Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October Family Trip Roundup!

Well… We're back!

From last Wednesday to Sunday, my family and I spent time in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan for our family October hunting adventure. We stayed at our cabin in Crystal Falls.

The weather was beautiful, warm and sunny… almost too nice really. We had some great weather for some camp fires!

We set up camp, unpacked and set out to check out our hunting spot. Kelly picked out a hill we know as Teepee Hill. There used to be an old teepee style blind on the top from years ago, hence the name.

With her help, we set up our Ameristep Doghouse blind. As I'm writing this, I think we will change the name now to Doghouse Hill. It seems to fit better since we are putting a doghouse blind on the top of it!

Back around the cabin, we did some much needed work. We cut grass on the trail and around the cabin. We finished up in time to head out for the evening hunt.

Each time out in the field, Kelly and I sprayed down with our Dead Downwind Evolve Scent Prevent™ field spray.

We set out on Thursday evening to sit for a bit and we had a doe come in, but she was not able to get a shot due to a bad angle of the deer. It was a good start though.

On Friday, we set out and the moon was bright and full which made it seem pretty close to day light out in the woods. It was clear and cool as we sat in the blind and had a few deer come in again. All does with a button buck but no shots in both the morning and evening hunts, but I knew we had a good chance for Saturday morning.

In the mid-afternoon, Erica and I walk through a couple of our 40 acre land chunks and we did not see or hear anything. No deer .No squirrels. Nothing. Kind of like a dead zone. Now I am pretty sure the weather had something to do with it but it was fun to be out there. We also had the 4-wheelers to ride around on, which is always fun to do!

Saturday started out nice, cool and calm. We did see 3 turkeys as they flew down off the roost and we watched as the 3 jakes made their way past us and up the hill. Not but 5 minutes later, movement and a loner doe came walking in slow and making her way to the bait we had put out ( in the upper peninsula you can still bait). With her mind on the food, she walked in broad side for Kelly. She pulled back and released right over the back of the doe! She took off but she made a semi circle around and walked back in, giving Kelly a second chance. This time she aimed lower but as she let go, the deer dropped and her hit was high and towards the back. The doe took off running and we watched. We both knew the hit was a tough one, so we packed our stuff up, let her go and went back to camp to give the doe time to lie down.

As we arrived back at camp, Deb and Erica we waiting and we filled them in on the events. The plan was to eat breakfast and let the doe go for a bit before tracking her. This was going to be a family affair of tracking. As we finished up breakfast, we got ready and Kelly noticed a rabbit sitting in the yard and Erica (aka P.J) had a small game license. So, I loaded the .22 rifle and we snuck out onto the porch and we could still see the rabbit. Erica aimed and fired and with a "BANG", she took her first harvest of her hunting career. As her nickname would have it, she still had her PJ's on when she shoot it. Not bad I would say.

Erica with her first Rabbit!

After the congratulations, we headed back out into the field and picked up tracking the doe. Giving her about a 2 hour start, we picked up some spots of blood. Within a bit of that, we picked up her broken arrow with the fletching and notice the mostly fat with some blood on the end. As we continued tracking, we worked together, spot by spot, Kelly leading the way. Then, we found the second half of the arrow with the broad head. After the 4 hours of tracking and running out of a blood trail, we had to make the call to let her go and give up but, not for the lack of a family effort to find her.

We got back out for the evening hunt and again Kelly was ready. We had 2 does come in but just not in range and they walked right on by and off they went. Then the rain started and we called it a hunt.

Sunday we packed up the truck and we headed back home. We got home, unpacked and started to unwind from a great trip.

As I look back now, as to how some events unfolded in a strange way, it was really cool to know that hunting comes in different types and fashions. Whether you're deep in the woods or just right out your door, it can be your first kill as a hunter or a first loss as a hunter. You can be in all camouflage or in your PJ'S; it is why they call it hunting.

So, there you have it, our family hunting outing from the UP of Michigan. It was great family time that was well spent in the outdoors.

