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Topics - Michiganhunter

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Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Double Rifle Case
« on: March 16, 2018, 08:19:35 AM »
I am in the market for a super sturdy double rifle case. My 6.5-.300 Wby ULW is 48Ē long with the muzzle brake and I also have a .300 Jarrett that is quite long. Iím thinking 50Ē+ Long 5Ē+ thick and maybe 14Ē+ wide.
With the scopes I have on them they lay high in a case. Iím willing to spend enough on a case to protect them. It also needs to be able to withstand the punishment of air travel, which is not very often at all, but it only takes one anti-hunting airline employee to think I should be punished for killing Bambi and ruin my trip. It will also be in a truck on mountain trails.
Any advice would be welcomed and if someone has a used case for sale, I would certainly be interested. I do not care what it looks like on the outside.

I have the opportunity to purchase a Winchester Model 74 in .22 caliber for $200. Does anyone have knowledge or opinions on this rifle?

Iím sure a great deal of the older members of this great Weatherby Nation have experienced the change of clothes in the last 60 years.
We now have some of the lightest, warmest, weather proof gear to wear that our grandparents could only have dreamed of.
Some of the old gear is still the best. Most are not.
As a kid on a farm in Michigan, with limited money, winters were especially a challenge. Boots were a major issue if you worked in the woods, cutting cedar for fence posts or cedar boughs to sell for wreaths or grave blankets. Ice fishing or waiting for our beagle to push the snowshoe rabbits to us.
I would read about Mukluks and Canadian Sorel boots but the cost was too much. We would buy those black rubber boots with the buckles a couple sizes bigger and would wrap layers of newspapers around our feet for insulation. I wore hand knitted wool socks and one piece wool long johns with the trapdoor in the back. I was never bothered with the itching that my brothers couldnít stand. I was lucky.i also had wool bibs and coats that kept me warm when it was wet.
I still use wool garments in the winter. They are as great now as they were hundreds of years ago.
Now we have base layers that move sweat from your skin, mid layers of fleece, down vests both natural and synthetic and top layers of waterproof rain gear.
I often think about our ancestors who did not have these luxuries and wonder if I would have survived back then. They were some tough people who braved the elements and not only survived but actually thrived.
The good ole days werenít so good as they sounded. We are really fortunate.

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Loading Video problems
« on: March 08, 2018, 01:01:28 PM »
I have been trying to load several short videos, 2-3 minutes, but no luck. I went to spike camp loading videos and when I load it and click post, it just doesnít load on to the post no matter how long I wait.

The videos are short and I think  members might enjoy them.

I have a video shot while I was deer hunting, in northern Michigan, from my shack, filming a snowshoe rabbit at first light nibbling on an apple when all of a sudden a snowy owl swoops down and I watched itís talons sink into the rabbit.
 On another video, in lower Michigan, my then, 10 year old, nephew was sitting with me and used my phone to film a really nice buck as it was coming out of the swamp, about 20 yards from my shack. I shot and missed it. He couldnít wait to tell his mom and dad about that and show them the video. I told him if he squealed on me I was going to say he bumped the gun. He couldnít believe I would say that. He kept saying to me ďUncle Johnny, if you tell dad I bumped you heíll believe you and thatís not fairĒ.

Another short video, Northern Michigan,where a young spike buck comes right up to my shack and sticks his nose in the window opening and I tap it on the nose. I found it a heck of a lot funnier then he did.

The best is when a red squirrel gets inside our Northern Michigan hunting camp while we are playing cards and I film three old men chasing that squirrel going all over the place and trying to throw rugs over it to catch it. I saw how hilarious it was and stopped chasing it, picked up my phone and taped it. These were hunters that have travelled all over the world hunting big game and couldnít catch a four inch squirrel. We thought we cornered it behind a couch. We were wrong. My brother finally brought his German shorthair pointer inside camp and it pointed that squirrel hiding behind the antlers of a mounted whitetail on the wall on the other side of the room. Joel kept bringing the dog over to the where we ďknewĒ it was and the dog would run to the opposite side of the room and point and look up at the deer mount.

I was filming a nice mule deer buck, in Wyoming, my brother was getting ready to shoot when all of a sudden a cougar comes into view, crouched down and stalking that deer about 30 ft behind it. My brother then made a decision which one he should shoot.

There are more videos but I canít figure out this video loading problem. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / New .300 Wby Vanguard Hush
« on: February 28, 2018, 07:51:17 PM »
I saw this new entry in the Wby Vanguard series. Tan Gel Coat with spiderweb accents and tungsten cerakote barrel finish. 24Ē barrel comes with the accubrake with total barrel length of 26Ē. Retail price is listed as $999 and there is a 3 month wait at this time. Looks like a great addition to the Weatherby Vanguard line.

