A Fine Opening Day For Michigan Pheasants

Wild Game DynastyFriends of ELO

By:  Tom Lounsbury. In the gray light of dawn, the pheasant hunters on my farm had released their bird dogs in the yard in order to get the kinks out before the hunt. The growing light in the eastern sky let us know we were in for a splendid day weather-wise, and that certainly worked for me. You name it, and I’ve seen it on Michigan’s October 20th opener for pheasants, including blizzard-like conditions with driving wet snow, gully-wumper rainstorms, and even driving, painful, hailstorms that had both hunters and dogs seeking whatever cover could … Read More

Active Scrapes, #1 Natural Hunting Location.

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  John Eberhart. As you likely know by now the Michigan NRC has banned baiting in 12 counties for the 2018 deer season and in Michigan’s entire southern Peninsula for 2019 due to issues with chronic wasting disease or better known as CWD.  For at least a generation and a half (30 years) a pretty high percentage of Michigan bow and gun hunters have been introduced into the deer hunting world by exclusively hunting over bait and have known no other method for taking deer.  Also many hunters that began hunting without using bait have … Read More

Venison – From The Field To The Table

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO, Youth Hunts

By:  Tom Lounsbury. Here in the agriculture-rich Thumb, it is pretty easy to say our local whitetails can be considered as being “farm-fed”. For a fact the deer in these parts feed pretty good, which means their venison is of the highest quality when everything is properly done from the field to the table. Good venison has a very succulent nature to it and it is a primary meat source for my family which we all enjoy. I was a state meat inspector for almost 12 years, working on various “kill-floors” in slaughterhouses, where I … Read More

Before The Hunt – Michigan Elk Hunting Preparations

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  Tom Lounsbury. One of my bucket list dreams has been to get lucky on the draw for a Michigan elk license. I have been faithfully applying each year since 1984, and getting long in the tooth, it was my hope to receive a Michigan elk license while I could still put one foot in front of the other. Needless to say, folks, I was euphoric to the core when I went online in early July and discovered my dream had finally come true. At the time, I didn’t know whether I had a bull … Read More

How To Judge A Black Bear

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  Richard P Smith. After more than 50 years of hunting, photographing and studying black bears, I’ve learned a number of reliable methods for judging the size and sex of the animals that rely on the differences in body length and height as well as the proportions and positions of the ears on the head and front foot size. Obvious sex organs are important, too, of course. If you see a penis sheath hanging down in front of the hind legs on a side view or testicles from a rear view of a bruin, you … Read More

Public Land Strategies – that actually work.

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  John Eberhart. Public Land Strategies Something that receives very little print or TV and video footage for the amount of hunters that do it, is hunting on public land. Hunters with private land options rarely gravitate to hunting open to hunting public lands simply because no matter how much hunting pressure private parcels in a given area receive, nearby public lands will typically receive much more and be far more difficult to hunt successfully. In Michigan however and even in our heaviest populated areas, there are public land gems that can provide somewhat consistent … Read More

Michigan elk hunting today – winning the draw represents the ultimate adventure

Wild Game DynastyFriends of ELO

By:  Tom Lounsbury. This year marks the 102nd anniversary of elk returning to Michigan. This all began with 7 Rocky Mountain elk (from Yellowstone National Park) being released in 1918 near Wolverine in northern Michigan. Elk are native to Michigan, but they had become extinct around 1875 due to unregulated hunting and a major loss of habitat. The subspecies found here was known as the eastern elk and was once abundantly found from the East Coast all the way to the Mississippi River. It was also bigger than its Rocky Mountain cousin, with mature bulls … Read More

Freelance Scouting

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By: John Eberhart. Grabbing my bow, backpack and freelance pack I set off through the public land timber to a patch of white oaks I’d hunted the previous season. To my disappointment none of the oaks had acorns, the two scrapes from the previous season were inactive, there were no nearby rubs and the heavily used runways from the previous season were barely noticeable. It was late October and the mature bucks were beginning to break their nocturnal habits in search of early estrus does which I term as the pre-rut and because of that … Read More

Mistakes Are Part Of The Learning Curve

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  John Eberhart. 10 Common Mistakes Mistakes are part of the learning curve in every aspect of life, including hunting and it’s our option to either learn from the mistakes we make and become more proficient, or ignore or not realize they’re being made and keep making them. Another option is to gain the trust of someone to the extent that you accept their experiences and learn from the mistakes they made in hopes that you correct or don’t make the same mistakes moving forward. It boils down to a matter of trust when accepting … Read More

Scout Smart For Early Season Opportunities

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  John Eberhart. I don’t get it? There were several deer coming out into the soybean field every evening like clockwork all summer, and one of the bucks was a shooter. Then shortly after the big guy rubbed out he seemingly dissipated into thin air and I never saw him all season. If I had a 5 spot for every time I’ve heard a similar story I’d have enough to buy a tricked out new bow. Nobody can read a deer’s mind and studies done in captive environments or in areas where hunting is nearly … Read More