Monday, April 28, 2008

Ohio Turkey Hunt Day 5

Well shortly after I wrote the last entry, Jacob got kicked out of the boat by Michael and Jim, I guess they got tired of him getting hung up all the time. It wasn’t but a few minutes later I was with him at the dock and he caught two pan fish! Then a little while later he was on the shoreline casting out near where Michael and Jim were fishing in the boat, and Jake caught a nice little bass! I told him to rub it in real good, since they kicked him out of the boat and then he catches three fish! We went back to camp and cooked dinner, yes it was hamburger again! Then we all sat down around the camp fire and did a portion of the podcast for the week. It wasn’t long after that, when the two guys we talked to at the boat launch stopped by for a chat. After that we sat around the fire until around 11:00pm.
The alarm rang at the usual 5:30am the next morning, this would be our last hunt of the trip. As we got ready, I was anxious to get into the woods, but sad that it would be the last one of this trip. We got to the parking spot, but someone else was already there. We had to go to plan B. We drove up the road a ways and found a nice spot that might hold some birds and we set out. Jim and Michael went one way and Jake and I went the other. We found a spot to head into the woods and Jake noticed that there was a deep creek bottom, he told me that he wanted to hunt down there! Reluctantly I ventured down and got us set up in quick fashion, since the sun was getting ready to pop. I made a series of calls with no luck. About 45 minutes into the setup we heard a gobble down the creek bed, but it was way down there, I threw a set of calls that way after hearing two gobbles, but it wasn’t to be today. I wasn’t chasing a Tom that far and he wasn’t coming that far to us either. We made our way back up to the road bed and found Mike and Jim waiting for us, and they had a similar story to tell. They heard a Tom but couldn’t get him to budge and he was way off in the distance. We took some pictures of all of us in our camo and then headed back to camp.
This is always the worst part of a trip, breaking camp and heading back home. We had an awesome time, and it is an experience that I will never forget. It was so much fun to introduce my youngest son to hunting and sharing that with my oldest son. We also got to introduce my brother in law to turkey hunting, we made some memories and spent some good male bonding time together in God’s great outdoors! No bird was tagged, but what more could you ask for!

