Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Theme for 2007

Ordinarily I would have already reported on a hunt by now, here it is early September.

But the nuisance goose season opener, Sept. 1, has come and gone and without my presence gracing a Michigan river bottom.

With finances in mind, as well as a concerned wife, I opted to drop waterfowl from the 2007 hunting agenda.

I know, you're asking, "Mac, how could you let your wife bully you out of a fun season like that?"

If you really need me to answer that question, well, I guess you'll just have to keep asking.

Besides, I have plenty of cool hunts on tap, and really do have to watch my wallet these days.

(For the 2007 itinerary, keep watching for it on www.macshuntingmag.com)

* * * *

To hunt is instinctive with humans, particularly in the male species.

For this native Michiganian, this inherrent quality was first triggered by my grandmother at her cottage on Bear Lake in Manistee County in the '70s.

She handed me a brand-spanking new Daisy air gun and said, "Remove the pesky chipmunks from my seawall, grandson."

Sure, there's not a whole lot of hunt in that (mucho fun though) -- but there is an element of ambush. Waiting for the damaging rodents to stick up their "cute" little heads from their burrows, being true with the shot and Plunk! back down their holes the varmints would go, their heads filled up with copper-plated pellets.

Grandma was happy, and so was I. Entertainment it was during the dog days of summer at the lake for a pre-adolescent boy.

And here we go one more time as late summer nears the onset of fall, preparing to draw off of this basic trait while undertaking another round of autumn endeavors.

With this in mind, to be wild was what I was initially thinking would be the Mac's Online Hunt Mag's theme for the 2007.

But then I started thinking how this might have some readers envisioning me swinging from trees and hunting in a loin cloth with spear in hand. (Hmmm. Maybe readers see me this way regardless. Oh, well.)

My intention is to stress the simplistic approach in my hunts. So, instead, I'm going with basic Mac. No frills, nor high-tech stuff. (Sorry, I will be using my new Knight .50-cal inline. Hey, I've been paying for weeks on that thing, and that's that.)

Anyway, I'm hoping this will make sense to readers. Tell me if it does or doesn't, I'd love to hear from you.

I haven't quite figured out how I will do so when bird hunting since I have yet to purchase a black-powder shotgun, nonetheless I will use bow and muzzleloaders on deer and other big game, as previously noted.

This concept is not of the strange and unexplained since I hunt mostly primitive weapons anyway, but I want to stess an appreciation for how close one must get to game. There is a science and knowledge involved in beating the radar of a mature buck. Our ancestors had to use these same techniques years ago.

For me, the primal order begins with an Upper Peninsula bear hunt while sporting a .50-cal muzzleloader. This would have went along nicely with my original theme plans. It can't get anymore wild than this in Michigan.

At the moment, I'm in unit where I know very little. Not good.

Whereas in 2005, I went a week with a guide, spent my $850 and was in very knowledgeable hands. These awesome people showed me the ropes and accommodated me the best they could, yet I still ended up bear-less.

The hotter than usual temperatures surely didn't help, and I can't help but thinking there wasn't anything more they could've done to overcome such an obstacle. It was 80 and above nearly every day. My Scent-Lok suit worked overtime, yet the bears were inactive and my rec room remains without a rug.

For this hunt I'm hesitant to drop as much coin down. I'm sure some will say: Big mistake.

It didn't help me in 2005.

Another reason why I want to go a little lighter is I only can make it to this unit for two days.

So as the time winds down closer to the September hunt, I'm left with trying to make the best of a shortened hunt with my Baraga County guide and being just plain old me.

Let the hunts begin.