Firminator’s AccuSeed System

Hunters who own or lease land that they want to improve for wildlife realize that one of the most effective things they can do to improve habitat is to plant food plots.

For those who are not already running large farming operations, that means they need economical, easy-to use and effective equipment to do the planting.

That’s why The Firminator is so popular: it’s an all-in-one machine that prepares the ground, plants the seed, and cultipacks the ground afterwards for top yields. Read more

Lake Harvests Likely More Fruitful Than We Knew

Harvests from freshwater fisheries such as the Great Lakes could total more than 12 million tons a year globally and contribute more to global food supplies and economies than previous estimates indicate, according to a study published today by Michigan State University and the U.S. Geological Survey.

“Our study provides an independent estimate of global inland fishery harvests based on food web ecology and fisheries activity, and can help resource managers in the United States and around the world make informed decisions about the often competing uses of inland fresh waters,” said Andrew Deines, a scientist with Michigan State University’s Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability during the study and the report’s lead author. Read more

S&W Adds Flat Dark Earth and Gray Frame SD Pistol Models

Smith & Wesson® SD9™ and SD40™ Pistols Available in New FinishesSPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Smith & Wesson Corp. today announced that it has expanded its line of Self Defense pistols to include Flat Dark Earth (FDE) and Gray frame finishes. The Smith & Wesson SD Series, chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W, offers a variety of features designed for home and personal defense applications, including a smooth, consistent trigger pull and lightweight polymer frame.

Jan Mladek, General Manager of Smith & Wesson® and M&P® Brands, said, “The Self Defense pistol series is designed for personal and home protection in a lightweight, reliable package and at a price point that offers a great value. We are excited to expand the popular Smith & Wesson SD pistol series in new color options that appeal to our consumers.”

The SD9 and SD40 pistols offer consumers a reliable, durable striker-fired pistol that features a solid, molded polymer frame designed for comfort and durability, as well as an ergonomic grip. The Self Defense pistol series comes standard with a white-dot front sight and a white two-dot rear sight, as well as an accessory rail for optional lights, lasers and rail-mounted accessories to aid in home and personal protection. Both the Flat Dark Earth and Gray frame finish SD Series pistols feature a stainless steel slide and barrel with a durable Armornite™ finish, providing increased corrosion resistance. Read more

Judge Sentences Michigan Man in Illegal Deer Baiting Case

Saginaw County man sentenced in illegal deer baiting caseA Saginaw County man was fined heavily, ordered to serve jail time, probation and community service, and had his hunting privileges revoked when he was sentenced recently for deer hunting violations he committed during the fall 2016 firearm deer hunting season.

Dexter James Sysak, 40, of Merill was convicted by a District Court jury in April of multiple hunting violations, dating back to Nov. 29. He was sentenced June 21.Sugar beets are shown spread over the field where illegal baiting took place in November 2016.
“Sysak had taken a dump truck of sugar beets and two dump trailers of corn and placed them on his hunting property,” said Michigan Conservation Officer Joseph Myers, who investigated the case. “The actual measure of bait was impossible to count but was estimated at two-and-a-half tons.”

Myers said conservation officers were alerted to a complaint of over use of bait via an anonymous tip to the DNR Report All Poaching hotline (800-292-7800) on Nov. 27.

The following day, officers went to the area, which turned out to be an old golf course —property owned by Sysak near the Gratiot-Saginaw county line. Myers said he found access to the site using a county road easement.

“I saw a hunting blind on the right and I could see an orange object through the trees,” Myers said. “It was a grain trailer full of corn with the door broken off and about 100 gallons of corn on the ground.”

Corn was spread over a wide area. Myers said he kicked a hard object while walking, which was a sugar beet.

“There was a 150-yard cobblestone road of sugar beets making a J-shape around the blind,” Myers said. “It looked like an individual had drove onto the property and just dumped the sugar beets out of a truck.”

With no name on the blind and no one at the site, Myers didn’t know who owned the land or the property. He decided to return the next day, Nov. 29.

“There was a truck parked there. I walked up to the blind and there were four individuals in the blind,” Myers said.

Myers said he saw Sysak pick up a hunter orange vest as Myers approached the blind.

After interviewing Sysak, Myers determined the bait, far in excessive of the 2-gallon limit, had been in the area for some time.

