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5 Smartphones can provide benefits on the hunt 7 Bowfishing offers fast-paced, rewarding experience 9 Glennie man turns traditional bows into science 11 Darton Archery on cutting edge of technology 13 Rifle River Rec blind gives access for disabled hunters 13 MiOFO provides opportunities for all 15 DNR Trout Trails helps anglers plan trips 15 Kayak fishing makes for a quiet day on lake 17 Antlers to art 18 Searfoss family shares love of the hunt 18 DNR seeks help with prevention of CWD 21 PATH Foundation strives to give help to all 23 Guided hunts good for first-time and experienced hunters 24 Dining 27 After the hunt

Editorial & Advertising Office 215 W. Houghton Avenue West Branch, MI 48661 Phone: 989-345-0044 Fax: 989-345-5609 For a digital copy of the 2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide visit:

Hunting &  Fishing Guide Publisher Liz Gorske

Managing Editor Eric Young

Staff Sherry Barnum Tim Barnum Sharon Ehlert Jennifer Cronkright Nadelle Fournier Jama Gates Anthony Kachiros Marcia Karbowski Kimberly Landenberg Jason Ogden Carla Reeves Matt Varcak

Copyright 2015

2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 2

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Smartphones can provide many benefits on the hunt By Eric Young

When you pack up your gear to head out to the woods this hunting season, one of the things you might be considering leaving out is your smartphone. After all, you want to get away from things — to not be bothered while you’re out in the woods, right? Maybe. But before you leave your phone sitting on a shelf or on the dash in your car, consider how it might actually be of use to you this hunting season. First, there are a number of apps available that could actually help you bag the big buck this season, and some are even free. The first set of apps I looked at are by ScoutLook. The company has a range of weather apps to not only let you know the weather in your current location, but how that weather affects your hunt. In the free version, you can place a point on the map and it will show you, with a triangle, what the wind speed is at that location, and what area your scent might be detected. This can be very helpful when it comes to deciding where to locate your blind or your bait pile, to make sure you are downwind and not upwind. The ScoutLook Deer Log application also allows you to log where you saw certain deer, with details about the animal, such as how many points it has and what its activity was. The app has a four out of five star rating in the Apple iOS App Store with

210 reviews. Another helpful application is the iSolunar Hunting and Fishing Times app. The free version of the application allows you to log different locations on a map, such as your blind, where you saw a deer, the location of tracks or even a blood trail when you are tracking a deer. The application has a four out of five star rating on the Apple iOS App Store with 64 reviews. Another potentially helpful application is called Deer Calls Pro. This application does just what it sounds like — it plays a number of different deer calls, eliminating the need for making your own calls. You could probably use the speaker on your phone just fine for the calls, but paired with a Bluetooth external speaker, this app could be spectacular. It also has a four out of five star rating on the Apple iOS App Store with 108 reviews. You might be surprised to find out that your phone probably contains a number of stock applications right out of the box that you could find quite useful while you’re out in the woods. Using the Apple iPhone as an example, all iPhones since the iPhone 3GS have included a compass, which can be extremely helpful if you get lost in the woods and need help finding your way out. On that same level, the maps application can do wonders for helping you find your way. Using the phone’s built-in GPS, the

The ScoutLook Deer Log app on the iPhone enables you to plot a location and see the “scent cone” to determine wind direction and where you might be upwind of a deer, based on current weather. ERIC YOuNG

maps app will show your location within a few yards, and allow you to easily see the direction to your nearest landmark. You can also use the compass in combination with the maps app to be sure you are traveling in the correct direction. And most importantly, your phone can be a lifesaver — literally. Should

2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 5

you have an issue in the woods and need help, you can always grab your phone and give someone a call. Or if there is an emergency, you can call 911. So before you decide to leave your mobile phone in the truck when you head out into the woods, consider how it may actually be of use to you when you’re out hunting this year.

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2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 6

Bowfishermen say sport offers fast-paced, rewarding experience By Matt Varcak

Like thieves in the night, a growing number of Michigan outdoorsmen are taking part in a sport that combines two others, oftentimes takes place after the sun has set and is increasing their chances of success. “Since I was 2 1/2-3 years old, my mom would take me down to Irons Park and I would fish for like six hours a day,” said Spencer Withers, 17, of West Branch. He said in the summer of 2013, his friend invited him to go bowfishing. “I had just bought a boat that summer, and we took his spotlight and car battery,” he said. “Another buddy brought the trolling motor. Me and Connor (Gough) were up front with our two bows. We shot six carp. The seventh one was topping about 35 pounds, but he pulled out the arrow. That was his first time ever doing it.” From that point on, Withers was hooked. “I went and bought an AMS retriever reel and an old compound from a buddy and set that up,” Withers said. “And then we went out four or five times that summer.” To get started, Withers said it is not all that expensive, requiring a bow, reel and solid fiberglass arrows. “Regular (arrows) are too light and don’t have the kinetic energy to puncture the fish in the water,” he said. “You can buy them at the store for 10-15 bucks. They’re about $6 if you make them yourself.” “The nice thing about bowfishing is, unless you’re fishing in a deep lake, most of the time you’re shooting

