Slow go so far
By Mac Arnold
I'm back from a weeklong vacation in which I strung together four different hunts and ended up bird-less, turkey-less, bear-less and deer-less. In between the bear and deer hunts I fit in two days of festivities for my 30-year high school reunion at Birmingham Seaholm -- Class of '82.
I only saw the targeted game animal during the last item, which was a small doe at dusk on Monday.
Now I'm recovering from what was a very long week, but in a good way. Having Mike Avery of Colorado, a friend from the old days stay with me while he was in town for the reunion was a blast. Many laughs were shared and so were plans to visit him next year so we can possibly elk hunt.
I remain optimistic, mainly on the deer front. This season I will be hunting private land in Sanilac County as part of what is considered a loose-knit hunting group in addition to the usual public land spots.
Unfortunately, I don't see me getting back to the Upper Peninsula for another shot at Yogi before the season ends Oct. 26.
On a positive note, I finally did what I've always wanted to do by crossing the "Big Mac," seeking intel from a Department of Natural Resources biologist, in this case, Kristie Sitar, baiting a spot on public land and going for it.
And despite a tight watch from one contingency of local hunters, I came away unscathed, but bear-less as previously noted.
However, I saved anywhere from $900 to $1,200, which is about what you'll pay for a guide to bait ahead of time for you.
I've also gone this route in the past and seen the exact same results. So no harm, nor foul. I will admit there is a sense of security being treated to someone else's expertise, as the Upper Peninsula is vast and it can seem overwhelming at times to figure out where to set up.
Another thing I accomplished during the bear hunt was finally seeing the Tahquamenon Falls after nearly 49 years, most of them as a Michigan resident. I was surprised at how emotional of an experience it was for me. I think part of this was thinking how I wish I could have shared it with my kids who are in West Virginia now.
Today is my 49th birthday and I always love to be on watch in a tree stand to celebrate, but after a night at the office and temperatures expected to be in the mid-70s, it looks like I'll be sleeping in and hitting the trail for a 2-mile run.
I'll wait to kick off the party this weekend.