“Sysak also admitted to me that he had taken a 9-point buck over the illegal bait, making it an illegal deer,” Myers said. “I seized evidence and cited the suspect.”

Myers said Sysak showed him the gun he used and where he shot the deer from. He also told Myers which meat processor the deer had been taken to, a place just a couple miles down the road.

Myers contacted the processor and recovered the deer meat and antlers.

Sysak pleaded not guilty.

A jury trial was held April 28 in District Court 65B in Ithaca in Gratiot County, where Sysak was found guilty by the panel of six jurors on all three charges against him. Those misdemeanors included an over limit of bait, failing to wear hunter orange and taking a deer by an illegal method.

Myers said Sysak admitted the facts necessary to prove the case during his testimony at trial. He also admitted he had rented a dump truck to place the bait on the property.

Sysak was sentenced June 21 to serve 45 days in jail, fined roughly $15,000, including $6,500 reimbursement for the deer and ordered to serve 90 hours of community service to the DNR once his jail sentence is served. He was banned from all DNR activities during his 2-year probation term. All sport license privileges were revoked through 2022.

The meat from the deer will be given to needy families in the community.

There were extensive terms set for Sysak’s probation. If any of those terms are violated, it would be grounds for Sysak serving up to 1 year in jail and potential lifetime revoking of his hunting license privileges.

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect citizens by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve.

Learn more about Michigan conservation officers at

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go

Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943 or

Rimfire Ammo is Back More than Ever

By Glen Wunderlich

Some four years ago, an ammunition shortage of unprecedented proportions hit the market and sportsmen and women felt the pinch.  Conspiracy theories materialized in attempts to explain the reasons we couldn’t get what we wanted, but the fact remained:  Factory ammo and components had dried up.

The rimfire segment of the market was particularly troublesome insofar as it represented the most popularly used ammo world-wide.  As supplies continued to dwindle, suppliers gobbled up what remained in an effort to gouge everyday shooters.  Although we’ll never again see 500-round bricks for $10, today’s rimfire options present plinkers a vast array of selections.

As a matter of fact, one of the best sources,, currently has over 80 different rimfire options in stock and available for immediate shipment.  You won’t find this selection at the local Cheap Mart, if you find anything at all, as shoppers continue to grab the stuff as quickly as it arrives.

From sub-sonic to super-sonic, it’s all out there and here are some examples of some rather interesting offerings.

Federal AutoMatch Target Rimfire ammunition is specifically designed for use in semi-automatic firearms with less powder and lead residue.    At 6 cents per round, it is one of the most affordable high-velocity choices.

A favorite among plinkers is the Winchester Super-X ammunition at only 9 cents per round and offers a plated round-nose bullet design with a high velocity of 1300 feet-per-second.
Another popular choice is CCI Mini-Mag ammunition at 9 cents per round.  This ammo sports 40-grain, plated round-nose bullets with a velocity of 1235 feet per second.

Federal’s Game-Shok Rimfire high-velocity selection offers 40-grain copper-plated solid bullets at 7 cents per round.

Not to be omitted is the Remington Remington Golden Bullet loads at 10 cents per round.  The solid bullet is 40 grains with a muzzle velocity of 1255 feet-per-second.

If you are more accuracy-minded, I’ve found nothing better than the Lapua brand but at 25 cents per round, some friends have questioned my sanity.  My choice over the years has been its Center-X loads, because they perform superbly in any rimfire rifle I’ve tried.  Each sub-sonic cartridge is checked individually and tolerances are extremely tight.

Also available in rimfire configuration is the .17 HMR and .22 WMR calibers, which were non-existent to the market for the past few years.

Times have changed and the prices reflect the new normal.  But, the rimfire options have never been as numerous as they are now.

Rimfires are a great way to introduce new shooters to the sport, because of their low recoil and report and relative low cost.  And, once a youngster begins to punch paper and moves onto reactive targets, you’ll want to stock up.  And, for the first time in years, it’s possible once again.

ABC Supports Bill to Suspend Neonics

Pollinators, including bird species such as Ruby-throated Hummingbird, are at risk from neonic pesticides. Photo by MV Photo/Shutterstock.

