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10 Things to do when you are Dreaming of Deer Season in July

Posted on July 07, 2015 by Sam Hogan | 0 comments

Any serious hunter has been there. It’s a lonely place filled with unprecedented longing, sadness and a restlessness. It tends to hit sometime between the end of the previous deer season and the beginning of next year’s deer season. And it hits hard. You know it hits when your wife tells you to “Shut up about deer season already”, your last ten YouTube searches are hunting related, and you spend your workday pondering what stand you are going to sit opening morning.

I know how you feel. Here are ten things to do when you can’t stop thinking about Deer season in July.

 

Scout, Scout, and Scout some more

If you are this excited about the upcoming season you want to make sure your odds of arrowing that bruiser are as high as possible. Set up trail cameras, check out new areas, and try to get a better understanding of deer travel patterns. It will pay off big time during the season.

Go Fishing

This one is fairly obvious, If you can’t hunt you might as well wet some lines! Hit the local lake or river with some buddies and make the most of it!  I have spent many days on the water solely to curb my desire to hunt.

Spend time with family

You and I both know that come October and November we are going to be spending the vast majority of our free time on the stand. Spend plenty of time with them now, and they may be more likely to allow you to skip “Date Night” once or twice.

Practice

Bad shots happen. Anyone who tells you otherwise hasn’t hunted for very long. Preparation in the off season will help prepare you for that one shot where it really matters. Practice year round to ensure you are ready when that buck steps out opening morning! Remember to practice with broadheads before season opens! I am still shocked by the number of people who never shoot a broadhead before shooting one at a deer. Regardless of if the package says “Flys like a field point” make sure you shoot them a few times beforehand. Don’t wait until the last week before the season to do this.

Build blinds

Have a favorite spot that you always seem to hunt year after year? Build a blind! It isn’t hard and it allows you to hunt more comfortably.It also allows you to introduce kids to the outdoors as well. Plus, who doesn’t love a heated blind come December?               

Plan a youth hunt

More kids should be introduced to the outdoors, plain and simple. As technology advances the number youth involved in hunting decreases. So many kids spend hours on videogames, texting, social media, and online that they never get an opportunity to take in nature. Use the youth hunt as an opportunity to introduce the next generation to the outdoors. Don’t make it a last minute thing either. Plan it in advance and give them something to look forward to. Be sure to have them shoot their gun/bow regularly so an ethical shot can be made.             

3D Shoots

Don’t bring a rangefinder. I use 3D shoots as practice judging distances in a natural environment. Shooting a 3D deer in the woods at an unknown distance is way more effective than shooting a target at marked yardages. Bring buddies and make a day out of it. It is a blast!

Go Explore

Getting outdoors in general is a great way to unwind. I go on a handful of camping and backpacking trips to remote areas annually just to get away from the stress and noise. For me it is just as peaceful as a morning on stand. Plus, if you are exploring a national forest there is a good chance you can find a new hunting spot!

Fine Tune your gear

Remember last year, when your boots never kept your feet warm, your pants were too noisy, or your arrows never grouped right? Now is the time to change that! Look into new gear, figure out what works for other hunters, and make sure you are well equipped to hit the woods this fall!

Knock on some doors

Contrary what a lot of people will tell you, door knocking is not dead. What do you have to lose? Knock on some doors and politely try to gain permission to hunt. Many will say no, but most will be polite and cordial about it. The ones that say yes will be well worth it! Many of my best producing properties came from door knocking!

Posted in 3d, archery, early season, hunt, hunting, michigan, michigan whitetail pursuit, scouting, whitetails, youth hunt

