I have been absent a little while, and here is why… I have taken a little time to reflect on a few things and to prepare for the up coming rifle season which is pretty competitive up here… I have found that for some reason there is a lack of true sportsmanship anymore in a lot of areas.. there was a time when one could leave equipment and feel confident it would be there when they returned the following morning to hunt.. unfortunately now that’s not so much the truth.. I find it a goal in life to make sure that common courtesy and good hunting ethics are a part of what I teach as I guide each hunt.. something I require of my clients and am proud to say that will always be followed by any that I work with.
That being said I spent a lot of time studying areas and doing my research and trying to keep my spots as secret as possible and not leaving too much equipment out as to avoid theft or destruction… I find it very important to study an area map it out drop pins allover where I spot things of importance… this helps me to develop a good understanding of where I should be and allows me the chance to learn the patterns of the animals in my areas.. I also research to see what the best food source in that area is for this time of year.. that helps me determine my bait source for that area when allowed.. I prefer to use something more natural to the area..this way it seems less unusual or suspicious to the deer ( I know it might seem silly but I have had many deer stop and sniff at corn in the middle of the woods with a leary air about them and then had them bolt off only to return after dark to eat while I still sat there and just watched. But gather acorns or use a natural bait to that area or just a simple mineral lick with the right mix and they seem much more relaxed and less skittish..).
These are just a few off the things I have been doing to keep my bow hunts going and to prepare for rifle. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to put on a couple of elk hunts the early hunt as well and had a great time doing So! I got to work with a couple of great veterans! I was so pleased to be able to get them out and enjoy what northern Michigan has to offer!
We saw many things during our hunts thanks to buck baits cover scents and urines.. we had deer so close you could have kicked dirt on them a bobcat come sit on a ridge not thirty yards from us and coyotes just as close as well.. of course we saw a few elk as well and even got close but couldn’t get anything but a gut shot on the biggest bull I have seen in some time so we passed the shot and took the younger bull that was in the clear at the last few minutes of his last day to hunt! During this hunt it was hot and just not good weather at all and we had another guide try to run us off so we faced a couple challenges but were able to get on a good bull for him. He was happy with his bull and even gave a little dance after, that right there is why I get out there and do this no matter what challenge presents itself. Being able to share that moment with a man that served our country for so long and who sacrificed so match gave me great pleasure. He restored my hope and gave me the mindset to keep pushing forward not all the hunters out there have forgotten what it’s all about and it’s our duty as those hunters left that do remember true sportsmanship to get out there and teach those new hunters what it’s all about and help them to see what a great thing this sport can be if we all worked together.
~Jennifer Drake, Buck Baits Pro Staff