-6-1 RE-6-1 and females available. Excel- 518’ LAKE NET-
.............................................. .............................................. lent hunting dogs and superb TIE. Affordable up
BIG BUCK COUNTRY! 60-90 north get-away on
10 ACRES BEAUTIFULLY family pets. Close working dogs
WOODED with 1885 acres of minutes from Metro Detroit. 23.77ac a quiet all sports
with strong point and retrieve lake. 3 bedrooms,
state land across the road. surrounded by farmed land near Mt. instincts. Reasonably priced for 2 bath home with
Excellent deer country. Ideal place Morris, MI, wooded. has turkeys, the sporting family. Money back a full-length deck
for camping. $23,900. Land small game. 60 foot Bray Rd ease- guarantee. Eulenhof Kennels, overlooking the lake, 149 SECLUDED ACRES! Trail roads, 11
Contract terms. Call Koske Realty ment. Camp on the easement and Gladwin, MI. a breezeway, tiered established blinds, small clearings for food plots,
Co. 989-732-1012 Gaylord, MI hunt the land. Call 248-891-2024. landscaping and boat dock. Great fishing, swimming trail roads and a creek. Nicely wooded with a mix
and year-round sporting activities. Snow trails & of evergreens & hardwood, mostly high ground.
RE-6-1 RE-5-3 989-426-4884 D-6-2
.............................................. .............................................. state land close by. Motivated seller wants an offer! Abundant game. Close to Hammond Bay
$119,000 #308591 (Millersburg area) Harbor. $159,000 #313641 (Millersburg area)

Your Woods-N-Water News is

“Just a Click Away!”

• Subscriptions 50’ ON RAINY LAKE. Affordable waterfront home 13 ACRES W/PRIVATE LAKE & 380’ ON
with 3 bedrooms, 1½ baths, sunroom and deck, THE OCQUEOC RIVER. Beautiful rolling
• Email the Editor a new wood stove and attached garage. Deep parcel in a secluded setting. There’s a
spring fed all sports lake with sandy frontage. small cabin roughed in, a hunting blind
• Classifieds - Buy, Sell, Trade Great fishing! Snowmobile trails and 1,000’s of overlooking the lake with its own deck,
acres of State land are just a mile away. Asking a well and electric hook ups for your
• Send Photos or Story Tips only $103,750 #318658 (Millersburg area) camper. Land contract available. $99,900
• Advertising Information RE/MAX NORTH
Carol Steiger, Associate Broker (231) 627-9991 Office
(989) 351-0110 Cell
It’s Easy . . . email:
846 S. Main, Cheboygan, MI


Real Estate and Living Estate Auction 121 Acres
11497 S. Woodruff Road in Blanchard, MI
40 acres of Hunting Bliss. Ranch home Near Marlette
with a full walk out basement, 3 bedrooms, in Sanilac County
2 full baths, gourmet kitchen. All season
Sun room with separate entrance. Attached
$302,500 or
3 car garage plus a 32’ X 48’ Pole Barn (can
$2,500 an acre
fit 2 semi trucks) 14 ft doors. Deer, rabbit Will consider all offers.
& turkey are bountiful. There also is a small
pond and swamp area on the property.
Hunters Paradise is at 2152 Five Lakes Rd,
Metamora, MI 48455 $459,900

Over 3,000 sq ft gorgeous home with 3 bedrooms, bonus

room, walk-out basement, 4 bathrooms, large kitchen,
State Wide Real Estate of Mio
2 large pole buildings, 2-car detached garage, 2-car BEAUTIFUL WATERFRONT
attached garage, in-ground swimming pool, 375 sq ft cabin HOME - Mio, 96 ft of great
frontage on Mack Lake, large
on its own pond on 80 acres with a river that winds through.
lawn, 3 bd, 2 ba, fireplace, newer
OR CALL MIKE 989-835-1581 off the kitchen, kitchen island,
master suite, central air, generator
Furlo Auction Service LLC is one of backup, detached garage, steel
Michigan’s Premier Real Estate Auctions roof, well cared for waterfront
home. $149,900 D-391

