Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Deer season is in the air; Dad, ROA's most dependable and top photographer

    Fall foliage appears to be a few weeks off in southeastern Michigan, but I captured a few colors Sept. 13
    from the canoe on the River Raisin in Monroe County.

ROA photos by Mac Arnold
The mast appears to be on track
 so far in Sanilac County, Mich. 
By Mac Arnold
ROA Editor

It is officially fall.

There are so many things I would like to do hunting-wise but as always there may be limits.

This past Wednesday, Sept. 18, found me under an oak in hopes of ambushing a flock of turkeys coming back to find their roosts after milling about in the fields all afternoon.

That was my first day afield as well.

It won't be long and the 90 days of insanity will kick in.

I can feel it.

The trees have the look of deer season in them. The air is getting crisper. The aroma of fireplaces has begun to waft throughout the countryside.

Yes, it won't be long.

When I speak of "deer season," I am talking specifically of the onset of Oct. 1, which is the Michigan archery opener.

This is when I most prefer to take a nice buck.

And not with a crossbow.

Not just yet. Eventually with two repaired shoulders it will likely come to pass that this will be my instrument of death, but as long as I can confidently and with command pull back a compound bow, that is how I intend to get the job done. I haven't accomplished what I've wanted to do yet with a compound, which is to take a significant antlered deer with standard equipment.

This isn't the first time I've blogged about this on here. It's certainly my own personal goal and mine alone, although other readers may have a similar preference.

So once again, sound the trumpets, the battle call has been unleashed.

Maybe this will be the year, I can only hope.


In addition, I will be dedicating this hunting season to my father Robert V. Arnold, who passed away in his sleep at the age 81 on Monday, Sept. 9.

Dad was a pilot, not a hunter. He did appreciate the outdoors. And he was this blogger's most formidable and reliable photographer, which is only fitting. 

As in most aspects of my life, he was my No. 1 supporter. Although I think at times some things about my passion for hunting baffled him, yet he never failed at being there to snap off a shot of me with the latest trophy from the great outdoors. (His last work was on here -- May 12 post "One up, one down" -- of the turkey I shot this spring.)

Despite him being slowed by gimpy legs and a cane, we tried three different backgrounds around the yard until we settled for the one with the turk hanging from the wood fence.

For those loving the photos on this blog, do not despair, it won't be long before the new No. 1 Mac Arnold supporter and ROA photographer takes over.

She will have big shoes to fill but I'm sure she'll be up for the part.


In another previous post -- "Fall on the water," Sept. 2 -- I talked of taking one more trip down the River Raisin when the colors would be changing along with the cooler temperatures igniting a bite from the shallows.

The trip did indeed happen on Friday, Sept. 13, but neither items above transpired as I had thought.

I did find one small section of red maple leaves and included that and one of the two better bass I managed to put in the canoe for a couple of pictures.

Oh well, I guess I'm destined to make yet another canoe trip.


ROA photo by Mac Arnold
I didn't hook into a couple of nice ones on the River Raisin until around 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 13.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Everything coming up acorns for this deer hunter

Right out of the box for this year it seems that
I didn't do too badly. The two 12-ringers were
the final adjustments in my spontaneous shoot
this past weekend and shoulders felt fine later.
ROA photo by Mac Arnold

By Mac Arnold
ROA  Editor

It appears things are coming together nicely for the upcoming fall deer season.

Just found out last week that I did pull a doe tag for the public land unit near my new home in Monroe, Mich.

It's still a haul compared to merely walking across the street like I did at the old house in St. Clair County, Mich., but things change and change can be good.

I believe it will be for this grizzle-bearded whitetail hunter.

In addition to this, on Tuesday (Sept. 10) I will once again be standing in line at a sporting goods outlet somewhere in Monroe County trying to score a doe tag for public land in St. Clair County. I've tentatively mapped out a deer sabbatical for November, and it would be short-sighted, if not downright foolish, if I didn't consider setting up on whitetails in the old haunts.

Especially when I already have a familiar place to stay.
I'm piecing together all the necessary deer hunting apparel and gear, which at one time was scattered among the old house, the new trailer and three storage units.

One of the final key items to be secured in time for the Oct. 1 archery opener was the favored safety harness with its seemingly permanent cover scent after years of being used in the "old mother tree," a rather stately pine behind the old house.

To tell you the truth, as I recall now, I never did any good in that tree.

Change is good.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fall on the water?

By Mac Arnold
ROA Editor

Have I been out bass fishing for the last time this season, that is the question?

Hmmmm, could be.

I was planning on hitting the river or creek Tuesday, Aug. 27, but I couldn't justify floating the canoe with the impending storms, which elicited a severe thunderstorm watch from the National Weather Service for Monroe County, Mich., and most of the Detroit area until 9 p.m.

It appeared later I could have made it off the water in time but I likely would have been in the driveway packing away stuff under a torrential downpour.

No thanks.

Maybe I would have went for it if not for the nice smallies I hooked on the two previous outings in the month of August.

With the dramatic move in my life from the house in St. Clair County, Mich., to the trailer in Monroe, I no longer have a hunting ... er, dog, so this will likely result in me getting in a bass gig later than usual this year. I've always wanted to try out a river jaunt with the leaves turning their magical oranges, yellows and reds, and here is my chance.

I've heard the bite can be awesome as the temperatures drop with the onset of the autumn months. I guess that does it, the answer is no, the canoe will float at least one more time down the river this year.


Other hodgepodge items:

-- I've recently been in contact with my friend George, who owns the camp in Sanilac County, Mich., I am blessed to hunt on, and he told me, "I should come up (to turkey hunt). Done a lot of planting ... lots of fruit and acorns." Have to admit it's really bumming me out that I was considering NOT fall turkey hunting since I was NOT lucky enough to draw for a unit closer to my home in Monroe. So I hope there are still over-the-counter tags remaining for the YY unit and at least make one outing this fall, if not two, or three, or four ...

-- On the deer hunting front, I learned that I scored the elusive Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge archery hunt in prime rut territory -- Nov. 1-Nov. 5. This, along with the week off from work for the first part of regular firearms season should give me plenty of opportunities to score a nice buck. I'm definitely due. And deer seasons following a successful, well, moderately successful spring gobbler hunt, I have found spell glory.