Ohio Turkey Hunt Day 4

Well we got to eat hamburger again! No fish last night. I guess I should have got a fishing license and went out with the boys to teach them how to catch fish. As I write today, all three of them are back out trying again, hopefully with better results this time, or its hamburger again.
Last night we got back to camp and cooked dinner earlier than the previous two nights. We got done with the hamburger and baked beans before dark, so we cleaned up after dinner and messed around camp some. We got the radio going with some Brooks & Dunn playing while sitting next to the camp fire and watching the sun set! What a way to end the day. The boys and Uncle Jim tried to show each other who could cast a fishing rod the best. They tied weights on the ends of the lines and had a casting contest, until Jim’s reel back lashed and messed up all his line. They then spent a few minutes putting new line on his reel and then we sat and swapped lies and stories around the camp fire while watching the stars. It is so amazing when there is no artificial light around that you can see so many stars out on a clear night. Once again for the third straight night, we heard a group of birds calling back and forth all night long. It sounded something like a whippoorwill. I don’t really know what kind of bird it was, but you can hear them all night long.
Up again at 5:30am and get ready to hit the turkey woods. This morning was cooler, probably in the 50’s and it was overcast. We were expecting some showers today, and it looked as if it wasn’t going to be long until it did rain. We got to the parking area again just as it was getting light. When we got out of the truck, once again we heard a Tom off in the distance gobbling! It was in the area Michael and Jim have been hunting the past two mornings, so I told them to get their stuff and get after it! I took Jake down to the spot we had cleared out the day before. That is where he wanted to spend this morning. I figured that since we didn’t hear anything off that way it might be a slow morning, but this was his hunt and that is where he wanted to go, after all it was his birthday this morning so I left it up to him. What a way to spend your ninth birthday, with your dad, older brother and your uncle in the woods stalking the mighty thunder chickens! I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
We made our way down to our spot and I put out one lone hen decoy on a gentle slope down to the creek bed, hoping a Tom would spot her on the rise. We got hunkered down and settled in and I started to call softly, letting any nearby Tom know that a lonely hen was nearby looking for a suitor. Little did he know if he did come by he would get a surprise from Jake. The wind picked up a little and the clouds looked a little darker than before, the bugs were starting to buzz somewhat now so I fired up the ThermaCell. We were sitting in a little depression overlooking the creek bed, and Jake laid down on his little seat which was folded flat. It gave him an excellent look down on the creek. It wasn’t long until he fell asleep. I kept the calling going for about 45 minutes or so and then I laid down, it wasn’t long until I too fell off to sleep. Occasionally I would hear birds nearby and I would raise my head ever so slightly to peer down to the creek to see if there were any birds. I once saw something dark moving through the cover near the creek, I got Jake up and ready, but nothing ever came out of the cover. We both dozed off again. I heard two different gun shots that peeked my curiosity wondering if it was Mike or Jim. Finally I was awoken to rain drops hitting my face and Jake woke up at the same time. It started to rain heavily so we packed up and made our way back to the truck. When we arrived we saw the two guys there already. They never got on the gobbler from the morning, another hunter had turned some beagle dogs out to run and they scared off any birds that might have been in the area. They were pretty hot, but that is one bad thing about hunting on state land, you have to share it.
When we got back to camp we all took a nap, Jake and I woke up around 11:00 and got out the magazines and read and talked to each other about the articles in them while listening to the rain hit the top of the tent. He thought that was pretty cool to sit inside the tent while it was raining. I thought it was pretty cool just to be with him on his birthday sitting in a tent in the woods!
It got to be about 11:40am and I heard a gobble just off the ridge behind our camp. I told him to quietly get his gear and grab the gun. We still had 20 minutes to chase another Tom! We scrambled down the ridge on an old overgrown two track and set up quickly. I knew we didn’t have much time and he was still nearby, because as we made our way down the ridge we heard him gobble again off in the distance. With such little time left to hunt for the day, I threw everything I had at him. I used every sequence I knew off for an excited hen! If he were nearby he would surely hear it, but he never came. As Noon drew near we unloaded our guns and headed back to camp. The tow sleepy heads had never heard the bird or us getting our stuff ready to go out. They finally woke up and we headed back to the lake for another try at dinner for tonight!
When we got to the lake we noticed that another truck pulled up behind us at the launch. It was two guys that were camping nearby our camp. After the boys pulled out to the lake, I stopped by and talked with the two hunters. They were from a town near where Uncle Jim lived. Not only that the dad went to college in Alpena, Michigan! He hunted as a college student in the same area I now deer hunt. What a small world. We talked turkey hunting, hunting in general, and fishing. It was nice to meet a couple of good ‘ol boys who like to hunt and fish like we do. Where else can you just walk up to complete strangers and strike up a conversation about something you have in common? That is one of the great things about hunting and fishing.
While I’ve been writing this story I haven’t seen the boys catch anything yet! It is looking like another night of burgers and beans! Oh well, at least they are having fun!

