Monthly Archives: April 2013

Radio Rundown for 4/27

It’s an interesting mix of topics this week on the Outdoor Magazine radio show.

First, I talk about my turkey hunting adventures so far this season. No bird yet but there’s still plenty of time.

Then, Tony Smith of the Lower Peninsula Deer Management Initiative joins me to talk about his group’s desire to implement mandatory antler point restrictions on whitetails across lower Michigan.

He’s followed by Dale Malusi. Dale doesn’t agree with mandatory APR’s and he’s started a facebook page to talk about the issue.

The hour wraps up with Eric Sherwood of Whitetail Select. Eric has some great advice for dealing with cold temps and lots of rain in reference to planting food plots.

Michigan’s “Mr. Walleye” kicks off the second hour of this week’s show. Long time friend Mark Martin talks about the walleye opener and what it takes to be a professional angler these days.

Erin McDonough of MUCC. Erin talks about the Scientific Wildlife Management Package and how it could prevent outside interference into Michigan wildlife management.

We continue the fishing theme in hour number three with Mark Romanack of Fishing 411. Mark discusses fishing for trophy pike and the concept of dive curves for trolling.

We wrap it up once again with wild game chef Dixie Dave Minar. Dave doesn’t have a recipe this week, instead we talk about an upcoming benefit dinner in Standish, Michigan.

A great show to wrap up the month of April. I hope you enjoy it.

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This Week’s Show Rundown (4/20)

There’s another fast paced show coming up this week on Outdoor Magazine Radio.

First, Manistee charter captain Paul Schlafley of Riverside Charters joins me with an early season fishing report from the waters of Lake Michigan. As often happens when we talk with Paul from the water, one of his clients hooks a fish while we’re talking on air.

Then, RJ Meyer of the Trophy Room Taxidermy Studio has some good advice for walleye anglers and springtime turkey hunters on preserving their trophies.

Tom Campbell of Woods-n-Waternews wraps up the hour with a preview of the May edition of their magazine.

Longtime friend Jim Barta kicks off the second hour. For many years Jim was a walleye fishing guide on the Detroit River and Lake Erie. He’s since moved to Alabama to work more closely with his Hunter Safety System company. Jim has some great tips for catching big springtime walleye and he previews new HSS products.

Tony Hansen from the Michigan United Conservation Clubs is up next. This week Tony talks about the importance of encouraging our state legislators to support the Wildlife Management Package currently in the senate.

Turkey hunting is the topic of the final hour as I talk with Greg Abbas of A-Way Outdoors. Greg spent many years as a turkey guide on northern Michigan public land and has great advice to bag a gobbler.

We wrap it all up with Chef Dixie Dave Minar. This week Dave has a very nice walleye recipe.

Another fast paced and informational show. I hope you like it.

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Who Are We Fighting?

I find myself in an interesting situation. I feel strongly about a movement I don’t agree with, but I don’t want to weaken the hunting community by fighting about it.

That conundrum is in regard to the most recent initiative by proponents of mandatory antler point restrictions (APR’s). The group first started in Leelanau County in NW Lower Michigan but more recently has expanded to several surrounding counties.

Now they’ve set their sights on the rest of the lower peninsula.

I’ve been vocal about my opposition to that plan and lots of pro APR folks are pretty upset with me. In fact, one post on the Outdoor Magazine facebook page called me a “snake in the grass”. Here’s that post.

I don’t mind being called names, in fact I’m getting quite used to it…from the antis, not from fellow hunters.

With that in mind, let me take this opportunity to address that criticism, state why I’m not a fan of mandatory antler point restrictions and ask the question where do we go from here?

I’m not sure why an occasional out of state hunt disqualifies me from having an opinion on whitetail management here in Michigan. I don’t think those two activities are mutually exclusive. I’ve spent far more time hunting here in Michigan than anywhere else and I do have a strong interest in the heritage of hunting in my home state.

Regardless, I’ll respond to the post.

I first started going to other states to hunt (Kansas and Ohio) back when I had a TV show. I was invited by outfitters looking for exposure. I jumped at that opportunity to see what deer hunting in other states was like. I did take two decent bucks over the years in Kansas, but I haven’t hunted there for three years now. I go to Ohio every year to hunt with Bill Pyles of Ohio Bowhunting Outfitters. While I’ve had opportunities at bucks, I haven’t harvested one there in about ten years.

The folks in Ohio have become friends and I go to visit with them as much as for the hunting.

In both Kansas and Ohio I’ve passed lots of smaller bucks I didn’t want to kill….just like here in Michigan.

In fact, I suspect hunting in Ohio is much like Southern Michigan, though I haven’t been lucky enough to hunt the big buck country in that part of our state.

