Saturday, December 9th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Saturday, December 9th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Bob Gwizdz

Belly boating for brookies: Get to those hard-to-access hotspots

Brook trout, Michigan’s state fish, often are associated with tiny, jump-across creeks. Angling means belly-crawling to their edges so you don’t spook them before dropping an earthworm or grasshopper into the often gin-clear water to be rewarded with a brilliantly colored 8-inch fish.

But brook trout live in larger rivers as well, and often the biggest challenge to catching them is reaching that big water. The streams often are bordered by large tangles of tag alders and crisscrossed with deadfalls. I recently encountered that situation in the Upper Peninsula. But fortunately, I went with three guys who were veterans of dealing with the issue.
Their answer? Belly boats.

Michigan brood survey shows stable pheasant numbers

Results from the annual mail carrier pheasant brood survey show that southern Michigan still has pheasants and they’re still reproducing, but drawing any further conclusions from the survey is almost impossible, said Adam Bump, upland game bird specialist with the Department of Natural Resources.
The number of broods observed was up slightly and the number of chicks per brood is about average for recent surveys. The survey has been conducted in its present form for 19 years, Bump said.
“We’re seeing more broods than we have in the 19-year survey average, but smaller broods,” Bump said.

The arrival of 2023 hunting seasons is worth celebrating

Joe Robison is one of the most dedicated, knowledgeable waterfowl hunters I have ever met.
So when he invited me to join him for the waterfowl – goose and early teal – opener this year in Michigan, as he has many years, how could I decline? Sept. 1 has been opening day of hunting season for decades now. It was the opener of the 10-day “early Canada goose season” (remember that?) – and can you even believe we have 107 days of goose hunting now? Then about a decade ago, opening day expanded in scope when the feds finally allowed us to have an early teal season, too.

Federal judge rules on Michigan consent decree

Federal Judge Paul Maloney has approved the agreement between the tribes, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the federal government regarding the Treaty of 1836, setting the stage for tribal commercial fishing regulations for the next 24 years.
The decree “respects and promotes tribal fishing rights and opportunities yet it also preserves the Great Lakes fishery and recognizes the shared natural resource,” Maloney wrote in his 139-page opinion. The judge essentially agreed to the document negotiated between four of the tribes and the DNR while rejecting objections of the Sault Ste. Marie tribe and the Coalition to Protect Michigan Resources.

No time for northern pike? You might want to reconsider

When I was a kid, which is getting to be quite a while ago now, northern pike were important game fish.
Part of that, I think, is that if you wanted to catch a big fish, pike were your best bet. That was before salmon were here, steelhead were a lot smaller than they get now, and muskies were rarer than honest politicians. But pike gave you a chance at an eight- or 10-pound (or even bigger) fish.

After a down stretch, Michigan’s Lake St. Clair giving up limits of walleyes again

Back in the 1960s, Lake St. Clair was the place to go to fish for walleyes in southeast Michigan. Lake Erie? It was unaffectionately known as the Dead Sea, a polluted sump that caught fire (actually it was the tributary Cuyahoga River) in 1969.
Much has changed over the past six decades. These days, Lake Erie is recognized as perhaps the best walleye fishery in the world. And Lake St. Clair? For a long time it was an afterthought to walleye fishermen.

Michigan’s drumming surveys point to average grouse hunt in 2023

Grouse hunters should expect average to slightly below average flush rates this fall based on spring drumming surveys, said Adam Bump, the upland gamebird specialist with the Michigan DNR. But Bump acknowledges that he’s got thin data to make that prognostication.
“Keep in mind that we didn’t do these surveys for five or six years,” he said. “It’s a little hard to do a direct comparisons without more data points.”

Picking a puppy is no easy task

If you are a small game hunter – upland birds, waterfowl, rabbits, maybe even squirrels – odds are good that you have (or at least want to have) a dog. Or dogs. It’s some of the most fun you can have outdoors. 
I like pointing dogs, personally. My first dog was a Lab; at the time I got him, I was heavy into waterfowl hunting. And who doesn’t like a Lab? But as I evolved as a sportsman, I gravitated toward upland birds and it was only natural to switch to a pointing dog.

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