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JANUARY 2017

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Woods-n-Water News

Michigans Premier Outdoor Publication

Wounded Buck...

ATTACKS HUNTER
Countering Northern Whitetail

KILLER WINTERS
Brian Arny
11-point

Alex
Ferguson
12-point

Icing
Michigan's...

PIKE
TROUT
PANFISH
WALLEYES

Environmental Factors Affecting U.P. Brookies Ice Safety


Side Planer Savvy A CPL and You Shark Attack Bluegills
Trick or Treat Ten Point Trout on Ice Patterning Plugs
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SALES: 810-653-0490
CHAPMAN'S SPORTS CENTER
5605 DAVISON RD
LAPEER, MI

5605 Davison Rd., 4 miles east


of Downtown Davison

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


Saturday 9am-2pm

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SALES: 810-653-0490

CHAPMAN'S SPORTS CENTER


5605 DAVISON RD
LAPEER, MI

5605 Davison Rd., 4 miles east


of Downtown Davison

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


Saturday 9am-2pm

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5605 Davison Rd., 4 miles east
of Downtown Davison

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


Saturday 9am-2pm

www.chapmanssports.com

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

CLOSE-OUTS ON ALL REMAINING 2016 BOATS IN-STOCK

By Tom Campbell...

Cover Bucks

ifteen year-old Alex Ferguson and his dad,


Jason have always hunted together since Alex
was old enough to sit in the stand. The last three
years Alex has been a licensed hunter. This
year dads work schedule didnt allow for any
hunting until November 17. After school they
headed to their double ladder stand in very thick cover
with tall grasses and brush, ground visibility is very limited. With the warm weather, expectations were low but
a small doe wandering at 60 yards kept them alert.
A larger doe joined the small doe and the hunters
kept an eye on them and their respected half of the hunting area. Jason heard loud noises, generally associated
with a squirrel to the southwest, and turned to see a
giant buck running through the grass at 70-75 yards.
Alex moved his bolt action scoped Savage 20 gauge
slowly to get into position. As the buck came in the open
at 70-yards he was facing the hunters. Alex was patient
and the wind was in the hunters favor, and he waited as
the buck slowly walked towards them.
Jason said, I could see Alex breathing very heavily
so I worried about the pending shot. I couldn't breathe
well either, by the way. The buck then stepped left so he
was now quartering towards us a bit. He made a couple
more steps and was standing about 60-65 yards away. I
told Alex to shoot when he thought he had the best shot.
Within seconds, Alex took the shot.
He continued, I looked at Alex. He was shaking
terribly and we both started crying and hugging each
other. I have never seen a buck that big. I was so proud

SEASONS

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Open All Year Pike and walleye season on Lower


Peninsula Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair & St. Clair &
Detroit Rivers
Open All Year Catch-and-immediate-release bass
season on all Michigan waters open to fishing
Now-Dec. 31 Pure Michigan Hunt application
Now-Dec. 15 Muskie season on Lake St. Clair, St.
Clair River and Detroit River. (additional rules and
regulations apply)
Now-March 15 Pike and walleye season on Lower
Peninsula inland waters
Now-March 15 Pike and walleye season on Upper
Peninsula Great Lakes, inland waters & St. Marys
River
Now-Dec. 31 Catch and keep bass season on all
Michigan waters except; Lake St. Clair, and Detroit
and St. Clair Rivers
Now-Dec. 31 Catch-and-keep season for largemouth and smallmouth bass on Lake St. Clair, St.
Clair River and Detroit River.
Now-Jan. 1 Ruffed grouse late season
Now-Jan. 1 Pheasant late season (specific areas)
Now-Mar. 1 Squirrel - Fox and Gray (black phase
included) season statewide
Now-March 31 Cottontail rabbit and snowshoe
hare season statewide
Now-Jan. 1 Archery season statewide
Now-Jan. 31 Raccoon hunting statewide
Now-March 1 Fox hunting season statewide (red
and gray)

Now-Dec. 18 Muzzleloading season Zones 3


Now-Dec. 31 Pure Michigan Hunt application 2016
Dec. 19-Jan. 1 Late firearm antlerless season
Dec. 31-Jan. 1 Waterfowl season South Zone (see
specific regulations)
Jan. 21-Feb. 11 Late goose season South Zone (see
specific regulations)

MJC
ARCHERY

MJC
ARCHERY

MACOMB

OAKLAND

19744 15 Mile Rd
Clinton Twp. 48035

3001 Rochester Rd
Royal Oak, MI 48073

586-791-4600

248-589-2480

Cover Buck: Brian Arny hunting Southwestern Michigan the morning of Nov. 27 from
a treestand overlooking an open cornfield
took this monster 11-pt. buck with a 24 inch
spread green scoring in the 190s!
of my son and the shot he put on the biggest buck we
will probably ever see. We sat in the stand for a few
minutes continuing to cry and hug each other. We then
called some family members to report the news before

Cover Buck:
Alex
Ferguson, 15,
took this giant
buck hunting
Ingham
County with
his Dad on
November 17
2016. A trail
cam photo of
Alexs buck
was from a
fellow hunter
who had his
eyes on Alex's
Buck.
climbing down to tag the giant buck!
The 12 point green scored in the mid-170s!
Please email us your outdoor stories;
wnw@pageone-inc.com

Firearm deer hunting season kicked off with mixed reviews

With an anticipated 500,000 firearm deer hunters afield


in search of white-tailed deer Nov. 15, early reports indicate
varied success across Michigan. Warm weather and fog in
some areas seem to have had an effect on deer movement.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife
biologists across the four wildlife regions have provided
feedback about the start of firearm deer season.
Upper Peninsula (UP)
The UP had nice weather for the beginning of firearm
season; temperatures were in the low 40s in the morning,
warming to the 50s by afternoon.
UP hunters, in general, understand that the deer population is at very low numbers currently, said Ashley
Autenrieth, DNR deer program biologist. After this past
mild winter, they are happy to see some does and fawns.
Many have reported seeing a good number of yearling bucks
(even if just on trail cameras), which is good news.
Deer registered at check stations seem to be in very
good condition. Hunting pressure across the UP seems to be
mixed, with few shots being heard in some areas especially
during the day, while other hunters heard up to 15 shots in
some areas.
After three consecutive tough UP winters, beginning
with the winter of 2012-13, last winters relatively mild conditions were expected to have aided the regions deer population.
There have been some really nice deer checked at our
U.P. DNR deer check stations over the past couple of days,
said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. So
far, the number of deer checked has improved a little bit over
last year, which is in line with an increase in checked deer
we saw during the archery deer season through October.
Northern Lower Peninsula (NLP)
The fog had an impact on the first two days of firearm
season in the NLP. That, coupled with warmer temperatures,
seems to be putting a damper on hunters seeing and harvesting deer in this region.
Overall, Autenrieth said, season numbers are similar
to slightly down across most of the region.
Hunters dont seem deterred though. Biologists report
most hunters are enjoying the nice weather and anticipating
success will improve as the season progresses. The deer
being registered at DNR check stations appear healthy, with

some notably nice bucks being harvested off public land.


Most bucks being harvested are either 2.5 or 3.5 years old.
The DNR reminds hunters in areas in or near DMU 487
to submit the heads of their deer to test for bovine tuberculosis at a DNR check station.
Southwestern Lower Peninsula (SWLP)
Similar to the NLP., the fog has been a hindrance in the
SWLP. Since weather is warm, hunters appear to be choosing to go to processors before bringing their deer in to be
checked, except in the Core CWD Area, where deer check is
mandatory.
Autenrieth said that impressive antler beam measurements have been noted for all age classes of bucks this year.
Corn in this region is about 85 to 90 percent down, which
should help once the weather gets a bit colder.
Dont forget, due to finding chronic wasting disease
(CWD), there is mandatory deer registration in the Core
CWD Area, which includes 17 townships in the southern
Lower Peninsula.
Learn more about chronic wasting disease and how you
can help by visiting mi.gov/cwd.
Southeastern Lower Peninsula
Deer check numbers are slightly down from last year,
but this seems to be due to warmer temperatures and much
of the corn in the area still being up, said Autenrieth. Even
so, hunters are in good spirits and have been very receptive
to the CWD regulations near them and seem happy to help in
the hopes of combating the disease.
Russ Mason, DNR wildlife chief, visited area check stations in the southeast and central portion of the Lower
Peninsula for the first couple days of deer check.
I always enjoy getting out and talking with hunters at
this important time of the year, said Mason. I have seen a
lot of good deer come through. Check stations seem to be
picking up; there was definitely an uptick in deer being
checked during archery season in many places.
I like to hear what we do well, and where there are
opportunities for improvement, and yes, Im hearing some
great new ideas on how we can improve.
Through Wednesday, Nov. 16, just over 1.2 million
deer hunting licenses were purchased from nearly
560,000 deer hunters in Michigan since March, including
107,654 sold Monday, just prior to Tuesdays opener.

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

HUNTING

Wounded deer
attacks hunter

Millard Holton page 16

Raccoon hunting

Boat Smart...
Boating Safety
Reviews

Jeff Pendergraff page 88

Capt. Fred Davis page 65

FISHING

Michigan Meanders:
Seasonal Memories

ICE SAFETY

Trick or Treat
10-POINT

John Eberhart page 20

Giving an old
gun new life

Darryl Quidort page 34

Pure Michigan
Hunt
provides
big thrills
MDNR page 36

Tom Huggler page 68

Mark Martin page 18

Shark Attack
bluegills

Kenny Darwin page 22

Countering the ravages of northern whitetail

Killer Winters

Putting a
pattern to plugs

Mark Romanack page 28

Icing Michigan's
pike and walleyes
Down and out
WALLEYES

Gary Parsons/Keith Kavajecz


page 42

Side planer savvy

TROUT ON ICE

George Rowe page 70

Stay Put...
Anchors and kayaks
Dave Mull page 74

FEATURE
Marquette's
ALBINO DEER

Richard P. Smith page 8

Mark Romanack page 44


Outdoor Safety
and First Aid

Randy Jorgensen...page 24

Michigan's Arkansas
connection
David A. Rose page 46

What's all the


hub, bub?

Mark Sak page 55

Pym Island Lodge

Brothers bag
BIG BUCKS

George Rowe page 38

Thumb Area
GODZILLA

Tom Lounsbury page 40

Guest Column...
My successful
Michigan elk hunt

Michigan
Winter
HOTSPOTS

JANUARY 2017

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Trophy Bucks:
Brian Arny
Alex Ferguson
Bluegill:
By Kenny Darwin

ater News

Wounded Buck...

ATTACKS HUNTER
Countering Northern Whitetail

Dear Fish Diary...


The outdoors
is our last bit
of reality!

Ron St. Germain page 60

Forest Legacy
Program looks
to the future

Richard P. Smith page 76

page 79

MDNR page 86

Environmental
factors affecting
U.P. BROOK TROUT

KID BITS...
Young women's
words of
wisdom
from a deer blind

I don't agree
with the DNR's
bear numbers

A CPL and you:


All of the answers...
except one
Tom Carney page 77

GUNS/AMMO
Black Powder Hunting...

Bill Ziegler page 53

Patrick Bevier page 48

A simple ramble
through the glade

Made in Michigan
fishing lure wish list

Young bear
hunter learns
lesson

Gun Chat...
The Deerslayer

OUTDOOR NEWS
CWD UPDATE
page 10

KILLER WINTERS
Brian Arny
11-point

OPINIONS

DNR's Habitat
Improvement
Account

Jonathan Schechter page 30

$4.00

Michigans Premier Outdoor Publication

Roger Beukema page 61

PERSPECTIVE

Terry McBurney page 84

Mike Gnatkowski page 66

Tournament
angler has
hunting accident

Smoky danger
winter campfires!

John Bergsma page 56

page 59

COVER PHOTO

Jerry Lambert page 82

By John Ozoga...page 12

Robert Dock Stupp page 32

Have you
seen this
bird?

"Involved in my life"

Betty Sodders page 58

Dennis Neely page 62

Lee Arten page 64

DEPARTMENTS . . .
Trophy Page. . . 72-73 Classifieds . . . . 90-91
Letters/Op-Ed . . 76-79 Real Estate . . . . 92-97

Alex
Ferguson
12-point

P.O. Box 278, Imlay City, MI 48444


Trick or Treat Ten Point Trout on Ice Patterning Plugs
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DECEMBER 2016 - WNW NEWS

The perfect gift for


every outdoorsman on
your Christmas list!

Happy Holidays ~ Happy Holidays ~Happy Holidays ~ Happy Holidays ~ Happy Holidays ~ Happy Holidays ~ Happy Holidays

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Marquettes

nyone who is fortunate enough to see one


of Marquettes growing number of albino
whitetails can thank recently retired
DNR veterinarian Dr. Steve Schmitt for
their presence. After a long career with
the DNR spanning more than 30 years,
Schmitt retired in at the end of May of 2016. The
successful transplant of moose from Ontarios
Algonquin Provincial Park to the UP is one of
the many high points in his career that Schmitt is
known for.
Steve darted all of the moose that were trucked
to the UP from a helicopter with a tranquilizer
gun. His involvement with albino deer in the UP is
something few people know about. He used a tranquilizer gun to dart a wild albino buck in
Delta County that carried the genetics that
all of the white deer in Marquette originated from. Neither Schmitt nor anyone else
knew what was going to happen as a result
of capture of the albino buck he darted in
April of 1982, but we do know now and
heres the story.
The rare albino whitetail showed up in
a deer yard east of Rapid River
during the winter of 1981-1982
and was regularly seen along old
US 2. It wasnt long before local
residents started feeding the white deer. The albino
was visible so often along the paved road during

Twin albino bucks born to a normally colored doe that was released from the deer pen at
Presque Isle Park. These twin albino bucks dispersed from the park and spread their genes
elsewhere in the city. Richard P. Smith photos
the course of the winter that many people who were
aware of its presence became concerned about its
welfare.
They were concerned that a poacher
might kill the deer or it could be struck by
a passing vehicle. A petition was started,
requesting that the DNR capture the albino
deer, so it could be put into captivity where
it would be safe. The petition was signed
by hundreds of residents of Rapid River,
Escanaba and Bark River.
In response to the petition,
the DNR decided to do what the
public wanted. Since no tranquilizer guns were available in the
UP at the time, Steve Schmitt brought one with him
from Lansing and flew into Escanaba on April 15,
1982. Schmitt simply waited in a truck, with the
tranquilizer gun at the ready, where the albino deer
was regularly seen. When it showed up, he had to
do some maneuvering, but he eventually darted it
about 2:30 p.m.
The sedated albino was then transported to a
deer pen that was present at the time at Marquettes
Presque Isle Park. Neither the albino deer nor the
whitetails that already occupied the enclosure were
as pleased about the plan as some Delta County
residents were. As soon as the albino was able to
walk in its new home, it repeatedly bumped against
the fence of the enclosure, looking for a way out.
The formerly free ranging whitetail didnt appear to
like captivity.
The resident deer of the pen had never seen a
white whitetail before. Initially, they were scared
of the strange-looking deer, running from it when it
approached them. Before long, some of the resident
deer decided to try to get rid of what they considered a potential threat, and attacked the albino. If
park caretaker Bucky ONeil had not intervened,
the resident deer probably would have killed the
albino.
ONeil constructed a smaller enclosure for the
albino inside the larger pen to protect the white deer
from the others. After allowing the resident deer to
get used to the newcomer for a period of months,
the albino was eventually accepted as part of the
captive herd. After several years, the albino became
the dominant buck in the enclosure and he bred a

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

By Richard P. Smith

DNR veterinarian Dr. Steve Schmitt with the sedated button buck in a vehicle at Rapid River
ready for transpor t to Marquette deer pen.

number of does.
Several albino fawns were born in captivity,
but only one of them survived, a doe. The albino
buck from Delta County lived to be 7 years old in
captivity. When he reached that age he was seriously injured in a fight with a younger buck and
was euthanized.
To reduce overcrowding in the deer enclosure
during May of 1992, 14 of the captive deer were
released in the park. One of the normally colored
does gave birth to twin albino bucks that year. The
birth of a single albino fawn that survives is rare. It
is rarer still for twin albinos to survive and the odds
of both twins being bucks are even slimmer.
I was fortunate enough to document the lives
of those albino bucks. One of the white whitetails
grew 4-point antlers for his first set and his brother
had 5 points. As yearlings, both bucks dispersed
from Presque Isle to the west. The 5-point disappeared during the fall of 1993, but his brother
remained and grew a beautiful set of 9-point antlers
as a 2-year-old.
The 9-pointer played an active role in the rut.
At least one albino doe was born in the Trowbridge
Park portion of the city and she has produced a
number of albino offspring over the years. The normally colored offspring she has also produced carry
genetics favoring albinism, too.
The deer pen at Marquettes Presque Isle Park
was eventually eliminated during the spring of
1994. The fence was removed, allowing the remaining deer, including the albino doe, to roam free in
the park. Besides the albino doe, some of the other
whitetails that were released had genetics favoring albinism. So it was no surprise when additional
albino fawns were born at the park. For a period of
years, the odds of seeing an albino whitetail at Presque Isle were extremely high. During those years,
it was legal to feed deer at the park. That changed in
2000 when the DNR adopted regulations prohibiting the feeding of deer at the park.
Prior to 2000, Presque Isle Parks deer population was managed by live-trapping and relocating
excess whitetails to various locations outside the
city limits by volunteers and city employees. Emphasis was put on moving does and fawns. At the

Marquettes albino deer page 10

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Suspect CWD deer harvested in


Eagle Township, Clinton County
It's critical that hunters have deer near this area checked

The button buck in the wild near Rapid River that is responsible for
the albino genetics at Marquette. Richard P. Smith photo

Marquettes albino deer:

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

from page 8

10

same time the state adopted a feeding ban in the park, they prohibited
continuation of the trap and transfer
program for managing park deer.
The reason the DNR gave for
ending the trap and transfer
program at the park is possible
disease transmission.
With the relocation of park deer
no longer an option, the city of Marquette hired sharpshooters to reduce
the parks deer population during the
first months of 2001. A total of 62
deer, many with genetics favoring
albinism, were killed then by sharpshooters at Presque Isle. All of the
dead deer were tested for disease and
none were found.
At least three albinos were part
of the park herd when the feeding
ban went into effect and sharpshooters were hired to reduce the herd. No
albinos were killed by sharpshooters,
but that winter proved to be severe.
Without supplemental food, those
three albinos perished.
Even though the albino genetics
were eliminated from Presque Isle
Park, whitetails with genetics favoring albinism remained elsewhere in
the city limits. At the present time,
there is a minimum of a half dozen

albino whitetails in the city limits of


Marquette and others have dispersed
outside the city limits. An albino buck
was legally harvested by a hunter several years ago and a number of white
fawns are born every year.
I heard reports of another set
of twin albinos that was born to an
albino doe two years ago, but I never
saw them myself. I have seen and
photographed albino fawns in the
city limits each of the last two years.
Unfortunately, the fawn born during
2015 was eventually hit by a vehicle.
In spite of some losses, the number
of albino whitetails in and around
Marquette is slowly growing and the
genetics that produced them can be
traced back to the button buck that
Steve Schmitt darted in Delta County
during 1982.
Some of the does that are producing albino offspring are normally
colored, but have genetics favoring
albinism. The doe that gave birth to
albinos each of the last two years
looks like a normal whitetail. She had
a single albino fawn during 2015. She
had twins during 2016, one of which
is an albino.
Thats the story behind Marquettes albino deer.n

A 1.5-year-old buck taken Wednesday, Nov. 16, in Clinton Countys


Eagle Township is likely the ninth free-ranging deer in Michigan to test
positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).
A hunter took the animal within an area where deer check is mandatory and brought the deer to a Department of Natural Resources check
station. Preliminary tests conducted by the DNR came back positive for
CWD. The animal currently is being tested by the U.S. Department of
Agricultures National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, to finalize confirmation of the disease. Confirmation will take a couple weeks.
The DNR reminds hunters that bringing harvested deer to a DNR
check station is critical to helping the state understand the extent of CWD
in Michigan.
This latest suspect deer reinforces how critical hunters are in battling
this disease, said Chad Fedewa, DNR wildlife biologist. We are counting
on hunters to bring their deer in for testing so we have a better understanding about
The DNR has tested
disease distribution. If this hunter had not
followed the law, we would have no idea that
nearly 9,000 deer
the disease has traveled farther west.
since the first
The DNR has tested nearly 9,000 deer
free-ranging CWDsince the first free-ranging CWD-positive
deer was found in May 2015; thus far, eight
positive deer was
cases of CWD have been confirmed. This
found in May 2015;
new suspect, if the disease is confirmed,
would bring the total to nine.
thus far, eight cases
The DNR reminds individuals that they
of CWD have been
must check all deer they harvest in the Core
confirmed. This
CWD Area, which includes 17 townships.
This area, which is referred to as Deer Mannew suspect, if
agement Unit (DMU) 333, consists of Lanthe disease is
sing, Meridian, Williamstown, Delhi, Alaiedon and Wheatfield townships in Ingham
confirmed, would
County; DeWitt, Bath, Watertown, Eagle,
bring the total
Westphalia, Riley, Olive and Victor townships
to nine!
in Clinton County; Woodhull Township in
Shiawassee County; and Oneida and Delta
townships in Eaton County. Hunters harvesting deer in these townships
are required to submit deer heads for testing within 72 hours of harvest.
With the discovery of this new suspect positive, hunters harvesting
deer in three additional townships are strongly encouraged to have their
deer checked. These townships are: Portland and Danby townships in
Ionia County and Roxand Township in Eaton County.
Although we wont make any regulations changes this late in the year,
said Fedewa, we cant emphasize enough how much we need hunters in
the new townships to have their deer tested so we can determine if there
are more deer in the area with the disease.
There are five check stations accepting deer for CWD testing within
DMU 333. These check stations will be operating seven days a week
(excluding major holidays). A complete map of check stations, including
locations and hours of operation, is available at www.michigan.gov/cwd.
Deer feeding and baiting is prohibited throughout the Core CWD
Area and CWD Management Zone, which includes Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Ionia and Shiawassee counties.
A fatal neurological disease, CWD affects white-tailed deer, mule deer,
elk and moose. It is caused by the transmission of infectious, self-multiplying proteins (prions) contained in saliva and other body fluids of infected
animals. Susceptible animals can acquire CWD by direct exposure to these
fluids, from environments contaminated with these fluids or the carcass of
a diseased animal.
Some chronically CWD-infected animals will display abnormal behaviors, progressive weight loss and physical debilitation; however, deer can
be infected for many years without showing internal or external symptoms. There is no cure; once a deer is infected with CWD, it will die.
To date, there is no evidence that CWD presents any risk to non-cervids, including humans, either through contact with an infected animal or
from handling venison. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected
animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.
Anyone interested in learning more about how Michigan is managing CWD can view the biweekly CWD updates the DNR provides online
at mi.gov/cwd. Announcements of additional CWD-positive deer will be
posted online as well.

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JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

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HUNTING
SEMINARS

11

Countering the ravages of nor thern whitetail

The region-wide program in


progress for improving deer
wintering habitat in Michigans UP
is unique. And, its scientifically
sound. Granted, there will be some
heated debate among all those
involved, relative to location,
timing, type, and intensity of
specific practices employed...

f white-tailed deer occasionally


experience psychological highs
-- and I think they probably do
-- one such high time for northern subspecies must be during
the spring break-up, when snow
finally melts and gives way to fresh
sprouts of nutritious herbaceous forage. And just as healthy spotted fawns
play and frolic, so do feisty adult deer
cavort after surviving the strict confinement imposed by a harsh winter.
Perhaps such seemingly neurotic
behavior has a physiological basis
due to the sudden surge of energy-rich
food that once again fuels the whitetails metabolic furnace to capacity.
Maybe that extra energy just naturally
allows for frivolous behavior like
racing about, kicking, and jumping
into the air, for no apparent reason
-- otherwise not affordable during the
depressing months of winter.
To the uniformed, the
whitetails winter shelterseeking behavior, commonly
referred to as yarding,
might seem suicidal, as
hordes of deer rush to occupy
dense conifer stands stripped
of browse by previous generations of wintering whitetailed deer. However,
many trade-offs -- involving nutrition, shelter,
conservation of energy, and predator
risk -- influence the whitetails bid for
winter survival at the northern edge of
its geographic range.

conditional wintering habits.


In the Northern UP, where winters
are consistently severe, most deer
migrate from areas of heavy snowfall southward, to areas of conifer
cover that typically receive less snow
-sometimes traveling 50 miles or
more. These traditionally used wintering areas (some used by deer for over
75 years) are called Deer Wintering
Complexes (DWCs) and represent
only 17 percent of the landscape.
In other words, whitetails in the
UP typically vacate 70 percent of the
region during winter because
it does not meet their food
and shelter needs for survival.
This behaviorism referred to as yarding is
probably not a deep-seated genetic trait.
More
likely, it is an adaptation in
response to cold weather,
deep snow cover, and
increased predator risk
that normally accompany
Northern winters. It probably evolved
as an energy-conserving and predator
defense adaptation for winter survival.
Historically, those deer that exhibited
yarding behavior survived to reproduce and perpetuate the basic trait,
whereas those that did not adapt died.
The best research evidence indicates that deer migratory patterns are
learned, not inherited, because some
translocated migratory deer switch
to being nonmigratory while some
nonmigrators become migratory. Also,
some migratory deer continue their
established migration patterns, despite
being displaced to new range. This
suggests that migratory deer exhibit
memory for compass bearings and

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

By John Ozoga

12

Not all northern deer migrate long


distances from summer to winter
range, annually. Those that do we
refer to as obligate migrators. Others referred to as conditional migrators tend to travel shorter distances,
and only during occasional winters of
extreme severity. Those deer living in
the Southern Upper Peninsula (UP) of
Michigan, occupy about 13 percent of
the total UP area, and tend to exhibit

migratory distances and that all deer


are born with this capacity to learn
migratory patterns.
For obligate migrators, the young
animals must depend upon the older,
experienced individuals for guidance.
Associating with older deer helps the
younger ones to learn lengthy migration routes. Having strong social
alliances as well as other related adult
females including the mother also
helps buffer the weaker deer from
undue social stress. This can mean
the difference between life and death,
especially for those experiencing their
first, and potentially last, harsh northern winter.

squawk, signaling that all is not well


in the local deeryards.
Young of the year normally
comprise about 80 to 90 percent
of the winter deer mortality during
mild or moderately severe winters.
However, during a real tough winter
-- one that starts in late November or
early December and carries into late
April adult deer (primarily does) may
represent as much as 50 percent of the
loss, most of which can be attributed
to malnutrition and/or predation.
Humans may articulate reasons,
often weak ones, for excessive winter
deer die-offs from one area to another,
such as claiming This is not good
deer country. And they dwell upon
the fact that Some deer die every
winter, no matter how good the habitat
is.
The walking dead -- severely
These same individuals insinuate
malnourished animals with irreversthat not much can be done to reverse
ible damage to their digestive systems the steady downward spiral in north-- will leave the confines of their
ern deer numbers. I vehemently diswinter homes too, but with far less
agree, as they conveniently ignore the
exuberance than others that gorge on
fact that many northern deer wintering
the lush new growth that spring brings areas, now devoid of deer, once supforth.
ported thriving deer herds even during
For those whitetails that surpassed harsh winters.
their starvation threshold, the flush
Northern whitetails seek dense
of nutritious forage comes too late.
conifer shelter, especially northern
Their systems can no longer handle
white cedar and hemlock, for comthe chores associated with digestion,
fort, ease of travel, and safety from
and there is no hope of recovery.
predators. Obviously, however, they
Ironically, the ravages of winter will
cannot survive a prolonged winter on
follow some of them many miles to
fat reserves alone and must have a
the bountiful greenery of their sumfavorable food supply in the immedimer range, where they may linger a
ate vicinity.
while, then die.
Its equally important to recognize
Often, of course, the bones and
that even fat, healthy deer are vulnerhides of deer strewn along manureable to effective predators such as
paved trails within those areas of
coyotes and wolves when confined to
wintering cover already stand as
small isolated patches of poor cover
mute evidence of the stressful winter
during times of deep snow.
season. Nearby, ravens perch and
The message here is perfectly

U.P. DEER WINTER RANGE


Obligate Winter Range (DWCs)
Conditional Winter Range
Non-winter Range (Areas vacated by deer in winter)
clear: in order to survive harsh northern winters, whitetails require large
areas of habitat that provide good
quality protective conifer cover as
well as good food sources nearby.
Quality winter shelter consists
of northern white cedar or hemlock
dominated stands, over 35 feet tall
and growing on good sites with about
70 percent canopy closure and with a
50:50 ratio of shelter to food.

to defend them. Fawns so distressed


invariably fall victim to predators,
thereby artificially inflating predation
rate estimates when the real culprit is
nutritional shortage.

Given adequate shelter and a reasonably good food supply, the healthy
northern whitetail is well-equipped,
physiologically and behaviorally, to
withstand occasional spells of severe
winter weather. Sometimes, however,
excessive winter deer kill and subsequent high newborn fawn mortality
are unavoidable. The exceptionally
tough winter may claim 30 percent
or more of the wintering herd and,
later, 50 to 70 percent of the newborn
fawns may die as a result -- causing
the deer population to literally crash.
Within the whitetails range,
however, exceptionally fierce winters
occur only periodically, causing deer
numbers to plummet temporarily, but
then rebound following subsequent
easy winters. You can expect northern
deer populations to undergo repeated
patterns of boom and bust, this is a
natural phenomenon. However, the
seriousness of the population decline
and amount of bounce-back will
hinge heavily upon the amount of
good quality deer wintering habitat.
Unfortunately, many historic deer
wintering complexes, dominated by
conifer cover, no longer support deer
even through winters of only modest
severity, because they are deficient in
food and/or shelter.
It takes longer for deer population
recovery where the amount of high
quality deer wintering habitat is on
the decline, as in Michigans UP, for
example, where the deer population
lows have become lower and so have
the highs. Overtime this roller-coaster
pattern has led to steadily declining deer numbers. In fact, estimates
indicate there are fewer deer in
Michigans UP today than there were
during pre-settlement times-- despite
more than 100 years of deer popula-

tion and habitat management.

The specific reasons may vary,


but the results are similar across
northern deer range: deer populations
are steadily declining because annual
deer recruitment rates fail to keep up
with deer mortality rates. This simply
means that not enough newborn
fawns survive annually to replace
those deer that die from all causes
(natural as well as human induced).
Since natural deer mortality
invariably far exceeds human related
losses due to hunter harvest, highway
accidents, etc., Its my contention that
an improvement in deer winter habitat
is the only way to curb the current
trend in declining deer numbers on
northern range. Conversely, saving
deer from harvest or improving their
summer range will make little difference if the winter habitat cannot
support more deer.
In many northern areas, mismanagement of whitetail populations and/
or their habitat have been far more
devastating than the effects of periodic severe winter weather. Insufficient
deer harvesting or disproportionate
harvesting of the sexes has led to deer
overabundance as well as herd composition imbalances, overbrowsing,
and accelerated habitat deterioration.
In other cases, the combination
of human encroachment and poor
forestry practices -- often driven by
economic demands, not concerns
for deer welfare -- have fragmented,
failed to regenerate, or outright
purposely destroyed valuable deer
wintering habitat.
So, one should not make excuses
that dwell on the idea of unavoidable
deer mortality in order to explain
routine massive overwinter losses and
chronic reproductive failure of whitetails living in northern environments.
A closer look will invariably reveal
that such maladies are more often
the product of human error, and are
avoidable. In my view, such problems

can be corrected with careful planning, wise habitat management, and


cooperation among all those parties
involved.

To curb the downward trend in


deer numbers throughout the species
northern range, we must increase
overwinter whitetail survival rates
while simultaneously decreasing newborn fawn mortality rates.
In the northern Great Lakes
region, in particular, I believe this
can be accomplished via a serious,
well-coordinated effort to improve
the quantity and quality of food and
shelter available to whitetails in
conifer stands they currently use, or
previously used, during winter.
Until recently, here in Michigans
UP, there have been no well-coordinated comprehensive management
plans to rejuvenate these special areas
referred to as deer wintering complexes, probably because there has
been no political pressure to do so.
Some field biologists have called
attention to the need for such efforts for years, but have been largely
ignored by important people in high
places.
The Upper Peninsula Habitat
Workgroup (UPHWG) was formed
by the Natural Resources Commission with a charge of identifying and
addressing the decline in overwinter
deer habitat in Michigans UP. The
workgroup is composed of representatives of state and federal agencies,
corporate/industry forest representatives, members of the Conservation
Districts and UP sportsmens clubs.
Biologists embarked upon a serious
planning program designed to rehabilitate deer wintering habitat across
Michigans UP.
Understandably, this is complicated stuff, requiring extensive study,
careful planning, and a great deal of
cooperation among all those involved.

Whitetail killer winters page 14

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Pregnant does that venture from


these wintering grounds carry with
them the next generation -- embryos
more than half grown when winter
lingers into late April -- and hold the
key to deer abundance in the months
and years ahead.
Until spring green-up, the unborn, looking every bit like miniature
newborn fawns with spotted coats
and floppy ears, have been nurtured
primarily by the reserves of their
mothers body. Unfortunately, some
of the unborn may already show the
signs of malnutrition. Those grossly
under-sized late in gestation will not
recover sufficiently to survive.
The fate of other unborn fawns
is still undetermined. If food, cover,
and weather conditions are favorable,
and there is enough time, prospective mothers may be able to consume
enough nutritious forage to meet the
fantastic demands of rapidly growing
late-term fetuses, not to mention the
enormous amount of energy required
later to nourish the newborn. Unfortunately, timing of green-up on northern
range is unpredictable and frequently
delayed.
Unborn fawns whose mothers
face less favorable conditions, not
uncommon on northern range during
spring, may not be so fortunate. For
them, the cost of inadequate nutrition
during the late stages of gestation will
result in poor fetal growth as well as
other less obvious consequences, and
ultimately death.
Well-nourished does tend to
produce large, healthy fawns, which
they readily care for and tenaciously
defend when threatened by predators.
On the other hand, malnourished does
more often produce stunted fawns
weighing less than five pounds, which
are less likely to be defended and
often are abandoned.
Stunted fawns tend to be born
alive, but too weak to stand and nurse
and die within a day or two. Others,
even some of respectable size, will be
abandoned and die because their malnourished mothers suffer a resultant
hormone imbalance leading to lack
of milk secretion and/or the ill-effects
of a maternal care deficit, and fail

13

Northern whitetail killer winters:


from page 13
In most cases, these are large landscapes, some over 200 square-miles
in size. They involve ownership by
state, federal, and private forest industry agencies, as well as the general
public. Hence, proposed management
will be complicated by a host of contrasting interests, opinions and goals.
To date, more than 40 such DWCs
have been identified and mapped
with land cover types identified by
ownership. The strategic objective
is to work towards and maintain an
approximate 50 percent food and 50
percent shelter ratio within the DWC.
Emphasis will be placed on identifying existing deficiencies in deer
shelter and/or food and determine
management actions and locations to
address the imbalance.
Primary shelter species are northern white cedar and hemlock, with
secondary conifer species including
white spruce, balsam fir, and white
pine. Important food sources include
aspen and hardwood browse, as well
as oak mast and herbaceous plants
in forest openings within the wintering complexes. Forest openings are

the first to lose snow cover in spring


and provide energy-rich food sources
critically important for pregnant does
entering late stages of gestation. Logging generally will be restricted to the
winter months to provide availability
of felled browse.
Specific management strategies
will vary somewhat from one wintering complex to another, depending
upon a host of complicating environmental factors and human interests.
Application of proper silvicultural procedures will be determined
by state, federal and private foresters
and biologists. The primary goal is
to provide high quality shelter and
abundant food sources, distributed
throughout each complex, to satisfy
the Metabolic needs and sedentary
(energy-conserving) nature of wintering whitetails, while simultaneously
providing them safety from predators.
Conclusions
Ive spent over 60 years hunting,
studying, and writing about whitetailed deer. Given my experience,
Im admittedly biased in my views
concerning the needs and limita-

tions currently confronting northern


whitetails. More importantly, as a
researcher, Ive come to appreciate
this amazing critters behavioral flexibility and unpredictable nature.
I also realize that many professional wildlifers and foresters have
had grossly different life-time experiences than my own, and are equally
biased, some in a totally different
direction. Certainly, not all will agree
with my priorities and assessment of
this problem, nor with the solution as
proposed here. But none can ignore
the current sad status of low deer
numbers across northern range.
Unfortunately, Ive heard some
say: With climate change and global
warming, deer wont need protective
winter cover in the future, anyway.
I just cant accept the idea that
northern whitetails have minimal
need for good protective winter cover
when confronted with deep snow,
even when having an abundance of
natural forage. (Availability of supplemental food or energy-rich farm
crops is a totally different matter.)
In my view, we have a choice.
We can keep the status quo, accept
steadily declining deer numbers
across northern deer range (while
praying for mild winters) or we can
launch a sensible program to more

adequately address the northern


whitetails current seasonal deficiencies in food and shelter resources and
increase the carrying capacity of their
winter habitat.
The region-wide program in progress for improving deer wintering
habitat in Michigans UP is unique.
And, its scientifically sound. Granted, there will be some heated debate
among all those involved, relative to
location, timing, type, and intensity
of specific practices employed.
Most certainly there will be some
trial and error along the way causing specific ideas and procedures to
change with experience. It took decades of mismanagement to reach this
current predicament and it will take
considerable time to see the results of
corrective actions.
Progress is encouraging. The
overall management plan as discussed
here is being well accepted by professionals, deer hunters, and the general
public. Personally, Im more optimistic now than ever and confident that
we are finally on a potentially productive course of action to increase and
stabilize this struggling northern deer
herd at a socially acceptable and more
huntable level.
Only time will tell.n

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15

WOUNDED
DEER
ATTACKS
HUNTER!
At 80 years of age with an ar tificial hip and four
shoulder surgeries, two recent, I was not equipped for a
sustained battle with this crazed animal who was my equal
in weight! My biggest fear was that my hip would dislodge,
rendering me helpless to continue any resistance...

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

16

By Millard Holton

t was on November 13, 2016


that my friend, Hal Watts and I
were hunting our 90 acre farm in
Barry County. I was hunting from
a recently constructed, elevated
shack placed at a location that had
been successful for many years using
a portable tree stand. The anchor tree
used for 40 years had died. My 11
year old grandson, Hayden Holton
had initiated the shack by harvesting a
nice antlered buck, the day before!
It seemed the rut was late this
year and the bucks were on the move
this weekend. At about 8:00AM,
a big racked buck came by while I
was glassing a deer ahead of him. I
couldnt get a clear shot at 20 yards as
he was already in a block of 40 year
old White Pines.
He soon chased the doe out of
the Pines, running a large circle, then
drove the doe past me at close range,
at a fast run; disappearing into a large,
neighboring woodlot. Almost immediately two yearling bucks appeared
close to me along the edge of a bushy
swale north of the Pines. Within 10
minutes, either the big buck or one
of similar size, also appeared by the
swale and came toward my stand,
stopping about 35 yards away just
short of the Pines.
I squeezed the trigger on my
crossbow and heard a loud thud!
The buck crashed through thick brush,
large tree tops and water, falling down
a few times. I could see him for about
100 yards. I last saw him struggle to
leave the swamp and enter a thicket of
prickly ash. After waiting a considerable time I started my assumed,
quick retrieval of the deer.
At the shot site, disturbed leaves
and a substantial blood trail was followed through the swale. As I approached the prickly ash patch, the
buck jumped up and headed towards
a woodlot, perhaps 60 yards away.