Again, I’m not sure how this is pertinent to the discussion of deer hunting here in Michigan. In Ohio I won’t shoot a 1.5 year old buck, or even a 2.5. The last buck I shot in Kansas was probably 2.5 years old but I thought he was older at the time. Any future bucks would have to be bigger. Here in Michigan I have the same standards.

Where’s the problem?

Despite the claims in that post mentioned earlier, I’ve never said QDM folks are “villains” or “bloodsuckers”. In fact, I’m in favor of quality deer management philosophies like habitat improvement, harvesting more does and yes, passing on smaller bucks.

My problem is with mandatory antler point restrictions, and not from a biological perspective, but rather common decency.

I don’t think one hunter has the right to tell another how they should hunt, or what they should harvest.

If you ask almost any Michigan deer hunter if they want bigger bucks of course the answer will be yes. Getting to that goal is the problem.

You can quote survey statistics saying that roughly two thirds of Michigan deer hunters in a given area are in favor of mandatory APR’s. Personally, I think the number is lower. Based on my interaction with a large number of deer hunters across the state I say it’s closer to 50/50. Regardless of the exact number, there’s no doubt a significant percentage of Michigan deer hunters do not want mandatory antler point restrictions. In fact, based on the comments I hear, lots of those hunters feel this initiative is being forced down their throat…and that’s what bothers me.

At a time when our hunting lifestyle is being attacked on many levels, why would the Deer Management Initiative (DMI) people intentionally alienate fellow Michigan hunters?

The initiative to expand antler point restrictions beyond Leelanau County hasn’t even been approved yet, but the group is already targeting the rest of the lower peninsula.

It’s no wonder many hunters feel like this movement is a runaway freight train.

I’d like to see the DMI groups put their resources into an education program promoting voluntary QDM and the concept of letting smaller bucks pass. In my opinion hunters are more likely to go along with something by choice, rather than a mandate initiated by fellow hunters.

The concept of hunters fighting amongst ourselves is nothing new. In fact, I wrote a blog piece about it three years ago.

The difference now is the hunting lifestyle is under direct attack. The politicians at the federal level want to take our guns away and the Humane Society of the United States is trying to insert it’s anti hunting agenda into our wildlife management system. This is not the time for hunters to argue about details of how we hunt deer.

Most Michigan deer hunters just want to be left alone to enjoy their sport. With so many outside forces trying to mandate how we do that, I hate to see a disagreement about antler size be viewed as a weakness by those who want to take this lifestyle away from us.

Show Rundown for April 13/14

Another busy show this week on Outdoor Magazine Radio as we get ready for springtime hunting and fishing seasons.

First, Scott Szafranski of Linwood Beach Marina on Saginaw Bay joins me to talk about water levels, boat launch improvements and trolling for early season walleye.

Then Lake St. Clair Musky guide Don Miller of Millers Sportfishing talks about Michigan’s new musky fishing regulations. He says those new rules should have little impact on Lake St. Clair anglers.

The second hour features “Chairman of the Boards”, Bruce DeShano of Offshore Tackle. Bruce talks about the history of his company and describes some of their new trolling products.

Tony Hansen of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs wraps up the hour with more wolf conversation. Tony says the Michigan Natural Resources Commission has outlined guidelines for a proposed Michigan wolf hunt.

Contributor Richard P. Smith is featured on the final hour of this week’s show. Richard and I discuss many topics, including his contention the antler point restriction survey in Michigan’s NW lower peninsula was biased to generate a positive response.

We wrap it all up with Chef Dixie Dave Minar. This week Dave has a tasty trout recipe.

Another informational, and maybe even controversial show, I hope you like it.

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Radio Rundown for April 6th.

We kick off the month of April with a fast paced and informational show this week.

First Ken Johnston of Ultimate Firearms joins me to talk about his Johnston Muzzleloader. Ken says his rifle is accurate to more than five hundred yards in the right hands, and it’s made right here in Michigan.

Next, Tom Campbell of Woods-n-Waternews and I talk about getting ready for turkey season. Tom also discusses the latest edition of their magazine.

Hour number two kicks off with Pat McKenna of the Ameristep Company. Pat has some great info on portable ground blinds for turkey season. We also discuss the recent move that made Ameristep part of the Synergy group and the new line of products that acquisition involves.

Jim Crane of Lumenok company finishes the hour talking about his company’s lighted arrow nocks. Jim also announces a contest where listeners can win a three pack of Lumen Arrows. You can enter at this link.

Walleye fishing on the Detroit River is the topic of our final hour as I talk with Lance Valentine of Walleye 101. Lance says this is the time of year to catch giant fish on that river and has some great advice on how to be most effective.

As always, we wrap it all up with Chef Dixie Dave Minar. This time Dave has a nice walleye recipe.

Another buys and informative show. I hope you like it.

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