Tom Galbraith • 989-826-3292

(2) Parcels on a Peninsula Surrounded by the Croton Dam Pond C oventry R ealty LLC
Starting Bids: Parcel A: 9.8+/- acres of vacant land CAROLE PORRETTA, GRI, BROKER-OWNER
810.678.2288 Office / 231.818.2157 Cell
$7,500 Each Parcel B: 14.96+/- acres of vacant land
Parcel A, Lake Shore Dr.
Newaygo, MI 49337
Parcel B, Marclay St.
Newaygo, MI 49337
Springing New Listings Your Way!
3723 THORNVILLE - $885,000 6340 WOLF - $2,995,000
3BD Home on Muskegon River with Indoor Pool
Starting Bid: Featuring a nearly 3,500 sq. ft., 3BD, 2BA W
$50,000 home with an indoor pool. Offers 130’ of
Muskegon River frontage on a 1.5 acre
parcel that also includes a 30’ x 24’ con-
crete floor pole building.
3471 Riverview Dr., Hersey, MI 49639
• 29 Private Acres in Metamora Hunt Country! • 160 Beautiful Acres and a hunter’s paradise!
(3) Vacant Wooded Lots in Private Development at Gillan Lake • Custom 3600 sq ft w/2000 sq ft outbuilding • 10,000 sq ft Barnum custom finished log home
Parcel A: These wooded, lakefront parcels are • 4 beds/4 bath, study, Mstr w/access to laundry • 5 Beds, 5 baths, 1st flr Master, Fully Fin walkout
5.5+/- acres of vacant land the remaining single family building • Fam rm w/coffered clgs, 2-way fireplace to… • Connects to log garage, 20 collectibles or storage
sites in the 12 site development & • Hearth rm Kitchen w/SS appl, granite, pantry • Huge children’s rec room/ home theater, elevator
Parcel B:
includes 165’ of lake frontage on • 2500 sqft LL walk/out, Gym w/rubber matts • Sep 11,000 sq ft Retreat residence for 24 hunters
2.5+/- acres of vacant land • Billiards, Theatre, Rec, Bedrm, Bath, storage • Dog kennels, Equip storage, RV/trailer hookup
Parcel C: Gillan Lake.
Lots located on: • Geothermal, Generator, Woods, Pond w/ Bass • 2 ponds, cedar nursery, heated elevated blinds
1.95+/- acres of vacant land • Estate opportunity for horse farm or hunting! • True pheasant preserve w/turkey & trophy deer!
S. 128th Ave., Rothbury, MI 49452
LAKE GEORGE RD VL - $1,150,000 BOWERS RD VL - $329,900
Starting Bids: • 40+ Acres in Metamora Hunt Country! • 71+ acres, paved rd, nat’l gas, rolling
$7,500 Each • Rolling hills, pastures, hay fields & pond! • E of Lapeer, close to schools & shopping
• Heavy woods, trails, riding or hunting! • Rent or farm for $3000+ yearly income
• Land Contract terms, More land available • Great Solar Field opportunity in place
• Electric; Property split from larger estate • Develop a subdivision or private estate
Online Real Estate Auction
LEVALLEY RD VL - $194,000 BALDWIN RD VL - $360,000
Tuesday, June 4 • Bid from 8am-7pm • 60 acres total! Beautiful wooded parcel • 48 acres! Woods and Centennial trees!
For more info and to bid, visit • 58 acre nature preserve w/10 acre lake! • Ponds and pastures! All split rights • 2 acre building site on Levalley adjoins • Paved road, nat’l gas,1900 ft frontage
or call 1-800-527-8243 • Private, fruit trees, serene trails, wildlife • For an estate, development or hunting
• Perfect for photographers/nature lovers! • Add’l 6+/- acres avail for $67,900


52+ Acres, Benzie County,

Arenac County, Au Gres, 773.42 Acres, Near Interlochen and Traverse City,
Arenac Co, 167+/- Acres, 3,500+/- ft Whitetail Paradise, Road/Trail System, Great Road Frontage, Beautiful Calhoun County, 67+/- Acres Calhoun County, 80 Acres, Big Buck Gladwin, 142 Acres,
Lake Huron, 6 Bedroom Lodge, Guest Large Pond, 10 Gun Shacks, Build Spots, Great Hunting, 300 ft. All Sports Prairie Lake, County, Lots of Deer Sign, Fully Furnished Deer Ranch.
Cabin, Great Duck & Deer Hunting. Awesome Deer Hunting Property. National Forest Adjoins Property! Tillable Acreage Oak Ridges, Rolling Hills. The Rack Ranch
$550,000 $1,850/Acre $99,000 $275,000 $249,900 $835,000

Jackson County, 432 Acres,

Isabella County, 80+/- Acres, Duck Excellent Duck, Deer & Turkey Hunting. Jackson County, 105+/- Acres, WRP Jackson County, 76 Acres, Lapeer, 102 Acres, This property offers 40+/- Acres Mecosta, Fenced
And Deer Hunter’s Paradise, Over Area Of Other Large Property Owners. Program, Mature Hardwoods, Great 50+ Acres of Tillable, Great Crop room for multiple building sites and is In Pastureland And Pond. Perfect For
A Mile Of Pony River Frontage. “Man Cave” w/Game Cleaning Station. Deer, Turkey & Waterfowl Hunting Yields, Beautiful Build Spots. just 3 Miles from the city of Lapeer. Equestrians And Cattle Owners!
$160,000 $875,000 $199,000 $272,000 $340,000 $97,900

6+ Acres, Mis-
saukee County,
Secluded 34’X16’
Pole Barn - Deer
Camp! This Is A
Must See With
An Incredible
Track Record Missauke County, 320+/- Acres, 3
Of Harvesting Bedroom, 3 Bath, Large Brick Home,
48’x80’ Pole Barn With Living Quarters, 38 Acres, Newaygo County, 80 Acres, Newaygo County,
Midland County, 80 Acres Mature Newaygo County 4+/- Acres White Cloud Cabin/Home, Five Food Plots, Mature Timber Value,
Whitetails! Tillable, Timber, Swamp, And Loaded
12 Miles To Mount Pleasant, With Deer Sign! This Property Truly Muskegon Riverfront, New Cabin, Mile Creek Frontage, Deer, Loaded With Deer And Turkey,
Excellent Hunting Price Right!! Beautiful Landscaping, Secluded Woods. Bear, Turkey, And Seclusion! Economically Price!
Has It All And Is A Must See!
$176,000 $55,000 $1,100,000 $220,000 $165,000 $160,000