He appeared mortally wounded as he


continued losing a large amount of
blood. It looked to me like a front leg
was broken, causing the deer to fall,
every two or three jumps. I tried to
run beyond him and discourage his
entry into the woodlot, saturated with
Multi-Flora Rose!
The deer finally reached the woodlot and fell for the last time; I thought!
After making no effort to get up again,
I approached him to finish the job and
apply my tag. However, as I looked
for my walkie-talkie to call my friend,
the deer sprang up like a lightning bolt
striking me in the chest, knocking me
to the ground, into a large clump of
Multi-Flora Rose and then he continued to gore me with his antlers! My
radio disappeared, along with my hat
into the brush leaving me without
communication. My pain increased as
he continued to batter me. After the
first blows, one hitting me in the front
teeth, I tried to keep my head out of
the path of his charging antlers, especially my eyes!
At 80 years of age with an artificial hip and four shoulder surgeries,
two recent, I was not equipped for a
sustained battle with this crazed animal who was my equal in weight! My
biggest fear was that my hip would
dislodge, rendering me helpless to
continue any resistance. I was able to
find and retrieve my radio along with
continuing to fight off the buck! This
buck was far from dead and after several blows to my chest and face area,
I was able to turn on my right side
protecting my frontal area. One of his
tines caught my coat tail, driving it
into the ground, essentially pinning
me to the ground.
After 20 plus minutes of this battle
for survival, I sensed the buck weakening. Having been able to hold the
deer to my right side, I was able to
twist his head and neck, much like a

The author, with a trophy buck from a prior hunt, is truly grateful his
near death encounter didnt have a different outcome. Author photo
rodeo cowboy does to subdue a steer,
I received a surge of strength to roll
the big buck over and he fell on me.
With his nose pointed straight upward
and his G-2s and G3s on the ground,
I was able to push his points into the
ground thus helping me keep his head
from swinging around, while I pulled
my legs from underneath his hind
quarters.
As the deer quit kicking and
thrashing around, I was able to call
Hal who was at the opposite side of
our farm and request he walk to my
Honda and hurry to help me. However, as it turns out, he wasnt clear
on my exact location, therefore he
wasnt able to find me right away. He
drove by close but wasnt looking
my way. After a while he wisely shut
off the ATV allowing me to contact
him again, and provide more specific
directions.
As Hal approached the scene, the
buck went crazy again. As Hal tried
to help me hold him down, sensing
I was now about worn out, the buck
started frantically swinging his hind
legs, striking Hal several times below
the knees.
We were soon able to finally put
the deer down as I tried to regain
some of my strength. In at least 40
whitetail bucks, I have bagged, as
well as the mule deer, antelope, moose
and bear I have tagged, mostly with
archery equipment, only two were
still alive when I approached them. I
guess you can become careless and
complacent!

Even though I may lose my two front


teeth, have perennial back problems,
or need another shoulder surgery, I
credit my expensive Cabelas, jacket
with saving my life! Even though it
was jammed several inches into the
ground and was subjected to being
battered continually, no holes have
been found in the combination type
coat!
In retrospect, my injuries, aches
and pains, are a constant testimony
as to how the outcome of this battle
could have been different. This near
death encounter woke me up to the
fact, I no longer possess the strength
displayed when I graduated from the
State Police Recruit School, over 40
years ago. Also, I will never hunt
alone, nor follow a wounded, large
game animal without summoning help
or without possessing a legal weapon
during the pursuit.
This buck was a very large, aged,
dominant buck in the area. He was an
aggressive fighter in the woods and
no doubt was intent on killing me.
Without his shattered front legs and
excessive loss of blood, both internally and externally, I probably wouldnt
be telling this story! Both the deer
and myself were in such bad shape,
no photos of the scene were worthy of
publication, nor were photos the primary thought on my mind, following
this encounter! On the way home, we
stopped at the DNR Check Station in
southeast Lansing where this deer was
checked and found to be free from
both, CWD and TB diseases.n

Nakina
Ontario Canada

Che
Met ck Out
a
Lodg Lake
FAC e On
EBO
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JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

CARIBOU ISLAND &


CHANNEL VIEW OUTPOSTS

17

ICE

Y
T
E
F
SA
The Basics and Beyond!

Ice is coming late this year...so


here are some rules for ice fishing
and items to keep you safe

By Mark Mar tin

he thought of setting foot upon a frozen


waterway does not set well with certain
people. The only ice they even consider
are of the cube variety floating around
a glass full of their favorite beverage.
Mostly because they are afraid of falling
through. And who wouldnt be.
What those individuals dont understand,
however, is just how strong solid ice floating upon a
waterway can be, and as a result, how much weight
it can hold without as much as creating a hairline
crack.
But just because one has the knowledge of the
superior strength of the ice below their feet, doesnt
mean they should gallivant anywhere upon a lake
at any time of the year. Ice conditions can and will
change at rapid rates depending on the weather conditions, thus thickness and solidity may vary spot to
spot depending on circumstances.
Personally, I know staying safe when ice fishing
goes well beyond just obeying the rules of ice thickness to keep me from plunging into icy waters; it
means protecting me from slips and falls, cuts and
scrapes, and so much more.

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Understanding Ice

18

Once a waterway hardens to a skim, it usually


doesnt take long for it to solidify thick enough for
safe travel on foot. But the condition of the ice itself
is really what determines whether an angler should
venture forth or wait until later.
Oddly enough, its the ice that is the most
nerve-racking to walk on that may be the safest.
Clear ice is what Im talking about. Its the kind
you can see bottom through as you work your way
out from shore, as if you were walking on a pane of
glass. Ice forms this way during those crisp, clear,
windless, bitter-cold nights. And if the temperature
stays below freezing and no snows fallen on it, it
will continue to freeze rock solid.
As for that snow I mentioned, its an excellent
insulator. Even a light layer wont allow the subzero air temperatures to penetrate and will slow the
freezing process. Besides its insulating properties, a
heavy accumulation of snow is also heavy in weight
and will push the ice down under the surface, allowing and water to seep up through and turn it
porous, thus greatly weakening it.
And areas with flowing water nearby, such as
near river and creek mouths, as well where springs
bubble up from bottom, will always have ice thats
slower to thicken compared their surroundings.
With the all that in mind, there are rules of
thumb for venturing on ice that everyone should observe. The following rules are more suggestions and
are the bare minimum of clear, solid ice for each
category. Snow-covered or white ice (ice either with

Ice conditions can


change quickly and
some of the items
the author (r t) and
Brandon Stanton had
with them helped
insure a safe day.
David A. Rose photo

snow or air bubbles mixed in) should be doubled


in thickness for safe travel. If youre unsure the ice
is thick enough to keep you safe, wait a few more
days until youre certain.

Rules of Thumb for Safe Ice Travel


One to two inches: Dont venture out. There
are too many variables and the ice could be too thin
in some areas
Three to four inches: One person at a time,
giving plenty of space to those around you
Five to six inches: Portable shanties can be
used, and you can gather with your buddies
Seven inches and thicker: Permanent shanties
and the use of snowmobiles and quads
Cars or trucks should never be driven onto
the ice

and shoulders if they come attached to a cord. And


picks are a must for getting a grip on wet, slick ice
to pull yourself up and out. Luckily, Ive never had
to use mine. But they are always with me, nevertheless.

Electronic Aids

Before stepping out onto the ice, I make sure


to have two other chief devices with me; both that
can help me get to where Im going as well back to
shore safely: a compass and GPS.
As soon as Ive unloaded my equipment from
my vehicle, I make sure I have my pin-on compass
attached to the inside of my Clam IceArmor Edge
Cold Weather Parka. I then take a compass bearing as to the direction Im headed, making sure to
take note of the direction shore will be once on the
ice. Ill also program my starting waypoint into my
Step, Ram and Walk
Lowrance Hook-5 Ice Machine, in which I have a
Navionics mapping program chip installed into the
When walking onto the ice for the first time of the
card reader.
season, I always use a heavy, metal spudsuch as
The GPS in the Hook-5 allows me to create
Frabills Standard Ice Chile, which is heavier than
the average and has unique cutting teethas Im a plotted trail so that I can follow it back in case
walking out. And I ram the chisel into the ice hard, a heavy snow fall clouds my vision, or nightfall
settles in. The mapping program not only shows
well ahead of me with every single step I take. If
the spud goes through, Ill back step in my original me where I want to fish, but can keep me safely
tracks until Im back on thicker ice. Ill then see if I away from river mouths and other areas that may be
can work my way around the thin area, all the while unsafe.
I also carry a cell phone with me in a Plano
continuing to whack the ice hard with the spud. If
Guide Series Water-Proof Case in pocket. As you
not, I wont attempt to go any farther until later in
all know, it doesnt take much moisture for a cell
the week.
Although clear ice is the strongest, it is also the phone to be rendered useless, and a 1449 Plano
case, measuring only 6.5X 4.675 X 2.125, fits
slipperiest. A skip and fall on such an extremely
nicely in my parkas outer pocket. Great, inexpenhard surface can injure anyone without hesitation.
sive insurance in case I have to call 911.
To keep from having my feet go out from under
me, I use Frabills Ice Creepers under my IceArmor
As Easy As 1, 2, 3
Onyx boots.
The small spikes on these traction devices are
If the ice is thick enough, walking on frozen
made of tungsten carbide steel. These traction aids
waters not a dangerous endeavor. Just remember
stretch over any brand of boot easily, and provide
to use common sense and follow the rules of thumb
me with the stability to walk on the slickest ice
for safe travel. And use the right gear to avoid slips
without fear of falling.
and falls, cuts and scrapes, and encourage safe
Another item I carry at all times is a set of ice
travel. Most of all, remember to make ice fishing
picks. Along with ice creepers, Frabills Winter
fun and safe for the whole family.
Ice Safety Kit come packed with ice picks and a
Mark Martin is a touring walleye tournament
whistle, the later also a great tool for getting noticed pro and instructor with the Ice-Fishing Vacation/
in case of an emergency.
School, who lives in southwestern Lower Michigan.
Ice picks can be placed in the outer pocket of a Check out his website at MarkMartins.net for more
parka or, better yet, can be draped around the neck
information.n

Lower Tahquamenon
Falls prepping for
quiet winter recreation
Improvements expected to
enhance parks winter experience
Winter camping is also available
at the Lower Falls Hemlock campground for $18-20 per night, and includes electricity at each plowed site.
The restroom buildings are closed,
but a water spigot is available in the
campground to fill drinking containA winter scene at the Lower Falls is shown from Tahquamenon Falls State Park.
ers.
Snowmobilers will continue to
have access to the winter parking
OFFERING
areas at the Lower Falls and Upper
THE BEST
SELECTION
Falls to allow riders to walk the trails
FOR THE
to the falls viewing areas.
UPCOMING
ICE FISHING
See a map of the Lower Falls
SEASON!
Day Use Area. For more information on park winter activities, contact
Tahquamenon Falls State Park at
906-492-3415.
A Recreation Passport is required
for all vehicles entering the park.
ARCHERY
FISHING
Michigan residents can purchase the
FIREARMS
SUPPLIES
Recreation Passport ($11 for motor
AMMO
vehicles) by checking Yes on their
INDOOR SHOOTING RANGE
license plate renewal forms, or at any
HUNTING SUPPLIES magnumsportsllc.com
state park or recreation area. Non6227 S. Greenville Rd.
residents can purchase a Recreation
Greenville, MI 48838
Passport ($31 annual; $9 daily) at the
CENTRAL MICHIGANS SOURCE FOR HUNTING, FISHING & SHOOTING SUPPLIES
park entrance self-pay station.n

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JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

ahquamenon Falls State


Park will provide an improved area at the Lower
Falls for quiet recreation
beginning this winter.
Enhancements include
an enlarged plowed parking area,
trailhead, marked snowshoe trails and
dog sled rides.
We have seen an increased
interest in snowshoeing, hiking,
photography and winter camping
over the last few years, said Craig
Krepps, park manager. Encouraging visitors to explore the Lower
Falls area provides that quiet, snowcovered Upper Peninsula experience
many are seeking.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park
encompasses 48,129 acres in northern Luce and Chippewa counties
and access to the falls is located off
M-123, about 21 miles northeast of
Newberry.
For decades, even before roads
were built to the area, Tahquamenon Falls has been a destination for
countless visitors, with the winter
experience rating high.
The Lower Falls cascade over
a staircase of five waterfalls. At the
Upper Falls, located upstream, the
roughly 200-foot-wide river drops
a roaring 50 feet, with peak water
flows measured here at over 50,000
gallons per second.
Among the parks winter enhancements at the Lower Falls will
be 4 miles of marked snowshoe trails,
along with a half-mile of packed
walking trail. Portions of this walking trail include steep hills. Visitors
are encouraged to wear devices to
improve traction, such as YakTrax,
when walking the packed trail.
Dog sled rides through the Lower
Falls area will be offered on weekends, as snow depth permits. To
make a reservation, contact Husky
Haven Kennels at 516-790-9183.
Exploring the park off-trail, with
snowshoes or cross-country skis,
is encouraged. Park staff can help
adventurous souls plan a backcountry adventure. Cell phone service is
limited at the park. Park staff urges
backcountry travelers to tell someone their plans and to bring adequate
food and water.

19

TRICK OR TREAT

10 POINT

Talk about a humbling experience! Ive written three instructional


bowhunting books, published 100s of ar ticles in regional and national
magazines, produced four instructional bowhunting DVDs, given
bowhunting seminars all across the Midwest, done many Podcasts, and
then I turn around and abandon a recovery 101 major sticking point.
Due to my own stupidity I allowed a buck to spoil due to an
extremely dumb recovery effor t... By John Eberhart

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

20

eres how the entire scenario


played out: Having worked
out every day from January
through the first of September for the past 30 years to
stay in shape for the rigors of
bowhunting, my 65 year old body just
isnt what it used to be and just prior to
the 2016 season I lowered the poundage on my Mathews Conquest bow to
55#, switched to lighter Maxima Red
250 arrows and switched from Rocket
Sidewinder 1 inch cut 100 grain
mechanical heads to G-5s 3-blade 1
1/8 inch cut 100 grain G-5 fixed blade
Striker heads. This new set-up just felt
much more comfortable and controllable and with todays bow and equipment technology, its well more than
necessary for taking whitetails.
My pre-season speed tours of my
existing early season hunting locations
left me a little puzzled because there
were no acorns or apples on any of
those types of trees I was set-up next
to. Of the 11 mast and or fruit trees I
have locations set-up, in the past there
had always been at least several of
them that were bearing food.
Wherever theres a shortage of natural mast and fruit, bait and food plot
hunters have the advantage as mature
deer are much more apt to visit their
destination sites due a lack of natural
food sources within the confines of
secluded security cover.
I dont bait and Ive never owned
or leased property so Ive never had the
opportunity to plant or hunt over a food
plot, so not having any natural mast or
fruit to draw deer in for the early part
of the season when deer are in a bedding to feeding pattern was going to be
an issue for me, but it is what it is.
At three of the 11 locations however there were active scrapes and I can
only speculate that because they had
offered natural food during previous
seasons, or they were also where different terrain features converged, they
were perennial primary scrape areas.
On October 3 at one of the scrape
locations next to a white oak I had
what looked to be a heavy, tall tined 8
point pass downwind through some tall
weeds to scent check the scrapes and
at 37 yards and broadside and while I
dont know exactly why, I passed on
the shot.
On Halloween evening I was back
on the same property but at a different

scrape area next to an apple tree with


about a 25 yard buffer of tall weeds
and brush that separate it from a standing cornfield. At around 6:50 the big
guy came in from directly downwind,
walked directly at me to one of the
scrapes, pawed it a few times, scent
marked the licking branch, sparred
with the overhead branches and then
proceeded forward and passed within
three yards of the base of my tree never
offering me anything other than a
straight on and directly below me shot
which I passed on.
I would have taken a going away
shot through the stomach/liver had it
been presented, but at food bearing
trees I only clear shooting lanes to the
destination area beneath the tree where
they feed, which is also where the
scrapes were. To my backside I leave
the concealment cover.
As it was getting dark I heard
a deer running through the timber
towards me as if being chased. It was a
doe and she passed right under the apple tree and through my shooting lane.
Within moments I heard a low pitched
grunt and knew whatever buck it was
would pass through the same lane.
It was the big 8 and when he
hit the scrape that he had previously
worked, he stopped perfectly broadside
at 12 yards. I was already at full draw
and had expected to make a vocal doe
bleat to stop him, but didnt have to
and took the shot. The light was low
enough that I couldnt see where the
arrow hit him and then watched as
he ran full throttle for about 60 yards
through some tall weeds and brush
towards a wet swampy area.
Once down I found the working
half of my arrow right where I had
hit him and it was covered in thick
coagulated blood. Not knowing exactly
where I hit him though and feeling
comfortable about the lack of coyotes
in this particular area, I left and came
back about 10 a.m. so as not to screw it
up for any other hunters on the property.
It rained that night so there was
no blood trail so then I did the most
novice thing Ive done in years. Because the leaves were dry the previous
evening, there was brush along his exit
route, and I saw him running at full
throttle for 60 yards and never heard
him crash beyond that point, I began a
grid search about 20 yards beyond the

The authors 10 point will gross around 143 inches and the G-5 Striker broadhead
passed perfectly through both lungs.
point of where I last saw him. Huge
left caught my eye and there he was in
mistake and you can guess the rest.
the tall weeds not 10 yards farther than
After grid searching every inch
where I last saw him after the shot.
Ive written many recovery articles
of the swamp and the nearby standing
and have chapters in each of my books
cornfield to no avail, depression set
on recovering whitetails and in every
in. Trying to tell myself that he was
instance its spelled out very clearly
likely still alive didnt work because
to watch a deer until out of sight and
the thick coagulated blood on the arif you have to perform a grid search
row meant that it had passed through
due to a lack of blood, begin the search
a major blood pumping artery or vital
at the exact location you last saw the
organ. Also two of the blades on the
deer. It sure seems like a guy should
head were chipped up so I knew they
had hit ribs and there was no way with pay attention to his own very specific
him standing broadside that I didnt hit instructions.
While ecstatic that I found him, I
something vital.
was very disappointed that the meat on
I did the entire searching process
over again and this time grid searched a deer of this caliber had to be wasted
as I hunt just as much for the meat as I
perpendicular to the first grid search
do the challenge. After tagging the big
just in case something may have been
10 point (had stickers on both brows) I
missed. Nope, nothing and I went
caped him out and cut off his antlers.
home to sulk. As you guys know, opI had the owner of the property
portunities at good bucks in Michigan
with me and he said deer get hit on
are rarities and not to capitalize is
the road all the time and that the
extremely depressing.
On November 1 I went back to the meat never goes to waste as the small
animals will eat it. He also said that I
same tree to see if the scrapes were
could take a doe during the late bow
active, and they were not only active,
there was a third scrape opened within season if I needed the meat. He was
just trying to make me feel good, and it
four feet of the other two. Could he
worked a little.
possibly have survived and would it
The 10 point will gross around 143
be possible that he would be working
inches and by the way, the G-5 Striker
scrapes again so soon.
passed perfectly through both lungs.
There was another apple-less tree
John Eberhart is an accomplished
about 100 yards farther down the edge bow-hunter that specializes in heavily
of the standing cornfield and I have a
pressured areas with 29 bucks listed in
location set up next to it as well so I
CBMs record book from 19 different
thought I would check it out to see if
properties in 10 different counties. John
there was any new activity there as it
produced a 3 volume instructional DVD
usually has a few scrapes by it when it series titled Bowhunting Pressured
bears apples.
Whitetails and co-authored the books,
It just so happens that the buck
Bowhunting Pressured Whitetails, Prehad went in that direction and low and cision Bowhunting, and Bowhunting
Whitetails the Eberhart Way. They are
behold when I was about 25 yards
available at: www.deer-john.net.n
from the apple tree, something to my

Michiana Boat & Sports Show 2017


January 27 29, 2017

Free Trout Pond Fishing

Century Center
Admission $5 per Adult Age 12 and under FREE
120 South St. in South Bend, Indiana
Parking is $5 per vehicle in the Century Center Parking Lot
Friday Noon 8 Saturday 9 9 Sunday 9 4

Vendors
Fays Marine
La Porte, Indiana
(BaylinerBoats, Lowe Boats &
Pontoons, Crestliner Boats,
Apex Compact Pontoons,
Fourwinds, Excursion
Pontoons).
Hubers Marine
La Porte, Indiana
(Lund Boats, Sweetwater
Pontoons, Aqua patio Pontoons,
Sanpan Pontoons, Hurricane
Deck Boats).
D & R Sports Center
Kalamazoo, Michigan
(Tracker Boats, Tahoe Boats, Sun
Tracker Pontoons, Nitro Boats,
Triton Boats, Ranger Boats).
Starboard Choice Marine
Edwardsburg, Michigan
(Mirro Craft Boats, Tahoe
Pontoons, Polar Kraft Boats)
Pier 33 Marina
St. Joseph, Michigan
(Chaparral Boats, Robalo Boats
and Pre-owned Brokerage
Services)
L&R Marine L.L.C
Shipshewana, Indiana
(Starcraft Boats and Pontoons,
Qwest Pontoons)
Eagle Lake Marine
Edwardsburg, Michigan
(Godfrey Hurricane Deck Boats,
Sweetwater, Aqua Patio and San
Pan Pontoons)
Lake Drive Marine
Coldwater, Michigan
(Lund Boats, Lowe Boats,
Phoenix Boats, Skeeter Boats,
South Bay Pontoons).

Seminars and Speaker Schedule


Mark Romanack Host of Fishing 411 TV and an outdoor communicator for over

30 years, Mark Romanack has dedicated his life to teaching fishermen and

women to become better anglers. He has written 1000s of articles, produced

countless technical videos and has been filming TV for ten years.
Julia DavisCaptain Juls fished as a Professional Walleye Tournament Angler for 10

years. Shes competed on the FLW Walleye Tour, Professional Walleye Trail

(PWT) and Masters Walleye Circuit (MWC). Juls is also a senior moderator at

www.walleyecentral.com. She has learned the Western Basin secrets from

some of the best anglers on the lake. And, now she would like to pass on what

she has learned to you!
Jake Romanack Co-host of Fishing 411 TV, Video Editor and a USCG Captain. Taking

his passion and knowledge of fishing to the next level, Romanack is also a

great communicator and teacher of the sport.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 27
7 p.m - Ice Fishing with Jake
8 p.m. - Intro to the Fishing World, Charting and Fishing Lake Erie with Julia

SATURDAY, JANUARY 28

Vendors
Erie Marine Sales, L.L.C.
Sheffield, Ohio
(Warrior Boats, Hewescraft Boats)
Krupps Power Sports
Edwardsburg, Michigan
(Can-Am ATVs, Can- Am SSV, Ski-doo
snowmobiles, Sea-doo watersports)
Gates Chevy world
Mishawaka, Indiana and
Gates Automotive Group
South Bend, Indiana
Chevy trucks and SUVs and
Toyato trucks and SUVs
Clear H2O Tackle, LLC
Edwardsburg, Michigan
Fishing Tackle, Hunting Gear
and More
www.clearh2otackle.com

2 p.m. - Mark, Jake and Julia Host Free 2-hour Walleye Fishing Seminar

SUNDAY, JANUARY 29
1 p.m. - Lake Michigan Steelhead, Coho and Salmon fishing with Mark
2 p.m. - Follow-up to Intro the Fishing World, Charting and Fishing Lake Erie with Julia
Other Topics to be discussed with additional speakers include:
Bass, Crappie and Pan fishing by local club members
IDNR will discuss Indiana regulations and have an open discuss with the general
public.
The state Biologist will discuss the topic of local water conditions and other topics
related to the outdoors.
The South Bend Power Squadron will discuss boating safety and required items
need to pass a coast guard inspection.
Dealers will discuss rigging boats and the use of electronics.
These times and schedules will be posted on the Michiana Boat & Sports Show
Facebook and Michiana Walleye Association.org website after December 1st.

Other vendors include ODonnell Docks, Canadian


Lodges, R&R Extreme (ATVS), Lake Erie and Lake
Michigan Charters, Clear H 2 O Tackle, Fluid Fun
Canoes & Kayak, fishing clubs, (Michiana Walleye
Association, St. Joseph Bass Masters, Michiana Trail
Riders) Karts are Us, just to mention a few. Last
year we had 64 small vendor booths that sell and
support all aspects of outdoor activities.

Fishing for a Chance to win a $2,500.00 Scholarship


Catch a tagged trout and win a chance to
have your name drawn out of the Old Bait Bucket for a $2,500.00 Scholarship.
The Drawing will be on January 29, 2017 after the show. Need not be present to win.
**Details and rules will be posted on Michiana Boat & Sports Show site on Facebook and on the Michiana Walleye Association Facebook site after December 01, 2016

ADDITIONAL SMALL VENDOR SPACE AVAILABLE, 8 X 10 $120, CONTACT DALE BRINDLEY AT 574-286-6311 OR daledbrindley@comcast.net

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

At the Michiana Boat & Sports Show

21

Shark
Attack
BLUEGILLS

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

22

By Kenny Darwin

dropped the offering toward the school of fish


marked on my Vexilar electronics, closed the
bail on the reel and stopped the lure just inches
above the fish. I jiggled the rod tip and swam
the offering slightly upward when I could see a
huge band on the Vexilar moving the direction
of the lure. POW! The gill slammed the presentation, gulped the hook and I quickly cranked it
through the ice, tossed it aside and dropped the presentation back to the strike zone. Again a big 9-inch
gill smacked the offering and I repeated the process
until soon I had my limit of dandy winter gills.
Some other anglers nearby approached me
because they were fishless and asked what I was
using. Fiskas Wolfram jigs, I answered. Catching
winter gills by the bucketful is more difficult than
simply putting any lure in the water. For guaranteed
success you need to refine your jig, choice of color,
lure design and size and understand jigging tactics
that draw fish from far away and cause them to
smash the lure like an attacking great white shark.
Listen up because I am about to reveal deadly ice
fishing tactics that will change the way you fish
forever and guarantee more and bigger fish
The key to success hinges on the jig you
use. Rather than going into a long description
regarding the hundreds of jigs Ive field tested Im
making a recommendation that will change your
fishing success guaranteed. My recommendation is
to use Fiskas Wolfram jigs available right here in
Michigan from the folks at Your Bobbers Down,
www.YourBobbersDown.com or call 734-3167476 and ask for their color brochure. Fiskas is best
known for Sticky Sharp Hooks. These lures were
first introduced in 2001 and were the first tungsten
lures in North America designed specifically for ice
fishing. They are made with a 45 degree angle hook
to keep your presentation horizontal and increase
lure action. But the advantage of tungsten lures is
they are heavier than other metals and you can use
a smaller jig and get plenty of action even in deep
water. Their motto is Fish heavy with smaller
lures.
Tungsten falls fast and gets you deeper than
other jigs. When the jig settles you can keep a
straight line to the heavier jig and give your presentation more action. When fish tap the jig you can
feel the strike better and increase hook sets tenfold.
Once you fish with this style hook you will toss the
others out and use them winter spring and summer.
Once you go tungsten you will never go back to
conventional jigs.
The key to outstanding success hinges on a
vertical presentation and you stairstep move your
jig up the water column. But the essence of the
strike often is dependent on the angle of the jig. If it
hangs vertical in the water with meat, bait or plastic

The author displays a fine catch of large gills and crappie taken on a Michigan lake using tungsten jigs,
low stretch ice line, modern electronics and spikes for bait. Kenny Darwin photos
dangling down your success will be spotty. But if
the 3 mm size 16 hook and the 4mm size 14 hook
you select a jig that stays horizontal in the water
for gills. The 4 mm size 14 hook is 0.560 inches
and your bait or plastic is held sideways your strike long, weighs 1.0 gr. and sells for around $2.59 each
results will soar. I maintain the secret to ice fishing and is my all-time best Michigan jig, period. Make
success for big gills is the angle of the dangle. The
certain you check out the Epoxy super glow variety
more horizontal your presentation the more fish you and I recommend the style E62 Glow Spot for gills
catch. Its that simple.
and crappie. Last year I had outstanding success usPerhaps horizontal presentations best mimic
ing the Metallic finish GB81 Glow Bead and Copfood sources, maybe gills like to sneak up on prey
per Antz #AN97. My point is you need to carefully
from below and a horizontal target kicks in their
shop through the expansive selection of quality Fisstrike instinct. But if you use horizontal jigs your
kas Wolfram jigs that Your Bobbers Down offers.
strikes will quickly change from nibbles to shark
Take a good look at lures colored clown, pinky,
attacks. The transformation begins with lure choice. raspberry stripe, glow pink, metallic gold, silver
You gotta see the broad selection of jigs availcopper and more. Better take a look at their jig box,
able before you make a selection. Hand painted
Fiskas Wolfpack 2016 best-selling lures, glow charFiskas jigs are available in 7 sizes but I recommend ger light panfish toothpick and much more.

Necessary
items to
unleash
fantastic ice
fishing for
gills includes:
Got-Cha spring
bobber, Fiskas
wolfram
tungsten
jigs and high
quality 100%
fluorocarbon
ice fishing line.

First ice on local lakes and ponds draw panfish anglers in search of the early ice season hot bite.
do not leave the offering stationary for more than
a few seconds before you begin swimming the jig
upward. The idea is to get the presentation above
the fish and coax them to follow. Use a stair step
jiggle and stop jigging action. Expect strikes to
occur when you pause or stop the jiggling action.
At times gills will slam the offering the instant you
start jigging, other times they prefer to follow the
lure upward and grab the offering several feet from
where you first marked them. Working jigs at the
same depth is the kiss of death to exciting ice fishing for gills. Try jiggling one zone for 3 seconds
and pause for 2 seconds. Then jiggle and lift the jig
a few inches and repeat. The idea is to coax gills
into following the swimming presentation.
The advantages of fishing with Fiskas Wolfram
jigs are many. Most importantly the 45 degree
angle of the hook keeps your presentation constantly working for you rather than falling downward
and spooking fish. If the bait on the hook dangles
straight up and down you can kiss great fishing
goodbye. The Fiskas jig is shaped so it will fall
fast, nose first and mimic a water critter moving
down the water column head first. When you stop
the lure your presentation immediately is horizontal and the slightest wiggle of the rod tip causes
the jig to look like a water critter swimming. This
action is the essence of what effective ice fishing
is all about. The presentation is proper, precise,
always looking life-like and gills simply cannot
resist smashing the jig.
Your electronics are your eyes under the water.
By watching how fish react to different presentations you can refine your jigging tactics. Some
days they want it constantly moving, other days
you need to pause several seconds before they

will strike. At times you will see them charge the


jig, take a good look and not strike but reject the
offering and swim away. This is often because you
need a different jig color. Determining which jig
color to use can vary from day to day, depending
on conditions. If ice is covered with a thick blanket
of snow or during early morning or late evening try
glow varieties. My number one glow jig is the E62
Glow Spot with bright red bead. This lure is ideal
for gills when they seek glow presentations and
when the sun touches the horizon. It is also a very
productive color for icing slab crappie.
Metallic finish jigs seem to work best during
first ice and last ice or when gills are feeding on
tiny silvery baitfish. A gold Fiskas with glow bead
is powerful gill medicine. Some days the weapon
of choice is metallic copper or silver.
Hand painted jigs are the mainstay of the
Fiskas line and Ive had excellent luck using both
regular styles and glow models. The pinky attracts male gills and slab crappie like you would
not believe. Each lake is different and some serve
up limit catches on brightly colored varieties and
others require jigs that are more subdued like Kiwi
Stripe.
The choice of bait you use is important. Large
wax worms can be very deadly on most Michigan
lakes. The trick is to hook the tail of the waxie and
allow the tail to dangle and dance to the pulsing
action of the jig. I prefer to use rather small waxies
and you must change bait often because the body
fluid will milk into the water at a relatively fast
speed.
If you have not used them I advise you make
the switch to spikes. While this bait is smaller than
a waxie and perhaps much less visible, they make
up for their size by providing unmatched action.
One trick is to hook two spikes through the head
and allow them to swim and dance in the water.
The added action will cause savage shark-like attacks as gill smash the bait.
Winter gills tend to slowly approach presentations and get kissin close to the hook. They will
pause before striking, further evaluate the moving
presentation and only strike if the offering appears
natural. Use a horizontal jig and tip it with double
spikes and the bait will still be slightly moving
when you pause the jig. It is the teasing action of
the spike tails and moving body that cause gills
to engulf presentations. Sure a touch of attracting
scent can seal the deal but the vibrating spike is
powerful medicine for gillage success when cold
water temperatures slow the metabolism of panfish.
For those extra clear water lakes like Higgins,
Crystal, Glen Lake and other northern bodies of
water you might want to downscale to the. 2.5mm,
this can make the difference between a rough bite
and a good day on the ice. Tungsten panfish jigs
with horizontal profile can transform your fishing,
make you the hottest stick on the ice and provide savage strikes from gills that will rock your
world.n

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

The ever changing science of ice fishing has


helped anglers in recent years to become better
fisherman and catch more and bigger fish. Pop-up
ice shanties are a must for those who want to spend
maximum amount of time on the ice when Old
Man winter brings howling winds and snow squalls
that send fair weather anglers scrambling for the
comfort of the warm cabin fire. If you want to get
the most out of ice fishing, a shelter will guarantee
you can be catching fish when most outdoorsmen
stay indoors.
Electronics are needed to see fish, determine
depth and locate schools of active fish. By using
modern electronics you spot more targets, watch
your jig sink into the strike zone and you can see
how fish respond to your presentation. In most
cases you can see fish approach the jig and call out
strikes seconds before you see the spring bobber
twitch or feel the strike.
Gone are the days of using bobbers for gills,
modern anglers use custom jigs, electronics, super
light lines and rods rigged with fine wire spring
bobbers that indicate the slightest strike. Gills dont
always slam the offering; sometimes the strike can
only be detected by using sensitive spring bobbers or custom rods with ultra-light tips to detect
strikes. My spring bobber of choice is five-inch
long and attached to rod tip using heat shrink
although sometimes I wrap the spring bobber to the
tip with sewing thread. I strictly use Doug Smiths
handmade Got-Cha Bobber, located at Long Lake
south of Kalamazoo, (269)327-0094. Doug also
makes a custom ice fishing fly that catches big gills
like no other. He likes to jig the fly up and down in
the strike zone, moving the twitching fly five-feet
up the water column and back down. Dougs biggest gill last winter measured 11 inches long.
Heres how to catch more fish. Drill holes, drop
in your electronics and locate fish. Tip the jig with
bait or plastic and drop the offering to waiting fish.
Stop the jig before it sinks below fish. Dangle the
offering slightly above fish and twitch the rod tip
to activate the jig and get your presentation working. If electronic marks indicate fish are moving
toward the presentation give a few more rod tip
jiggles and stop, wait for the strike. If the gill grabs
the lure, set the hook, but if the fish does not strike

23

Have you seen this bird?

Hunter, activist not ready to think pheasant hunting in Michigan is gone forever,
organizes Town Hall meeting to discuss programs other states have done

Some close friends have joked with him, asking if hes running for Pheasa-dent of the United
States.
Ken, I can assure you, is clearly not joking!
He has studied what other states have done, he
has talked with newspaper reporters, radio and TV
hosts. He has talked with hunting preserve hunters,
preserve owners, clubs, DNR officials, Senators,
State Representatives and anyone who will listen or
answers his questions. He has piles of news clippings and reports on the subject of pheasants and
pheasant hunting.

The poster reads...


Have you seen this bird?
Last seen: Rural areas in midwestern
states.
Description: Iridescent green head,
white ring around neck, copper and gold
feathers, red wattle, long tail and cackles
when flying.
If found please call: Ken Dalton, 810358-9372.
here are many who
miss the good ol
days of Michigans
pheasant hunting.
Most of us understand pheasant hunting in
Michigan will never be what it
once was.

Ken Dalton, a soft spoken
man carries an undeniable passion for pheasant hunting. Hes

By Randy Jorgensen

Sparking an interest...
Ken is working hard to somehow spark an
interest once again in pheasant hunting. Like the
interest Verley Davis sparked in him as a boy.
Ken Dalton, hard working activist, looks to I saw my neighbor acting strange...he had a
Town Hall meeting on pheasant hunting for bird wing hooked to a fishing pole. And his young
dog was chasing it all over the back yard. I thought
answers January 8.
that was odd? he told me chuckling.
tireless in asking pointed questions. A man who, I
Verley, what you doin? I asked him.
suspect is being a pain in the side of some DNR of- He told me he was training his pheasant
ficials. A man who is not ready to give up.
I think I can safely say, Ken Dalton is as persistent as a badger.
Pheasants page 26

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GORILLA
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Pheasants:
from page 24
dog. I had never seen anything like it, after all, I
was raised on concrete in downtown Pontiac, he
explained.
As the story unfolded, Verley took the 15
year-old Ken under his wing and introduced him
to pheasant hunting. The two often hunted pheasants north of Pontiac in Auburn Heights on Truman
Bollins farm. Soon Kens brothers, Terry and Jeff
became interested in the sport.
I owe Verley and Truman a great deal for
taking the time to share pheasant hunting with me.
What I learned from them I taught to my brothers and we have shared so many wonderful times
together hunting, we are grateful, Ken tells me.

Brothers, Ken,
Terry and Jeff
Dalton have
been hunting
pheasants for
many years.
They would like
nothing more
than to see the
tradition continue so other
generations of
brothers can
enjoy the spor t.

Asking Questions...
Do you know we have nearly three decades
of people who have not hunted wild pheasants in
Michigan? he asked me.
Have you thought about the conservation, retail and tourism dollars we have lost because there
are no pheasants? he went on ask me, his brow
and arms raised.
The moment Ken walked into my office you
could feel his passion, you could see it and you
could hear it in his voice. He understands why
pheasant hunting is so poor. He understands the
effect of large farms, the use of pesticides, lack of
grass lands, loss of habitat and increase in predators.
Ken wants everyone to know and understand
hes not against the DNR, he has no answers they

dont already have. He is a supporter of Pheasants


Forever, The Pheasant Restoration Incentive and
any and all other programs which promote pheasant hunting.
But weve been doing the same thing for 25
years now. Are we going to just keep doing the
same thing? he wonders.
I know this will make some people upset, but
what weve been doing is taking our money and
building bike trails! We dont need any more bike
trails, Ken says sternly.
Ken believes in recruitment and retention.
What we need is to get Michigan hunters back

in the fields, using our public lands for recreational


hunting opportunities, he explains to me.

Raise and Release...


Ken believes in raise and release programs
similar to those in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, South
Dakota, Illinois and Nebraska. Several thousand
pen raised birds are released on public lands for
recreational hunting. It is considered a great tool
for hunter recruitment for both young and old alike
to bring family and friends together. Ken would
like to see that happen here in Michigan.

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

SPRING SNOW GOOSE HUNTS

26

Best of 2016

www.HuntUpNorth.com

Arkansas
January - February
563-380-7122

Wisconsin is building a $1.5 million hatchery


releasing 200,000 pheasants for hunters.
They hatch and rear the chicks in prison
facilities to keep the costs down. In Wisconsin it
is funded through the state with a $10 pheasant
stamp.
Pennsylvania has four game farms releasing nearly 250,000 pheasants, which generates
about $35 million in revenue for the economy. The
program is funded by the revenue captured from
hunting license sales.
South Dakota has about $170 million in hunting revenue from pheasants, with the majority of
those revenues coming from non-residents. Wild
birds and well over 200,000 pen raised birds on
state approved lands are released throughout the
season.
Is that philosophy not worth looking into here
in Michigan? Ken asks.
We dont have to re-invent the wheel.

Why not pheasants and fish?


Before everyone gets all excited about a

pheasant release program here in Michigan lets


think about it, we do offer it for fishing, Ken says,
as he smiles slightly.
Fish stocking creates numerous fishing opportunities throughout Michigan. The DNR fish stocking trucks release a prized recreational cargo into
hundreds of lakes and streams throughout the state
each year. According to the DNR news releases,
fish stocking is a valuable tool used by fisheries
managers to restore, enhance and create new fishing opportunities. Fisheries Division has six fish
rearing facilities in Michigan.
Over the course of a typical year the DNR will
stock roughly 20 million fish. Michigan anglers

Ken Dalton with


his brother Terry
at one of their
Michigan pheasant hunting
hotspots several
years ago.

have access to four Great Lakes, 3,000 miles of


shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes and tens
of thousands of miles of rivers and streams. That
puts residents and visitors no more than 10 minutes
away from great angling opportunities and worldclass fisheries.
If funding is an issue to build a pheasant raise
and release program then lets look at a gas tax,
Pittman-Roberts money, royalties from timber sales
or a new license, Ken questions.
Can we afford it? I asked Ken.
He looked me sternly in the eye and said, We
cant afford not to!

some other states are offering successful raise and


release pheasant hunts. Why cant Michigan?
Currently we have fewer and fewer pheasant hunters, only because we have fewer pheasant
hunting opportunities, Ken explains.
If you would like to get involved in offering a
solution and or discussing this issue a Town Hall
meeting has been set up for January 8th, 2017 at
Castle Creek Golf Club, 5191 Lum Rd. Lum MI
48412. The meeting is to discuss ideas on how to
recruit pheasant hunters, putting them back in the
fields. Doors open at 4 p.m. at Castle Creek Golf
Club on January 8th.

Town Hall meeting...


Wisconsin, Pennsylvania South Dakota and

Ken Dalton can be reached at


810-358-9372.

THUNDER HILLS

CALL FOR INFORMATION


Like Us On
Facebook

248-249-4710
Or Visit Our Website

www.thunderhillsranch.com

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Featuring World Famous Hogan Hogs

27

Putting
Pattern
a

to

PLUGS

n January Michigan anglers have a couple


distinctively different fishing options to consider. For those who live to fish on hard water
Michigan has no shortage of places to fish or
species to target. Ice fishing hits a stride across
the state in January. Everything from farm pond
panfish to Saginaw Bay perch and walleye are on
the agenda for the avid ice fisherman.
A smaller and equally enthusiastic group of
anglers prefer to target their favorite species in open
water. Finding open water in January is a river thing
and winter steelhead amount to an anglers dream
come true. Anyone who has fished steelhead in the
winter will attest that there is just something special
about fishing Michigans Pere Marquette, Big Manistee, Muskegon and Au Sable Rivers when snow
blankets the ground.
It really doesnt matter if the fishing takes place
from the comfort of a drift boat, the water covering
advantage of a jet sled or by simply walking the
bank and wading the shoreline. Winter run steelhead are in the rivers for the sole purpose of feeding.
With the spring spawn months away, winter run
steelhead feed actively and diving/wobbling plugs
are one of the most exciting ways to target these
aggressive fish.

