Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Podcast Has Moved!

I know that most of you who visit this site listen to our PODCAST, well incase you haven't heard we are moving to a new host site. The link is included here. We have been having a lot of issues with the other site. What can you expect from a free site? Now we are with a more relieable site and hopefully that will clear up a lot of the issues for us and you as a listener. Another reason I'm putting this message out is that I have noticed that there are a good number of unique people visiting this site, more than we have listeners for, for the Up North Journal PODCAST. I'm inviting you to give us a try. We do a weekly show about hunting and fishing. Use the link here or go to I-Tunes to check us out. I'm trying to get I-Tunes to combine both the old shows (which will be an archive until I move them)and the new shows onto one page. That way you can download both the older episodes as well as the newer ones while on the same page. Bear with us during the move. Thanks to everyone who listens.
Mike & Mike


Monday, January 28, 2008

Mike's Big Pike!

This was our 2nd ice fishing outing this year. We took Jake for his first time ever on the ice. Chuck Parr, Uncle Les, and Matthew also made the trip with us. Mike had the big catch of the day! Check it out!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Banner Scope

Hey guys Little Mike here!

Just wanted to give you guys the low down on my new scope I bought today, Its a Bushnell Banner Dawn To Dusk 3-9x 40mm and I put it on my Marlin 925 .22 Magnum. It looks SWEET!!! I hope this will live up to its expectations. I will be using it for Coyote, Varmint and Squirrel Hunting. I will be posting more to come on this new scope and its results.

The Big Fish Story!

Finally our first video clip for the blog!! Check out our first ice fishing trip of the season back in December. Let us know what you think!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Michael's First Coyote Hunt

It is 8:15 am and we just walked in from our morning coyote hunt. Here is Little Mike in his white coveralls for the snow. We used the tyvek painters coveralls to cover up our regular camo, for hunting in the snow, we blend in perfectly in these. We got out about 45 minutes before daylight and got set up. Just as we set down Michael tells me that he is cold, YEAH! Ya think? It is only 5 degrees out! I told him to dress warm, but no, you know how kids are, they know everything. Anyway, we had a perfect morning to be out. It was crystal clear and almost a full moon high in the sky. You could see for a long ways in the woods this morning, and you could see through the rifle scope easily with the moon light. As daylight was breaking, we were calling, with no luck. After about 45 minutes we called it a morning. Michael has to get off to school. What a way to start a school day! Go hunting then to school, must be a hard life!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

First Coyote!

It was a tough decision last night, of whether to go out for a night coyote hunt or to stay in where it was warm and dry. When I arrived at home from work at midnight, there was a thin cover of clouds overhead and it was about 10 degrees with little wind. I got the rifle out to check to see if there was enough moon light to see through the scope. I could see, but not well enough. I left my things out, knowing that the next night was going to be clear and almost a full moon. I was woke up by my wife this morning just at daybreak as she was getting the kids ready for school. "Get up the coyotes are OUT!!" I bolted from the bed and grabbed the gun and loaded it, as I sprang to action. As I got ready, I grabbed my distress call and checked outside. I could see that the yote had taken off across the back pond and was heading for the woodlot behind the house. I hit the call to try to turn him around. Then I noticed that there was a pair of them! They took off across the field from my right to left at about 250 yards out. As they approached the side tree line along the field I hit the call again and they stopped on a dime! Then I got ready, thinking I might get a shot afterall. They headed back across the field towards me, but about 150 yards out. They were running the near fence line, but started to turn away. I knew that it was now or never if I was going to get a shot off. I could see a small opening between some brush and trees. I had my Winchester 94 22 mag up and ready, looking through the scope, as soon as the yote stepped into the opening, Crack! The yote snapped around at its rear end as if someone had bitten it. It was then I knew that my shot connected! I watched as it danced around and ran about 50 yards. Finally one last leap and over it fell. YES! All the while the second yote was at a distance watching. Then it began to circle and come back near as if to say come on lets get out of here. I thought man I'm going to double up this morning! I steadied up for another shot. It was a long poke though, about 200 - 250 yards. I aimed at the top of the dogs back, Crack! It jumped and ran a couple of feet and stopped as if it were waiting on the other one still on the ground. I racked another shell into the chamber and let another shot fly. It turned and trotted off into the woodlot behind the field. I could see the other yote still on the ground, so I made my way back to the dog on the ground. As I walked back to it, I followed it's trail from when it was near our fence where my wife had seen it. It was only about 5 feet away from a grapevine on the fence where my brittanys roam to flush birds out of it. That is too close for comfort! I walked up to the spot where the yote stood when I shot, and I could see where it jumped when it was hit. Then I followed the trail in the fresh 3 inches of new fallen snow from the night before. All the while looking for a blood trail, but I found not one drop of blood on the snow. As I approached the downed dog, I could see that it was lifeless, but I poked it with my rifle to make sure. The 22 mag had penetrated through both lungs a perfect shot. I was thrilled at the thought of finally taking one of these great predators, but somewhere deep inside I acknowledged the fact that I had taken it's life. I think that is where we as hunters are seperated from people who just kill to kill. I was thankful for being able to take the animal and know that my actions help in keeping the population of predators in check, so the great howlers of the night will be around for years to come.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Private Land With Public Access

