Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Michigan weather can be unpredictable for the hunting season. We have seen warm weather during this time, but most of the time we pray for a nice light snow fall. In Michigan cold weather deer hunting requires the hunter to prepare properly and make sure he or she has the right clothing and equipment for prolonged exposure to the elements. Humans must maintain a stable body temperature during cold weather hunting. When away from external sources of heat, our only heat source is that which we produce internally. This inner warmth primarily comes from burning food, or the oxidation of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are available in the form of raisins, chocolate, candy, and fruit.

The best dress for cold weather hunting is to wear clothing that preserves body heat while allowing body moisture to evaporate freely. This is accomplished through layering, or wearing alternate layers of clothing to provide insulation and ventilation.

Before heading out in the woods here are a few things that every hunter will need.

• Camouflage
• Tree stands/blind
• Weapon
• Waterproof boots
• Knife
• Tags
• Orange clothing
• Permit.
• Spotlight

Camouflage has been used for ages and while it is very important, it is not essential, especially during gun season when it is required that hunters wear blaze orange clothing when on public land. There are many different types of deer stands, ladder stands, climbers and stationary blinds. Ladder stands are ladders with a platform on top of them chained to a tree. Climber stands are platforms with a seat that may be carried on your back and then placed usually about 4-8 feet off the ground on a tree. Stationary blinds, built from wood and other materials are meant to be a durable and long-lasting blind either on a stand or on the ground, depending on the terrain. No hunter may take down a deer easily or legally without using certain weapons when they are permitted. Waterproof boots are not essential, but are handy, especially since deer do not always fall down when shot, and may run for a few hundred yards into unfamiliar woods. Knives are essential for skinning and field dressing deer. Tags and permits are required to hunt deer legally, and may be purchased from sporting good stores

Written By: Mike Girolami, President of WorkWear1, www.workwear1.com, Local Distributor of Carhartt WorkCamo clothing, Redford MI

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tips for Asking Permission to Hunt Private Land

There is a lot of state land available in the state to hunt. But, there are times and locations that state land borders private land and having access to the property would increase the success of the hunt. For all you hunters, the key to getting permission to hunt private land is the way you approach the landowner. Here are just a few tips on obtaining permission to hunt private land.

State law requires you obtain verbal permission from the landowner. Only the landowner can give hunting permission.

Obtain permission to hunt several farms. This assures you of a place to hunt if others are using the property or the landowner is not home.

Always obtain permission well in advance of the time you plan to hunt. Plan your visit early in the evening when the landowner, especially if a farmer, is likely to be home. If you will scout the area before hunting season, also request permission for that time.

Ask for permission by yourself or with one other person; do not take your hunting party up to the door. When approaching the landowner or family for permission. NEVER carry your gun and keep any dogs in your vehicle.

If you cannot visit the landowner, write an appropriate and friendly letter. Do not stick a note on the door. Your letter may request a date/time to talk in person, or you can make arrangements by mail or telephone. Do so at the landowner's preference.

Be prepared to provide your name and contact information and the dates and times when you would like to hunt a described portion of their land (e.g., the back 40 acres of the woods and cropland). Landowner may limit party size, ORVs or more.

Ask if there are crop fields or areas of the farm that should not be hunted.
Never shoot near farm buildings or where any people or livestock are living. Observe all safety zone areas - 452 feet from possibly inhabited structures.

Leave any gates you encounter the way you found them. If a gate is open, leave it open after you pass through. If a gate is closed, close it after you pass through.

Do not leave any trash. If you find litter already there, pick it up.

When the hunt is over, always thank the landowner. They then will know that you have left the farm and will not worry about you being lost or stuck on their property.

Offer the landowner a portion of your harvest off their land, such as a piece of game or portion of venison once your game is cleaned (or butchered). This gesture will help your relationship with the landowner. It also may help provide others with hunting opportunities from this landowner, and it helps build a positive image of hunting.