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Back-Trolling

28

One of the most exciting ways to fish wobbling plugs for steelhead is by using a west coast
tactic known as back-trolling or drop-back fishing.
This popular tactic involves rowing a drift boat or
using a gasoline kicker motor to position a jet sled
or other fishing boat in the current while plugs are
trailed downstream of the boat.
Because the boat is being held in place in the
current, plugs wobble violently against the current and dive towards bottom. The typical set up
involves running four rods positioned in strategically located rod holders. One rod is positioned on
each side of the boat and running perpendicular to
the hull. A second pair of rods are positioned to run
straight out the back of the boat near the port and
starboard side gunwales.
Depending on the water depth the plugs may be
fished as close as 20 or 30 feet below the boat or as
far away as 50 to 75 feet. This style of plug fishing
is normally practiced with monofilament line and it
pays to buy the best when plugging for steelhead.
Maximas Ultra Green is hands down the most
popular monofilament line among avid steelhead
fishermen and 12, 15 and 18 pound test lines are the
most popular sizes.

The author is all smiles with this west Michigan steelhead caught on a Mag Lip plug that was
customized by steelhead enthusiast Josh Crabtree.
A couple things make Ultra Green the line of
choice for winter steelhead fishing. The light green
color of this line blends perfectly with winter river
waters. Secondly, Ultra Green is the most abrasion
resistant line on the market. When a raging steelhead darts into a log jam, you want Ultra Green on
your reel.
The four rod spread described here covers a
sizable amount of water and enables the angler to
experiment with different plug brands, models,
types and colors. Back-trolling is a presentation that
begins at the upstream side of holes and lazy runs.
The boat is slowly allowed to slip down with the
current and paddled or power trolled side to side to
cover as much water as possible.
Essentially back-trolling keeps four plugs wobbling near bottom and sweeping back and forth
across productive water. When a steelhead decides
to hit one of these wobbling plugs, the reaction can
only be described as a strike of anger because
the rod slams down and seconds later the fish in
airborne!

Using High Visibility Lines


When back-trolling the goal is to position plugs
as close as possible to sunken logs, rocks, undercut
banks and other places where steelhead tuck into
to avoid the current. At times it helps to use a high
visibility line as the main line on the fishing reel,
so the boat can be used to visually steer plugs into
position.
Josh Crabtree is one of Michigans hard core
plug fisherman who feels strongly that high visibility line makes a difference in his ability to present
plugs tight to cover. Josh spends a lot of time on the
snag ridden Kalamazoo River and without the aid
of high visibility fishing line he would undoubtedly
lose a lot more of his favorite fish catching plugs.
Maxima High Visibility has the same strength
and abrasion resistance as Ultra Green, but it
features a bright yellow color. When using high
visibility lines, slip a small bead onto the line, tie
in a small barrel swivel and at the other end of the
swivel add a six or seven foot leader of Ultra Green
or premium fluorocarbon line.
The bead on the line prevents the metal swivel
from banging against the rod tip and damaging the

tip top guide.

Productive Plug Families


The plugs that produce best on river steelhead
are a surprisingly select group of lures. High wobbling models that feature a pronounced banana
shape tend to dominate on steelhead rivers both
east and west. Baits that have proven themselves
over the years include the Yakima Flat Fish and
Mag Lip, the Luhr Jensen Kwik Fish, the Heddon
Tadpolly and the Lindy River Rocker.
Other noteworthy wobbling baits with a slightly
different profile include the Storm Hot n Tot and
Wiggle Wart, the Yakima Fat Wiggler, the Cotton
Cordell Wiggle-O, the Brads Wiggler and the Luhr
Jensen Hot Shot series of baits.
All of these baits fish best and have the most action when attached to the fishing line using a No. 2
or 3 sized round eye snap. A simple snap helps give
these lures more freedom of movement and tends to
open up their action. Avoid tying plugs directly to
the fishing line or using snap swivels at the terminal
end. Both of these options will rob these lures of
their precious action.

Modifying Plugs
Serious plug fishermen love their plugs and
they love to customize these lures for maximum
performance. Switching out the factory hooks for
premium after-market hooks is one of the ways
plug fishermen get the most from these lures. Ultrapremium hooks like the Eagle Claw Trokar and
Mustads Triple Grip do a great job of sticking and
keeping steelhead stuck.
Another popular plug modification is to remove
the belly hook and to upgrade the tail hook to one
size larger. The belly hook is the one that is most
likely to snag on the bottom and the belly hook is
also notorious for allowing hooked fish to get the
leverage needed to tear free.
The rule of thumb when replacing tail hooks
on plugs is to upgrade with hooks that are only one
size larger than the factory supplied hook. Running
too large a hook on a wobbling plug can cut the
lures action and increase the likelihood of snagging.
Using highlight colors is another common

modification plug fisherman keep in their bag of


tricks. A set of colorful Sharpie pens is an easy
and effective way to add contrasting color to the
nose or tail of a lure. A Sharpie also does a nice job
of drawing on ladder backs or Y bones along the
flakes of these plugs.
The ink in a Sharpie pen is surprisingly durable
and will stay on a plug almost as long as the factory
paint finish.

A Little Scent

Boards From The Bank


Plug fishermen routinely fish from drift boats,
jet sleds and other small river boats. That doesnt
mean that anglers who fish from the bank cant use
plugs.
A simple trick for getting plugs to the places
steelhead hide out involves using a small in-line
planer board. The Off Shore Tackle Mini-Planer

For Bryan Darland of Jays Spor ting Goods nothing beats the excitement of steelhead fishing
in the winter. Mark Romanack photos
is about the size of a standard envelop and does a
great job of presenting plugs from shore.
Simply cast the plug out into the current, attach
the Mini Board onto the line using both the line release on the tow arm and the release mounted at the
back of the board. Flip the board into the water and
play line off the reel allowing the board to plane
out into the current.
By simply letting out the necessary amount of
line and walking up and down the bank, its easy to
steer plugs into undercut banks, along submerged
logs and other places steelhead hide out.
The Mini-Board is designed to be reversible
so it can be easily fished from either side of the

river. These boards cost about the same as a couple


crankbaits, but they can make a huge difference in
a shore fishermans ability to target river steelhead.

Summing It Up
For anglers who love to fish year around, but
who would rather not venture out onto the ice,
Michigan has some of the best river steelhead fishing in the nation. Steelhead can be caught a number
of ways, but plug fishing ranks as one of the most
exciting ways to target winter chrome. Plugs work
great when fished from boats and shore fishermen
can get in on the fun as well.n

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Tweaking the hooks and adding accent color


are great ways to make steelhead plugs better fish
catching machines. Adding fishing scent is another
way to make plugs not only look like food, but to
smell the part as well.
The best fishing scent products are those made
from real baitfish that allows anglers to create a
natural scent stream in the water. Pro Cure is the
leader in this category of fishing scents. The Pro
Cure Super Gel is unique in that it is made by dehydrating common baitfish like ciscoes, alewives,
gizzard shad, crayfish, etc., and then grinding the
baitfish into a fine powder. The powered baitfish
is then mixed with an odorless gel that keeps the
scent on the lure where it belongs.
Most fishing scent products wash off as quickly
as they are applied. Super Gel gives off a natural
scent trail for 30-40 minutes before it needs to be
re-applied. After using Super Gel baits will be covered in a greasy film. The best way to remove this
film is with a solution of soap and water.
Cleaning baits in a light solution of soap and
water removes not only the film from the fishing
scent, but other odors that may have contaminated
the baits.
Fishing scent works great, but to get the most
from these scents requires making sure to keep
foreign odors off those lures. Many anglers wear
the disposable gloves mechanics wear to keep their
lures free of foreign odors and their hands from
smelling like a fish farm!

29

Outdoor Safety And First Aid

SMOKY DANGER...

WINTER
CAMPFIRES!

crackling winter campfire, the kind that sends


sparks dancing up into the
sky and glowing embers
sizzling down into deep
snow, is the perfect way to
end a few days of outdoor adventuring in the woods of Michigan. The rich smell of wood
smoke adds to the pleasures
of the moment before its
time to shake snow off the
boots and shuffle back into
the cabin. The next morning freshly cut firewood logs
that served as seats for the
campfire are
restacked. And
then its time to
pack up the gear,
close up the cabin and head home.
Twenty-four hours pass, and then
a slight itch begins.
It starts with just a bit of itching,
maybe on the wrists, neck or face. By
the next day it becomes more intense
and annoying with swelling begins.
Small blisters appear. Give it another
day and a personal body inspection
down there leaves you puzzled and
pondering. What the heck are those
red marks, and how the hell did they
get here?
The reddish rash and itching on
the face, hands, neck and down there
quickly progresses to a stay-up-allnight-itch-yourself-to-crazy-wish-Iwas-dead type of itching that finally
suggests its time to see a doctor.
The doctor takes a look, a long puzzled look, and seems confused before
professionally mumbling, If it was
summer I would say you got yourself
into poison ivy before adding, But
its winter now, so its not poison ivy.
The doctor is wrong. It is poison
ivy and poison ivy remains potent and
powerful all winter with campfires often the catalyst of the misery and woe
of winter rashes that are generically
termed, contact dermatitis.
Situational awareness is of
paramount importance on all winter

adventures, and that extends beyond


being aware of ice conditions, extreme weather changes, frostbite and
hypothermia. It includes the ability to
identify poison ivy and poison sumac
in the dead of winter. All parts of both
plants are rich with urushoil, the oil
that leads to the rash. In winter the contact usually comes
from bruised stems or broken
twigs of poison sumac, or
broken or burning poison
ivy vines. Poison ivy vines
cling tightly to tree trunks
and often end up in campfires
when wood is cut. And thats
where this story
really begins.
The worst news:
Urushoil binds
easily with the smoke from campfires
(or wildfires) and if it reaches human skin exposure occurs. And if the
hands are exposed and contaminated
and then touch other parts before they
are cleaned, the oil is transferred. It
does not take much.
The Center for Disease Control
states, When exposed to 50 micrograms of urushiol, an amount that is
less than one grain of table salt, 80
to 90 percent of adults will develop a
rash. The rash, depending upon where
it occurs and how broadly it is spread,
may significantly impede or prevent a
person from working. Burning these
poisonous plants can be very dangerous because the allergens can be
inhaled, causing lung irritation.
The National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety web site explains, Any person working outdoors
is at risk of exposure to poisonous
plants, such as poison ivy, poison oak,
and poison sumac. When in contact
with skin, the sap oil (urushiol) of
these plants can cause an allergic reaction. Burning these poisonous plants
produces smoke that, when inhaled,
can cause lung irritation.
They go on to explain the three
most common ways for exposure.
Direct contact with the plant

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

By Jonathan Schechter

30

LOG CABINS OF OLD


trekking into the vast outdoors! Study
up, stay safe, and dont forget the
Tecnu!
Their website, http://www.
teclabsinc.com which also has plant
identification tips and photos states,
quite accurately, Poison ivy, oak and
sumac rash is caused by the skins
reaction to the plants oil, urushiol
(oo-roo-she-all). For effective poison ivy or oak treatment, you must
first remove the urushiol oil to keep
it from spreading and also apply an
anti-itch treatment to alleviate the
painful, itchy rash symptoms. Usually
this takes two products, but Tecnu
Extreme can do both in one step!
Washing with Tecnu Extreme
for 15 seconds not only removes the
rash-causing plant oil, but it also
provides itch relief and soothes burning from poison ivy, oak and sumac
rash. I will add that treatment with
Tecnu Extreme works best when its
applied as soon after the exposure as

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The best way to identify poison


ivy, oak, and sumac when the
leaves have fallen is by the hairy
vines. Author photos
possible.
Head for the winter northwoods
and have fun, but always remember
that although poison ivy may appear
dead, its only napping and if bruised,
cut or burned, it springs to life in the
dead of winter and will fight back
with a powerful punch.
Jonathan Schechter is the Nature
Education Writer for Oakland County
Government and a member of the
Wilderness Medical Society. Email:
oaknature@aol.comn

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Indirect contact (touching tools,


animals, or clothing with urushiol on
them)
Inhalation of particles containing urushiol from burning plants
Poison ivy is extremely common
in the woods of Michigan and easily avoided by those that know what
the leaves look like during spring,
summer and fall. By mid-summer,
the plants sprout grape-like clumps of
greenish to off-white berries that often persist into winter giving a partial
clue for identification.
But the best clue is the vine that
can be thinner than a pencil, or as
thick as human wrist, clings tightly
to tree trunks and is attached by tiny
hair-like rootlets. Some of the vines
may reach thirty feet or higher into a
tree, and when they are cut along with
the firewood, they become botanical time bombs waiting for the heat
of the flame to bind the urushiol to
smoke particles.
A little bit of knowledge is the
best prevention. Learning how to
identify poison ivy and poison sumac
when they are leafless is the best
means of prevention. Washing with
soap and water within 10 minutes of
known exposure to remove the invisible oils may prevent, or perhaps at
least lessen the severity of the rash.
But once the itch begins, washing
serves no purpose. As a side note, the
fluid that oozes from blisters does not
spread the rash.
Chemical Warfare to The Rescue:
I have no finical interest in, nor connection to Tecnu Labs but one of their
products, Tecnu Extreme is always
in my field gear. ALWAYS! It works.
My wildland firefighter friends agree.
And I have used it most everywhere
on my body. Enough said about that.
Heres what Tecnu says about outdoor
myths in one of their website outdoor
blogs.
Dead or dormant poison ivy
cant hurt you: Ah, the best myth for
last! As the trusted name in poison
oak and ivy for over 50 years, we approve of backpackers breakdown of
this myth!
Yes, its true, even when the
leaves have fallen, even if the plant
is dead, poison ivy (oak, and sumac)
can still cause the itchy, red rash we
all dread! The culprit? Urushiol, the
rash-causing oil present in all parts
of the plant (stem, roots, leaves) that
does not evaporate and can last for
years!
The best way to identify poison
ivy, oak, and sumac when the leaves
have fallen? Hairy vines! Just remember, A hairy vine is no friend of
mine. Should you forgo our advice,
or find yourself inadvertently exposed
to poison ivy, count on Tecnu to get
you through to the next adventure!
It pays to do your homework before

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31

By Robert Dock Stupp

Icing Michigans

pike and walleyes

ometime after Thanksgiving


and hopefully before Christmas,
safe ice solidifies in the U.P. of
Michigan. This year I am looking forward to some new tactics
and exciting products that should
make 2017 more productive and fun. In
the December 2016 edition of WoodsN-Water News I discussed the new lightweight, battery powered augers that can
drill through ice at an amazing one-inch
per second, the lightweight and improved
underwater cameras, and the innovative
jigs and other lures for panfishing on ice.
Come on along as we start the trek
on the bountiful ice platforms here in
Michigans Ice Belt the ubiquitous inland lakes, rivers, and surrounding Great
Lakes.
Because Im still primarily a walking
ice fisherman, Im always searching for
the lightest load I can pull on the ice. I
decided to leave my heavy Clam ice shack
home and I bought an Eskimo Quickfish
2. Its a pop-up shelter that sets up in
about five minutes. The thing I like about
it is that it weighs only 18-pounds, comes
with a combination bag/back pack, ice
anchors, and a big pocket for your stuff.
Ill carry it in my light sled with my new

10 pound electric auger/drill and search


for a combination pike and walleye bite at
first ice.

Combo Pike and


Walleyes at First Ice

Searching for early ice fishing spots


is as easy as remembering where you
caught pike and walleyes at the end of
the fall open water season. I like to start
fishing for pike at first ice, catch a few 24
to 30-inchers to fillet out in small chunks,
put them in seasoned, simmering water,
and dip them in butter. Makes for what
my wife and I call Poor Mans Lobster.
Mighty tasty!
When I can find the right habitat
for catching a combination of pike and
walleyes, say a lake in Iron County that
has a rock bar about 75-yards long that
rises to six-feet out of 25-feet of water,
Ill put a couple of tip-ups out in about
The frozen author holds up a frozen walleye that hit a tip-up with a 20-lb.
15- to 20-feet of water near some weedy
areas. Then Ill put my portable shack just fluorocarbon leader and a circle hook attached. The 6-inch red-tailed chub
swam naturally and as planned, the circle hook was embedded in the corner
off the rock bars first drop-off in about
of the walleyes mouth.
nine-foot; there I will jig with a jig/minnow combo and see what happens. My
walleyes as the sun goes down.
naturally. Now, for the rest of the story!
plan is to catch a few pike, then move up
As far as pike rigging goes, I place a
closer to the top of the bar and catch a few tip-up with some muskie line and a thin
wire leader attached, then place a shiner
minnow on a single treble hook. Finally,
I stick one tine of the treble hook just in
front of the dorsal fin of the minnow.
At first ice, I have experimented with
On my other tip-up I rig another
shiner or red-tailed chub with a quick-set fluorocarbon as a leader for walleyes and
pike. At last ice, however, I will use Sevrig, which has two trebles, one stationenstrand wire as a leader because there
ary and the other hook slides up or down
is a better chance of catching a big tooth,
the leader, depending on the size of the
whopper pike during this time.
bait. This rig is meant to make not only a
Because I have had better success
good hookset but also to allow the angler
catching pike and walleyes in open water
to release smaller fish. These rigs are the
with flouro, I like to use Seaguar fishing
reliable old-fashioned tip-up set.
line, a sturdy fluorocarbon line that is all
Now, in the past when a gang of us
but invisible. In open water I like to use 6
would combo-fish for the day, I would
December 6th through January 12th
pound flouro for walleyes. But when I ice
rig up two tip-ups for pike, as mentioned
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays
fish, I will use two tip-ups that are both
above,
and
then
two
tip-ups
for
walleyes.
Groups up to 5, minors welcome
spooled with 25-pound or even 20-pound
The walleye tip-ups were spooled with
25 Bird minimum!
flouro as a leader. That way, I can pretty
a braided line like Power-Pro and then a
Contact us with at least 24 hours notice
swivel and a four to six-pound fluorocarmuch have the confidence to catch either a
Only 5 Weeks long; dont miss out!
bon leader. A small treble would hook a
pike or a walleye. However, on some ocfathead minnow in the tail to let it swim
casions at first ice, I use six-pound flouro

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Fluorocarbon and
Single Hooks

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32

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when concentrating strictly on walleyes.

Advantages of
Circle Hooks
I can think of a few advantages
right off the bat. Ever catch a small
walleye or northern pike with a treble
down its throat? Pretty bloody, eh!
And not only that, by the time you
use pliers on a pliable small, stressedout pike with all that slime on its
skin, well, good luck releasing it. I
dont like to kill fish I dont eat.
Enter the circle hook! As you
savvy Michigan anglers know, circle
hooks have the good reputation of
catching fish in the corner of the
mouth, thus allowing them to be released unharmed and swimming into
the blue.
Circle hooks with fluorocarbon
line are just plain more natural looking, thus providing better hook-ups.
Another advantage of circle hooks
under tip-ups is the fact that, at first
ice, with clear, shallow thin ice being
the norm, you can sit and wait when
the flag pops up, thus not having to
run up and spook a target fish in the
area; it also takes the worry out of

Pike are aggressive, gluttonous predators at first ice; this one struck a light rod with a small spoon attached.
This feisty Esox Lucius took a lot of line off the spool, making for a great fight.
deeply hooking your fish. Less mess!
Wide gap hooks like circle hooks
rarely miss a hookset but they arent
perfect. Experiment and have fun
with different designs and sizes too.

New Lures and


Jigging Options
Michigan allows three lines on
the ice. I like to use one or two tipups and then jig in the shack with
jigs, spoons, swim lures, or blades.
The art of attracting large predators
by jigging or luring them to bite your
presentation is not only fun but may
be the only way to catch them that
day.
A ounce orange or gold jig
with or without a plastic tail or with
or without a minnow head or with
or without hair are good options to
attract walleyes and pike.
You can be subtle or aggressively
lift up and drop a spoon like the reliable Bay de Noc Swedish Pimple, a
PK Flutterfish, or a gold, Snyders
Lures Stripper.
Blade baits are thin and vibrate to
the max. One good one is Vibrations
Tackle Echotail. I also have an emer-

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A favorite of mine are the Swim
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catches crappies, big perch, walleyes, pike --- you name it. Also, the
new Moonshine Shiver Minnow and
the Custom Jigs and Spins Rotating
Power Minnow would be a good one
to experiment with.
In this golden age of ice fish-

ing there are many options like size,


shape, color, and vibration to choose
from. But remember, they have to
jigged, shaken, and manipulated, as
always, to attract and trigger. This is
where your skill comes in.
Yes, theres a plethora of new
piscatorial paraphernalia to field test.
Somebodys gotta do it, right?
Have fun on Michigans frozen
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JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

First ice water conditions can be


pretty clear and when combined with
fairly shallow ice and not much snow,
you have to be even stealthier to the
point where you do the tip-toe-tip-up
waltz when approaching ice holes. I
have seen fish just under the ice get
spooked and flee when I approach a
hole.
So, at first ice, while fishing for
pike in a large weedbed (or an edge
that drops into deep water) I like to
use a four to six-inch red-tailed chub
or a sucker or a shiner. Live bait at
first ice is always a safe bet. But to be
even stealthier, I have been using a
single hook like a circle hook. Some
guys use an octopus-style hook and
some guys use a small treble hook but
I like the circle hook concept.
For fishing walleyes and pike in
the same area at the same time and
using a six-inch live bait, a #6 circle
hook has a good hooking percentage.
For fishing bait about 8-inches long,
its a good idea to go to a #4-inch
circle hook.

33

Giving an old
gun a new life

went to inspect the old 12 gauge


double barrel shotgun before the
auction. It was covered with an
accumulation of dust and grime
that showed it had been sitting in
a corner or hanging on
a wall for many years. New
Worcester hammerless was
the only markings on the
gun. The action was gummy
and sticky, in need of a
thorough cleaning, but it felt
tight and locked up solidly.
The heavy, twist steel barrels were clean and
smooth. The stock
was rough but, all in
all, it looked pretty
good for a gun that is well over 100
years old.
With a little internet research, I
learned that the gun was made in 1903
by the Torkelson Arms Company in
Worcester, Massachusetts. (Im told
its pronounced Wooshter by New
Englanders.) Reinhard Torkelson
worked for several different gun manufacturers and holds about 15 patents

of his own for revolvers, single barrel,


and double barrel shotguns. His own
company didnt last very long however, only producing guns from 1902 to
1908. The shotguns he produced were
utility grade (read cheap)
selling for only $15 to $20.
It is not known how many
guns he actually produced
but probably not very many.
Although there is evidence
that the twist steel barrels
were made in Belgium, the
gun is considered American
made.
Well, the bidding
went a little higher
than I had hoped.
Auctions are like that. But, when the
sale ended I slid the old gun into the
case I had brought for it and took it
home. I had a plan for it.
After a thorough cleaning, I took
the gun to a competent gunsmith who
is familiar with, and shoots, antique
shotguns. I wanted his knowledgeable opinion for the safety of shooting
the old shotgun using only the black

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The Wooshter shotgun and our first grouse.


powder shells that it was designed for.
Stock looks like a beaver chewed on
it but the barrels look pretty good, I
mumbled as I handed him the old gun
with the action open.
After carefully inspecting the gun
he turned to me and said, If it were

mine I wouldnt hesitate to shoot


it with low pressure, black powder
shells. He also reminded me that
the gun has only 2 5/8 inch chambers. The chamber length of shotguns
wasnt standardized at 2 inches
until about 1920. Therefore, I would

have to cut modern shell casings down and reload


them with black powder to replicate the shells that
the old shotgun was made to shoot. That wouldnt
be a problem for me because I have previous experience of doing that very thing for my grandfathers
antique 10 gauge shotgun.
The Lansing Muzzle Loading Gun Club shoots
trap on Wednesday nights. Even though its not a
muzzle loader, they graciously allowed me to use
my black powder cartridge gun to bust a few
clay birds. I found that a load of 2 drams of
2Fg black powder and 1 ounce of #7 shot would
cleanly break clay pigeons, when I could hit em
that is.
Now for the rest of my plan. I wanted to get
the old shotgun back out into the field bird hunting.
I can only imagine the glory days that the wellworn old gun must have known; days when greenheads dropped smoothly into the decoys on cupped
wings with orange legs extended for landing, days
when coveys of quail exploded like popcorn as the
hunter stalked in ahead of the pointers, and days
when rooster pheasants flushed in a cackling racket
at the end of a weedy cornfield. I could almost
smell the intoxicating scent of a freshly fired paper
shot shell while just thinking about the possibilities.
Sadly, our pheasants are all but gone and there
are no quail where I live. Ruffed grouse populations are on the upswing this year though, so that
would be our game. My old Chocolate Lab, Hershey, has slowed down considerately now, maybe
he would hunt grouse for me.

I tried not to dwell on the thought of, old gun,


old dog, old man as we entered the woods for our
first try at Ruffed Grouse. I let Hershey hunt at his
own pace as we headed through the brush into a
quartering breeze. After circling around a swampy
area and a couple of places where the brush was
too thick to even enter, Hershey started getting
birdy. Tail whipping side to side, he picked up
the pace, tracking a running grouse. I followed,
trying to stay with him through the brush. The
bird flushed with that explosive whirr of wings that
startles a hunter into action. Going away and hard
right, I swung the barrels through him and pulled
the front trigger.
Through a cloud of black powder smoke I saw
the bird fold! Hershey saw him fall and went
after him. When I cleared the brush, he was
standing over the grouse waiting for me. Hershey
will catch a cripple, but the dumb dog will
hardly ever retrieve a dead bird to me. (I love
that big, old dog anyway.) Breaking the double
open, I plucked the empty shell from the extractor, sniffed the freshly fired casing, and grinned as
smoke curled from the empty barrel. The old gun
had new life.
Hershey can only hunt for a couple of hours or
hell be too stiff to move the next day. We made
a few more short grouse hunts last fall and I made
enough successful shots to satisfy the dog and even
surprise myself a little. Yep, October, 2016 provided some great days for me, my dog, and the old
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ome Michigan hunters wait a


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So its no wonder that the Pure
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To enter the drawing for the
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Winning the Pure Michigan
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Makayla Fleetwood of Bloomingdale a 2016 Pure Michigan Hunt
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This hunt package has been one
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my hunts, especially the elk. Theyve
been amazed at the fact that we have
elk in Michigan, and that I was able to

Pure Michigan Hunt 2016 winner Makayla Fleetwood of Bloomingdale


is shown with the elk she har vested this year. MDNR photos
get such a magnificent animal.
Fleetwood harvested a bull elk
with a 6-by-6 antler rack and a black
bear, both in the same day. She hunted
with her father who bought her the
winning Pure Michigan Hunt entry
along for the ride.
Ive been able to create amazing
memories with my dad and friends,
and thats what really counts, Fleetwood said.
Started in 2009, the Pure Michigan Hunt drawing offers the chance
to win a variety of hunting licenses

including a cherished elk license as


well as bear, spring and fall turkey,
and antlerless deer licenses as well
as first pick at a managed waterfowl
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The Pure Michigan Hunt is an
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hunters to experience all that Michigan has to offer, said Rachel Leightner of the DNR Wildlife Division.
Waterfowl hunting at daybreak,
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Donated by Michigan businesses and
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Pure Michigan Hunt applications
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Applying for the Pure Michigan
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Pure Michigan Hunt winners have
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and times that best fit their schedules
licenses are good for any and all
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Winners can pick and choose
hunt areas and times so they are
able to fit these hunts into their busy
lives, said Leightner. They also
have the option to give a license to
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With a recent change in Pure
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With the holidays coming up,
Pure Michigan Hunt applications
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Leightner. Instead of needing to
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Hunt winners now have the ability
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away to whomever they choose or
keep all of the licenses for themselves.
Mike Scherzer of Freeland, a
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watch a family member experience

Pure Michigan Hunt 2015 winner Jason Eurich of Saginaw with geese and ducks he and his group bagged.
the thrill of the Pure Michigan Hunt
when he transferred his bear license
to his son, Brandon.
Over the course of eight days,
Brandon, Mike and their guide from
East Lake Outfitters waited anxiously
for the chance at a bear. Their patience and persistence paid off.
The bear came in at last light
on the eighth day, and I shot it with
the Darton crossbow that came with
the prize package, Brandon Scherzer
said. It was a great hunt, and I am
very grateful for the experience.
Twenty-one Michigan hunters
have won the Pure Michigan Hunt,
and more than 154,000 applications
have been purchased, since the drawings started eight years ago.
In 2015, we had a year of great
success we had over 35,000 applications sold across the state, generating over $176,000, said DNR
Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason.
Since the programs inception, the
Pure Michigan Hunt has generated
more than $700,000. Funds raised go
directly toward wildlife habitat management and restoration in Michigan.
I purchased one ticket for the

first time while applying for my elk


draw on the Internet, which I have
been applying for forever, said 2014
Pure Michigan Hunt winner Bruce
Shaneour of Osseo. The hunts were
unbelievable. I was able to do some
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guns and gear that were awarded was

also very surprising.


Overall, this is a great thing to
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To learn more about the Pure
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37

BROTHERS
BAG BIG

BUCKS!

he archery deer
season was big for
the Strange family of Ellsworth.
They hunt a large
parcel of land
in the Charlevoix area, a
wooded plot that they have
been managing for deer for a
number of years. The
whole family hunts,
including Gary (Dad),
brothers Jason and
Tyler and sister Abby. Bowhunting
seems to be preferred but, as with
so many other hunters, the rifle or
muzzleloader may be taken up if the
string and stick doesnt produce.
The Strange clan is really into this

deer management business.


The hunting area has a full
twelve acres of food plots
and that area is planted to
provide food during both fall
and winter. There are several
box blinds on the property,
including an elevated blind
and a number of treestands.
Trail cameras are employed to keep track
of the bucks on the
land and it has been
possible to track the development of
individual bucks over the years.
Both boys have been hunting since
they were twelve years old and attribute their deer savvy and their success
to their father and his knowledge and

By George Rowe

Jason Strange and the mature six-point Pitchfork.


tutoring.
November 13th was the big day,
for both brothers. Jason scored in the
morning. He scented down and
took a stand next to a food plot. The
trail camera confirmed that a nice,
mature buck was using this area and

they had photos of him for three years.


This buck had been a seven-point in
2014 and 2015 but was now a very
tall six-point, aptly named Pitchfork. The buck was deemed to be at
the height of his development at four
or five years old. He didnt show up

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Tyler Strange
and the big
guy named
Moonlight.
Photos courtesy of Gary
Strange

snort-wheezed and chased some


more.
Another buck, a smaller eightpoint, came into the clearing next
and was immediately challenged by
the larger animal. He charged the
newcomer and that deer lowered his
antlers to meet the charge. After
the impact, the smaller deer left in a
hurry. When the big guy came close
enough, Tyler took the shot and the
arrow passed right under the deer,

causing the buck to run off to about


60 yards. Tyler, shaking, nocked
another arrow and watched the buck
carefully, for something like 20 minutes, noting that he was now on the
scent trail laid earlier.
The buck eventually came right
in on it, giving Tyler another shot.
This time, the arrow hit home, but a
little far back. The buck ran off into
the woods, making a tremendous
racket as he blundered into trees. It

was easy to track him by the blood on


the trees and he was down in about
100 yards. Tylers brute of a deer
weighed 235 pounds, dressed and
green-scored 153. In Tylers words,
it was the most exciting hunt that
Ive had - shaking - you have to pull
yourself together.
Both brothers took their deer
out of the hunting area to field dress
them, to avoid drawing coyotes to the
parcel.n

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near the stand until ten in the morning when he appeared along with
some does that he was shadowing,
announcing his arrival with grunts.
He came within eight yards of Jasons
stand and went down immediately at
the shot. The photo confirms that the
crossbow bolt was placed perfectly.
The rack on this deer was measured at
19 inches high, overall. The estimated dressed weight was 185 pounds
and the green score was guessed at
about 120. Jason said it was a pretty
good shot.
Tyler scored that same day, in the
afternoon. He was in a pop-up blind,
next to a food plot and this brother
was hunting with a compound bow.
He had four scent bombs out and had
made a scent trail, using the tarsal
glands from Jasons buck and some
doe urine. Four does came in fairly
early and hung around for perhaps
40 minutes. Around 4:30, there was
a big ruckus in the woods nearby
and seven does came into the food
plot, followed by a big buck. This
deer had been named Moonlight
by sister Abby. She was the first to
spot this buck, in an earlier firearm
season, seeing the rack by moonlight
while walking out of the woods. The
buck chased for a bit, made two rubs,

39

The Thumb area does have big


bucks: And there really was a Godzilla

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

ocal deer hunting in the


Thumb, especially the November firearms season, holds a
special place in my heart, and
I truly love the entire atmosphere from start to finish. It
has a very unique essence and a flavor
all of its own and our area offers excellent deer hunting opportunities too.
It is a timeframe that I literally live for
every year.
Ive had opportunities to hunt
for whitetails in other parts of the
country, but when their time frames
conflicted with my local deer hunting, I had to pass, and with no regrets.
I can remember talking to a fellow
who claimed if you really wanted to
bag a big buck, youd have to go out
of state, because they didnt exist in
these parts. Im not sure how or where
exactly he was hunting, or what he
considered as being a big buck (he
seemed to always talk in inches and
anything under a 140 incher was
beneath his consideration). Needless
to say I didnt agree at all with his
conclusion and I wish him well on
hunting elsewhere. Folks are always

40

welcome to their opinions.


By understanding a little bit about
the scoring process per whitetail buck
racks, I actually know what a 140
inch class represents, and in my
opinion that is an outstanding
buck anywhere. However, I
could not care less about how
many inches of antler any
of the bucks I have tagged
had nor have I ever had any
desire to have any of them
scored. What I consider as
being a big buck is purely a
very personal matter
with me, and I believe
that attitude covers
a lot of deer hunters. Ive been hunting local Thumb
whitetails for over 50 years now, and
Ive known my share of big bucks
(in my opinion anyway).
I didnt always end up tagging them
of course, but I sure got to know and
deeply respect them, and there has
been a continual number of bucks
along the way some folks will claim
dont exist in these parts, and Im
only talking about the ground I hunt

on (they certainly exist elsewhere in


the Thumb). It has been my distinct
honor to pursue them, and one thing
these bucks all have in common is an
individual character which sets them
apart. So much so, I tend to
give them names.
One such buck I hunted
whenever possible just a
few years ago, I had dubbed
White-Horns, and I came
close to getting him a couple
times, but when he wasnt
good at doing his skillful art
of survival, he tended
to be real lucky. He
also had a set range
he wandered in too,
which covered better than three miles
square, and I could only hunt him
when he ventured into my hunting
grounds. What caused his eventual
demise was getting hit by a motor
vehicle (I heard later he scored 162,
which is an outstanding buck but
then again some folks claim they
dont exist in these parts). He was a
real tough bugger too, because I can
remember seeing him dragging a

By Tom Lounsbury

hind leg after being injured and still


chasing does until he finally ran out of
steam.
The most recent buck I came
to know and deeply respect is one
I named Godzilla, because in my
opinion he was a monster buck. I
almost think there is a strong possibility he was directly related to
White-Horns, because he looked a
whole lot like him rack-wise, and had
very similar traits while covering the
same territory. Like White-Horns, I
guessed it was an easy three miles
square from the different points I spotted and recognized him while driving
around. The last time I saw him before
hunting season was while he was
bedded in a summer wheat field with
his big velvet antlers poking up. And
he tended to be a loner, which isnt
uncommon for bucks of this nature.
The next time I saw Godzilla was
when the 2016 firearms deer season
was almost a week old. I had 16 year
old Kyle Schneeberger of Cass City
hunting with me, and as is my case
with a young hunter under my wing,
he was the shooter and I was the guide

Randy Vollmar of Cass City with Godzilla. He


bagged the big 9 - point when the 2016 season
was a week old, at 100 yards with a .450 Bushmaster. Tom Lounsbury almost called Godzilla
into range for a youth hunter two days earlier.

using. The buck suddenly appeared in


the open 150 yards away, and stopped
fully broadside and Kyle locked on
with the rifle, and to his credit, he
asked for the green light to shoot.
He could see through the scope it
was a real dandy of a buck. However
we were experiencing sudden wind
gusts that even moved our stand,
and I wasnt comfortable at all with
a 150 yard shot, even if I was the
shooter instead (wind drift and bullet
drop were certain serious considerations), and I told Kyle to wait until I
could call the buck in closer. I let out
another doe bleat but it was clear the
buck was having trouble figuring out
just where it was coming from in the
windy conditions.
All of a sudden the buck looked
into the distance away from us and I
could tell by his body posture that he
had spotted something just coming
into the field that Kyle and I couldnt
see. Im almost certain it was a lone
doe we had spotted passing near us
a few minutes before we saw the
buck, and I believe the buck made the
assumption it was the lonely lady
he was hearing calling in the wind.
He took off at a gallop, in the wrong
direction for us of course, and disappeared.
Not long after that moment it

was quitting time, and I felt bad Kyle


didnt get a chance for what I considered as being an ethical shot to take.
However we were both thrilled at seeing an outstanding buck and almost
having things happen. Kyle bagging
that big buck would have certainly
worked for me, and there was no
doubt in my mind it was Godzilla.
A couple days later I was loading
hunting gear in my Jeep for the afternoon hunt when my lifelong neighbor
and friend Randy Vollmar drove up
my driveway and it was clear he had
a big deer in the back of his truck.
Randy had bagged the buck the
evening before (at 100 yards using

a .450 Bushmaster), and there was


no doubt in my mind it was Godzilla
lying in the truck bed. The fact was
Randy and I had talked about the big
deer just a week earlier, and we both
knew he was around, somewhere in
our neighborhood, and we wished
each other luck. It was a real pleasure
having a chance to get a close look
at the buck and actually touch his
antlers and ponder his massive body
size.
Godzilla was a dandy buck for
sure, and he was for real. Randy
Vollmar of Cass City will testify to
that fact!n

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

and spotter with a binocular and deer


calls while we sat together in a twoperson ladder-stand. It was just before
dark when I spotted a large deer stepping into the open 200 yards away
and I began carefully glassing it. I immediately let Kyle know the deer was
a real gagger, and when Kyle asked
what a gagger meant I explained it
was when I looked at a bucks rack
through a binocular, and start almost
choking on my chewing tobacco.
Using deer calling to lure bucks
into range can be futile at times during the peak of the rut when a lot of
bucks already have a hot doe with
them. They are pretty much focused
on the doe at hand, and rarely respond
to calling, at least that has been my
experience, and calling is my favorite
deer hunting technique. Since the big
buck I had just glassed (and certain it
was Godzilla) was alone and might be
looking around for a date, I sent out a
lonesome doe bleat, which he took
immediate notice to.
When the buck turned back into
the cover, I told Kyle to get ready.
We were experiencing sudden gusts
of wind, and I waited until a lull
appeared to call again in the hopes
of bringing the buck into the range I
thought Kyle could effectively handle
with the .44 Magnum rifle he was

41

Down and out

WALLEYE

Next BiteBy Gary Parsons and Keith Kavajecz

ootball and walleye fishing


are two of our passions, and
there are a lot of common
themes between them. It
begins with preparation and
studying the opponent. As
game time approaches, last minute
changes in strategy are made based on
factors such as weather.
Trolling for walleyes is like a
quarterback spreading the receivers
out, leaving options for a short pass
or going long. Once you see what is
working, it is just a matter of making
adjustments to outsmart the other side.
Our planer boards are like the
receivers. Without planer boards we
wouldnt be able to effectively spread
out our lines and cover a large area of
water.
Situations where walleyes can be
easily spooked are perfect for using
planer boards. In crystal, clear water,
the planer boards help us move the

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baits away from the boat. When walleyes are in shallow water, the boards
allow us to put our lures in the right
zone while the boat remains in deep
water. Another bonus is the ability
to work a gradual break, by running
some lines in shallow water and some
lines in deep water at the same time.
Finally, open water is an ideal
situation for planer boards. Open
water fish often suspend and are easily
spooked by the boat. By running several boards out each side of the boat,
not only does it reduce spooking but
also creates a wider swath of trolling
coverage.
Once we have spread our lines
out from the boat, we have to put
our lure in the right spot in the water
column. If we are fishing structure, we
will want to be on bottom. If we are
fishing an open water basin we want
to have our bait at or above where we Once you see what is working, it is just a matter of making adjustare marking the fish.
ments to outsmar t the other side.
Many times weights are needed
to help get the bait to the proper place
in the water column. So how do we
that? We like to use Off Shore Tackle
Tadpole Resettable Diving Weights
(Model OR36). We often pair these
weights with spinners, also known as
crawler harnesses.
Tadpoles not only sink, but they
are able to dive due to their unique
tadpole-like shape, which allows
us to use shorter leads. Not only is
a shorter lead more efficient when
reeling in a fish, they are less likely
to drop to bottom as a result of a boat
surge caused by waves. If the boat
pauses, the shorter leads will all help
keep Tadpoles from swinging down
do quickly, so they will be less likely
to bang bottom and get snagged.

