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.
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".