So just remember when obtaining permission to hunt that private land, be respectful, courteous and leave nothing behind. Treat that land as if were your own. Go out and enjoy the fall hunting season.

Written By: Mike Girolami, President of WorkWear1, www.workwear1.com., a Local Distributor of Carhartt Clothing, Redford, MI

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Department of Natural Resources Director Rebecca Humphries issued an interim order placing an immediate ban on baiting and feeding on Aug. 26, after a captive deer from a privately owned facility tested positive for chronic wasting disease. Humphries' order, as prescribed by the state's CWD emergency response plan adopted in 2002, would have expired Feb. 26, 2009, but the NRC action removes the expiration date and makes the ban permanent.

Additionally, the NRC approved orders that require hunters who take a deer in the nine townships that comprise the CWD Surveillance Zone in northern Kent County to come to a DNR deer check station. The orders also regulate the movement of carcasses from the Surveillance Zone and give replacement kill tags to any hunter who presents a deer at a check station that shows signs of CWD.

The NRC action is just the latest effort in a campaign designed to prevent the spread of CWD, an always fatal neurological disease of deer, elk and moose.

Since Sept. 1, DNR conservation officers have issued 102 tickets for illegal deer and elk baiting in the Lower Peninsula.

"There has been talk that we weren't going to be able to enforce this baiting ban in the Lower Peninsula, but the number of tickets we have issued so far shows that we are very serious about enforcement of the ban," said Humphries. "Our primary goal is to protect the health of our wild white-tailed deer and elk populations. Stopping CWD from becoming established in our wild deer and elk is our top priority."

"We appreciate the hunters who have abided by the ban and are no longer baiting," Humphries added. "Protecting the resource --white-tailed deer and elk -- should be everyone's priority."

The DNR's Law Enforcement Division reported that in a period from Sept. 22 to Oct.5, 34.6 percent of the calls to the Report All Poaching (RAP) hotline concerned illegal baiting. Last year during a similar time frame, baiting complaints made up only 11.3 percent of the RAP hotline calls. While there was no baiting and feeding ban in 2007, the complaints last year would have related to over-baiting or baiting in the Bovine Tuberculosis zone in northeast Lower Michigan. "We are encouraged that sportsmen and women are taking part in this initiative," Humphries said. "We appreciate them taking the health of our deer herd as seriously as we do."

Since the CWD-positive deer was discovered, the DNR has tested 1,095 deer statewide; of those, 964 tested negative with the remaining 131 tests are pending.

Written By: Mike Girolami, President of WorkWear1, www.workwear1.com, a Local Distributor of Carhartt Clothing, Redford MI

Friday, October 17, 2008


As you head out for the deer hunting season, and the same old complaint comes “I swear you go just for the fun of it”, remind them of the economic and nutritional value venison has. It may not in your dinner plans very often, but it can actually be a great addition to a healthy diet plan. So the next time you’re offered venison, consider these facts:

  • Venison is a very good source of protein, while, unlike most meats, it tends to be fairly low in fat, especially saturated fat.
  • Four ounces of venison supplies 68.5% of the daily value for protein for only 179 calories and 1.4 grams of saturated fat.
  • Venison is a good source of iron, providing 28.2% of the daily value for iron in that same four-ounce serving.
  • Venison is also a very good source of vitamin B12, providing 60.0% of the daily value for this important vitamin, as well as good or very good amounts of several other of the B vitamins, including riboflavin (40.0% of riboflavin's daily value), niacin (38.0% of niacin's DV) and vitamin B6 (21.5% of the DV for B6).
  • Venison is a very good source of both protein and vitamin B12.
  • It is also a very good source vitamin B12 and niacin.
  • Lastly, venison is a good source of iron, phosphorus, vitamin B6, selenium, zinc and copper.

