Wintertime Predator Hunting – The Other Season

Tom LounsburyFriends of ELO

By:  Tom Lounsbury. When January arrives, it marks the time for a favorite outdoor pastime of mine. The primary quarry these days for most Michigan hunters is the whitetail deer, which means when all the deer seasons end and winter settles in, many hunters hang it all up until the following fall deer seasons arrive once again. For a growing number of hunters however, there is the “other season”, wintertime predator hunting. In Michigan, predator hunting entails foxes (both red and gray), coyotes, and in the northern part of the state, bobcats. The red fox … Read More

Christmastime rabbit hunting – an annual family tradition

Tom LounsburyFriends of ELO

By:  Tom Lounsbury. The cottontail rabbits have it easy on our farm, that is until Christmastime. Prior to that, my focus during the fall has been on waterfowl, squirrels, grouse, woodcock, pheasants, wild turkeys, and deer. Thanks to all wildlife diversity which is found in Michigan, my hunting schedule is rather full without adding cottontails to the mix. When fall transcends into winter however, my focus takes an abrupt change with rabbit hunting stepping up to the forefront. The long, cold winters are made much shorter thanks to an abundance of local cottontails and a … Read More

The Ever-Versatile Shotgun

Tom LounsburyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  Tom Lounsbury. The shotgun has played an important role throughout the history of firearms. From matchlock and flintlock “fowlers” to today’s wide array, shotguns can be considered as multitask tools because they can handle a wide variety of shot, including heavy duty buckshot, and even solid projectiles for a heavier and very effective “punch”. This was originally a large lead round ball (aka “punkin-ball”), but it was usually not consistently accurate at long range.  All of this would change when Karl M. Foster, who wished to help American hunters put meat on the table … Read More

Nothing Beats Wintertime Pheasant Hunting

Tom LounsburyFriends of ELO

By:  Tom Lounsbury. The 2022 October pheasant season here in the Thumb proved to be outstanding for my hunting guests and me, with plenty of wild birds and shooting opportunities. This, of course, left me quite optimistic about the late pheasant season. December happens to be one of my favorite months of the year for enjoying the outdoors in Michigan, because it offers a wide variety of hunting opportunities. There is no question the December pheasant season in my home Thumb area, which runs from December 1 to January 1, is a favorite pastime for … Read More

The blind-siding way for savvy whitetails – Made in Michigan Lucky Hunting Blinds pave the way

Tom LounsburyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  Tom Lounsbury. There is no question that the whitetail deer is the most popular big game animal in North America with a big following of avid hunters. Michigan itself has more than 500,000 deer hunters in the woods by daybreak on November 15, a day I personally believe should be a state holiday. Until the 15th arrives however, I start being real serious about pursuing bucks from Halloween on, with archery tackle, due to the whitetail rut which is kicking in and peaking over that early to mid-November timeframe which I quite literally live … Read More

Popular deer rifles and calibers in southern Michigan’s Limited Firearms Zone

Tom LounsburyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  Tom Lounsbury. November 15th is definitely a very special and popular day for a whole lot of Michigan deer hunters. It is a day that I have been enjoying for nearly 60 deer seasons, and my annual anticipation is such, that I usually have a sleepless night before the long-awaited opening morning. It was that way when I was a kid, and six decades later, it remains to be the same. There is no question that deer hunting is a distinct passion of mine, especially local, close to my home deer hunting in Michigan’s … Read More

The “Sacred Doe” Of The Forest

Tom LounsburyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO, Tips for Beginners, Youth Hunts

By:  Tom Lounsbury. Probably one of the most daunting tasks for the MDNR, is to get deer hunters to harvest a doe. The last time I checked, only 40% of Michigan deer hunters ever purchase an “antlerless” deer tag, and when you check out the data of the overall annual deer harvest, antlered deer always way outnumber antlerless deer.  It is readily apparent that decades of a hunting tradition passed down through generations of Michigan deer hunters, that a female deer is the “sacred doe” of the forest, and therefore never, ever to be shot, … Read More

Hitting the mark during some youthful shooting competition

Tom LounsburyFriends of ELO, Youth Hunts

By:  Tom Lounsbury. Trapshooting was first developed as a competitive sport during the 18th Century, using flintlock fowling pieces (the forerunners of today’s shotguns) firing shot. This would be done using live pigeons, with the birds being placed in a wooden box, called a “trap”, on the ground out in front of the shooter. Upon the shooter saying “pull”, a cord attached to the box was used to release the pigeon. Several traps were spread out in different spots, and the shooter had no idea which trap was going to release the pigeon. The typical … Read More

Youthful Fun Times Spent In The Rabbitat

Tom LounsburyFriends of ELO, Youth Hunts

By:  Tom Lounsbury. When it comes to weather, March can be quite a fickle month. One day you will think spring is coming early, and the next day winter is back, and with a vengeance. That is what was on my mind when the date of March 12 was set for a rabbit hunt on my farm, entailing youth hunters. Just like the month of March, cottontail rabbits can be real fickle, too, according to the weather. One day they are out and about, and suddenly they have literally gone to ground, and can remain … Read More

The Annual Spring Malady Known As ‘Wild Turkey Fever’

Tom LounsburyFriends of ELO, Spring Fling

By:  Tom Lounsbury. When April arrives I automatically develop a case of “wild turkey fever”, an annual spring malady that has been afflicting me for over 50 years. I find myself habitually sorting out turkey hunting gear, practicing with various turkey calls (when I do this indoors it eventually nets a rather blunt complaint from my wife, Ginny, who says some turkey lingo, such as hen purrs, are as annoying as fingernails scratching on a chalkboard) and patterning my turkey shotguns, of which I have a few favorites, at my backyard shooting range. To assure … Read More