Oceana County, 40 +/- Acres, Oceana County, 67 Acres, Great Deer Oceana County, 149 +/- Acres, 1 Mile Osceola County, Evart, 278 Acres,
Newaygo County, 125 Acres, Three 30 Acres Tillable, 20 Acres Planted In And Turkey Hunting, Tillable, Away From Lake Michigan, Multiple Osceola County, 120 Acres, Trail Major Deer Sign, Multiple Food Plots,
Spring Fed Lakes, Excellent Deer, Jersey Supreme Asparagus, Thick Forest Floor, Food Plots, Pond, Building Sites, 40 Acres Wooded, Great System, Near Reed City, Tons Of Rolling Terrain,. Thick Bedding Cover,
Turkey And Waterfowl Hunting Great Deer And Turkey Sign! Hunting Shack And Pole Barn. Deer And Turkey Habitat! Deer And Turkey Sign, Food Plot Areas Near State Land, Great Deer History.
$325,000 $194,500 $159,000 $349,900 $255,000 $517,000

Presque Isle County, 1,500 Acres, Roscommon County, 480+/- Acres, Van Buren County 50 +/- Acres, Van Buren County, 80 Acres - Apple Van Buren County 89.6+/- Acres,
High Fence Deer Ranch, 50,000+ Sq. High Fence Deer Ranch, First Class Rolling Terrain, Creeks, Ponds, Van Buren County, 63 Acres - Tree Farm - Apple Trees Consist Of Producing Blueberry Farm, Duplex
Ft. Lodge, Rolling Hills, Caretakers Lodge And House, 120’X60’ Pole Food Plot Areas, And Loaded With Beautiful Farm House - 2 Large Pole Honey Crisp, Gala, Supra, And Currently Being Rented As Well. Great
House, And Pole Barn. Barn, Quality Deer Herd. Deer Signs. Great Build Spot! Barns - Blueberry Farm - Must See! Rubyjon. Beautiful Building Spot. Income Producing Property!
$6,400,000 $2,900,000 $199,000 $350,000 $399,000 $375,000


BLAKE VER WOERT: 616-308-3122
JAKE DYKSTRA: 616-916-8354
CURT BRYAN: 616-745-2759
Atlanta, Michigan 599-18-0056 - 2 bedrooms; 1 bath; log home; 1428 sq ft. Come home
to your own piece of heaven in the north woods of Northeastern Michigan. This spectacular 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home on 20 acres. Full finished walkout basement.
white cedar full log cabin/home is nestled amongst a mixture of towering, evergreen pine and Detached 3 car garage. Set back from road. $200,000 #318682
hardwoods with your very own beautiful 323’ frontage of the Thunder Bay River, designated as a
blue-ribbon trout stream, running by the front yard. The cabin/home looks and feels very secluded Affordable 1 bedroom home in Rogers City with 26 x 32 pole barn. Ideal
yet town is just a short walk away. You can grab a kayak from the kayak holder and launch right
from the front yard. After a pleasant one hour river float you can get out at the township park. You can connect with ATV/snowmobile trail
up north retreat. Close to trails, marina and beach. $49,000 #318333
#4 and #9 right from the cabin/home at the end of the gravel driveway, and ATV’s can be driven on the edge of Montmorency County roads Log home with 3 bedrooms, 2 bath, attached garage on 3 lots. Near Lk
with proper DNR trail permits. A 24 x 30’ garage with a large 9’ tall automatic garage door will hold two vehicles and still has plenty of
room to keep your toys safe. The garage also has great storage on the built in heavy duty shelves. A separate bunk house is attractively set Huron, bike path and marina. $210,000 #318665
up for two guests to help you and your family enjoy this sports paradise. A screen room, located next to the woods, gives you additional Affordable 2 bedroom home on double lot. Room to build a pole barn.
outdoor space to relax and enjoy watching the birds and animals without them noticing you are there. And then there is that great cabin
front porch...where you can sit and rock, or enjoy the porch swing, while watching the ducks, Louie the loon, and other wildlife at the river. Located in Rogers City and close to marina, shopping and restaurants.
If that’s not close enough for you, take a cup of coffee to the dock and enjoy sitting at the river’s edge for a closer look at that eagle flying $31,800 #318020
by. You can even catch smallmouth bass right off the dock. Or lay back on the hammocks next to the dock and watch the birds fly over you
in the sky. Try not to fall asleep if you can, or go ahead and fall asleep if you want to. Pull some wood off the firewood shelter and start a Farm house on 3 acres with a small orchard, outbuildings. The home is 3
campfire in the fire pit. You can sit comfortably around the fire in heavy Adirondack chairs and plan your next adventure while munching bedroom, full bath and eat in kitchen. $65,500 #317916
on s’mores. Don’t worry if the power goes out, (it rarely does), because there is a whole house, bunkhouse and garage generator that
automatically turns on if the power goes out and automatically turns off when power is restored. You don’t even have to lift a finger! All
this and we haven’t even talked about the inside of this stunning custom built “up north” cabin/home which comes completely furnished! STATE WIDE REAL Check out our web site for
additional properties of all types.
Come see it for yourself. Schedule an appointment to see this beautiful piece of heaven today because it won’t last long... $278,900

Atlanta, Michigan 599-

18-0051 - 4 bedrooms;
Millersburg, Michigan 599-
18-0022 - 2 bedrooms; 1 bath; 1 153±
Hillman, Michigan 599-16-0014 - 3 bedrooms; 1 bath; 1 story; 1355 sq ft. What a great cabin
3 baths; 1 story; 2112