Remember, when you are in the outdoors, "Aim Small, Miss Small".

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Here we are. It's the end of September and starting of Michigan bow season. Are you ready?

Before we go out, let's take a minute or two and look at the date. Oct 1st, or for that matter, the month of October, is upon us. Not only is it a hunting season month but a month of awareness; Breast Cancer Awareness month to be exact.

So let's take a moment to remind our loved ones that they should be aware of this ugly cancer. Not only be aware but be supportive and you can help in fighting this.

12 years ago this November, I lost my mom to her fight against the wicked disease and at only 62; the time just before she could retire and enjoy her "golden years". Besides losing a mom, she was a grandmother that will never see her grandkids grow up and graduate. My kids will never be able to get to know grandma "D".

They say time heals? Well to me, it makes it worse knowing more and more things that my mom will miss out not being around with my kids to enjoy them.

October means so much more to me then a hunting season. It is the month I look at my arrows and think of my mom. I now hunt with the "pink arrows" from Victory Archery for a great cause to help and fight against.

I think a good start would be that archers should have at least one pink arrow in there quiver to start and show the rest of the world that we care and are aware.

So take the time to ask your loved ones if they are aware and have been or need to be checked for it. It might take a few minutes out of your day but going and getting checked makes the reward outweigh the risk!

Let's be serious. This is not only a woman's thing. Men can get it too. A few years back, I myself discovered a lump and if you want to talk about getting scared out of your whits, that is an understatement! I went to my doctor and had it removed and checked. Lucky it was nothing more than tissue build up that knotted up. Until then, every scenario went through my mind as to what it could be. This all happened right in the middle of my mom's battle.

So to all the men and woman out there, being aware is what it is all about!

So please keep in mind, as the month of October goes by, show your support by wearing or sporting something pink. I do!

This is awareness month, but do not let it stop you from, also, thinking about this the other 11 months out of the year.

I dedicate this column to my mom who I miss every day!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Before you know it!

Here we are, in the middle of August. Temperatures are in the upper 80's to 90's, the sun high in the sky and we are staring right down the barrel of the fall hunting season fast approaching. Can it get any better than that?

It actually all started for me a couple weeks back, when I was attending the Archery Classic at Cabela's, doing some work for Mossy Oak. Seeing the Camo patterns and all the clothing and walking through the archery department, it began to flow into me.

This last weekend, I was at Bass Pro Shop for their hunting classic, also there for Mossy Oak. There were people wandering through with their list of what to get for first time hunters and veteran hunters replacing old camo with new. It, again, raised the thought of the upcoming season.

If that was not enough, the weekend of August 21 & 22, I will be back at Cabela's for Mossy Oak and the Waterfowl Classic.

All of you out there in the Holly, Mi area, just to add to the hype of the upcoming bow season, Spot Shooters Archery is having their own 4th annual Bowfest on August28th with a 3D shoot. Stop by and join in the fun (see flyer below).

Can you feel the hunting fever starting to run through your body, as the thoughts of being out in a blind or up in a tree stand, waiting for that exact moment of truth when your game steps out and offers you a shot? From the blast of the gun to the thwack of an arrow, you play it over and over in your head of what will happen.

Here in Michigan, in just under 3 weeks, the season kicks off. Starting with waterfowl on September 1st and then we have youth hunts, small game, early deer, bear, Turkey and elk, also in the month of September.

You better get out and practice. Whether it is with a bow, a gun, a crossbow, or a sling shot for that matter, you should be ready because the season will be here before you know it!

Shooting Pink Victory arrows
in Honor of my mom!

Also, make it a point to get your hunting list ready and filled. You would not want to be caught short handed out in the field because you forgot something on your list.

Please, think safety first and foremost. Whether it is checking your equipment and making sure it is in working order to getting a new harness and checking on those deer stands and blinds. Make safety #1 and let's return home from our hunts safe and sound!

Remember, when you're in the outdoors, as I always say "Aim Small Miss Small".

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wind, Waves and Fish!

