Hunting Michigan’s Antlerless Whitetail Deer

July 25, 2014

While harsh winters usually mean fewer fawns, so far things are looking good for Michigan’s deer herd.

Whitetail deer hunting in the Great Lake State goes back well before there was a Mackinac Bridge, an auto industry, or even statehood. Each fall hundreds of thousands of Michigan hunters take to the woods during the youth, archery, firearm, and muzzleloader seasons. With such a tremendous responsibility to the heritage of the sport, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has to work carefully to manage the herd, ensuring that future hunters have the opportunity to harvest a Michigan deer. One of the tools used by biologists is the antlerless deer harvest, done by draw permit...

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The DIY Whitetail Hunt for Weekend Warriors

July 23, 2014

The weekend out-of-state (or out-of-your-hometown) hunt allows you to hunt aggressively with rattling and calling. If you're not successful the first time around, then the area has time to settle down before your next trip.

Can’t afford the time or the money to take an extended hunting trip out of state? Consider the pros and cons of a weekend DIY hunt. When most hunters think about a road trip to hunt big whitetail bucks, they are usually thinking about a weeklong adventure. Their tactics involve going to an area, scouting it out, hanging stands, and hoping to shoot a big one by the end of the trip. There are certainly some advantages to this approach, and for some hunters it is the only option. But there’s another option to consider: how about the weekend DIY getaway? A weekend trip...

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The BAREBOW! Chronicles: The Bowling-ball Ram

July 18, 2014

27 reup

After two unsuccessful hunts on Todagin Mountain (one as a nonresident in 1986 and one as a resident in 1991) I was convinced I finally understood the terrain and the habits of the local Stone sheep population well enough to be able, with a bit of luck, to outsmart one of the many resident rams. The real challenge, as always, was going to be finding and outsmarting a legal ram. There were plenty of barely-sub-legal rams around, but finding and identifying a legal one had always been the difficulty on Todagin Mountain. This meant either eight years of age, or having horns that met the...

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Study: Elk May Eventually Adapt to Better Handle CWD

July 17, 2014

Given enough time, experts believe that elk can build a resistance to CWD.

For the past five decades chronic wasting disease (CWD) has spread like a cancer through the nation's cervid population. Without any form of effective vaccine or cure, the disease poses a serious problem for the country's elk, moose, and deer. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, CWD has been positively identified in at least 22 states and several Canadian provinces. For a long time many biologists were concerned that the disease, which purportedly boasts a 100 percent fatality...

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Starr’s South African Safari, Dispatch Two: More Hunts and an Elephant-back Excursion

July 17, 2014

Michelle, Britney, Cindy, and Andrea feeding their elephants.

Greetings from South Africa! For the past few days my “to do” list has read, “Go to Africa. Hunt. Make memories,” and I’ve been doing just that. I’m leading a group of five female hunters in the Eastern Cape with Starr & Bodill African Safaris, of which I am a co-owner along with my father Dwaine Starr and professional hunter Louis Bodill. Here are a few highlights from days four, five, and six of our hunt. Zebra Day four started with my hunting partner Michelle Whitney Bodenheimer shooting a blue wildebeest in the Fort...

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Conservationists Urge Action as Mule Deer Dwindle in Colorado

July 17, 2014

Colorado's largest mule deer herd, and the largest in the country, has dwindled to less than 32,000 animals from 105,000 a decade ago.

In 2013, Colorado wildlife officials determined the state's mule deer had hit a record low. At only 384,000 animals, the Centinnel State's muley population is 200,000 short of the official target number and 36 percent less from almost a decade ago when 614,000 roamed across Colorado. The dramatic drop has many conservationists calling for immediate action to reverse the trend. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officials will be holding a summit next month to meet with the public, and hopefully find a solution that will stop the mule deer decline. "Across the Western US, state wildlife...

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Cookin’ in Camo: Bacon-wrapped Venison Backstrap with Chimichurri

July 16, 2014

If you do everything right, this is what your final product should look like!

Editor's note: This recipe is the first in a series of several provided by Tyler Viars, a dedicated "forest to fork" hunter and professional chef. Read on to learn the culinary secrets of one of America's top home cooks---and get excited for deer season. The buck in the picture above was bitten by my Hoyt Spyder on November 12, 2013. Now I get to reap the benefits of this beautiful animal through a process I like to call "forest to fork," with the end result being a delicious bacon-wrapped backstrap with charred serrano-scallion chimichurri. How's that for "organic?" Serves...

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Wisconsin Court Ruling Allows Hunters to Train Dogs for Wolves

July 15, 2014

A recent court decision clarified whether hunters could train dogs to hunt wolves in Wisconsin.

Last Wednesday, a state appeals court ruled that Wisconsin hunters can once again train dogs to track and hunt wolves. The decision comes after another court ruling last year allowed the use of hounds in tracking wolves, but forbade training dogs specifically to hunt the predators. According to the Associated Press, the appeals court found that Wisconsin residents have a common law right to hunt and the freedom to train hunting dogs stems from that right, therefore invalidating last year's ruling...

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Starr’s South African Safari, Dispatch One: Nyala and Caracal

July 11, 2014

The author with her caracal. Image courtesy Michelle Whitney Bodenheimer.

Greetings from South Africa! For the past few days my “to do” list has read, “Go to Africa. Hunt. Make memories,” and I’ve been doing just that. I’m leading a group of five female hunters in the Eastern Cape with Starr & Bodill African Safaris, of which I am a co-owner along with my father Dwaine Starr and professional hunter Louis Bodill. Here are a few highlights from our hunts, so far. Nyala My hunting partner Michelle Whitney Bodenheimer and I started our first day in search of warthogs. We were located near Fort...

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Study: Deer Hunting Helps Replenish Forests

July 11, 2014

Large deer populations risk mass starvation if forage is low. Hunters can help control deer numbers and revitalize the forests they live in as well.

A new study by scientists at Purdue University has confirmed what many conservationists have long believed: hunting deer allows forests to recover. Sportsmen and conservationists across the country rejoiced as the population of whitetail deer skyrocketed over the past few decades, but now many view the growing population with concern. In states like Indiana, deer numbers proved to be nearly unmanageable as early as the 1990s. In state parks, where hunting was not historically allowed, the appetite of burgeoning deer populations drove out native plants like trillium, lilies, and tree...

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