Monthly Archives: October 2009

Outdoor Magazine Radio (10/31)

This week on Outdoor Magazine radio…..

We start out talking about whitetails, and my recent week bowhunting in Ohio. The weather was warm and the hunting was surprisingly slow, but as hunters we need to make the most of such situations.

Next, Bill Pyles of Ohio Bowhunting Outfitters joins me with his thoughts on the lack of deer movement.

The next show segment featured a topic that’s getting lots of attention in Michigan. Dennis Lennox of Cheboygan County told me about a plan by the DNR to ban walleye fishing on Mullet lake next year. He says that’s being proposed because the indians want to increase their catch, and as a result, sport fisherman have to reduce their harvest. We haven’t heard the last word on this one yet.

I wrap up the first hour with Randy Jorgenson of the Woods-n-Waternews.

In the second hour noted outdoor writer Dan Donarski of Hunters Horn Adventures joins me. Dan recently returned from a family safari to South Africa and he shared stories from that adventure.

We also discussed the state of deer hunting in Michigan today.

Next, another respected Michigan outdoorsman….Mark Romanack. Mark was also on the road hunting, but he was waterfowl hunting in Saskatchewan. Mark talked about that trip and his bowhunting adventures back home in Michigan.

Our final hour kicks off with Glenn Duncan of Duncan’s Outdoor Shop in Bay City, Michigan. Glenn is an veteran gunsmith and veteran shooter. We talked about the choices hunters have for deer season and he talked of the perfect Michigan deer gun.

As always, the show wrapped up with chef Dixie Dave Minar. Dave was in a treestand during our conversation, but he had time to give us a tasty venison recipe.

Another busy show….I hope you enjoy it.

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It’s On

After several days of the slowest deer hunting I’ve ever seen, it looks like Mother Nature has flipped the switch and the rut is on.

Last week the reports were terrible, not just here in Michigan…but in Illinois, Ohio and many other northern states. I hunted hard for six days and never saw a shooter animal, now big bucks are showing up everywhere.

We knew it was going to happen…it does every year, but sometimes waiting for the rut can be a little frustrating.

I know the weather and moon phase play a role in the timing of the whitetail breeding season. Regardless of those conditions though, each year, just a few days before Halloween, things start to happen.

Here’s a good example of that. Mike Baker of BowHuntingOhio.com shot this beautiful 148 inch 9 point a couple days ago.

Mike Baker's Ohio Buck

Mike Baker's Ohio Buck

About the same time Mike was putting down that big Ohio buck, Outdoor Magazine Pro Staffer Gus Congemi was hard at work in the Northeast. Gus shot this nice eight point in Connecticut with his Darton Pro 2500 on Tuesday.

Gus Congemi's Connecticut Buck

Gus Congemi's Connecticut Buck

Gus was hunting with me in Ohio when the action was so slow, so he definitely earned that buck.

Now, I’m hoping it’s my turn. I’m heading to Kansas to hunt with Ed Barton of B and C Kansas Hunts. Unfortunately, I’ll be there during a full moon, but I’m hoping the rutting activity will overcome that slow period and give me a buck to post here in the next few days.

I’ll let you know.

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I hope this isn’t true…

NEWS FROM DRAIN COMMISSIONER DENNIS LENNOX

DNR set to outlaw walleye fishing in third-largest lake
Natural Resources Commission urged to vote ‘no’ on job-killing proposal

For more information, contact:
Dennis Lennox, (231) 238-7829

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TOPINABEE, Mich. (Oct. 26, 2009) — A proposal to outlaw recreational walleye fishing in Cheboygan County’s Mullett Lake is coming under heavy criticism from business owners and community members, who stress the importance of fishing to the local economy.

The proposal, which has received approval from senior bureaucrats in the Department of Natural Resources, will be considered at the Nov. 5 meeting of the Natural Resources Commission in Lansing. The ban would go into effect for the 2010 fishing season, and would be reviewed each year thereafter.

“At a time of unprecedented economic challenges, recreational fishing is a major boost in the arm for local businesses,” said Cheboygan County Drain Commissioner Dennis Lennox, who lives in Topinabee on Mullett Lake. “My constituents depend on tourism dollars generated in large part by fishing enthusiasts.”

Lennox will bring petitions with signatures of constituents urging a vote against the ban, which would result in job losses and further economic difficulty in an area with one of the worst economies in Michigan, to the Natural Resources Commission meeting.

“If walleye fishing in Mullett Lake is outlawed, the overall level of fishing will decrease and fishermen from across the Great Lakes region will be less likely to visit our community,” he said. “This proposal will have disastrous effects for the local economy.”

The proposal came about after Indian tribes recently served notice that they intended to harvest larger than normal catches of walleye from Mullett Lake.