It was Friday 2:30 and I was off of work. I made a stop at home, then with the fishing pole and tackle box in the truck, I was tooling down the highway to my cousins' house.

I arrived at 4:30 after fighting with the construction and all the orange barrels (which is a season all its self here in Michigan).

I threw my stuff in the boat and off we were. We stopped at the bait store for some worms and went next door to the party store for dinner, consisting of pizza and pop. Finally, we went to the boat launch, where we set out onto Lake St Clair.

Now, for all the dry days we have had here in Michigan and the weather man guessing wrong on all the rain possibilities, it's just our luck rain clouds and windy conditions met us as we set out. But not matter what, we were going fishing!

We headed out of metro beach and aimed for a area close to the shipping channel. Getting there was not too bad but we had 3 -5 foot waves.

Our first set up was trolling for musky.

Trolling at between 4 – 5 mph, we had our lure in the water dancing away. As we trolled, on we spotted a few other boats that were also going after those big predators of the lake. Within few minutes, we had a strike but no fish on but still giving us hope. As we continued trolling around the area, we saw another one of our Family Members; Eli Berant of Great Lakes Fly.


For fly fishing in that wind, I give him credit.

After a bit of trolling and no luck, we changed our tactic to drifting.

We were drifting with crawler harnesses. With the waves rolling and wind blowing, we had no problem getting action with our harnesses. The perch were hitting but they were on the small size, to say the least. No keepers out of them and then, as a comment was made about the harness not being on bottom due to the wind being so strong (famous last words of course)…

Bam! A strike and our first walleye was on the line. With Bryan reeling him in, we needed the net and as Bryan worked him in… Bam! I get a hit and I have one on as well. Now with all the commotion, the worms went flying all over the boat and the net got snagged on the fire extinguisher. It was pretty chaotic but funny, so we landed them both with no net. We had an 18 and 17 inch walleye in the boat!

Dan's Keeper

As we drifted further, Bryan had another one on and was it giving him a fight and pole bent trying to pull him in. This time I had the net ready, and to our surprise, it was a catfish! With the line wrapped around his fin, he put up a fight, so we landed him but we threw him back in.

After some more small perch, Bryan had another strike that was short lived. He set the hook and within a second of that action, the fish snapped the whole line, giving us the impression that a musky must have been on. But if you're not set up with the right tackle it is short lived, like we were, it was gone.

Now, as the weather was windy there was rain! Did the weather man say rain? No. But sure enough a 5 minute shower showed up!

Bryan had another walleye hit and this time again, I had the net ready and we landed him perfectly. A nice 16 inch eater as well!

Our keepers for the night!

As I mentioned, we headed off to the shipping channel. By now, we had a few freighters go by and are those some big boats. Good thing we had of plenty distance between us and them.

We made our way back to a spot and drifted again. With darkness approaching and a big wave ride home, we headed in. This ride was interesting to say the least. With the waves pounding away on the boat, it also threw up water like you would not believe! We got soaked! Water, wave, water, wave and as we did, we did have a great view of the sunset. What a ride but you know what?

A sunset on Lake St Ckair!

It was a blast just being out there in the outdoors!

We made our way back to the dock and getting there at dark was perfect timing.

We headed back to Bryan's house, cleaned some fish and called it a day!

And hope we can do it again soon.

Thanks to my cousin Bryan and his boat for getting us out on the water and a few fish to boot was not too bad!

and remember when your in the outdoors as i always say "Aim Small Miss Small"

Monday, July 26, 2010

The New Bow Setup!

The New PSE Vendetta XS in black finally arrived (http://www.psearchery.com/). A few days later, my new XR 2 sight also in black, and a Meta Peep from G5 arrived too (http://www.g5outdoors.com/). Now, all I needed was a rest.

Father's day arrived and I was given a new Tri-Van drop away rest and there I had all the major components. I then was off to Spot shooters Archery (http://www.spotshootersarchery.com/) and there, Jim Beasley would be there to help set it all up. I arrived on Saturday morning with all my new goodies in hand and he got right into setting it up.

