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

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

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

Online Video Shows Over 15 Tips for the Best Food Plots and Nutritious Native Browse

The newest video on shares food plot lessons learned and more tips on getting the best and most from food plots and native browse. It’s an information packed video with tips for both beginners and veterans of food plots and habitat management. Click here to watch the video today!

About a popular on-demand web series that shares current information about deer hunting and deer management. The videos focus on what the GrowingDeer team of experienced hunters and deer managers are doing in the field week to week: action packed hunts, proven hunting strategies, habitat management, food plots, trail camera techniques and the gear it takes to get it all done. A new episode is released every Monday, 52 weeks a year with no repeats. Videos are available for viewing anytime at Read more

Appreciating Your Neighborhood Canada Geese

DNR offers tips for avoiding problems with beautiful but plentiful birdsPerhaps one of the most recognizable birds in Michigan is the large, regal-looking Canada goose. Once a rare sight in Michigan, Canada geese now are very plentiful in the state – so plentiful that some people tend to think of them as pests. The Department of Natural Resources reminds Michigan residents that, with a little patience, understanding and perseverance, homeowners can learn to respect and appreciate these beautiful birds.

The subspecies of goose that is most plentiful in Michigan is the giant Canada goose. Because they are so abundant, many would never suspect that the giant Canada goose subspecies nearly was extinct in the 1950s because of unregulated overhunting and wetland habitat loss.

In recent years, the giant Canada goose has experienced population explosions in areas throughout North America due, in part, to the success of wildlife management programs and the adaptability of these birds. In Michigan today, the number of giant Canada geese counted each spring is well over 300,000. They nest in every Michigan county, but are most common in the southern third of the state, where 78 percent of the goose population is found. Read more

National Wild Turkey Federation celebrates National Pollinator Week

National Pollinator Week: June 19 – 25, 2017EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The National Wild Turkey Federation works throughout the year to improve habitat not only for wild turkeys but also for some of our upland habitat’s most important visitors — pollinators. Bees, birds and butterflies are a part of the pollinator group, which has seen drastic declines over the past 20 years. This week, during National Pollinator Week, the NWTF asks you to join our celebration and help keep our pollinators protected.

According to the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, birds, bees, butterflies, beetles, bats and other small mammals that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food. An estimated one-third of all foods and beverages is delivered by pollinators, and pollination produces nearly $20 billion worth of products annually. Pollinators also provide us with one-half of the world’s oils; they prevent soil erosion and increase carbon storage. Read more

Four Hummingbird Feeder Hints

With hummingbird feeding season in full swing and sizzling summer temperatures looming, biologists with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Wildlife Diversity Program offer the following hints for a successful hummingbird season.

Fill Feeders Weekly

“We recommend refilling and cleaning your hummingbird feeders on a weekly basis,” said Melynda Hickman, wildlife diversity biologist for the Oklahoma Wildlife Department. “A simple four-part water to one-part sugar solution should do the trick.”

Most commercially available feeders have enough red coloration to attract the small birds; adding red food coloring to the sugar-water solution is not necessary. Read more

Online Video Shows a Great Tool to Improve Hunting Quality

The newest video on shows how strategic use of food plots can improve hunting success! They share why and where to locate a plot and strategies for hunting it. Plus, one of their favorite strategies that can be used when hunting five acres or five hundred. Stay tuned to see a dramatic explanation of how to build soils for better food plots and better nutrition for whitetails. Click here to watch the video today! Read more

MI DNR moose survey results estimate a population increase

Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologists estimate the number of moose in the western Upper Peninsula core population area at 378 animals, up from 285 in 2015.

“Our survey findings this year are encouraging because a possible population decline detected in 2015 was transitory,” said Dean Beyer, a Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife research biologist who organizes the sampling and generates the estimate for the biannual survey effort.

The results were reported to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission Thursday at a meeting in Houghton. A moose hunt in Michigan is not currently being considered.

Moose are found in Michigan at Isle Royale National Park and in two population areas on the mainland of the Upper Peninsula.

The western U.P. moose range covers about 1,400 square miles in parts of Marquette, Baraga, and Iron counties. The population there is the result of moose reintroduction efforts in 1985 and 1987. Read more

Healthy Food Plots = Healthy Deer

By Glen Wunderlich

With summer at the doorstep, the process of growing deer is in full swing.  This year’s mix of high-yield treats will be planted to maximize attractiveness and nutritional value throughout the year.  To do so, however, takes a fair amount of planning.

Late last summer, a blend of brassicas and legumes was planted in a small plot giving the local herd some fine turnips and rape plants for forage during hunting season and well into the winter months.  Not all the plants were consumed, thus allowing the remnants to decompose and to provide nutrients to the developing clover and alfalfa plants that would now take over. 

However, in comparison to a nearby healthy food plot of ladino clover, the new perennial plot was a pale green – nothing that a shot of fertilizer wouldn’t cure.  And, if one wonders about the difference in a plot that is well-maintained and one that has been neglected, a trailcam won’t lie.

A perennial plot that was “sweetened” in the fall continually drew more deer than even a nearby brassica plot. 

On several occasions, another trailcam has also revealed a striking revelation immediately following a thunderstorm with lightning:  A tiny plot – maybe a quarter of an acre – has drawn as many as 50 swarming deer, as though the dinner bell rang at the storm’s conclusion.

In a thunderstorm there is enough electrical energy in lightning to separate the nitrogen atoms in the air, thus making them available to plants. Once the atoms are separated they can fall to earth with rain water, and combine with minerals in the soil to form nitrates.  This form of fertilizer is obviously readily available and attractive to deer.  The point is that fertilizer makes all the difference in desirability.

Another means to improve the attractiveness of clover and alfalfa is to periodically mow.  The new growth that follows a haircut makes for a tender and juicy salad!

spring buck in clover plot

This year’s experiment with annuals continues, as a blend of soybeans and sugar beets is on the planting schedule for July 1.  The idea is to make luscious soybean foliage available to the deer, when typical soybeans are brown and being harvested.  Sugar beets speak for themselves and should be another good energy source in the bitter cold. 

 Unfortunately, there was no preparation last fall, so herbicide was applied late April to rid the site of grass.  The challenge has been to get the old Ford tractor on the site to disk up the dying vegetation, because a wet spring delayed progress.  Since then, lime and fertilizer has been disked into the soil, but with about three weeks until planting time, more prep is needed.

So, whether you settle on annuals or perennials or both, understand a lot of time, energy, and some cash are all part of the equation for healthy deer that’ll call your place home. 

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