Spring Steelhead

Spring Steelhead

Monday, December 5, 2011

October & November 2011 Hunting

That's right! I've been gone for awhile but I'm back!!!
Sorry for slacking on the blogs guys. Between night classes, an internship at a hospital, and hunting season it's hard to find time to actually sit down to relax. Unless that is, in a cozy deer blind! I hope everyone is having a safe and successful hunting season this year! I know our group is having both! No injuries (like the year I almost lost my thumb via a cross bow string), and if deer hunting had a name for success, I'm quite certain it would be my father's name! What a season, both archery and firearm! During October he arrowed a beautiful 8 point in rut chasing a doe and while hunting the firearm deer season, the last day of the season and the first accumulating snow fall he bagged a 10 point with his TC Omega .50 caliber muzzle loader (11-30-2011)!!! As this buck came in he was again chasing a doe. Don't become a hunter who is brain washed into believing there is only one rut during the fall months October, November, and December just because someone on the Outdoor Channel said so, (there is a rut for each month). Argue this if you wish, but if you spend as much time in the field as I, and aren't one of these guys who shoots every deer they see, and takes the time to study deer activity, how they respond to scent & calls, etc., you would have already picked up on this. Right now we have plenty of standing water in the fields due to recent rain and the melting of the first snow, but here in Zone 3 our muzzle loading season runs from December 2nd to December 18th. Plenty of time for the standing water to absorb into the ground and it sure is looking like a chilly week ahead with temperatures in the teens! If you're hunting bait, keep your pile stocked (check with regulations regarding amount) and keep dispersing doe estrus when you head out. I've been trying to hunt larger bucks in hopes to collect bones for the house! For those of you that don't know I have over fifty animals and fish taxidermy mounts on the main floor of my home. While I waited, and waited, and waited some more. I told myself "Your hunting a trophy, let these smaller bucks go." Well I don't count button bucks, spikes, or fork horns when I say I passed up a deer since they are about as easy to kill as a doe. Though November 10th a tall 6 point came in and I drew down on him fifteen yards away and after about a minute or so, I put my bow down. I just had a feeling there were bigger bucks out there. I should have arrowed him! He was the first shooter I saw since October 1st. I ended up bagging a 5 point which I thought was a 6 but one of his brow tines were broke off. Here are a few photos of the bucks we bagged thus far during the 2011 deer season. Myself, Josh, Corey, & Mark are still at it. But my father has filled his buck tags, doesn't harvest does, and is all done. But what a season he had!!!

Another huge congratulations to my father on a successful 2011 whitetail deer season in Michigan!
As most of you might already know, when it comes to hunting we typically never leave the farm but do put in alot of preparation to our property which means plenty of work readying the fields for whitetails and waterfowl. This is a year long process which involves taking care of food plots, brush hogging, pumping water, etc. I guess the only thing worse then not seeing deer would be dealing with trespassers which we did in fact have several incidents this hunting season, but the unlawful hunters were caught and had to answer to Johnny Law.
I swore to myself I would take the time to target steelhead on the Au Sable this fall after landing several nice steelhead in November of 2010 but became obsessed with the ducks & geese and even the deer at one point. Though I did make it up in October during the Indian summer and fished the river from the Whirlpool access up to the High Banks. It was a nice day trip on the boat with Belle swinging flies with my Albright 10' 8wt GPX with a Lamson Konic large arbor reel. There were still quite a few salmon in the river I was trying to avoid and did manage to land one nice steelhead on that trip! The greatest thing about fishing migratory fish or resident trout during the fall months is the low angler pressure. Everyone is hunting! After the salmon run that is...

What a fantastic day spent on the lower river in my Hyde drift boat with my good friend Belle!
The 2011 waterfowl season was decent, but nothing like 2007 or 2009! I think 2009 will be a memorable season our group reflects on for years to come! My famous quote regarding opening day of waterfowl season is "Anyone can go out, throw a dozen decoys in the water, anywhere, and harvest at least one duck!" Well when you have an operation that is maintained year round, here are a couple photos of a successful opening morning resulting in a 4 man limit of ducks.

I really wish my father would have jumped into one of the opening day photos, but he departed early from the morning hunt and only Corey & myself hunted the evening (and of course Belle).
As the season progressed we had our good days and slow days. I would never refer to a day in the field as being a bad day. Unless of course a tragic accident occurred as such the incident resulting in the death of a waterfowler at Fish Point this year. Many prayers go out to the family of the deceased.
Here are some photos of time spent in the duck blind crushing birds with some of my greatest friends and the best dog in the world during the 2011 waterfowl season.

I hope all my friends are having a great fall season weather it be swinging flies for steelhead on the rivers, hunting waterfowl, or chasing horns! Though December has just begun it will be over before we know it! January brings the fridged temperatures that makes for excellent predator hunting, deep nymphing for steelhead, and for those that ice fish the walleye and perch fishing should be well underway.
Everyone have a wonderful holiday season and best of luck out in the field and out on the water! Plenty of game and fish to be had in the great state of Michigan!

1 comment:

  1. This being said, the body of the buck may very well have suffered due to the wound. Deer Scents