Ohio Turkey Hunt Day Three

Well here we are at day three of our turkey hunt and I sit at the boat launch again watching the boys fish with Uncle Jim in the boat. Let me start at last night. Needless to say we at hamburger again last night, because they only caught one fish! They let it go since there wasn’t enough for supper. After we got back to camp we built a camp fire and the boys thought that was pretty cool. You’ve got to remember that neither one of them has ever roughed it before, so all of this is new to them. We broke out the camp stove again and cooked up dinner. Uncle Jim had brought some sweet corn with him and warmed that up in a pot for us, so hamburgers and corn! Yummy! Uncle Jim had a new fandangled camping grilled cheese cooker he had to try out. It sort of worked! After getting into bed we heard a couple of barred owls calling to each other, Jake thought that was pretty cool also. Shortly after he fell asleep I heard a pack of coyotes call out pretty loud, there must have been 5 or 6 of them! They probably took down some game and were going at it. Michael and Jim heard them and Jim didn’t know what to think!
We woke up again at 5:30am and got ready to get into the woods. This morning was a little different, everyone was on a mission and got with it pretty quickly this morning. It was overcast and much cooler, probably around 55 degrees. We got to the parking area and just as we got out of the truck, GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE!!!!! We all looked at each other and I told the boys get your stuff together, at least that is the nice way of putting it! Let’s get into the woods, I told them.
The Tom was calling from the roost near where Jake and I last set up the day before. So Mike and Jim headed down another adjacent ridge, just incase he went the other way. Jake and I slipped into the woods with stealth and speed or at least as quick as we could. We hurried to our spot from the day before and got set up. Another series of gobbles from the roost, he bellowed out. Thunder Chicken was just about 150 – 200 yards away! So I threw a call his way, a moment or two later another gobble, only this time it sounded a little more muffled, he must have pitched down out of the tree. I fired another sweet lady call his way with my slate call, nothing, so I got the old lady box call out and rasped one his way. A moment or two later he fired off again, only he was closer! Game on now boys, I told Jake. This is where it gets good I told him. He took a deep breath and sighed, as he rose his gun up into shooting position. I told him don’t get nervous yet boy, the bird is still far away. I could tell the excitement was building up in his young mind. I wish I could have known what he was thinking at that point. This was the first time he has ever heard a wild turkey before. I kept throwing a couple of raspy lady calls to him every time he bellowed! Each time he was cutting the distance to us. After about 5 series of back and forth, I could tell he was about 75 yards away or so. We had set up on and abandoned logging trail that was now overgrown, all you could see was the indentations in the ground were the two track used to be. It made a bend around the hillside to the left and I just knew that ‘ol Tom was going to coming strutting around that corner to our decoys. We waited and waited, after about 15 – 20 minutes I threw out a call and nothing, I knew the game was over and he must have hung up on something and went the other way. We waited about an hour before we made our move, when we did I wanted to see what was around the bend that stopped him. As we approached the bend I could see that the hillside dropped off into a creek bottom about 50 feet down off the hillside! No wonder he didn’t finish making it to us. While we were there we went down a ways and cleared out a nice spot to set up in the morning. Maybe we will get another chance at him or another Tom nearby.
We made our way back to camp and took a nap, just as it began to rain lightly. That made for some good sleeping weather. After about an hour or so, the sun popped back out and it got hotter than blazes again! Time for lunch and then off to the lake. That is where I’m at right now, watching the boys try to catch dinner again. The pair of geese that were here yesterday are still milling around. I think I will just sit back in the truck with the windows down and the breeze blowing and take a nap!

Ohio Turkey Hunting Trip Day Two

The big morning is finally here. The alarm clock rang at 5:30am and we all scrambled to get out of bed and get our camouflage on, eat, load up and get to the woods. We made it to our parking spot and split into two groups as we headed to our spots. Jake was with me and Michael went with Jim. Being that this was Jake’s first time out hunting, I thought I should carry his shotgun for him till we got sat down. He carried in his seat and the backpack. After about a 10 – 15 minute walk we picked a spot where a ridge ran out into a low spot in a ravine and set out decoy up there. As I walked out to put the new Montana 2D decoys out, I noticed that I gave Michael three hens instead of two, so I now get to set out a lone gobbler decoy, oh well! The sun was starting to rise up and the air was starting to warm up quite a bit by now. The bugs were starting to get busy also, so I got out the ‘ol ThermaCell and fired it up. Within a couple of minutes, no more bugs, man I love that thing! I heard what I thought was a gobbler off in the distance, but I wasn’t going to go chasing it since I was in a new place to hunt, last thing I wanted to do is get lost. We heard what we thought were some hens a couple of different times also. I found out later that Michael and Jim heard another gobbler and some hens nearby, but didn’t see anything either. At least we were hearing birds!
After about 8:30am it started to get really warm out and we weren’t hearing any more birds, so I decided that we should eat a snack, and it was then that little Jake got sick. That was the worst feeling I think I could have had at that moment, here he was on the first big hunt of his life and he gets sick. I felt so bad for him. I thought he was just getting to hot, so we peeled off some of the camo and then got up and walked back out to the truck. He got to feeling somewhat better so we picked another spot near by to go and sit until 11:00 am, that is when we were all going to meet back up at the truck. He made it until about 10:15 and he got sick again. So we headed back to the truck and the guys were already there waiting for us. They got too hot also. It was almost 80 degrees by now! We headed back to camp to get something to eat, but Jake just kept getting worse. I thought to myself, here we go, we are going to have to pack it in and head home. I called home to ask my wife what to do, and she told me to get him some Coca-Cola to drink. I thought that sounds crazy, but ok we’ll try it.
Michael and Jim wanted to go fishing at a near by lake, so we hooked the boat to Jim’s truck and put Jake in and headed to the store and the lake. I got some Coke for Jake, then we went to Ruppert Lake and put the boat in. Michael and Jim headed out and Jake stayed with me on shore and fished from the shoreline. After he finished his can of soda, he told me that he felt great and wanted to get in the boat. I called Michael back in and they picked up Jake and headed back out to fish. As I write this entry, I’m sitting on the dock watching them fish and writing the blog entry with my feet dangling in the water! Now that is the way to end the day! I hear two geese coming in to land right now, we have seen a couple this afternoon while we were here. I makes me want to go get the shotgun and load up! If these guys catch enough fish, we will have them for supper, if not, its hamburgers again! They have only caught on bass so far!