5 Reasons why Michigan Whitetail Pursuit will never be on National Television

Posted on May 28, 2015 by Sam Hogan | 2 comments

  1. Our desires lie locally. Simply put, despite the knowledge that there may be bigger bucks and larger opportunities in other states we have a passion for pursuing whitetails in Michigan. Our love for the tradition associated with Michigan hunting combined with the relationships we have built throughout our own hunting ventures have anchored us in this great state. We wouldn’t have it any other way and we strive to make that apparent in our productions.
  2. Our Niche fits us. We have been blessed to be able to make our dreams a reality and be supported by hunters all over the state of Michigan. The message we try to portray would not resonate the same way with hunters in Iowa, Kansas, Texas, or Kentucky. We have built something here that would be impossible to replicate nationally. With so many productions coming from the “big buck states” Michiganders demand something they can cling to and support. For that reason we are exclusively Michigan. Michiganders want Michigan. We will continue to give you Michigan.
  3. The World deserves Reality. If you have ever talked to me at a show you know that this is my soapbox. Kids grow up seeing all these hunting shows with giants seemingly behind every tree. That must be fairly regular right? Wrong. As hunters, especially in Michigan, we know that big bucks are hard to kill. That’s what makes it such a great accomplishment when a Michigan hunter is fortunate enough to put one down! So when these kids hit the woods for the first time and don’t see a 150 inch buck during their first season they get dejected. No wonder the number of youth active in the hunting industry is down. Many “Big Buck” productions have created unrealistic expectations for our future generations.

    Even as adults it gets boring seeing nothing but great shots on big bucks. People can relate to trespassers, misses, and failing to turn on a camera.  This is reality, and we owe it to the next generation to show reality.

    Lastly, we are average Joes. We have no desire to soak up the spotlight and make this about us. It isn’t and will never be about us. Rather than make it about us and our prostaff we focus on the trials and joys of being an average Michigan deer hunter.
  1. Forced Product Placement. We all notice it. But if you forgot what it sounds like allow me give you a quick reminder.

    “I couldn’t have shot this buck without the use of **insert hunting product here that
    was likely never used** and ** second not used hunting product**.” “If I had shot this
    deer with anything other than **insert broadhead here** I never would have found it.”

     Becoming a National TV production is time and money. Lots of it. To make money many sponsors need to be brought on. Now I am not saying that Michigan Whitetail Pursuit doesn’t have sponsors. We do. But we really try to steer clear of forced, over the top, product placement. We also try to showcase local Michigan outdoor businesses. Nearly all of our sponsors are Michigan businesses.

  1. MWP is our Baby. We love what we do. Filming our hunts with the knowledge that they will entertain hunters both young and old is humbling. Our ultimate goal is to inspire you, and when we get feedback from our fans it inspires us. Being a National TV show takes away from that intimacy. We know our fans on a deeper level than many productions do and in turn we feel supported locally. You built this brand and you keep it alive, we are simply the glue that puts it all together.

Posted in hunting, local, local company, michigan, national, support, tradition, TV

Why you should be using legal mineral sites NOW for your Michigan deer!

Posted on March 30, 2015 by Calvin Beeke | 0 comments

Spring is here and now its time to start thinking deer management. One of the biggest jump-starts you could do to help your deer herd is setting up mineral stands. This will help the deer in replenishing everything they have lost over the winter. This will also help with does during their final few months of their pregnancy, along with lactation, help the yearlings get off to a healthier start, and help bucks with their new head gear. 
Putting out minerals in Michigan at this time is legal as long as its in a wildlife viewing area within 100 yards of your home. 
One of the minerals we have had the most success with is Pop's Loose Moose. This is a Michigan made product with less salt and more quality minerals for your deer. What we have noticed is that by having less salt it really extended the action we were seeing on the mineral stand much further into the hunting season over any other mineral on the market.
Pop's recommends using a stump over dumping your mineral on the ground for numerous reasons. It will save you money and create a physical check point deer are used to frequenting in there home range for you to hunt, somewhat like a primary scrape. If you really want to make a difference and see results, now is the time to make the biggest impact on your deer herd.

Posted in habitat, hunting, local company, management, michigan, property

6 Keys to Purchasing your Michigan Hunting Property

Posted on November 07, 2014 by Calvin Beeke | 1 comment

PRE-APPROVAL: Get Pre-approved. This is probably not the first thing we want to think about. You may ask, “isn’t getting pre-approved putting the cart before the horse?”  Absolutely not!  Trust me, when you find that piece of hunting or farmland in Michigan that you fall in love with, you are not going to want to wait the 5-10 days that it will take to get pre-approved before you can make an offer. This will also help determine your budget for the property and making sure you are financially responsible in knowing what size payment you can take on.

