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Hunting Journal

 

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Genesis Video
November 17, 2021
Here is the video of my recent U.P. harvest! Feels good to get a buck harvested in the Upper Peninsula again! Good luck to everybody hunting, there is still a lot of season left!
 

 
Twas the night before Gun Season!
November 14, 2021
Finally found one of my target bucks on 11/14/21! He is a 5.5 year old U.P. buck that I have multiple years worth of sheds from. He never was a tall buck, but always wide. I knew him as a 16" wide 2 year old in 2018, and then he got a little wider and became an 8 point in 2019. I had him on cam at the start of 2020, but he then disappeared for the rest of the season. I had assumed he was dead. Then, about a week ago, he showed back up and I was so surprised to see him again. He still was wide, not tall, but now a fully mature huge bodied U.P. buck. Pics are on the buck pole and video to be posted soon. I'm very thankful, and good luck to all of you out there hunting this season! I appreciate you visiting this page.

 
142 4/8" Illinois Crossbow Buck Video!
November 5, 2021
Video is up! This year I had physical therapy on my left shoulder for months, thinking it was a rotator cuff. It wasn't getting better so we got an MRI and it turned out to be my AC Joint. The doctor informed me that if I got surgery I wouldn't be able to climb a tree this fall, so I ended up postponing that until mid January. I could draw my bow but not without pretty significant pain, so I ordered a Mission Sub 1 Crossbow, and I'm glad I did! I had a cortisone shot right before season, and I must say it is helping the pain a lot, though the surgeon said it is just a temporary fix until the surgery.

Anyhow, we had a rough couple of days of weather in Illinois, but as soon as it cleared up, the timber was busy with bucks on the move. This buck is possibly the largest bodied buck we've shot down there, and when we found him he was even nicer and more massive than I realized. I guessed him at 40 yards, it turned out to be 43, so it worked out perfect as the buck ducked right into the bolt. I'm looking forward to bowhunting with a compound bow again, but that crossbow is definitely a weapon that I can see many uses for. I'm all for anything that helps you enjoy hunting, and especially that helps you make a clean kill on a deer.

Lots of season left, I hope everybody is enjoying it!
 

 
142 4/8" Illinois Crossbow Buck Video!
November 5, 2021
Video is up! This year I had physical therapy on my left shoulder for months, thinking it was a rotator cuff. It wasn't getting better so we got an MRI and it turned out to be my AC Joint. The doctor informed me that if I got surgery I wouldn't be able to climb a tree this fall, so I ended up postponing that until mid January. I could draw my bow but not without pretty significant pain, so I ordered a Mission Sub 1 Crossbow, and I'm glad I did! I had a cortisone shot right before season, and I must say it is helping the pain a lot, though the surgeon said it is just a temporary fix until the surgery.

Anyhow, we had a rough couple of days of weather in Illinois, but as soon as it cleared up, the timber was busy with bucks on the move. This buck is possibly the largest bodied buck we've shot down there, and when we found him he was even nicer and more massive than I realized. I guessed him at 40 yards, it turned out to be 43, so it worked out perfect as the buck ducked right into the bolt. I'm looking forward to bowhunting with a compound bow again, but that crossbow is definitely a weapon that I can see many uses for. I'm all for anything that helps you enjoy hunting, and especially that helps you make a clean kill on a deer.

Lots of season left, I hope everybody is enjoying it!
 

 
The Landon Stein Nine!
November 2, 2021
November 1st was a fun day for Landon and I! We've been after a buck for him since season started, but the buck was always coming around just after dark or when we weren't there. We tried several ways to find him in daylight to no avail. Yesterday we finally received the first snowstorm of the year, and I told Landon after school this is the night. We got set as quickly as we could, and saw a handful of deer within 10 minutes of getting in the blind, so I knew we got in quietly enough. At 5:20 pm, the buck came strolling out, and once he was quartering away, Landon made a great shot with his crossbow at 30 yards.

We didn't get much footage, as I barely got his window open to shoot, and didn't want to risk opening another just for the video camera. We gave the buck and hour, and the blood trail ended up being easy in the snow. I stayed behind and let him trail the buck about 50 yards and there he was! This kid is definitely a hunter for life, and I'm glad he got to experience what it is like to hunt one specific deer until you get him, very satisfying. Landon was a very excited 11 year old! Check out the pic on the 'buck pole' and good luck to everyone!

 
142 4/8" 8 Pointer in Illinois!
October 29, 2021
Late in the morning in Tuesday, I had an exceptional 8 pointer pass by me in Illinois. My shot found his mark at 43 yards and it made for a great trip! Pic of him is on the buck pole now. We have some of the best footage we've ever captured that I'll be posting on here as soon as we get it edited. Now I'm back to trying to help put my son on a buck here in the U.P.!