1/2 story; 1300 sq ft. New pictures coming for this move in looking over the Rainy River with
sq ft. Beautiful! Peace

ready home on the water. Looking for your Up North home/ a short trip onto Rainy Lake. Enjoy
and quite. 40 acres of Pease Rd South & Wildt Hwy

cottage then look no further than this nicely maintained up a fire in the gas fire place while
hardwoods. Close to

north home with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath on beautiful Ess
pigeon river state forest.
looking at the beautiful tongue and BELLEVUE, MI
Lake in Hillman Mi. The home shows pride of ownership and groove pine walls. Plenty of room
is very comfortable for year round living or vacation living. 1/2 way between Atlanta in the yard for a volley ball court
and Lewiston. If you want and horse shoe pits. close to trail
Even on those rainy days you can enjoy the view in the three
season porch. You really need to see this to appreciate it. Call it all... this is probably it. systems for snowmobiles and ATVs.
for your appointment to view before its gone... $219,900 $259,900 $84,900 Walkover Inspections Welcomed
Property Class: Ag-Vacant, 102
12631 State St. Zoning Code: LA

PO Box 663 OUT


Atlanta, MI 49709
989-785-2600 Office • 989-657-4904 Mobile Wildt Hwy
(517) 676-9800


Southern Michigan June
Brandon Cropsey 269.816.3010

1/8 page = $300

x’s 1 run(s) = $300

David Cergnul 989.324.9443

Michigan Land & Lakes

Southeast Michigan America’s Land Specialist
Jim Lochrie 248.840.5668

(office) 269.357.7036 • MOSSYOAKPROPERTIES.COM


Branch County 43.41 +/- acres Tuscola County

List Price $164,900 - Saginaw Bay Duck Lodge
An excellent 43+/- acre hunting and Cass County List Price $890,000 - Top
recreational parcel of ground with 67.6 +/- acres quality 2880 square foot home Berrien County
food plot, creek, some tillable with a List Price $258,400 - An sitting on Fish Point in the 160 acres Ontonagon County
potential building site, and timber. exceptional mixed use 67.6+/- Saginaw Bay with water around 3 List Price $1,699,000 - 80 +/- acres
Property is enrolled in the Qualified parcel of ground in Cass County, sides of the lot, spectacular views, 1/2+ mile of St. Joseph River List Price $119,000 -
Forest Program which offers reduced Michigan with EXCELLENT a 2 story duck blind, and 35’ Frontage, 85+/- tillable acres, Wooded acreage in the
property taxes to the owner. Comes Hunting, potential building 1938 Defoe Tugboat to move the nice rolling woods with Western Upper Peninsula
with a camper, and camp site for sites, and tillable ground blind to your preferred Waterfowl timber, and a ranch home with beautiful turn key
your weekend getaways. generating farm rent yearly hunting location on the Bay. with 3 outbuildings D-style log cabin
Offices Serving Lower & For Sale
Upper Michigan $239,000
Bringing people and places together since 1945 Cheboygan MI.
8291 E. 4 1/2 Mile Road
VISIT OUR WEBSITE TODAY! Motel & 3 bedroom house Luther, Michigan on 3 acres 19 acres. 2 br, 1 bath. All appliances stay.
Call for more information! Custom quality built year round home.
$169,900 MLS #18040935


• Houghton
Bellabay Realty Lakeshore
Marquette 231.571.9004 (office)


Curtis • Sandy Sirianni
Crystal Falls • Manistique • Motel 3-4 rooms with efficiency 231.343.7259 (cell)
• kitchens and bathrooms,
• Gladstone
Escanaba • Onaway community laundry room
• Powers • • Hawks
Menominee •
• •
• Atlanta
Alpena 300 Acre
Mio • • Harrisville
Custom 3 bedroom home
Home with 3 bedrooms many Located between Charlevoix
This great little slice of heaven is an income
producing opportunity located across from Black and Traverse City.
• Almont Lake access. This is zoned commercial and
Linden •
residential and is on two lots with over 1000 acres
10 foot x 3 mile fence.
Howell • Mostly wooded, mostly maple.
state land behind it.! PERFECT FOR HUNTING!
Trout pond, includes
shooting ranges.
Contact Your Nearest State Wide Real
Estate Office To Buy or Sell In Michigan 231-330-9210
1100 W. Chisholm, 49707 430 S. US-23, 48740 1460 Marinette Ave., 54143
email: email: email:
989-356-2142 • Fax: 989-356-2144 989-724-5711 • 800-655-5735 715-735-9964 • Fax: 715-732-1107
Fax: 989-724-6833

844 Van Dyke Road HAWKS 856 W. Washington, 49855 8383 Hwy. 451, 49743 email:
810-798-8591 • Fax: 810-798-8079 email: 906-228-9312 • Fax: 906-228-8069


225 Superior Ave HILLMAN 3631 10th Street, 49858
Crystal Falls, MI 49920 14938 State Street, P.O. Box 98, 49746 email:
PH: 906-874-3500 email: 906-863-9905
PH: 906-396-3002 989-742-4523 • 800-228-7856
email: Fax: 989-742-3931 Fax: 906-863-7935