DEFINITION: Have a clear definition of what it is that you want out of a piece of land.  Do you want the land to be just for you and your wants and needs?  Are you buying so that you and your family can have a place to hunt, fish and camp?  Are you buying as an investment, if so, how much of a return on investment (ROI) percentage do you need?  These are just a few questions that you should answer before getting to serious about buying. 

ADVICE: Work closely with someone you trust who knows hunting and farmland.  This may be a farmer, a wildlife habitat consultant, a Realtor (Stoney Creek Outdoor Properties) who specializes in hunting and farmland, or a friend or coworker who has gone through the buying process.  Getting a couple different opinions is never a bad idea.  For example, let’s say you are a serious hunter and you want some land to be able to plant apple trees and some food plots.  Soil types are very important when it comes to planting trees and food plots.  The more fertile the soil, the less lime and fertilizer you will need to apply to that soil in order to get the most out of whatever you plant.  You will pay more money per acre for good quality soil, but in the long run you will save time, money, and labor by buying land with good quality soils.  This is just one example of many.

SIZE: Sometimes this is the factor that intimidates us to think about the purchase in the first place. Too many of us think only an 80 acre piece is capable of producing the whitetail habitat we are after. Take a look at your current properties you have access to. Many often are 3-10 acres or even 20-40 acres. Some small properties “Hunt Big”. By that, I mean they have the food, bedding, funnels, etc. that allow for multiple stand locations on high deer traffic areas even though they technically may not be a huge parcel.

TIME: How far are you looking to drive? Is this a weekend retreat or a quick after work spot? Or are you after a U.P. tract of land for gun season? Remember the time investment in driving and scouting. Also consider the time of year and your availability to hunt. Is this the perfect spot for a youth hunt or an early season food plot? Or do you plan your two weeks vacation for the chase phase? Consider distance and time of the season you will be focusing on this property.

NEIGHBORS: This one is often overlooked. So many neighbor relationships have gone sour because of hunting issues. People are passionate about deer and that can negatively or positively build relationships. Before you buy, meet the neighbors and see if they hunt and what their goals are for their property. In all likelihood, your property will border 3+ properties and having a good relationship with all sides is good!

 

Co-editors: Chad Thelen and Calvin Beeke

Posted in habitat, hunting, land, lease, property, purchase

8 reasons why Northern Michigan has better hunting than Iowa....

Posted on August 13, 2014 by Jacob Rebh | 6 comments

8 Reasons why hunting Northern Michigan is still Awesome

 

  1. Family Tradition: For many families in Michigan, such as my own, hunting northern Michigan is a family tradition. The trek north is taken by less and less hunters every year for that magical 24 hours we call “opening day. “ As for the generations before us though, almost every hunter in the mitten traveled north when that second week of November came around. Starting in the 1950’s, my Grandpa Crawford would travel 8 hours north to Iron Mountain in the Upper Peninsula for deer camp, accompanied by many fellow hunters. That tradition was passed over to my father, and even though we no longer go all the way up to Iron Mountain, an opening day not spent in Northern Michigan doesn’t feel right. These days, my dad and I, accompanied by a few hunting buddies, travel  4 hours north to Presque Isle County for deer camp to hunt the elusive whitetail. It’s still a family tradition to me and many other of my fellow Michigan hunters, and you can bet as long as I walk on God’s Great Earth I’ll be traveling north for deer camp.

 

  1. “Deer Camp” Experience: There are deer camps all over the great state of Michigan, but there’s something about a Northern Michigan deer camp that sets it apart from the rest. As a Northern Michigan hunter, you feel more connected to the roots of Michigan whitetail hunting; knowing that the generations before us took that drive up 131 and highway 75 to hunt their favorite blind. Many northern Michigan hunting camps still do it the old fashion way; no electricity, no running water, cooking their dinners over a fire, telling stories about their day in the woods, and if they’re lucky a buck on the buck pole; now that’s a deer camp.