Spencer Withers of West Branch poses for a photo with three carp he captured from Lake George in June 2013 — his first time bowfishing. SPENCER WITHERS/COuRTESY PHOTO

in shallow water,” Withers said. “You don’t want a fancy bow. You beat the crap out of it. I started out with my old recurve, which worked great in the shallow water. Young kids, women and weaker guys can do it. You don’t have to pull as much; 35 pounds is fine in shallow waters.” Ideally one wants a calm, warmer evening to bowfish, said Withers, who typically scours Lake George in Ogemaw County. “If you have a little bit of moon, that’s all right, but you don’t want too much,”

he said. “That’s why you go out at night; you don’t have any glare and can see in the water really well with your lights.” He said in the spring when the carp are spawning, large groups can be found in the shallows. “We go right along the drop-off, and we look up into the shallows for the carp. When you spook them in deeper water you don’t have a lot of range with your bow,” Withers said, noting they are easily startled. “Just try to get as close a shot as possible. The carp,

2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 7

when they get spooked, go out into that deeper water. The biggest carp I ever shot was like that. He had to come underneath the boat.” Kyle Yoder, 23, of Fairview said his dad has been taking him fishing since he was 5 years old, and he has been bowfishing for the past five years. “I really enjoy bowhunting, and I also really like fishing; it basically combines the two sports,” Yoder said, noting some friends introduced him to the sport. “You’re not sitting there waiting for a fish to bite; you’re pursuing the fish.” He said he started out using a compound bow, a 10-foot flat bottom boat and a battery-powered headlamp. “It’s like a lot of sports; you can invest a lot into it or start out pretty inexpensively,” he said. Yoder said although many make it appear effortless, bowfishing poses a unique set of challenges. “With water refraction you’re not actually seeing the fish; you’re seeing a reflection on the water. You’ve got to aim between 1-3 feet below to actually hit the fish,” he said, noting how much depends on the depth of the fish and its distance from the shooter. It takes a lot of misses to figure out where your arrow is going to go.” “The most discouraging thing is you’re going to miss a lot when you first start,” Yoder said. “I’ve seen people miss 100 fish in a night and then finally hit one. If you’re hitting 25 percent you’re doing very well. The best way to get started


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Glennie man has turned traditional bows into a science By Jay Ogden

Top, John Maus draws back a traditional recurve bow he made. The bows can cost thousands depending on the workmanship and materials. Above, John Maus uses a knife to carve layers from a traditional bow in his Glennie workshop. JAY OGDEN

Making traditional recurve bows and turning it into a business for Glennie resident and retired Marine John Maus had its humble roots at the woodshop at Oscoda High School in the 1970s. At Lone Wolf Custom Archery, Maus takes raw wood from around the state and painstakingly works it into custom and functional works of art using woods like oak, maple, Osage orange and many other species. Combined with epoxy, fiberglass, carbon fiber, other resins, as well as good oldfashioned hard work and determination, Maus’ bows are not just weapons for harvesting deer or target practice, but custom works of art. Maus’ shop uses many different woodworking tools, and many machines that are custom-made to make his bows. One includes a cementing press that uses heat and immense pressure to cement

2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 9

sections of the wood bow together to create the final product. He credits his more than 20 years as a Marine for the often very exacting precision work that takes place on the bows. Maus originally got into bow hunting because it was a popular activity in Northern Michigan in the 1960s. One popular bow maker, whose name has become a legend in traditional recurve bows, was Fred Bear, who made bows in Grayling. Maus said meeting him as a child was a huge influence on his bow making and getting into archery. “I was 7 or 8 years old and at Alcona High School, and Fred Bear actually came there and showed us movies of hunting and shooting,” Maus said. “And at that time I really got influenced; that is my earliest memories of bow hunting and shooting.” Years later as a freshman at


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2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 10

Darton Archery on cutting edge of technology By Sherry Barnum

Since 1950 Darton Archery has been on the cutting edge of technology, paving the way for all other archery companies today. According to the Darton Archery manufacturing magazine, Darton is one of the few archery companies today that can say they have been in the archery industry with the same ownership for 65 years. “A very humbling beginning in 1950, in a simpler time, Darton Archery started making accessories for traditional archery,” the magazine said. “Darton continued its growth through its early years making traditional recurve bows. With the introduction of the compound bow, Darton Archery and (owner) Rex Darlington became one of the few companies allowed to produce the new bow; a bow with wheels on each end that would become the blueprint for the modern bow used today.” Sales Manager Ted Harpham said what makes Darton Archery stand above the rest is its technology in CAM systems. “Darton is a leader in the performance part of the industry,” Harpham said. “Darton has a ton of patents in the technology industry, and we are all over the world.” Harpham said everything made at Darton Archery is made for hunters by hunters. “Everything is done by hand so the quality of a Darton bow is unmatched,” Harpham said. “We are a small company in a sea of a lot of sharks. Darton has

Sales Manager Ted Harpham and Darton Archery owner Rex Darlington show off some of Darton’s bows. PHOTOS



sole proprietorship and we are still surviving.” Harpham said Darton Archery is noted for having very fast, extremely quiet bows with very smooth draw cycles. “Those three facets cover just about everything a bow hunter is looking for and a target archer as well,” he said. Harpham said Darton Archery also carries a full line of crossbows. “In Michigan it is legal to hunt and shoot a crossbow with no restrictions,” he said. “We have been here a long time, and to get a true test before purchasing a

bow, take our bow for a test drive because there are lots out there.” “It’s just like a custom pair of shoes,” Harpham said. “When a customer gets our bow in their hand it fits like a glove.” According to Darton Archery history, Darton is still a humble family-owned company with one motivation: pushing the limits in their engineering to produce the best-performing archery equipment. Darton’s 2015 lineup includes compound bows for the youth market, for bow fishing and for women; target bows; and their primary obsession, hunting bows.