Ohio Turkey Hunting Trip Day One

Well the big day finally comes and we get the final things we need packed so we can head out of town. I picked up both the boys from school around noon and got them loaded up for the big trip. After kissing the wife and girls bye, we headed south, the three amigos, three musketeers, or three stooges, I don’t know which, but we were headed south! A trip south on US 23 wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Cabela’s. Yes we did stop and purchase a couple of things we needed. Jake needed a pair of new boots, since his old hunting boots were getting small and he also needed a face cover for the big turkey hunt. Michael didn’t need anything, but of course he had to have a new turkey box call. He bought the Primos double box cutter, his money not mine, and also a new slick stick for conditioning the slate calls and also has a holder for chalk for the box calls. On our way out I noticed at the sales counter that they sold licenses and thought since we were only 17 miles from Ohio, they might sell them for Ohio. Sure enough they did, this is a nice service to have for people heading to Ohio for a fishing or hunting trip, you can get your license on the way down to the state.
The only problem we had getting to our meeting place where we were supposed to meet my brother-in-law, was the traffic in Columbus. It was horrible, we drove a mile and a half in 20 minutes. Other than that it went just fine. Later that evening, when we got near the state forest land, you could smell wild onions in the air, someone must have just cut their yard. It reminded me of my grandparent’s home down in Alabama in the spring! The smell of those wild onions brought back a lot of memories as a kid! Hopefully this trip will make many memories for my two boys.
We pulled into the camp site around 8:30pm and went to work right away setting up the new truck tent. Michael and I had it up in less than ten minutes! After setting up camp we got busy cooking hamburgers on the camp stove for supper. We all ate pretty well and the boys thought cooking at camp was the coolest thing ever. It was now about 10pm so it was time to hit the hay and get some rest for the big hunt the next morning. Jake woke up around 12:30 am and wanted to know how much longer it was to hunting time! I guess he is excited to get out for his first hunt.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Lately I have taken up the cause of helping to fight for our outdoor rights. Here in Michigan we have been bombarded by the antis on the trapping issue. I have written letters to 3 different newspapers and recently have been attacked on my opinion in one of those papers by an anti. While I have been gathering data and information to try and dispell the lies and tugs of emotion that the antis use in their retoric, I came across a video that shows how and why we need trapping to survive in today's society. Check out the video and feel free to pass it along to as many people as possible.

Destroying the myth about trapping

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New Duck Hunting Spot!

