Monday, September 28, 2009

Erica’s first time out!

I had a wonderful experience this past weekend, to do something that a father is proud to do; I took my youngest daughter, Erica, out into the field for her first small game hunt.

When Erica had asked me when she could go out hunting and seeing the opportunity that she was interested in getting out in the field, I took it and we made plans to do so on Sunday. We gathered basic equipment and my license and she would be hunting under the apprentice license until she got her hunter safety certificate in October.

With the weather in the 60's, we set out into the woods. Before doing so, at the truck I went over the basic safety of how to carry the gun, safety features of the gun etc. We then loaded our guns and walked into the woods.

Erica scanning the tree tops!

Erica and I made our way into the hard woods and started to sit and wait. The mosquitos were on the attack but with the slight breeze they were bearable. We moved after a few minutes of sitting. We continued moving slow and easy through the woods sitting and watching the tree tops again and again.

I was out there and enjoying every minute with her out there, as this was our first time together where she was hunting with me and not just observing. what a thrill for me, to say the least, as a father I now have both of my girls out in the hunting world with me and I hope it continues for a very long time.

Erica still scanning the tree tops!

For the hunt, we did spot a squirrel, but was never able to get a shot at it but that was ok. We still had a great time for the 3 hours we spent out there together. As our hunt ended and we were driving back home I asked if she wanted to do it again and she nodded and said "Yes! Yes! Yes!" So with that I' am sure we will be back out in the woods in the near future.


"Aim Small Miss Small"

Monday, September 21, 2009

September Scouting

A great weekend for pre season scouting!

Well it is September and the winds of change are upon us.

The hot weather is giving way to the cooler mornings and the green of the trees turn to the beautiful fall burst of colors. This past weekend I got out with my cousin Bryan DeFauw. We did some pre season scouting for bow hunting season. The sun was bright and warm but the slight wind made it ok to be out in the woods without the amount of bugs around that drives you out of the woods.

(Bryan scouting the woods)

As we walked around the woods and the changing landscape, we did finds some good areas with some good sign (see pictures).From the tall oak stands to the low swampy areas in the woods and fields. The land was very dry due to us having no rain for the month of September, which meant some of the water holes were dry as of now. I expect that to change as we get into the fall season.

We were scouting on public land. We did find the sign of other hunters, as this was expected in the area by their tree stands that were already in place, giving us the impression that the hunting pressure is there just not sure how heavy the pressure is. My thought is, if we get to them in the early part of the bow season, we should be ok and we will have a better chance of seeing deer and having success before the hunting pressure changes. The scouting was a success. We have a few spots picked out so we will see what this season brings us.

(Some of the sign we found)

So as we wait for Oct 1st, we will see and find out how are scouting will turn out. I hope we get a crack at the deer that made some of the signs we were able to find.

Remember to "aim small, miss small" when trying to get your right shot!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A goose hunting first.

I had just got out of bed and walked down stairs and 30 seconds later my phone was ringing!

It was my fellow field staffer "Chico" asking if I could come out and run camera for them!

He had been hunting with Mike, Mike Jr. and Art so, I said sure no problem.

Seeing I had never been out in the field for a goose hunt, I thought it would be fun and sure enough I was not let down. With camera in hand and some instructions from Mike we had a great time even if we just got one more bird, which happed right when I got there.

I found out how much fun it was and it was a blast. They said "oh you wait it gets better, you just got here late". I also learned that Chico can sing! That is sure something to behold, to say the least.

Sure enough, two days later I find myself running camera again for them out in a field, this time from the start of the hunt. The hunters were Chico, Mike, Mike Jr., and Dave.

We set up the decoys and brushed in our blinds and have to admit, it was hot for 5 am! Doing all this was work but it was fun work.

We got settled in and the wait was on. The chatter between the hunters was hilarious too.

As luck would have it, a flock of three came in from our right side, and the hunters who were chatting, had to have their camera man say something! Glad I was there HUH!? Well, three birds in and three birds down. Great shooting by all that's for sure! I also got that on tape, so that made my day!

The morning went on. We saw some other flocks but nothing came in until later, when again, a silent two more birds flew in out of nowhere. Out of that group, we got one bird and the others flew away. It was so quick when they showed up; I missed getting the footage on tape. Wish I had because watching Mikey Jr. talk to a goose was interesting.

So with that, our day ended with 4 out of the possible 5 birds down. We packed the gear up and headed out. (Look for all of the hunting adventures to be on future episodes of Beyond the Wild!)

Now for me, being the first two times I had been out there, it looks like I have another hunting event to add to my "to do " list. Goose hunting! It's all because Chico gave me a wakeup call! Thanks.

A special thanks to the whole group for letting me tag along with the camera. I am sure I will be out there again.

Remember when you're outdoors "Aim small miss small"


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Outdoors at the Air show

Outdoors at the Air show

On Sunday Aug 23 I was outdoors

But I was at the Selfridge air force base for the 2009 air show

I took the family and we made sure to leave early to get in line for the 8 am gate opening

Even with rain and cloud in the area and not the best day for a air show

Our Family was not disappointed by getting into the show early we were able to walk around the planes and snap a few pictures which were awesome in each their own way from the Pink delta jet for breast cancer awareness to the civil air patrol set up it was fun to see but overall when you were around the B29 flying fortress or the b-25 Mitchell you have to realize this would not be all possible if it were not for the fighting men and women of the forces and you get that sense of that when you walk around the planes that fought for our freedoms! That we enjoy to this day.

Well we lasted through 4 rain delays and in between each delay we got to watch the stunt flyers, the wing walkers, and the ethanol powered stunt plane but the wait was worth it.

The kids using the chairs as cover during the rain delays!

The Military part of the show was incredible

First up were the A-10 warthogs stationed in Battle Creek MI they showed off what they could do and why they are loved so much by our forces fighting right now! And tank buster is a good name for them as they had a pyrotechnics pit which showed off the firepower of each plane so you can see and feel what they have to offer as flying fighting planes.

Then the powerful B2 bomber made its way in from Missouri and showed off what it could do and you could see and feel the power it posses and how it handles simply was amazing as it flew by the crowd and hit its afterburners simply a wow factor to behold for such a big jet.

And the best was saved for last of the show performed by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and there f-16's was simply amazing as to how they fly with each, how close or flying straight at each other or any of the routines precision to say the least it could not have been a better way to end the show on this rainy cloudy day.

The Thunderbirds fly by in formation past the crowd

Yes as I was in the outdoors at the air show it also made me think if you see a service man or women thank them for the duty they are performing and also don't forget if you see a veteran stop and thank them for a job well done and for what they have done for us to keep our freedoms we have to be in the great outdoors!.

And remember when you in the outdoors! "Aim small miss small"