 

  1. Colder Weather: Here’s a fact; it’s colder in Northern Michigan. Cold weather = better deer movement. We don’t use our deer camp up north for just gun season; we like to head up every weekend we can during October as well. I live in Southern Michigan; Barry County to be exact, so I am well aware of the weather we have had the past few years in Southern Michigan during the first few weeks of bow season. Highs in the upper 60’s and low 70’s, with lows in the mid 50’s; not your best weather for deer movement. By simply taking the 4 hour drive north for the weekend; we have spent the first few weekends of October hunting in temperatures in the mid to high 40s; which is much more comfortable, and the deer activity during daylight hours is much higher. In addition, when gun season does come along, we have spent the last two opening days hunting with a little bit of snow on the ground. What’s better than a white background on opening day?? In my opinion, the answer is nothing.

 

  1. Different Landscape: Now so far, it probably sounds like I don’t enjoy hunting southern Michigan, and I must say that is far from the truth. I spend many days in a tree stand in Kent and Barry County every year, and have had some of my best encounters and shot some of my best bucks in southern Michigan. I must admit though, the southern Michigan landscape can get quite boring; cornfield after cornfield, bean field after bean field. Now those cornfields and bean fields produce some of the best bucks in the state, but at the same time it can be very refreshing to hunt a different landscape once in a while. I go from hunting over cornfields and bean fields around here, to hunting tall grass fields covered in cedar trees, and swamps so thick with white pine and cedar that you spend all day just creating one 75 yard shooting lane.  There’s nothing better than watching the sunrise with your cold breath and smell of cedar in the air.

 

  1. Different Species: Even though the goal is the same, to hunt and harvest a whitetail deer; nothing keeps you on the edge of your seat more than getting the chance to see a different kind of game that you wouldn’t normally get the chance to see while hunting southern Michigan. At any moment, look to your left and you could see a 400 pound black bear come walking out of the swamp, look in the air and you could see a bald eagle flying overhead watching over the landscape, look in the stream next to your blind and you could see a family of beavers making a home, or if you see a tree without bark I can almost guarantee you that there is a porcupine hovering overhead. The different amount of game that roam the swamps and fields of northern Michigan is simply breathtaking and can make your sit in the blind much more enjoyable.

 

  1. Regardless of the myth(s), the deer population still thrives in Northern Michigan: I’ve heard it all; “Most of the deer have headed south because of the better food source,” or “ The harsh winters have severely decreased the population,” or “Northern Michigan has been over-hunted by the past generations leading to a decreased population.” There are multiple other “myths” out there that have led to many hunters in the mitten to stay south, but I have physical proof that they are just that: myths. On a typical hunt I see anywhere from 10-30 deer. Yes, we are lucky and stumbled upon some great property, but just driving for an evening stroll around the surround area and surrounding counties, we see hundreds of deer in the fields. I remember one evening specifically; it was late august and we had just got done with a day’s work at the property preparing for bow season. We decided to spend the last couple of hours of daylight just driving around to do some deer watching; we saw thousands, let me repeat that, THOUSANDS of deer. We figured we saw about 3,000 deer that night. Yes the winter kills a small portion of the population up there just as it does down here, but trust me, the population thrives.
  2. Small Town Atmosphere: Northern Michigan is cluttered with small towns that see opening day as a holiday; schools are closed, businesses are closed, and the rest of the town is a ghost town because everybody is in their blind. Then the sun goes down, and you know where to find everybody; the town buck pole. We hunt just outside a small town called Onaway, MI, and there is a small sporting goods shop in town called Parrots; it seems every small town in Northern Michigan has an old sporting goods shop where locals can get their essentials for the upcoming hunting season. Along with those sporting good shops comes a buck pole, where everybody is proud to show off what they have harvested. Personally, this is one of my favorite parts of opening day; wrapping it up by stopping at Parrots to see everyone’s success. Nobody is stubborn, jealous, or rude; everyone there is high-fiving each other and congratulating one another on their harvest. It’s an event that makes you appreciate the joys of being an outdoorsman and proud to be part of that small community. I must say, it makes it so much sweeter when you’re lucky enough to see your own buck on that community buck pole; the sense of pride and accomplishment is unmatched for an avid outdoorsman.