The real beauty of a Tadpole is


that when a fish hits, the clip that the
line is connected to slides forward
and causes the Tadpole to quit diving. The Tadpole will pull in without
resistance, all you battle is the weight
of the fish.
For walleye fishing we like to
use a #1 Tadpole. Remember, this is
a speed related system. If we slow
down, the bait will go deeper speed
up and it will not dive as deep. On
the Precision Trolling App it says that
if we let out 35 feet of line on a #1
Tadpole, at 1mph it will run at 23 feet
deep. At 1.5mph it will be 14ft deep
and at 2mph it will be 11ft. deep. We
really have to watch our speed to get
into the exact zone. Changing speed
can also be our friend. If we mark fish

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Off Shore planer boards are also perfectly ballasted, so they wont flop in waves, they can be pulled really
slow for spinners, or fast with a lot of weight behind them. Their ballast makes them track in the water and
remain upright in all conditions.
Cisco rod holders. Not only are these
machined stainless steel rod holders durable, but they can be easily
adjusted with one hand and lock into
the correct position securely.
For planer boards, we use Off
Shore Planer Boards (Model OR12).
While the standard board comes with
two clips, we like to add a Snapper
Release (Model OR18) on the main
arm. The Snapper can securely lock
any line, including Berkley FireLine
so slippage is never a problem. This
clip simply will not let go, which is
great for keeping boards attached to
the line in big waves.
Off Shore planer boards are also
perfectly ballasted, so they wont flop
in waves, they can be pulled really
slow for spinners, or fast with a lot
of weight behind them. Their ballast
makes them track in the water and
remain upright in all conditions.
We run at least two boards on
each side of the boat. Multiple boards
allow us to compare how they are
running. If we dont have something
to reference against, it can be hard to
tell if we have a small fish or weed on
our lure. On the standard setup, when
a board slips back something is on
hopefully a fish!
About 90 percent of the time we
use Tattle Flags (Model OR12TF) on
our boards. These flags have a spring
system that pulls the flag down when
extra weight is on the line, such as
small fish, weeds, or a big walleye.
With the Tattle Flag system the tension can be adjusted by moving the
spring to different locations on the
board based on the pull of the bait
being used. Adjust it so the flag just
barely stays up any additional pull
will snap the flag down.
Next fishing season, there will be
a new version of the flags that will
have several positions on the flag so

the tensioning spring can be placed


higher up. This will allow you to put
proper tension on the flag for pulling
a lot of weight such as heavy pulling
cranks, Tadpoles with crank baits and
even lead core.

As you prepare for your next


walleye trip, study the lake, create a
playbook. Send your receivers down
and out (spread the boards and adjust
to the proper depth) to score your
Next Bite!n

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JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

higher than where our baits are, we


can adjust the bait depth by simply
speeding up.
Lets take a closer look at how
to run multiple boards out each side
of the boat. It begins with rod placement. In the back of the boat we put
three rod holders on each side. The
rod with the outside line is in the
rod holder furthest to the front of the
boat and the middle line will go in
the middle rod holder. The inside
line, which is the line with the board
closest to the boat, will be placed in
the rod holder at the back of the boat.
The rod holder at the front of the
boat should be pointed up high. The
next one should be at a medium level
and the back one should be pointed
just above the water. This setup gives
the rod tips separation which will
reduce the chance of tangled lines.
It is important to have durable
rod holders. There is a good amount
of torque due to the weight of an
inline weight or a crank bait pulling
and of course the pull of the board.
Rod holders should also be easy to
adjust up and down. Take a look at

www.GladwinGunVault.com 43

Y
V
V
SA
Captain Terry Kunnen of TKO Char ters uses a few strips of Coast Guard approved reflector tape on the flag of his Side-Planer boards when trolling for
night walleye like this giant caught on Muskegon Lake. Putting reflector tape on both sides of the boards flag makes it easy for anglers to monitor the
boards for strikes and also for other fishermen in the area to see your boards. Mark Romanack photos

quick look at the calendar and its evident that


Michigan anglers arent
going to need their in-line
planer boards anytime soon.
Winter might be a lousy
time to go trolling in Michigan, but
its the ideal time to learn a little more
about how to get the most from planer
boards. Its also a good time to make
custom upgrades that can make inline boards even more productive fish
catching machines.

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Why In-Line
Boards?

44

A good place to start is a


brief conversation about why
in-line boards have become
so popular in Michigan and
other states surrounding
the Great Lakes.
The popularity of
in-line boards can
be summed up in just two words...
versatile and affordable.
In-line boards can be used to
target all the popular Great Lakes
species and these trolling aids are
handy in big and small boats alike.
In-line boards are ideal for trolling at
the slow speeds required for targeting walleye with live bait and just as

useful for trolling bucktails at musky


speed!
In-line boards do an excellent
job of hauling all the common gear a
Great Lakes troller depends on. From
lead core and copper to crankbaits,
diving planers, snap weights and
more... In-line boards are useful for
trolling just about any gear, targeting
any species and they do it for a modest cost.

Adding Tattle
Flags
When some years ago
Off Shore Tackle introduced
their Tattle Flag System
it was a game changer. The
Tattle Flag is an after-market spring operated linkage
system that allows the planer
board flag to fold
down when a fish
is hooked. Actually
these linkage systems are so sensitive
the flag will even fold down when an
angler has snagged on floating weeds
and other debris or hooked a nontarget species like a white perch or
small drum.
The value of the Tattle Flag
comes in the ability to detect light
strikes, especially when trolling

By Mark Romanack

at slow speeds and in rough seas.


Walleye anglers who troll crawler
harnesses at places like Saginaw Bay,
Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, Munuscong
Bay and Little Bay de Noc consider
these trolling aids as must have
equipment.
It takes about five minutes and
some simple hand tools to install a
Tattle Flag kit. The kit comes complete with replacement line releases,
the linkage arm, a replacement flag, a
stainless steel spring and all the necessary hardware. New for 2017 these
kits feature an improved flag design
that features a widened tab on the flag
stem. Four additional holes are drilled
in the flag stem, allowing the Tattle
Flag system to enjoy four additional tension settings.
From trolling with ultra-light
weights to super deep diving crankbaits, the Tattle Flag can now be
configured for any trolling speed
and application. The new Tattle Flag
kits are also designed to run the
linkage wire at an angle from the flag
to about midway at the back of the
board. This slight downward angle in
the linkage system lowers the rear tow
point on the board and helps to keep
the nose of the board down.
This subtle, but important modification allows the board to pull more

weight and plane further out to the


side of the boat. For anglers who
already have the first generation of
Tattle Flags on their boards, these
new flags are available for sale at
major retailers and at www.offshoretackle.com.

Night Rigging Boards


In-line planer boards are wildly
popular among open water trollers and
the fun doesnt stop when the sun sets.
Countless anglers enjoy night trolling
with in-line planer boards.
I do a lot of night trolling for
walleye, says Captain Terry Kunnen
of TKO Charters out of Muskegon,
Michigan. So I can see my boards
and monitor them for strikes, I put a
few strips of reflector tape on both
sides of the board flags so I can see
the boards in the dark and so can other
boats around me.
Using reflector tape on planer
boards is a great idea. I like the US
Coast Guard approved reflector tape
sold at marine stores, adds Kunnen.
The Coast Guard approved tape costs
a little more, but it sticks, stays stuck,
never requires batteries and does an
excellent job of reflecting even the
subtle light produced by my head
lamp, bow lights and stern navigation
light.

Line Release Inspections

More Release Savvy


The line releases used on the
various in-line boards are generally
held in place using a stainless steel

In-line planer boards have become the board of choice among countless anglers who fish in Michigan and the
other states surrounding the Great Lakes. These boards are effective, affordable and versatile enough to be used
for everything from crappie to monster muskie trolling applications.
bolt and plastic nut. Vibration from
bouncing around in the boat can
cause these plastic nuts to vibrate
loose.
Tightening these plastic nuts
with a pair of vice-grip pliers helps to
insure the nuts stay tight. Another option is to replace the plastic nuts with
stainless steel Nylock bolts that once
tightened stay tight.
When storing in-line boards during the winter, its also a good idea to
place a little chunk of paper between
the rubber jaws of line releases. A
chunk from a business card is just the
right thickness. This trick keeps the
rubber jaws from fusing together and
guarantees that fishermen will have

New for 2017 Off Shore Tackle has upgraded their Tattle Flag System to
add four more spring adjustment settings on the flag stem. Also, by lowering the rear tow point of the board enables the Side-Planer to carry more
weight and also to plane fur ther out to the side of the boat.

functioning line releases when they


need them.

Board Balancing Tricks


Most modern in-line boards
feature a ballast system that keeps the
board upright in the water. The ballast
weight can be moved to change the
balance point of the board. Normally
this requires loosening or removing
a set screw that holds the weight in
place. Once the weight is repositioned
the set screw is replaced.
Anglers who troll using hard pulling and deep diving crankbaits will
note that the resistance of the bait in
the water causes the planer board to
ride nose up in the water. Moving
the ballast weight forward works to
lower the nose of the board and helps
to achieve the best possible outward
coverage with board lines.
This trick also works for anglers
who routinely fish with long lengths
of sinking lines like lead core, copper
line and the new weighted stainless
wire. The same is true among anglers
who fish boards with popular divers
like the Off Shore Tackle Tadpole
Diver, Big Jon Mini Disk, Lurk
Rundown Diver and Luhr Jensen Jet
Diver.
The down side of moving the ballast weight forward is a flat running
board is more susceptible to catching
a wave and diving in rough water.
To help mitigate this problem, when
reeling in the board point the rod tip
down towards the water. When the
board is a few feet away from the
boat, lift the rod tip and swing the
board into the boat all in one smooth
motion.
If a board dives, slow up the
boats trolling speed and keep steady
pressure on that board line. Usually
the buoyancy of the board will cause

it to pop back to the surface quickly.

A Word on Board Sizes


In-line boards come in different
sizes designed for different trolling
applications. The smaller or miniboards are designed for trolling
with light line and targeting smaller
species like crappie and also for river
trolling and river bank fishing applications.
The middle size boards are the
work-horses of the in-line planer
board world. These boards are big
enough to handle a wide variety of
trolling tackle and trolling speeds.
Clearly the angler who only wants to
invest in one type of in-line planer
board is going to settle on the medium sized boards.
The larger or magnum sized
in-line planer boards are designed for
salmon anglers who routinely fish
with long lengths (300 feet or more)
of copper line or weighted steel wire.
Muskie trollers who fish with oversized body baits also favor the extra
planing ability of the magnum
boards.

Wrapping It Up
The popularity and growth of
the in-line planer board is indisputable. Anglers love fishing in-line
boards because these trolling aids are
functional, inexpensive and they can
be used to troll all the popular gear
Great Lakes anglers depend upon to
catch fish.
On top of all those attributes, its
a whole lot of fun watching an inline board sag in the water from the
weight of a heavy fish. Board fishing
with in-lines is fun and one of the
most productive ways yet to put all
kinds of fish in the boat.n

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Winter is the ideal time to inspect


the line releases on in-line boards.
The rubber pads in line releases
take a lot of abuse while fishing and
periodically these pads need to be
replaced. In most cases these pads
are inexpensive and can be easily
replaced by simply prying out the old
pad with the tip of a pocket knife,
adding a drop of waterproof glue and
pressure fitting the new pads in place
using your fingers.
Winter is also the time to upgrade the releases on in-line boards
to a host of special purpose releases
and clips on the market. Most in-line
boards come standard with releases
designed to function with monofilament or fluorocarbon lines. Anglers
who fish using fused or super braid
lines will need to upgrade to a family
of line clips designed to grip and hold
these slippery and low stretch line
types.
Line releases designed to function with monofilament line normally
feature rubber pads that hold the line
via spring tension. Clips designed to
hold fused and super braid lines feature a cam operated jaw that is adjustable by tightening or loosening a set
screw. When the cam jaw is adjusted
and closed, the line is held securely
between a pair of thin friction pads.

45

Michigans Arkansas Connection


Theres a trout fishery that shares many of its world-class fishing traits with Michigan
By David A. Rose

or several years now, Michigan fishing guide Alex Lafkas


has been seeing to it that his
clients stand the best chance
possible at hooking up with
the biggest brown trout of
their life.
Now, Lafkas isnt the only guide
in this state making sure his guests
make the correct cast, with the right
offering, into the runs and pools he
knows holds the biggest brutes within
a Midwest river. He is, however, one
of few who are able to extend their
trout guiding season throughout the
winter months by making a full-daysplus drive south. And many Michiganders follow suit.
Its all because this particular
fly-fishing veteran from Traverse
City (alflyfishing.com) has spent
the last decade of his 17-year career
on the water wintering in Arkansas;
fishing a river that might literally be
the rivers of Michigan are also the
the worlds-best trout fishery. And
systems that folks fishing the worldthe techniques that work so well in
class fishery on the White River now

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

The author, David A. Rose, holds


a nice brown trout from
Arkansas White River, caught on
a Smithwick Rogue.
Author photos
use. And some of the unique non-flyfishing techniques other guides from
that area use also work wonders here
as well; however, they are less known.

Same But Different


Michigans most common link
with other states this time of year is
usually more of snowbirds heading
as far south as they can to escape the
wrath of winter, and then casting a
line out into the Atlantic Ocean or
Gulf of Mexico in hopes of catching a
variety of saltwater species.
Fun? You bet. But if the comfortable temperatures of spring and fall
months in the Midwest are more your
thing than sunburns and high humidity, the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
should be your destination.
The weather in northwest
through central Arkansas during January through March are as similar to

Michigans in mid fall and late-spring


as can be, says Lafkas. The temperatures may hit the freezing mark
overnight, but then warm up to the
high 50s/lower 60s by noon. And
its these conditions in which the trout
fishing in Michigan is at its prime.
And so, too, in the region where the
White River flows.
Oh, sure, you may get a day or
two when a light snow or rain falls,
but its usually only for one day,
maybe two, and then its the same
spring-like weather we see in the Midwest again.
So, how similar is the brown trout
fishery in Arkansas to the same fishery
here? All it takes is a look at the last
few world-record catches to see a
similarity.

Behemoths
In 1992, within the rippling waters

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Saginaw Bay
Walleye

46

All through spring and


summer our charters
produce consistent,
world class fishing.
Catch limits there are very
generous too. Both eaters
and lunkers are
typically caught on most
charters for the perfect mix.

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Techniques No-So Specific


While Lafkas has his clients
flinging huge, 6 to 8-inch streamerswhich Michigan guides and fly
tiers were the leaders of this exacting
big streamer packsome guides, like
Donald Cranor, of Cranors Guide
Service (whiterivertroutfishing.net) in
Arkansas had me drifting large, suspending bodybaits for the big browns
in the White.
It was exactly one year ago this
month when I was last on the White
River, and the crew of Cranors had
me using bass-fishing-style spinning
gear and minnow-imitating baits to
catch big browns.
We fished via boats a few miles
upstream from where I was staying at
Cedarwood Lodge (cedarwoodslodge.
com), near Flippin, Arkansas; just below the dam that creates Bull Shoals
Reservoir. We were at the head waters
this time of year because the browns
that call Arkansas home spawn late
December through February; only a
couple months behind those that roam

within Michigan waters. And some


of the rivers largest fish migrate here
for procreation.
But even though we were targeting large fish, it was only 6-poundtest Silver Thread AN40 copolymer
line, tied into a 3-way rig with a
1/2-ounce bell-sinker. The leader
was about 3-feet long, and to its end
was a Smithwick Suspending Rattlin
Rogue, the line tied directly to the
leader line.
The guide would let the boat float
along with the current, while my line,
which had been cast out slightly upstream, would drift along at the same
speed. The bell-sinker would take the
lure to bottom, and then just tick
over the rocks. The stop-and-go of
the rig as the sinker touched bottom
would allow the lure to ride perfectly
within the current, then wiggle as
the lure came to a pause. And the big
browns couldnt resist.
Really, this technique with
Rogues isnt anything new, states
Cranor. Come to find out from a few
old-timers, they would use this same
rig with a Rebel Big Craw, which had
a similar action, when water levels
were up.
And the water was high when we
were there.
I have now tried this rig on a few
rivers in Michigan, even while standing ankle-deep and donning waders
rather than in a boat, and the results
have been the same. The outfit just

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Lock-Jaw

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TX-44 Tournament Series

The TX-44 is the first and the only in line planer to pull the large Divers,
Lead Core, Wire or Copper Lines and Heavy Weights. The size of the TX-44
makes it harder for fish to pull the board under, however it is still easy to
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designed for lead core & copper, makes accidental
E-Z Store
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Great for trolling in congested areas and more effective contour trolling along
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Effective for all species. Run more lines out the back of the boat by staggering tow-arm removal. Part# 30630

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each weight included

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The Mini Lock-Jaw fits The Walleye Board, TX-44, TX-22, TX-12 & TX-6 1 7/8 Long
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planer boards, but we recommend the full size Lock-Jaw for the TX-44. 1/2 Wide Locator holes for
keeps line from making
attaching
contact with screw
The Mini Lock-Jaw is designed to fit other side planers, drop weights and
WE
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works for many other applications.
WE HAVE PERFECTED THEM!
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Gift Certificates Available
Also available
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Are Michigans spring and fall


seasons your favorite for catching
trout? The by all means, check out
the White River in Arkansas. There
are so many similarities, including
the guides and anglers who fish both
waters, that youll feel right at home.
David A. Rose is an outdoor
writer and fishing guide who lives in
the Traverse City, Michigan, area. He
also has been a fishing guide on the
inland lakes of the same area for over
two decades now. Check out wildfishing.com for more information.n

For drop weights &


This clip may be mini but when it comes to holding power its second other applications

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Lafkas states the White River


is like four or five Michigan rivers
all in one. Its much larger in width,
length and flow than our largest, but
has similar characteristics to most any
within the state. The river sees a lot
of fishing pressure, yet, the promotion
of catch-and-release of browns has
created a truly trophy-class fishery. A
plethora of stocked rainbow trout create a catch-keep-and-eat fishery. Just
drift Rebels tiny TD47 Trackdown
Minnow Ghost Minnow instead of
the larger bodybaits and youll have
enough fish for the dinner table to

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Michigan fly-fishing guide Alex Lafkas, seen here with a huge White River
brown, is just one of many of Michigans connection with the state of Arkansas.
plain ol catches fish of all species.
feed an army. You might even catch
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rainbow and cutthroat) for a triple of
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JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

of Arkansas Little Red Riverwhich


is a tributary of the WhiteHoward
Collins landed a 40-pound 4-ounce
brown. That was the largest Salmo
trutta (for you Latin buffs) ever landed on hook and line in the world
Until the year 2009, that is.
Then, on September 9 of the
latter-mentioned year, Tom Healy
of Rockford, Michigan, landed a
41-pound 7.25-ounce, 43-inch brown
in Michigans Big Manistee River
(now tied with another Wisconsincaught brown, out of Lake Michigan)
while fishing with guide Tim Roller.
Coincidence? Not really. Both
states offer the perfect environments
for trout to grow to such huge proportions. And biologists from both states
say if theres another, larger brown
yet to be landed, it will come from
one of these two states.

47

Young women's words of wisdom from a deer blind

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

One of the most enjoyable aspects of being


an educator is to listen to the delightful,
sometimes profound, and often humorous
things that children say (Im thinking of a
Kindergartener at my school glowing when
he said, Hey, Mr. B. arent you happy the
New England Pastries won the Super Bowl?!)
Along those lines, I recently interviewed several young ladies-spanning ages 10 to 14-that have
had successful deer hunts in Northwest Michigan.
Ive gleaned some of their words of wisdom that
we all might employ when trying to replicate their
accomplishments.
Ten-year-old Emileigh Schlappi, of Petoskey,
downed the first deer of her life during the youth
hunt. She was hunting on her own property when
she took the 5-pointer. Emileigh may be the only
kid in Northwest Michigan whose deer blind is
also part of her backyard playscape! Dads a master
carpenter and has converted part of the wooden
structure to a second floor blind, complete with
chairs and camouflage netting.
Emileigh looks forward to when her sister,
eight-year-old Addi, will join them in their quest to
put lean, organic, hormone-free meat on their table.
She doesnt eat many kinds of meat but smiled,
venison is my favorite type of meat to eat especially when we make tacos, lasagna, and chili out
of it. Its terrific!
When asked to share her favorite thing about
deer hunting the good-natured young lady said, I
really just love being outdoors so I can watch deer
and other wildlife and learn about their habits.
Wise words, indeed.
Another savvy young huntress is 11-year-old
Kaylee Drake of Afton. Her mom, Jenn, owns a
successful hunting business called Drakes Guiding
Service (989-306-2891). In addition to deer, mom
guides Up North hunters in pursuit of elk, bear,
turkey and bobcat.
Kaylee out-smarted a 5-point buck last fall and
dropped him from 110 yards using a 6-mm. rifle.
When I asked her what the key was to taking the
antlered gentleman she said, It paid off that I did a
lot of target shooting so I could hit the deer exactly
where I wanted to.
Kaylee hunts with a compound bow, crossbow,
and rifle. Her fondest experience is watching her
mom take a deer and helping her to track it.
Ive learned a lot from my mom and really enjoy
being out in nature with her! she chortled.
Ten-year old Molly Arthur of Petoskey took the
first buck of her life last season. She employed a
.218 Bee rifle to do so. The spike horn was dropped
near Petoskey on her granddads property.
Her advice to other girls interested in deer
hunting was, Its really fun to be out there, especially when hunting with your family. My dad and
step-mom taught me and she is actually hunting
right now!
Mollys favorite thing about the experience is,
Eating the meat! We love venison!
She added, I really liked
tracking the deer too. Looking
for a blood trail and hunting
for the buck!
The most experienced
young huntress in this herd is
14-year-old Sophie Cranny of
Harbor Springs. Her mom,
Angie, is an avid bow-hunter

48 Kid Bits...By Patrick Bevier

Four fabulous hunters and their conquests: (Top: Lt-Rt) Sophie Cranny and her hefty Harbor Springs 8-pointer; Petoskeys Emileigh Schlappi displays the first deer of her career, a 5-point buck; (Bottom: Lt-Rt) Kaylee Drake is proud of
her 5-point buck downed near Cheboygan; Ten-year old, Molly Arthur, shot her first buck during the Youth Hunt.
be supportive of others you are hunting with. We
and owner of Archer Full Throttle on-line hunting
store (www.archerfullthrottle.com). Sophie is a stu- definitely like to show new people how much fun
dent of the art and science of hunting and-because deer hunting is!
Sophie continued, My earliest memory of
shes so petite-has mastered the use of a crossbow.
hunting is when I was three years old. The hunterShe said, I have a pink and purple Barnett
safety people made a special harness for me to
crossbow and have taken three bucks with it. My
largest buck was last year when I got an 8-point in wear to be safe in the blind. I was really excited
when I spotted a blood trail and that I could actuthe Harbor Springs area.
ally help! She hunted much less this year because
Tapping into her expertise I asked what are
her time has been allocated to training a Deutsch
two golden nuggets she has learned that have
Drahthaar puppy named Sammy to help with deer
led to her success as a hunter. Grinning, Sophie
tracking and retrieving.
responded, Definitely patience and good sportsThese four young ladies certainly reinforce
manship. As a hunter you have to learn how to be
that deer hunting is far from being only a goodvery patient because many times you can sit out
old boys undertaking. We can all learn from them,
there for hours and not see any deer. I also love to
and their countless kindred-sisters, who frequent
take others hunting and give them the sort of opportunities Ive had to be a successful hunter! The deer blinds from Houghton to Harsens Island and
ninth grader continued, Always stay positive and Sault Ste. Marie to South Haven.n

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Historical synopsis of environmental factors...

ichigan is blessed with


numerous cold and
exceptional water quality
trout streams. The State
has over 38,000 miles
of rivers and streams of
which over 12,500 miles are classified as trout steams. Brook trout are
native to Michigan and the majority
of UP streams support brook trout
populations.
The geology of the state is a major
factor in the potential for cold water
supporting good brook trout habitat.
Deep glacial till is the prime geological formation to support strong ground
water and optimum brook trout
water quality. The deep glacial till
has strong ground water input to the
streams. This leads to a stable yearly
flow regime without significant warmups in the summer and results in rare

flood events. The stable flows and


slightly warmer winter water temperatures make ideal habitat for
trout. The Northern central
portion of the Lower Peninsula (Grayling area) and the
Southwestern UP in Iron and
portions of Dickinson Counties have ideal geological
conditions to support trout.
Historically little occurred environmentally
prior to European
development to significantly affect brook trout
streams habitat conditions on a large
scale. Fur trapping to support foreign
fur markets would have removed
beaver that generally degrade trout
habitat conditions in the relatively low
gradient UP streams. It has been said
that brook trout and beaver cohabited

for thousands of years, and in a sense


that is true.
One important point is
that most UP stream watersheds and stream riparian zones were dominated
by climax tree species like
maple, hemlock, and cedar.
Beaver can only maintain
very limited populations in
streams running through climax tree species and conifer
forests. Beaver need
early successional tree
species like aspen and
tag alder as a food source to build up
their populations.
Pre-development beaver populations were relatively low. This is also
indicated by the fact that relatively
crude and non-mechanized trapping
efforts by trappers with difficult access severely depleted beaver populations in the UP in relatively short
order.
Brook trout fishing across the
UP was generally reasonably good
pre-development. A book that sheds
considerable light on that is Trouting
the Brule that was written in the 1879
by anglers from Chicago that for several summers traveled the Central and
Southwest UP trout fishing by canoe
with Indian guides. They describe
good trout fishing in a number of rivers that are considered marginal trout
waters currently, and a couple of those
streams that are currently non trout
waters. It is not clear entirely what
changed although some of those rivers
on the Menominee River Watershed
did have considerable development of
hydro dams and reservoirs during the
period from about 1900 to 1953 on the

By Bill Ziegler

Log drives of pine logs down trout tributary streams were a widespread occurrence in the UP. Dickinson County Soil Conservation District photo

Menominee Watershed.
The first human development
to significantly affect watersheds and
trout habitat was the logging activities
entirely aimed at pine stands across
the UP. The initial logging activity
in most UP watersheds occurred post
civil war in the 1870s. Pine logs were
the desired tree to provide building
materials for the saw mills and it was
the only wood that could be floated
down the rivers to the mills. This was
important since there was no developed transportation system present in
the UP.
Pine logs were driven down most
mainstream rivers along with many of
the tributaries in the UP. For example,
in the Menominee Watershed (largest in the UP), log drives occurred
on at least 30 of the named Michigan
streams in the watershed. It is important to remember that the pine logging
was spotty across the landscape
since pine dominated tracts were only
present on a portion of any watershed.
Although pine harvest and log
drives undoubtedly had an affect on
trout rivers, George Premo (noted UP
outdoorsman and conservationist)
wrote that many Iron County streams,
such as the Fence River, remained as
good trout streams after pine logging
and drives had run their course. He
indicated that significant decline in
the brook trout fishery followed the
extreme clear cutting of hardwoods
(maple, etc) and lowland conifers
adjacent to streams that occurred after
the pine logging period was over.
Generally this follow up clear-cut
logging ran from about 1900 till the

U.P. brook trout page 54

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

AFFECTING U.P. BROOK TROUT

53

U.P. brook trout:


from page 53

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

1940s.
It is interesting to note that the
Fence River Watershed had a historical reputation for outstanding trout
fishery but still has not recovered
based on DNR trout surveys. The
Fence River watershed has remained
an aggressively logged industrial
and State Forest since it was initially
logged over in the early 1900s. Our
DNR trout population surveys on the
East Fence and Fence Rivers reveal
that although those rivers have excellent trout habitat, the trout population
is relatively low. This is in large part
due to warmer mainstream average
summer water temperatures (above
levels brook trout can tolerate) and
limited access by trout to critical trout
tributaries that provide cold water
summer refuge and spawning habitat.
Although it is not an exact comparison DNR trout population surveys in Western Iron County on trout
streams that largely run through the
Ottawa National Forest (NF) reveal
some of the highest trout densities
in the State of Michigan. Although
forest management practices on the
Ottawa National Forest have not been
perfect, overall the logging in the
watersheds of those trout streams has
been much less aggressive subsequent
to the initial cutover in the early
1900s. Relatively speaking many of
the trout stream watersheds in the Ottawa NF have reasonably recovered.
Mining started about the 1870s
and had an affect on UP trout streams.
Although since mining did not occur
across all watersheds due to spo-

54

radic ore deposits, it had more affect


on some trout streams than others.
Railroads and supply roads that were
largely set up to support mining activities had an affect. In a sense, construction of railroad mainlines added
to the devastating logging practices
on many UP watersheds.
The extensive follow up hardwood and much of the softwood
(conifer) logging needed to be transported by rail because those wood
species would not adequately float.
Numerous logging oriented spur lines
and narrow gauge rail systems were
set up to link log transport to the
rail mainlines and the lumber mills.
Mining provided a high demand for
lowland conifers of cedar and tamarack to provide timbers in mines.
The extensive cutting of cedar and
other lowland conifers along trout
streams is still having long term affects on many trout stream corridors
that were converted from shaded and
relatively beaver resistant waters to
degraded streams. Many of those degraded streams are lined with significant amounts of tag alder and aspen
that now support very high beaver
populations. Excessive beaver dams
are well documented by research to
greatly degrade trout habitat.
In addition some mining had very
detrimental affects on specific trout
streams from acid mine water runoff
and other mine input to trout streams.
Trout and aquatic organism populations downstream of the City of Iron
River Michigan in the noted brook
trout stream - the Iron River - was

First narrow gauge railroad utilized in UP was used to transpor t logs in the
Southwest UP, when floating the logs was not an option. This method was
used to transpor t hardwood and stream riparian conifer that was extensively
logged off in UP watersheds. (Barnhardt photo).
largely wiped out in 1963 when a
mine pond failed in one of the Iron
River area mines. Although trout
populations in the lower Iron River
have recovered somewhat, remaining acid mine water input still likely
limits trout populations from reaching
their full potential.
Nonnative fish species were widely introduced in the UP during the
late 1800s through the early 1900s.
Although that had an impact on some
lakes and non trout streams it was not
a major problem for UP brook trout
streams.
Some trout enthusiasts really
believe that the non native brown
trout will always displace native
brook trout. Although some of this
occurred in the Lower Peninsula this
did not occur in many streams in the
UP. Brown trout were widely introduced in UP streams. For reasons
not entirely understood by fisheries
researchers brown trout only estab-

Extensive clear cut logging of climax forest hardwood (maple etc.) and riparian conifer had a very detrimental affect on
UP trout watersheds. Many of the cut over slashings subsequently burned fur ther degrading those watersheds. U.S.
Forest Service - USFS photo

lished self sustaining populations in


a very limited number of UP Streams
(about 6).
A number of other man made factors still affect UP brook trout. Road
crossings (especially culverts) and
historical man made dams typically
have a detrimental affect on brook
trout streams. Relatively new Michigan DEQ regulations limit building new man made dams on trout
streams. Although many man made
dams still block trout movement
and degrade trout habitat, some are
being removed as they age and fail.
Considerable effort has been put into
educating road builders about proper
installation of road crossings that allow for critical trout movement. This
is critical since most good brook trout
fisheries in this State are maintained
by their natural reproduction.
Climate change is also major
threat to UP brook trout. I presented
a trout habitat paper at a trout professional conference about 20 years
ago. At that conference US EPA
researchers warned of coming losses
in streams that would support trout
across the Northern US, including the
UP.
Over the course of my 35 year
Fisheries career, I have observed declines in significant sections of trout
mainstreams in my former management unit. The noted trout streams
of the Paint and Brule Rivers in Iron
County lost about 50 miles of river
that supported trout during the last
35 years. Fortunately, at this point,
strong ground water stretches of
the South Branch of the Paint River
and its tributary Cooks Run are still
supporting strong trout populations
throughout the year.
Overall many UP brook trout
fisheries remain relatively good,
although climate change combined
with many of the factors described
above threaten the quality of many
brook trout fisheries, especially in
waters without strong ground water
input.n

Whats
all the
hub, bub?
By Mark Sak

anglers on the bay because they are


fast nomads. Everything is up off the
ice and anglers are moving quickly
because running at 5 or 8 mph to a
bite that is 15 miles away just doesnt
cut it. The hubs break down and fit
in a bag that is much more easily
bungeed onto a quad or sled, while
providing a bunch of room depending
on the model.
One other very important consideration for this application lies with
the anchor kit. Hubs come with a
full anchor kits and anglers that have
fished bigger bodies of water like the
Great Lakes understand that most
areas offshore are just plain gusty and
tougher to fish than the small inland
lakes. I always had to make a tie down
of some sort to attach to any shanty
I pulled out just to keep the shanty
in contact with the ice. Using a hub

should help many anglers on Saginaw


Bay get to their spot quicker and stay
on the spot better.
Another very attractive benefit
of the hubs is the size options. How
many times have you planned to
invite friends out to fish but they dont
own a shack of their own. They show
up in a jacket and jeans with a bucket.
In the past depending on how many
friends show up, someone has had to
bear the brutal wind on the ice as we
just didnt have enough room in the
two-man shanty. Hubs now come in
king size and the Otter XTH Resort
for example is 12 x 12 feet. No one
will have to attempt to hook shanties
together anymore. Everyone can sit
together inside the resort and have a
grand old time.
Pricing on these units are incredible with prices ranging from $299 to

$499. That compares with many twoman shanties in the $800 to $1000
price range.
I know these hubs are much
tougher than any pop-up blind Ive
ever owned and I have several popups that are approaching ten years old
so there is no reason a hub ice shelter
cant last a lifetime. The biggest issue
always is storing these units away
from where varmints can get to them,
obviously storing them dry and not
allowing them to drag from a sled in
transport.
From all indications we are going
to have a fantastic ice season. Remember safety is imperative. Bring a
life jacket and a rope. Dont venture
out on your own and always let someone know where you will be fishing.
Have a great first ice and Ill see you
on the ice.n

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Diamond Refrigerators, 7295 50th Ave., Sears MI 49679
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JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

heres a new shanty in town


and its called a hub and ice
anglers will have one more
great option for shelter as
we watch the revolution in
ice fishing products continue
to surge forward. The hub is simply
a pop up style shelter not unlike the
hunting blinds we have used in the
woods for the past decade but with a
huge twist, these shelters are designed
with multiple layers of insulating
fabric to keep the howling winds of
winter outside and anglers nice and
warm inside.
I spoke with Joel Nelson from Otter about why these Hubs will fit in
nicely for both hardcore and weekend
ice anglers. Joel said, Hub shelters
are the rage throughout many portions of the ice belt that dont see the
thickest of ice conditions. If the ice
where you live rarely supports vehicle
traffic, hand-pulling an Otter sled with
an Otter hub inside is a great option.
Perhaps the best part about the Otter
hubs is that you dont have to sacrifice
comfort when you spend less money
on an XTH hub compared to our flipstyle offerings. Our patented ThermalTEC fabric is the cold-fighting
building block of the hub insulation,
just like the flip-style shelters. Hubs
are perfect in adding extra space for
large groups. You can shelter quite a
few more anglers on the ice, with ease
and comfort, without spending very
much money. Especially if you fish
more casually, these are a worthwhile
investment and a bargain value.
Quite honestly, the first thing I
thought about regarding how the hub
could be utilized in Michigan relates
to those long runs on Saginaw Bay
and how many anglers have had to
try to figure out how to build very big
racks on their quads or sleds in order
to get their shanties up off the ice so
they can drive freely without pulling
anything. Imagine if you can trying to
pull a shanty behind a quad with a 20
mph wind blowing the shanty sideways.
The first thing that happens is the
tongue gets blown into the quads back
wheel and the entire group has to sit
while that situation gets figured out.
One can always tell the experienced

The ice fishing hub is simply a


pop up style shelter not unlike the hunting blinds we have
used in the woods for the past
decade but with a huge twist.

55

Pym Island Lodge


Monster northern pike and walleye in a Once
in a Lifetime settingBy John Bergsma

o, there I am minding my
own business killing the last
few hours of the 2015 Outdoorama sport show in Novi.
I was talking with Melanie
from Hearst Air about all the
cool places that she and her brother
take people each year. I mentioned
that I had never been on a fly-in
trip to northern Ontario and wondered
what it was really like. I thought the
line you simply must experience
it was just a great sales pitch. Well
needless to say after talking with
my brother and his wife, we decided
to take the plunge and do what we
always thought about doing but never
seemed to get off the fence and do.
We were going on the trip of a lifetime; we were going to Pym Island!
Pym Island is a bucket list
destination. This is truly the Canadian
wilderness as I have always imagined
in my dreams. The trip to Hearst was
easy enough. The scenery along the
drive from Sault Ste. Marie, Michi-

gan to the small but modern town of


Hearst was smooth and enjoyable.
Great conversation with my brother
and his wife made the time simply
fly by. I think thats part of the whole
experience of the Canadian fly in trip,
its not just the fishing its the whole
package. The drive, the flight, the
camaraderie and reconnecting with
friends and family in a completely
relaxing few days of total bliss.
The loading of the plane and getting our final instructions from Melanie before leaving was like that giddy
feeling you get when the anticipation
is simply more than you bargained
for. Now understand that I have spent
over 3,000 days on the water in the
last 26 years, but was not prepared for
that feeling. I could not wait for that
plane to take off. The engines roared
as skimming across the calm lake and
surged us into the air. Heading to a
place I had never been and may never
get back to was such a rush.
Pym is about 200 miles north of

a
m
s
g
r
e
B
n
Joh

with your host

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Visit our website and find out about . . .


Destinations Fishing Reports
Our Show Cooks Corner

56

The author experienced first-hand that Pym Islands nor thern pike
fishing is second to none!
Hearst deep in northern Ontario. We
crossed many lakes and rivers in our
90-minute flight. As we circled the
small cabin that was nestled on the
shore of the Attawapiskat river all I
could do was be in awe of the remoteness and the amazing sites. Now Pym
is unique in that the cabin is very
modern, complete with a shower
house and full generator power! You
are in the middle of nowhere but by
no means are you roughing it This
is world class fishing with a touch of

class!
Norman, the camps native
American guide, met us with a smile
that was genuine and an attitude that
made us know that this trip was going
to be special. The camp comes with a
guide! I love this place, no wondering
where or how to fish.no sir, Norman new that river like the back of his
hand. Fifteen minutes later we were
in the boats. Our first stop was just a
little warm up to the trip.
Pym Islands northern pike fishing

light gear made the fights longer and


more exciting.
Spot after spot, day after day this
destination completely sold me on its
prowess as one of the best Big Pike
spots in the world. But theres more
to Pym than just pike.
Pym Islands walleye are oversized and abundant! Now I have been
to Canada before on drive in trips.
There was always lots of fish but
not always great numbers of bigger
fish. Pym is a complete fishery. My
first walleye was about four pounds
and that seemed to be the norm. We
caught literally hundreds of fish in the
three-four pound range and many in
the five-six pound range as well.
My best for the trip was a 30 inch,
10 pounder that slammed a pink jig
tipped with a white Strike King Rage
Craw. This soft plastic was unbeatable at Pym. I used them until I ran
out. The other bait that was killer was
a KVD jerk bait. The white one with
a pink head or the Chartreuse and
green ones were lights out for bigger walleye and northern. I did use a
very fine single strand 20 pound wire
leader and it did not hurt the walleye
bite in the least.

