By Jim Hamrick
It’s hunting season in Michigan, that wonderful time of year, only rivaled by Christmas season. No matter the object of the season, small game, waterfowl, or the elusive white tailed deer, the anticipation of opening day equals the excitement of the night before Christmas for most hunters.
The large variety of game in Michigan provides challenges that should satisfy most anyone who wants to be afield in the fall. Squirrels and rabbits provide plentiful opportunities for beginning hunters as well as seasoned old timers. Squirrels pursued with small caliber rifles are a great tune-up for the deer gun season in November. Bushy tails are also wonderful table fare thanks to slow cooking crock pots.
Hunting squirrels with small bore rifles or 410 shotguns gives beginners a chance at early success without long hours of inactivity that come in the pursuit of larger game.
Hunting in Michigan is steeped in family traditions and memories that span generations. Teaching sons and daughters the skills of stalking, gun safety, and care of harvested game builds relationships that last a life time. The memories of shared time afield cannot be matched by many other activities. Increased skill and success can provide the confidence for young people to excel in other areas of their lives. If you’re a hunter share your experiences with younger people even if it’s only going to the gun or bow range.
Waterfowl season is in full swing! What a great sport. The best memories come from those who pursue ducks and geese with groups of family and friends accompanied by well-trained retriever dogs. The best part of waterfowl hunting is watching a good dog retrieve a downed bird.
The best weather for successful waterfowl hunting is cold, cloudy, and miserable. It takes a hardy hunter to enjoy the time waiting in a blind watching decoys bob in the waves. An incoming flight of well-called and decoyed birds will create an adrenalin rush in the most experienced waterfowl hunter. Later dining in a warm lodge on duck breast cooked in cherry juice and reminiscing about the days events is good living.
In Michigan, November 14, is the second most exciting day. It is the day before the opening of white-tailed deer season with 750,000 hunters at deer camp or on their way. There will be little sleep this night as family and lifelong friends remember hunts past, or departed hunters who showed them the way. Traditional meals will be prepared and shared. Euchre and poker will help the night pass in many camps. The discussions will be of the best guns or missed trophies or the next day’s strategy. Opening of gun deer season is the best of Michigan traditions! Kids as young as nine and seniors into the century mark will be after the ever-elusive 30-point buck.
Hunting in Michigan is a great experience! Those who love to be afield, share your experiences of the hunt, not just the pictures of harvested game to non-hunting friends.