 

  1. The Drive Home:  Personally, the northern Michigan hunting experience isn’t complete until I pull into my own driveway. The 4 hour trek home is actually a very exciting time for the 5 of us that regularly make the trip to deer camp. Especially, after the first few days of rifle season. It seems like every other truck heading south has a few deer lying in the truck bed. Whether it’s a giant buck or just a doe, you always give a wave to the other drivers acknowledging and congratulating them on their successful hunt. The drive is even more exciting when you have a couple bucks of your own in the truck bed. As a group, we always have at least 2 or 3 bucks in the truck bed, and with that we receive many fist pumps and thumbs up on our way down highway 75 and 131. Little things like that just add to the great experience of hunting northern Michigan.

 

 

Even if you’re an avid southern Michigan hunter, I encourage you to join a family member or friend to experience the northern Michigan hunting experience at least once. Whether you come back with a deer or not, I’m sure it will be one of the coolest hunting experiences that you’ll embark upon. Enjoy the cold, the community buck pole, and the stories around the bonfire while cooking your hot dog; let it all sink in because as a Michigan hunter this will be an experience to remember.

-Steve Crawford, MWP prostaffer

Posted in bowhunting, deerhunting, education, hunting, michigan, michigan whitetail pursuit

10 things you MUST remember when filming your Michigan hunt!

Posted on August 11, 2014 by Calvin Beeke | 0 comments

Filming hunts is growing all over the world. There is no problem with filming the hunt and calling it a day, but there’s no better way to tell a story, than to SHOW it!! So if you’re one that wants to take your filming to a whole new level… Here are 10 of the most important aspects to filming your hunts.

#1 Steady, smooth video.

Steady and smooth is key to having a great film. So many people just bring out a camera and free hand it, which ends up making the video very shaky, and a headache to watch. A good camera arm and fluid head are KEY!! Yes, you can go to your local hunting store and buy a cheap 30-40 dollar camera arm, and it will do the job. But that arm will only last a couple hunts before the squeaking and stiffness starts and it just becomes a hassle. I prefer Muddy Outdoors camera arms. They are by far the smoothest arms hands down, and with a good fluid head, your hunts will be steady, smooth, and enjoyable to watch!

#2 Learn to be the cameraman before the hunter.

If you want to be able to produce the best video you can, you have to find that balance between cameraman and hunter. It's true with both solo hunting, and being a cameraman. When solo hunting, you have to learn to make certain movements at certain times. Like when that animal is coming in, video first, but once you see the animal is committing, grab the bow, and keep filming. Some people get so caught up in the moment that their brain shuts off from being a cameraman and their hunter senses kick in. That's when it usually creates bad video or no video of the kill at all.

#3 Let it go

Solo hunters really don't have to worry about this since at the time of the shot, their hands are on the weapon and not the camera. But this is crucial for being a cameraman. When the shot is about to happen... Let go of the camera arm or camera. What this prevents is the cameraman shakes at the point of the shot, which can make the impact not clear or even visible. So when the shot is about to happen, think of the movie Frozen, and LET IT GO!!! And once the shot is fired, grab the camera and follow the animal.

#4 Never enough

You can never get enough film. All it can do is make your video better. Which brings us to #5

#5 Be Creative

When taking different shots, think outside the box, and think of different ways you can make a unique shot. Wide view cameras like go pros are really good for different angled shots. DSLR cameras are really good for focus shots with incredible clarity, but for the average guy with the average camera, just find the little things that not a lot of people film and make it your own.

#6 Forget the camera is rolling when you talk. (for both hunter and cameraman)

It takes a while to feel comfortable talking around a camera. But everyone loves to see true personality, especially when adrenaline is flowing and all the emotions come out. Act like there is no camera there and just celebrate. Let whatever you feel come out!

#7 Always be prepared.