Left, the weight of a bow gets checked. Middle, Ted Harpham shows what the bow looks like before and after. Right, finished bows hang inside Darton Archery.

2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 11

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Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors provides hunting opportunities for all

By Sherry Barnum

Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors is a collaborative partnership whose mission is to provide outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities to wounded veterans and individuals with health challenges, and to coordinate a support network that facilitates their recovery through connecting with nature. “MiOFO activities are centered around (Department of Natural Resources)-managed Sharonville State Game Area and the neighboring Camp Liberty property,” Thomas Jones, MiOFO project coordinator, said. “The properties are near several population cen-

ters: Ann Arbor, Jackson, Lansing and Detroit.” Jones said they seek to serve disabled veterans and others with health challenges or mobility issues. “If you used to enjoy time in the field and have been unable to hunt or hike or fish or bird-watch because of health challenges, we can help,” he said. “We have access to tracked wheelchairs that we can lend for a day of outdoor fun. We also have accessible hunting or photography blinds and guides for one-on-one recreation experiences.” Jones said the program is important because nationally, Michigan ranks very low in

“If you used to enjoy time in the field and have been unable to hunt or hike or fish or bird-watch because of health challenges, we can help.” — Thomas Jones, MiOFO Project Coordinator

per capita spending for veterans. “The state is working to bolster opportunities and services for veterans, and this is one way we can help to make life a little better for the men and women who were injured while serving our country,” Jones said.

Jones said the partnership began in 2013, but really got off the ground last year. “The project was the brainchild of Russ Mason, DNR Wildlife Division chief,” Jones said. “He felt strongly that the division and the Department

Rifle River Rec blind creating access for disabled hunters

See MIOFO, 29

By Matt Varcak

Most Northern Michigan residents await the return of deer hunting season with more anticipation than Christmas morning, but the special time of year can pose challenges and leave those with disabilities feeling left out. The Rifle River Recreation Area in Lupton is looking to eliminate potential barriers with an accessible hunting blind, designed and designated for use by those with disabilities. Rob Goulette, state worker at Rifle River Recreation Area, said the blind was purchased around five years ago with Access to Recreation Initiative funding, which was made available through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “It’s just nice for handicapped people to be out in the woods and be able to hunt,” Goulette said. “People that are handicapped can’t really get out and do those things; they can’t take other trails. Getting out to the trails is huge. You can’t do that in other parts of state land. That’s why this setup is so cool. There is a gravel road that runs right up to it. So someone in a wheelchair could easily drive right up and get in.” Goulette said it can be attached to the back of a vehicle and moved to where officials want it placed. He said it has been positioned in one location, where hunters have found success, for some time.

See ACCESS, 29

The accessible hunting blind at the Rifle River Recreation Area offers around 25 square feet of interior room for hunters and can be suspended up to 20 feet in the air. COuRTESY PHOTO/MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF NATuRAL RESOuRCES

2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 13


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DNR Trout Trails helps anglers plan trips

By Amanda Brancecum

The Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division has partnered with biologists and several sportsman groups to develop an online tool to help anglers plan fishing trips. The Fisheries Division put together a map called Trout Trails that gives 129 locations across Michigan where anglers can find trout. According to a July 1 DNR press release, Trout Trails provides information on trout species, fishing regulations, presence of stocked or naturally reproduced fish, driving directions, area lodging, restaurants, guide services and noteworthy information such as canoe, kayak or tube accessibility. DNR Communications Specialist Elyse Walter said the online tool is part of a five-year strategic plan for 2013-17. She said the goal of the tool is to help connect anglers to fishing places around the state. She said the items are accessible best through Mozilla Firefox and Google

By Tim Barnum

Chrome browsers and can be accessed through iPads, tablets, smartphones and other electronic devices. She said the application is not downloadable, but the items for each of the locations are downloadable so users can take the map with them where they go. “We used the Word application,” Walter said, “So we want people to realize that it isn’t a physical app.” She said there is a possibility of creating a downloadable app in the future, but the DNR did not have the resources necessary to create one. Walter said several people have visited the site since the launch. “We’ve had a couple thousands of visits,” Walter said. She said the site is constantly monitored to make sure information is accurate and updated for users. With a second phase of the application planned for spring 2016, Walter said the DNR plans to add more locations, including the AuSable River and its tributaries. “We’re really excited about it and hoping it is very useful,” Walter said.

