Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bassin' into late summer

ROA photos by Mac Arnold
This smallmouth bass put up a great fight the evening of
Aug. 22. 
He must have been camera-shy.
By Mac Arnold
ROA Editor

Time is definitely running out on the summer bass season for this outdoorsman.

Yet it seems like this is when the big boys bite best on River Raisin in Monroe County, Mich.

The one (and only one) I hooked the evening of Friday, Aug. 22, jumped a foot out of the water and then dove straight under the canoe. It was a full-blown riot. Probably the best fight on a catch this summer.

It wasn't a gargantuan smallie like some that we pulled out of the river here last summer but still a solid 15-incher, one-pounder.

For sure, it is tough to be disappointed knowing the muggy evenings patrolling the river canoebound while trying to pinpoint a lunker's hideout are winding down. This is always one of my favorite time of the year as the excitement builds with some of the best hunting gigs fast approaching -- nuisance goose, fall turkey.

And now, once again: woodcock and grouse.

Yep, I've got a bird dog. Er, maybe I should qualify that with a "potential" bird dog.

This black Lab pup, we aptly named Augie for where he comes from in Ohio, near the Auglaize River, has the right DNA for the job. Both of his parents are certified Master Hunters.

He is still very young but I don't care. Even if he is barely 4 months old by the time the popples are turning yellow, I'm going to have Augie in tow.

Man, I sure missed bird hunting. But what more is I missed having a bird dog that knew what was up. Hopefully I can knock one down over him so he can get a snort of timberdoodle scent and put one and one together.

And then I'll be the most giddy bird hunter in the Midwest.

Augie the doggie, my newest companion for the woods
looks anything 'but' a tenacious gun dog. I guess it's
going to be awhile before we find out.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Doom and gloom for 2014-15? Hardly

By Mac Arnold
ROA Editor

After Sunday night's (Aug. 17) blog entry, I wanted to assure readers that the death knell of Mac's Hunting Mag will in no way define the upcoming season here at Rockin' Outdoor Adventures with Mac Arnold.

There aren't any big ticket endeavors planned for this late summer or fall, such as the long-coveted Maine moose hunt or the much fun-packed Upper Peninsula, Mich. bear hunt. Nor, as I learned via email Tuesday, Aug. 19, was I drawn for the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge's deer hunt in Saginaw County, Mich. Another potential high-profile gig, although I've never seen anything substantial buckwise running across the fed's dedicated swamplands.

But we here at ROA plan to entertain as always.

The first exciting hunt coming down the barrel could be as soon as Sept. 1, with the nuisance goose season.

This isn't any joke here, but I might be living in Monroe County, Mich., a few hundred yards from one of the best goose spots I've been availed to ... ever.

It could be a one-and-done situation being it's close to residential areas but don't get me wrong, I have the legal distance of 450 feet from homes and buildings, it's just that the blam-o-rama could cause an uproar.

Trust me, I'm doing my homework for it.

But if I drop one of these noisy down-feathered B-52s, it could just keep me tickled for the remainder of autumn.

It's been a few years since I've shot a goose.

Then, of course, let festivities begin Sept. 15 with Michigan's fall turkey season at the Thumb camp. There should be the usual many candidates milling through the property's southwest oak flats and 40,000 some allotted tags to fill. Oh, boy!

I've also promised a special someone I would take her down the River Raisin for a late summer bass outing. Fish on! in so many ways with that one.

These lead into the granddaddy of them all Oct. 1: deer archery.

But that one is a blog entry all in itself, so stay tuned.

Monday, August 18, 2014

End of an era

Mac's Hunting Mag as it looked at the end. 
By Mac Arnold
ROA Editor

With little fanfare, Mac's Hunting Mag is no more.

In its infancy, the publication was exciting and inspiring for this veteran journalist who wanted to explore the realm of outdoor writing.

The vision for this work came during one of my many return trips from West Virginia eight years ago, and was sparked by bitterness and a feeling of not being appreciated at where I worked.

As often is the case in the 12-step group that I'm a member, a new meeting's path is blazed with a resentment and a coffee pot.

Many thanks go out to longtime collaborator and Web master Michael Huggler, who had his own motivation for being involved in Mac's Hunting Mag.

Mike came from stock who had hunting lines on both sides of his family -- and although he personally did not pursue wild game -- this gave him some semblance to show his hunting enthusiastic in-laws he belonged. It also gave him a way to improve his online media skills.

But as is the case with many men these days, the mag became cumbersome and tough to juggle in between family and busy careers for the both of us.

For me, it was much easier to work with an already provided blog format where I could come up with an idea to write about and then simply crank it out.

The former mag Web master was blessed with a new opportunity and moves on to greener pastures.

We at Rockin' Outdoor Adventures with Mac salute Mike and wish him the best of luck.

And so, the sun has set on Mac's Hunting Mag.