CURTIS/NEWBERRY HOUGHTON 102 West 8th St., P.O. Box 395, 48647
Main Street, P.O. Box 305, 49820 500 Shelden Ave., 49931 email:
email: email: 989-826-3292
906-482-6955 • 800-676-6323 Fax: 989-826-2108
906-586-9606 • Fax: 906-586-9607 Fax: 906-482-7699

2209 Ludington Street, 49829 1285 S. Michigan Ave., Howell, MI 48843 P.O. Box 478, 49765
email: email: email:
906-786-1308 • 800-900-0777 517-546-9060 • 800-531-4449 989-733-6522
Fax: 906-786-1388 Fax: 517-546-9148 Fax: 989-733-2427


1401 Delta Ave., 10 N. State Highway M-149 W3776 US2 & 41, 49874
Gladstone, MI 49837 Cooks, MI 49817 906-497-4190
906-825-9000 906-644-2304 Fax: 906-497-5328
email: email:


250 DEER
ACRES Always Working Hard for You!

Amazing Applegate Hunting Preserve! 1/2 Million+ 810.449.1286 Drummond Island - Cabin
Dollars Worth Deer/Elk Inventory Included in Sale. - OR -
Ranch Home & Lodge - Several Outbuildings Office: & Cottage on Lake Huron
*DV 810.653.4500
$1,250,000 *DV $949,000



10,000 SQ FT
TUSCOLA COUNTY 1700 Sqft 2 Story Home Amazing Ranch Home & Guest House,
Commercial Building Landscape Business 24x 48 Pole Barn, Edwards TWP Private Lake
*DV $299,500 $129,500 *DV $289,000 *DV $1,650,000

S O $3,950,000
LAPEER COUNTY 5-8 ACRES New Built 2018, 3000 SqFt Building, Excavating
2019 Custom Built Home Great Building & Landscape, 36 Bins, Located on 5 Acres
*DV $399,000 $69,900 - $89,900 *DV $485,000



Beautiful Setting
34 ACRES 60-80 DEER Chalet Home
Beautifully renovated historic Victorian Bed Barn with
Woodland Deer Ranch in Davison, 6-car garage,
and Breakfast with horse facilities. pond, 5 blinds, 3 lg feeders, Lg polebarn, 4BD, 3BA 6 Horse Stalls.
*DV $1,490,000 *DV REDUCED $835,000 *DV
72 ACRES $595,000


6 ACRES Beautiful Brand New
Over 4,800 sq ft of Living Space Commercial Properties 2000 sq ft Ranch 55 acres + 38 Bonus Hunting acres,
Amazing Setting on Private Lake $85,000 to Home Gorgeous Home plus Hunting cabin
*DV $425,000 *DV $595,000 *DV $299,000 *DV $459,000




Gorgeous Ranch Home, Township, Great Building Deer Hunters Dream Property 80% Wooded. Well 1,800 SQFT Cabin, Completely Solar
Pole Barn, Pond Site/Hunting Property 700 acres of state land known for big bucks powered, 90% Wooded
*DV $399,000 *DV $75,000 $119,000 *DV $179,900 *DV $349,000


Luce County
Schoolcraft Columbus
County GRATIOT COUNTY Township
Seney Great Hunting
Township Over a 1/2 mile on Pine River Property
Deer Hunters & Nature Lovers Dream Property 24x20 Cabin
$595,000 *DV $795,000
*DV $219,000 *DV

OR CALL 810-449-1286


hardwood bush uncut with creek flowing into lake huron. VIEW ESTATE LOTS LOCATED IN THESSALON,
Shoreline is over a half mile facing south with a 2-bed- ONTARIO 50 MILES EAST OF SAULT STE. MARIE,
room cabin with a well, solar generator power and sev- ONTARIO ON HIGHWAY 17 EAST: Lighthouse Point
eral outbuildings. ASKING $279,900 US. serviced with hydro, telephone, sewer, water, gas, cable
on paved street. Airport, marina and hospital in area.
1,350 ACRES: Prime hunting property - 50 min. East of No time limit for building. Waterfront lots 100’– 478’ front-
International Bridge. Hunt camp, hardwood 900,000 age, waterview lots 80’ frontage. Prices from $10,000
board feet, and also some softwood. Timber info avail- US and up.
able on request. Miles of trails thru-out. Beaver ponds
and streams. Small amount of open area. $749,900 US. 160 ACRES HARDWOOD & SOFTWOOD: Large bea-
ver pond. Only 2 miles off year-round maintained road.
MACDONALD PROPERTY: 759 acres with hunting 35 minutes East of Sault, Ontario. $54,900 US.
camp, 25 miles east of Sault St. Marie Ontario, property
is gated, isolated and wooded, with an insulated 4 bed- 400 ACRES OF ROLLING HARD-AND SOFTWOOD
room, 2-story cabin. Generator wired. 20-acre lake and 2 HILLS: Large beaver pond and creek runs thru property,
streams. Great Bear Hunting! Two Deer plots! Five next to above property if more acreage is required.
deeds, no guide required, underpriced at $249,900 US. Property is great for bear hunting, white tail and grouse.
WOW ONLY $329 PER ACRE. Terms available, excel- Four miles off year-round maintained road. $109,900 US.
lent buy! ONLY $275 PER ACRE.
60 miles east of Sault Ste. Marie. 300’ frontage on Bright BUSH ON HWY 17, 48 MILES EAST OF SAULT,
Lake near Hwy 17 East (lake area approx.. 24 sq. miles), ONTARIO: this is in a great hunting area and close to
year-round access with power to property. Inland lake bruce mines for supplies etc. Power at the property line
has Perch, Bass, Walleye and Northern Pike. Priced to with fields adjacent to this parcel. ASKING $52,900
sell at $109,900 US. O.B.O.