Kayak fishing makes for a quiet day on the lake

The loud roar of a motor, possible mechanical failure and difficulty of transporting a large fishing boat can make what was supposed to be a relaxing day on the water a constant headache. That’s why many people are taking up kayak fishing. At Frank’s Great Outdoors in Linwood, kayaks specifically built for fishing trips — complete with rod holders and anchor trolleys — were the fastest-selling kayaks this year, said Lori Hightower. Hightower said it seems that more people want a boat they can take fishing, but don’t want to break the bank to purchase one. “I think people want to get on the waterways, but they don’t want to spend a lot of money on motorboats,” she said. “They want to be able to get out there and fish, but

The Hobie Cat Company's Mirage Pro Angler Kayak is one of several models available at Frank’s Great Outdoors in Linwood. COuRTESY PHOTO

they don’t want to spend all the money on the gas and motors.” Access to hard-to-reach

fishing spots can be easier from a kayak, Hightower said. “You can get into places

2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 15

where boats can’t get into and do some bass fishing,”

See KAYAK, 26

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By Sherry Barnum

From floor lamps to tables and everything in between, Jan Roth has been turning normal antlers into works of art. “I got started years ago when I went to view a craft show,” Roth said. “I just really liked the rustic feel of antler art. Plus, I have always deer hunted and always liked antlers.” Roth said she got started 18 years ago and has been doing it ever since. “As time goes on you get better at what you’re doing,” she said. “I have grown a lot since then.” Starting out with just her pickup truck for hauling, Roth said she’s grown from a 6x12-foot trailer to a 7x14-foot trailer and attends anywhere from 25-30 shows a year. “Just because you apply for a show doesn’t mean you get accepted,” she said. “And I do log home decor shows, deer and turkey expos and different arts and crafts shows.” Roth said when she is making something she is not necessarily working on one piece at a time. “I’m usually working on a piece while prepping antlers, because getting antlers set is a big part of the work before the item is made,” Roth said. “And I do everything all in house by myself.”


“If I know I am going to be gone for a week or two I try to prep things to take with me and assemble them at the show, like antler wind chimes and fish pieces,” she said. “But the bigger pieces such as the tables, they have to be all assembled here.” Roth said some of her bigger pieces, like her pub tables, she makes so the tabletop comes off for easier transportation. “If I didn’t do it that way I wouldn’t be able to move it, so I try not to make anything bigger than what I can handle by myself to take to shows,” Roth said. Roth said if someone wants to use their own antlers for a piece they are more than welcome to do so, but not all antlers work together. “All antlers are different,” she said. “If someone sees a nice floor lamp and wants one like that with their antlers, they can’t have tiny antlers to make a big long floor lamp.” “In the one I made I used 27 large antlers,” Roth said. “And I usually get my antlers from people who go shed collecting and I buy them.” Roth said one of the most intriguing pieces she has made is a lamp that has a wooden lampshade and really large antlers.

See ART, 31

Pictured on top are shelves in Jan Roth’s garage filled with antlers. Above is one of the many lamps she has made. SHERRY BARNuM

2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 17

Searfoss family shares love of the hunt

By Amanda Brancecum

Alex Searfoss holds a shotgun as he sits in a field with his dad, Steven Searfoss, watching for deer. It is dark with the moonlight shining down on them two hours before sunrise. “I was 12 when I started hunting,” Alex said. “We sat there and waited for deer, and the first buck we saw was a little scruffy three or four (point). I was so hyped up about the deer — shaking — and I managed to get it.” Alex is now 21. He hunts with his dad Steven, his mom Kandi and his younger brother Logan. Logan is 18 and started taking hunter safety classes at age 12. Logan said hunting as a

family depends on everyone’s availability and work schedules. “Sometimes I’ll go by myself,” Logan said. “And sometimes I’ll have my dad and my brother to go with me.” Kandi said she is not much into killing animals, but she loves to target practice with her husband and sons. She said she mostly cooks the food and packs the lunches for the men. Steven said hunting is time for the Searfoss family to unwind and decompress from the stress of life. He said talking about work is not allowed except under certain circumstances. Alex said hunting with family is not the same as

Alex, Steven and Logan Searfoss take the Tri-Toon Harpoon out for its first trip. KANDI SEARFOSS/COuRTESY PHOTO

hunting by yourself. “It’s a whole different experience because you’re sitting out in the woods, and especially when you’re sit-

ting down with the family, it gives it a whole different aspect,” Alex said.

DNR seeks help of hunters with prevention of CWD By Jay Ogden

After three deer in Michigan were discovered with chronic wasting disease, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is asking hunters to be on the lookout for more. Aug. 6 the third free-range deer, located in Ingham County, tested positive for CWD. The 5 year-old doe and two other confirmed cases were discovered within a mile of one another and are from the same deer family. Chad Stewart, a deer management specialist for the DNR, said there are a few things hunters all across Michigan can do to help keep CWD from spreading. “This can be applied to anywhere in the state, and that is simply to report any deer that are looking ill, acting abnormally or have any sort of suspicious or sickly behavior,” Stewart said. “Also if you have a picture, whether you take it yourself or if it is on a trail camera, submit it to us. Even if you take it from up in your stand it is going to help us.” CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects whitetailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose, explained Stewart. It is caused by the transmission of infectious, self-multiplying proteins (prions) contained in saliva and other body fluids of infected animals. Susceptible animals can acquire CWD by direct exposure


“Michigan is the 20th state to identify CWD in their deer.”