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to satisfy the avid fisherman with


a need for adventure! If big pike
and walleye is what you are after?
then Pym Island is the place for your
next trip. Check them out at www.
hearstair.com
John Bergsma is the host of Great
Lakes Fishermans Digest television
show and is honored to bring you
these monthly Destination Features
Check out his website:
www.fishermansdigest.com for more
destination information.n

( Mile South of Holt, 127 to Cedar St. exit, North 2 Miles)

NO LICENSE
REQUIRED

Hog Hunts

One thing I really liked about Pym


was the ability to drift, cast or even
troll. Many times we would drift
down and troll up this allowed us
to use both jigs and cranks in each
spot. The versatility of the river made
it fun for all!
You cant do better than an Ontario fly in through Hearst Air Service. Melanie and Michael are honest
second generation professionals. With
eight different fly in camps that offer
a variety of experiences that are sure

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The authors best walleye of the trip was a 30 inch, 10 pounder that
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JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

is second to none! We found this out


very quickly. I of course wanted to
walleye fish and my brother Paul and
his wife Bonnie simply didnt care,
catching fish was the object for them.
Norman stopped just 10 minutes
downstream and we anchored on a
small bend that seemed nondescript.
The very first cast proved that to be
dead wrong. As I set the hook on my
fish I could hear Paul and Bonnie
howling about their fish. In the next
hour each of us caught and released a
dozen fish that were bigger than any
pike I had ever caught in my life. A
36, two 38s a 41, a 42 and a staggering 45 inch northern, all rearranged
my brain about anything I had ever
experienced before.
Paul and Bonnie were slamming
fish as well. Norman moved us to
different spots for the rest of the day.
Some were spinner bait spots with
fabulous weed beds and northerns
that totally ripped our gear to bits. I
after all was fishing a 6 foot medium
action walleye rod with 10 pound
Nanofil, not exactly pike gear. But
to be completely honest it was fun. I
was not just horsing the fish in, they
were too big for that, but also this

57

Young bear hunter learns lesson


earns nickname...Trigger II
A Yooper Story

gun recoils and well he misses again.


Another Troll, another nick name, and
next year the Big One is Bigger.
These words appeared
I might add that the plaque is
huge,
artfully reproduced on a three
on a Trigger II plaque
foot piece of driftwood containing A
Yooper Story and two spent carpresented to Caleb Pitsch
tridges...The slab of drift wood came
by Bob Warner, owner of
from Raber Bay. It was off one of the
trees harvested from the Gogomain
Raber Bay Outfitters
swamp between late 1878 and 1910.
t is said that way up north beyond Logs were cut into boards in the old
the Big Mac in Da U.P. in the
saw mill of Mud Lake Co. here on the
deep dark cedar swamps live some shores of Raber. Slabs from the old
very big bear. The bear have got- trees litter the bottom of Raber Bay
ten so big because of the Trolls;
and drift up to shore daily. So you
they keep missing. So many trolls can be confident that one of the first
have earned nicknames for hundreds
settlers of Raber cut this slab. (That
of years because they keep hunting
inscription was on the back of Calebs
and shooting and always missing.
plaque.)
All the hunting camps talk about the
Big One, well some say it lives in the
swamps by Naubinway, others in CopHunting the Gogomain Swamp at
per Country!
the far eastern end of the UP, 12 yearWell in 2016 Caleb Pitsch found
old Caleb Pitsch had his work cut out
him at the east end of da U.P.
for him. The Gogomain is
in the Gogomain Swamp. It
infamous. The family of four
was about 5:30 one evening
obtained bear hunting tags
clear and cool in the black
through the DNRs buddy
cedar swamp just south of
system third hunt drawing.
the Big Munuscong. He was
They owned a cabin with
the biggest bear ole Caleb
acreage between Raber and
had ever seen, 300 pounds or
Pickford but living in Hopbetter. Caleb took aim and
kins near Grand Rapids they
a deep breath, focused in his
were unable to bait
scope and thinks 70
their blinds.
yards broadside shot,
Ryan, Calebs
squeezed the trigger
Dad, arranged for Bob
and missed.
Warner, Raber Bay Outfitters, to bait
And now for the rest of the story...
their four blinds. Warner fed Granola
Ole Caleb being a strong focused
mixed with sweet stuff...always a
young man was so upset he could not
bear attractor. He figured he has gone
let it go like that. He set up another
through 700 pounds of bear bait so far
trip to Gods Country for another try.
this season.
That first evening setting in the same
The youngster hunted three
spot, he was running the previous hunt
weekends and saw three bears, one
through his head, I have to get this
each day of hunting. Warner said, I
bear...he is the big one. Then just behavent seen a bear in one and a half
fore dark he catches movement, yep,
months and this kid sees bear, the
its the big one. After the bear moves
three times hes been out hunting the
into the shooting lane turns broadside
Gogomain!
70 yards, bends down and starts to eat,
Ole Caleb takes aim, focusing into
the scope, he squeezes the trigger, the
The largest of the bears the young
hunter saw appeared on his first day
of hunting. Caleb sat at the bear
stand about four hours before the
bruin came into the bait with extreme
caution. Perhaps he rushed his shot;
nevertheless, Caleb shot and missed.
The woods were silent except for the
crashing of brush created by the running bear. I asked the rookie hunter if
he had been scared. No, just excited!

The Rest of the Story!

spotted something black at a goodly


distance from the baited area. He
scoped the bear...shot...missed. The
range was too distant.
Outfitter, Bob Warner, decided
the youngster needed further training. In hopes of moving the lad from
apprentice to graduation status, he
took the father and son to the Raber
Bay Sportsmans Club where he could
practice shooting under the outfitters
guidance. Asking Caleb, Why are
you missing? The answer was, I
did not know if the gun fired or not.
Warner suggested he hold his shot,
study the distance before letting go,
and have patience waiting for the best
possible shot to unfold.
The Club had just put in a firing range and Bob Warner had the
boy practice for an hour under his
supervision until by the end of that
time period, Caleb was knocking
clay pigeons out at a hundred yards.
After the youngsters two bear misses,
unbeknown to Caleb or his Dad, Bob
picked up the two empty cartridges.
During Calebs rifle shooting practice, Bob inserted the spent shells in
the gun so that the youngster did not
always know when the gun would fire
or misfire.
Given the nickname of Trigger
II due to missing two bruins in two
hunting days, Caleb was surprised
when Warner presented him with a
plaque holding the two spent cartridges and the story of the youngsters
first bear hunt. The plaque was made
from a three foot-long piece of drift
wood dating back to a day when a
large sawmill was active on the shore
of Raber Bay; say late 1800s. A little
Raber History was included on the
plaque.
Calebs Dad spoke up during the
Actually the bear hunts were
spread out over three weekends...three interview, stating That night, Caleb
practiced going through the motions
trips north to the cabin. The second
pretending he was shooting bear all
hunt was long when finally, Caleb

By Betty Sodders

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Day One of the Hunt

58

Caleb Pitsch with his


first bear. Photo below Caleb holding his
plaque with nickname
Trigger II.

Day Two of the Hunt

the way back to the cabin.

Day Three of the Hunt


This was itday three. Upon
awakening, Caleb was excited feeling
better prepared for this days hunt.
They were bringing in bait with their
four-wheelers the half-mile to the bear
shack. Neither had their gun. Caleb
spotted something black, a long ways
off. He said to his Dad, Is that a
bear? Ryan wasnt sure. As they got
closer they both agreed, yes, it was a
bear and it was fast asleep. They put
down their backpacks, and Ryan told
his son that he would run back to the
cabin for the gun and Caleb could sit
in the bear shack to keep an eye on the
bear.
The cabin was a half-mile from
where the hunters were. Ryan started
off at a dead run. Caleb watched as
the bear woke up three times and each
awakening found him back to sleep...
just a quick look around and sacked
out again.
I asked Caleb if he was scared.
He replied, No, just excited. In
the meantime, Ryan ran to the cabin
calling to Calebs Grandfather that he
needed a gun...now! The reply, No
bears gonna be out this time of day.
Ryan returned and handed the rifle
to Caleb, instructing him to focus,
than yelled to get the black bear to
move into a better position, and a
shot rang out...Caleb shot the bear at
70 yards, just below its right ear...it
dropped immediately. The shooting
lessons paid off.
I asked Caleb why had he aimed
for the smallest bear target, the spot
below the ear? His response was,
Well, I didnt want to ruin any of the
meat. I love bear meat. I agreed.
Once again, I asked the 12-year
old, Were you excited? No, he
replied, I was just happy!n

My successful Michigan elk hunt


received a letter from Wildlife Division Chief, Russ Mason informing me
that I had been selected to receive an
antlerless elk license for Hunt Period
1. This early hunt would total 12 days
-- three 4-day periods. Hunting is not
allowed in the traditional elk area in the
Pigeon River Country it is limited to
nine counties surrounding the closed
area. The early hunt is designed specifically to address crop damage and other
private land concerns by taking elk
primarily in agricultural areas.
Not knowing the area I decided to
contact guide, Bill Ford, whom I called
and discussed my age and physical
limitations and booked a hunt. Bill has
a hunt camp on 80 acres southeast of
Wolverine, Cheboygan Co., which abuts
part of Wm. Clay Ford Jr.s 6,000 acre,
no hunting parcel. Bill also had early
elk season access to numerous neighboring properties where he had planted
food plots for the owners. Bill hunts elk
like I deer hunt in Clare Co., from box
blinds overlooking food plots.
I met Bill at the pre-hunt mandatory orientation meeting the day before
the hunt start. After the meeting, I, Bill,
my buddy Dave, and two other hunters,
Dale and Ed and two of their friends
headed out to Bills cabin.
Opening day was hot and saw deer
and turkeys, no elk. Second day was a
little cooler, more deer, sandhill cranes
and turkeys, again no elk. On the third
day, an hour before dark a cow elk
comes out in the open standing broadside but offers no shot. She moves out
into the field but a spike bull comes
with her on the near side, matching her
steps and covering her vitals. In the
meantime a monstrous 6x6 bull appears
standing broadside watching the other
two sashaying across the field. And then
they were gone -- no shot. The fourth
day was the same as the first two.
Arriving back at Bills camp on
Sept. 15, he reports the bulls are starting
to bugle and gather their harems and he
has camera pictures of elk in all of the
food plots morning and evening and in
daylight hours.
On the second day of the second
hunt I went back to Jimmys blind, the
one we hunted the first four days. The
morning; more deer and turkeys, afternoon, at 5:45 p.m. a cow elk and calf
come into the food plot. First the calf is
blocking a shot at the cow, then she is
facing me head on, finally she is standing broadside in the clear, squeeze the
trigger-- nothing! Damn, take off the
safety dummkopf! I squeezed, kaboom!
5:50 pm Shes down.
My buddy Dave gives Bill a call. I
validated the kill tag and attached it to
the beast. We take some pictures. Then
Bills grandson, his brother and one
of the camp guests show up in a truck
followed by Bill on a front-end loader.
Bill does the field dressing while I call
the MDNR office to notify them of the
kill and mark the gut pile for a MDNR

biologist inspection. Next we hoist the


carcass up with the bucket of the loader
and head back to camp. About an hour
later, a MDNR biologist shows up.
She goes out and inspects the kill
location/gut pile and stops at camp to
gather hunter information, register and
seal (a green locking plastic strip) the
animal, and removing its head for TB
testing.
Earlier, aware that it was Saturday,
I had called my Amish butcher in Clare
to see if he could accommodate me and
was informed that because it was Youth

Hunt weekend he would be open late


until 8:00 pm, but closed Sunday until
6:00 am Monday, no exceptions. Faced
with this dilemma Bill suggested that
rather than icing the carcass for a day,
we take it to a fellow guide and amateur
butcher with a newly constructed cooler
in his Vanderbilt garage.
Monday morning we drop the elk at
Stutzmans Butcher Shop in rural Clare
County. Within a half hour she was
skinned out and we had the tenderloins
and backstraps in a cooler and were on
our way back to Commerce.n

Phil Andres with his Michigan cow elk


he har vested Sept. 17 in Cheboygan Co.
hunting with guide Bill Ford.

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Guest Column... By Phil Andres

59

Dear Fish Diary...


The Outdoors is our last bit of reality!

nlike many, I start my new


year off on a negative note.
If I start too happy and
giddy it seems the rest of
the year is due for a downhill slide. If I start at the
bottom, I feel more productive during
the year working my way up. After the
college football committee released
their final-four contenders for college
footballs national championship, it
threw me in to my regular beginning
of the year rant. Im worried about
us for continuing to swallow this
type of blatant force-feeding with our
beloved sport. It made me realize that
the world we live in has become so
complacent and unrealistic, that the
outdoors might very well be our last
bit of reality.
How can this rant start with something so simple as college football?
Easy. At a young age were supposed
to be taught about winning and losing.
This generation suddenly feels like
everyone should get a trophy and now
cant even accept losing an election
without rioting. In real life, we dont
all get a trophy but college football
doesnt exactly play by real life rules
and seems to be above the win-loss

mentality. Im not a Penn State or


Ohio State fan. But how can anyone
condone Ohio State playing for a National title when they didnt
win their division, didnt win
their conference, and actually
lost to Penn State, who by
the way did win the division and the conference but
will be sitting out of the hunt
for the national title. Ricky
Bobby was wrong when he
said: if ya aint first youre
last. In college football, if you aint first,
you can still be first,
as long as you bring in more revenue
than the team that did finish first.
If the NCAA committee got involved with the NFL, and lets say the
Lions won their division, they would
probably send the Packers to the
playoffs even if the Lions beat them.
Because according to the NCAA
committees illogical mentality, the
Packers presumably played a tougher
schedule.
What if the NCAA committee got
involved with the Pro Bass tour? At
weigh-in, you might have 3 pros with
five bass each, all over 6 pounds. Sud-

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denly, some guy with only four fish,


each weighing five pounds, comes up
and miraculously hes pronounced the
winner of the tournament.
Why? Well he fished tougher
conditions than the other
three.
If youre in a canoe race
and you finish fourth, but
you have a smaller paddle
than the three ahead of you,
did you know by NCAA
committee standards youre
actually the winner?
Thats right, because
the race was much
harder on you than the other competitors so you should win. Especially if
by you winning it means more television dollars.
If you are in an archery competition and score 5 bulls-eyes, and the
guy in second only had four, but you
shot with the wind and he shot against
the wind, he wins.
According to the NCAA committees warped views we might have to
have to change the Boone and Crocket
record books for whitetail deer. No
longer does antler score matter. What
matters is how tough your schedule
was before you harvested that trophy
buck. If you and I both shot a record
buck on the same day, but you got
to hunt all day and I only got to hunt
half of the day because I had to work,
well I win, because I had a much
tougher schedule. Even if your rack
scored one point more than mine, I
still win!
Should shorter people now get
bigger paddles in ping-pong or tennis?
Should a three-point basket now count
if the shot was close but the shooter
was just a bad shot? If you lose a
trophy fish in a tournament should the
fish still count because you tried real
hard? Why not, college football seems
to be implementing a handicap just
like bowling and golf.
What bothers me is that these lack
of ethics only apply to our universities. You know, the places we are going for higher learning, but obviously not necessarily higher standards. In
the mist lies Western Michigan, who
just came off an undefeated season
and actually won more Big 10 games
than Michigan State, yet the Broncos
arent even mentioned as contenders for a National Championship
becauseyou guessed it, they didnt
play a tough enough schedule.
Life is about winning and losing.
We dont all get the job. We dont all
get the promotion. We dont all get the
trophy catch. We dont all get to win
championships. Somewhere in our
society we forgot how its not winning
that defines us, but how we bounce
back and handle a loss. Its adversity,

City
Phone #

State

Zip

which makes us stronger. With that


said, Penn State handled this force
fed malarkey about as well as anyone
could. However, I doubt they were
actually allowed to speak their true
feelings out of fear of being heavily
fined by the corrupt NCAA. For me,
this pitiful NCAA system has made
championships speculative, and when
winning or losing comes down to a
vote, wellI might as well be watching Sumo figure skating.
This year in college football, winning the strongest conference in the
nation wasnt good enough to allow a
team to play for a national title. No, a
team who didnt win the conference,
and who lost to the team that did will
be playing for that title. Should Ohio
State win this four-team tournament,
it defies the old saying, winning it
all, because they didnt win anything to become national championship contenders and that just defies
all logical reality. Its the sole reason
Im done watching these meaningless
games. Its the sole reason Im getting
back outside. Its the reason that the
outdoors is our last bit of reality, you
either catch the fish or you dont. I
mostly dont. But by NCAA ethics,
that actually makes me the champion
because fishing is just harder on me
than everyone else. Nowwhere to
put that trophy.

Funny Fish Stories Wanted:


Send a short description of your
best or worst fishing day, or worst
fishing-related adventure to me. You
dont have to write the entire story, just
a brief outline of what happened. If it
has some humor to it Ill be getting in
touch with you and well work on the
completed story together. Fishing isnt
always fun you know.
Contact Woods-N-Water News
columnist Ron St. Germain by calling
(517) 626-2814, e-mailing DaPhotoDude@aol.com. Visit the authors
Facebook page www.Facebook.com/
BearwaveBooksn

THE RINGNECK
RANCH, LLC.
Upland Game

Wing Shooting in Jackson County, MI


RINGNECKS - Dogs & guides available.
Excellent cover. Full and half day hunts. No membership
fees. One hour or less from Ann Arbor, Battle Creek,
Lansing, the Indiana and Ohio State lines.

Gift certificates
AVAILABLE.

517-524-8294
FIELD HUNTS AND
EUROPEAN STYLE SHOOTS

www.theringneckranch.com

Tournament angler has hunting accident


By Roger Beukema

here in Michigan, Nick DeShano of Off- getting stronger each day and while still
Shore Tackle says Skarlis is out of the
in a lot of pain he is making progress
hospital and in rehab continuing physi- in the right direction. His new favorommy Skarlis, the larger-than- cal therapy sessions. Hes got a long
ite food is orange Jell-O & ice cream
life walleye and crappie tour- road ahead of him but it sounds like hes mixed together. He says its, simply
nament angler was involved
doing really well, DeShano said. He
incredible. The baby lullaby played
in a serious hunting accident
got lucky.
every time a new baby is born in the
recently. Skarlis, from Denver,
Throughout his treatment Skarlis
hospital is delightful and hes acceptIowa, was hunting with fellow has remained upbeat despite the pain he ing visitors but wanted me to forewarn
crappie angler Kyle Steinfeldt. (In 2013 has been in. His positive attitude toward everyone his catheter is rather unsightthe pair was crappie tournament cham- full recovery no doubt accounts for the
ly. Tommy has been overjoyed with all
pions.) The two friends were hunting
progress hes made so far. Steinfeldt,
of the love and support you have all
from treestands in Iowa.
Skarlis, hunting partner the day of the
shown and cant thank you enough for
I had dropped Tommy off at his
accident and his fishing partner have
the messages and prayers. His message
treestand, Steinfeldt said.
been in the hospital throughout Skarlis to everyone today is Be kind to one
We both had been in the woods
Angling pro Tommy Skarlis.
ordeal. Steinfeldt writes that, Hes
another!n
for a while. Tommy used the tree steps
to climb up and onto the stand, about
25 feet off the ground. He got into the
stand and had his feet on the platform
trying to get his safety strap around
the tree when the stands ratchet strap
broke, Steinfeldt said.
I was hunting in a tree about two
hundred yards from him. I heard him
fall. The sound was like a large deer
crashing through the woods. Anyway, it
didnt sound good.
When he heard the sound, Steinfeldt
started for Skarlis.
I could hear him yelling as I was
heading toward him, he said. I got
up to him and could see right away I
couldnt move him. There was no cell
service so I had to go to a neighbors to
call 911. Eventually we got him on a
four wheeler out to an ambulance that
took him to the nearest town and a life
support flight to the hospital in LaCrosse, he said.
The happy-go-lucky Skarlis, the
guy with the big smile and even bigger
stories had broken his neck. While not
common, treestand accidents do happen.
Many people end up being paralyzed
from their injuries. Some people have
died due to a treestand fall. Hypothermia is one contributor. Falling on hunting equipment like arrows is another.
When Skarlis arrived at the hospital
he had feeling in his arms and legs and
some movement. Surgery was scheduled that turned out to be very successful. Two people in his unit are going
Enjoy the freedom of owning a slice of the
to be paralyzed for life with similar
great outdoors. GreenStone can finance the
injuries, Steinfeldt said.
right property for you. Whether it is 10, 20 or
How good is Skarlis feeling? When
even 100 acres, we have the experts to help.
he woke up from surgery he told everyone nearby that he had a dream thinking
To learn more, contact a lending expert
he won a tournament, Steinfeldt said.
Currently its thought Skarlis will
at one of our 36 offices today!
be discharged from the hospital in about
a week. Hell have three months of
800-444-3276
absolutely no moving or lifting anything heavier than ten pounds. Then he
should be good to go, Steinfeldt said.
He was extremely lucky. They put
enough hardware in his neck that no
halo was required for him to hold his
head up, Steinfeldt said.
Ive been there the whole week
but came back to Iowa to vote, Steinfeldt said. I just got my appetite back.
www.greenstonefcs.com
We went to the cabin for a weekend to
hunt. We should have gone fishing. This
wasnt easy and its one of those deals
you cant prepare yourself for or ever
want to be involved in, he added.
Just after the firearms deer opener

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Land loans you


can escape to...

61

Traditional Black Powder Hunting...By Dennis Neely

A simple ramble
through the glade

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

62

ool-clad fingers
pushed an autumn
olive branch aside.
Buffalo-hide, centerseamed moccasins
took two slow paces, each placed in
the mix of short grass and green moss
that bordered the curving, earthen
thoroughfare, each done with the intent of leaving no perceptible trace.
All about an abundance of fishshaped autumn olive leaves clung to
wispy branchesan oddity for the
twenty-seventh day of November,
in the Year of our Lord, 1796. The
fortuitous cover shrouded the whitetailed deers comings and goings, but
more so the stealth of a returned white
captive bent on fresh venison for his
family.
Two steps and a pause to survey
two steps and a pause With great
care the winter moccasins descended
the hill. A hint of wood smoke from
the settlement perfumed the dusty,
dry air. A bushy red cedar tree that
grew near a little clearing demanded
a longer hesitation. Thirty-five paces
upwind an unsuspecting does foreleg
moved. An ear flipped. Behind that
deer a shiny black nose sniffed. Mskowaagosh, the Red Fox, remained
motionless.
The pair browsed out of sight.
The woodsman dropped to his knees,
adjusted the crimson trade blanket that
wrapped about his body and eased
back into a hollow within the cedars
branches. The musty aroma of disturbed, rotting duff engulfed the pitiful fortress. The smooth-bored Northwest gun settled across the hunters
dark-blue wool leggins just before
the yearling and her dam walked into
the prairie grass. They looked about,
flicked their ears and twitched their
tails as they journeyed on into the
cedar groves shadowy sanctuary.
Msko-waagosh watched the little
knob on the far side of the clearing
as he waited for the pair to move
well away. Ears and a snout appeared
among the autumn olives and scrub
cedars. A small spotless fawn bounded
forth, drawing a leering gaze, then
an admonition administered by the
mothers half-raised white tail. The
youngster ignored the warning and
frolicked into the clearing. The doe
stamped her left foreleg once. The
fawn looked back, then stood rigid
until mother browsed closer.
Before those two made the cedar
grove, another deer plodded between
two tall cedar trees. This full-bodied
doe walked with her ears back. Her
head bobbed with each hoof-fall. Set

again. (Tanner, John, The Falcon: A


Narrative of the Captivity and Adventures of John Tanner, Penguin Books,
New York, NY, 1994, pg. 119)
And on another occasion: As I
was one day going to look at my traps,
I found some ducks in a pond, and
taking the ball out of my gun, I put in
some shot, and began to creep up to
them (Ibid, 60)
On that late November afternoon,
my alter ego desired to spend the
evenings deer hunt sequestered in an
obscure clump of cedar trees beside
a swamp-crossing trail. Immersed in
1796, the Red Fox emerged from the
wigwam, checked the load in Old
Turkey Feathers and sprinkled gunpowder in the flintlocks pan. Adhering to Tanners instructions, the quest
commenced with a loaded gun, two
paces in front of the weathered shelter.
The still-hunt progressed to the
cedar grove, then down the hill to the
east edge of the clearing. The goal of
any such ramble is to see the chosen
game before being seen and further,
to move about undetected as an equal
tenant of the wilderness. This is
the essence of still-hunting, and the
mindset reflects a common, recurring narrative in the writings of many
backcountry woodsmen.
When the first pair of deer slipped
behind
the cedar trees, I seized the
The cedar tree proved a pitiful for tress, yet sufficient enough to allow
opportunity
and sought better concealthe two deer to pass. The intent was to continue the still hunt, but
ment
while
still
maintaining a good
18th-century circumstances changed that plan. Wild River tree photo
vantage point. There was always
on her course, she paid no mind to the words. And often, pondering multiple the possibility a deer might wander
doe and rambunctious fawn. Once in
harrowing incidents reveals a wilder- downwind or approach from a different direction and walk square into my
the clearing, she angled more to the
ness truth or two lost to the ages.
deathly scent. Fortunately, that did not
south, then veered east, passing the
John Tanner, the Falcon, is a
happen, but it often does.
cedar fortress unaware of looming
favorite mentor. As a young man of
The cedar-tree fort represented
danger.
nine years, Tanner was captured by
In the midst of this unfolding
momentary shelter, a chance to
Shawnees near the mouth of the Big
woodland saga the sun dipped below
Miami River (southern Ohio) in 1789. convert a two-legged silhouette into
the far tree line. Orange and lavender He was eventually brought north to
a less-threatening bush-like shape. Beclouds put any chance of resuming the the Great Lakes region and adopted by sides surveying for game, an integral
still-hunt to rest. Then a few minutes
Net-no-kwa, an Odawa woman held in part of the pause in the one or two
before dark a large deer emerged from high regard. Tanner was raised among steps and a pause still-hunting techthe autumn olives at the top of the
the Ojibwe and never abandoned their nique is a constant assessment of the
knoll. A fawn followed, then a yearwilderness teachings. He is one of the woodland environment. Possible lairs,
ling that kept looking to its back trail. inspirations for Msko-waagosh, my
relative to wind currents and known
The three gray shapes walked single
18th-century traditional black powder game trails, often determine a stillfile past the woodsman, not fifteen
hunting persona.
hunts actual course as they did that
paces distant. A cool gentle breeze
Tanners smooth-bored flintday. Once a woodsman trees and the
pushed a wayward lock of gray hair,
lock was always loaded. After takdeer pass, the still-hunt can continue.
a reassurance of little consequence.
ing a shot, an angry old she bear
Continuing on was the intent that
No choice remained but to dump the
charged All this was so sudden
evening, but more deer arrived. Like
Northwest guns priming powder and that I had scarce re-loaded my gun,
our forefathers, traditional black powsit until after dark for fear of educathaving only time to raise it when she
der hunters accept the circumstances
ing the deer
came within reach of the muzzle. I
of any given sojourn and attempt to
The journals of the 18th-century
was now made to feel the necessity
take advantage of each happenstance.
hunter heroes are filled with simple
of a lesson the Indians had taught me, As for John Tanner, he pulled his
pursuits that amaze, mystify and teach and which I very rarely neglected,
round ball, dumped a load of shot
a willing student. The lessons are
namely, after discharging my gun, to
down the bore and began stalking the
sometimes veiled by a frugal use of
think of nothing else before loading it ducks. In his own way, Msko-waa-

On a pleasant October morning in 1796,


Msko-waagosh seated a leaf-wad over
the death bees before pulling the wigwams flap down and striking off into the
wilds of the Old Nor thwest Territory
sinew and muscle, forest experience
against forest experience, life versus
death. Woodland skills develop over
time by trial and error, or perhaps
with the aid of a mentor such as an
old doe, a wary hen or a young man
who learned the ways of the Ojibwe.
But in the end, the real test is a simple
ramble through the glade
Give traditional black powder
hunting a try, be safe and may God
bless you.
Dennis Neely maintains a web
site devoted to traditional hunting at
www.traditionalblackpowderhunting.
com.n

Muzzle Loading
State Events
Dec. 31, 2016 - Last Blast of the Year:
Blue Water Sportsman Assn.: 586-7396499
Jan. 7-8 - Frosted Paw: Columbiaville
Sportsman Club: 810-793-7799
Jan. 14 - Winter Woods Walk: Laingsburg:
517-393-2772
For a complete 2017 shoot schedule, send a
SASE or e-mail to: Ron Fernwalt, 16808 Peach
Ridge, Kent City, MI, 49330, rbfern@triton.net

SPORTMAN'S AUCTION
Saturday, December 31st, 2016 10AM
COLDWATER, MICHIGAN

LOCATED: 262 South Spraque Street, Coldwater, MI.


otherwise known as The Dearth Center located within
the Branch County Fairgrounds.
This is a fantastic auction consisting of over 400 cataloged lots
that will be sold in with both live and on-line bidding available.
The cataloged auction will consist of mostly firearms to include
a fantastic and very scarce Winchester Model 1885 .22cal rifle;
Austrian Mountain Gun (cannon), 70mm rifled bore, breach
loading and built in 1893 with quick release carriage and
wheels for horse transportation; Unfired commemorative rifles/
shotguns from Winchester and Browning; over 150 handguns
to include Colt Pythons, Anaconda and Diamondbacks;
Marbles Game Getters; beautiful Merkel KLB .300 Win Mag
rifle; Blaser R93 bolt action rifle in .375H&H and .300 Win
Mag; Night Hawk Bob Marvel 1911 .45acp; hundreds of other
firearms to include early Winchesters, Smith & Wessons,
Colts, Remingtons and more from new and unfired to early
and collectable, Randall Knives to include #18 Survival; #12
Bowie Confederate; #25 African Ivory #1470; #76 Diver; #18
long tube survival and Trout and Bird knife; Newhouse traps
to include (2) #6 traps, #5, #150, #15, #50, and more - Also
a S. W. Evans and Son 4 fish trap; Patagonia Vaquero show
saddle; fancy parade saddle and more.
The second auction ring will be live bidding only and will
consist of a fine collection of knives, traps, advertising, a
large collection of swords from various eras and countries,
Remington Stand up display case; Remington metal ammo
display case; Bear re-curve bows; beautiful Alaskan Moose;
shoulder mount Mule Deer on floor pedestal; Indian Artifacts;
Turquoise jewelry; arrowheads; wooden duck decoys to
include Ben Schmidt; advertising; early turtle trap; and more!!
For more information, terms of sale,
inspection times and links to on-line bidding,
go to www.belcherauction.com
(269) 781-100

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

gosh did the same; he sat quiet and


watched the deer come and go.
From an 18th-century perspective,
Tanner would have shot the first mature doe, reloaded and shot a second
if the situation presented itself. His
writings relate frequent multiple kills,
which fed Net-no-kwas clan. The
Red Fox preferred to fill a single buck
tag, an unheard of intrusion in 1796.
Modern hunting regulations and
safety practices impact any living
history simulation. The trick is to
measure the importance of the transgression and minimize its impact by
finding a compromise that renders the
historical inaccuracy as close to invisible as possible.
In a modern era where hunters
walk from truck to tree stand or wait
to load until the mini-cameras are
mounted and recording, the wisdom
of the ancients might bear some consideration. An unbelievable freedom
lies hidden in an old-fashioned stillhunt. Like the white-tailed deer or the
wild turkey, the would-be wilderness
tenant roams at will in search of the
next meal, unfettered by steel platforms or flimsy walls.
Daily, nay, minute-by-minute
encounters in the glade are one-onone affairs, sinew and muscle against

63

Gun Chat: The Deerslayer

y favorite deer rifle is a


Ruger M77RL in .250
Savage. It weighs six and
a half pounds with scope
and sling. Thats just eight
ounces more than my 20
gauge over and under. The RL also
has a tang safety. Tang safeties have
always made sense to me. I was not
happy when Ruger changed
the M77s safety.
The 20 gauge gets carried
most of any of my shotguns
and much of the small game
Ive taken has been killed
with it. Because my Ruger is
similar in weight, safety, and
even overall feel, its easy to
go from the shotgun to the
.250 when early grouse
season ends and rifle deer
starts.
I bought the .250 in the 1980s. It
was sitting in the used rack of a local
gun store. I had a feeling it was going to be a .250 before I asked. After
handling it for about a minute I made
the deal.
The .250-3000 (or .250 Savage)
was developed in 1915 by Charles
Newton. It was designed to be used in

the Savage 99 lever rifle. Early Savage bolt actions were also chambered
in it. Savage loaded it with an 87 grain
bullet so it would make 3,000 feet per
second (FPS). It was the first commercial cartridge to reach that velocity.
Savage made the most of the unheard
of speed in advertising the .250. Later,
the most common bullet was a 100
grainer. Velocity was reduced
to 2,820 FPS, but the slightly
heavier bullet worked better
on deer. The .250 has since
been eclipsed by the .257 Roberts, the .25-06 and even the
Winchester .243. It remains an
accurate and easy to shoot cartridge. Id like to see it make a
comeback.
In years of hunting the
bullet Ive used has been
the same. Its the Remington 100 grain Pointed Soft Point
Core Lokt in factory ammo and .250
Savage reloads. Soon after starting to
reload for the rifle I found a bargain on
Core Lokts and bought enough to last
a while. The bullet works very well
on deer. Most Ive shot with it have
dropped where they stood. The farthest
one has gone after the shot was 100

By Lee Arten

BOOKS/DVDS BY RICHARD P. SMITH

BLACK BEAR HUNTING


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

All Hunting Methods


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

BLACK BEARS

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

____ Field Judging Black Bears($20.00 postpaid) _______

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

SEND FOR YOUR


AUTOGRAPHED COPIES TODAY.

64

Name
Address
City
Phone #

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

Authors Ruger 77RL in .250 Savage


is easy to carry and shoot.
Also works very well on deer.
turning from grouse to deer season.
The wind that had rattled the house all
weekend had died down. The range
spotting scope wasnt working but
the range was empty and I was able
and walk back and forth to the target
without having to wait for anyone else
to finish shooting.
The 40 rounds of .250 I had loaded,
four years ago, has dwindled. Most
was shot in sighting-in. A few rounds
were used at a local clubs fall turkey
shoot. Eight rounds of Remington and
10 rounds of reloads remained. The
reloads were from a couple of batches
and I wondered if they would shoot to
the same place.
I started shooting at 25 yards.
Rounds from two batches of reloads
and a commercial load made a group
of three touching and centered just
below where I held. Another round hit
higher and had more recoil and blast
than the other rounds.
At 100 yards one of the
Remingtons hit just above my
point of aim. The other hit an inch
and a quarter higher and an inch
left. I had shot more carefully on
the second so I called the rifle on
for this year.
I took a good look around the range
before leaving. If the winter hangs on
this year, I might not see it again til
late April or early May.
When Im not calling the Ruger
the .250 or the M77, I call it The
Deerslayer. The name fits because,
when I hunt well, slaying deer is what
the .250 does.n

Please specify which books sent to the same address.

____ Tracking Wounded Deer ($20.00)


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

State

Zip

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

Circle card type:


MC/Visa #
Expiration Date

yards, and it was hit too far back. It


would have died where it fell too, but I
got out of the blind and approached too
quickly, spooking it.
Another, hit right at the top of the
heart, ran 40 yards. Other deer were
hit in the heart/ lung area, and went
down immediately. I wait for a broadside shot and hole right behind the
leg. Some years ago I also took two
snowshoe hares with neck shots from
the .250. The bullets passed through
without tearing up a lot of meat.
Ive seen lots of Ruger M77s with
fairly plain wood. My RL has a black
forend tip and a dark, figured, walnut
stock. It was the caliber that attracted
me to the gun, but having a rifle that
looks good is a plus.
I put a short Weaver 1.5-4.5
variable scope on the .250 at first. It
worked till my eyes got older. Then, I
replaced it with a Leupold 2-7 power
variable. Thats a nice size for the rifle.
A 3-9 power scope would look too
large on the compact Ruger, I think. In
the brush I set the Leupold at 2 power.
When sitting in a blind, or watching a
trail, or clearing, I move it to 7 power.
Most of the deer Ive killed were with
the scope on the higher setting. Ive
shot them as close as 30 yards with no
problems with the scope on 7.
I once took the M77 to a Belly
Match, a rifle match fired from prone.
It was outclassed by the heavy, and
heavily scoped, target rifles other
shooters were using.
The M77 did OK, until the thin
barrel started to heat up. Then the
group expanded and moved up and to
the left. When not overheated the .250
can put two rounds touching at 100
yards. The third round expands the
group to an inch and is often high. That
kind of shooting needs a bench and a
rest to put the rifle on. In the woods
Im not that accurate, but the rifle helps
me be accurate enough to take deer.
This year I put off sighting-in the
.250 till Nov. 14. The day was gray
and quiet with the feel of a large page

Signature

Make checks payable to: SMITH PUBLICATIONS


814 Clark St. Marquette, MI 49855
www.RichardPSmith.com

All inclusive, housekeeping packages and


cabin rentals on a remote Algoma Lake.
Fish for . . .
Northern Pike, Walleye, Lake Trout,
Perch, Smallmouth Bass and Whitefish
Train-in or Boat-in Only
Canadian Funds

519-636-3697

www.foxsdenlodge.ca
foxsdenlodge@gmail.com

Boat Smart: Boating Safety Reviews


requirements in 46 CFR 161 for an
electric light. The Coast Guard 33
CFR 175 allows a light certified under
46 CFR 161 to be used as a night-time
distress signal in lieu of flares.
The combination is a good choice
for those who often have children on
board their vessel and have concerns
regarding their safety. As an alternative to traditional pyrotechnic flares,
the S-O-S Distress Light never expires
which solves the problem of flare
disposal. It is hand-held, tethered or
hoisted aloft. It will operate for 60
hours, on 3 C-cell alkaline batteries,
compared to traditional flares that last
only minutes and can cause damage
and injuries.
My salvage and towing
company worked with Coast
Guard and Sheriffs marine
personnel on many search
and rescue cases off the east
coastline of Lake Huron. I
have mixed opinions regarding the value of the new distress option. I have located
vessels that had deployed
all their flares without
attracting help. A bright
light lifted aloft after the
traditional flares were all used would
have brought faster results. On the
other hand, I have searched along
a shoreline with numerous flashing
lights in the background which would
perhaps prohibit isolating one flashing
light.
In my opinion, both types of VDS
would be the best option. It should be
remembered, pyrotechnic flares will
reach a greater height and display a
greater range. Once you shoot off all
your flares, the light would be great
as a back-up. Your flares may have
been sighted and help dispatched but
having the distress light to guide them
when they reach the area would be
most helpful. Another great advantage of the EVDS is that it presents no
danger if youngsters find it.
The distress light should not be

By Fred Davis

y
ilitart
M
%
n
10 scou
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Left: Sur vitecgroups Crewfit 35 Spor t a USCG Type V/III approved


lifejacket. Right: An electric S-O-S Distress Light with an intensity of
at least 500 candelas. Author photos
used as a substitute but an adjacent
to your traditional flare kit. Over
the next few years, as more vessels
use the light, and it becomes better

known, the benefits of its use will


increase. I intend to continue to
research the products listed here and
will do follow up articles.n

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

s a long-time member of
Boating Writers International (BWI) and contributor for many publications
over a span of twenty-seven
years, I earned the title of
Boating Safety Advocate.
During my years of writing I always encouraged readers to recognize
the benefits of adopting boating safety
practices particularly the use of
PFDs which are critical safety products. With advancement in designs,
they have become more comfortable
to wear. It is not unusual to see an entire family displayed, including their
pets, wearing life jackets in magazine
layouts.
I have tested the newstyle, inflatable PFDs and
worked with UL and various
manufacturers to encourage current design revisions.
They have improved the
comfort of wearing them
while underway on your boat
or floating in the water. One
of the most innovative and
user friendly is Survitecgroups Crewfit 35 Sport.
It is a USCG Type V/III
approved lifejacket that provides 35
pounds of buoyancy when inflated and
a center buckle adjuster.
Another critical safety product
required on all but the smallest vessels
are flares. Pyrotechnic flares must be
carried on all seagoing commercial
or pleasure vessels of 13.7 metres in
length and over. A non-pyrotechnic
device package is currently offered as
an alternative to pyrotechnic flares. It
is described as an Electronic Visual
Distress Signal (EVDS).
The package contains an orange
distress flag measuring 3 X 3 foot
with a black square and ball that bears
USCG approval #46CFR160-072 as
a day marker. The electric S-O-S
Distress Light with an intensity of at
least 500 candelas that last at least 2
minutes has met USCG certification

65

If we get even close to a normal winter look for these cold


water destinations to produce
some hot action.