LAJAMBE OFFICE: (705) 248-9663 CELL: (705) 941-8355
FAX: (705) 248-1110

715 Finns Bay Road
Echo Bay, Ontario CAN POS 1C0 *Prices subject to change.

3 Bdrm, 1 bth, lake home. Big Stevens Lk. Well

2 Bdrm cottage. Sturgeon River frontage, kept on 4.84 acres with 278’ frtg. Great hunting/
snowmobile trail access, Hwy 13. Nahma. fishing. Snowmobiling! Gar. Wetmore.
$63,900 1105794 $145,900 1112478

FROM $12,900 TO $325,000. 2 Bdrm 1 Bth Camp 155 Acres, 2 Bdrm, 1 bth, log home. On 1 Bdrm, 1 bth cozy cottage near
Bar, Sheds, Blinds, Food Plots, Cedar River. Large garage. Steven’s Lake. Elec. Generator
Escanaba Orchard. Rapid River. Cedar River. included. Deck. Gar. Wetmore.
2209 Ludington Street $260,000 1111078 $199,000 1112404 $54,500 1113683
(906) 786-1308

W3776 US 2 & 41
(906) 497-4190

1401 Delta Ave.
2 Bdrm, 1 bth camp. Septic 1 Bdrm Camp. 4 Acres. Elec- 1 Bdrm, 1 bth Cabin. Large
(906) 825-9000
and drilled well. 36 acres. tric. Yr round access. Great bdrm with 3.5 acres. Extra
Great hunting. Skandia. location. Cornell. large garage. Rapid River.
$80,000 1112412 $33,000 1112567 $90,000 1107870
1953 S. M-33 3160 North M-65 2575 S. I-75 Business Loop,
West Branch, MI 48661 Hale, MI 48739 West Branch, MI 48661
10 miles north of I-75 exit 202 “Gateway to Huron National Forest” 1 mile north of I-75 Exit 212

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

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


Nice 2-bdrm home w/garage & 120’ on 180 Spacious brick and vinyl 2-bdrm home with 1674 square Gorgeous 3-bdrm w/custom cabinets, mobile Spacious 3-bdrm, attached garage, open 2-bdrm, 2 ba home just down the road from
all sports lake! Wood floors, 2 full bath, floor feet of living space, formal dining, some appliances, family kitchen island, Amish built furnishings, FP, 2 floor plan, AC, master suite, full bsmt, natural boat access & near sandy beach! Wood
to ceiling windows, beautiful views, some fur- room w/its own entrance, huge 72x39 heated 5-car garage covered porches, oversized garage and all NES- gas heat, blacktop drive, porch, generator & floors, nice kitchen w/lots of cupboards, deck,
nishings, AC & much more!! plus 24x32 pole bldg, both wired for electric & much more! TLED ON 20 ACRES w/groomed trails & 4 blinds!! more!! 2 story garage & more!!
$289,900 1856419 $134,900 1848848 $249,900 1855393 $79,000 1856504 $114,900 1849895

Cute 3-bedroom, log home in great rec- Updated 2-bdrm home near many all sports Beautiful, completely remodeled 3-bdrm, 1.5 ba Well-maintained 3-bdrm home & 2-story garage Cozy one bedroom home w/approximate $15K in up-
reational area not far from lakes and State lakes!! Laminate floors, stainless steel ap- home w/detached garage & 75” on all sports Peach on 2 wooded lots. Affordable and located in dates, including remodeled kitchen and bath, newer coun-
lands. Wood stove, garage, screened porch pli, attic that could be dbrm #3, garage & Lake. Tons of updates, appliances, deck, sunroom, great recreational area also not far from lakes ter tops and appliances, newer flooring, newer oak pan-
and mostly furnished!! pole bldg!! gas fireplace, beautiful views & much more!! and also the Ausable River for year round fun!! eling, newer pumps, newer doors, newer vinyl & more!!
$49,900 1850311 $84,000 1856575 $249,900 1858694 $44,500 1838111 $57,500 1858471

Over 2100 square feet & 3-bdrm home on pleasant Large 4-bdrm on 9.8 ACRFES and frontage on 28 acre Spacious 4-bdrm, 2.5 bath Cape Code on 2 ACRES 1200 square foot home w/90’ on canal lead- 3-bedroom home needs some TLC but has
Big Williams Lake! Master suite, large open kitchen/ all sports Mills Lake! Gas stone FP, wood floors, main w/both detached & attached garages, full finished ing to private lake! Open floor plan, newer fireplace, full bath, lots of kitchen cupboards,
dining area, fireplace in living area, on demand wa- floor master, upper bedrooms, 3 season room, beautiful walkout bsmt, master suite, stainless steel appliances, appliances, deck, boat dock, beautiful views laundy area w/washer & dryer, family room,
ter heater, sunroom, deck, fantastic views & more!! views, patio, garage & shed for storage and level to lake!! stone field FP, office, AC, wood floors & much more!! & move-in ready!! 2 garages & beautiful countryside views!!
$92,000 1842289 $109,900 1858273 $249,900 1858287 $59,900 1853977 $60,000 1859610