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Hunting Traditions
« on: February 26, 2018, 10:58:35 AM »
In the post ďCoues Whitetails in New MexicoĒ Nation member Zonie from Arizona mentioned how different states and parts of the country have various methods of hunting. Texas has elevated blinds and feeders. In Arizona, where Zonie hunts, baiting is not allowed and hunting shacks are not needed therefore itís not part of their methods to hunt deer successfully. They hunt different terrain which dictates different methods to be successful.

I started thinking about how I was taught to hunt and how,pretty much, all of us started hunting with the methods used by our teachers. Our mentors. This was usually our grandparents, fathers, older brothers or even our friends dads. We naturally would use the techniques they did. When we were successful, they would be proud of us. This re-enforced that we were doing it correctly and gave us confidence the next time out. It also made us want to go again.

We Nation Members come from every country and continent and our hunting methods are as varied as the land we hunt and the species we pursue. Each of us draws knowledge and have traditions that come from each of our familyís hunting heritage. Every type of terrain we hunt requires a unique approach that works for us. Hunting methods for whitetails in Arizona is not the same as whitetails in Michigan. Mule deer terrain in Wyoming is not the same in Northern California.
Even in Michigan people hunt whitetails from one terrain type to another.
If you are hunting bean fields or corn fields an elevated blind that allows you to see for 3/4 of a mile is practical. If the deer are 400-500 yards away and coming out at first or last light, a flat shooting.257 Wby with a 4-16x50 scope is a perfect combination.
In a cedar swamp 1/2 mile away from that grain field you might only be shooting 50-75 yards. Having some bait on the ground that makes the deer stop for minute is the best solution. A 30-30 with a 2.5 power scope or even iron sights makes perfect sense. A ground blind that keeps the snow off you will let you hunt all day. Using an elevated stand within a thick swamp with cedar and pine cover could restrict your vision. A ground blind that gives you a straight line of sight is better. Deer in a thick swamp are a little more comfortable moving throughout the day.

30 years ago on my first hunt in the mountains of Wyoming I had an older friend who mentored me. He and his brothers came from a farming background and were successful on hunting game in Michigan. They had been going out west for 25 years hunting public land and did very well. I knew enough to follow his directions. I did what he said because I didnít know a thing about hunting mule deer. I was successful and shot a fork horn buck. He had a 30-06 with a 4 power scope. I had my 300 Wby but I had a fixed 2.5 power scope with a 20mm objective lens. He told me it would be okay and if I liked the mountain hunting I could buy a different scope next time. The terrain was different and so were the methods of hunting mule deer compared to Michigan.

Here is a little background on my familyís traditional hunting methods. My father was born in 1912 in a lumber camp in northern Michigan. My grandfather worked on the railroad spur that transported the logs. He also shot deer for camp meat for extra money. My grandmother was a camp cook. She looked it too. She was 5 foot tall and 4 foot wide.
He would walk along the railroad grade and find where a couple deer trails crossed. He would place some horse feed, apples or potatoes there and sit with his rifle. He had a .45-70 Springfield single shot trapdoor rifle. He usually sat on a stump and would erect a little tepee style roof of pine boughs to keep the weather off him. When the lumbering work moved on my grandparents built a farm and started having babies. A lot of babies. There were 17 kids by the time they decided to just have sex for fun.
 When my dad started hunting at 8 they built a permanent roof over a big white pine stump where deer trails crossed and baited like my grandfather did. As other kids came of age they would do the same kind of setup about 40 acres away from each spot. After some time they would drag old car bodies out in the woods and hunted from them. They even planted apple trees and covered the saplings with chicken wire to give them a chance to grow. As the trees matured and winter apples ripened, deer that used those trails would stop and eat. The fawns learned about the food source and so on. Bucks would follow does and they would have a chance to shoot those bucks, saving the does for breeding. If the apple trees had a bad year, grain or potatoes would be set under those trees.
My first deer blind was a 1955 Ford Victoria. I only hunted in that car for two years. The third year I crawled in that car and disturbed a skunk.
Now I have heated shacks with carpet and sliding plexiglass windows. I have lanes cut through the swamp and woods a couple hundred yards long. The lanes are planted with forage and a couple weeks before season I also put out a two gallon pail of apples and grain every couple days.
I still use my .300 Weatherby, it now has a bigger scope. However, over the years Iíve used a .257 Wby and last year I had my new 6.5-300 Wby in the shack.
As a kid reading hunting stories I was surprised to read about hunting deer down south using dogs, hunters in Pennsylvania doing deer drives and Maine hunters finding a big track and following that buck. They would jump the buck from its bed and shoot it. I remember reading about hunters in Germany who would hunt all night by the light of the moon with those big 56mm Schmidt Bender scopes from big elevated blinds. All these methods were foreign to me.
These are techniques and methods that are all part of each persons family traditions and thatís just fine...

