Monthly Archives: May 2009

Jay’s Outdoor Magazine TV (week of 6/1)

This week we’re on the road again with veteran pro staffers Chris Kipp and Scott DeVuyst.

First, they head west to Montana to hunt deer with Rocky Niles of Rocky Outfitters.

On the second morning Chris takes his first mule deer and later Scott scores on a big whitetail.

Then, it’s north to Quebec, Canada….about six hours north of Montreal. They’re at a remote destination called Camp Rudy.

The two Michigan men fight some nasty black flies and mosquitos to find some great brook trout fishing, along with monster pike action.

Also on this trip, Scott takes a nice black bear with his bow after several long evenings in a treestand.

Lots of great hunting action this week. I hope you enjoy it…..

Radio 5/30

This week we start out talking turkey, then spend the rest of the show on a fishing theme.

First, I talked about my recent hunt with contest winner Mike Fitch. Mike won a turkey hunt with Chet Loar of Star Creek Guide Service.  It was provided by the folks at Ameristep.  You can listen to details of our adventure by

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Then, Dave Mull of Great Lakes Angler Magazine joined  me.   Dave has been an observer of, and participant in, the great lakes salmon and trout fishery for more than two decades.  We talked about the changes in the fishery and how anglers tactics have evolved over the years.

Hour number one wraps up with Tom Campbell of Woods-n-Waternews talking about the end of turkey season in Michigan and the “unofficial” kick off of the fishing season.

Don Miller of Motor City Muskies starts out the second hour.  Don is one of Lake St. Clair’s best musky guides.  He shares some of his secrets on catching the giant fish.

The hour wraps us with Mark Romanack of Pecision Angling and Fishing 411 television. Mark talks about his recent fishing trips on Saginaw Bay and the Saginaw River.

Tommy Skarlis follows up on that conversation in hour number three. Tommy won the recent AIM fishing tournament in Bay City.  He gives us some great information of fishing the bay and the river. Tommy also discusses the new CRR (catch,record, release) format of AIM.

We wrap us the show, as always, with Dixie Dave Minar.  This time Dave has a great turkey recipe.

A fast moving show this week filled with lots of great information.

I hope you enjoy it…..

Memorable Turkey Hunt

A couple of days ago I had the pleasure of spending some time with Mike Ficht of Sugar Springs, Michigan.

Mike had won a turkey hunt at a fundraising banquet sponsored by the good folks at Ameristep.  His prize was two days in the woods with Chet Loar of Star Creek Guide Service, and me.

Chet is one of the best turkey hunters I’ve ever met.  If there are birds in an area, Chet can find them and get his hunters close enough for a shot.  I was along to  provide support and encouragement….and to videotape the hunt.

I liked Mike right away.  I could tell he had a few years of experience behind him, but I was surprised to find out he was 74.  He looked a lot younger.

He was in good shape too.

Chet likes to cover some ground while chasing turkeys, and Mike was able to keep right up with him. We were both relieved though when Chet said  it was  time to change tactics and sit in an Ameristep ground blind for a while.

Our first day of hunting was pretty slow.  It was real warm and the birds weren’t talking.  We tried calling,  sitting on dusting bowls and setting up an ambush…but nothing worked.

The second morning found us sitting in a blind near a roosting area.  We could hear at least one tom gobbling at daybreak, but he shut up shortly after hitting the ground.  I was afraid we were off to another rough day in the woods.

We tried a couple more spots with no luck.  Again the birds weren’t talking and the temperature was rising fast.

About ten thirty Chet set Mike and I up over a couple dusting bowls on the edge of a field.  He said when it gets hot the birds like to dust themselves to cool down.

That turned out to be a good move.

Before Chet even had a chance to leave we had two hens walk ten yards in front of us and put on a show.  After about twenty minutes they left and so did Chet.

While Mike and I sat there we had a chance to talk.  I learned he was an avid hunter who hadn’t spent much time chasing turkeys before.  I also found out he was a retired cop.  Hunters and cops, two groups I respect….no wonder I liked Mike so much.

After about an hour Mike nudged me and said “There’s a bird”.  I looked out the side window and saw what I thought was a hen about fifteen yards away, on the edge of the field.  Then the bird turned sideways and I realized it was a jake.

Mike had already told me he’d be more than happy to shoot a jake, but it didn’t look like this guy would give us the chance to do that on camera.

The bird was slowly making his way around the blind and I had no way of getting the video camera pointed his direction.

I had to make a decision.  Pass on the bird and risk a TV show, or get out of the way and let Mike shoot him.

I figured with the hunting conditions so tough the last couple of days it might be our only chance, so we switched places and Mike got ready for his shot.

Chet’s gun is patterned pretty tight.  In fact, his hunters routinely take birds out to fifty yards with it. This jake was only about twenty yards and at that distance there’s not much room for error.

I didn’t need to worry.  With the calmness that only years of experience can provide, Mike settled the bead on the bird’s head, pulled the trigger and dropped him.

As we walked up to the bird and I saw the smile on Mike’s face, I knew we’d made the right decision.
mike-ficht

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My Turkey Season

As you know by now, I hunted turkeys this year for the first time with a Predator Recurve Bow.
I knew it would be a challenge, and I wasn’t disappointed.

I was fortunate to hunt an area with lots of birds, and it’s a good thing because I needed all the help I could get.