First, the G5 sight then the Tri-van rest and finally a loop was added. It was amazing to me to see how easy it was to change the draw length on the PSE; just 3 screws and done!

Now, for the new G5 Meta peep and drop away. He put those on and had me draw back. The peep was right on so he tied it and completed it after a few more shots. He had the drop away working to perfection and tied it in. As Jim did all this, he was explaining everything and if I had question he had answers that were simple and easy to understand.

The New Sight,Rest and peep!

I spent about 2 hours with Jim at his archery shop and he did a great job setting me up. I am now ready to shoot and the next day I did. I love that PSE. It feels good in the hand, smooth, and quiet. The last piece I might add is a stabilizer but I'm not sure yet.

As far as the new G5 XR 2 site, it was a breeze to set up. After few shots , I was where I wanted to be for the first few times out.

The final piece of the puzzle was my arrows. I shoot victory arrows (http://www.victoryarchery.com/ ) and with my new bow, my arrows were too long. We measured them and had to cut 2 inches of the arrow.

Now the practice begins with the new rig all set up. I can't wait for October 1st to arrive and archery season here in Michigan to begin.

A big thank you goes out to PSE and G5.

I want to also thank Jim Beasley and Spot Shooters Archery in Holly, Michigan for taking the time to set me up!

The New Hunting Rig!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Out on the water!

Me and the Family Out on the Water!

I was finally able to get out on the water and into the boat and enjoy the great day of weather we had.

I hooked up the boat and we headed out. By noon, we were cruising around the lake and getting the motor out of it winter slumber .It was nice after a few laps around the lake. We headed to our fishing spot and we set anchor to sit back and do some fishing!

With worms on the hook, Kelly and Erica tossed there lines out. We were officially fishing for the first time in summer 2010.

I know I'm not going to be catching the whoppers but if we do that, it's a bonus mostly. I'm out there to enjoy the day with the family and watch them catch the fish.

Deb also was casting away too. With the kid's lines in the water, the fun began. Sure enough the bobbers were dancing up and down and they were biting away.

The weather was ideal for getting some sun and catching some fish out on the water. What a day!
After a few hours, we went through our tub of worms and we were even cutting them up to make them last longer. Then, we pulled up the anchor and we called it a day.

Before going in, we took a lap around the lake and then we headed in. With the boat on trailer, it was over.

I do have to say, it was a great family day on the water!

They Were not big ones but fun ones!

Kelly Enjoying the Boat and Sun!

Erica in the sun Having her picture taken!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Turkey Wrap!

It's a wrap! The Turkey season for me and the rest of Michigan is now in the books!

I think I would call it a success based on a few different aspects of the hunting season. Going back a week or so ago, over what happen on that Saturday. My cousin Bryan and I headed out nice and early, settling in with a nice warm morning. The mosquitoes were out and about but we managed and we started calling at first light. We got one gobble and he sounded like he was back at the truck! After a few hours, we got nothing to come in and decided to move out for some breakfast. We started our walk out and we checked a field and sure enough, we see heads running the other way! Darn it! They got held up about 75 yards away and never came closer.

We then headed out and re-grouped for an afternoon hunt. With temps into the 70's, it was going to be a warm one out there. We set up our new spot and settled in and starting calling. Within 5 minutes, we had a gobbler talking back to us. He was, unfortunately, behind us in the woods across the field, so we shifted around and starting working him. It took all of an hour but he worked his way out into the field and walked towards us. He got to about 40 yards and stayed there and walked right by us down the middle of the field. He was just out of Bryan's range and we watched him walk by.

It was an exciting event to call him in and was worth the day's hunt. So we left feeling like we got one just not with the gun.

The evening hunt was another adventure. This time, I was sitting with my two daughters. The way we set up was me sitting with Erica and Kelly sitting a few feet away doing the calling. We set up and she started.

Within a few minutes she heard something behind her and when Kelly turned to see what it was, she saw the head of a gobbler and he called, too. Kelly responded for the next 45 minutes. They talked back and forth. He sounded as if wanted to come out but he never did. We figured he just walked the other way and again, we called it a success, seeing Kelly called in another bird but we just did not connect.

