The “Sacred Doe” Of The Forest

Wild Game DynastyBucks n Bears, Friends of ELO, 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

Wild Game DynastyFriends 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

Wild Game DynastyFriends 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

Michigan’s Deer Seasons Are Fast Approaching

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

By:  Tom Lounsbury. As I write this, August has arrived, which means summer is winding down and fall will soon be easing in. For many Michigan hunters, this is the time to start preparing for the various deer seasons, and there is no question that the whitetail deer has become our state’s most popular big game animal (actually, this is a fact almost nationwide). The “Liberty Hunt”, which will take place September 11th and 12th this year, is a favorite time of mine to look forward to, as I truly enjoy taking a kid deer … 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

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

Plinking: “You’re a Daisy if you do”

Wild Game DynastyFriends of ELO, Youth Hunts

By:  Tom Lounsbury. The young boy avoided stepping on downed leaves and twigs and quietly eased up to the tree trunk for a steady brace, slowly shouldered his gun, took careful aim at the quarry as he eased off the safety, and then touched the trigger. At the shot, a little green apple lying on the ground several yards away rolled over with a direct hit. The boy re-cocked his little lever-action and shot the apple again to make sure it was down for the count. My 10 year old grandson Orlando and I were … Read More

Squirrel Dogs…like lightning in a bottle

Wild Game DynastyFriends of ELO, Youth Hunts

By:  Tom Lounsbury. The first time that I ever hunted with what I would call a “squirrel dog” was back when I was a kid. I was hunting near the Cass River with a friend the same age as me, and we were using his unique hunting dog that was half beagle and half Border collie. This stocky dog weighed about 30 pounds and looked pretty much like a beagle with the black and white markings of a Border collie. Crossbreds for a fact can often be incredible hunters, and this dog was no exception. … Read More