Venison may be eaten as steaks, roasts, sausages, jerky and minced meat. It has a flavor similar to beef, but is much leaner and the fibers of the meat are short and tender. Organ meats are sometimes eaten, but would not be called Venison; rather, they are called humble, as in the phrase "humble pie." Venison is lower in calories, cholesterol and fat than most cuts of beef, pork, or lamb. Here are just a few of my favorite recipes.

Venison Marinade

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red hot pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves - crushed
1 tablespoon shredded lemon peel
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano, cilantro, basil or dill. For a variation, mix 2 or all 4

Combine all ingredients in a bowl; whisk or stir together. Makes about 1 cup of venison marinate.
How to use
Use as soon as possible because of its freshness. Marinate venison overnight or for several hours (4-6). This marinate can also be used as a basting sauce.

Venison Stew

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds venison stew meat
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chopped onions
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup chopped tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 cup red wine
4 cups brown stock
Salt and black pepper
Crusty bread

In a large pot, over high heat, add the olive oil. In a mixing bowl, toss the venison with flour. When the oil is hot, sear the meat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions, garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, basil, thyme, and bay leaves to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the pan with the red wine. Add the brown stock. Bring the liquid up to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the stew for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the meat is very tender. If the liquid evaporates too much add a little more stock.
Remove the stew from the oven and serve in shallow bowls with crusty bread.

Venison Jerky

5 pounds very lean venison, trimmed of all fat
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon liquid smoke

Cut the meat into strips 1-inch wide and 1/2-inch thick, and spread on baking sheets. In a bowl blend the seasonings. Season the meat strips on 1 side, then turn and season the second side. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
Cook the meat until it is completely dried, 6 to 8 hours, turning as needed to dry uniformly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Eat as desired, or keep tightly covered, refrigerated, for up to 1 month.

Written By: Mike Girolami, President of WorkWear1, www.workwear1.com, Local Distributor of Carhartt WorkCamo clothing, Redford MI

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Even though the Fall Turkey season has been open since October 6th the DNR reminds hunters that plenty of leftover fall turkey licenses are available for purchase for many of the wild turkey management units. Licenses remain available for 12 of the 17 hunts that run through Nov. 14. Most of the leftover licenses are for private land only, but many general licenses, which are valid for both public and private land, remain for two units: Unit M in the Upper Peninsula, and Unit J, which includes Emmet, Cheboygan, Charlevoix, Antrim, and Otsego counties. Fall turkey seasons are used as a means of controlling turkey populations in areas where populations are high.

An important component to successful fall turkey hunting is locating birds. Scout for tracks, fresh droppings and feathers. Good areas for sighting flocks are in idle fields and woodlands and near logging trails.

In fall, turkeys spend most of their time feeding on insects and mast crops like acorns. Locate a good food source where birds are congregating and learn the habits of the birds. An important component to successful fall turkey hunting is locating birds. Scout for tracks, fresh droppings and feathers. Good areas for sighting flocks are in idle fields and woodlands and near logging trails.

Listen for the sounds of birds scratching in the leaves or listen for their "flock talk" as they come and go to roost. Roosting flocks may produce a wide variety of "yelps", "clucks", "kee-kees" and "gobbles." Once a flock has been located, one hunting tactic is to scatter the flock. Approach the flock within 50 yards and flush the birds so they will scatter. A dispersed flock normally will begin to regroup within 15 to 30 minutes near the original point of separation. Quickly set up at this spot. Begin calling the turkeys by imitating the same sounds made by the birds as the flock begins to reassemble. Poults will give the kee-kee lost call mixed with yelps and clucks. Answer every turkey call heard with similar tone, pitch and rhythm. Using a decoy also may help fool birds into approaching your location.

Successful hunters sit still and allow the birds to come to them. Being camouflaged does not make you invisible. Movement is the greatest enemy of the turkey hunter. A turkey can detect and react to movement 10 times faster than a human. Even though camouflaged, you still are an unnatural form in the woods. Do not attempt to stalk a turkey. First, that gobbler or hen you are stalking may turn out to be another hunter. Second, your chances of success are poor. At best, you might get a glimpse of tail feathers. Do not jump and turn at a turkey approaching from behind. The chance of getting a good shot is very slim. Be patient, remain still and let the bird pass.