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Coues Whitetail in New Mexico
« on: February 24, 2018, 01:47:00 PM »
The Coues deer are smallish desert whitetails found mostly in the southwest states. Their habitat is usually in canyons with some juniper and a water source. They are light colored and hard to spot. They donít travel long distances like mule deer or even eastern whitetails. Their habitat is isolated so their range and movement is limited. In New Mexico the license does not state ďCouesĒ but instead is labeled as Fork Antler Whitetail Deer, FAWTD. The buck must have at least 4 points to be legal.
My nephew, Jimmy, was able to draw a tag and I went along to help him glass and find one of these elusive desert ghosts.
He only had 3 days total with 1 day off of work. He is 25 yrs old with four children so taking a week off without pay was out of the question.
We were getting ready to leave for the hunt when we noticed his .280 remington was missing a part of his bolt. I think itís called a bolt shroud. It was at the rear of the bolt and it prevents gases from escaping. I could be wrong about that but nonetheless it wasnít safe to use.
I told him to use my .257 wby. I have a Leupold VX III 3.5-10x40 on it and it is quite accurate with HSM 115gr. Berger VLDís. Itís sighted in 2Ē high at 100 yds and you can hold dead on out to 400yds.
We glassed for two days in two different canyons and saw just a few does and fawns. On the third morning we spotted a legal buck about 1,000 yards away bedded down. Jimmy was using pair of 10x40 Bushnell Legend binoculars and a pair of Steiner 8x56 Nighthunters for dawn and dusk. I had, on a tripod, a pair of SLC 15x56. These are the best binoculars Iíve ever used for glassing long distances for extended periods of time. My eyes never get fatigued.
The only way to get to this buck without getting busted was to back off that ridge and circle around and shoot from the side of that canyon. It was a couple of miles to get into that position. I stayed put to keep an eye on the buck and Jimmy left to make the stalk. We worked it out so when he got near to where he could see me and be able to make a shot he would use his binoculars to look at me to verify the buck was still there. If it was gone I would stand up and raise my arms so he could stop the stalk. It took a couple hours before I could see him moving across the ridge of the canyon. He glassed for the buck but then kept moving. He did this quite a few times and I kept wondering why he wasnít taking a shot. He was close enough each time he stopped, but never took the rifle off his back. He kept moving and finally ended up behind that buck and about 50 yards above it. Still no shot. I was worried he was going to blow it. That buck was still bedded with its back to a couple of big white boulders. Thatís how we first spotted it. We noticed itís black nose and grey body against the white rocks in the background. I watched as Jimmy inched his way closer and closer until he was probably 30 ft away. It took about 20 minutes for him to go that last 50 yards. I watched as he took his hand and moved loose rocks out of the way. He would find a place to put both of his hands down and push his butt up and move down a little more. All of a sudden that buck took off in high gear. I didnít see Jimmy shoulder the rifle. I saw the buck drop, then I heard the shot. It got back up and then dropped for good. I watched as Jimmy gut, cape it and quarter it. He pointed towards where our truck was and started hiking out. I knew where he was going so I headed out.  I met him as he approached the truck looking like he was a dead man walking. I had been at the truck for at least an hour waiting. He said from where he shot the buck to where I was waiting at the truck the GPS showed he had carried the deer 3 miles. He had two front quarters, the heart, liver and back straps and neck meat with him. The head and hind quarters he dropped about a 1/2 mile back. He went back for the rest of the buck after he had a couple bottles of water and a couple candy bars. I only have this photo of him with the head and antlers he is holding next to his chest and the deer quarters with feet sticking up behind his back. It was a nice 6 point buck about 120 lbs. You might have to expand the picture to see what heís carrying. I asked him why he kept moving closer to the buck and not shoot. He said each time he stopped, he could see the white rocks but never could see the ground where that buck was bedded. The terrain just didnít give him a view. He never saw the deer until it was on a dead run. He kept going because I never stood up and waved my arms. It was the neatest stalk I ever witnessed. I was quite impressed with him. These are the memories that stay with you.