By Mike Gnatkowski

M i c h i g a n Wi n t e r H o t s p o t s :

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

I
66

JUST ADD ICE

wouldnt want to be a tackle


buyer for a sporting goods store
in Michigan. One year you have
a winter like 2013-2014 and your
best selling product are ice auger
extensions. Then you have a winter like 2014-15 when anglers didnt
even get on the ice for most of the
year, especially in southern Michigan.
Retailers are caught off guard
some years and find their shelves
empty at mid-winter. Last year they
ended up blowing out inventory that
didnt sell. Its chancy stocking ice
fishing gear and tackle because you
never know exactly what kind of
winter we were going to have. Its a
slippery slope.
Are we going to have the winter
of the century again in 2015-16? Not
likely, but if we get even close to a
normal winter look for these cold
water destinations to produce some
hot action.

year, said Ernie Plant of Franks


Great Outdoors (franksgreatoutdoors.
com; 989-697-5341) There was some
good ice early, but we never had really
good safe ice even later. Plant said
the east side of the Bay always has
the best ice conditions, but you have
farther to travel to the best fishing.
Fishing gets started usually gets
started by Christmas in 7 to 10 feet of
water, said Plant. A lot of times the
fishing on first ice is best for perch,
but there are always some walleyes
mixed in. Plant said the hottest action
is right at first light and just before
dark, especially for walleyes, in the
shallows.
Theres an abundance of 2-1/2- to
3-pound walleye in the Bay right now
and theres not a lot for them to eat.
That would seem to bode well for
ice anglers. Hungry fish are easier to
catch. The forage base on the Bay is
way down, said Plant. Alewives are
way down. Gizzard shad are scarce.
And theres the highest number of
Anglers are poised for an epic year walleye in the Bay since they started
on Saginaw Bay. All they need is a
keeping records and they are all from
little help from Mother Nature.
natural reproduction. About the only
Ice conditions were iffy last
forage they have right now are perch

and gobies. There are indications


that shiner numbers are making a
comeback. Plant said that upwards of
70 percent of the forage for walleyes
in the Bay is now yellow perch. No
wonder fire tiger is such a good color
on the Bay.
In spite of the fact the Saginaw
Bay walleyes are now eating mainly
perch, winter walleyes still have an
affinity for bright lures. The brighter
patterns and glow seems to work best
in winter, offered Plant. Orange,
fire tiger are good colors, too. Again,
the mid-day bite is inconsistent, so
concentrate on the low-light periods.
Do Jiggers, Rattlin Buckshot Spoons,
PK Lures and Jigging Rapalas are
all good. 1/4 to 1/2-ounce Northland
Whistler Jigs can be good when fish
are semi-active.
For bait, tackle and Saginaw ice
and fishing reports contact Franks
Great Outdoors in Linwood.

Clair is kind of unique, offered Joe


Balog. Youre fishing relatively
shallow water and you can usually
just walk out. Theres a lot of perch in
Lake St. Clair in the 5 to 7-inch range,
so the key is to keep moving until you
find the 8 to 9inch keepers.
The key to finding bigger perch
on Lakes St. Clair is to power fish. No
shanties here. The idea is to run-andgun until you find the school. Move
a lot, fish for short periods of time and
use artificial lures to catch aggressive
fish to find the schools of bigger fish,
said Balog. Balog advised targeting
3 to 9 feet of water, punch holes and
using flashy spoons like local favorites, Jacks and Kens spoons, with a
plastic bead or rubber egg. Its kind
of an old technique that was developed in the 50s on Saginaw Bay when
people were fishing for subsistence,
joked Balog.
Good locations are on South
Anchor Bay, especially on first ice,
and anywhere south of Lake St. Clair
Lake St. Clair is a Mecca for perch Metro Park.
For bait, tackle and reports on ice
anglers. It takes a prolonged spell of
cold weather to produce safe ice con- conditions contact Sportsmans Direct
(586-741-6052; www.sportsmensditions. Perch fishing on Lake St.

Saginaw Bay

Lake St. Clair

The crappie fishing on Hamlin gets hot


in February and lasts through March
most years. Author photos

Hamlin Lake
Mason Countys Hamlin Lake
is known for its hot first-ice bluegill
bite. But last year you had to wait,
and wait and wait some more. The
traditional time to get on the ice is
around Christmas. The ice wasnt
very thick by the holidays last year.
Last year you had to be careful,
shared Pat Barcelli of Ludington.
The year before we were on the ice
on Dec 8. It was at least a month later
last year.
Ice usually forms first on upper Hamlin Lake between Wilson
Park and Victory Parks. Schools of
slab gills move into the 6 to 8-foot
depths. Limits of 7 to 9-inch slabs are
the norm as soon as you can get on
the ice.
Bluegill fishing slows as the winter progresses and you need to resort
to finesse techniques to continue to
catch fish. Light line, sensitive graphs
or flashers and delicates spring bobbers are necessary.
A hot crappie bite on Hamlin
starts about midwinter. The area
off Lincoln and Grace roads in the
traditional crappy grounds was good
last year, offered Dave Ellis. The
specs were in 34 to 36 feet of water
and they were suspended 90 percent
of the time 6 or 8 feet off bottom. You
really needed some good electronics and you needed to move around
to find them. Once you did, plastics
were the ticket. The crappies werent
huge, but you could fill a bucket with
10 to 13 inchers. Little Atom (http://
www.little-atom.com) Nuggies and
Wedgies were the ticket. Hotspots for
specks are off Indian Pete Bayou to
the east and to the north in 20 to 22
feet of water. The crappie fishing on
Hamlin gets hot in February and lasts
through March most years.
To learn how to catch suspended
crappies on Hamlin Lake contact
West Michigan Ice Guides at 269377-1313 or on-line at www.michiganiceguides.com.

Lake Missaukee
I didnt get to fish Lake Missaukee a lot last winter, said Central
Lake Michigan Management Unit
Fisheries Biologist Mark Tonello,
but I heard the fishing was good.
Youll find a mix of bluegills and
sunfish, not trophies, but good numbers in the 7 to 8-inch range. Tonello
suggested trying the south end of the
lake off Green Road, off the access
on the northeast corner of the 1,985acre lake and off M-55/M-66 right in
town.
While bluegills and sunfish are
the main quarry, there are some good
crappies and perch in the lake, too,
said Tonello. Try anywhere between
6 and 17 feet, with 9 to 14 feet being

in the best. Just keep moving the


look for weed edges. Youll run into
the occasional footlong crappie and
jumbo perch, but the majority of the
perch right now are small. We had a
moratorium on walleye planting so
there was a five-year gap where we
didnt plant walleyes. The MDNR
stocked walleyes again in 2011 and
2013. So, once those get established
we should see better perch fishing on
Lake Missaukee.
Make sure you have your bait and
tackle before you hit the lake. The
tackle shop in town is rarely open.

Lake Cadillac and Mitchell


Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell are
perennial ice fishing favorites and
if anywhere in the Lower Peninsula
has ice, its typically Cadillac. Ice
fishing in general was kind of hit or
miss, said Tonello.
Tonello said that both lakes have
become primarily winter crappie fisheries. Fishing pressure on Cadillac
and Mitchell is heavier when theres
no ice downstate, he said. Last
year, they didnt have any ice downstate so there was higher than normal
pressure during the winter.
If you work at it you can catch
some crappies, said Tonello. Youre
not going to catch 17 inchers. Most
will be 8- to 10-inch eaters, but occasionally find some that are 13 or
14 inches. Cadillac and Mitchell
crappies feed a lot on aquatic insects.
Plastics are the ticket when specs are
feeding on the freshwater shrimp or
scuds that are present in the lakes.
Tonello suggested trying off
the causeway along M-55 and off
the library near Kentwood Park on
Lake Cadillac. Crappies can always
be found off Big and Little coves
on Lake Mitchell in 10 to 15 feet of
water suspended in the weeds.
For bait, tackle and fishing reports
contact Pilgrims Village & Resort
(231) 775-5412 or Schafers Bait &
Sporting Goods (231-775-7085.)

Crystal Lake
Ice anglers who target lake trout
on Crystal Lake would welcome
another brutal winter with open arms.
The 9,711-acre Benzie County lake
is slow to freeze so it takes some
sustained cold for ice to form, especially over the lake trout grounds in
the middle and west ends.
Fishing has been very good
for lake trout on Crystal the last
couple of winters, offered Tonello.
We surveyed the lake a while
back and found a lot of trout up
to 32 inches. Tonello said that
smelt numbers in Crystal are high
right now so theres plenty for the
trout to eat. When smelt numbers
are low, you can catch trout on
blue or gray shiners. But when
smelt numbers are high, like they are
right now, youd better have

live smelt if youre going to catch any


fish.
Many anglers fish for smelt the
night before and use them for trout
during the day. Lakers can be caught
in the 70 to 140-foot depths off Lobb
Road, Railroad Point, Warren Road
and Herdmans Point. Most will average 5 to 10 pounds.
For tackle shops and amenities in
the area contact the Benzie County
CVB at http://www.visitbenzie.com/.

Little Bay De Noc

Perch numbers are coming


back, stated Kevin Lee of Sall-Mar
Resort (http://www.sallmarresort.
net/; 906-553-4850) on Little Bay
De Noc. The lack of alewives has
really helped the perch. Were seeing

several good years classes in the bay


right now. A lot of people have been
fishing strictly for perch.
Lee said a prime location for
perch on Little Bay De Noc is north
of the coal piles at Gladstone east of
Butler Island in 23 to 28 feet of
water. Most of the perch will average
9 to 10 inches, but 14-inch jumbos
are not uncommon. Lee said jigging spoons, Jigging Rapalas and
tear drops all take perch. Currents
determine the most productive lure
weights. Theres current that comes
and goes depending on how the water
backs up in Green Bay, said Lee.
That can make for some treacherous
ice conditions. Use caution and check
with Sall-Mar Resort before heading
out.n

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67

Michigan Meanders:

January when basketball practice is


over, my ten-year-old son and I take
a stroll out back in the oak
woods. A warming trend is
in the air and when the sun
appears, so do the squirrels.
Daniel has yet to take the
Hunters Safety Certification
classhis mother and I determined he was not ready
but he wants to pull a trigger
so badly. And he does, with
the Red Ryder BB gun
he got for Christmas.
Dad, did I get
it? an excited Daniel asks when I
pick off a fat bushytail with my .22
caliber Ruger carbine.
Did you shoot, too?
Yes! the boy insists. I did!
Then you just bagged your first
There are few local rabbits to track squirrel. Congratulations!
One day in March two neighbors
and chase this winter but lots of fox
stop by to help remove a dead ash
squirrels. On a Saturday afternoon in
ou and I know that hunting
and fishing help to keep us
sane. As 2016, the
Crazy Year ends,
I am thankful for
the balance these
and other outdoor pursuits
provide. Time spent in the
canoe, the treestand or in the
garden are healthy ways to
deal with nutty events like
our recent national election.
Watching my bird dog
gain clarity as he sorts
through all the strange
smells in grouse woods is inspiring.
Clarity is good because it leads to
perspective. And perspective helps me
to rewind 2016 and make sense of it.

By Tom Huggler

Winter

The neighboring farmers pitched in to plant and har vest the farm of
the authors neighbor who unexpectedly passed away last spring.
that threatens to knock out the local
electrical grid if a storm topples it into
the powerline that services our home.
Accompanying them is Bob Flessner,
an area farmer I dont know but who
knows how to perform the tricky job.
When logging chains and a tow strap
are finally hooked to Flessners 4WD
pickup, I cut into the big tree right
where he tells me to. Bob guns his
truck at the precise moment, and the
ash crashes safely to earth.
Armed with more chainsaws, we
swarm over it like excited beavers
when I notice Bob is limping. Bad
hip, he explains. Got to get it replaced before planting time.
Despite the pain I know he suffers,
Flessner works all afternoon, helping

to cut up the ash, and several huge


cherry trees that also need removal,
into firewood. Although he, too, burns
wood, he wont take any, nor will he
accept a dime.
Everyone should be blessed with a
neighbor like Bob Flessner.

Spring

Saginaw Bay in late April and


the walleyes are biting. Its cold and
windy and Im hanging over the boat
side from sea sickness. Success may
come with a price, but when you are
so close to five-man limits, you have
to tough it out. And you know that
nothing beats fresh walleye fillets for
supper, especially when served with a
side of morel mushrooms picked from

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The authors kids with their


4-H feeder pigs reached their
market weight just in time for
the county fair.
your own property.
Now it is late May and a phone
call from my neighbor brings the
crushing news that Bob Flessner has
passed away. Only 54 years old, he
was the victim of a farm accident involving the collision of his ATV and
another vehicle at dusk on his Barry
County farm. An avid hunter, Bob
leaves his wife and childhood sweetheart and their two grown children.
He also leaves unplanted row crops.
Neighbors step in to finish the work.
Why bad things sometimes happen to good people is a hard nut to
crack.

Summer
I guess Ill never be a farmer
in spite of having dabbled in this
risky business over the years. If
you read this column, you know we
raise chickens, have a big vegetable
garden and make haphazard efforts at
self-sufficiency. Now we have added
hogs, thanks to 4-H. The three feeder
pigs we bought for Daniel and his
sister in March are fast approaching
market weight, just in time for (surprise!) the county fair.
Nothing runs like a Deere the
saying goes. Well, nothing eats like
a hog. In only three months, the little
crossbred oinkers have chowed down
more than one ton of food, specially

formatted for their growing pleasure.


And grow they have, to almost 300
pounds each.
Getting the porkers into a borrowed horse trailer for the trip to the
fair is a real challenge. Four adults
and two kids succeed in loading one,
but the other two hogs refuse and
become so stressed that we finally
give up. Later, I will dispatch them
in the pen with my deer rifle and take
them to the local processor. Shooting
my own pigs is a task I like as much
as contracting shingles. Next year we
will do things differently for sure.
But all is well that ends well
(except for the pigs, of course): We
get meat for our freezer and the food
pantry at church receives much-needed protein.
Then its off to the Pine River for
our annual father-son canoe/camping
trip. A couple days of solitude along
Michigans most-pristine river help
make sense of lifes vagaries.

Fall
As I write this, the most beautiful
autumn I can recall is slowly winding
down. Grouse were relatively abundant in the U.P. and northern lower,
and woodcock lingered later than
usual.
Another joy was the decision my
wife and I made to install a wood-

burning stove in our home. Luckily


the Vermont Castings Company still
makes the Defiant model. I bought a
Defiant airtight nearly 40 years ago to
heat a drafty old farmhouse and have
missed burning wood since selling
the place in 1989. The new Defiant
has new features such as a top-loading option, cooking griddle, removable ash pan, and catalytic burner.
Nothing beats wood heat, especially
when you have propane in the outside
tank for backup.
Thanksgiving is special this
year, and not just because the Lions
won. Bob Flessners neighbors came
together in an all-out effort to harvest
his 1,100 acres of crops. On October

24 with their parade of combines,


tractors and grain wagons, they took
down 600 acres of soybeans in only
seven hours (to see the nifty two-minute video, go to https://www.youtube.
com/embed/cQMX0iKRZ1s).
The farmers returned on November 16 to harvest his corn. Despite
the many things that seem to be
wrong with our world, some things,
such as neighbor helping neighbor,
continue to be right. Stuffing my new
stove with an all-nighter, a bolt of
cherry that Bob Flessner cut, helps to
sort the meaningful from the trivial.
And time spent outdoors is always time well spent.n

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JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

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69

TROUT ON ICE
Ice fishing for the big ones...

By George Rowe

hose who fish through the


ice around Central and
Northern Michigan are
learning that they can catch
trout more easily and more
abundantly every year. The
state has planted trout in many of
larger inland lakes and some of those
lakes support good trout populations
through natural reproduction.
Ice fishing for trout provides two
rather unique benefits. First, this can
produce the largest fish of the year, by
any method. How else are we going
to catch a fish that might weigh 12 to
20 pounds? Second, we simply dont
catch many trout in any other season.
The trout lurk so deep in the lakes that
we dont fish anywhere near them.
The best lakes in the Northwest
area include Walloon Lake, for rainbows and lakers, Lake Charlevoix for
lakers and steelhead, Burt Lake for
rainbows and browns, Elk Lake and
Torch Lake for lake trout, and Thumb
Lake (Lake Louise) for splake.
Crooked and Pickerel Lakes deserve
at least an honorable mention, with
modest populations of brown trout.
When (and if) Lake Michigan freezes
safely, the bays will also produce
some trout with steelhead, browns,
lake trout and even coasters (lake run
brook trout) available.
The tactics for winter trout fishing
are similar to those employed for other fish. The main difference in gear
is imposed by the size and strength
of these fish. While many a trout is
hooked on a wimpy little rod and light
line intended for perch, few of those
fish are landed. The trout will run the
line right off the reel or break the line
or something in that range of violence. If you are going to fish for trout
through the ice, better have adequate
tackle. Forget the wispy line and light

rod, these fish are caught on stouter


stuff.

Tip-Ups and Slammers


Tip-ups will work well, in some
situations. The browns, particularly,
often venture into shallow water
where the tip-ups can work well. If
the water is really deep, however,
tip-ups may not work well. In Lake
Charlevoix, for instance, there is some
current almost everywhere so when
you plumb the depths to determine
how deep to offer your bait, you will
be setting your line way too shallow
when the current sweeps your bait
off to the side and up off the bottom.
Tip-ups with lots of stout line, a leader
in the 10-pound bracket and baited
with a good-sized blue, gray or golden
shiner will attract and catch trout.
For steelhead, found in the river
mouth areas of every major river in
this area, a special version of a tipup is often employed and that is the
steelhead slammer. These gadgets
were mostly homemade in the past
but they are readily available in tackle
shops now. The slammer uses a regular rod and reel with the rod set up in
a spring fashion so that when the bait
is taken and the release is tripped, the
rod springs back to normal, setting the
hook and announcing a strike.
The slammers are usually set in
fairly shallow water on the flats in
a river mouth area and baited with
a leadhead jig tipped with wigglers.
The fish are often found in water only
six to twelve feet deep.
Bobber rigs will also catch trout
and many a big trout has been caught
on a bobber rig set for walleye or
perch. Bobbers are generally only
used when the fish are in reasonably
shallow water and, even then, a slip

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JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS


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This pretty brown trout came from Lake Charlevoix, with coloration
showing that it lived in the Jordan River very recently.
with a chunk of smelt or perhaps a
strip of belly meat off a sucker. Lakers are meat eaters. The big jig should
be banged right on the bottom, to
The very best winter lure for
attract attention with the little puffs of
catching trout is generally a jigging
spoon. The big metallic-finish spoons sand that are produced by that action
and then jigged just off the bottom.
are often the first choice of the ice
Lakers will hit it hard and fight well,
angler and they are usually tipped
with the head half of a medium-sized unencumbered with all that hardware
we use to catch them in the summer.
minnow. Brown trout are often susOn the Lake Michigan bays, lakers
pended, especially over deep water.
They may be close to the bottom in 15 are often found in the same water that
produces whitefish, in the winter, and
feet of water but they are apt to be in
the top 20 feet of water if the depth is they often come in close to the river
mouths late in the winter, along with
over 30 feet.
the steelhead.
Unlike walleyes and perch, trout
When a trout is hooked, it is a
generally like a lively jigging acgood
idea to make some noise (fish
tion. While those after walleye are
on)
and
try to get all nearby lines out
apt to leave their jig motionless for
of
the
water.
Trout will run like crazy
long periods of time, trout anglers
when first hooked and the runs are
like to keep that jig active, giving it a
apt to be very long in shallow water,
few strong upward bumps from time
meaning that the fish could engage
to time and many small motions in
any other line in the area if they are
between. I can remember at least a
not cleared. Experienced anglers
couple of times when I brought the
will often stick the rod right down in
jig to the surface to check the bait and the hole in the ice, to prevent the line
had a trout zoom right under the lure
from chafing on the edge of the hole.
as it came up through the ice. Each
After a couple of nice runs, the fish
time, the jig was dropped right back
can usually be subdued and slid up on
down there some six or eight feet,
the ice with the help of a gaff hook.
jigged a couple of times and wham, a
Winter trout are a joy to catch, of
trout hit it hard. While walleyes often course, and they are good table fare
take a jig rather softly and may not
as well. They are usually the largest
send much of a strike message, other
fish that one might catch, in the winter
than a little tap, up the rod, most trout and it is nice to remember that these
will hit that jig hard, leaving no doubt fish are often just not accessible in
that you have a trout on the line.
the summer, when they retreat to the
For lakers, the jig should be tipped depths.n

bobber is almost always necessary.

Jigging

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full warranty details. *The Honda Power Equipment Visa credit
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Please read the owners manual before operating your Honda Power Equipment and never use in a closed or partly enclosed area where you could be exposed to carbon monoxide. 2016 American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Your Authorized Honda Power Equipment Dealer


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71

Rick
Thompson
of Marlette
took this
trophy
Sanilac
Co. 10-pt.
buck with
webbed
main beams
hunting
opening
day of gun
season.

TROPHY PAGE

Dave
DeVlaminck
took this
wide Sanilac
Co. 9-pt. on
Nov. 26.

Aaron Buza of Alpena


took this 8-pt. with a
20 spread on public
land on opening day
just after 10 am.

Aaron Caldwell of Watervliet


took this nice 8-pt. buck hunting a swamp the evening of
Nov. 15.

Ellie Himebauch 14 of Maybee,


took this beautiful 8-pt. hunting in
Charlevoix Co. during the youth
hunt.

Marianne
Porter
took this
beautiful 20
lb., 8-pt.
buck
on state
land in
Holly on
Oct. 24
with a
crossbow.

Amy
Sulenski
of Holly
took her
first deer,
during
early gun
season.
Cassidy Fritz, age 11 of Elkton took this beautiful 8-pt.
buck opening day of firearm
season in Huron Co.

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Thomas Salbut took this Macomb Co.


8-pt. with 12 inch tines hunting Nov. 21.

72

Duane Berens of Hamilton took this 9-pt.


buck on Nov. 5 in Cass Co. It had a 21
inch outside spread.

Teresa
Renfer of
Jackson
took her
very first
buck
opening
day in
Hillsdale
Co., a
200 lb.
10-pt.

Craig Postma of Hamilton took


this buck with a 17 inch spread
on Oct. 22 in Cass County.

Mike
Woodworth
took this
200 lb.
8-pt. hunting the
evening
of Nov. 12
in Lapeer
Co. with a
crossbow.

Hayden Holton, 11 of
Houghton Lake took
his first deer on Nov. 12
with a crossbow while
hunting with his Grandfather in Barry Co.

Brenden Kozal,
7 patiently
hunted in
Papas stand
all October
without a bow
of his own.
After proving
himself with
Papas crossbow by putting every shot
into the vitals
on a target, his
father acquired
a mentor hunting license and
on Nov. 12 he
took this doe!

Gordon
Crane of
Manitou
Beach
took this
dandy
10-pt.
buck on
Nov. 15
during
a late
morning
hunt in
Lenawee
Co.

Vivian
Bailey, 8
took this
spike at
her grandfather's
property
in Clare
Co., her
first deer
with a
crossbow.
Second
deer of
her hunting career!

TROPHY PAGE

Terrick Janiszewski took


this beautiful 11-pt. hunting the evening of Nov. 18
near Millersburg.

Persistence payed off for 15


year old Jack Sczepanski from
Midland after passing up smaller bucks for this dandy 8-pt. he
took on Thanksgiving night.

Jack Jamison of Westland took


this huge 8-pt. buck on Nov.
12 at 10 am while hunting in
Washtenaw Co. with a 10 yard
shot with his crossbow.

WHAT A YEAR: Joshua Coty had a big year


taking his first Canadian black bear in Ontario
in August 15. He took a 10-pt. buck during
the youth hunt in Sept. and an 8-pt. bowhunting in Oct. Both bucks from Midland Co. and
had a successful duck hunt as well.

Joe Ales, 16 shot


this nice buck in
Huron Co.

Jim Derewitz took his first crossbow


deer, a 5-pt. on Nov. 4. On Nov. 20
Lori Derewitz took this 6-pt. Both bucks
were taken in Lapeer Co.

Pat Selders of Jonesville caught


this big buck sneaking thru a
swamp at 9:30 in the morning
at 70 yards.
Jacob
Zimmer,
9 took his
first deer on
opening day
in Osceola
Co., a dandy
10-pt. hunting with his
grandpa and
using Harry
Wilsons
.243.

The Grajewski family of Branch had a successful fall; on a Sept.


hunt to Newfoundland Mike took this woodland caribou and
Diane took this big moose. Then Nov. 12 Diane arrowed this
dandy 9-pt. hunting near Scottville.

Raegen Eller took this 9-pt.


hunting an Alcona Co.
swamp Nov. 20 with a 100
yard shot!

Joe
Sacco
took
this
8-pt.
bow
hunting late
Oct. in
Iosco
Co.

Mother/Daughter Success: Hanna Adamczak, 14, took her first deer, a 5-pt.
buck the evening of Nov. 4 with her
crossbow. On Nov. 14 Mary Adamczak
took a nice 8-pt. with her crossbow.

Konner
Vedrode,
17 took
this 8-pt.
with a
17 inch
spread on
Nov. 29 in
Midland
Co.
Rob Gillette took

his first buck, this


8-pt. bowhunting
Van Buren Co.
Nov. 11.

Sophia Akin and her


dad Jereme, were
hunting in Gratiot
Co. on Nov. 25,
when Sophia took
this 6-pt.

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Steven Fox arrowed


this 8-pt. Nov. 14
hunting in Iosco Co.

73

Why anchors are essential for kayak fishing

hen it comes to boat control out of a kayak, the


most important item is
an anchor. Well, maybe
right behind a paddle
anyway. Not all kayak
anglers will agree with that, and some
really good kayak fishermen and fisherwomen get by just fine without an
anchor. But most kayak anglers who
dont regularly use some sort of anchoring system are not fishing nearly
as effectively as they could. Thats
especially true of kayak bass anglers
competing in the popular catch-photorelease tournaments that continue to
pop up across the yakking landscape.
Ill explain why, below.
See, heres the deal: Kayakers are
at the mercy of wind. Bass anglers in
heavy fiberglass boats with powerful trolling motors often complain
about the difficulty of fishing in wind.
Now put that same angler in a plastic
boat that weighs 120 pounds. Wind
that was simply annoying can make
it extremely difficult to fishand it
doesnt take much wind to blow a
kayak around. Not only will it blow
you past the various structure before
you can fish it thoroughly, it can also
make it impossible to retrieve a lure
at the right pace. Try fishing a Texasrig worm along the bottom when your
boat is moving at 2 or 3 miles per
hour.
Thats where an anchor becomes
the savior of your sanity. If you have
one that holds you stationary in whatever conditions you happen
to be fishing, you can probe
structure thoroughly and
have a lot more control over
what your lure does as you
retrieve it.
Lets look at a few tips
on anchor installation and
usage.
First, its best to install
your anchor so it can
drop off the stern of your
kayakthats where
youll want it about 90
percent of the time. A set-up that
works great is a pulley off the stern of
the yak, (either attached to a handle
or permanently through-bolted) with
a 5-pound plastic dumbbell for the
anchor. Even though a dumbbell
doesnt dig in, 5 pounds is usually
enough weight to hold a yak in anything but truly breezy conditions. The
dumbbells plastic coating keeps your
anchor from scuffing up your plastic
boat, too. Plus, (at least in my case)
the plastic dumbbell gets a lot more
use than it ever did before. Theyre
not cheap when you buy them new,
but they are a popular garage sale

Deploying an anchor off the stern of your kayak lets you always face downwind, get longer casts and use
the wind to move you along pieces of structure.
itemif you drive by one and see an
exercise bike out in the yard, chances
are good youll find some dumbbells,
too.
An anchor trolley works better
than installing a pulley at the stern.
This is basically a length of rope
looped through pulleys at each end of
your yak, with a ring through which
you put your anchor line.
By pulling the trolley
rope, you can move the
ringand anchor line
fore or aft, or even just
leave it right at the middle
of the boat. The trolley
lets you easily bring the
anchor to where you can
lift it in the boat, clear
weeds off and have it
ready to drop at your
next spot. Again, the
plastic dumbbell is my
favorite anchor as I dont have to be
super careful when bringing it over
the boat to stow.
For your anchor line, you dont
need thick ropeparacord works
great. I just came across this www.
paracordplanet.com website, which
has some good prices. A hundred feet
costs almost $20, but it will last a long
time. On most lakes, youll be fine
with just 50 feet.
Now, heres a question: What do
you do with 50 feet or more of anchor
line so coils dont lay around in your
kayak, just waiting for a sharp hook to
snag it? At the very least you need a

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

By Dave Mull

74

stick on which to wind your line like


kite string. If youre only going to
anchor in less than 15 feet of water,
one of those retractable dog leashes
stows its line nicely. For my money,
theres no better investment than the
made-in-Michigan Anchor Wizard.
This contraption, built like a tank,
winds the line when you turn the top
crank. To deploy the anchor, just twist
the handle counter-clockwise a quarter
crank. That loosens the clutch and lets
the anchor fall. I now pair the crank
with a trolley, but Anchor Wizard also
makes an anchor receiver that mounts
to your kayak bow or stern that works
well, too. See more at www.anchorwizard.com.
A crank system like the Anchor
Wizard makes it real easy to stealthily
cover water effectively while the wind
at your back moves your kayak. I like
to figure out what part of a lake I want
to fish, based on where the wind will
benefit me the most. At the start of the
excursion, I pedal my Hobie into the
wind, past the structure I want to fish.
I might toss a crankbait or spinnerbait
on my way to the starting point, but
any fish caught doing that are a bonus.
Once Im upwind of the area I want
to fish, I drop the anchor off the stern
and fan-cast the area in front of me
the wind helps me cast farther if I
want to. As soon as I feel Ive covered
it thoroughly, I crank up the anchor
and let the wind push me to where I
can make another bunch of casts and
cover new water. I repeat these steps

until Im past the water that is likely


to hold fish.
With this system, I can thoroughly
cover water and work the small Ned
Rig finesse lures I like best, without
the wind causing a lot of problems.
Now, why is an anchor important
in catch-photo-release tournaments?
In these you must lay your catch on an
approved measuring device (a Hawg
Trough is most popular) and take its
picture. Sounds super simple, but by
the time you net the fish, take the lure
out, get your camera or phone ready
for a shot, lay the fish on the Hawg
Trough, take its picture, check the
picture to make sure it was in focus
and that all the fish is in the frame and
release the fish, the wind might have
blown you to the other side of the
lake.
Not good. There might be more
bass lurking where you just caught the
first one. Drop an anchor and youre
still in the same spot ready to catch
another.
This just touches the basics of
anchoring. In future articles well discuss the electric Power Poles, stakeout poles, river anchoring systems
and more of the things that help boat
control. Remember, good boat control
helps you catch more fish.
Writer Dave Mull is scheduled to
give highly entertaining and informative kayak seminars at the Ultimate
Fishing Show, Novi, January 12-15
and the Ultimate Sports Show, Grand
Rapids, March 16-19.n

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75

My Thoughts, My Views, My Opinions...

I dont agree with the DNRs


bear population numbers
The reason Im doing this is Im passionate about black bears and
their management. I dont think the DNR is gathering enough
information about black bears in the state. With your help, I hope to
add to what is known about the animals in Michigan that can
contribute to better management of this species of big game...

f 116 Michigan residents, many of whom


were bear hunters,
either saw or had trail
camera photos of 1,000
black bears in the state
during 2015, how many
bears do you think were
seen and photographed by
the thousands of other hunters and nonhunters
last year?
If I had to make
an educated guess, it would be more
than 50,000. Some of those bear
would have been seen and/or photographed by more than one person, of
course, but certainly not all of them.
So how many bears were there in
Michigan during 2015?
Probably 25,000 to 30,000. My
estimate is most likely more accurate than the one published by the
DNR, and is certainly based on more
current information than the DNRs,
but theres also one major difference
between my estimate and the DNRs.
Mine includes cubs. The DNRs
doesnt.

estimates are only for


bears that are at least a
year old.
Even though cubs are
bears, too, and are part of
the population, the state
agency makes no attempt
to estimate their numbers.
Its as though cubs dont
exist as far as the DNR
is concerned in
terms of population numbers.
Cubs are a critical part of the bear
population, however, playing an
essential role in determining the
populations future. If cub production
and survival exceeds losses, the population increases. If they dont, bear
numbers decrease.

By Richard P. Smith

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

The Survey

76

Now that Ive got your attention,


let me explain. During late fall of
2015 and the first months of 2016, I
did my best to conduct a survey of
Michigan residents to try to find out
how many bears were seen and captured on trail cameras during 2015.
The reason I decided to do this is the
DNR currently estimates the states
bear population from bear harvest
data. They plug the sexes and ages
of harvested bears into a computer
model along with bear hunting effort
to come up with a probable population that yielded the previous years
harvest.
A year normally elapses between
the end of bear season and when the
statistics from that season are available. And when the numbers are
available, they only enable the DNR
to estimate the previous years possible population, so estimates are two
years out of date by the time they are
made. On top of that, the DNR bear

Value of Trail Cameras


I thought there has got to be a better way than what the DNR currently
does bear population estimates, and
there is. Trail cameras are so widely
used today by deer and bear hunters and many nonhunters also use
the cameras. Not all bear and deer
hunters use cameras to monitor their
baits, of course, but many of them
do. Enough hunters use trail cameras to provide some solid real time
numbers. The problem is to figure out
how to tap into all of that information.
Ive used trail cameras on my
bear baits long enough to realize
how valuable they can be to provide
information about how many different bears are visiting baits. Thats
what gave me the idea about trying
to gather that type of information
from hunters. In most cases, there are
usually more bears visiting baits than
hunters realize until they start looking
at photos from cameras set to monitor
baits. Not all photos obtained by cameras are suitable to identify individual
bears, but, over time, after enough
photos are accumulated at specific
bait sites, its possible to make an
accurate assessment about how many
bears are or have been visiting that
location. Theres usually far more
bears visiting a bait than hunters end

One of the bears photographed with a trail camera at one of the authors UP baits.
up seeing during their hunt because
many of them only feed under the
cover of darkness.
Two friends and I who bear
hunted together during 2015 maintained six baits in Keweenaw County,
for example. We only had cameras
that functioned properly on four of
those baits. The best bait was being
visited by 12 different bears, including an adult female with three cubs.
The family of four and six individual
bears were seen while that bait was
being hunted. One male was killed at
that bait.
Another 10 bears, including a sow
and two cubs, were photographed at
different bait that was not hunted as
often. Only one bear was seen while
that spot was being hunted and no
bears were shot there.
Six bears frequented bait number
three and a male was taken there.
Photos of five bears were recorded
at bait number four where an adult
female was harvested. Multiple bears
were present at two additional baits,
based on the bait that was eaten and
tracks, but scouting cameras placed
at those baits malfunctioned and no
bears were seen while those spots
were hunted. Due to the lack of good
information on those two baits, they
were not considered in the survey.
I also hunted deer over bait in
Keweenaw County during 2015,
miles from the bear baits and cameras
at those spots recorded photos of four
more bear. I got to thinking, If one
small party of hunters has photos of
33 different bruins, the total number

of bears seen statewide by the thousands of hunters who monitor baits


with cameras has got to be substantial. And Im sure it is. The numbers
may be much higher than I suspect.

Par tner with the DNR?


I asked the DNR if they wanted
to partner with me on this project,
knowing that a news release from the
Department would be more widely
published than a news release from
me. Although Im considered a black
bear expert by many people, I dont
have the public credibility as a citizen
hunter/writer that the state agency
does. Participation by the DNR
would have increased the potential of
hunters responding to the request for
information.
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to be included in your trail
camera survey, DNR deputy public
information officer John Pepin from
the Marquette office wrote in response. However, at this time, we
are going to decline that opportunity.
After stating the information
they now collect about black bears is
adequate, Pepin concluded by writing, We are not currently in need of
a trail camera survey, which would
have limited participation.
The DNR does conduct an annual
survey of bear hunters to estimate
how many were successful in bagging
a bear and to determine their satisfaction with the hunt. One of the questions on that survey asks hunters how

Michigans bear population page 78

My Thoughts, My Views, My Opinions...

A CPL and YOU:

All of the answers except one


demeanors. So, most of us shouldnt
have to worry about that.
To find out about such disqualifications as well as the process required
in order to secure a CPL, go to the
website of the Michigan State Police
(www.michigan.gov/msp). At the
menu atop the page, click on Services and then Firearms in the dropdown menu. On the page
that opens, find the and click
on the link for Concealed
Pistol Requirements.
That document will tell
you what you need to do in
order to get the permit, but
it still doesnt address the
question, Should I get one?
Trying to answer that,
through several online
interviews online I
asked, Except for
occasionally taking
them to the range to practice a little,
isnt the biggest use of concealed
handguns simply to have them just be
there?
In other words, do we just purchase concealable handguns in the
hope that well never have to use
them? Is it a case of better safe than
sorry, or just in case?
Is that accurate, or is there
more?
No reply offered anything more.
Respondents were promised their
identities would be protected.
One person answered, Yes, It
would be the one license and item I
hope to never have to brandish.
A person from the U.P. agreed but
added, I carry more in the woods
than in town. I have it handy for critters near the house. And bad guys
when camping.
So the thought among civilians
interviewed seems to be one should
get a CPL and carry a weapon to be
prepared, just in case.
Three law enforcement officers
also weighed in on the topic. The
first two are from fairly large cities in
southwest Michigan.
The first said, I am strongly in
favor of it.
First and foremost, I think it
deters crime. A guy is thinking of
opening up on a McDonalds and he
thinks five of the customers might
have guns. That might make him
think twice about what hes doing.
He gave several reasons for suggesting people obtain their CPLs and
carry concealed weapons:
1) In violent crimes the police

By Tom Carney

In Michigan, qualifying for and obtaining a license to carry a concealed pistol is the easy part.
First you have to determine if you are ready to accept the responsibility for carrying and
potentially using one. Tailfeather Communications, LLC photo.
are not going to be there when you
need them to be there. Things happen
quickly and are over most of the time
before you have a chance to call. If
youre going to depend on the police
to be there, its impossible. In other
words, law enforcement officers cannot be every place where and at every
time when violence might break out.
2) People have to be their own
advocates in situations like that, he
added. But dont start a gun fight
where there is none. Most of the
time the bad guys just want money
and to leave.
I think its the responsible thing to
do, being your own and your familys
advocate. Things probably arent going to go south, but you need to take
care of yourself.
3) We practice fire drills. We
practice tornado drills. Mostly likely
situations where youd need a gun are
not going to happen, but we practice
in the event they do.
4) The best thing is the gun is
there and you hope you never need to
use it.
The second officer flat out asked
me, Why dont you have your CPL
yet?
He continued, Here are my personal
feelings on concealed carry. I am 100
percent on board with law-abiding
citizens owning and carrying weapons, as long as they take the time to
train with the weapon and are well
versed on the consequences of using
that firearm no matter what it was
used for.
The average violent assault is
done and over in less than a minute.

The average wait time to speak to


a 911 dispatcher is about a minute.
People need to arm themselves to prevent becoming a victim, but with that,
they must train themselves and constantly seek out information and push
themselves mentally to be aware of
their surroundings. I also believe with
the appropriate amount of situational
awareness you can avoid conflict as
well.
An officer from a smaller town in
northern Michigan offered up some
different opinions.
I do not believe CPLs should be
handed out like they currently are.
Ive seen too many people able to get
a CPL because they (previously had)
received the benefit of plea bargains
for their criminal offenses. It has been
easier for a citizen with a CPL to
purchase a pistol than it is for a police
officer, which is nuts (this might have
changed recently).
Therefore, I do not and have not
suggested to anyone to get a CPL.
I personally never carry off duty.
Its a pain in the butt. When I do, it
is generally when travelling to a high
crime area and it would only be used
to prevent loss of life and (as a) last
resort.
I can only assume that people
carry to defend themselves, but lets
be serious. There isnt a tremendous
amount of incidents up here (in his
town) involving people needing to
defend themselves from loss of life.
There you have it. About as much
info one might need on the matter. So
whats the verdict? Should you get
one?n

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

he thought might have approached you from any number of different directions: a
close call either your own
or that of a friend, socialmedia driven fear, political
rhetoric, news reports of too many
attacks on people just like you, a
sense of responsibility to your family,
or just because you can. But
it sits out there, a Concealed
Pistol License (CPL), available to just about any clean
living adult citizen of the
State of Michigan.
The overriding question
resulting from that notion is
quite simple: Should I get
one?
Last year, one of
our neighbors was
awakened with the
sound of two men
fighting in her yard and tossing each
other against her house. Home alone
at the time, she was naturally fearful.
Several minutes after she called 911,
the sheriffs deputy arrived but then
remained in his car for several more
minutes until another car arrived. After the situation de-escalated, she says
he advised her to get some kind of
firearm for protection because, well,
look how long it took him to get there
and spring into action.
She and I discussed this, and she
told me instead of a handgun she
would be getting a pump shotgun for
home protection because the sound of
her racking a shell should be enough
to frighten the bejeebers out of any
future intruders. A pump sounds
about right for in-home defense. But
what about when you are away from
the house, I wondered.
Should I get one?
The State of Michigan offers
CPLs to its citizens, not CCW (Carry
Concealed Weapon) permits. The online PDF version of Firearms Laws
of Michigan is 242 pages long. One
significant spot for this discussion
seems to be Section 28.421a from
July 1, 2001, which states in part, It
is the intent of the legislature to create a standardized system for issuing
concealed pistol licenses.
Other sections mention that starting Dec. 1, 2015, county secretaries
shall issue such licenses or a notice of statutory disqualification. So,
Michigan is a shall issue state.
Most of the reasons for statutory disqualification apply to people
convicted of felonies or certain mis-

77

Hot Topic In Our State...