The following day Erica and I were out during the day and nothing happened. We set up for the evening hunt and no sooner than when we sat down, a Hen goes off across the field. We look at each other like "what the heck "! A few minutes later, we looked up to see a hen flying down the middle of the field into the woods. That would be the only thing we saw for the evening.

On Thursday evening we set out again. Erica, Kelly and I, we set up and we forgot the Thermacell. OOPS! Big OOPS! We lasted 5 minutes before we ran out of the woods and back to the house to get it. Then we returned and had it cranked up and it was all good now, but the night would end with nothing. That would be the last couple times we got out for the season.

We had a great time and I loved spending the time with my two girls. Seeing them in the field hunting brought a smile to my face

As for the season as a whole, I think it was a good one and can't wait for next year to see what happens. From calling in a bird to having the girls out there with me and sharing, with family, the turkey hunting season in this Great Lake State of Michigan!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Saturday Night Smack Down!

Saturday Night Smack Down!

Kelly and I headed out to our spot to get in some turkey hunting. We pulled into the parking lot and, unfortunately, it was full!

We were hunting state land so first some first serve. So, we made a change in location to another area in the hope that I would have some turkey action. We went to a spot that has some personnel memories for me. Last year I got my first turkey called in by Mr. Mike Adams himself and he also showed me a few other tricks as a first time turkey hunter.

This year I was taking it on my own to get the job done. Kelly wanted to come along but had no permit so she was just along for the hunt. We walked out and I was wearing my new Mossy Oak camo and we got settled in by 6 pm against a couple trees on the edge of the field. It was a bit warm and a little buggy but not that bad and the sun was going down.

After about a half hour I whispered to her as she was sitting about 10 feet away if she wanted to do the calling. She nodded to me and I threw her my Straight Creek calls; a box and slate call.

She started out using both calls and getting better with each try. She had some practice in the house but this was the real deal out. She was doing great and after 45 min we heard a faint reply from a hen. We looked at each other and nodded, verifying to each other what we heard. Then with a few more hits on the slate call, the hen popped into the field and we both could see it making its way towards our decoys. Half way across the field the hen started making her way up the hill and towards the woods. I motioned to Kelly to hit the call softly two times. As she did, the hen picked up her head, looked and turned down the middle of the field to the decoys. She was coming towards us when the two toms appeared on the other side. Kelly saw them before I did and we again looked at each other. I whispered "you see the toms?" she nodded and they started making their way across the field straight at us. They were coming at us line right behind each other. I got myself into a shooting position and moved the safety off. At about 30 yards and between my decoys, they finally stated to get some separation between them.

That was all I needed. At about 25 yards, I placed the bead of the barrel onto his head and put the smack down on him. With a loud "BANG", he was down and I was hopping out onto the field after him to make sure he was down. The excitement of knowing Kelly called in her first bird took over and I started shaking. I was so happy we hugged in the field with me saying "You did it, you did it! You called in your first Tom!"

I picked up the cell phone and call my wife, Deb. Still shaking, I tried to tell her what Kelly had done. I had to give the phone to Kelly to finish talking to Deb. She even asked Kelly if I was ok. Oh! I was ok that's for sure. I was so excited of what she did. It was an incredible feeling.

We gathered our stuff and picked up the bird and headed for the truck. Back to home for some pictures!

She helped me on the back porch taking care of the bird, too. For me, it was another great father experience! Another one to add to the memory banks for life!

Final Status of the Hunt:

Shooter: Dan "Red" DeFauw

Caller: Kelly "The Call Master" DeFauw

Weight: 16 lbs

Beard: 9 ¼ long

Spurs: 7/8 in.

Gun: Mossberg 500 pump

Ammo: Winchester 2 ¾ number 6

Monday, May 10, 2010

A wow day in the woods!

Wow what a day to be afield in the outdoors!