Today we decided to go out with our new hunting friend Chuck Willis. He had recently scouted an area that was close to home and thought it might hold some small game. It was one of those private land with public access deals, I've always wanted to check one of these places out to see what they are all about. Basically you go to the property and report in, either to the property owner or in this case it was a sign in box. You sign in with your hunting party and take a card with you which is your permission slip to hunt the property, after your done hunting you place the card back in the box and report the game you took.

Today unfortunately we had none to report!

After, we got bundled and I do mean bundled up (it was 10 degrees and an occasional 20 m.p.h. wind gust) we headed out and stomped the first field with no luck. I know that there were rabbits there, it was great habitat. Next, we headed for the woods. There were fresh squirrel tracks everywhere, and nests in every other tree. Michael was walking the fringe of the woods next to the property line. He saw 4 squirrels on the other side of the fence! I think they knew they were safe, the rest of them must have been holed up in their nests. We then made our way back to the truck to warm up a bit. Lastly, we hit another big field and walked a fence row to try to flush some rabbits with no luck. I think it was just too cold and windy. We saw a lot of deer tracks along with the squirrel tracks and a few rabbit tracks. The place must hold wild game, we just didn't see it today. I will definitely be back. The private land with public access is a great idea, just remember to clean up after yourselves when you leave. Actually leave it better than you found it.

Mindy's Rossi Gun Review!

As you know I gear my podcast, weblog and website towards getting youth involved in the outdoors and hunting. Well a good friend of mine recently told me that his 11 year old daughter loved to write, and loved to hunt and fish. She recently got a new combo Rossi 20 gauge/.22 caliber gun, and this is HER review of it. By the way this is her layout also. I think she knows more about page layout than I do! I hope you will see more of her writings here on the blog. If anyone has anything interesting, stories, reviews, etc... feel free to email them to me and I might put them on the blog or even on the podcast! Now to Mindy's review!

The Rossi Youth Single-Shot

This gun was really fun to shoot when it was set up with the 22-caliber barrel. I shot it well and it gave no kick. But when my dad put in the 20-gauge barrel, I thought okay… he said it would give a small kick, but he also put on an extra recoil pad. So I then shot it and it hurt, badly! Not only did it give a hard kick, but it also turned my shoulder red! So then my dad shot it and he said “Ow!” Well actually he said something that I can’t repeat. So then he said “Sorry, it’s a light gun, I didn’t know it would give that big of a kick.”

Up Sides About The Rossi Youth Single-Shot
Some up sides about this gun are that it’s fun to shoot and an inexpensive,
easy starter gun for a new shooter.
If you don’t like guns with a kick then,
The Rossi Youth Single-Shot 22-caliber barrel is a gun for you.