Michigans bear population: from page 76
satisfied they are with the number of
bear they saw during their hunt, but
they dont ask how many bear were
seen and/or photographed with trail
cameras. Bear hunters have the option
of filling out an online survey thats
on the DNR website and 2,488 did
so after 2015 seasons. An additional
2,070 hunters who bought 2015 bear
licenses responded to surveys mailed
to them by the DNR.
The DNR was right about limited
participation in my survey, but thats
not unusual for a first time survey
of any type. Realistically, I knew
that without the DNRs participation
getting information to most hunters
about the survey would be an uphill
battle and the response rate among
those who heard or read about it
would also be reduced. I sent news
releases about the survey to as many
media outlets statewide as possible.
Interestingly, the Michigan Bear
Hunters Association, which I am a
life member of, did not let their members know about the survey by way of
their newsletter. The organization did
not publish the news release.

The Results

I ended up getting responses


from 116 individuals from all over
the state, some of whom are guides.

People who responded to the survey


saw or photographed bears in all 15
UP counties in addition to 22 counties
in the Lower Peninsula. The respondents reported seeing and/or photographing 1,057 bears in Michigan
during 2015.
A total of 693 lone bears that were
at least a year old were reported. The
information I was most interested in
is the number of adult females with
cubs that were seen and photographed
because the DNR doesnt collect that
data. There were 110 females with
cubs reported and they had a total of
259 cubs with them.
Eighteen sows had one cub.
Forty-seven females had twins and
41 were with triplets. Six sows had
four cubs each. Some adult female
black bears in Michigan give birth to
as many as five cubs every year. Ive
seen and photographed some of them
and have gotten reports of others,
but no females with five cubs were
reported in the survey.
Among the hunters I heard from,
a total of 63 bears that were seen at
baits were bagged. After subtracting
that number from those that were
seen, the number of remaining bruins
would be just under 1,000. That
number is significant considering that
4,994 hunters hunted black bear in

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JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

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78

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The author positioning a trail camera


to photograph bears at a bait site.
three sows with cubs. Two had twins
and one had triplets.

2016 Survey
I plan on conducting a similar
survey of the number of bears seen
and/or photographed in Michigan
for 2016. If you would like to share
information about the number of
bears you saw or captured photos of,
please let me know. I would like to
know the number of sows with cubs,
including the number of cubs each
had along with the number of single
bears that were at least a year old and
the county they were in.
This information can be emailed
to mibearcount@yahoo.com. For
those who do not have computers,
information about bears that were
photographed and seen can be sent to
Bear Count, 814 Clark St., Marquette,
MI 49855.n

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Michigan during 2015. If those 100


plus hunters I heard from are a representative sample, the total number of
bears seen and/or photographed by all
bear hunters would have been in the
neighborhood of 43,000.
When you add in the number
of bears seen and/or photographed
by deer hunters and nonhunters in
Michigan during 2015, it could easily
surpass 50,000. And I did hear from
deer hunters.
A deer hunter from Lake County
wrote, I have three deer stands in
Lake County that I have so many bear
visiting. I hunt with my brother and
close friend. Between the three of
us, we now have a total count of 15
different bear visiting. We do not sit
close to each other. This is gathered
within 15 square miles.
Another deer hunter from Delta
County wrote, We had more bear
on cameras this past fall than ever
before. None of us had a bear license.
All pictures were taken at or near
deer stands. I applied for a bear tag,
but was unsuccessful.
A deer hunter from Marquette
County who had photos of four adult
bear commented, Been hunting this
area for five years now. First time
ever even seen signs of bears. I believe the number to be a big jump up
this year.
The high number of bears reported to be visiting single baits was also
reflective of lots of bears. Some of
the hottest baits had 20 or more bears
visiting them.
A bear hunter from Gogebic
County wrote, I know for a fact from
the number of bears Ive seen on my
trail cameras that there are far more
bears here than the DNR claims. He
captured photos of 18 different bears
on one bait, seven of which were
cubs.
One hunter reported 21 different
bears on a bait in Presque Isle County. Another bait in Alcona County had
20 different bears on it. The highest
number of bears reported from one
bait was in Marquette County. A total
of 30 bears visited that bait, including

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My Thoughts, My Views, My Opinions...

Michigan coyote, a worthy game animal? Very much so!

Dear Woods-N-Water News:

Many Michigan hunters are of


the opinion that all hunting starts and
ends with whitetail hunting. A whole
segment of Michigan hunters have
been convinced by the "TV Trophy
Hunters" and outdoor media that their
season has been a washout if they

haven't bagged a Michigan buck of


at least 150 point class! So to these
hunters any obstacle, like a coyote,
that cuts back on the sheer number
of whitetails they observe during a
season is a major issue.
I have read with interest a couple
of articles that Mr. Kenny Darwin has
written about the "plague" of the coy-

DNRs Habitat Improvement Account


to fund three projects on key rivers
The MDNR has announced three recipients of grants awarded from
the Habitat Improvement Account (HIA) for fiscal year 2017. The HIA
funds projects to improve aquatic habitat, fishing access, water quality and
the DNRs understanding of the resources on the Au Sable, Manistee and
Muskegon rivers and was established to mitigate resource impacts from
hydropower dam operations.
The three recipients were selected by the DNRs Fisheries Division,
with a total of $180,616 to be distributed over the next two years. The
projects approved for fiscal year 2017 include:
Buhl Dam removal - Huron Pines (Alcona County, $58,300 over two
years)
The HIA will provide additional funding for the removal of Buhl Dam
on the Pine River. This project also received HIA funding during the last
cycle; however, since that time, the project scope has grown and additional
funding is needed to successfully complete the project. Removal of this
dam will allow for aquatic organism passage and improved water quality.
Habitat improvement planning Mason-Griffith Founders Chapter of
Trout Unlimited (Otsego, Crawford, Kalkaska, Oscoda and Roscommon
counties, $30,490)
The HIA will fund collection of information on the main channel and
tributaries of the Au Sable and Manistee rivers to generate a prioritized list
of areas where habitat improvement may be needed. By documenting river
characteristics and habitat needs, efforts can be focused on priority projects for funding through HIA or other grant programs.
Muskegon Walleye Pond improvement DNR Fisheries Division
(Muskegon County, $91,826)
The HIA will fund replacement of equipment used to manage the Muskegon Walleye Pond. The Muskegon Walleye Pond provides fingerling
walleye that are stocked into the Muskegon River. These fingerlings are
critical to maintaining the rivers walleye fishery.
The HIA is funded by Consumers Energy as part of a major settlement
agreement that relicensed the companys hydropower projects on the Au
Sable, Manistee and Muskegon rivers, said the DNRs Habitat Management Unit Supervisor, Jessica Mistak. The HIA has contributed in excess
of $8.5 million and funded more than 150 projects since its inception in
1994.
For more information on habitat management efforts in Michigan, visit
the DNRs Habitat Management Unit webpage.

otes. His portrayal makes it sound like


Mr. Coyote is the worst scourge to hit
the Michigan woods ever. News flash
- he isn't! I submit to Mr. Darwin and
others of his ilk that the Michigan
coyote hunted on his "turf and terms"
by fair chase with either predator calls
or hounds is without question one of
the most sporting game animals alive
today.
I am a long time coyote hound
hunter and I submit that the Michigan coyote is second to no animal in
the Michigan woods in his ability to
evade the gun (including deer and
turkeys). Therefore, I ask that we all
take a step back and realize that other
sporting game exists in the
Michigan woods besides deer and turkeys and each species has advocates

and devotees!
And further that none of us advocate a "pitchfork and axe" mentality against one of the game animal
species just because it doesn't happen
to be at the top of our own personal
favorite list.
As a suggestion, if Mr. Darwin
wants to energize the base against
a true menace to Michigan deer, he
might first start with the wolf in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I personally
hunted on the Seney National Wildlife
Refuge this (2016) season where wolf
tracks and scat (filled with deer hair
and bones) outnumbered deer tracks
on the order of 10 to 1.
Regards,
Dave Smith
Beaverton, MI

My Thoughts, My Views, My Opinions


Share your thoughts, views, opinions or shor t stories with
Woods-N-Water News readers by emailing
wnw@pageone-inc.com or mail to
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contact our office Mon. - Fri. 8 am-5 pm 810-724-0254,
www.woods-n-waternews.com or facebook woodsnwaternews

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79

Readers Choice Trail Cam Contest

Visit our website (www.woods-n-waternews.com) to vote for your favorite trail cam photo each
month. The photo with the most votes will receive a Woods-N-Water News mock Cover
from pagefeaturing
??
their photo. Once we have twelve monthly winners from our website, well ask you to choose the
Grand Prize winner which will get a new Stealth Cam.
Send your photos to: wnw@pageone-inc.com (please submit in jpeg format)
www.woods-n-waternews.com

Bill Teachout captured this young buck on his trail cam.

Jim Sutterfield got this interesting


trail cam of a bear doing what bears
do.

Kriag Staples with one of his


MIllersburg trail cam coyotes.
Tom Spillane got
this big bruin on trail
cam on his hunting
property near St.
Helen.

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Larry Piotrowski sent us this trail cam photo of a mega-buck


and that may be all the information we get from Larry on this
one....but thanks for letting us take a look at him.

80

Here is an amazing photo taken by Sherry Duke in Washtenaw County.


Sherry is an avid outdoor photographer and we thought this one was too
good not to share with our readers.

Ron Winkelman Jr. of Macomb County shares with us a playful


fawn with a wild tom turkey on his trail cam.

Earl Tappenden got this great buck on trail cam. Look at the neck
on this fella, wonder what hes looking for?

Marianne Porter of Holly captured this young bull moose walking up the
driveway of their hunting cabin in the U.P. It appears tjos fella walked
right up to our cabin, too bad we werent home, but our camera was!
Gary Borse captured
this 4-pointer watching
two 8-pointers fighting
on his trail cam.
Kraig Staples has these two bucks in full combat on his hunting
property near Millerburg on his trail cam.
Marianne
Porter sent us
nice U.P. trail
cam photo of a
young buck on
their hunting
property.

Anthony Pinto sent us this nice shot of


a young Livingston County 10-point.

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

CJ Dosher sent us this trail cam


photo of a nice 7-pointer strolling the banks of the Muskegon
River.

81

Involved in my life

lack Friday, the day after


Thanksgiving, or what I
and a lot of other Michigan
hunters think of as day two
of a four day weekend of
deer hunting. Within the
first hour of shooting light my phone
rang and even though I was on stand
this is one call I was going to take.
It was from my brother Jeff, and he
delivered the news that I was hoping
to hear for several days now, Our
nephew Eli just shot a buck!
I immediately abandoned my post and
went to assist in the recovery. Eli is
my eleven year-old nephew
who is already a die-hard
firearm enthusiast, a passion
that he has shared with his
father, Mike. The father-son
duo, have spent countless
hours together shooting guns
as well as riding motocross
and a host of other outdoor
pursuits. Under Mikes
surveillance, Eli successfully completed
his hunters safety
course two years prior.

My mind flashes back to Elis
first hunt on a bitterly cold winter day
in which the temperatures dipped into
the single digits. We kicked numerous brush piles in search of rabbits.
When one finally burst out in front of
the then ten year-old, he missed as the
little critter ran through a clearing. I
patted his back and told him, Its ok.
He finally relaxed his muscles and I
could feel the anxiety flushing from
his body; he so desperately wanted to
get one. Well, the rabbit didnt go
far and tried to hide behind a small
bush. Elis next shot connected. We
exchanged high-fives and Eli blurted

out My first!

What a joy it is to watch a child
shine. Elis supreme firearm handling
was a real testimony to his fathers
care and proper instruction. At all
times, he kept his weapon pointed in a
safe direction.

I join up with Eli and Jeff and
they commence with the much expected hunt story. A buck appeared
at the far end of the cut cornfield and
was walking towards them. Eli asked
if it was a spike because they had
seen several spikes on their other sits
but never could get a shot off due to
the deer either being too far
away or the animal simply
moved too fast scurrying
for thicker cover. This time
Jeff responded, No, its an
8-point.

The 8-point buck ran
into the thick cover before
ever getting into shooting
range. Fortunately, a few
minutes later a spike
entered the field and
Eli set up for the
shot. While they waited for the little
buck to come closer a doe ran into
the field followed by the 8-point. The
8-point was only seventy yards out
and broadside. Jeff grunted causing
the buck to stop. He told Eli to take
the shot but the buck started moving away so Jeff grunted again and
received the same results, the buck
stopped for a second time. This time
Eli triggered his .357 rifle and after
firing, the buck sprinted across the
field favoring his right front leg.

Eli exclaimed, Is that a good
shot? I think I hit him in the shoulder.

Jeff agreed with the assessment
and actually expected the buck to tip
over before leaving the field but that
was not the case.

Jeff is color-blind so it was up to
me and Eli to find a blood trail. We
first searched the field and found nothing. We then went to the far edge of
the field and found the exit trail. Initially we failed to find any sign on the
trail but while re-checking it, I found
a single drop of blood on a blade of
green grass. We now had confirmation
of a hit.

Eli found another small drop of
blood on a faint trail that veered off of
the one that we were one. The blood
was very sporadic. We then found a
large area covered in crimson. This
blood had air bubbles, which I stated
out loud and Eli asked what that
meant. I told him that it indicated that
he shot the deer in the lungs and there
was a very good chance that the deer
was dead.

Yes, responded the excited
hunter.

Unbelievably, this large pool
of blood completely circled a small

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

By Jerry Lambert

82

Eli and the author dragging the


buck from the swamp.

Eli with his 8-point buck!


clump of trees and then there was
no more. Neither Eli nor I could find
another drop of blood. We were now
in a very thick swamp and I started
checking all of the trails but came up
completely empty. This was very troubling because I was sure that the deer
was dead but unfortunately it must
now be bleeding internally and there
was only one option left, grid search
the swamp. The marsh grass was often
six feet high and our boots would suck
deep into the black muck but we had
to find the buck.

Eventually I heard music to my
ears. Jeff yelled out, Jerry, we found
him. Hes a clean 8-point!

I dashed through the muck and
mire. Sure enough, lying at the base
of a tree was Elis first deer. Eli had
successfully shot the buck in the front
shoulder and the bullet demolished
the animals lungs. There was no exit
wound and the buck did indeed bleed
internally. As can be expected, we
took several pictures and I loved that
the young deer hunter was wearing the
orange stocking cap that I gave him.
Jeff asked Eli if he wanted him to text
his mom and Eli quickly retorted no
he wanted to have that honor and his
phone was in his backpack in the field.

With Elis help, we dragged the
buck out of the swamp and into the
field for field dressing. Before the
knife made the first cut, Eli texted
his mom and a call was placed to my
mom and dad, Elis grandparents
so that they could share in the good
news.

Unfortunately, there was no call
or text placed to Elis dad. Sadly,
Mike unexpectedly passed away on

September 12, 2015 after a massive heart attack. Before leaving this
world, he left behind a legacy through
his love and devotion to his family.
From a brother-in-laws perspective he
taught his son one of the greatest lessons in life, he taught Eli how to love
and respect a woman. In addition,
Elis disciplined knowledge of proper
firearm handling is engrained in him
through countless hours spent with his
dad.

Ten year-old Eli wrote this comment on his dads obituary: Mike
was my dad. He was very involved in
my life, he was my den leader, and he
worked the book fair with me and my
mom. I miss him but it makes me feel
better knowing that he is in a much
better place now, and I am happy for
him.

When we got the deer to the
corn field I told Eli that it was time to
say a prayer to God. Out loud I said,
Thank you Lord for blessing Eli with
this buck and thank you for blessing
us with Eli!

I wanted to add, and please tell
Mike about Eli getting his first deer,
but I knew that I couldnt do it without choking up and kept the comment
to myself. You done good Mike real
good!

Eli has now entered the fraternity
of successful deer hunters. I am
thankful that my brothers and I have
had the opportunity of sharing our
passion with our nephew: the marksman. If you get the opportunity to
take a youngster hunting or fishing,
seize the day. The memories you make
will last a lifetime, for you
and them!n

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83

My made in Michigan
fishing lures wish list
PART I

been found with several different styles of propellers and hook hangers. Some came with L-rigged
hook hardware and others were rigged with longy now many of my Woods-N-Water
shanked stand off hook hangers that were deNews readers know I collect Made in
signed to hold the hooks away from the lures body.
Michigan fishing tackle of all kinds,
especially fishing lures from the medium- They also have been found in a variety of colors
ranging from simple two-tone color schemes to
sized and smaller manufacturers. Our
state was important in helping to develop speckled finishes to one with a tree bark finish.
His third manufactured bait was the Kingfisher
the fledgling fishing tackle industry, which began
Bait,
Game Fish Lure Mfg., Grand Rapids. The 3
over one hundred years ago. Michigan was the
-inch wood bait had L-Rig hardware, and
home to such famous lure manufacturers
its shape reminded me of the Rush Tango
as Heddon, Shakespeare, Paw Paw, the
Minnow made in New York about the
Helin Flatfish and the world famous Epsame time. I have also seen others made in
pinger Dardevle spoons.
a jointed, two-piece style. Franklin Algers
Dardevles and other Eppinger lures are
fourth manufactured lure, The Michigan
still being produced in its Dearborn factory
Trout Spinner, had a brass spinner blade
where upwards of two million fishing lures
that he also used on many of his wood
are made each year. These were certainly
baits. The metal spinner measured one
the most famous, but there were over six
inch across the blade and was stamped out
hundred other Michigan lure
on a small homemade, handmanufacturers. A few were only
operated press.
in business a short time, but a
The Bon-Net lure made by
number of medium-sized tackle
the
Arnold
Tackle
Companys
from Paw Paw is
companies survived and prospered over the years.
another
lure
on
my
wish
list.
This
6-treble hook
Here are three different Made in Michigan manumusky
lure
really
started
out
in
Eau
Claire, Wisfacturers and their lures that I am still looking to
consin
where
Birdell
Peterson,
who
was
the sportadd to my collection. I hope the information I have
ing
goods
manager
at
the
Hobbs
Supply
Company,
provided will be of interest to my readers.
came up with the idea. Hobbs was a wholesale
Franklin Alger produced the first wood fishing
lures made in Grand Rapids. City directories listed distributor selling to hardware stores in northwest
him as clerk, carver, broker, contractor and carpen- Wisconsin who specialized in plumbing, heating,
hardware, as well as sporting goods including fishter over a twenty-five year period starting in 1887.
ing tackle. Sometime during 1949, Peterson made
He was an innovative woodworker-craftsman who
created at least fifty different lure designs including a sales call on his close friend, Orin Stanwick, the
baits with special diving lips, propellers and blades, owner of Henrys Sports Shop in Eau Claire. During their conversation, Stanwick complained about
a lure that would rattle upon retrieve, as well as an
the demise of one of his favorite musky baits, the
L-shaped hook hanger, much like the one that
Heddon #300 Musky Minnow. This wood bait, first
Heddon developed several years later.
introduced in 1905, originally came with just two
Alger commercially produced four different
treble hooks. Heddon began offering it with six
lures including the Getsem Weedless Bait, patented in 1916, a 2-inch chunk style bait with two treble hooks as a special order around 1916, and in
1925, the lure was changed to 3 -inches in length
mechanical hooks mounted on its belly. The Getalong with a fatter shape. The Heddon #300 6-hook
sem was apparently popular because shortly after
Musky Minnow was dropped from their lineup after
he began marketing it himself, Alger sold it to the
the 1941season.
Hastings Sporting Goods Works of Hastings. The
With the support of Orin Stanwick and other
only production color for either the Algers Getsem
northern
Wisconsin fishing tackle customers, Peor the Hastings version was white with five red
dots painted on the back of the lure, although Alger
painted different colored Getsems for his own use.
He also sold a 3 -inch surface bait with a great
name, the Algers Tantalizer. The Tantalizer has

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

By Terry McBurney

84

Algers 3 -inch Tantalizer has been found with


several different styles of propellers, hook hangers and color variations. Bill Wazelle collection.

Alger made this Kingfisher wood lure for the


Edward K. Tryon Company, a Philadelphia
wholesaler. Maynard Dyer collection

Franklin Algers 2-inch Getsem Weedless Lure


came in a 2-pc. cardboard box and was patented in 1916. Author photo
terson contacted Del Arnold of the Arnold Tackle
Company of Paw Paw, who agreed to make the lure
for the Hobbs Supply Company. The first order,
produced in 1951, was for five hundred dozen at a
contracted cost of $1.24 apiece. The Hobbs Supply Company wholesaled them to their customers
for $1.65, who in turn retailed them for $2.75 each,
earning a forty percent profit. The round-bodied 3
-inch wood lure was named the Bon-Net lure and
came in seven colors - perch, frog, green crackle
back, orange spot, rainbow, green scale, and red and
white. It was armed with six treble hooks - four side

The Michigan Trout Spinners brass spinner


blade was also used on many of Algers wood
baits. Author photo

This 3 -inch muskie-sized beetle is a great


example demonstrating Franklin Algers creativity. Tom Amstutz collection

over-balanced hook that tends to remain sheathed


in the body of the lure, but which is automatically
swung out when the lure is grasped by the fish.
The patent drawing matches actual production. It
should be noted that all of the wood Babbitt lures
that I have inspected are stamped on the back of the
body with Pat Oct 26-37, the date that the third
patent was granted.
All of the boxed wood Babbitt lures that I
have inspected came in a gold-topped box, showing Babbitts third lure patent number. The 4-inch
wood version was apparently made in three colors: all white with a red face, a white body and
red hinged back with a red face, and all red with
a white face. The paper insert as well as the paper
end label also list three sizes of a highly polished
Swiss aluminum version: No. 1 4 -inches, No.
2 5-inches (both sizes for barracuda, albacore,
marlin, salmon, sea bass and other ocean fish) and
No. 3 6-inches (for deep sea fishing). The question that remains is whether Babbitt ever made the
4-inch wood version of his Automatic Weedless
Fish Lure in Holland. Elwin and his wife, Johanna,
had moved to Los Angeles by October 1933 when
he applied for his swimming device patent. His
third fishing lure patent was applied for on May 15,
1936 well after the Babbitts had moved to California, so there is a strong possibility that the Babbitt
wooden lure had never been made in Michigan.
The all white Babbitt lure in the gold-topped
box is part of my Michigan collection, and I am
looking to add the other two known colors, the all
red version and the white and red version. Let me
know if you have either of the two lures.
I would like to thank the following people for
allowing me to photograph their lures Bill Wazelle, Maynard Dyer, Tom Amstutz, Bill Kingsley,
Craig and Deb Emery, John and Debbie Ganung of
Langs Auction, Inc. and Gary Miller for allowing
me to use his photo of Elwin and Johanna Babbitt.
I would also like to acknowledge Mark A. Brasseurs article entitled The Bon-Net Muskie Bait,
from the June, 1995 issue of the National Fishing
Lure Collectors Club Gazette.
Feel free to contact the author at antiquefishing@comcast.net with your questions. Photographs
are important, so please send them. They help me
with identification and give me an idea of the condition of the item.n

The Bon-Net 6-hook muskie lure was promoted as a proven killer for muskies and nor thern pike. The Arnold Tackle Company of Paw
Paw, Michigan originally made it for the W. H.
Hobbs Supply Company of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Photo cour tesy of Langs Auctions

The wood 4-inch Babbitt Automatic Weedless


Fish Lure came in three colors all white, all
red, and white and red. Red lure cour tesy of
Bill Kingsley

The largest of the three solid aluminum saltwater Babbitt Automatic Weedless Fish Lures
measured 6-inches in length. Craig and Deb
Emery collection

Elwin and Johanna Babbitts wedding por trait


taken in 1916. Babbitt was a musician, music
instructor, Evangelist and the inventor of the
Babbitt Automatic Weedless Fish Lures. Photo
cour tesy of Gary Miller

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

hooks, a rear treble and an oversized treble hook


mounted on its belly, almost identical to Heddons
#300 6-hook Musky Minnow.
The Wisconsin Hobbs Supply Company BonNet lures were packed in green two-piece cardboard boxes. A few yellow boxes have been found,
however, marked Arnold Tackle Company, Paw
Paw, so Arnold Tackle must have decided to also
sell them under their own brand name. The BonNet lure in the yellow Arnold box is what I am
looking for.
The wood version Babbitt Automatic Weedless Fish Lure from Holland is the third lure on
my wish list. This relatively rare 4-inch wooden
lure with a drop down hook was invented and
manufactured by Elwin J. Babbitt who was born in
Vermont on his familys farm in 1866. U.S. Census
information showed him living in Vermont through
the 1880 census and then in Defiance, Ohio according to his 1895 patent for a new musical stringed
instrument.
His second patent in 1899 for a bicycle handle
bar had him living in Petoskey and the 1900 Census listed him as a musician. He moved frequently
from town to town - next to Manistique, then Holland, after that to Onaway, back to Holland, then
to Princeton, Indiana, back to Holland for a third
time and finally to Los Angeles, California in 1933.
Records list him as musician, musical instructor
and later as an Evangelist.
A Muskegon Chronicle article in 1915 reported
that Babbitt lead an Evangelical meeting at the
Muskegon Salvation Army Hall. The article goes
on to state that he was a music teacher by profession, but for the past ten years has been engaged in
Evangelical work. The 1920 Census listed him as
Evangelist and his wife, Johanna as Vocal Singer. Babbitt also kept busy patenting a wide variety
of inventions between 1895 and 1937 including a
stringed musical instrument, a bicycle handle bar,
a guitar and banjo attachment, a stove pipe coupling, two music holders, fishing line, a swimming
device, and three different fishing lure patents for a
total of eleven patents.
Babbitts first lure patent, #1588690, was
granted on June 15, 1926 while he lived in Holland.
The patent drawing showed a minnow-shaped bait
and featured a drop down hook. No lure matching
this patent drawing has been found to date. His second lure patent #1758817 was issued on May 13,
1930 while he still lived in Holland and included a
spring activated drop down hook. The patent drawing shows some similarities with the actual Babbitt
lure and was probably a work in progress. However, Babbitts third fishing lure patent, #2097221
was granted on October 26, 1937 after Elwin and
Johanna had moved to Los Angeles. It featured an

85

Forest Legacy Program looks to the future


We all want to leave some
sort of lasting legacy some
kind of mark on the world
something thats there for the
next generation to take, use
and carry on with...

tect some of our most environmentally


important forests and ensure that they
are managed sustainably, she said.
It allows private forest landowners
to manage their forests for timber and
also ensure public access.
The program provides federal
funding to state agencies on a threeto-one matching basis. States may
request funding for up to three projects annually, totaling $10 million, but
hat idea lies at the core of
the Forest Legacy Program, no more than $7 million for any one
project. Competition for the programs
which ensures that private
forest land remains forested grants is nationwide, so projects from
Michigan are vying for funding with
and open to the public
other states and U.S. properties.
forever.
Theres no guarantee that any
Under the program, private forest
state will receive funding if projects
landholders can transfer ownership
from other states are deemed more
or development rights through conworthy, Wieber said.
servation easements to the Michigan
A number of Michigan projects
Department of Natural Resources to
have been awarded Forest Legacy
protect healthy forests. Doing this
leaves a rich legacy of working forest grant funding, and Michigan has used
managed sustainably, wildlife habitat conservation easements and land
acquisitions to protect unique forests.
protected, landowners still able to
harvest timber, and the public permit- Michigan has protected over 150,000
acres of forest lands through conserted to access the land for recreation
vation easements and has acquired
into perpetuity.
4,170 acres that were added to the
As part of the 1990 federal Farm
existing state forest system.
Bill, the U.S. Forest Service was
One example is the Gitcha-ninj
authorized to begin the Forest Legacy
Nebish
(aka Thumb Lake) Forest,
Program to help private forest landlocated
just east of Boyne Falls in
owners across the country develop
Charlevoix County. Here, the DNR
and maintain sustainable forests. As
partnered with the Little Traverse
a result, Michiganders and visitors
Conservancy to seek funding for a
to the Great Lakes State today have
conservation easement on 750 acres
access to more than 150,000 acres of
on the west side of Thumb Lake,
unique, well-managed, private forest
which is owned by a church camp.
lands.
Ty Ratliff, director of donor relations
Kerry Wieber, forest land adminwith Little Traverse Conservancy, said
istrator with the Michigan Departhis crew helped write the grant apment of Natural Resources Forest
Resources Division, has managed the plication and took on getting the land
appraised as well as working with the
Forest Legacy Program in Michigan
landowner to make sure the process
since 2006. Wieber says it is one of
was understood.
the most rewarding parts of her job.
Its a very complex and difIts a great opportunity for us to proficult process to go through, Ratliff
said. This is a large working forest,
already in the commercial forest program, 95 percent wooded, including
nearly a mile of lake shoreline so
we protected this forest, as well as the
shoreline.
Gitcha-ninj Nebish is the Ottawa
word for Big Finger Water, and
considering the cultural and environmental importance of the area, the
conservation easement was a winwin, Ratliff said.
The landowner didnt want to
sell it, he said. They still own it
and maintain control, they still get to
timber it, and the conservancy got to
see it protected. It allows for public
access, so you and I and our grandkids
are allowed to go on it to hunt and
The Crisp Point proper ty, situated in hike and its protected for perpetuity.
the nor theastern Upper Peninsula in
The 750-acre site is adjacent to
Luce and Chippewa counties, includes state-managed lands on three sides
over 3,800 acres of forestland and
and the shoreline of Thumb Lake
2.5 miles of Lake Superior shoreline making up the fourth.
adjacent to the Crisp Point LightIn this case, the landowner sold
house. MDNR photo

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

86

About 3.5 miles of the Pilgrim River, a cold-water trout stream, flow
through the Pilgrim River Forest proper ty. A conser vation easement is
in the process of being acquired here. MDNR photo
the development rights below the
appraised value, so the landowner
essentially donated the match, Ratliff
said. Once people understand what
a working forest is from a land
perspective and a wildlife perspective,
and how important it is to the local
economy this program is compelling. This is what Michigan is about:
woods and water and recreation.
Crisp Point, located in the northeastern part of the Upper Peninsula, is
an example of where the DNR acquired land as part of the Forest Legacy Program. Here, the DNR acquired
3,810 acres in Luce and Chippewa
counties, including an inland lake and
more than 2.5 miles of Lake Superior
shoreline. The grant provided nearly
$6 million, 75 percent of the purchase
price. A private individual donated the
remaining 25 percent.
Its a highly visible site because
the Crisp Point Lighthouse, which
is county-owned, is adjacent to the
property and draws a lot of visitors,
Wieber said, So it draws a lot of visitors to the state land. Its open to any
use any other state forest land is open
to. Theres snowmobile trails and numerous two-tracks used by ORVs.
The way the program works is
the DNR requests project nominations from the public, which are
usually submitted by landowners or
conservancies. The Forest Legacy
Subcommittee of the Michigan Forest
Stewardship Advisory Committee
reviews the nominations and makes
a recommendation to the committee,
which decides which projects to seek
funding for and the amount requested.
Following state forester approval,
proposals are submitted to the U.S.
Forest Service. Grant applications are
reviewed by a national panel, where
they are prioritized and included in
the presidents budget.

No project is a slam-dunk, Wieber


said. With these nationwide proposals, youre competing with between
70 and 80 projects per year. The typical funding line for the last few years
has been in the $50 million to $60
million range so depending on the
amount requested for each project, it
funds 15 to 20 projects. Its a highly
competitive program.
Deb Huff, executive director of
the Michigan Forest Association, sits
on the Forest Legacy Subcommittee.
The association is a nonprofit organization of about 500 members, which
represents private forest owners. Huff
said its really important that private
landowners have the opportunity to
choose to participate in this program.
There are a lot of variations on
how this could be handled, Huff said.
I think Legacy is critical to conserving those areas that are most unique
and at the same time in danger of being lost. Most people who love forests
are supportive of this program.
Wieber said Michigans Forest
Legacy Program currently has funding for the acquisition of a conservation easement on about 1,200 acres
in Houghton County on the Pilgrim
River, just south of Houghton, and
has submitted a grant request for an
additional acquisition Elk Forest at
Black River. Its currently privately
owned, is directly adjacent to the Pigeon River Country State Forest, and
includes a mile of river frontage.
If its funded, it will be the eighth
Forest Legacy Program project in
Michigan.
For more information, visit www.
michigan.gov/privateforestland. Applications for the Forest Legacy Program are typically solicited in March
and submitted by a June deadline.n

Prepared By The MDNR

VOLUNTEER for WILDLIFE


with
UPCOMING PROJECTS
August 7: Grayling State Forest
Pruning apple trees to promote soft mast food
sources for game .

August 27: Shingleton State Forest


Planting trees and shrubs in the Garden Grade
Grouse Enhanced Management System for
upland birds.
September 2016: Allegan State Game Area
Removing fencing and building brush piles for
small game.
September 2016: Gourdneck State Game Area
Building brush piles for small game.
Fall 2016: Traverse City State Forest
Building brush piles and planting trees

Learn more at www.mucc.org

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Volunteer to improve public land


wildlife habitat with
Michigan United Conservation
Clubs! Through hunter, trapper
and angler-funded wildlife
habitat grants from the
Michigan Department of
Natural Resources, MUCC
organizes multiple wildlife
habitat volunteer workdays on
public hunting land throughout
Michigan. Sign up for one of our
upcoming projects at
ww.mucc.org/ontheground!

August 13: Barry State Game Area


Cutting black locust trees to open forest canopy
and build brush piles for small game.

87

Raccoon hunting in Michigan


Watching highly trained dogs work is amazing...By Jeff Pendergraff

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

y first encounter with a raccoon was when


I was about 8 years old and I caught one
in a leg hold trap in the woods near my
home in Flint. I learned very quickly how
aggressive they can be when he tried to
bite me as I was trying to release him.
Most people think that raccoons are friendly little
four legged animals that they see on television getting
into peoples garbage and they seem like friendly
little critters. But, they can be very aggressive and
even though some people have them as pets its not
recommended by wildlife experts, because its not a
domesticated species. Males can become even more
aggressive as they become older. They can act unpredictably and it is usually impossible to teach them to
obey commands. You need a permit from the DNR to
possess one as a pet and you cant take them from the
wild. They are also illegal to import into Michigan
because they are known to carry rabies.
Organized raccoon hunting has been around for
years, but although nobody can say that the beginning
of the 20th century is when it all started, it is certainly
that during that time period the popularity boomed.
At one time raccoon hides were used as payment for people buying items and several thousand
were killed every year in the United States. Native
Americans used raccoons as traditional food as well as
American Farmers.
Raccoons live in hollowed out trees, underground
dens and abandoned building. They have been known
to take up residence in occupied homes if they can
find a way.
The hunting season in Michigan is from Oct. 1
until Jan. 3. However, if you are a property owner or
have permission from a property owner where raccoons are doing damage or about to do damage you
can take them year around without a license. You may
also trap them Oct. 1 to March 31. Personally I cant
see why there is a closed season on them!
They are omnivorous animals (eats both plants and
animals) and their diet consists of invertebrates, plant
foods and vertebrates. They are part of the reason why
our pheasant, wild turkey, grouse and other game bird
numbers are down. They play havoc on their eggs.
Raccoons breeding season is normally between
late January and mid-March. Boars will leave their
dens looking for sows to breed with during that time
frame.
Raccoons normally have a body length of 16 to
28 inches and their weight is between 8 to 20 pounds.
I can tell you I have seen some raccoons that were

88

Charley Sant Angelo with Ranger. Top Photo:


Ranger treeing a raccoon.

a lot bigger than what was just mentioned. Over the


years I have baited bears in the Upper Peninsular and
in the Lower Peninsular and I have seen some Boone
& Crockett raccoons raiding my bait stations on trail
cameras. I mean some real porkers, that I know were
30 pounds or bigger.
In the early 1980s there were a lot of people trapping and hunting raccoons in Michigan. I would drive
down all of the major highways in Wayne and Monroe
counties and would check a lot of people trapping.
Pelts were worth more money then. A prime muskrat
pelt could go for up to $8, but a prime raccoon could
go upwards of $50. I knew one trapper who trapped
over 1,000 muskrats in the Pt Mouille State Game
Area.
Since the 1980s the fur market has had a few upward swings and then downward swings. Mostly over
the past several years it has been downward. There
arent many people trapping or hunting raccoons like
they did in the 1980s.
Every time I worked nights in the fall I would
check at least one crew of hunters hunting raccoons
with the aid of dogs. Never really gave much thought
of ever doing it myself.
My friend Charley Sant Angelo has been hunting
raccoons behind dogs for years. So I thought I would
give it a try. Charley has a Garman GPS unit to keep
track of his dog. He keeps the handheld unit in his
hands and a tracking collar around his dogs neck.
The collar also has a flashing green light on it helping
Charlie locate his dog and also if he makes it out onto
a road so drivers can see the light flashing on his dog.
We walked a short distance into his woods and
Charlie let Ranger his Walker go and it was amazing
watching Ranger work. His nose hit the ground and
off he goes. As a hunter you just stay in one area until
the dog picks up the scent of a raccoon. Once the dog
has treed one then you work your way to the dogs
location.
Ranger has one bark tone that he uses once he is
on a track and then another more aggressive bark once
he has treed a raccoon. There was no problem telling
the difference in his two barks. Also, the GPS shows
the dog is stationary indicating the dog has treed a
raccoon.
Right next to the woods was a standing corn field
which the raccoons raid for food, often pulling the
entire stalk over in order to get some corn. Ranger
picked up the scent of a raccoon very quickly and it
took him into the corn field. You could watch him zig
zagging back and forth through the corn on the raccoon track on the GPS unit. This evening wasnt ideal
for hunting, it had been raining, the ground was wet
and its more difficult for tracking under these conditions, but we were giving it a try.
With-in a few minutes you could see on the GPS
unit and from Rangers bark that he had treed a raccoon. As we got to the tree Ranger was at the base of
the tree barking very aggressively. There were still
lots of leaves on the tree and after several minutes we
located the raccoon in the tree. For some reason the
raccoon started climbing down the tree which Charlie
said isnt normal with a barking dog at the base of the
tree. Once the raccoon reached the ground we were
unable to get a clear shot and both the raccoon and
Ranger were trying to grab each other. Both animals
made it into a ditch which had water in it and again
Charlie didnt have a clear shot because Ranger was
too close. Then we lost sight the raccoon, but Ranger
didnt and followed him into a culvert. You could hear
both animals barking and snarling at each other.
After a couple of minutes Charlie called Ranger
off and he came out of the culvert. I was amazed that
Ranger minded so well. Here he is aggressively trying

to catch the raccoon and after Charlie called him, it


was like Ranger turned the switch off and came right
out of the culvert to Charlie.
Ranger treed two other raccoons, but we were unable to locate them in the tree because of the foliage in
the tree.
A week later we were at it again with Ranger.
Soon after releasing Ranger on the edge of a corn field
Ranger had a raccoon treed. After dispatching that
raccoon we went to another part of the property where
Ranger treed three raccoons in one tree. We were able
to dispatch two of them and called it a night.
Its almost a work of art watching Charlie work
with Ranger. He is like a machine once you release
him and he only has one mission, find and tree a raccoon. Ranger doesnt track any other animals, like
coyote or deer. The first evening we hunted there was
a doe standing about 30 yards from us. We know that
Ranger not only smelled the deer, but also saw it. But,
he didnt pay any attention to it!
At one point during the hunt Ranger tracked a
raccoon onto property we didnt have permission to
hunt on. Charlie simply called Ranger and returned
to our location. Dogs dont know where they can and
cant go. Michigan law allows the owner of the dog to
go on to private property to retrieve their dog, but you
cant take your firearm with you.
Two short evenings of hunting we treed several
raccoons and harvested three of them. That tells me
there are a lot of raccoons running around this state.
Its unfortunate that the fur market is so low right
now. Mostly you are looking at $8 for a raccoon hide.
That is the reason why there are so many, with very
few people trapping them or hunting for them. Most
people who hunt raccoons behind dogs do it because
they enjoy watching their dogs work. After participating in my first hunt behind dogs I see why people
enjoy it so much. Over the years, the competition of
raccoon hunting has grown significantly and now it is
a multi-million dollar business every year. Some dogs
go for as much as several thousand dollars.
Michigan laws allows people to hunt raccoon,
coyotes and fox at night. You can use artificial lights
to hunt these animals. The light must be similar to the
type held in your hand, spotlights or headlight. You
can use a rimfire .22 caliber or smaller or shotgun with
loads other than buckshot larger than size 3, slug or
cut shells.
Nighttime hunters must use a game call, predator call or hunt behind dogs. You may only possess a
loaded firearm or a nocked arrow at the point of kill.
You can find all of the rules pertaining to hunting at
night on page 48 and 49 in the 2016 Michigan Hunting and Trapping Guide.
There is no limit on fox, coyote or raccoons in
Michigan. If you get a chance you should try it, its
more fun than you think and you are helping out
several spices of game birds and other animals in
Michigan.
Author is Jeff Pendergraff, retired Captain with
the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Law
Enforcement Division.n

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Dealer in Howell, MI. To view Tiny Cabins, Contact Steve (810) 599-5147

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

WoodHavens handcrafted log siding, knotty pine paneling and accessories can help
your dreams come true with your existing home, cabin or new project.