My cousin Dennis had a turkey tag that ended on Sunday so my cousin Bryan and I set out to help Dennis get a turkey to fill his turkey tag. What other way to spend with family but hunting in the outdoors. With that said and at 5 am we met at my house and headed out to the woods you could see the beginning of the day was starting, we got out of the truck to get ready and we head the turkey's gobbling on the roost it sounded beautiful! It would turn out to be a great sunny day but a little breezy after all.

We suited up an headed out to our first set up getting all ready and listening to the gobbling from three different areas we were now ready Dennis with his gun Bryan calling and I running the video camera.

Bryan started calling with birds still gobbling away we waited, well it was now daylight and they would not be up for our challenge as they flew down off the roost they must have headed in the other direction so with that we were up and after them as we did we heard them gobbling in the distance as we made our way closer Dennis told Bryan to stop! He had just walked by a fawn cuddled up in the leaves. The little things was so well blended in the leaves it was a incredible sight and find out in nature we checked it out keeping a short distance and took some pictures and video but we got out of there as fast as we can so we would not stress the little creature out, you could tell it little breathing was getting faster so we continued on not to disturb the little thing anymore then we already had.


We changed our location hoping to be closer to those bird's and did some more calling and heard a gobble or two but that would be the last of the talking turkey we heard for the day we did a few more location changes and set ups with more calling but no response so we headed out as were walking out of the field Dennis pointed out a 3 ft snake laying there in the sun I' am sure after the cool night he was happy to have that sun beating down on him, that was just another cool find out in nature!

On our last set for the day around noon we again did some calling but nothing and then again as we were walking out a bird flew right out of a bush as we walked by so we peeked in the short bush we found a robin's nest with the 4 blue eggs how cool is that another find out in nature!

Now our day would be done with no turkeys but as you can see that the other stuff we found out in natures was simply awesome!

This is what it is all about in the Great Outdoors.

So yes it was a "Wow" kind of day to be out in the woods!

Now that May 10th is here my license starts and for the rest of the month now I will be gunning after those turkeys!

Check back to see how my hunting goes as I go after those thunder chickens in the month of May!

Remember as I say when you're in the outdoors "Aim Small Miss Small"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mossy oak at Cabelas

Well the Michigan Mossy Oak Pro Staff which includes several of us Upnorthjournal crew spent the weekend of April 10th and 11th at the cabelas in Dundee Michigan for the spring turkey weekend.

The event was pretty cool with having a few other vendors present, people could check out all the stuff for their turkey season needs. The weather outside was just as nice too which might have had an effect on the amount of people that showed up. Which seemed to be light in the morning but picked up a little in the afternoon?

The Michigan pro staff helped out in the camo section and it was also nice to hear the stories of customers as they looked through the camo choices. Some were even looking for the new infinity pattern by Mossy Oak as well.

I met a man looking for a light weight set of camo for his bear hunt this coming September he told me all about the last hunt he had for bear and he was excited to be going back for more so good luck to him this fall!

Let me just also add that spending 8 hours in cabelas is like a kid in a candy store for the outdoor enthusiast there are so many choices for everything it is incredible from scopes to ammo to fishing to Archery from rest to safety vest just about everything and anything you could want and go broke in doing so.

I did walked out with a new set of camo that was a heck of deal and I could not pass it up.

Well that is a quick rap on the weekend at cabelas!


Remember when you're in the outdoors "aim small miss small"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shooting PSE Bows!

On Saturday April 3rd PSE (www.pse-archery.com) Representative Paul Penix, Jim Beasley owner of Spots hooter Archery in Holly, MI (www.spotshooterarchery.com) and Team spot shooter Mark Salsgiver hosted the Michigan Upnorthjournal crew for a chance to shoot the line of PSE bows.

Being able to shoot the entire lineup of bows was a cool thing when you are trying to choose the right bow for yourself and then having Paul, Jim and Mark there was a great advantage.

Paul's vast knowledge of the Bow line was great and he answered any question you had and with the added help from Jim and Mark made the importance of shooting each bow you wanted even more so.

