By: Tom Lounsbury.
There is no question that the whitetail deer is the most popular big game animal in North America with a big following of avid hunters. Michigan itself has more than 500,000 deer hunters in the woods by daybreak on November 15, a day I personally believe should be a state holiday. Until the 15th arrives however, I start being real serious about pursuing bucks from Halloween on, with archery tackle, due to the whitetail rut which is kicking in and peaking over that early to mid-November timeframe which I quite literally live for.
My favorite method to employ is “deer calling” by using a variety of deer vocalizations related to the rut phase to lure bucks into range. This is when the easy to use “can calls” which emulate a doe in heat can work actually quite well, and I often do use one due to the sheer simplicity of turning the can over to emit the call. When I want to use a bit more personal touch, I perform a long drawn out “mature” doe bleat by blowing on a H.S. True Talker deer call. In either case (can or True Talker per the doe part), I also use a buck grunter call (the H.S. True Talker will do this too by simple fingertip placement) to emulate a buck, preferably a young buck, moving in on the very, very lonesome doe.
I know I’ve been “saying” matters right in deer lingo when a buck makes its appearance with its ears flattened against its skull and with back hair standing straight up, and ready to slap the young punk buck around some before stealing the doe away. Well folks, calling doesn’t always work, but when it does work, I can attest it is one of the most thrilling moments which can ever happen when deer hunting, and I’ve lured in and taken (aka blind-sided) some nice bucks in this fashion, including my largest. Whitetails, especially my local Thumb variety, are quite savvy when it comes to dealing with human hunters and any sort of hunting pressure, so there is some distinct satisfaction when all the pieces come together, including luck such as being in the right spot at the right time, and I never rule out luck when it comes to successfully bagging whitetails.
Although I have accomplished this task from ladder-stands, I’ve been pegged by bucks I didn’t notice which had sneaked in and caught me in the act of calling (it pays to do a careful pan of the surroundings before each calling sequence). Being savvy whitetails, it doesn’t take them long at all to get real suspicious about any deer being up in a tree, which isn’t normal at all in their world. This is when being on the ground, where calling can be, sometimes anyway, a bit more forgiving, and especially so if you are concealed in a ground blind. In this case, the buck is somewhat bewildered as to where the deer he knew was there had suddenly vanished to.
When it comes to ground blinds, I’ve been using (Made in the Thumb) Lucky Hunting Blinds for 34 deer seasons now. These dome-shaped affairs are quick and easy to transport, setup and offer weathertight concealment in a wide variety of camouflage designs. The shooting windows reveal a wide pan of the surroundings and I’ve discovered on many occasions that the Lucky ground blinds help to contain a hunter’s scent, as I’ve had deer which should have scented me, didn’t. They are very durable too, because I left a Lucky ground blind in a very special location without ever moving it for 12 years, and it withstood everything Mother Nature could throw at it, including heavy snowstorms, and remained fully functional, including the zippered door, until a big tree fell on it during a summer storm. Such says a whole lot about quality, and my family had bagged a lot of deer from it, many of which we called in. I now have another Lucky hunting blind in that spot because that is what has proven to work best there.
Hunting from high-up in tree-stands and raised platforms seems to be quite popular these days, but there are times and places where ground blinds are still the best way to go. You also don’t need a safety harness or worry about falling, and if you feel like taking a nap, which I sometimes do, you can do so in a ground blind, where doing such high up in a tree isn’t a very wise idea. I’ve also found ground blinds to be ideal for taking young hunters on the hunt, without having to worry about climbing up into or down out of matters during lowlight conditions, and young hunters, and old ones too, can go ahead and get a little fidgety when in an enclosed and very concealed situation. I’ve also comfortably eased through some nasty, wet and cold weather in Lucky ground blinds, and always did so with confidence.
Although Lucky makes a lot of hunting blind styles, even for tree-stand hunting, the meat and potatoes of their business is the Lucky Hunting Ground Blind which can be setup in seconds with a simple flick of the wrists. Its inventor/creator Bob Peruski Sr. of Ubly, had thoroughly field tested it before ever bringing it to market, and he fully believes in having everything manufactured locally and using only top quality materials. Bob Peruski Jr. is now in the family business as well, and he and his father make an ideal team, and they are continually coming up with something new, or constantly striving to improve on the old. I’m always curious as to what they will come up with.
Although Bob Sr. and Bob Jr. make their blinds’ steel framework at their Ubly facility, the fabric camouflage shell is sewn up by local folks in their homes. Jackie Hunt of Cumber has been with the business from the beginning for 34 years, and Michelle White of Minden City has been at it for 23 years. I happened to meet Michelle White at the Lucky facility when I was there checking out the “newly improved” cold weather ground blind (which features polycarbonate windows). She was bringing in a special order, completed shell, and took time to show me all the intricate sewing which is performed, including attaching the long door zipper.
The first thing Michelle discovered when she started working for Lucky Blinds, was that her regular sewing machine wasn’t up to the task in tackling the heavy-duty material and she quickly went to an industrial model. It was very clear to me that she takes great pride in her work to create a top quality product. With five children, Michelle also appreciates being able to work on her own schedule and still be a stay-at-home mom.
Ever since I first met him 34 years ago, I sensed right away that Bob Peruski Sr. is very proud about creating a Made in the USA product, and by keeping all the manufacturing process locally. That says a whole lot about this Thumb area family business.
For more information, go to www.luckyshuntingblinds.com or call 989-214-0130.