— Chad Stewart, DNR Deer Management Specialist

to these fluids, from environments contaminated with these fluids or the carcass of a diseased animal. As a result of the finding in Ingham County, baiting of deer has been banned in that county because it is a way that CWD can be spread. Unlike bovine tuberculosis, another disease that affects deer, Stewart said CWD can be spread from deer feces and urine. “Michigan is the 20th state to identify CWD in their deer,” Stewart said. “It is also present in two Canadian provinces. It has been eradicated in Minnesota and New York, and prevention of the disease is the best form of managing it.” Stewart said, however, with prevention the possibility that more deer out there have it is very possible.

2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 18

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Passing Along The Heritage strives to provide help for all

By Sherry Barnum

Formed by a group of individuals who have a passion for hunting and fishing, Passing Along The Heritage Foundation was created to give youth and individuals who have limited access to the outdoors due to an illness or physical limitation a chance to get outside and take part in these activities. “When we started out it was to buy a bow for a kid that wanted to hunt and couldn’t afford one,” Bob Knoop, president of PATH Foundation said. “As we grew and Make-A-Wish stopped doing hunts, we morphed into still doing the other thing, but we also started making grants to archery programs and sponsoring 10-15 Make-A-Wish type hunts every year.” Knoop said there is no age limit for someone who wants to participate in PATH.

Corey Lantz shows off his trophy after his hunt. BOB KNOOP/COuRTESY PHOTO

“We serve kids as well as adults,” Knoop said. “We also do Wounded Warrior hunts, and we don’t serve any specific geographic location in Michigan.” Knoop said they have had participants from all over Michigan as well as some from Indiana and Ohio. “If we don’t have to fly them in we tend to do more hunts,” he said. Knoop said they have adaptive equipment so they can take virtually anyone with the desire to hunt. “We have taken people who are totally blind and quadriplegics hunting,” he said. Knoop said this is something he wanted to get involved in because of his work in Ducks Unlimited and Safari Club. “At some point it dawned on me that they didn’t need me there,” he said. “So myself and some of the other guys got together and started this, and that was probably 15 years ago.” According to the website, the primary mission of PATH Foundation is to establish, create and/or steward opportunities for disadvantaged families and individuals, particularly the youth, with an emphasis on “outdoor heritage,” and through such opportunities to encourage and develop the promotion, education and/or preservation of the same. “PATH also strives to assist handicapped children and adults, as well as disabled military veterans, who would like to go hunting or fishing but do not have the required equipment or access to the outdoors,” the website says. “The organization accomplishes this goal by providing

Brenan Twiss shows off his deer with his parents Brad and Joyce after his hunt. BOB KNOOP/COuRTESY PHOTO

free fishing and hunting opportunities to disadvantaged families and individuals in addition to other charitable activities that will promote, educate and/or preserve the outdoor heritage.” Knoop said the foundation not only provides grants, but supports youth in the outdoors and camps at the Michigan United Conservation Clubs. “We do some teaching, and we take a group of kids on their first pheasant hunt and fishing trip,” Knoop said. “They don’t have to have any prior experience.” Knoop said the name Passing Along The Heritage speaks to what the group does. “There are so many people now that want to be in the outdoors that don’t have access to it,” he said. “It’s

2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 21

life-changing for some people, and especially for the people who haven’t been out of bed in 20 years other than to go to doctor appointments, to get a chance to hunt and have a new lease on life.” “I know if I couldn’t hunt anymore it would be a severe issue with me,” Knoop said. “So being a part of PATH has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life.” “I know I get more out of these hunts than the constituents,” he said. “I have been fortunate in life and in my hunting career, so to be able to give back to people who don’t have the means to do it means everything to me.” For more information on PATH Foundation contact Bob Knoop at 313-418-8883.

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2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 22

Guided hunts good for firsttime and experienced hunters

By Sherry Barnum

Whether you are an experienced hunter or it’s your first time out, guided hunts offer an experience of a lifetime, according to Taylor Arney of Cherry Creek Farm in Mio. Arney said guided hunts take place on their 500-acre compound. “Our whitetail deer hunting takes place in several blinds, both ground level and elevated,” Arney said. “Pheasant and turkey hunts take place in the fields scattered around the property, while our European Tower hunts take place in the center, at the ‘Euro field.’” Arney said there are many options to choose from when it comes to guided hunts. “We offer whitetail does hunts, whitetail deer management buck hunts, trophy whitetail buck hunts, a traditional-style walk-up pheasant hunt and a European Tower shoot, and a three-day turkey hunt,” he said. “Our deer, pheasant and turkey hunts are all guided. Our guides know

Cherry Creek Farm gives hunters an experience of a lifetime with guided hunts. FILE


our property well, and will take our hunters to a prime location for a wonderful hunting experience.” Arney said they take reservations throughout the years for hunts; however, they recommend that people make reservations as soon as possible because most of their return hunters book their next hunt a year in advance. On guided hunts, Arney said hunters should bring their hunting gear as well as their excitement to hunt and an empty belly. “Hunters are also welcome

to bring their own bird dogs for the hunt; just let our staff know ahead of time,” he said. “Guided hunts offer an experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime. With a guide you can learn the history of Cherry Creek Farm, while having the confidence they are there for safety precautions and to help you find the best deer or pheasant around.” “Our hunts are suitable for any age hunter,” Arney said. “However, if it is one’s first time, we take the hunter(s) out to our trap shooting

range, so they can practice before going out into the field.” Arney said their guides aim to build a relationship with each hunter, while explaining the history behind the property as well as proper hunting techniques. “Cabin rentals and fishing are available from April through November,” he said. “The hunting season starts the beginning of September and runs into December. Once the season has begun we do several hunts, both pheasant and deer, per week. It’s hard to put a number on it.” “Cherry Creek Farm also has on-site fishing and cabin rentals,” Arney said. “However, we have numerous other ponds located throughout the property where one could find different types of ‘pan-fish’ for no charge.” Arney said for more information on Cherry Creek Farm visit, or call the lodge directly at (989) 848-5411.

