It’s that time of year! The deer are moving about, jumping all over the woods and even over the highways. My son-in-law Mark hit one just the other evening, and it totaled his vehicle. And that was on a major highway just east of Grand Rapids, where evening had settled in and traffic was terrific. Needless to say perhaps, but I will, Mark was quite shook up, and so were some other drivers who saw he deer but managed somehow to avoid it.
I’ve hit this subject several times each late summer, it seems. But it’s one worth the time, as this is when most deer hunters are looking forward to the firearms deer seasons. You may not take my word for it, but advance scouting is a sure way to find out where you should open the season.
In case you haven’t read about it or heard of it, a hunter is now in real trouble for shooting a mother bear. Problem was, the bear had three cubs with her, and it is illegal to shoot a mom with cubs. In the first place, it is fairly uncommon for a mother bear to have three cubs. Some have two youngsters, and most have one. And it would be possible for a hunter to not see that a single cub was trailing somewhat behind its mother. But it seems unlikely that a hunter would miss noticing three cubs trailing their mom.
Yes, it’s a few weeks before the bow hunting season opens, but now is really the time to get in some practice. And such is true whether you use a regular, compound, or whatever bow you intend to shoot. There is nothing worse than wounding a deer and having it run off to suffer and eventually die.
Last week I mentioned near the close of my column that I was going down to the Pere Marquette River to fish for a while. Well, I did that, and guess what? I had some “reel” action! Parking my vehicle, I wandered downstream a ways. And low and behold, a huge trout broke water near the other bank of the stream.
Last weekend I drove up to the hamlet of Baldwin. I was prepared to fish for some trout in the Pere Marquette River, but a wrong turn in town altered that, almost with a startling swiftness. Pulling out of a gas station I turned west rather than east, and suddenly I was looking at the empty spot where my old high school used to be.
Last weekend the wife and I went on a short trip north. We were just going for a short ride to begin with, but then suddenly found ourselves up north of Baldwin and in the old cabin area. So we decided to take the back roads and old trails to the cabin, and oh brother, have things changed in a hurry.
Although the fall seasons aren’t quite here as yet, now is still a good time to scout for small game, turkeys and yes, even deer. The other advantage is that hiking about will be good for one’s health, and should you own a hunting dog it will be thankful for a romp in the woods or fields as well.
Several weeks ago I wrote about an experience I had while fighting fires for the U.S Forest Service. Now, I’ll follow that up with another experience that followed a year later. One day during a noon break, I was looking over an old Lake County map at Forest Service headquarters when I discovered a small lake up in the northwest corner of the county. It was a very small lake, and it appeared that there were no roads leading to its location.
I worked for the U.S. Forest Service for two summers while still in high school. I, along with several other young men who were actually only boys at the time, was hired by the Baldwin, Michigan ranger station. Our primary duty was to fight forest fires within the Manistee National Forest, and we were on duty that Fourth of July. The daily temperature was in the 90’s and forest fires were rampant throughout the dry woods.