Assume another person is making every sound you hear. Many turkey hunters are very convincing callers. Always keep a safe distance. If a bird turns out to be another hunter, it could be very dangerous. If another hunter is working a flock, do not interfere by calling or spooking the birds. Always give other hunters the same respect that you expect.

In fall, both hens and gobblers are legal targets. Make sure the bird is within range of the shotgun and shoot at the neck and head only.

Know the capabilities of your gun or bow and use it safely.

Be positive of your target. Once you pull the trigger, it is too late!

Written By: Mike Girolami, President of WorkWear1, www.workwear1.com, a Local Distributor of Carhartt Clothing, Redford MI

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

In Michigan's Lower Peninsula: All Baiting and Feeding of Deer and Elk is Prohibited

2008-2009 DEER AND ELK

Due to the confirmation of a deer with chronic wasting disease in Kent County, it is no longer legal to bait or feed deer or elk in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. The ban applies equally to feeding for recreational viewing as well as hunting.

Frequently asked questions:

What is Baiting? Bating is defined as putting out food materials composed of grains, minerals, salt, fruit, vegetables, hay or any other food material, whether natural or manufactured for deer, to attract, lure, or entice them as an aid in hunting. A person baiting deer must comply with the current baiting regulations. Baiting for elk is illegal.

What is Feeding? Feeding is defined as placing food materials out that attract deer or elk for any other reason except hunting.

Recreational Feeding is feeding for wildlife viewing purposes only. A person feeding deer must comply with the regulations for recreational viewing.

Supplemental Feeding of deer and/or elk is prohibited in Michigan except for specific portions of 8 counties in the Upper Peninsula. Supplemental feeding of deer is by permit only, if specific conditions are met, and is only allowed in a specific portion of State. The supplemental deer feeding area is all portions of Ontonagon, Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, Alger, and Luce counties, and those portions of Marquette and Chippewa counties north of the T43N-T44N boundary line. Contact a DNR office if you have questions.

Food plots are naturally occurring foods, standing agricultural crops, or foods that are placed as a result of using normal farming practices, and are not considered baiting or feeding.

What are Cervids? They are ruminant mammals, in the scientific classification of family cervidae, or deer, elk, and moose.

Is this ban necessary? Yes. Biologists have long known that disease is easily spread among animals that are drawn into close physical proximity by feed. Although the exact means of transmission of chronic wasting disease is not known, most scientists believe any exchange of bodily fluids -- saliva, urine, feces – facilitates transmission. A healthy white-tailed deer population in Michigan is important for the following reasons:
• Chronic wasting disease can spread through the deer herd.
• Without appropriate management within the current CWD surveillance zone, the disease may spread to other areas of the state.
• All deer infected with CWD die from the disease.
• White-tailed deer are native to Michigan and it is important to preserve our native wildlife.
• Any regional threat to a healthy deer population is a statewide concern.
• A healthy deer herd is important for hunting traditions. Michigan has more than 725,000 deer hunters who have harvested an average of 450,000 deer annually during the past decade. Deer hunting contributes more than 10 million days of recreation every year.
• Deer hunting annually generates more than $500 million dollars impact to the state’s economy. A healthy deer herd is critical to the state's economy.

In the Upper Peninsula:

The volume of bait scattered on the ground cannot exceed two (2) gallons at any one hunting site at anytime. This includes new and old bait combined. Baiting can occur only from October 1 to January 1. The bait material may be of any food type. The bait must be dispersed over a minimum of a 10-foot by 10-foot area. The bait can be scattered directly on the ground by any means, including mechanical spin-cast eders, provided that the spin-cast feeder does not distribute on the ground more than the maximum volume allowed.