3-bedroom, 1.7 ba home w/garage located 2-bedroom, 2 bath ranch-style on two lots! Spacious year round 2-bedroom, 1.7 ba Cute 2-bedroom, move-in ready home w/ 2 large bedrooms, open floor plan, some ap-
in fantastic recreational area near all sports Well-maintained, open floor plan, appliances, home on 10 ACRES. Beautiful countryside access to all sports George Lake w/newer pliances, full bath, garage, fenced yard for
lake & state lands! FP, porch, main floor sunroom, wooded back yard, garage & ac- views, pond, 2 garages, carport, pole barn, metal roof, newer well, appliances, deck, your pets, shed with fireplace & screens for
master & more!! cess to all sports private Lake Ogemaw!! fenced yard & much more!! sheds and also near all sports Rifle Lake!! relaxing & near lakes & State lands!!
$72,000 1859595 $59,900 1859169 $109,900 1860082 $59,000 1858789 $58,000 1859683

3-bedroom, 1.5 bath on just over ¾ ACRE, Cozy 2-bedroom cottage w/large living area, Cute 2-bedroom home that has fresh paint Beautiful 3-bdrm home, over an ACRE w/ Cute 2-bedroom home on 5 wooded lots for
183 of beautiful water frontage on Channel some furnishings & appliances, sunroom inside and out, nestled among beautiful hard- frontage on all sports Lake Ogemaw & tons elbow room with a garage for storage. Great
Lake, AC, garage, lakeside shed, sandy with spectacular sunsets, garage, shed, woods and convenient to all sports, popular of superior & spectacular amenities you just place to call your weekend getaway near
beach, deck, covered porch & more!! sandy beach, roll-in dock & more!! 785 acre Sage Lake!! have to see!! many lakes, Rifle River & State lands!!
$149,900 1860098 $154,900 1859766 $39,900 1848932 $429,900 1860120 $43,900 1858769


Partly wooded lot on Fawn Lawn and poten- Two lots with frontage on the beautiful Rifle Over a half acre with frontage on all sports Beautiful property in nice subdivision with Beautiful lot with water frontage on Flowage
tial spot for building your new home. Also not River and potential site for building your Lake Ogemaw and a gentle slope to water. 151+ feet of water frontage on Ogemaw Lake. Potential building site and just minutes
far from all sports lakes, State land and with vacation or dream home. Great location to On paved road, potential bldg site and LC Creek and great site for building your new from town for dining and shopping. Several
access to Rifle River!! enjoy excellent fishing & kayaking!! terms available!! home or weekend getaway!! other sites also available!!
$15,900 1850114 $29,900 1860204 $59,900 1790612 $76,000 1855912 $101,000 1763733


I don’t use the term turnkey very often
but this property is ready to go, just
Woods-N-Water News
show up and hunt! 118 acres over three Michigan’s Premier Outdoor Publication
parcels with diverse timber including soft
& hardwoods & fruit trees that are now
bearing consistent fruit (Apple & Pear).
Located off Hamilton Rd is a 40x32 pole
Get Dad the gift that
will give all year long!
building that has a 27x14 lodge neatly
tucked away inside that sleeps 6 and is
complete with wood stove, kitchen space, dining/card table and bar top. The property has been
meticulously designed to maximize the habitat with food plots and a sanctuary for bedding.
Examples of forage planted include clover, brassicas, corn and a cover mix with millet, sorghum
and native grasses. Take some time to view the pictures and also watch the video on YouTube.

What will you do with 120 acres to
call your own? Hunting, ATV riding,
nature hikes and so much ore are at
your fingertips with this property.
Not to mention a fantastic building
site boasting city water (available
at the road) and a perk site that has
been completed. Need more? How
about having all this and still be only
10 minutes from Midland Mall and Mid Michigan Regional Hospital? This property has not been
timbered and will provide a great return right away if select cut, not to mention helping the  New Subscription  Renewal
                                             (Please attach mailing label)
habitat. If you need more ground to hunt and play on, the Kawkawlin Creek State Wildlife Area  One year $29  Two years $55
and Gladwin Forest Unit are close by, giving you an additional 8000 acres to roam. This property NAME
is calling your name and won’t last long so call today!

Matt Smith CITY                        STATE           ZIP

 Check/Money Order  Visa/Mastercard - Card #                         Exp. Date
Send to: Woods-N-Water News
989-948-3738 989-486-9770 P.O. Box 278 • Imlay City, MI 48444 Or Call (810) 724-0254
Real Estate and Habitat Specialist • Modern Realty • NSCA Personal Trainer/NETA Wellness Coach

Heritage Exclusive Marketing Agents for Northeast

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

1200 Chris Rd 744 N US 23 1176 N Montana Rd

1830 sf, 2 bed, 1.5 bath with 1200 sf, 3 bed, 1 bath with 1520 sf, 3 bed, 1.5 bath with
partial basement and full basement ant attached full basement and attached
attached garage on 2.5+ garage, easy access to Lake garage on just over 4 acres
acres with year round views Huron and Harrisville. Enjoy within walking distance to
of the lake from your large the feeling of being away Jewel Lake. Come see this
deck. This gem is a must from it all while still having move in ready home, ideally
see to fully appreciate. Call easy access to town. located for access to year
today at this price it won’t REDUCED $99,900 round recreational activities.
last long. NEW $80,000 NEW $110,000