Down sides about the
Rossi Youth Single-Shot
Some down sides about this gun are…
When shooting the 20 ga. no matter how thick of a recoil pad you
have, it probably will still give a big kick to your shoulder.
For hunting, it’s just a single-shot.
You can get the same gun in larger size caliber, which would hurt even more!

Why the 20-gauge barrel gave such a kick
It gave such a hard kick because the gun is plastic, so there was nothing to absorb the recoil,
so it went straight to my shoulder.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ice Fishing Comic

A guy I work with sent me this and told me that this was Little Mike and Me ice fishing. I got a laugh out of it and thought I would share it with everyone. Click on the picture to enlarge the comic to read it.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Poaching Sucks!

Well, today we started off on a great note, only to be totally disgusted. While crusing to one of our favorite hunting spots, I noticed a truck driving up ahead of us on the dirt road. It pulled over quickly and then it drove off as I approached the same spot. I noticed 3 deer carcases in the ditch. They were recently killed and stripped of the hind legs and back straps. Little Mike was really upset about it. What a waste and what complete idiots. People driving by can see this in plain site, and it gives all of us hunters a bad name. As we kept driving we noticed that the same truck had pulled over on the side of the road. As we drove by the guy in the truck looked away from us and never got out. Michael and I both thought this was strange. We went to pick up our friend Kevin and later returned to the area, so I could show him the deer someone dumped. As we drove by the spot where the truck had been, I noticed 4 more dead deer on the side of the road, one was a yearling doe with only the backstraps taken! What a complete jerk. I knew something was up with that guy. I wish I would have taken down his plate number and turned him in. Poachers Suck, and that's that!!! They are not hunters and do not confuse the two. This was a bad reminder to us all in what was otherwise an awesome day out in the woods.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sean Jablonski's Sail Fish

I recently had the pleasure of meeting a fellow media member who works out in L.A. He was in town to catch up with his friend that happened to work where I do. His name is Sean Jablonski, formerly from Michigan. I heard about this big fish he caught, so I asked my co-worker about it and thought I would share the big fish story with you. By the way it is a Sail Fish, I thought it looked cool so here is how it went down in Sean's words. "Far as the fish goes, I caught it about 2 hours outside of Puerta Vallerta on a charter boat. We were angling for Marlin and hooked that on a live bait lure (don’t ask me what fish we used, I never asked myself). The captain estimated it about about 6 1/2 to 7 feet and weighing about 70 pounds. It took me twenty minutes to bring in by myself. Two deck hands helped bring it onto the boat." Now that is the way to spend a vacation.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

2007 Hunting Season Pics From Us and Some Listeners

Here are a few more pics from this years deer season with me and Little Mike. Also below are a couple of buck rubs I was hunting near. I never saw the big boy that made these 2 rubs below!!

If only I could have seen this one in the cross hairs on opening day!! I hunted these rubs for a couple of days right after they were made, with no luck, I never saw him

This is the 9 point that my good friend Kevin Hutchings shot opening day of the Michigan Firearm Deer Season.

Here are a couple of pics from this years deer season from some listeners of the Up North Journal Podcast!!

Chuck Crowe and his wife with her nice doe taken with a muzzleloader

Brent Jackson from Port Huron and his nice buck taken during firearm deer season

Here are a couple of picutres from some listeners of the Up North Journal and the game that they took

Tim Ford's son Collin with his huge fish caught on a Sponge Bob Squarepants Rod & Reel with his younger brother, WOW!!!

My good friend Chuck Willis with 2 nice mallard taken from Fish Point

Here are 3 nice trail camera shots from Stan Wales near
Traverse City, Michigan
What a nice close up of Mr. Bear, and check out the 2 smaller bucks sparing behind the larger buck in the last picture!

And how about these 2 nice pics from Mike King in Indiana
He took these while he was living in Alaska recently.
Nice moose pic and what a Mountain View!
Thanks to everyone who sent pictures in this last year
Keep on sending them for all to enjoy!