The Natural Resources Commission consists of seven members appointed by the governor. It is responsible for overseeing the Department of Natural Resources and setting conservation policy.

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They Disappeared

I just got home from a bowhunting trip in central Ohio with my friend Bill Pyles of Ohio Bowhunting Outfitters. Bill’s operation is based in Knox and Licking Counties, a part of the state known for lots of big bucks. He’d been sending trailcam pictures of some of those giants, and I was looking forward to a great hunt.

When we go there everything looked good. Each of Bill’s hunters the week before had taken nice bucks, the fall colors were in full swing and the first morning of our hunt was a very chilly 28 degrees.

As we headed out to my favorite property, one called the “Hammock Farm”, I was optimistic for a close encounter with a nice buck. Our stand was near the top of an oak ridge overlooking a standing corn field and thick bedding area. It was a spot where I’d seen big bucks before and hunters in past years had taken several trophy animals.

Surprisingly, the morning was pretty slow, we saw a few does with fawns and one year and a half old four point. At the time I had no idea how significant that buck would be.

The evening hunt from that same stand wasn’t much better so the following day we jumped to a new farm…this one called “The Thicket”. The Thicket was also known for big bucks, in fact I have video of Jim Barta of The Hunter Safety System missing a 160 inch ten point there a couple years ago.

About the same time we jumped farms, the temperature started to jump up and we had several days of seventy degree weather. That, combined with lots of standing corn for the deer to hide in, made for a very tough hunt.

We tried a couple of stand locations on the Thicket farm over the next few days, but again we only saw does and fawns. On our last two hunts there we didn’t see anything at all.

The lack of deer movement was very surprising…almost to the point of being surreal. I knew there were big bucks on that property and I knew Bill had several very nice stand locations set. In fact, our second stand on the Thicket was one of the most promising locations I’ve ever hunted. It was in a tree line sandwiched between standing corn, a food plot, an orchard and a bedding area. Even so, our efforts turned up nothing more than a couple of does and fawns.

Finally, we had a cold front come through, and I was hopeful the change in weather would ramp up buck activity. Our last night in Ohio we set up on an oak ridge between two bedding areas. Bill had seen lots of activity on that hilltop in previous seasons and I still had hope it would produce a shooter buck for us.

After several hours of scanning the timber and looking for any kind of movement, we saw nothing…again.

By then I was out of time and had to come home. In six days of hunting, and almost forty hours in a stand on three different farms, I never saw a mature buck. In fact, the only racked buck I saw was the little four point on the first day.

I never dreamed this hunt would be so slow. Unfortunately, I think the warm temperatures had a lot to do with the lack of movement and I’m sure lots of animals are hiding in all that standing corn.

The good news is temperatures are dropping now in Ohio, farmers are starting to take down the corn and the rut is just around the corner. That’s great news for Bill’s hunters over the next couple of weeks.

It’s also good news for me. Bill Pyles has invited me back in a couple of weeks if I can fit another trip in my schedule. By then those bucks will have no excuses to disappear on me again.

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Outdoor Magazine Radio (10/24)

Another busy show this week on Outdoor Magazine….

First, Mike Bailey of the Michigan DNR joins me with a forecast of what to expect from this year’s firearm deer season. In a nutshell, southern lower Michigan hunters can expect another great season.

Then, Michelle Scheurmann of Sportsman Channel talks about the channel’s continued evolution into a top tier network. She also announced this year’s contest for viewers choice awards.

The hour wrapped up with Tom Campbell of the Woods-n-Waternews. Tom told us what to expect from the November issue of the magazine.

The second hour features noted outdoor writer and expert big game hunter Richard P. Smith. Richard talked about hunting for late season Michigan bears in agricultural areas. He also had some great deer hunting stories.

Smith commented as well on the plan to merge the Michigan DNR and DEQ. He’s concerned about the director of that new agency being a political appointee.

Deer hunters will enjoy the third hour of the show as we talk with Steve Francis of The Country Smokehouse in Almont, Michigan. Steve probably processes more deer than anyone in the state and he has some great tips of field care of your deer. Steve also gives some suggestions on what to do with your venison.

Dixie Dave Minar follows up on that theme as he joins me in the studio with a great venison recipe. He also brings us up to speed on his Wild Game Soups.

A very busy show this week. I hope you enjoy it…..

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Switching Archery Gears

I’ve put down my Predator recurve and picked up the Darton Compound.

Since last April that recurve has been part of my weekly routine. I started shooting it in preparation for turkey season. After lots of practice, and a few misses I was able to connect on a nice bird.

Recurve Turkey

Recurve Turkey

Next, I turned my attention to bear hunting. My goal was to take a nice boar with the Predator. I had a close encounter with this big guy, but he didn’t give me a shot.

