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Hunting Journal

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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!

 
December Video/Update
December 9, 2020
Hello! Here is the video from our great Illinois buck taken last week. This was a deer we had on cam about 2 miles away earlier in the fall, so we were surprised to see him show up on that soybean field the first night. I wasn't happy about the high shot, but was able to put him down for good quickly after the first shot. The buck ended up having a full 20" spread inside, so it was really exciting to see a buck with a frame like that heading our way!

The U.P. has been difficult this year. I'm only looking to shoot fairly mature bucks, and it seems like every year it is getting harder and harder to find them. I've got cams running at several different spots, and am scouting new areas as we speak. The other limitation right now is lack of snow. I love late season hunting, but the action just isn't there with this mild weather. I'm going to keep trying, and hopefully the weather will also turn soon. Good luck to those of you who are still out there trying to bag their buck!
 

 
Wide Buck Down!
December 4, 2020
Last night we had an exciting hunt in Illinois, check out the Buck Pole for a pic and we'll have a video up soon!

 
Landon's First Buck!
November 24, 2020
Here is the video of Landon's buck! The day before the rifle opener, we had a nice 2.5 year old buck show up on camera locked up with a doe. We got set up opening morning, and as soon as we had shooting light the buck was right there with the doe. We had to wait a bit for a broadside shot, and when the opportunity came, Landon made it happen! Proud Dad here and an excited kid on a day we'll never forget!
 

 
Michigan Rifle Season
November 16, 2020
Well the big day in Michigan has already arrived! The weather on opening day made things slow in general, but I ended up having the most exciting hunt of my life! My 10 year old son Landon took his first deer with me opening morning, and I was so proud of him. Check out a pic on the 'online buck pole', and I'll post a video soon. He said it was the best day of his life, and I'd have to say the same. Regardless of what the rest of the season brings, we are some happy hunters! Still lots of season left out there, so wishing you all enjoyable hunts!

 
Big Illinois 8 Pointer!
November 4, 2020
We had a great hunt this year. Almost got it done on a couple of great shooters the first few days, but never got a shot opportunity. Passed on some nice deer, and then on the fourth night we got a chance at a real big 5 year old 8 pointer that we've been aware of the last two seasons. My longest bow shot on a deer prior to this was actually still under 30 yards, and this buck was at about 40. I ended up shooting high and hitting him in the spine, which was not ideal, but we finished him off quickly and I'm thankful to have gotten him. Bowhunting is hard, and these things happen from time to time. Either way, I hope you enjoy the video, and now I'm trying hard to track down a U.P. shooter!
 

 
Big Illinois 8 Point
October 30, 2020
Just got back from a bowhunt down in Illinois, and we had a great time! CLICK HERE to see a pic on the Buck Pole. I'll post more details and a video here soon. Now it is back to trying to find a good buck in the U.P.!

 
Mid October Update
October 21, 2020
Not too much excitement for me here in U.P. yet this season. We've had precipitation all but 3 days so far in October. As of late, I do have a few buddies that have had some decent bucks start to show up on camera, so they must be starting to move a bit better now, and that should continue. Hopefully I'll find one worth chasing sooner or later. If you've been out there this season, I hope you are having some good hunts!

 
Bobcat almost takes out Turkeys!
October 3, 2020
Check out the neat clip below of a bobcat trying to catch his dinner right on the live webcam!
 

 

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Listings

 

Hancock

$ 35,000

Chassell

$ 49,900

Delaware

$ 29,900

Lake Linden

$ 25,000

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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REAL ESTATE

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