4998 Cedar Lake Rd 4215 N US 23 4625 River St

2 acres of beautiful frontage This is your chance to walk 1248 sf, 2 bed 1 bath with
on Cedar Lake would make into a well-established attached garage and soon
ideal building location for Antiques and Furniture store completed new roof. Enjoy
that dream home you have with several detached all the wildlife that visit the
always wanted. Sites this commercial rental units and area daily while still having
large are rare to come 10 residential rental units the convenience of being in
across, especially ones that with good history including town. $89,900
have not been touched. almost 5 acres. Priced to
NEW $110,900 sell at $625,000

1184 Cruzen Rd 840 S Stockton Rd 1535 E Spruce Rd

1050 sf, 3 bed, 1 bath with 1440 sf, 3 bed, 2 bath with 1500 sf, 3 bed, 2 bath with
attached garage and full 61 acres ideal for hunting or attached garage is move in
basement. In need of interior recreating close to trails and ready for you today. Ideal
finishing touches or remodel state land. As a bonus location in town keeps that
to your tastes. Would make includes a standalone guest rural feeling but still only
a great Up North retreat or house ideal for visitors. minutes away from Alpena.
investment opportunity. $198,500 $82,900
NEW $52,000

406 E Fowler Rd 109 E Church St 610 Marilyn Lane

1770 sf, 3 bed, 1.5 bath with 1150 sf, 3 bed, 2 bath with Beautiful 10 acres with rustic
40 acres ideal for the attached garage and to cabin waiting to be finished
upcoming hunting seasons many updates to mention and ready for all those up
or just to enjoy as your new here. This is a must see coming hunting seasons.
getaway. This is one of home that will not last long. Offering superior location for
those hidden gems that Fenced in yard ideal for all seasons of hunting and
doesn’t come along very family or pets. recreational activities year
often. REDUCED $143,700 REDUCED $104,900 round. NEW $39,000

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

Beautiful Rolling Hills 420 Acres With Private
153 Acres Lake in Central Michigan
Just outside of Reed
City, MI. Great land for
hunting and recreational
activities. Income
420 acres with 100 + acre private lake All maintenance equipment included,
possibility through timber with dam for sale in central Michigan mowers, tractor, dozer, crane, etc.
harvesting. Call me to set (great investment opportunity). Great Would make a great church camp,
up a showing! fishing and hunting—Michigan trout hunting resort or lake development.
stream, mature bucks harvested every Frontage on three county roads. Grave,
year. Over two miles of water frontage, sand deposits on property, also oil
standing timber with enough pine to rights. Ann Clark’s Trust. $4,000,000 or
Keller Williams GR North make 30 log homes. Seven miles of best offer. Special terms for non-profit.
3237 Platinum St NE trails, rolling hills, paved roads, has
Grand Rapids, MI 49525-0000 natural gas line on property. Lodge Call Robert Clark at
(brick house) with fireplace. Three 810-629-9376
Katherine L. Bourgois
Pure MI Real Estate
231.250.4251 stoarge buildings and workshop.
Includes all boats with pontoon boat. Email:

3 BD, 1 BA mobile on 10 10 wooded acres with an 10 Acres with Federal land in 2 BD, 1 BA mobile home 10 acres with trails through-
acres. It has been used as older 1 BD, 1 BA trailer, well the back and front... literally with pellet stove tied to the out, mature trees and under-
a deer camp, yet has all the and septic. Access to the miles of federal land all around! ducts and an addition for growth with lots of wildlife.
comforts of home. The mo- beach is right up the road The 1 room ‘’rustic cabin’’ extra storage. The large ga- Comes with mobile home
bile can be lived in all year and federal land is only a needs a little TLC but has end- rage has a work room area that offers sleeping for up to
with great access on a nice 1/4 of a mile away. Nice less possibilities. Beautiful with and more storage. Presently 7 people. Well, septic and
private road. 10x14 shed for area to enjoy everything the a nice mix of trees on a county used as a weekly/weekend electric already in place and
storage and room to roam. great up north has to offer!! maintained road. rental for extra revenue! ready to use.
MLS 18031425 $34,900 MLS 18043192 $39,900 MLS 18050484 $45,000 MLS 19000585 $46,900 MLS 18048689 $50,000

Gorgeous frontage on Almost 4, partially wood- 150 feet of frontage on no 66 ft on Mill Lake! This Vacant lot with 60 feet of
Blood Creek! Just under an ed acres, with 132 feet wake Honeymoon Lake! parcel comes with a 20 ft frontage on no wake Bas-
acre of beautifully wooded of prime Little Manistee The property is nicely camper with an attached ford Lake! Nicely wooded
property with a 3 BD mobile River frontage. Property wooded and perfectly lo- screened in porch. Per- with a perfect spot to build
home. Great place to get is less than 1 mile west cated at the end of the fect spot to get away and your up north cottage!
away and enjoy the peace of Luther. Great place to street for extra peace and enjoy the great up north! Also, there is deeded ac-
and quiet. The mobile is camp or build your dream quiet. Come take a walk Call to schedule your ap- cess to Big Star Lake just
being sold as is. house or cabin. around today! pointment today! down the road!
MLS 18048193 $34,900 MLS 18051595 $25,900 MLS 19012951 $21,900 MLS 18033873 $29,900 MLS 19012518 $35,000
33 rd Annual Woods-N-Water News

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