CWD: Hunters should take precautions this season FROM PAGE 18

“But the best form of management is early detection,” he said. “If we can find the first individuals to contract it we have a better chance of controlling it.” Stewart said although the deer are the first wild deer to have CWD in Michigan, they are not the first deer. “We had it in a captive deer in Kent County in 2008,” he said. “We don’t suspect the two cases to be linked, however, because of the distance of the cases.”

According to DNR information, to date, there is no evidence that CWD presents any risk to non-cervids, including humans, either through contact with an infected animal or from handling venison. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals. Hunters should keep an eye out in other states for potential CWD risks. If a hunter is notified by another

state or province that a deer, elk or moose that was brought into Michigan tested positive for CWD, that hunter must contact the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab within two business days at 517-336-5030. The DNR provides CWD weekly updates online at Announcements of additional CWDpositive deer within that same area will be listed online. Additional news updates will be issued if a CWD-positive deer is found outside the immediate area.

2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 23

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Science: Maus turns bow making into a business

FROM PAGE 9 Oscoda High School, Maus began working to make his own wooden bow in the robust shop program the school offered during the 1970s. “A lot of us instead of majoring in physics, majored in industrial arts,” Maus said. “They had a strong program, and Don Holmes and Fred Miller were two people who fought with the administration and board to keep an industrial arts program, because not everyone is college-bound for many reasons.” So Maus used the method of taking sections of wood, cut to specific ways, and cementing them together with epoxy to make his first crude bow in the class. “It was a revelation,” Maus says of the first bow, and after that he got deep into making bows and hunting, until joining the Marines. During his 20-year stint as a Marine, bows went to the wayside, until he began tinkering with wood at Marine bases. According to Maus, the Marine Corps had on-base shops where Marines could come in and use woodworking equipment as a way to do an activity. Maus said he began making bows again, and people in the Corps with him would get interested. “I think people would offer me $50 for one,” he said. After leaving the Marines Corps and moving back to Glennie, Maus and his family made an active decision to make his living with archery, which led to the creation of Lone Wolf Custom Archery. Although he lost touch for many years with bows,

Above, many of the bows are made from Osage orange wood that is cut extremely thin at a 90 degree angle from the grain to make a strong bow. Right, John Maus calibrates a piece of equipment used to combine the wooden sections of a bow together. JAY OGDEN

he said the rigid life in the Marines helped him tune in and be extremely precise in woodworking. “It kind of made me a little anal about things, being in the Marines,” he said. “As a result I am extremely detail-oriented.” Everything from the way the wood is cut, to its thickness, to what kind of epoxy to use on what bow is considered when making a bow, Maus said. There are many steps in making a bow, and different building techniques and materials applied to the various bows that Maus makes. Over the years he has painstakingly worked on various forms — large wooden “molds” used to create the final shapes of bows — and materials lists of just what can be used for a specific bow form.

Essentially each bow begins as raw materials cut and shaped by Maus using his equipment. Accents are added for each bow design, which has been studied and modified by Maus for years. The rough wooden bow is sandwiched between fiberglass and saturated with epoxy before going into a custom-made heat press for more than an hour. After it comes out of the press, Maus further shapes

2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 25

the wood to create the custom wooden design of the bow. A John Maus bow starts at $500, but can cost much more, he said. “It’s a passion to me,” he said. “A lot of traditional bow makers can make one of these a day, but I want to do it right. I take pride in precision.” More information about Maus and his bows can be found by visiting www.lonewolfcustombow. com.

Searfoss: Family enjoys hunting all year round FROM PAGE 18

Alex said he encourages every kid to try hunting to understand it better. “It’s exhilarating, to put it at the least, when you first get out there and you start going with it,” Alex said. “I think every kid should get into it. At least try it once, just because it can broaden their horizons and bring them to the familiarization of why hunting is needed to a point to control populations and make sure it doesn’t overrun the farmers completely.”

Each family member loves a particular hunting or fishing style. Logan, for example, said he loves duck hunting. “You’re on the water, you’ve got good scenery and it’s always calm and quiet,” Logan said. The family recently started bow fishing together on the weekends in local lakes and rivers. “We go out Friday night, sometimes Saturday night and we shoot the fish,” Alex said. Their family project was to create a boat everyone

could be in when they went bow fishing. “My youngest had a little duck boat that he put together,” Steven said. “And we converted that and I said, ‘If we’re all going to get in this, we need something to do it safely.’” They call the boat the TriToon Harpoon and created a Facebook page to post their hunting and fishing experiences. Steven said they run all LED lights to see the fish in the water and to not disturb anyone when it is dark. “Seeing into the water

after dark like that with the lights is a neat experience,” Steven said. “It’s cool.” Kandi said she loves to go out and bow fish with the family. Steven said bow fishing is something that they can do as a family, besides target practice, on the offseason of bow hunting. “I have a 3-D archery course that we have set up in the yard that we shoot at pretty regularly — almost daily — but beyond that we wanted something that we could use our bows for throughout the year,” Steven said.