After several days in the woods, a fair amount of perseverance and lots of luck I was able to connect on a nice long beard.

That bird had a ten inch beard and three quarter inch spurs. A real nice bird for sure, but in my mind, I’ve never been more proud of an animal.

This hunt was especially rewarding. I set a goal before the season to take a bird with my recurve, and even though it wasn’t easy, I stuck with it and got the job done.

My transition from a compound bow was helped considerably by Eric Lafollette at Jay’s Sporting Goods, and the great guys at Hunters Niche Archery (makers of the Predator Bows).

You can see the entire show this week on The Sportsman Channel and broadcast TV stations across Michigan. It will soon be available on our website at this link as well.

My next goal….to take a nice Ontario black bear with the Predator later this summer. I’ll keep you informed….

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Chad Stearns Turkey Hunt

In this excerpt from the Jay’s Outdoor Magazine television show, Chad Stearns is chasing turkeys in southern Michigan.

He’s set up in a ground blind on the edge of a wood lot when two longbeards come in to the decoys strutting and gobbling.

The veteran hunter makes a great shot, but has an interesting recovery.

You’ll be able to see the entire hunt soon on The Sportsman Channel, broadcast stations in Michigan and the Outdoor Magazine website.

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Jay’s Outdoor Magazine (week of 5/25)

This week I’m turkey hunting in my home state of Michigan, the hard way. I’m bowhunting with a recurve bow. It’s my first time using a Predator recurve and the challenge is even harder than I expected.

The cameras are rolling as I miss one bird, then another…and finally a third.

I kept at it, and after twelve days of hunting I got another chance. With just a half hour left in the season a longbeard walked by at twenty yards and I made a good shot.

Lots of highs and lows in this week’s show. I hope you enjoy it.

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Outdoor Magazine Radio 5/23

This week on the Outdoor Magazine radio show….

I’ll talk with retired coast guardsman Joe Marion. Joe has spent more than two decades on the water and he’s seen just about everything that can go wrong out there.

Joe has some no nonsense tips for staying safe.

Then, Tom Campbell of the Woods-n-Waternews joins me. We talk about a number of subjects, including the latest edition of their magazine.

Hour two kicks off with my friend Bill Pyles of Ohio Bowhunting Outfitters. Ohio is a great destination for Michigan bowhunters, and this is the time to book those fall hunting trips. To make it even more appealing, Bill has lowered his prices this year as a concession to the bad economy.

Mark Romanack of Precision Angling and Fishing 411 wraps up the hour talking about a recent largemouth bass fishing trip on Lake St. Clair.

In hour number three we continue with a fishing theme as charter captain and noted tournament angler Dave Engel joins me. Dave is co captain of the famous Best Chance Too charter boat out of Saugatuck on Michigan’s west coast.

Dave tells me what it takes to be successful as a tournament angler and charter captain. Then, he has some tips for the weekend warrior salmon anglers.

As always, we wrap up with wild game chef Dixie Dave Minar. This time Dave has a very nice walleye chowder recipe.

Once again a very busy show filled with lots of great information. I hope you enjoy it….

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Jay’s Outdoor Magazine TV (week of 5/18)

This week we follow the pro staff as they hit the field for some great western hunting action.

First, veteran staffers Scott DeVuyst and Chris Kipp are in Wyoming, they’re hunting antelope with their friend Rocky Niles of Rocky Outfitters.

Scott scores first on a nice antelope, but Chris struggles before connecting on his first speed goat.

Then, they head north to Ontario for a fall bear hunt. We’ll watch as Chris takes his first bear, then follow Scott into the stand for a close encounter with a big boar.

Lots of great hunting action this week.

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Fishing, Kids and Chowder

You’re asking, “OK Avery…what do these have in common?”

Well, they’ll all be combined Sunday afternoon May 24th in Bay City, Michigan.

That’s when the “celebrity” fish chowder competition will be held in conjunction with BayFest.

I’ve teamed up with the Junction Restaurant in Saginaw and the Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs of Bay County. The Junction is making the chowder and we’ll be raising funds for the Clubs to buy fishing equipment for the kids.

Their Bay City facility is on the bank of the Saginaw River, near some great fishing spots. I think it would be wonderful if the Club had fishing gear on hand they could loan out to the kids.

From 2-4PM that afternoon I’ll be selling cups of chowder and collecting donations for the cause. All money raised will be give to the Boy’s and Girls clubs.

I hope you can stop by and see me that afternoon. I’ll have some pictures to sign for the kids and I’d love to hear your fishing story.

It sounds like fun, and a great way to help introduce young people to the sport of fishing.

See you there…

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Walleye Mavericks Fishing League

If you like to fish walleye but you’re not ready for the high pressure world of big name tournaments…I’ve got a suggestion.

A group of Saginaw Bay walleye anglers are starting up a new bi weekly fishing league. They’re calling it “Walleye Mavericks”.

The tournaments will be held on Thursday nights, starting at six o’clock. They’ll be based out of the Bay City Yacht Club.  Don’t let the name “yacht club” scare you. These are open to all anglers using boats of any size.

The cost is only forty bucks a boat, there’s no limit on the number of anglers, but you can only run six rods.

Here’s the official entry form…
walleye-mavericks-th7641c7

This sounds like a lot of fun and I plan to fish every one of them.

I’ll see you on the water…..

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