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Rule No. 2

My purpose here isn’t to keep rule No. 1 a secret, it’s a takeoff on the saying my high school football coach often eschewed. Odd though it may seem, he’d find a way to fit it into pep talks, chew-outs and general conversation time and again. He’d say, “Watermelon is the second best thing in the world. Everyone has their…

Is 10 brook trout too many?

The Department of Natural Resources’ proposed change in the brook trout creel limit from five fish to 10 fish is more controversial than I thought it would be. It wasn’t that long ago that the daily limit was 10 fish, and it had been 10 for quite a few years. From what I understand, the change from 10 to five…

Butt Out

I gave up smoking 30-some years ago but I’ll admit that before I did, I often tossed my cigarette butts into the lake when I was fishing. I didn’t consider myself a litterbug and would never have tossed empty bottles or cans, plastic bags or any other non-biodegradable refuse, overboard. But butts were small, and I thought the remnants of…

Conservation organizations, hunters should work hand-in-hand

Hunters sometimes look down their noses at some conservation organizations, particularly those that don’t seem to be perfectly aligned with their interests. National Rifle Association, Ducks Unlimited, Quality Deer Management Association – to name just a few – are organizations that more or less make their missions plain in their titles. It’s not always as evident with groups such as…

A moral dilemma

Chilly temperatures and blustery winds greeted turkey hunters in southern Michigan Tuesday morning on opening day of the spring gobbler season. The turkeys didn’t seem to mind. Three toms boisterously announced the arrival of daybreak with a series of gobbles that brought instant excitement to this seasoned gobbler chaser. They carried on triumphantly for the first half hour of daylight,…

Boat trailer corrosion

Several years ago the pressure treated lumber industry changed from infusing boards with chemicals with an arsenic base to salts with a copper base. Both types do a good job of keeping teated lumber from rotting when exposed to the outside elements. After the change-over, carpenters learned they couldn’t continue using galvanized or plain steel nails or screws with this…

Michigan Outdoor News writer Don Ingle passed away

My heart is heavy as I write this blog while mourning the death of friend and fellow outdoor writer Don Ingle. Don and his wife Jean both died late last week in a nighttime house fire at their Lake County residence in Baldwin, Michigan. They were long-time residents of Baldwin. Details of the incident are sketchy as of this writing since…

Firearms deer take one of lowest in recent years

With ice and or snow seriously lacking in many parts of the state, hordes of sportsmen and sportswomen appear to be reflecting on the recent firearms deer hunting season. Phone calls, emails and letters have been flooding into the MON office over the last few weeks from hunters across the state. Some call to share their success stories from the recent…

Baby, it’s warm outside

Whether you believe humans are contributing to whatever it is that is causing our climate to change, it is indeed changing. Here it is early January and the chances of me cutting my grass one more time seem to be better than having to shovel my driveway anytime soon. Ice anglers started to get out on schedule in the Upper…

Ride my train

It’s called a train of thought when one thought or idea leads to another and another. You start thinking about orange juice and end up thinking about book shelves. What’s up with that? Let me share a thought train I had recently, which started with invasive species in the Great Lakes then veered off on a track of it’s own….

Lake Michigan’s other fish

I’m often asked by newcomers to Great Lakes fishing if fish other than salmon or trout are ever caught. Though I’m tempted to say things like “why would you want to,” I bite my tongue and tell them the truth. There aren’t many occasions when anything else besides salmon or trout are caught.But it happens. (Perhaps it happens more on…

Cougars are here; will they stay?

