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By Glen Wunderlich
When I read a recent Michigan DNR release about 10 tips for hunters’ safety, it all seemed so redundant.
It’s all out there and has been for so long, that it seems to get overlooked in the myriad preparations for deer hunting. One instant of carelessness can be downright dangerous, however, and a recent personal example has brought safety to the forefront of my mind.
A heavy-antlered, adult buck had recently emerged from a mere trail camera star to a wild-eyed, sex starved brute just days before.
In a moment, my uneventful afternoon stand had been turned into a three-buck circus right before my eyes, with the bull of the woods hot on the heels of a sprinting doe. Two lesser bucks stood motionless for minutes within range – one nosing my decoy at 25 yards, while the big bruiser had his way with his mate of the day well beyond my capabilities.
When I finished shivering and shaking, and waited for the area to clear in darkness, I slipped back to camp to invite a friend to get in on the action for an upcoming hunt.
The hunting companion, who shall remain nameless to protect his self-esteem, arrived November 2nd 2014 to partake in an archery hunt during the rut. The wind was right for both of us to take positions into the wind in hopes of getting a chance at the full-figured buck.
With plenty of light, my friend radioed that he spotted a six-point yearling. The news was encouraging. Before long, he called again to notify me that a doe with two fawns were within view. Good news again, but we had plans for antler soup.
In front of me were four whitetails – two fawns with their mothers. Two of them actually nudged my Montana Decoy. One antlerless creature remained after dark, not allowing me to depart without alarming her. But, that all ended when she became so curious that she just about poked her nose into my chair blind. One loud snort from me and she bolted into the darkness.
Back at camp we two hunters compared notes and my friend went outdoors to discharge his crossbow like he had done so many times before. This time, the results were terrifying!
He calmly returned with his left thumb hanging by skin at the top knuckle. He obviously ignored the warning printed on the crossbow to keep your thumb out of the way of the string. I grabbed a roll of gauze kept nearby but it was fruitless and tossed it aside. He found a clean towel, pressed it over the wound, and we hastily left for Memorial Hospital in Owosso.
The professional emergency staff went into action with a tetanus shot and X-rays. An experienced doctor set the broken bone and laced the thumb back into position. A few more shots in the legs, another X-ray, and we were on our way home hours later.
The following day, the hapless hunter kept an appointment with a local surgeon, who opened up the damaged thumb again, and added a metal reinforcing piece and repaired a torn ligament and placed a new cast on the hand.
My appendage-challenged friend came by last week and began talking about how he might be able to hunt on opening day of firearms deer season. He won’t be toting his usual heavy-recoiling shotgun, or any long gun for that matter. The only sensible choice came to a “hand” gun and that’s what it’ll be.
Hunters’ safety is everyone’s responsibility. Go over the rules and post them for all to see, because nobody should ever be “that guy.”
About Glen Wunderlich
Charter Member Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA). Outdoor writer and columnist for The Argus-Press (www.argus-press.com) and blog site at www.thinkingafield.org Member National Rifle Association (NRA), Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), member U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), Commemorative Bucks of Michigan (CBM).
Memphis, Michigan (October 31, 2014) G5® Outdoors, the leading manufacturer and designer of premium archery equipment has introduced a new model into their stellar lineup of Prime Bows™. The new Prime Rival is an extremely versatile bow that excels on the target range and in the field like no other bow. Read more
Great Bend, KS – Among hardcore bowhunters, Magnus has been a trusted name for over 30 years. From the introduction of their first Cut-On-Contact broadhead in 1984 to the present, Magnus delivers the sting on every hunting adventure from turkeys to big game. Now, Magnus introduces yet another exciting new product, their dynamic new Black Hornet and Black Hornet Ser-Razor broadheads.
The Black Hornet is a 4-blade fixed blade broadhead. It features a cutting diameter of 1-1/4″ on the main blade and features a knife-grade diamond tip. The auxiliary, or bleeder blade, has a cutting diameter of 7/8″.
The dictionary defines crossbow as a “medieval weapon,” but there is absolutely nothing archaic about the four new models in Barnett’s highly popular Core line of crossbows. These weapons are designed for the value-minded hunter who refuses to compromise on performance.
All four of the new Barnett Core crossbows feature lightweight composite stocks and CNC Machined 7/8-inch Picatinny rails-the military standard for mounting scopes. They also have “finger reminders” for shooting safety and pass-through foregrips, plus the company’s proprietary CROSSFIRE String and Cable System.
While it was once illegal to kill albino deer, it is perfectly legal now in Michigan as of 2008.
This amendment –
Removal of Protection for Albino and All-White Deer Wildlife Conservation Order Amendment No. 8 of 2008 removes the protection for albino and all-white deer, and establishes the open/closed status for antlerless deer license sales for each DMU.
It is burdensome to the hunter to determine if a deer is an albino deer or meets the definition of an all-white deer while afield. There is no compelling scientific reason to protect these deer.
Details of the deer killed by an Oceola Twp. youngster are here…