Filming can take a lot of equipment, make sure you have extra batteries, extra memory cards, something to cover your camera up if it rain/snows. Maybe even bring an extra camera if your camera malfunctions. You never know when the hunt of a lifetime is going to happen, and there would be nothing worse than missing it, so ALWAYS be prepped.

#8 IGNORE the industry

The hunting industry has commercialized hunting. DON’T do that to yourself. Forget obvious product placement and telling others what type of broadhead is best. At MWP we have relationships with products we use and love, preferably local Michigan relationships. Ignore the slogans and overdone reactions that the pros often show. Your reaction is different – and remember when you kill a whitetail in Michigan on film…celebrate any way you want. Your viewers will enjoy it!

#9 Recovery

Everyone wants to see your animal! Film all the emotions of following the blood trail, finding the animal, field dressing, and bringing the animal home. It will add a lot of emotion, personality, and sometimes comedy to your video.

#10 (MOST IMPORTANT) Tell a Story.

Just like I said earlier, film everything. Nobody likes a "there's a deer. Boom. Look at him. The end " hunt. We want to see everything that goes on, from deer camp to driving there, everything that happens in the stand, to driving home with a Mack daddy buck in the back of the pick up truck. Talk like there's no camera, just you and your buddy having an awesome time in Gods creation. 

 

- Blake Ledger, MWP Prostaffer 

Posted in archery, bowhunting, deerhunting, education, filming, hunting, michigan, michigan whitetail pursuit, tutorial, videography

8 Important ways to prepare for hunting season in Michigan

Posted on July 30, 2014 by Calvin Beeke | 0 comments

  1. Set your trail cameras

Summer is quickly rolling to an end. One of the most important things you can do is get your trail cameras set and doing your scouting for you. When October 1st hits, you will have one of your best chances to kill that buck you’ve been watching all summer before he changes his summer patterns. Having your trail cameras capturing his movements and allowing you to pattern these bachelor groups will give you a much higher chance of punching your tag during the first week of October.

  1. Get those stands hung

As we creep into the month of August and the temps are in the 80’s, it’s time to get out of your air-conditioned house and into your hunting spot. You need to have your stands set and shooting lanes trimmed far before season opens. There is nothing worse than disturbing your property two days before you want to hunt it.

  1. Check your gear. Then check it again.

Every piece in your whitetail arsenal works together. Get your camouflage washed and in order, your binoculars cleaned, your stands greased (so they don’t squeak whenever you move), and get your broadheads and arrows tuned in. Every detail matters when that moment of truth rolls around.

  1. Practice, Practice, Practice.

Confidence is key in the whitetail woods. Especially here in Michigan, one of the most pressured states in America, you need to know that you can make the shot when it presents itself. You may only get one chance at a good deer during the season. The best thing you can do is be confident that you can make your one shot count.

  1. Scout public land

Even though you might have a good chunk of private land to hunt, it can never hurt to have a backup. There are many different pieces of land in Michigan that are open for hunting to the public. Getting into these areas and scouting them can become a huge advantage later in the year when you are looking for a good backup option to hunt.

  1. Go on LOTS of dates

We all know that when October rolls around, we get tunnel vision. Only one thing matters: Being in the woods. That being said, make sure you spend a lot of time with your significant other during the months leading up to season so you can “purchase” time away in your stand during the season. We all know the saying “a happy wife is a happy life.” Well, in reality, a happy wife is a happy hunting season.

  1. Make more friends

Sometimes the most helpful information can come from fellow hunters. In Michigan, us hunters are in this together. A little tidbit of helpful information and advice from another hunter is more than a good enough reason to get out there and network a bit among the other hunters in your area.

  1. Check out good property for sale

If you’re anything like us at MWP, great hunting property is worth more than anything. Our friends over at Stoney Creek Outdoor Properties have listings of numerous great hunting properties throughout the state of Michigan. If you’re in the market for a new piece of land, you’ll definitely want to check them out. You won’t regret it. 

Posted in bowhunting, deerhunting, hunting, michigan, michigan whitetail pursuit, preseason