Deer Blind Contest Photos and Winner

If you've been listening to the podcast for the last 3 months or so, you most certainly know that we've been running a contest. We wanted you guys to send in a picture of your deer blind. The winner would be the one that was the most unique! Basically we wanted something that was different or something that had a unique feature. I wanted to be able to show people what other people hunted out of. The first picture I received was from Jason Amaro from the and here is his antelope blind set up in a juniper bush

Next is the winner Chuck Crowe from Algonac Michigan. This is his deer blind that he uses down in Ohio. What I liked about this one was that he has carpet padding in the window sill to have a quiet surface to rest a rifle. I also like the top hinge window. Looks like he has the approval of the next generation hunter.

Now here are the blinds that Little Mike and I use.

Here is my Tower Blind, Little Mike's Swamp Blind, and Deer Zebo

As you can see we like the octagon shape!!

Cook County Anti Gun Ordinance

On this weeks podcast I talked about the Cook County board of commissioners trying to pass a local ordinance that would basically prohibit anyone or any business from legally selling a firearm inside of Cook County which is basically the Chicago, IL area. The weblink is to the board of commissioners web site. There are a few email address listed, but not many. There are phone numbers listed for contacts, this seems to me that these elected people don't want to be bothered with concerns regarding the rules and ordinances they pass, that effect so many people. Feel free to let them know how you feel. Also posted below is the story behind the ordinace that will block the new Cabela's store from being able to sell firearms and ammo as well as any existing stores in the county.

Cook County Commissioners Trying to Shut Down All Gun Stores in County
NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) -- the trade association of the firearms industry -- is encouraging all sportsmen, hunters and firearms enthusiasts to contact the Cook County Board of Commissioners and urge them to oppose a string of county ordinances that if passed would result in a shutdown of firearms dealers and a ban on guns. The move by NSSF follows the introduction of three proposed ordinances by County Commissioners Larry Suffredin and William Beavers that would shut down all gun stores in Cook County, including Chuck's Gun Shop and the recently opened Cabela's in Hoffman Estates.
"As if gun control laws in the Land of Lincoln weren't draconian enough, it now appears select Cook County commissioners are attempting to systematically evict every law-abiding firearms retailer in the county," said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane. "It is imperative that firearms owners and enthusiasts act now to stop these gun-ban proposals before it's too late."
The "Deadly Weapon Dealers Ordinance," a proposal by Commissioner Suffredin, would prohibit federally licensed firearms dealers from operating within 10 miles of one another and would ban all gun shows in the county. Further restrictions on where firearms retailers would be allowed to operate are predicated on proximity to schools and parks. Commissioner Suffredin was recently quoted as saying, "As a home rule unit, Cook County has the legal right to regulate where these establishments [gun stores] are allowed to operate. Chuck's Gun Shop is within one mile of a school which will not be allowed once this ordinance passes."
Also introduced as part of this anti-gun package of laws is the "Safe Streets and Weapons Registration Ordinance," introduced by Commissioner Beavers. This ordinance would require the registration of all firearms and firearms owners in Cook County. Closer examination of the proposed ordinance reveals an even more diabolical gun-control scheme -- as written, the ordinance would actually ban firearms in the county including any handgun without a loaded chamber indicator. Furthermore, the ordinance prohibits transporting a firearm in a vehicle unless the gun is completely disassembled into a "nonfunctioning state." This includes rifles that have already been sighted-in and revolvers that cannot be simply "broken down" into a nonfunctioning state.
Though no set date has been given for when these anti-gun proposals will be brought up for consideration, communications from NSSF, including a legislative alert released last month, make clear that firearms owners and sportsmen would be wise to act immediately by voicing their strong opposition to these proposals to the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Jacobs First Ice Fishing Trip