We all took our turns just shooting different bows feeling them seeing how they all feel in your hand when you shoot how the release feels something that I highly recommend to do when you are going to go out and buy a bow you should shoot as many as you can to get the different feel of each one because frankly they are all different and even more important go to a good bow shop where they want to help you and not just sell you the equipment!

I myself was able to shoot the Super Short, Axe 6 and the Vendetta XL and XS models they were all great bows each with a little different feel, shot and release will let you all know which I have chosen when I get it in.

Having the Pro group there helping you out not just with the bow itself but helping in your form with hand position to feet stance helped us all out.

I want to thank Paul Penix and to Jim Beasley for the use of his great archery shop and also Mark Salsgiver

For spending the time with us and passing on some of their knowledge to us.


So remember when you in the outdoors "aim small miss small"

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Good bye March madness hello April!

Well as March madness gives way to April showers here in Michigan it is time to get ready for spring turkey hunting up here in Michigan. With our season running late April to the end of May and my tag for May 10th time to get out and do some scouting

With some of our fellow up north journal hunters already hunting away in the southern states and hear of Nancy Jo's Adams success down there it only adds to the blood flow to get out there and start some scouting around the area.

Will start our scouting by walking some areas from last year to see if the birds are in the area with all luck they will be. We will check our maps and look for new areas in case they are not.

Overall the turkey population I think had a good winter but with the improving population of the coyotes around here will also be checking to see if they are denting the turkey populations as well.

This will be my second year of turkey hunting and thanks to mike Adams for last year getting myself out there and showing me the ropes and hope I remember all the little tricks he showed me so this year,

I hope to have a few more first time hunters out there to see if we can get them a nice first time turkey.

With all that going on we also will have some fishing season openers at the end of April and we are going to do our best to get out and get some time on the water fishing for some walleyes and or trout so the upcoming months should be filled with some fun outdoors activities

So stay tuned and see how our fishing and scouting go as we march up to the Turkey season here in Michigan!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Birthday To Erica!!!

This week this blog is dedicated to the Birthday Girl!


Happy Birthday Erica!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Birthday!

March 14, 2010

Just wanted to dedicate this blog today to my wife on her birthday.

Happy Birthday Deb!!

And to mention what a great gift i picked out for her

Mossy Oak seat covers for her truck!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Visit to Outdoorama

Well I just got back from a day at the 2010 MUCC Outdoorama in Novi, Michigan.

Both my family and I had a great time!

We arrived at 11:30 am to see the crowd was picking up by noon and the turnout was a nice site to see. These shows to me are a good place to get the juices flowing about getting out into the great outdoors. With some side shows and seminars, you could just find a little of everything.

The Air Dog Show by Milt Wilcox (former Detroit tiger pitcher) was a crowd pleaser and the fact a pit bull won the master division, was pretty cool. As always, there were some great looking labs and pointers as well.

For the kids, the climbing wall and the big old sand box to play in were popular as well. So was the live exhibit with various animals.

If you were looking for an outfitter for where ever and whatever, this was the place for sure. There was also no shortage of boats to step on and get the feel for them.

An added bonus was with your admission to the outdoor show. With admission, you could get into a log home show; giving some great ideas for your home and your own great outdoors.

Vendors were there to add some retail sales to the show. I picked up myself a few lures and a nice fishing pole. I can't wait to use them this summer out on the water.

That was my experience this past weekend at the outdoor show here in Novi, Michigan and I just wanted to let you all know how it went!

Until next time…


As I always say "aim small, miss small" when you're in the outdoors!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2010 Iceout!

Well the 2010 Houghton lake Ice Out is history and let me tell you, it was a blast! I was only up there for the one day but the weather, the people and just being outdoors, was a great time.

We arrived in Houghton Lake to a great sunrise and blue sky morning. The ice was 21 to 24 inches thick and we were set for our first stop. My cousin Bryan DeFauw and I went to Lymen's on the lake to pick up some bait and to find out where the Up North Journal crew and friends were at in the sleeper shanties. The people at Lymen's were awesome to say the least. They were friendly and courteous and even provided a taxi service out onto the ice to get you to the shanties.

