My Buck From Dad’s Blind

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  Brian Smith. These trips are not about getting a deer.  It’s about the drive up in the truck; leaving at 4am, having breakfast in a small town diner, hearing stories from Grandpa’s past 70 years of hunting in the UP.  It’s about sharing a week with guys closest to you, but also having 12 hours a day by yourself sitting, waiting for something to move. 17 years ago, I made my first trip to the UP with my Dad and Grandpa.  We stayed in one of the small cabins at the West Shore Resort … Read More

What’s New Is Old … Again?

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears

…reflecting… In today’s society, instant gratification is virtually nonnegotiable. We want it, and we want it now, whether “it” entails grabbing a burger from McDonald’s or speeding down the highway on your way home from work. Simply put, we don’t like to wait around for stuff anymore. If we don’t have to, we won’t. That attitude has trickled down to nearly every aspect of our lives, including deer hunting. Growing up, the U.P. looked to me like a paradigm of the great outdoors. It was brimming with wildlife, a special, almost mythical quality surrounding all … Read More

Wisconsin Example of How Michigan Bears Could be Better Managed

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  Richard P. Smith. Wisconsin is a perfect example of how Michigan could better manage their bear population. During 2016, Wisconsin issued 11,520 bear licenses to hunters in the state and those hunters registered 4,682 bears, according to a report issued by the Wisconsin DNR. Michigan only had 6,896 bear licenses available in 2016, resulting in 1,636 bruins being registered by hunters. Wisconsin hunters harvested almost three times as many bears as Michigan and almost twice as many hunters (1.7x) had the opportunity to hunt bear in Wisconsin than Michigan even though Michigan has more … Read More

Speak The Language – Grunt Calls Can Work!

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  Jim Kushner. Years ago I was looking through an archery magazine and saw a photo of a very happy hunter posing with a huge buck he had taken. The caption stated that he had called it in during early bow season. I don’t recall the date but I do remember thinking that I had not heard of a grunt call working during anything but the rut & pre-rut.  Sometime later a nice buck walked by my stand in early October. It was clear he was not coming close enough for a shot. I figured … Read More

It Is Why We Hunt

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  Jim Kushner. In my opinion it’s really about the enjoyment of hunting and what really makes it fun for you, not what someone else thinks is fun. In my younger days just seeing a deer while hunting was heart pounding excitement for me. I wanted a buck so bad I could taste it, but my opportunities were few and when they did come I usually messed up ! There were a lot of reasons for that but the lack of success only increased my enthusiasm and drove me to try harder. As the years … Read More

The Future Of ‘Paying It Forward’

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

By:  Tom Lounsbury. Twelve year old Zack Burnette of Cass City sure appreciates the Mentor Hunting License for Michigan which allows kids 9 and under to go hunting with an adult. This allowed him to start sharing quality time at age six with his dad, Don Burnette hunting cottontails with a petite “Cricket” .22 rifle (a great firearm for little kids), and rabbit hunting remains to be a favorite winter pastime. Father and son would continue to share adventures in the outdoors together. Thanks to crossbows being legal for archery deer hunting, Zack was able … Read More

A Wild Experience With My Father

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears

By:  Jim Kushner I first went deer hunting with my Dad when I was around 12, it was just a day trip & other than some deer that had been chased across a field we were driving past I don’t remember seeing anything. Over the years Dad & I hunted together a lot. I was with him and a younger brother on the opening day that I shot my first buck. He wasn’t close enough to help with the first field dressing job or dragging it to the truck but he congratulated me and helped … Read More

Bear Hunting When Conventional Wisdom Ain’t Workin’

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears

Michigan’s bear hunting permit system can challenge anyone’s patience ..including mine.  After all, it is managed by the Dept. of Natural Resources.  Most of us spent years reading the online results: “try again next year”.  For one mid-Michigan hunter, Tony Dodak, he knew his efforts of getting a permit inside of the Red Oak bear management unit (BMU) was a work in progress.  Nine years to be exact.  He and his (hunting partner) brother, Aaron, began the planning process of unsuccessful permit draws back when the U.S. was in the midst of a financial crisis … Read More

Michigan Bucks and Bears

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO

By:  Richard P. Smith. Do you want to see more bucks or bears in Michigan during the future? Before you answer that question, some background information about both species of big game is important. Due to the use of a method in 2012 to estimate the UP bear population that is prone to errors, the DNR thought bear numbers were declining and reduced bear hunting licenses by 32% from 2012 through 2014 to allow the bear population to increase. The number of bear licenses issued to hunters in the Lower Peninsula (LP) were cut back … Read More

A Classic Michigan Bear Hunt (w/video)

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears

Black bear hunting in da U.P…..eh.  On September 15th, 2016 my dream of bagging a Michigan Black bear came true.  My name is Nick Grillo and I am an avid Outdoorsman.  I have always been around hunting but I started out deer hunting when I was 14.  Deer Hunting has always been one of my main passions in life, that is until I sat 7 yards from a black bear, face to face at ground level.  Man….now that was a rush.  I still love deer hunting, but definitely gained a huge respect and passion for … Read More