Recreational Feeding for Viewing:
The volume of feed on the ground cannot exceed two (2) gallons per residence at any time. This includes new and old feed combined. Feed must be placed within 100 yards of a residence, on land owned or possessed by that person. The feed must be scattered or dispersed directly on the ground at least 100 yards from any area accessible to livestock such as: cattle, goats, sheep, new world camelids, bison, swine, horses, or captive cervidae. Any type of food materials can be used.

Written By: Mike Girolami, President of WorkWear1, www.workwear1.com, Local Distributor of Carhartt WorkCamo clothing, Redford MI

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Family Affair: Youth Hunting and Hunters Education

Hunting is a time honored tradition in Michigan, and what better than to make it a family affair. Hunting provides Michigan families and individuals with millions of pleasurable hours of wholesome, challenging outdoor recreation. Most hunters develop an intense appreciation for the wilderness, wildlife and a clean environment through their participation in hunting. The challenge of becoming a sports-person becomes a lifelong quest. Most hunters know that the lasting fun of hunting comes only when it is conducted safely and ethically. Safe hunting begins with Hunter Education.
Hunter education courses teach new hunters responsibility, ethics, firearm safety, wildlife conservation and wildlife identification, game care, survival and first aid. The typical hunter education course consists of two to five sessions with a total class time of 10 to 12 hours. Hunter education classes are typically held in outdoor clubs, schools, police stations, and camps.
Since 2006 the State of Michigan has passed 2 new laws for the hunting seasons: one that lowers the hunting age and the other that creates an apprentice hunter program. The new hunting age law lowers the age for hunting game from 12 to 10 years old, and lowers the age for hunting deer, bear and elk with a firearm on private land only from age 14 to 12. Under the new law, other than on land where their parent or guardian lives, youth hunters must be supervised in the field by a licensed adult hunter who must maintain unaided visual and verbal contact with the younger hunter at all times. These new laws now let parents determine whether or not their children are ready to hunt.
The apprentice program also gives adults who have not hunted before a chance to be mentored by an experienced hunter, so they can try the sport first before making a substantial commitment.The DNR encourages parents, guardians and other adult hunters to take a youngster hunting this year. In passing on an important heritage to a new generation of hunters, you also will be helping them learn valuable lessons about responsibility, outdoor ethics and wildlife conservation. The apprentice hunter program allows individuals to hunt without the required hunter education course if accompanied and closely monitored by a licensed hunter 21 and older who is mentoring them in the sport. An apprentice hunter may participate in the program for two license years before being required to take a hunter safety course.

The Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety

1. Watch that muzzle! Keep it pointed in a safe direction at all times.
2. Treat every firearm with the respect due a loaded gun. It might be, even if you
think it isn’t.
3. Be sure of the target and what is in front of it and beyond it. Know the identifying
features of the game you hunt. Make sure you have an adequate backstop --- don’t
shoot at a flat, hard surface or water.
4. Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot. This is the best
way to prevent an accidental discharge.
5. Check your barrel and ammunition. Make sure the barrel and action are clear of
obstructions and carry only the proper ammunition for your firearm.
6. Unload firearms when not in use. Leave actions open/ carry firearms in cases and
unloaded to and from the shooting area.
7. Point a firearm only at something you intend to shoot. Avoid all horseplay with a
8. Don’t run, jump or climb with a loaded firearm. Unload a firearm before you
climb a fence or tree, or jump a ditch. Pull a firearm toward you by the butt, not
the muzzle.
9. Store firearms and ammunition separately and safely. Store each in secured
locations beyond the reach of children and careless adults.
10. Avoid alcoholic beverages before or during shooting. Also avoid mind- or
behavior altering medicines or drugs.
So, keep the time honored tradition alive, by getting the whole family involved in Michigan hunting.

Written By: Mike Girolami, President WorkWear1, http://www.workwear1.com, Local Distributor of Carhartt Clothing, Redford, MI