The DNR Has Michigan’s Bear Count All Wrong?

Richard P SmithBucks n Bears

ground shrinkage

By:  Richard P. Smith. If 116 Michigan residents, many of whom were bear hunters, either saw or had trail camera photos of 1,000 black bears in the state during 2015, how many bears do you think were seen and photographed by the thousands of other hunters and nonhunters last year? If I had to make an educated guess, it would be more than 50,000. Some of those bear would have been seen and/or photographed by more than one person, of course, but certainly not all of them. So how many bears were there in Michigan … Read More

Will Work For Food!

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Conservation & Wildlife Management, Friends of ELO

Many of us have booked a wild game hunt with an outfitter…at least once.  There are many reasons for trusting our hunts to someone else’s planning and handiwork, but few will admit they most need a professional to cover their ‘back side’.  WGD found a handful of some of the toughest hunting guides in the Midwest.  We recently sat down with them to get a feel of what drives their ambition.  “Most guides are in shape, physically…it’s the mental toughness that matters most”, says Ross Chambers, a professional guide in Michigan’s remote Upper Peninsula.  Imagine … Read More

Family Traditions – An Invitation Awaits

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears

family traditions

By:  Gary Morgan. Being a hunting guide for whitetail deer in Michigan has its challenges.  Specifically, the Eastern Upper Peninsula is a pure challenge.  Big timber goes as far as the eye can see, setting the stage for a way to find some of the greatest strain of trophy whitetails in the lower 48.  Finding a thriving band of deer in ‘da UP’ is like finding a ball cap full of morel mushrooms – they exist in pockets but not necessarily in the same area year-after-year.  “I’ve hunted trophy whitetails in a lot of areas…the … Read More

A Superior Experience In Michigan’s U.P.

Adrian ZarantonelloBucks n Bears

By: Adrian Zarantonello The Smith family has been traveling to Michigan’s upper peninsula for the whitetail deer gun season for well over six decades. When I married into the family I became part of that tradition…a tradition I embraced and hold near to my heart.  This year, 2016, ‘our opening day’ began with the first weekend of the season.  Saturday and Sunday were marred by a snowstorm that had 20-30 mph winds and gusts of 45 mph. This storm dropped 2-4″ of snow on the eastern UP as well as drive temperatures down into the … Read More

Black Bear Hunting in Northern Ontario

Tom LounsburyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  Tom Lounsbury The older I get, the more choosey I am about who I go on adventures with in the “wild country” because if the chips are ever down, you need to know they will be right in there covering your “six” or enduring matters with you in a skillful manner. That is why when fellow outdoor writer Jay VanHouten of Midland wanted to know if I would be interested in going on a northern Ontario black bear hunt with him, it was a no-brainer for me to come back with an automatic “yes”. … Read More

Leave The Tracking To The Pros.

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears

leave tracking to pros

By: Laura Scharich Dave and I were heading back to a favorite bear hunting camp for my third bear hunt. I was so excited. I got hooked on bear hunting in 2013 even though it took seventy five hours in the bush to get my first bear. I had managed to get some video of small bears and had a bear destroy my ground blind the first night so it was still an eventful, memorable, and long hunt. Dave chose to do some fishing up there instead of bear hunting and our friend, Jeff was … Read More

“That Can’t Be The Bear I Shot!..?”

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears

“Ground Shrinkage” is a term that black bear hunters become all too familiar with because bears often look bigger than they really are, especially to hunters who have seen few, if any, bears in the wild. It’s common for bear hunters, even those with plenty of experience under their belts, to shoot bears that they think are big only to find out they are smaller than they thought when they recover the bruin they shot. Is there a way to avoid ground shrinkage when bear hunting? There are no guarantees, but one of the best … Read More

Freshwater, no sharks!

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears

It all began with a phone call from a fella in Florida’s swamp land.  He identified himself as Chad, bearing that distinct southern accent that told me: “this guy ain’t from these parts”.  He wanted to know if this was Wild Game Dynasty from Michigan.   I quickly learned he was inquiring on a guided deer hunt that his girlfriend found while searching online.   She apparently found a posting of a fundraising campaign in Michigan.  This fundraiser was put on by a local charity in my home town raising funds for youth activities, which Wild Game … Read More

Increase In Bear Licenses Essential

Richard P SmithBucks n Bears

By:  Richard P. Smith. Even though there are now more black bears in parts of the UP than whitetail deer and that lopsided situation could worsen if bear license quotas are not increased significantly, the DNR does not plan on recommending any change in the number of bear licenses issued during 2016 because bear regulations are on a 2-year cycle. In other words, bear license quotas are supposed to remain the same as in 2015. The only way to change that mindset is for concerned bear and deer hunters who want to see the fledgling … Read More

For The Love Of Bow Hunting!

Jim KushnerBucks n Bears

When I was a kid, maybe six or seven years old, my Dad took up bow hunting. I remember watching him shoot his Bear recurve in the back yard and I was hooked.  I couldn’t wait to start shooting a bow. My first real bow was a green, fiberglass recurve with a white rubber handle that doubled as an arrow rest. I think it was all of 30 or 35lbs. draw weight. We shot wood arrows with glue on tips and feather fletching. I don’t remember there being any particular attention paid to matching arrows … Read More