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Wyoming Conehead Mule Deer
« on: February 23, 2018, 12:22:59 PM »
This buck was taken in the Laramie mountain range on public land in October of 2014. It was the last day of our hunt. We had hunted hard for four days and our legs were shot. Mountain hunting is hard on the lungs, butt and thighs climbing up mountain ridges. The muscles are sore and it takes a little time in the morning to get the stiffness out and to warm those sore muscles up. If it was just that, you can keep hunting. Itís pain that you can deal with and continue hunting, albeit some what slower. The thing that stops you is the knees. Going up is not too bad. Sidehilling and walking down the ridges is pure agony after about five days. Itís like riding in a truck without shocks and tires resting on just the frame. Itís hard. Or staying married to a mean, nagging, anti hunting spouse. You can do it, but why?
After a few years of scheduling seven or eight days to hunt, we soon realized that after five days of hard hunting our knees would be shot. It did not matter if we were 25 or 60 years old, the knees would make us ineffective hunters. As we got older we still hunted hard but much slower. If you were sweating and breathing hard, you were hiking and hunting too fast. You need to stop and glass. Try and use your eyes more than your legs. As we get older itís nice to glass more, then walk to the next vantage point. I like sitting and looking.

We called this buck the Conehead buck. It has nothing to do with the buck. Itís that dorky looking hat that Joel is wearing.......

So on the last day we spotted this Muley bedded down at the base of a ridge about 250 yards away. Joel was using his .300 win mag with 180 gr. Nosler partitions and made a great neck shot. The buck didnít move an inch. Itís head just dropped. Not a big buck but we were not hunting just trophyís. We have taken some big deer but they were shot because they were there. If itís a legal buck we shoot it and fill the tag. Some years we get lucky and shoot a monster and other years we see and shoot a buck thatís not. Thatís okay with us.

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / School Safety @ White House
« on: February 22, 2018, 06:38:50 AM »
I was so impressed with our President Trump yesterday. To sit down on live tv and listen to those young kids and parents. I kept waiting for someone to go ballistic on him. It didnít happen, but it could have. What a risk he took and the guts he has to do a meeting like that. The student being so articulate and thanking him for a being such a great leader and suggesting a multifaceted approach to the problem. The father of a murdered daughter who was ďpissed offĒ and said ďthis is not about gun control, this is about protecting our kids in school.Ē Our President is not a smooth polished speaker. He is a father, grandfather, a businessman  and a plain talking, logical thinking common sense person like most Americans. Like most of us. I was so proud of him yesterday. He has more guts than any politician I know.

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Bullet Collision
« on: February 22, 2018, 03:30:13 AM »
I saw this on the Internet. It is suppose to be from the Battle of Gallipoli during WWI.

This Wyoming buck was shot about two days after the New Mexico Curly Antler buck. I was hunting with my brother when we spotted this buck about 400 yards away. We had just come up a draw and slowly crested the ridge to peer over it. Over the years we have spooked bucks that were bedded within the top third of a ridge. We learned to take our time to prevent us from being busted and having to shoot at a running buck or hope they would stop and look back at what spooked them. When we first started hunting out west, many years ago, it seemed they were not as leary as they are now. You could jump a buck and they would take off and then after a 100-200 yards they would stop and look back. You then had an opportunity for a decent shot. In the past 20 yrs or so, they would take off and not look back. They became more like our whitetail bucks.
 Across the draw and about ten yards below the top of the next ridge, this buck was bedded down. It spotted us and started moving. Joel was already on his knee and had his rifle up and I told him to take it. He was using using his 300 Browning win mag shot and dropped it. What we noticed when we walked up on this buck was his absolutely monster size ears.

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Curly Antler Mule Deer
« on: February 21, 2018, 05:45:52 AM »
This is not a big Mule Deer but it is different. Every point on this buck has a curl on the end. This was shot near Deming New Mexico.

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / 1st. Buck
« on: February 20, 2018, 09:08:18 AM »
My cousin, Terry, spent most of his life in the US Navy. He hunted with us as a kid but never shot a buck. I hadnít seen him in 40 yrs. and then we reconnected at a funeral. We invited him to come and hunt with us 2 yrs ago and he was fortunate to connect with this 6 point whitetail. He was using his dads original Remington 30-06 pump action with a Weaver Alaskan ( I think) scope. The ammo was the Remington Core-Lok 180 gr. that was from an old box his dad purchased back in the late sixties or early seventies. His dads last buck was shot about 80 acres away in the late 90ís. As you can see he was quite pleased with his first buck. Unfortunately, he passed on last year but seeing him in this photo is a great memory to be left with.

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / We all have stories......
« on: February 19, 2018, 05:53:20 PM »
Iíve been laid up for a couple weeks. Nothing serious, just stuck in the house. I am not used to sitting around. Iíve watched tv, read books, tied flies and searched the Internet.
Iíve been looking through old photos of hunting, fishing and trapping.
We all have hunting camp stories. Share them if youíre so inclined.