Another great day spent outside today. Little Mike, Jacob and I hooked up with my brother in law Les and his son Matthew and my friend Chuck and took in a little ice fishing today. We went over to my wife's friends house on Pine Lake in Linden. There was good ice today, about 4 inches or more, and it was drizzling rain when we first went out. We punched about 6 holes and it wasn't long before we found fish. Chuck got to his hole and didn't move all day. Being persistant at one spot paid off for him, he had about 18 blue gill by the time we left and that doesn't count the ones he threw back. Les and I kept moving around to different holes throughout the day. After about an hour and a half I finally found a good spot for Little Jake and I, we wound up with nearly 20 blue gill by the end of the afternoon. Les and Matthew caught about 10-15 blue gill. Michael had a different approach. He fiddled around and caught a couple of blue gill, then he caught a small perch about 4-5 inches long. He then got out the tip up and put the perch on the end of the line. After setting out the tip up, a couple minutes later the flag went up! He soon found out that the perch tripped it. He reset the flag and about 5 minutes later up the flag went again! Once again the perch tripped it. Uncle Les told Michael they needed to put the perch out of commishon in order to chum the water. After that they set the flag again. 5 minutes later the flag went up again! I asked Les, "Didn't you finish off that perch?" He told me yes, then Michael noticed that the line was spinning out fast! Les told him, there is a pike on the end of that hook! We all gathered around to see what he would pull up. After setting the hook and pulling in the line we saw a pike coming up through the hole in the ice! Michael was pretty excited and pumped up. We got the tape measure out, but it was only 19 1/2 inches long, he had to go back. Even though Michael was still excited, it was the biggest fish he has ever caught. Not only that he caught the bait fish, then caught the pike, pretty cool if you ask me. Not a bad way to spend the day with the boys. 3 hours on the ice and a bunch of fish to boot and everyone caught something. I can't wait until the next time.
My nephew Matthew and his prize catch

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

First Hunt of 2008!

Well, we got out today despite the fact that we got snowed under last night and this morning. We woke up to about 12 inches of new snow this morning! At first I told Little Mike that we would have to postpone our first hunt of the new year. We were also going to take my oldest daughter, Mackenzie who is 10 years old, out for her first small game hunt. After a couple of hours of sitting around doing nothing, I looked outside and told myself that the wind had quit blowning and that the snow really didn't look that deep. So I called my new friend Chuck and told him we should give it a try. I loaded up the gear and told Mike and Mackenzie to get their gear on and lets go. We met Chuck at the parking area of Seven Lakes State Park here in the Mid-Michigan area. He piled in the truck with us and we headed back to one of the fields we thought might hold some rabbits. As we drove up we found out that we were not the only crazy people venturing out in the snow today. When we parked we ran into a couple of guys heading out to give ice fishing a try today. We made our way back to the first field and stomped around in every clump of high grass and bush we could find. NO Rabbits! We then made our way to a much bigger field and tromped it down also. NO Rabbits! I'm sensing a trend here. We did see a few bunny tracks in the deep snow though, although they were somewhat filled with snow. But atleast we saw something. While we were in the middle of the field, I kept hearing something far off that sounded like ducks or geese. I asked Chuck if he heard it, he said yeah it's those geese flying over head! There was a nice flight of geese flying over us, of course late goose season opens next weekend! They were too high up to shoot at anyway. Besides I didn't have my gun with me, I was carrying my video camera, hoping to get a rabbit being taken on video for the podcast. After a few stops to rest from the tromping around we finally headed back to the truck. We decided that it was getting late and we needed to get back home. I dropped Chuck off at his car and made sure he could get out. The snow was deep where he pulled in so he needed a little push to get him going. On the way home we did see some wild game. About 3 miles from the park entrance we saw about 15 deer in a field running around, then about a mile later we saw something in the road that at first appeared to be a pheasant from a distance. When we got closer we could see it was a wild turkey, as we got closer it flew up on a fence rail and set there as we watched it from the truck, in the field behind it was another turkey. About 5 miles further, we saw 3 more deer running through a field. Although we didn't see a single rabbit, we did get outdoors for our first hunt of the new year, and we will always have that memory to keep with us forever! It's not always about taking game, it is about spending time with friends and family in the great outdoors!! Happy New Years everyone!!