Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Smokin' time

Marysville Dan returns to report he just spotted three deer, one a nice buck, on Thanksgiving Day. Hey, Dan, if you can see the deer, shoot the deer. Evidently, he never heard me say, "Pssssssssssst, shoot them, shoot ... "

MAHFS photo by Mac Arnold

By Mac Arnold
MAHFS Editor

Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

A throwback phrase from my Army days seems applicable with the arrival of Michigan's muzzleloading season.

I had contemplated maybe giving the shotgun season one more go Tuesday, Nov. 29, while the family was still out of town, then the skies parted and dumped an all-day rain on the wooded plains.

Think this flooding will even mess with some spots of mine until the ground freezes, which then opens other areas that were once impenetrable because of muck and swampy waters.

There be bucks in those hidden, off-the-beaten-track places. And now is the time to do some nice and easy stalking through thick cover.

Which is why I so like the smokepole season. After being mostly confined to a stand or blind, it's time to get aggressive and go find those deer that once appeared so plentiful only a month ago. Now it seems they're either in freezers or in the next county.

What really happens (yes, many do get shot) to those deer survivors is they find solitude in locations us hunters haven't figured out yet.

Nothing will get your blood pumping faster than to be in total silence just outside a thicket and suddenly see a buck bolt in front of you mere yards away while you try to get a bead on him for a shot.

It's happened to me and I've had some success with it.

So now with this knowledge comes the anticipation of going out to Walt's Washtenaw County killing fields.

Along with passing on tips to Marysville Dan -- a newbie muzzleloader -- who appears destined to end the regular firearms season deerless.

Marysville Dan helps me out quite a bit with my troublesome truck and I really would like to get him a deer.

He will even have use of the Knight .50 cal, which I don't carry much because of its heft, but it does have a scope complete with many bells and whistles. Or he can use the primitive one with cap, patches and round balls.

I prefer the $99 Knight special .45 because it is extremely light, has a longer barrel and also has one of my favorite scopes on it.

It runs from Dec. 2-18 this year.

Should be a good season. Don't miss it but go somewhere I'm not.

Another reason I like this season is because the hunting crowd thins out in the woods again.


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