Years ago at our family farm relatives have come from the city to hunt. One relative asked to come and hunt. He always talked about the big deer he shot but we never saw pictures. He said he only shot big bucks. He came in after his hunt and said he shot a buck. He went into house to wash up for supper. My brothers and I took the tractor to pick up his buck. He told us where it was laying by the trail. We found the buck and put it in the bucket. It was barely legal with about 4Ē spikes and weighed about 80 lbs.
We hung it up in the barn and decided to have some fun. We had some calf-lac powder, a milk replacement for calves that you mix with warm water to use as a substitute for cows milk. We put spots of  powder on the buck to look like a fawn and even put some on its mouth. After dinner the family and relatives went out to the barn to look at the buck pole. Everyone looked surprised at the deer and my brother pointed to its mouth and ask the great hunter if he shot it while it was still suckling. We caught hell from our mom for doing that. She said that was mean. I then said ďit should be as tender as vealĒ. He never liked us boys after that.

Another time I had hunted for five days without seeing a legal buck. I only had one more day to hunt and it was my birthday. Just before dark I saw a nice mature buck about 40 yards from my shack. There were a couple does near it and when I shot the does took off and I was sure I saw the buck drop. Iím walking to the spot singing happy birthday to myself. No buck. No blood. Just a small poplar tree cracked in half just in front of where that buck was standing. Oh well.

Another time a cousin from the city saw a buck and a doe from his shack and shot at the buck and the doe dropped. It was hit in the spine. He told us what happened so we got the tractor and headed out to pick it up. As weíre loading it my brother pointed to the shack and saw a chip of wood missing off the window opening. He didnít have the muzzle of the barrel high enough to clear that opening. Forty years later you can still see that chunk missing.

A grandson of one of my dads friends had turned 14 and wanted to hunt. He was from the big city and was scared of the dark. He was used to street lights. He came from a single parent and through no fault of his own, lived a sheltered childhood. He was using a single shot 20 with a slug. I walked him out and set him up next to the creek about 100 yds from the farm house. My mom kept the yard light on. About a hour later mom heard him shoot and went to check on him. He shot a monster 8 pt with a symmetrical rack and weighed 206 dressed out on our scale. It walked about 20 yards from him with its nose to the ground, he shot and it dropped. It was the largest 8 pt ever taken in the county.  After that he became a complete outdoorsman, moved out to the country when he was 18 and became a firefighter. He has always been grateful to us for setting him on the path of hunting, fishing and all things outdoors.

If you have stories, share them and keep me from going stir crazy or Iíll be watching Oprah or Ellen for the next week.....

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Wyoming Mother-in-law IRS
« on: February 18, 2018, 02:50:33 PM »
About 15 years ago I received a notice from the IRS in September to appear for an audit. The date of my appointment/audit was October 17th. My brother and I were leaving on October 12 th for our Wyoming mule deer hunt that opened on the 15th. As a nonresident I sent my money in for the tag in March and was notified in June that I received a tag. I called the IRS and they would not budge on the date. I was stuck with a tag and it was just the two of us going that year. To say the least, I was ticked off.
His asked his mother-in-law if she wanted to go. She had never traveled much and Joel told her they would stop and do some sightseeing. She was from a farming/rural background so she didnít need a 5 star motel to make her happy. Joel had a nice 28 ft camper that was just fine with her. She was about 70 at the time and tough and youthful for her age.
Joel went up into the mountains and camped on BLM Land. She insisted on doing the cooking and even got up early to cook breakfast for him before the hunt. On opening morning she woke Joel up with breakfast ready. He noticed it wasnít getting light and checked the time. She had set the alarm for Michigan time which is 2 hours ahead of Wyoming time. They laughed about it and played cards or a board game until it was time to go. The game warden stopped by and a few other hunters that found it interesting to see this gray haired lady knitting and coming along with her son-in-law. He shot a buck on the second day. They then went to Yellowstone for a few days, Mount Rushmore and even Wall Drugs. She had a great time. She passed on last year at 85. My sister in law found her diary and she had written down about that trip and said it was best vacation of her life and how her son in law was the best. She said it was the most relaxing time out there in the mountains. Last year when we went back to Wyoming with our priest, Father Art and my nephew Jimmy  we had a little ceremonial  blessing and spread some of her ashes. It was quite special.
About my audit. I went for my audit on October 17th. I waited for 4 hours and then was told the IRS auditor for my case was on vacation that week and she would call me to reschedule.
After being upset at the government for 15 years and screwing up my hunting trip, after reading her diary,  I was happy I didnít go that year.

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