We spent the day on the road heading north to take care of the new truck tent I recently purchased. We had to head to Cadillac Michigan so we decided to make a stop at our 40 acres that we rarely get to. When little Mike and I got there, we ran into 3 trees that were across the two track so we had to walk in. Upon arrival we checked out the camper and all was dry and well with it since last year. We then made our way over to the 5 acre pond, which is actually a spring fed stream head, and it was then we heard and noticed all kinds of ducks and geese. We must have seen over 3o ducks in less than 1o minutes.
Well I now know where we are going to be for opening day of waterfowl season this year. We also saw some coyote scat along with a lot of deer sign. Things are starting to look promising for this piece of land.
We then had to make a stop by Jay's of Clare on our way home. A trip north is not a trip with out a stop at one of the bigger outdoor stores in mid Michigan. It may have been rainy and snowy, but it was a good trip and it provided a new place to waterfowl hunt.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

New Directions On Comments

Guys, I hate to do this but, I have recently received two comments that are in fact a virus. Since this has happened twice in the last two weeks, I have taken a few steps to prevent this from happening to anyone who wishes to read them. First of all you must type the word confirmation in the block given, and secondly they must pass me first to be posted. Sorry for the trouble, but I don't want any of my readers clicking on something and getting a virus on their computer. Now just because I don't agree with you on something doesn't mean that I won't post it. More than likely I will post it so I can debate it with you. If you don't beleive me just go over to my Hooks and Bullets Blog and look for the Local Anti Trappers Rant I posted and look at those comments. Thanks for understanding.
Mike Adams
Up North Journal

Friday, April 4, 2008

Meriden Firearms Company

A while back I was fortunate enough to get my Great Grandfathers 12 gauge single shot shotgun. My uncle gave it to me as a family treasure. This is something I truely treasure, not because of any perceived value, but instead the fact that it was my Great Grandfather's firearm. I don't know any of the family history behind the gun, but I'm trying to find out more about the manufactures' history. I recently wrote my good friend Bob Rich of The Bob Rich Shooting Journal because he lives in Connecticut and the manufacture of the gun is Meriden Firearms Co. of Meriden, CT. Bob lives near by and I thought he might have some info for me. Here is what I wrote him:
Bob, I have a question that you might be able to help me with. I have an old and I mean old shotgun that was my great grandfathers. It is an old mule kicking 12 gauge single shot. My question is that this gun was made by Meriden Firearms back after the turn of the 20th century (early 1900's), have you ever heard of this company? It was based out of Meriden, CT, thus the name Meriden Firearms Co. All I know is that this company existed and where it was located, and that they made guns and sold them through Sears and Roebuck and Montgomery Ward. I thought since you lived there in CT, that maybe you've heard of them or know someone that might have some good info on them. Thanks

Here is his response:

Gee Mike,

I live a stone's throw from Meriden and I've never heard of it. I know of New Britain shotgun but not Medien. I wonder if it's still around? I found the info below and I'll email some of my friends to see if they have anything on the company. I'll let you know. ~Bob

The Meriden Firearms Company of Meriden, Connecticut, USA manufactured small arms from 1895 to 1918. Meridan made both sidelock double-barrel shotguns and single barrel shotguns, as well as small revolvers.

The Meriden Firearms Company was formed when Sears Roebuck purchased the Andrew Fryberg & Sons firearms manufacturing plant in 1903 and moved the plant and machinery to Meriden, Connecticut, circa 1904. The company started manufacturing firearms circa early 1905. Around 1906 Sears acquired a Savage-held patent for the Model 15 slide-action .22 rifle that was not introduced until 1913. During 1918 Sears announced that the Meriden Firearms Company would discontinue the manufacture of sporting firearms.

From 1895 to 1915, Meridan manufactured their line of "pocket pistols", which were double-action top-break revolvers chambered in either .32 S&W or .38 S&W. The revolvers came in several barrel lengths and were offered with both exposed and enclosed hammers. Finish was Nickel-plated with rubber handgrips.

Meriden Firearms represented a selection of good quaility, relatively low cost firearms of which many survive in operational condition more than 100 years later.

That is more infomation than I have ever known about the company. Thanks Bob! If anyone else has any information on the company feel free to email us or leave a comment on the blog.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Day at the Gun Range!

This last weekend we had the great fortune of spending part of our Saturday out at the gun range patterning our turkey guns along with shooting some pistols and then heading to the trap field. Below are two videos of our day. The first is of us shooting the pistols and the last is at the trap field, enjoy! If the server hangs up, let it download and then let it play through.