 
Mid October Update
October 15, 2021
Anybody hunting up this way so far can attest that this was the warmest start to October in memory. We've had southerly winds most of the time, and daily temps in the 70's so deer movement up to this point hasn't been great. It is now starting to feel more like October so things will hopefully improve soon. I've been out twice with my son Landon, trying to get him on a buck, but haven't seen the one we're looking for in daylight yet. I've yet to go out by myself yet this year, as I haven't had anything on camera that I'm looking for yet. One of buddies got a nice 10 in early season that I was able to help him recover so that was fun and congrats to him, you can see that deer on the online buck pole. Illinois archery is coming soon and things here should start to improve as well as we near the later part of October. Hope you are all enjoying some time outdoors!

 
2021 Season Outlook
September 30, 2021
Another season is upon us! Last winter was very mild. In fact, I never even needed my snowmobile the entire month of December. So, the deer herd came out of the winter looking healthier than usual. I've been running several cameras in multiple counties as usual, and here is what I'm seeing.

Good deer numbers, and more 1.5 and 2.5 year old bucks than usual. Antler growth seems good this year. Our buck to doe ratio is still fairly out of whack, and the DNR is still not allowing anterless harvest in most of the areas I hunt. Still getting a lot of wolf pics and a crazy amount of bear pics this year.

This year I noticed that there were some openings in the DNR for the Western U.P. Citizen's Advisory Council. I thought this would be a great opportunity to have some input on some of our management practices. I was hoping that my background in Forestry, working with deer/moose/wolf research at Michigan Tech, working for the U.S. Forest Service, having a great platform to get feedback from other hunters, writing countless forestry/wildlife management plans and a lifetime of studying deer would be valuable to the DNR. I must not have been what they are looking for. I was not selected for the positions, nor even the backup/reserve positions.

Anyhow, I tried. I do think it should be an enjoyable Fall for most hunters up here. If you are looking for big bucks, it will still be challenging as always. I personally haven't had any pics yet of anything I'd shoot, but I've heard of a few nice ones here and there from other hunters. Illinois cams are looking good as usual, and I'm looking forward to that. It should be an interesting season. My goals are to help my son Landon get another buck, and I'll try my hardest to see if I can track down a mature U.P. buck for myself as well.

Get out and enjoy the great outdoors!

 
2020 Highlight Reel
April 27, 2021
Just a fun, fast paced recap of the 2020 hunting adventures!
 

 
2020 Season Recap
April 26, 2021
Well, 2020 was a different year for all of us, and an interesting deer hunting year as well. I had a couple of great Illinois hunts, but the highlight by far was my son Landon taking his first buck. I never had an opportunity at a shooter here in the U.P.

I've been running a lot of cameras in a lot of spots and counties up here for almost 20 years, and I have to say I've been seeing a slow but steady decline in the amount of good bucks to pursue. I'm not a big DNR basher, but it has become apparent by their policies that the primary deer management objective is to 'sell tags'.

We are still not able to harvest does in my area, and that has led to a buck to doe ratio that has to be among the worst in the country. Next year they are proposing to remove the antler point restriction from our combo licenses, which will inevitably lead to a much higher yearling buck harvest in a State that already leads the country in yearling buck harvest.

Wolves are a huge problem here now. I have had more wolf pics this year than I've ever seen up here, including in residential areas, and I'm not alone in these observations. Now that wolves were recently delisted, since they have FAR exceeded recovery levels, Wisconsin has proactively already began to come up with a wolf hunt/management plan that is in the works. As of this date, no plan from our home state of Michigan.

Black bear numbers are also the highest I've ever seen. Black bears are a major killer of fawns in the Spring. I even had a legitimate Cougar on trail cam this year.

If you want to kill a big buck, Upper Michigan is a darn hard place to do it, especially with any consistency. Between the severe winters, predation, and a hunting culture that is heavy on young buck harvests, it takes a lot of luck and smarts for a buck to reach maturity in our neck of the woods.

Proper deer management should aim for a balanced buck:doe ratio, and a good representation of all age classes of does and bucks. It isn't just about trophy hunting, it's about a healthy deer herd. Letting bucks reach maturity allows for genetic selection/dominance to take place, and an actual competitive breeding season which furthermore promotes the best bucks breeding the does. When you have a state management agency that works towards this, you have a deer resource that everyone can enjoy, meat hunters, first time hunters, trophy hunters, etc. This is why the minute you go to any other Midwest State, you'll immediately see deer outfitters, but you won't find many in Michigan, because we just don't manage for a deer herd that is appealing enough to all. But we sell a lot of tags.

None of this will change until we see a shift in our DNR policies, and more importantly a shift in our hunting culture that is unique to our State. We have a lot of potential here. When our bucks do slip through the cracks, we grow some absolutely beautiful deer. I hope to see this change in my lifetime, but it is hard to say what the future holds.

Lets hope for a great 2021!

 

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L'anse

$ 65,000

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$ 49,900

Baraga

$ 18,500

Houghton

$ 39,900

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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REAL ESTATE

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FORESTRY

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Northwoods Forest Mgmt.

 

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