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November 13 : Au Sable & Manistee River Report

The whitetail bucks are strutting, neck swollen, muscled up, and just a little love-dumb.  The brown trout are on a post spawn feed and me, well I’ve been hanging out with a two year old from dawn ‘til dusk for the last week.

I’ll tell you what . . . it’s been great.  Am I missing out on some of the best stuff that happens in the Northern Michigan outdoors?  Sure.  I did sit, though, in the tree stand for the three fine days leading up to the last report and had a nice buck chasing a doe each night and like bow hunting often goes, it didn’t quite work out.

But I’m not missing out on the best stuff that happens in life.  Jack’s a great little guy.  Anyone who’s been around a two year old will appreciate how completely exhausted I am and can understand how much fun we’ve had.  He’s a great helper.  Loud and slow but a determined helper.

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We baited the deer blind the other day and he was running the show with a blue coffee can full of yellow kernels and his black mittened hand tossed about three golden nuggets at a go.  We were not in fast in or fast out.  And we were loud . . . really loud.  I don’t know if it’s just Jack or if all two year olds just have to shout everything.    We left scent everywhere.  But it was baby scent—a mix a pee and poo and Cheerios and so obvious that no animal on earth could fear it.  I think deer are feeling safe in my area.

I suppose that means we were ineffective on our hour and a half long excursion but we sure had a lot of fun.  People often ask me how to get there kids interested in the outdoors.  It’s simple—take them.

Last week I talked about hunting and fishing partners.   Well, I’ve got one now.  He’s still too small for the big stuff and as much as I catch myself constantly wishing he were older, I always miss what he was yesterday.

I suppose, somehow, that’s what deer camp is all about.  I know it’s where some of my earliest memories home.  My grandpa in his Woolrich red plaid suit that I wore until I was fourteen and my arms got too long.  The black cast iron pan that my uncle Mike used on opening morning to cook eggs raw in the middle and dark on the edges and that he used again on the evening of a good opener to fry slices of deer heart in butter and onions.

It’s something about tradition and a family connections and friends.  The deer are extra.  I hope it all finds you this deer season.

Opener is shaping right up.  There are a few bucks out there and we’ve got snow.  So make some memories and good luck!

Andy

 

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