Kayak: Fishing gives access to hard-to-reach spots FROM PAGE 15

she said. “There are a lot of different areas you can get to with a kayak where you can’t with a motorboat.” Steve Pollack, a member of the Great Lakes Paddlers, has fished his entire life, but started fishing from a kayak in 2006 after he retired. It has become one of his favorite ways to fish. “I was a fly fisherman, but it’s too hard,” he said. “If you don’t want to catch fish, fly fishing is a lot of fun. I had done that and I had little kids, so I did my share of shore fishing with them to be safe. I realized I needed a boat. I had a big boat. It was a pain to back it up. It was a pain to tow it, a pain to launch it. Kayaking just called out to me.” Pollack said even if a fishing trip from a kayak is unsuccessful, the activity is still enjoyable. “The idea of paddling out to a place where you don’t see a lot of people, you can paddle around, you can troll, and if you don’t catch anything you can still have a good paddle,” he said. Rod Gillings of Prescott took up kayak fishing just a couple of years ago. Gillings, who said he grew up racing canoes, started kayaking, like Pollack, after retirement. Gillings started spending winters in Florida in an area with

multiple inland lakes. Now, Gillings uses his sit-on-top kayak year-round, taking it out on inland lakes near his home, including Sage Lake and Cranberry Lake. “It’s calm. It’s quiet. You’re not listening to a motor. It’s very peaceful,” he said. “You can go out in the morning or evening and just have peace and quiet.” While kayak fishing is typically less expensive than boating, Hightower said an experienced kayaker and fisherman could still, if they’re willing to pay the price, buy a rather advanced kayak. Frank’s Great Outdoors sells various styles of angler kayaks, she said, and they are all rather different than the common recreational kayak. “There’s a little bit more to an angler than just a recreational kayak,” she said. “There are more features to it. You’ll have some dry storage, and you’ll have your decking in your recreational ones.” Angler kayaks at Frank’s range from the roughly $500 Old Town Heron or $900 Old Town Dirigo, to the $2,700 Hobie Pro Angler that includes a pedal drive system. Gillings said how much an angler kayak costs a fisherman is really up to the individual. “You can buy a fishing kayak for anywhere from $300 to $2,000,” he said. “It just depends on what you want to put into

one.” Someone who thinks they would like to give kayak fishing a go should think about what they want and need in the kayak before making the purchase, Gillings said. “Do your research on the boats and get something that’s going to fit what you need it for,” he said. “The one I’ve got, I’m running a 13-foot Hobie that’s ideal for here and Florida, but it’s a higher-end boat.” Pollack said while there may be less maintenance and cost involved with buying an angler kayak as opposed to a fishing boat, there are some areas where the angler needs to be more cautious. “I think a kayaker has to be a lot more sensitive to weather conditions and what’s going on when they’re out on the water,” he said. “Safety is certainly the biggest concern. If the wind is going the wrong way I won’t go out, or if the waves are really big I won’t go out.” Before trying to fish from a kayak, Pollack said a person should make sure they are a competent paddler. “Rent a kayak. Take some lessons,” he said. “You have to be trained to a certain extent. Even look online where there are videos. Join a group. Go in a group so you can learn the right way to paddle.”

2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 26

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MiOFO: gives opportunities for all FROM PAGE 13

of Natural Resources should be doing more to benefit those with health challenges. Various partners were then brought in.” Jones said the partners in this effort include the Department of Natural Resources, Camp Liberty, Brain Injury Association, Zero-Day, the Passing Along The Heritage Foundation, the Eisenhower Center, Safari Club International Foundation, Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion, Michigan Outdoor Mobility and others. Jones said anyone inter-

ested in MiOFO can contact him at 734-612-6677, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to inquire about availability of services and resources from events to individual outdoor opportunities. Most MiOFO events occur at Sharonville State Game Area in Jackson and Washtenaw counties. “We will be hosting a Liberty Hunt event at Sharonville State Game Area Sept. 19-20 and an Independence Hunt event Oct. 15-18,” Jones said. “Check us out on Facebook to learn more about these opportunities.” Visit Facebook and search for “Michigan Operations Outdoor Freedom.”

Liberty Hunt

This firearm deer hunt will take place on private or public lands in Michigan open to firearm deer hunting, for two days in the month of September. Veterans with disabilities and individuals with disabilities who qualify as stated below, along with youth ages 16 and younger, may participate in this hunt. For qualified persons with disabilities, valid licenses include a deer or deer combo license. During this two-day hunt, a deer or deer combo license may be used for an antlered or antlerless deer. Antler Point Restrictions do not apply. A Deer Management Assistance (DMA) permit may also be used to take one antlerless INFORMATION

deer only, if issued for the area/land upon which a person is hunting. The bag limit for this season is one deer. All hunters participating in this season must wear hunter orange. To qualify, an individual must fit one of the following criteria: • Be a veteran who has been determined to have 100 percent disability, or is rated as individually unemployable by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. • Have been issued a permit, by the DNR, to hunt from a standing vehicle. • Have been issued a permit by the DNR to hunt using a laser-sighting device. • Be blind as defined by MCL 393.351.