American Bird Conservancy Supports Bill to Suspend Neonics

‘Saving America’s Pollinators Act’ Would Protect Birds, Bees

Washington –Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) have introduced the Saving America’s Pollinators Act of 2017, directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend registration of a toxic group of pesticides called neonicotinoids, or “neonics.” Now the most commonly used insecticides on Earth, these chemicals are deadly to birds, bees, and aquatic life. Read more

Coast Guard Rescues 17 on Lake St. Clair

DETROIT — The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 17 people during two separate cases on Lake St. Clair, Friday.

Shortly before 7 p.m. local time, the Coast Guard Sector Detroit command center received a call, via VHF Marine Radio Channel 16, from the owner and operator of a 39-foot vessel with 15 people aboard stating that they were taking on water approximately four and one-half miles offshore from the Grosse Point Yacht Club.

The command center watchstander issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast, launched a rescue crew aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from Coast Guard Station St. Clair Shores and diverted an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Detroit that was in the area returning from another case.

The crew from Station St. Clair Shores arrived on scene within 10 minutes and began dewatering the boat using a dewatering pump. A vessel from Tow Boat US also arrived on scene and began dewatering with two additional pumps.

The Coast Guard crew then began removing the individuals, all adults, and transferred them back to the Coast Guard Station in three separate trips, which was completed in about 40 minutes. All of the persons were wearing life jackets. Read more

SCI Applauds “Long Overdue” Yellowstone Grizzly Delisting

Safari Club International celebrates with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and hunter-conservationists throughout the country the impending delisting of grizzly bears. The removal of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) population of grizzlies (Ursus arctos horribilis) from the federal threatened species list means that management of this recovered population of bears will finally return to the state agencies who have worked diligently with stakeholders to conserve the population. The GYE population consists of portions of northwestern Wyoming, southwestern Montana and eastern Idaho. Biologists estimate that approximately 700 bears now live in that area.

SCI has long been involved in the grizzly bear delisting saga. The Service first listed the grizzly bears in the lower 48 states as threatened back in 1973. In 2007, the Service delisted the GYE population and were soon after sued in federal court. SCI joined the suit as an intervenor to defend the delisting. After the district court invalidated the delisting, SCI, along with the other defendants, appealed the ruling. The appellate court affirmed only part of the ruling but the grizzly remained on the threatened species list. Although the Service predicted that it would be able to delist the bears again in 2013, the Service did not propose to remove the GYE population of bears from federal ESA protection until March of 2016. SCI filed two sets of comments in support of the proposed delisting.

The Service will publish a final delist rule in the next few days and the delisting will go into effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Despite decades of recovery efforts, extensive scientific research, and demonstrated recovery, the battle over GYE grizzlies is far from over. At least one anti-hunting group has already stated that they will sue to reverse the delisting. If that happens, SCI is very likely to join that litigation and once again defend the delisting and sustainable use management of the bear.

New Browning Black Label 1911-22 Pistols

Browning® is adding six new models to their very popular Black Label 1911-22 line of pistols.The new Black Label 1911-22 Medallion will come in both Full Size and Compact models. Features include a matte black finish slide with brush polished flats, aluminum alloy frame and intricately checkered rosewood grips with an inlaid gold Buckmark. The pistols have steel
three-dot sights and include one 10-round magazine. Barrel length on the Full Size is 4-1/4″
and 3-5/8″ for the Compact. Suggested retail for both versions is $669.99.

The new Black Label 1911-22 Gray pistol is available in four versions: Full Size, Full Size with Rail, Compact, and Compact with Rail. The machined aluminum slide is finished in a handsome gray anodized finish. Barrel length for the Full Size is 4-1/4″ and 3-5/8″ for the Compact. The frame is composite with a machined 7075 aluminum subframe and slide rails. Fiber-optic sights are included. The Black Label 1911-22 Gray pistol Full Size and Compact models suggested retail is $699.99. The suggested retail price for models with the accessory rail is $719.99.

For more information on Browning products, please visit the website at

National experts returning to U.P. Trappers Association convention in Delta County

Fur trappers Les Johnson from “Predator Quest” and Lesel Reuwsaat, who has been a frequent guest on the F&T Freedom Outdoors television program, will be among the demonstrators at the Upper Peninsula Trappers Association convention and outdoor expo in Escanaba.

The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 30 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 1 at the U.P. State Fairgrounds, which is located along U.S. 2 in Escanaba. Read more

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