Upon our arrival, we met up with the UNJ crew and a few friends from Talkhunting.com that joined us from the south to try their hand at ice fishing.

Bryan with Mike from Talkhunting!

Bryan and I discussed our plan for hitting the lake with our tip-ups and proceeded to re-tap a few holes close by the shanties. With our limit of lines in the water, we enjoyed the warming weather and waited and watched for our flags to take off from the tip-ups.

After about a hour we had our fist flag. Bryan took it and pulled in a nice 20 inch pike. It was nice but under sized to be a keeper and so he let it free. A few minutes later, I got my first fish; a small perch that thought he was bigger than what he really was .Bryan also pulled in another small perch.

Bryan with the first Pike

With the fishing slow an employee of Lymen's stopped by and chatted and gave the group some tips as to wear to go on the lake. So, we split up into a few small groups and headed out further out onto the ice.

Heading out about a mile further, we drilled and set up a few more holes and enjoyed the afternoon in the sun. Still, the fishing was slow but we did manage to get a few more pike through the ice; all about 20 inches, still under sized.

Dan checking a line
As the day came to a close, with the light clouds moving in, and the sun setting the day ended. It was time to head back home. Even with no keepers, it still was a good day out on the ice

With all the day's events and great time, how can you not look forward to the next" ICE OUT 2011"
Mike adams working the camera!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Great Lakes Hunting Show

A few weekends ago my oldest daughter Kelly and I went to the Great lakes Hunting Show at the Birch Run Expo center.

Walking through the event was not bad there were not a lot of people there

There was a nice mix of a few vendors, outfitters and retails stores and also a Gun auction.

And as that was going on next door had the log Home show which you could attend as well as the sport show

It was great to see the Michigan DNR officers there fielding question from anyone who asked!

My point of view is they need to get out and be seen for some much needed good public relationship!

By far was not the biggest show I have been to but still something to go to in January to walk around buy something or

Enter a contest if you so choose and see a few live animals to boot!

I met up with Ken wares at the Ducks Unlimited booth and talk to him for a bit which was nice and good to meet fellow hunters

It made for a nice afternoon of walking around indoors about the outdoors!





Monday, February 1, 2010

Pesky Squirrels

Well Just a quick Blog here about last week getting out with Erica I after those squirrels again

The weather was nice with about 4 inches of snow on the ground we set out again after them

In the distance we saw them running around after each other up and down trees so we stalked after

Them slowly as we seen them in the distance to get closer sitting for a few min letting the woods settle

And as luck would have it we never got any in close enough for Erica to get

A shot at them as Erica says "They don't like me" I just tell her they know that if they get close enough

You are going to blast them!

But you know being out there with Erica and I was a great day still no squirrels but their time will come!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Ice Fishing in the Cold!

Ice Fishing in the Cold!

The car thermometer read 8 degrees when I staring out onto the lake. I decided where to go and drilled a hole or two to try to get some fish.

That's what I was doing with my cousin, Bryan, this past Saturday. With the wind coming out of the north, it was cold out there, that's for sure, but that's why ice fishing is in the winter and not the summer.

So we headed out onto the ice and started drilling a few holes with our hand driller. We then set out our lines and tipped them with a wax worm, spike or mousey.

With a little jigging here and there, making a few more holes and we moved on, as fish have seemed not to be biting. An hour and half went by and we moved over to another lake and set.

We set up all over again. Drilling, setting lines and watching other fisherman doing the same. It was evident that nothing was biting at all. We even had a gentleman walk out to us ask how it was going and he commented that he had been to 4 other lakes with the same result. Nothing! Nada! Zip!

With that advice and after 4 hours of braving the winds and the single digit temps, we pack up our gear and headed for the warmth of home.

On this cold day, the fish won, but we won also by getting out there in the great outdoors in the cold.

Yeah it was cold but sunny out at least!