Great Lakes Region:
The Great Lakes Region had its 2nd official bird camp, September 24th-28th, at Bob Maynes cabin in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan. A couple of the guys meet up Wednesday the 24th for a little pre-bird camp bird hunt. This is the same area where a couple three guys last year walked around in the dark for two hours looking for their vehicles. All the while the clouds poured down on them. Well, this year those three guys brought a GPS with them and all was going well. Well, until it had turned dark and the GPS hit a tree and flew out of one of the fellow’s hand. After several long frantic but fruitful minutes they found the GPS. Then they circled the truck at 500 feet for 30 minutes. We, I mean they, did arrive at bird camp long into the evening.
Present were Bob Maynes-Beni & Luci, Kevin Crowley-Litha, Ern Van Noller, Scott Lane-Heidi, Chris Proseus-Annabelle, Gary Nestle II (Mr. Woodcock)-Max, and Mike Palmitier-Ivy, Fern, Jazz, Jasper…… And a couple of special people: Bob’s son Bobby, cabin partner Mark, and a neighbor Dave. The cabin is just right and housed us very comfortably. The sauna was in full swing again this year. Man, that sauna really melts away the pains of a long day afield.
We again ate some great endless meals. We grilled steak, deep fried fresh perch and walleye, venison roast with all the fixins’. And the breakfast meals were as tasty as tasty can be.
You know we even managed to get out and do some ruffed grouse and woodcock hunting. The temps were in the mid 70’s every day and made for very warm hunting conditions and without much breeze the scenting conditions were not great either. We flushed over 180 birds in our three full days of hunting. We did get some good dog work. Scott Lane’s Heidi got the hang of it on day two and started point and retrieving everything. In the process Scott not only shot his first ruffed grouse and woodcock, but over the course of three days he shot two grouse and five, Scott says six, woodcock. Scott was on cloud nine Friday evening as he recalled the events of the day. Rumor has it that he finished off all his shells that day and could only chamber one for the walk out of the woods. Now Scott, was that 2 or 3 boxes of shells? All the dogs found birds and had the opportunity to retrieve a few. Ivy had some really nice points and held birds very nicely.
There was a certain black dog that managed to point a woodcock for what seemed like 10 minutes. We all stood there as his beeper collar rung out the bird is over hear, the bird is over hear, the bird is over hear as Mr. Woodcock finally made his way to the dog and flushed the woodcock then abruptly missed twice. According to Mr. Woodcock there were several branches and vines grabbing at his gun as he tried to place the barrels on the bird. I think that excuse is found on page four in the book Why I Missed That Bird, written by said Mr. Woodcock.
We started a tradition last year. The guy that shoots the most birds for the day receives a very expensive hat. Scott Lane won it for Friday and Kevin Crowley won it for Saturday. It really does not promote conservation, but some just want the hat. There was a dog given away for the winner of the Thursday hunt, but he refused to take it home. That was an inside joke passing around camp.
Several of the guys commented that the Friday hunt was the best hunt they have ever been on. We probably saw half the birds on that one day and shot 17 of the 30 total birds brought to hand. If you ever get the chance to get to the UP for one of the regional hunts I would highly advise to date the calendar. The fun, fellowship, food, and hunting are unsurpassed. At least that is my opinion.
One last note on Saturday November 1st and Sunday November 2nd we will have the 3rd annual Great Lakes Region Chucker Classic. We are having a preserve pheasant hunt Saturday evening and the Classic Sunday morning. We will have some great trophies and ribbons. Plus if you win it looks really good on your dogs resume. All members from all regions are invited to attend. Please call asap and reserve your spot and the details.
Great Lakes Region: