11-02-2017 Outdoors


The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fishing report said his past week’s weather continued to hamper fishing opportunities. Sporadic perch, walleye, salmon and steelhead activity was seen with most success seen by those fishing from piers.

Pier fishing was slow in St. Joseph but a few catfish were caught using night crawlers.

In South Haven not much activity was reported. Boat anglers who targeted salmon actually caught a few lake trout in 80 feet of water. Perch were caught to the south of the piers in 45 feet.

Pier anglers tried for steelhead with spawn in Grand Haven but no successes were reported.

The Grand River at Grand Rapids showed panfish activity has been strong although salmon activity slowed with high water reported.

Why is fall fishing so great? Many anglers will tell you that as fall rolls in the fishing gets better and better. But why is this?

The DNR states there isn’t much formal research to answer that question, but several factors could be contributing to this influx of angling opportunities: forage availability, dropping water temperatures, fish movement, or oxygen availability.

Some say it could just be related to less fishing pressure and/or better angling techniques.

The bottom line is, if you don’t consider fall to be an ideal time to go fishing you may want to rethink that sentiment. Some of the biggest crappie, muskellunge, walleye and smallmouth bass can be found in the fall – don’t you want to experience that?

Hunters and anglers make a difference

Most Michigan residents know the Department of Natural Resources is responsible for things like fish and wildlife management, hunting and fishing regulations, and habitat protection, but many don’t know where the funding for these efforts comes from. You may assume that your tax dollars fund the DNR’s conservation work, but in reality, only a small portion of the DNR’s funding comes from General Fund (tax) dollars. The protection, preservation and management of Michigan’s natural resources have been primarily funded by the people who hunt and fish through their purchase of equipment and licenses.

If you’re a hunter or angler, have bought a license or hunting/ fishing equipment, thank you for investing in Michigan’s wildlife! If you know a hunter or angler, pass on this message and thank them for everything they have done for conservation in Michigan. Their efforts have resulted in millions of acres of habitat saved and near-miraculous population increases in several species of game and sport fish. You can enjoy more hunting, fishing, boating and wildlife-related recreational opportunities than ever before thanks to hunters and anglers!

Michigan’s Hunter Education Program

Hunting is a time-honored Michigan tradition, providing challenging outdoor recreation and helping develop an appreciation for the wilderness, wildlife and a clean environment. Most hunters know that the lasting enjoyment of hunting comes only when it is conducted safely and ethically.

Safe hunting begins with hunter education, which has had a dramatic impact on reducing hunting incidents in Michigan. Hunting is safe and getting safer!

Who Needs Hunter Safety? Successful completion of this class is required of all first-time hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1960. In order to purchase a base license other than an apprentice, you will be required to attest that you have successfully completed a hunter safety course.

For more information about hunter education, visit www.michigan.gov/huntereducation.

Virginia, a great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), is Sarett’s newest raptor education ambassador. She sustained an injury to her eye that required its removal so she cannot survive in the wild. Raptors need their binocular vision to accurately strike their prey and maneuver through the forest while pursuing said prey.

With her limited vision, Virginia’s ability to rotate her head will be even more important. Most owls can turn their heads up to 270 degrees; great horned owls can only manage 180 degrees (still quite a feat).

New imaging technology has allowed scientists to determine how that flexion is possible without causing damage to blood vessels and, subsequently, the brain. The actual turning is possible because the owl’s bones are only connected by one socket. Humans have two. The owls’ vertebrae have very large hollow cavities through which a major artery passes. The extra space keeps the vessel from being squashed and allows it to move as the head twists.

The neck arteries swell to collect blood that can’t pass through a vessel that has closed off during the turning process. Backup arteries take over the job of supplying nutrients to the affected areas. To be sure oxygen and nutrients make it to the brain many small connections (like the neighborhood streets used to avoid a traffic jam) facilitate uninterrupted flow between arteries.

Bruce Krall’s Tale of the Hunt

BRUCE KRALL… proudly displays the nice 8-point buck he shot with his bow. He shared it with a pack of coyotes that found the wounded deer before Bruce.

By Angela Stair

On Wednesday, October 25, Bruce Krall and a friend went out hunting for that big buck.  Around 6:30 p.m. Bruce saw a nice buck coming his way and got ready to take his shot.  He shot and whether the heavy brush deflected it or he moved at the last second, it was not an instant kill and the buck ran.

After waiting a few minutes, Bruce and his friend began following the blood trail.  The profuse amount of blood lost with the shot and the heavy blood trail they were following, led him to believe they would find the deer shortly.  They started out about 6:45 p.m. tracking and by midnight they had crossed three properties and come to a County Road that the deer had left a blood trail across.

Bruce had to work the next day and decided to call it a night and come back after work to look in the swampy terrain the buck had crossed over to.  By 4:30 p.m. the next day he was back to track the deer.

The buck was not far in, it had entered a small pond and he could be seen on the far side.  But as they approached they could see that in the 18 hours Bruce took to sleep and work, the coyote tracks on shore told the tale of a feast that went on in the night.  The coyotes had eaten on the carcass from the front quarter down the whole side.  He said to add insult to injury they had taken the complete backstrap on that side.

The deer was a nice looking 8-point that Bruce estimates would have field dressed out at 175-180 pounds before the feeding by the coyotes.