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

Springtime “Gathering” in the woods is an ancient outdoor pastime as old as humankind

Wild Game DynastyFriends of ELO, Youth Hunts

By:  Tom Lounsbury. The outdoor pastime of gathering “wild” edible plants goes back to the very beginning of humankind, in order to survive, and it is an atmosphere which truly goes hand in hand with hunting, trapping and fishing (hence the term “hunter-gatherers”). Mushrooms come to mind right away and when it comes to picking springtime mushrooms (of which there are a wide variety), I stick strictly to morels as they are the only edible fungi I’m truly familiar with and comfortable in eating. The fact is, I absolutely love eating morels which have a … Read More

Getting Kids Involved In The Great Outdoors

Wild Game DynastyFriends of ELO, Youth Hunts

By:  Tom Lounsbury. One of my greatest pleasures in life as a parent was getting my three sons involved with the various pursuits in the great outdoors, and mentoring them, one on one through the process which is truly the joy of sharing, and of course “passing it on”. As a grandparent, I’m even further pleased seeing my sons doing the same in passing it on with their children. This is something we humans as hunter/gathers have been doing since the beginning of time, although in today’s high-tech society, this fact in reality can become … Read More

One fine big game cartridge for Michigan hunting – the .450 Bushmaster

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

By:  Tom Lounsbury. When the Michigan Natural Resources Commission passed the Limited Firearms Deer Season into law five years ago, it opened up a whole new avenue for southern Michigan deer hunters, allowing an array of straight wall cartridges (.35 caliber are larger, with a minimum case length of 1.16 inches and a maximum case length of 1.80 inches) in rifles during the regular firearms deer season (not to mention the Liberty, and early and late antlerless deer seasons as well). The new law is very well written, easy to understand, and it truly uses … Read More