Access: Hunting blind not only improvement at site

FROM PAGE 13 “It’s really in a great spot for hunting,” he said, noting it is near some swamp land. “It backs up to the old park entrance. It’s probably 75 yards from a road that runs back to our rustic camping sites.” Goulette said hunters will not find it difficult to spend the entire day suspended over the landscape, regardless of the weather, as the blind is both spacious and comfortable. “If I had to give a dimension, I would say maybe 5 feet by 5 feet,” he said. “There’s enough room in there for a wheelchair and for someone to be sitting on the bench.” He said the blind is insulated and has windows on each side, providing an eagle’s eye view of targets below, and a solarpowered control system allows it to be raised and lowered. “When you get into it it’s on ground level,” he said. “You could go 2 feet off the ground, but it can be up to 20 feet in the air.” The addition of the hunting blind has not gone unnoticed, as Goulette said it rarely goes unoccupied. “It’s booked pretty much every day throughout the season; not as much in the offseason as it probably could,” he said, adding that it is mainly utilized by people with disabilities for hunting purposes. “If a handicapped person wants to use it, they have first priority.” If there are no reservations, it can be used by the general public on a first come, first served basis. In non-hunting seasons the blind is available for wildlife observation and photography. The hunting blind is not the only improvement that has been made to the recreation area, as Goulette said a handicappedaccessible kayak and canoe launch was installed around four years ago. “The launch makes it easier for them to get in their kayaks and their canoes,” he said. “It’s nice to make it easier for them to experience those types of things.” Trail upgrades over the past few years have also improved accessibility and increased the number of visitors, including those with disabilities, Goulette said. For more information or to reserve the blind, call 989-4732258.

Rob Goulette, state worker at Rifle River Recreation Area, said the accessible hunting blind is reserved nearly every day during hunting season. MATT VARCAK

2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 29


No need to hunt for your local news coverage. k it c a r t l l We’ you! r o f do wn

Jan. 1-Sept. 30 Fishing for lake trout  (Lake Michigan MM 1-5) Jan. 1-Sept. 30 Lake trout & splake (Lake Huron MH) Jan. 1-Oct. 31 Fishing for lake trout (Lake Michigan MM 6-8) Jan. 1-Oct. 31 Fishing for lake trout (type F) Jan. 1-Dec. 31 Cast netting season for various species Jan. 1-Dec. 31 Bow/spear fishing for various species April 9-Sept. 30 Fishing for lake trout & splake (Lake Huron MH 1-2) April 9-Dec. 31 Bass season (catch and immediate release) April 25-Sept. 30 Statewide trout opener May 23-Dec. 31 Bass fishing (catch and keep) June 20-Dec. 31 Bass season (catch and keep)

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2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 30

Art: Gives unique way to display trophies

FROM PAGE 17 “I keep the most interesting pieces for myself because they are one of a kind,” Roth said. Roth said antler art is a nice way to display trophies, because a lot of women do not like to see just a head on the wall. “A lot of people are intrigued by what I’ve made out of antlers, and the women that don’t like antlers in the house will take one of my pieces and put in the house because they like it so well,” Roth said. Roth said when she makes a piece she gives a two-month leeway because

she is usually on the road every weekend. “When I say I’m on the road every weekend I may mean I leave Wednesday,” she said. “I have some special orders that I need to get done for shows in September, so people will call me in advance to order an item so I will have it for them at a show.” “I really enjoy this,” she said. “I had a full-time job, and when I came home this was my sanity. It kept the positive thinking going, and when I am in the garage nothing else is around me but the antlers.” To see Roth’s work visit

Pictured above is a table that Roth made using antlers. SHERRY BARNuM

Bowfishing: All about action

Kyle Yoder of Fairview poses for a photo with a 26pound carp he captured while bowfishing on Mio Pond in 2012. KYLE YODER/COuRTESY PHOTO

FROM PAGE 7 would be to go out on one of the bays when the carps are spawning, so you get a lot of action.” He said the Mio Pond and Alcona Pond are some of the best local spots to find success. Withers said for him deer hunting is more about enjoying the outdoors, while bowfishing is all about the action. “Bowfishing is really fastpaced and kind of a more laid-back sport,” he said. “Most people around here deer hunt. It’s different in that when your bowfishing — if you’re doing it right — you’re going to have action the whole night. We might shoot at 200 fish in three to four hours. It’s more engaging. It’s a little bit more fun, especially for people who might not have a lot of

2015 Hunting & Fishing Guide - Page 31

patience.” Withers said his best day on the water yielded 28 carp between himself and two others. Bowfishing is legal for bowfin, bullheads, burbot, carp (including goldfish), catfish, cisco, drum, gizzard shad, longnose gar, smelt, all species of suckers — including buffalo and quillback — and whitefish, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Withers said if thinking about trying the sport, go with those who have done it before and know what they are doing. “If you’re an outdoorsy person, it’s definitely something to try,” he said. “You can get the hang of it in a night, and in the night be shooting just as good as the other guys.”

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