My quest to take a big game animal with a recurve wasn’t over yet though. I started the Michigan bow season with the Predator in hand and a big doe on my mind. Though I saw lots of animals…again I couldn’t get it done.

Now, I’m heading down to Ohio to hunt with my friend Bill Pyles of Ohio Bowhunting Outfitters. Bill really wants me to take a big buck. He knows that would makes a good show for me, and promote his business on a national television show. He doesn’t want me to bring a recurve though.

My guy in Kansas…Ed Barton of B and C Kansas Hunts wants me to shoot a compound too.

I’m happy to do that, especially since I’ve recently partnered with the good folks at Darton Archery here in Michigan. It’s been a while since I’ve worked with Darton and I’m very excited to be with them again.

I’m hoping to use my Pro 2500 to take another nice buck like this one from a past Ohio hunt.

Avery Ohio Buck

Avery Ohio Buck

The transition back to a a compound bow has been pretty smooth. That 2500 is fast, quiet and very shootable. I’m only drawing 58 pounds but the bow is fast enough to use one pin out to 30 yards. I’ve never been able to do that with other bows before.

I’m very excited to head to Ohio in a couple of days. Bill has sent lots of trailcam pictures and I know there are good bucks in the area. I also know I’ll be shooting a great bow that I have a lot of confidence in.

Big bucks, a great bow and plenty of confidence…..that could make for a very good hunt.

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Kansas Trailcam Pictures

Here are some pictures from Ed Barton of B and C Kansas Hunts in Fredonia.

Here we go...

Here we go...

I’ve hunted with Ed before and know that he works very hard for his hunters.

Yep, shooter

Yep, shooter

This is the first time I’ll be bowhunting with Ed.

Either one...

Either one...

We’ll be out there during what should be the peak of the rut and I expect the hunting to be good…even with a bad moon.

So pretty he almost looks like a mount

So pretty he almost looks like a mount

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Outdoor Magazine Radio (10/17/09)

Another busy show this week on the radio show….

First, Chad Stearns of Jay’s Sporting Goods joins me to talk about his recent trip to Illinois.
Chad loves to hunt whitetails in that state, but this time he was behind the camera, videotaping a hunt for a contest winner. Chad’s heading back soon though, and next time he’ll have a bow in his hands.

Then, Randy Jorgenson of Woods-n-Waternews brings us up to speed on efforts by a young Michigan girl to raise money and promote the sport of archery.

The second hour features a guy known as “Rambo” by his friends. Tom Lounsbury is a hard core, knowledgeable and passionagte hunter. He also has an enthusiasm for the outdoors that led to his nickname.

Tom Joins me this week to talk about one of his favorite sports….pheasant hunting. Lounsbury describes how bird hunting in Michigan’s thumb today is different than a few years ago.

Our final hour kicks off with Greg Yarbrough of Starcraft Boats. Greg has some great advice on fishing for giant Lake Erie walleye during the fall.

The show wraps up, as always, with wild game chef Dixie Dave Minar. Dave has a great venison recipe.

Another show filled with lots of great outdoor news and information. I hope you enjoy it.

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Outdoor Magazine TV this week (10/12)

This week, a trip I look forward to every year…a bear hunt in Ontario with Pete Jones of Superior Bear Outfitters.

Pete had been sending me lots of trailcam pictures of big bears and I was looking forward to trying to take one with my Predator Recurve Bow.

The first couple nights in the blind were pretty slow, but then a very big bear came into the bait on a cold, rainy evening.

You can see video of that big bear by clicking here.

That big guy never did give me a shot, but my hunt was far from over.

Some great bear hunting action from northern Ontario this week….I hope you enjoy it.

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Outdoor Magazine Radio (10/9/09)

This week on the Outdoor Magazine radio show….

First, I talk about my Michigan bow season adventures. There’s no venison down yet, but the season’s still young and there’s plenty of time.

Then, Kirk Novak of the Northern Angler Fly Shop in Traverse City joins me. Kirk talks about river fishing conditions across northern Michigan and has some advice on fishing for fall steelhead.

Next, Tom Campbell of the Woods-n-Waternews joins in to talk about the mid October bow season lull and what hunters can do to fight it.

Our second hour features Doug Roberts of Border Crossing Scents Doug discusses how whitetails use scent to communicate and has advice on how hunters can capitalize on that using his products. Doug then switches hats to his role as the manager of the Paradice Hunt Club, and talks about the role of hunting enclosures today.

The final hour of the show starts out with Bill Yoder. Bill was one of the first people in Michigan to use dogs to find wounded and deer. Bill’s services are available to hunters across the state. His number is (616) 835-4676.

We wrap up with chef Dixie Dave Minar. This week Dave has one of my favorite recipes…venison steaks au poivre. Very nice.

Another busy and informative show, I hope you like it…..

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