The recent images of a cougar recorded on trail cameras in the Upper Peninsula have been interesting. The animal has been doing a lot of traveling in Michigan and is thought to have come all the way from South Dakota. The DNR says additional images of the cat, which is wearing a radio collar, were recorded in Wisconsin. South Dakota…

Sault Tribe can’t fit moose in its game bag

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians just announced this month that its Inland Conservation Committee voted to oppose Michigan’s proposed moose hunt. The tribe’s new chairman, Joe Eitrem, was quoted in the news this week saying, “The Sault Tribe is not in agreement with the state of Michigan concerning the appropriateness of a moose hunt.” The tribe’s action…

Adrift off Ludington

When the wind is blowing and the waves are rolling, it’s not a time to worry about money. Especially if your motor has just revved up and your propeller has stopped turning. Especially if you are 6 miles offshore of Ludington and the forecast is for the 3-foot waves to become 4-, 5- or 6-footers as the morning progresses. Worry…

King rules

This is the time of the year most Great Lakes fishermen anticipate the most. The time of year when mature king salmon, also called chinook salmon, make their way back to the streams they left as tiny fingerlings three-and-a-half years ago. They are back as the biggest, meanest, toughest-to-catch fish that swim in the Great Lakes.Many articles have been written…

The NRC made me a criminal

I don’t want to belabor the Natural Resources Commission’s latest decision on the practice of baiting and feeding deer in Michigan, but I have to say that reading follow-up articles on the subject and listening to other hunters talk about it has been interesting, to say the least.One of the arguments used by both NRC members and hunters in their…

Summer weather gets Sirius

“It’s summer time and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high….” Those words are from one of my favorite oldies tunes and these hazy humid days, quiet mornings and glass-calm waters covered by cottonwood fluff make me recall it every day.But when I clicked on my computer to check my usual weather sites before heading…

Up the Coast

One of the benefits of living toward the south end of Lake Michigan is how our fishing gets started earlier in the year than “up the coast.” Okay, maybe when our fishing peps up we catch 2-pound cohos and when the northern ports start popping, they do it with double-digit kings. In my book, a 2-pounder now, is better than…

What’s happening with Michigan’s HAP

Michigan hunters – especially those who live in the southern part of the Lower Peninsula – should weigh in during the comment period for the Department of Natural Resources’ Hunting Access Program (HAP) before the June 8 deadline. The DNR is seeking to increase the program from its current 8,000 acres.The program was created to increase hunting opportunities, particularly in…

Louisiana Closes Two Oyster Harvest Areas, Allows Some Oyster Relocation

Precautionary closures protect human health; relocation of oysters helps prevent further damage to commercial industry Louisiana officials announced precautionary closures of two oyster harvesting areas on May 13 that are receiving large amounts of freshwater intrusion from the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway and from the Mississippi River. Officials also announced that oysters in some areas east of the…

Coho crazy

Back in the late 1960s, Michigan stocked the first salmon in Lake Michigan as an experiment. The experiment was a bright success. Those initial coho salmon were followed by brown trout, king salmon, steelhead and Atlantics. Those programs proved successful, as well.But cohos started it all and for many Michiganders, cohos remain their favorite.Sure, the kings are bigger, the browns…

Hooray for me; the heck with you

I’ve been disappointed reading many of the comments left by hunters in response to articles published in statewide news media about the meetings on the Lower Peninsula deer baiting ban. So many of those commenting seem to have no concern for anyone else but themselves.Hunting seems to be like everything else these days – infected with the prevalent “hooray for…

Why are we raising wild pigs?

While just about every other state that is home to feral hogs is looking for ways to get rid of them and spending millions in the effort, Michigan, it seems, is looking for ways to increase its pig population. The “sport swine industry” is working with the state legislature on regulations that will stop a Department of Natural Resources order…

Great Lakes ‘Eddies’

Those of you enamored of all things Great Lakes might want to check out the online magazine called Eddies, a quarterly publication of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Conservation: www. fws.gov/eddies. The current issue is dedicated to Great Lakes fisheries conservation. Articles include past and present information about lampreys in the lakes, how…

Hunters gaining ground in SE Michigan

With hunters and snowmobilers fighting to maintain their right to use the Huron-Manistee National Forest, and hunting property being nibbled away here and there around the state, it is quite nice to see what’s happening in southeast Michigan’s Washington Township right now. In February, the township board, on the advice of a committee formed a year ago, voted unanimously to…