89

Woods-N-WaterNews Classified Section


MISC

FOR SALE

A TEMPUR-PEDIC MEMORY
FOAM MATTRESS SET.
Clean. Never used. As seen on TV.
Cost $1700. Sell for $695. 989-8322401. M-4-14-TFN
................................................
AN
AMISH
LOG
HEADBOARD AND QUEEN
pillowtop mattress set. New. Sell all
for $275. 989-923-1278.
M-4-14-TFN
................................................
AMISH LOG BEDS, ANY
SIZE $199. 5 drawer log chest
$199. Good quality. Lowest prices in
Michigan. 989-839-4846. M-4-14TFN
................................................
LOG BUNK BEDS. $495. Amish
lodge furniture. Call Dan 989-8321866. M-4-14-TFN
................................................

FINISHED BEAR RUGS!


Wolves, mountain lion, coyote,
bobcat and zebra rugs for sale.
rugsbynancy.com
989-2915124. FS-12-3

BOATS
2010 LUND 18.5 ANGLER 115
Mercury FourStroke, Minn Cota,
hummingbird. Travel cover, top and
all canvas, matching trailer as new
$22,000. 419-541-6628.
B-12-2
................................................

WANTED
TIMBER: Buying all types of timber, 5 acres or more, top price paid.
Cash in advance. Improve wildlife
habitat. Patco Forest Products, 989539-7588 after 6 p.m. W-9-12/16
................................................

GUNS
BUYING AND SELLING shotguns and rifles, new and used. All in
excellent condition. 517-740-2195.
G-1-1
................................................

Subscribe Today!
(810) 724-0254

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

FW = Firewood
G = Guns
H = Hunting
HL = Hunting Leases
HW = Help Wanted
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TR = Trailers
W = Wanted

FEBRUARY, 2017 CLASSIFIED DEADLINE JANUARY 2, 2017

FISHING

HUNTING LEASE

REAL ESTATE

CANADIAN
FISHING
TRIP. Want to go fishing?
Book early and save. One of
Ontarios best multiple fish
lakes, fish for Walleye, Northern, Small Mouth, Lake Trout,
Perch and other fish. Well
spaced out log & framed cabins, all boats have electric start
motors, fish finders and swivel
seats. Upgrade boats and motors available. 6 days/nights
$445.00 U.S. funds per person
with a group of 4 or more (2
people per boat) www.northernwalleyelodge.com or toll free
1-877-434-2440. F-1-TFN

PROPERTY WONT SELL?


Responsible family will consider any
size acreage or location, with or
without cabin or outbuilding, may be
interested in purchase at end of
lease. Call Jay at 248-396-8322.
HL-1-3
................................................

80 ACRES PRIME OCEANA


HUNTING LAND with Custom
Home/Hunting Lodge with just under
5000 sq feet. Must See!! Gated entry,
rolling hills, 56x40 Barn, Deer,
Grouse, Turkey, Rabbit, Quail and
more. Please Call Monica Owens CB
Anchor 231-750-2393 for personal
tour and more information! See this
and more listings at www.
PentwaterProperties.com
RE-1-2
................................................
123 ACRES, Heavily Wooded
with 4 Miles of Trails. 1329 x 4043,
95% Wooded, very thick cover.
Camp Area with 36 5th Wheel. Paris
Township, Huron County $299,000.
JUSTLANDSALES.COM to see pictures or 596-419-6716.
RE-1-1
................................................
MECOSTA COUNTY. 28x40
log-sided ranch on five wooded
acres. Frontage on chain of fishing
lakes. Hunt/fish/trap deer, turkey,
smallgame, waterfowl, bass,
pike, panfish, beaver, muskrat.
3-bed, 2-bath upstairs. Full
9 basement with walkout under
large wraparound deck. Matching
24x32x10H drive-thru garage
w/loft. 10x12x7H shed w/loft.
Many negotiable items. $195,000. No
LC. Call 989-386-2544.
RE-1-1
................................................
Sand Point,
CASEVILLE,
Wildfowl Bay, the Thumb. Sand
Ridge Trails: Wooded home sites
from 2 to 6 acres, located 3 miles
south of Caseville, mile from
Scenic Golf and Country Club, 1 mile
from Caseville Rod and Gun Club
and 1 mile from Wildfowl Bay Boat
Launch. Priced from $19,900. Land
Contract: 10% down, 6% interest to
qualified buyers. Contact David
(989) 553-3600 or dlclabuesch@
yahoo.com
RE-11-3
................................................
108+ ACRES, Rolling and
Beautiful Wide variety of mature
Trees, 20-30 acres open for farming,
5 Acre Pond and 24 x 30 Garage.
2304x1320 Koylton Twp Tuscola
County, paved road, lots of great
deer cover, flowing creeks. $329,000.
JUSTLANDSALES.COM to see pictures or 596-419-6716.
RE-1-1
................................................
WILDFOWL BAY, 1 mile north of
Sebewaing, in the Thumb. 47 acre
Rose-Ridge Conservancy has 37
acres dedicated and deed restricted
as wetlands and hunting conservancy, with ten acres available for up to
5 home sites (property includes 5
splits). Ideal for a hunting retreat;
ducks, geese, deer and turkey.
Borders: Rose Island Road to west
and Ridge Road to the east. Priced at
$199,500. Land Contract: 10% down,
6% interest, qualified buyers.
Contact David (989) 553-3600 or
email: dlclabuesch@yahoo.com
RE-11-3

GOOD HUNTING/FISHING! 200+ gated acres available for yearly lease. Boat
docks with power and boat
ramp. mile canal with 2
dredged channels to the
Saginaw Bay, casino within 1
mile. Perfect for hunt clubs!
References needed. Email
DJRMVP@gmail.com
by
appointment only. HL-1-4

HUNTING
RAY'S U.P. HUNTING Over
25 years experience guiding for deer
and bear. Baited stands in Amasa,
Baraga, and Bergland Units. Lodging
Available. Call Ray at 906-265-9420
or cell (906) 284-2216. Licensed and
Insured. H-1-12
................................................
ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK
HUNTS AVAILABLE
IN
LUPTON, MI! Valhalla Lodge is
offering a limited number of bull elk
hunts on our 880 acre private hunting
preserve. Your hunt will be 3.5 days
for you and a guest, all inclusive, 1 on
1 guided for a bull scoring between
280 SCI and 320 SCI. Hunts are
available December - January for
$5750 w/ no additional fees.
Discounts available for multiple hunters! Contact Anthony 810-223-4587.
H-12-3
................................................
BEAR GUIDE Merv 5 day
hunt in 98 sq miles. Room and
board $1500 US mervrinta@
gmail.com See website www.
bearguidemerv.com H-8-8

REAL ESTATE
139 MATURE WOODS, Pine
River Flows thru the Center, 3 Acre
Pond, Rolling, Big Oaks, Maples
90% Wooded, West of Pt. Huron,
Wales Township. Dead end road. St
Clair
County.
$278,000.
JUSTLANDSALES.COM to see pictures or 596-419-6716.
RE-1-1
................................................
BUSINESS FOR SALE:
Party store on Black River in
Tower, MI. The only store in
town. Liquor, wine, lotto, DNR
licenses, live bait. Village Post
Office rents a room in the building. Located in the heart of
Pigeon River State Forest.
Excellent hunting and fishing in
area. Store has been in operation for 30 years on high traffic
M-68/33 Hwy. Over 600K gross
in 2015. Asking 250K plus
inventory. Owners are retiring.
989-733-2480. RE-11-3

CLIP AND MAIL

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NAME
ADDRESS
CITYSTATEZIP
DAYTIME PHONE NO.
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RESORTS/RENT

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JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS


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$30.00

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$31.00

$31.25

$31.50

$31.75

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$32.25

$32.50

$32.75

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$33.25

$33.50

$33.75

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$35.25

$35.50

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$36.00

$36.25

$36.50

$36.75

Enclosed is $for
words to runmonths.

NORTHERN
ONTARIO
BEAR HUNTS: Booking now for
Spring and Fall of 2017. Includes
comfortable cabin, boat and motor,
baited stands. Very experienced
guides. High success rate. 3 hours
from the Soo. References on request.
$960 U.S. 705-869-3272 www.texasandsons.com H-10-12-16
................................................

BOX MY CLASSIFIED - $5 Extra

UPPER
PENINSULA,
REXTON, MI 2 bedroom, 2 bath
mobile home for rent. 3 night/4 day
minimum occupancy, no smokers.
mile to trails. 906-430-2269. RR-1-2
................................................
MODERN CABIN FOR RENT
ON BEAR CREEK, sleeps 5. Full
kitchen, AC, Satellite TV, BBQ, 10
Minutes from Manistee River and
supplies. 231-590-1136. RR-9-6
................................................

10 ACRES IN THE BEAUTIFUL IRISH HILLS AREA.


Mostly wooded with some mature
trees and scrub. A great spot to build,
hunt or invest for the future at only
$43,900. Offers desired. Call Diana
at Faust Real Estate, LLC 517-2703646. F-539 RE-1-1
................................................
19.24 ACRES, Rolling Mature
Hardwoods. Build your Home in
Front and Hunt the Back. 90%
Wooded - 660 x 1310, paved road.
Attica Twp Lapeer County
$129,900. JUSTLANDSALES.COM
to see pictures or 596-419-6716.
RE-1-1
................................................
10 ACRES - LUCE COUNTY.
Year-round home. Detached garage,
wooded, excellent hunting, close to
snowmobile and ORV trails. Newly
remodeled. On deer migration route.
3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, $65,000. Call
906-293-5616.
RE-1-2
................................................

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

More Classifieds Next Page

Woods-N-WaterNews Classified Section


DOGS

DOGS

SOUTHERN BIRD DOG


TRAINING: Taking reservations
now for our 33rd year in Selma,
Alabama. Leave here Thanksgiving
and return April 1st. Over 10,000
acres to train on with lots of wild
birds. Birds shot daily and you will
have a top dog by Spring. All dogs
personally trained by me. We take all
breeds - labs too. $500 per month for
trip (everything included) Call now
David Grubb (bird dog Hall of Famer)
248-860-1009. D-10-3
................................................

FIELD BRED ENGLISH


SPRINGER SPANIEL PUPPIES FOR SALE. From hunting
and trial AKC dogs, $900, ready 1/14.
Contact brianskiba@yahoo.com
(734-945-4282).
D-1-1
................................................
AKC TRI-COLORED MALE
BRITTANY FOR STUD. Call for
details 810-280-8597.
D-1-1

DOGS

DOGS

DOGS

BEAGLE PUPPIES AKC


REGISTERED - shots,
healthy, tri-color, great hunters
and great family pets. $200
Call 810-275-8022 or 810-9647178. D-1-1

AKC
REGISTERED
BEAGLE PUPS and starter
dogs for sale. Red Pine Kennels 989-736-3486 or 989-2542777. D-1-1

GERMAN SHORTHAIR
POINTER PUPS: Males
and females available. Excellent hunting dogs and superb
family pets. Close working dogs
with strong point and retrieve
instincts. Reasonably priced for
the sporting family. Money back
guarantee. Eulenhof Kennels,
Gladwin, MI.
http://www.eulenhof.com
989-426-4884 D-12-2

Classifieds work!
(810) 724-0254

GUNDOG TRAINING AT
ITS BEST! by Paul
Rheaume. Over 30 years
experience with pointing and
flushing breeds. All inclusive 4
week class that is customized
to meet your dog's needs.
Excellent for young dogs starting out, for experienced dogs
tuning up, or for dogs with
issues. $600. Find us on
Facebook or online http://gundogtraining.webs.com.
Rheaume's Kennel. (989) 8648606. D-11-6

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

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91

GREAT HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA!

Heres your guide to success!


It is estimated that 10% of all the fishermen catch 90% of the fish. Regardless of which
group you fall into . . . theres a sure way to up your odds . . . simply try new fishing waters.
Fish where few fishermen ever fish.
Michigan is loaded with great fishing waters . . . many of them over-looked. From the
AuSable River to all of the Great Lakes tributaries to the Pere Marquette River . . . thousands
of miles of streams, lakes and rivers are now easy-to-locate on one map.
Professor Higbees Stream Map of Michigan is the first and only highly detailed map of its
kind. This new 4 foot by 4 foot color map shows virtually all for the 35,000 miles of Michigan
streams & lakes on both peninsulas. Thats almost two times the earths circumference!
STREAMMAPOFMICHIGAN is available either rolled or folded. And, in heavy gauge
clear lamination, write-on-wipe-off surface with brass eyelettes for easy hanging, rolled
only.

ROLLED $26
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FOLDED $26

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LAMINATED $46
c

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Mail To: Woods-N-Water News P.O. Box 278 Imlay City, MI 48444 (810) 724-0254


JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

PINE LAKE PROPERTY - PRICE REDUCED!!


$80,000.00 DON'T MISS THIS ONE!

92

92-97

Parcels C & D on survey are 11.81 wooded acres on a private spring


fed lake in Mecosta County. This is a hunter's and fisherman's
paradise complete with 705 feet of lake frontage. The Southwest
corner of the property is 80 feet above lake level and gently
slopes downward to an expanding vista of lake frontage. All lake
front property surrounding this lake is owned by five individual
owners. There is privacy galore! But, if you prefer more action,
Chippewa Lake, an all sports lake, is only one mile away. There is a
well on the property (condition unknown). Motivated seller! SEV
is over $65,000.00 This land would make an excellent hunter's
retreat, fisherman's camp or a campground. It has to be seen to be
appreciated.

For more information call


734-325-3103 or 989-463-2975

Thomas B. Camp Alma, MI 48801

231-652-7000
- or -

231-250-8200

WE NEED LISTINGS 40+ ACRES AND LARGER


783+/- ACRES,
IOSCO
COUNTY
1 Mile Frontage Tawas
Lake, Kunze River
Crosses Property, 5
Bedroom Log Lodge, 3 $
Miles from East Tawas

1,250,000
Antrim County, 52+/- Acres

Alcona County, 240 Acres,


House, Barns, Pond, Stream, Food Plots

$499,000

359+/- ACRES,
TUSCOLA &
GENESEE
COUNTIES
30 Acre Private Lake, 3,400
sq ft Custom Lodge,
70x70 Pole Barn, 60x120
Pole Barn, 2 Rental
Houses, 26 Ladder Stands,
5 Elevated Box Blinds

1,950,000

Calhoun Co, 61 Acres


2,500 ft. St. Joseph River, Excellent Hunting
$139,900

Calhoun County, 67+/- Acres


300 ft. All Sports Prairie Lake,
1/2 Tillable, 1/2 Wooded
$275,000

Missaukee County, 80 Acres


Pond, Professionally Managed
Forest, Food Plots
$129,500

Newaygo County, 5+/- Acres


557 ft White River Frontage, 1/2
Open, 1/2 Wooded
$41,000

Barry County, 80 Acres

Rolling Hardwoods, Pole Barn


Alpena County, 316+/- Acres, Good Trails
5 Bedroom, 6 Bath Custom Home,
Lodge sleeps 10, Professionally Managed Forest with Living Quarters, Excellent Hunting
3,000 ft. on Dake Lake
$439,000

$129,000

$1,650,000

Branch County, 43+/- Acres, Big Bucks,


Cold Creek Crosses Property, Nice Woods
$136,500

NG

I
ND
E
P

Calhoun Co, 86+/- Acres


Calhoun County, 70+/- Acres
ft. Frontage on Prairie Lake,
House, Pole Barn, Pond, River, Elevated Blind 750
Big Buck Hunting, Outbuildings
$289,000
$349,000

Jackson County, 54+/- Acres, 2,000 ft


Grand River Frontage, Trail System
$179,900

Kalkaska County, 40 Acres, Cabin, Barn, Mason County, 35+/- Acres, Farm Land
on 2 Sides, Heavy Bedding Cover
Trout Pond, Excellent Hunting
$115,000
$52,500

LD

Newaygo County, 80 Acres


Rolling Hardwoods, Great
Hunting, 2 Bedroom Mobile
$150,000

Newaygo County, 80 Acres


Rustic Cabin, Pond, Nice
Woods, Good Trail System
$129,000

Newaygo Co, 99 Acres, Newaygo County, 125 Acres, Three


Newaygo County, 160 Acres
Planted Pines, Great Cover, spring fed lakes, Excellent Deer, Frontage on 9 Mile Rd & Cottonwood Rd,
Turkey and Waterfowl hunting
Adjacent to National Forest
County Road Frontage
$375,000
$400,000
$198,000

NG

NG

I
ND
E
P

DI
EN

Newaygo County, 240 Acres


Adjacent to State Land, Good Trail Oceana County, 100+/- Acres
Remote Property, Nice Forest,
System Food Plots,
Good Deer Population
High Deer Population
$150,000
$399,000

Osceola Co, 54+/- Acres


650 ft. Frontage
All Sports Grass Lake
$225,000

Osceola County, 167 Acres


Nice Cabin, Good Trail System,
Excellent Hunting
$399,000

Presque Isle County, 47+/- Acres, 2 Bedroom


House, Pole Barn, Excellent Hunting
$99,000

Presque Isle Co, 63+/- Ac


Carp Creek, Food Plots, Hunting Blinds
$69,300

Schoolcraft County, 554+/- Acres


Raw undeveloped hunting land.
$163,430

WildLifeRealty.com

www.

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Newaygo County, 36+/- Acres


Newaygo Co, 80 Acres
Farm Land, M-37 Frontage, 1000s of Close to Federal Land, Pole Barn,
acres Public Land 1/2 mile Away
Great Hunting
$50,400
$140,000

93

MLS 16008512 - N French Bay Rd - Beaver Island: Beautiful acreage on majestic Beaver Island!
Imagine building your dream home nestled on your own private oasis or maybe having your own
deer hunting compound. This diverse wooded habitat boasts approx. 120 acres atop the West side
bluff which then splits down to a multi level bluff to the lower area on the Western border. The NE
corner features a Cedar swamp & the road to French Bay goes thru the SW corner. The N & W sides
of this 160 acre parcel is bordered by over 240 acres of State land. Access to a trail to Lake Michigan
with views that are second to none. Hold as an investment, clear the timber & farm or build your
future - opportunity is endless. This is your chance to own a large chunk of Michigan's Emerald Isle.

MLS 16050659 - S Kings Hwy. - Welcome nature lovers! This quaint, secluded cottage is nestled on 170
acres of Pure Michigan forest with 900' frontage on the pristine Pere Marquette River. Whether you love to hunt,
fish or enjoy wildlife this wooded property has it all. The cabin is steps from the rustling water & features an
open floor plan w/ the focal point being a custom stone fireplace complete w/ a swing arm to cook an amazing
meal over the open fire. The 1st bedroom is river side to soothe you to sleep & plenty of extra sleeping in 2nd
bedroom w/ 2 sets of bunks & twin size bed. Also includes pull out couch & trundle bed to accommodate up to
11 people great for a big get together. The large bath features storage & walk-in shower. The fully applianced
kitchen has plenty of counter space & storage. Also includes 24 x 32 pole barn, 6 deer blinds, fire pit, shed w/
wood shelter & wood stove. Mother Nature at her best. Own your own private paradise today!

9326 S. M-37 | P.O. Box 843


Baldwin, MI 49304
www.cbnwr.com
231-745-4646

Chain OLakes,
3 Bed 1 Bath
MLS 16058302 $22,900

150 Sanborn Creek,


1 Bed 2 Bath
MLS 15062827 $63,000

Pine River Access,


3 Bed 1 Bath
MLS 16042360 $67,500

115 Orchard Lake,


2 Bed 1 Bath
MLS 16055945 $49,900

11 Acre Ranch Style,


2 Bed 1 Bath
MLS 16052675 $132,900

9 Acre Mobile,
2 Bed 2 Bath
MLS 16044803 $46,900

1050 Little South Branch,


2 Bed 1 Bath
MLS 16057863 $165,000

11 Acres,
3 Bed 2 Bath
MLS 16046586 $79,900

25 Acre Cabin,
1 Bed 1 Bath
MLS 16057584 $69,900

5 Acre Hunting Cabin,


2 Bed 1 Bath
MLS 16046052 $19,900

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

VACANT ACREAGE - LOW DOWN LAND CONTRACT TERMS

94

Parcel B - Lovely acreage and excellent location, it is really a great place to get away! Build a
cabin or simply use it for camping- it is close to the ORV trails and San Born Creek is just down
the street. Its a must see! MLS 16057600 $9,900

Parcel 13 - Beautifully wooded, square 9.65 acre parcel with Hundreds of Acres of State Land
on 2 sides. Level with a mix of hard and soft woods. Trail Head is located just down the road.
Additional acreage available. MLS 16056091 $27,900

Great location for this 10 acre parcel! Hundreds of acres of State land across the street and
close to the trails! This piece is priced to sell! Come walk this property before its gone.
MLS 16057544 $21,900

Parcel 1 - Beautifully wooded 5 Acre parcel, level- with a mix of hard and soft wood. Excellent
for hunting and outdoor pursuits as it is adjacent to State Land, right in the heart of ORV
country. Additional acreage available. Taxes based on a larger parcel. MLS 16056907 $17,900

Parcel A - Great location for this 5 acre parcel! Hundreds of acres of State land across the street
and close to the trails! This piece has been cut and is priced to sell! Come walk this property
before its gone. MLS 16057529 $13,900

Parcel 4 - 5 Acre parcel, level - liberally wooded with a mix of hard and soft wood. Excellent
for hunting and outdoor pursuits as it is close to State Land, right in the heart of ORV country.
Additional acreage available. Taxes based on a larger parcel. MLS 16056896 $17,900

Located in the heart of the Manistee National Forest this 58 M/L Acres is perfectly situated
between 2 county maintained roads. Property has small creek running through it. Nicely
wooded, with Michigans best mixture of Hardwoods, Walking distance to State Land.
MLS 16020982 $69,900

Parcel 6 - Square 9.71 Acre property, level- liberally wooded with a mix of hard and soft wood.
Excellent for hunting and outdoor pursuits as it adjoins State Land, right in the heart of ORV
country. Additional acreage available. Taxes based on a larger parcel. Property access through
easement. MLS 16056880 $26,900

Parcel 11 - Beautifully wooded, square 9.67 acre parcel with State Land on across the street
and down the road. Level with a mix of hard and soft woods. Trail Head is located just down the
road. Additional acreage available. Taxes based on larger parcel. MLS 16056290 $26,900

Parcel B - 5.26 Acre parcel level- with a mix of hard and soft wood. Excellent for hunting and
outdoor pursuits as it is across the street from Federal Land, right in the heart of ORV country.
Additional acreage available. Taxes have not yet been assessed. MLS 16058075 $17,900

www.TrophyClassRealEstate.com
THINKING OF SELLING OR BUYING?

CALL US FIRST!!

877-843-0910

THE LAND
EXPERTS
YOU CAN
TRUST

LAND OF THE FREE

ALLEGAN COUNTY
#16051578
$775,000

25 Acres on Little Manistee


River with custom home...
a craftsman delight as
finishes are more like art
stained glass, Tulikivi stove,
hand crafted specialty accents
built in, 3 bed/2.5 baths. Fish
this famous river and hunt the
wooded ground that borders
each side.

LAKE COUNTY
#16041271
$575,000
160 Acres with impeccable
log style home!
2100sf, 3 bed/3 bath built with
unmatched quality. Hunters
dream property! Hardwoods,
cedar swamp & creek, ridges,
trails, blinds, adjoins public
land, pole building.

IOSCO COUNTY
#1822401
$499,900

40 Acres North Branch of


White River!
Deer, grouse, turkey,
mushrooms! Fish for
browns, rainbows &
steelhead. Nicely done
mobile & garage. Wooded
and ready to hunt.

OCEANA COUNTY
#16034042
$164,900
295 Acres off Grid
with Cabin!
Great hunting camp near
Tahquamenon Falls. Trail
system, hardwoods, hemlock,
aspen & cedar surround cabin
(2 bed/1 bath, well/septic/
propane/space heater).

CHIPPEWA COUNTY
#1818994
$349,000
160 Acres, Small Lake,
Ponds & Cottage
Property is wooded with
established blinds, versatile
terrain, rolling hills, creek
beds, 2-tracks and approx. 55
acres of quality AG land.

MONTCALM COUNTY
#16014410
$569,000

40 Acre hunt camp.


Off the grid with generator, LP,
well/septic, 2 wood burning
stoves. Sleeps 14, adjoins
state land for plenty of hunting,
grouse, deer and bear. Shed
workshop. Near ATV snow trails
and Fox River.

80 Acres with Vintage


Farm House & Barns
Pristine 4 Bed/3 Bath home
with wrap around decking,
hardwood floors, cathedral
ceiling. Rolling hills, woods,
pond, grass, wetlands and
adjoins public land.

SCHOOLCRAFT COUNTY
#1818121
$89,500

OCEANA COUNTY
#16055249
$339,900

GRAND HAVEN

233 WASHINGTON, SUITE 202


GRAND HAVEN, MI 49417
(877) 843-0910

TRAVERSE CITY

4249 US 31 S
TRAVERSE CITY, MI 49685
(231) 233-3575

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

Pristine 80 of Lake
Michigan frontage with
Log Home!
The views are incredible
and the 3 bed/2 bath
home is cozy and inviting.
Nestled on private wooded
lot!

95

Lewiston 69 Acres

Read Michigans Most Popular


Outdoor Publication Anytime, Anywhere.

ONLY

an ONLINE
15 for
Subscription!

Large hunting cabin (1600sf.)


Borders State Land
Pole barn, garage, pond, stream, lean-to
4 miles from Garland Golf Course
Owned by same family for decades.
One of a kind Property!

$229,000
Sandi Ahlers

3,400 per acre

Coldwell Banker Schmidt

Office 989-366-5522
Cell 989-538-0131

PER YEAR

www.woods-n-waternews.com

St. Louis
Paved road, 5 minutes from town, 3 bedroom, outdoor kitchen,
forced air heat, wood stove in living room, 3 out buildings. 30x40
fenced dog kennel with heated dog house. Laundry room, partial
wrap around front porch, lots of custom features, St. Louis school
district (bus stop in front of the house), 5.6 acres. Appliances
included: dishwasher, stove, fridge, washer, and dryer.
River frontage, bon fire area, paved drive, old growth trees, lots
of wildlife, great deer and turkey hunting, eagles and otters seen
on regular basis. Ladder stand and shooting lanes with trails
throughout the woods.
$

John Baker

Cell: (517) 490-4108


Home: (989) 307-1060
Email: jbaker@greentractors.com
9774 RIVERSIDE DR
ST. LOUIS MI, 48880

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

NORTHERN PARADISE ON SAUBLE LAKE #1 7888 W 6 MILE ROAD


IRONS Pristine setting for this 3 bedroom log sided cabin on 21+/- heavily wooded acres with frontage on both Sauble Lake #1 and Quick Lake.
Cabin features a stone fireplace, knotty pine interior, some hardwood floors
and central air. Breathtaking views of the lake from the open concept kitchen/dining area. Kitchen features German stone countertops. Living room
opens to a porch room/den on the lakeside offering more stunning views.
Power at the lake, 1 car garage and the cabin is wired for a back-up generator. In addition across the road is a section of land with frontage on Quick
Lake which is a small fishing type lake. A true Northern Michigan Retreat!$259,900 (MIL)
2 40 ACRE PARCELS OFF FOREST SERVICE ROAD 8436 IRONS
Located near Freesoil Road and Elk Highway on Forest Road 8436 Sits this
Prime hunting property that is a family owned 80 acre parcel Sellers have
taken many nice deer from this location as well as turkey and grouse. Bears,
coyotes, fox, and wolf have been spotted here as well. There is a small creek
that is flowing in the spring and early summer. There are numerous driving /
ATV trails that will extend to every section of the property and several
meadows to be used as food plots. The entire property is posted and gated
and bordered by National Forest on all sides. Sale includes all Mineral Rights
Owned by them. Make this another family Hunting destination or Joint
Venture. $145,000 (JAM)
HUNTERS CHECK THIS ONE OUT - 15+/- ACRES-BORDERS FEDERAL
LAND 7776 E. SAUBLE ROAD FOUNTAIN 15+/- acre parcel of land is
heavily wooded and an ideal secluded hunting location. Gated entrance to
this clean, comfortable cabin with knotty pine interior, an open floor plan,
and a well and septic. The cabin runs off solar panels for electricity and is set
up for year around use with a woodstove and a back-up propane wall furnace. A nice cedar deck off the living room and fire pit in the yard. Prime
location 2/10 of a mile from the Big Sable River. Located on a seasonal
county maintained road! $65,500 (GAR) REDUCED!!
CABIN ON 12+/- ACRES 4075 E JOST DRIVE IRONS This 2 bedroom
1 bath cabin is situated on 12 nicely wooded acres of land. The cabin does
needs some TLC but the potential is there to make it a great spot to visit on
the weekend. There is a wood burning floor furnace and a propane wall unit
for heating. The attached 1 car garage comes in handy for storage and a place
to put all the up north toys. Great recreational area near all the ORV and
snowmobile trails. Comes furnished as is! $70,000 (COO)
5963 W. 10-1/2 Mile Rd. Irons, Michigan
231-266-8288 877-88-NORTH
www.BigRiverVentures.com Info@BigRiverVentures.com

Exclusive Marketing Agents for Northeast


Michigan Properties

Personalized Service is the Difference

96

PROPERTIES

Hunters Call for our Acreage Parcels

142,000 SELLING PRICE

Heritage
House
RealtyPC

IG RIVER

Located in the Heart of the Huron National Forest, on the


Shores of Lake Huron and the banks of the AuSable River

3110 Pinetree, Greenbush


3 Br, 1.5 Ba Ranch with
Private Association access
to Lake Huron. Come see all
that the area has to offer
while still enjoying a private
peaceful setting to watch the
wildlife.
Newly listed at
$84,900

217 Acre Hunters Paradise


Andrews Road, Mikado with
1400 sf house/camp, pond.
Trail system, blinds, deck
and tons of white tail deer,
bear, grouse and turkey.
Pine River flows through
property so add trout to the
list. REDUCED $349,000

5157 Lake Drive, Glennie


3 Br, 2 Ba Manufactured
Home with Vaughn Lake
Access across the road.
Come enjoy being on the
water all year long. Move in
Ready home just waiting for
you. Minutes from 1000s of
acres of Federal Land. New
listing at $64,900

1166 Chris Road, Barton


City 2 Br 1 Ba Ranch with
3+ acres on Private Dead
End road. Enjoy watching
the wildlife around Mudd
Lake from your heated
sunroom or curl up next to
your fireplace to enjoy the
evening. $69,900

991 N Verner Dr, Barton


City - View of Jewel Lake, 3
bedrooms 2 baths with over
2.5 acre site. Appliances
stay, finished garage and
this one comes with a Home
Warranty. REDUCED for
quick sale, dont miss out on
this deal at $100,000

West Bamfiled Rd, Glennie


Perfect 1.5+ acre building
site within minutes of being
on the AuSable River or
enjoying the 1000s of acres
of National Forest that are all
around. Never too early to
plan next years hunting trips.
New listing at $6,000

3305 W F-30, Glennie, 40


acres with 1200 sf, 3
bedroom, 2 bath home with
a full finished basement.
Large deck, paved drive,
den and fireplace. Hardwood
forest with isolated ponds,
fruit trees, hunting blinds and
trails. New listing - $194,500

2175 N US-23, East Tawas

Fully
furnished
4
bedrooms, 2 bath bi-level
just outside East Tawas.
Enjoy all the area has to offer
while still feeling like youre
getting away from it all!
REDUCED to sell fast at
$109,000

10+ Acre Recreational site


Close to Grayling to enjoy
an evening on the town but
still out of the way. Enjoy
everything the outdoors has
to offer, within minutes of
being on the water or in your
favorite hunting spot. Perfect
building
site
for
only
$23,500

334 acres in Doctors Club


area, prime hunting property
awaits you. A portion of land
is a cattail swamp with Robb
Creek. There is 2 beat up
cabins on property with
electric and flowing well.
This would be a great group
investment. $499,500

201 Fourth St, Harrisville


Ranch style home with large
decks, pond, family room,
open
concept
kitchen,
dining, living room. Pergo
flooring, carpet and attached
2 car garage that is finished.
Walk to town and harbor.
REDUCED $117,750

Poor Farm Rd, Greenbush


Not too late to start
planning your next hunting
trip. This 37 acres is perfect
for just that. Make this your
next hunting camp or build
your new home and still
have plenty of room to
recreate. Motivated Seller
$49,900

Call 800-650-5566 - Glennie or 800-982-0102 - Harrisville - www.HeritageHouseRealty.com

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

HALE
OFFICE

ALE
S
R
O

3160 North M-65


Hale, MI48739

10 miles north of I-75 exit 202

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

WEST BRANCH
LOOP OFFICE

ALE
S
R
O

2575 S. I-75 Business Loop,


West Branch, MI 48661

Gateway to Huron National Forest

www.CAHANES.com

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

1 mile north of I-75 Exit 212

www.CAHANES.com

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

GETAWAYS, CABINS , HOMES AND COTTAGES!!


1811285

1823244

1823342

1818996

1821492

WATERFRONT!!

KAYAK
& FISH!!

SPACIOUS 4
BEDROOMS!!

BREATHTAKING
VIEWS!!

WEEKEND
GETAWAY!!

2-bdrm, full finished walkout bsmt, 178 on 330


all sports lake, open floor plan, rear deck, AC,
skylights, 2 lots, garage, in fantastic subdivision!!

Cute 2-bdrm w/70 on beautiful TITTABAWASSEE


RIVER, knotty pine, open floor plan, wood stove,
garage, semi-secluded at end of road ACROSS
FROM HUNDREDS OF ACRES OF STATE LAND!!

Excellent year round home, ON AN ACRE, lots


of updates like newer carpet, well and insulation,
FP, appliances, part bsmt, family room, skylights,
deck, garage, all at end of road!!

3-bdrm home on 10 ACRES with stunning views,


garage & pole building, AC, den/office, kitchen
pantry & island, newer metal roof. Mostly cleared
and great for raising horses!!

2-bdrm home on 2 lots, near lakes, rivers and


thousands of acres of state land and the perfect
affordable place for lots of recreational fun!!

$160,000

$89,000

$84,900

$164,900

$20,000

FINISH TO
YOUR LIKING!!

1798555

FISHING
AT YOUR
DOOR!!

1823032

1804694

COZY
GETAWAY!!

40 ACRE
HORSE
FARM!!

1823747

OVER 19
ACRES!!

1024 square foot home needs your finishing touches,


near lakes, Rifle River, State lands and Lake Huron
for year round recreational fun, all on 54 MOSTLY
WOODED ACRES!!

3-bdrm mobile w/addition, partly furnished, garage,


deck with gorgeous views, boat dock, great fishing,
canoeing & kayaking & 82 ON GORGEOUS
TITTABAWASSEE RIVER!!

4-bdrm updated, year round home, foyer, FP,


pantry, AC, 3 baths, garage, partial basement,
30x40 pole building, large deck, beautiful views
and home sits back off of road for PRIVACY!!

Mostly wooded 6.79 ACRES w/2-bdrm home, FP,


newer roof and newer vinyl siding, 12x22 sunroom
w/beautiful views, perfect getaway or hunt camp
w/STATE LAND JUST ACROSS ROAD!!

Rolling property, like-new 80x10 outbldg, riding area,


horse stalls, 30x40 insulated & heated storage
building, nice workshop, lean to, fenced pastures,
ADJOINS STATE LAND!!

$145,000

$82,000

$154,900

$67,000

$250,000

1805656

1820402

1817896

1816928

1808082

SECLUDED
HUNTING
CABIN!!

1872 SQUARE
FEET!!

76+ ACRES!!

MOVE-IN READY!!

2-bdrm weekend getaway ADJACENT TO STATE


LAND and trails, appliances, propane lights,
gravity tank, wood heat & more! The perfect rustic
HUNT CAMP on 18 WOODED ACRES!!

Beautiful setting on 1.37 ACRES w/3-bdrm BiLevel home, garage, blacktop drive, open floor
plan, cathedral ceilings, patio, shed, deck, fenced
area & gorgeous countryside views!!

This 3-bdrm home would make an ultimate hunt camp,


trails thru-out, lots of wildlife in area, garage, fire pit,
rear deck & spectacular views SURROUNDED BY
NATL FOREST & STATE LAND!!

1200 square foot modular home has appliances


and is mostly furnished. FANTASTIC HUNTING
& 70+ ACRES, large pole barn/garage for your
Up North toys, pond & fantastic hunt camp!!

3-bdrm w/171 feet water frnt on Forest


Lake, walkout bsmt, extensive decking, lots
of windows for fantastic views, garage, FP
& much more!!

$64,900

$104,900

$149,900

$249,900

$119,900

1803058

1822183

MOSTLY
FURNISHED!!

ALL SPORTS
LAKE!

1823766

1824110

CUTE
AND
COZY!!

STUNNING
RIVERFRONT!!

1825235

SEMISECLUDED!!

LAKE OGEMAW
WATERFRONT!

Spacious 3-bdrm with beautiful views from many


windows in home and covered porch area, Tiki
bar for outdoor entertaining, huge 24x47 storage
building & secluded on 5 ACRES!!

An ACRE of property with 3-bdrm home surrounded


by lots of shade trees and sitting back off of road,
lots of windows, pleasant views, covered deck,
30x36 garage w/carport & more!!

2-bdrm, level lot, 90 frntg, sandy beach,


boat dock, some furnishings, 2 garages,
fantastic views, deck, porch & much more!!

2-bdrm on two partly wooded lots, excellent


and affordable getaway near lakes, Rifle River
& State lands for year round recreational fun!!

Beautiful custom-built, bamboo floors, top of


the line appliances, guest house, gazebo, deck,
beautiful views and 493 feet of river frontage all
nestled on 5.85 WOODED ACRES!!

$54,900

$45,900

$169,900

$29,900

$225,000

1810533

1818044

1820282

STUNNING
RIVER
SETTING!!

BEAUTIFUL
ROLLING
PROPERTY!!

1822179

1808352

ON CHANNEL
TO LAKE!!

WALK TO
POPULAR
LAKE!!

Nice 3-bdrm w/water frontage on Channel to ALL


SPORTS ELBOW LAKE, bright kitchen w/island,
pantry & breakfast nook, wrap-around deck, ON AN
ACRE and pond with boat dock!!

Cute 2-bdrm home within walking distance


to all sports Clear Lake, open floor, some
appliances, full basement and much more!!

Spacious 4-bdrm, 1.88 WOODED ACRES, large


pole barn, some furnishings, FP, appliances,
patio & deck with stairs to BEAUTIFUL RIFLE
RIVER with kayak pulley at waters edge!!

Nice and spacious 4-bdrm home and attached


garage, pole building & shed for storage, on 5
WOODED ACRES w/trails for walking & mature
trees incl apple and pear trees!!

2-bdrm, 2 full bath w/fantastic views, garage,


heated workshop, open floor plan, door walls to
nice deck, wood stove, convenient circular drive
and home sits back off of road for some privacy!!

$162,500

$59,000

$162,000

$129,900

$117,000

1811740

21.9 ACRES!

1816105

1820337

1798150

1799930

POSSIBLE
4 BEDROOM!!

EXCELLENT
LOCATION!!

2.78
ACRES!!

BEAUTIFUL
CAPE COD!!

BEAUTIFUL
VIEWS!!!

Spacious home on partial basement w/attached


garage and updates including newer flooring &
beautiful remodeled kitchen, plus 30x40 barn, patio for
relaxing & 12 WOODED ACRES!!

Super clean 3-bdrm, 2 full bath home on over


21 WOODED ACRES w/trails thru-out for nature
walking or great hunting, side and front decks, RV
hook-ups, garage & beautiful views!!

3-bdrm mobile home that also has 165 feet of water


frontage on all sports JOHNSON LAKE! Sunroom,
wood stove, pantry, built-in bookcases and more!
Great rec location for four season fun!!

3-bdrm, 2.5 bath home with 1170 feet on


gorgeous AU GRES RIVER, wood floors, FP, AC,
heated garage w/bonus upstairs, 12x12 screened
porch, nice views & 8.8 GORGEOUS ACRES!!

13 ACRES surrounds this super nice 3-bdrm w/


oversized garage, 3 storage sheds, rear deck,
covered porch and semi-secluded for privacy!!

$54,900

$142,900

$44,900

$285,000

$116,000

FOR MORE LISTINGS


VISIT OUR WEBSITE:

WWW.CAHANES.COM

JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

1819756

97

DAN DAN

LOG CABIN
FURNITURE

THEMATTRESSMAN.COM

WHOLESALE TO THE PUBLIC

Queen Log Bed $19999

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7500

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189

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JANUARY 2017 - WNW NEWS

from

98

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Log
Futons

39999

MORE SIZES,
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The new GLOCK 42, in .380 AUTO, is a slimline subcompact pistol engineered
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