We interrupt our regular programming to bring you … Michigan’s deer season! Listen, I guess I could have written about the election garbage that may actually be finally over, but I think I will leave that to the folks who really know what they are doing, like the pollsters (couldn’t resist).
Instead I would rather write a little about a season that is very near and dear to many good folks in Michigan as well as across the country. And before I get a bunch of nasty comments about how horrible hunting is, let me tell you that every bit of fish and game that I and my lovely bride are able to harvest gets eaten, period. I am blessed to have a lady who not only is my best friend, but also is a darn good shot and an even better cook. What she can do with wild game would make you wonder if you were ever going to visit the meat section at your local market again. But, anyway, back to the season at hand.
By the time you read this, we will be in the tail end of the first week of our deer season. I will be at camp (imagine that) and that is why I am writing this before opening day. Michigan will boast about 500,000 folks trying to bag the elusive whitetail and the amount of money it generates for our economy is staggering. More importantly it is a time when many family members get together to swap stories, teach young folks about the outdoors, perhaps lose a couple of bucks playing cards or maybe just enjoy the break from their regular routine.
I know folks who hunt from home, stay in a camper, belong to a lodge, live in a tent or, as my buddies and I do, stay in a little cabin in the middle of the woods. We will go shopping the day before season and pick up the needed necessities (and maybe some food, too) before heading to camp to get the stove going and do all we can to have a successful season.
It will be really tough for us this year. The deer herd in Michigan’s U.P. is at what many believe is close to an all-time low. We have had several bad winters in a row coupled with a tremendous population of predators that combined has really taken its toll on the herd numbers. We are still optimistic. OK, not really, but the food will be great, the company pretty good, too, and of course the laughs second to none.
I learned a long time ago that it isn’t about the hunt, it is about the fellowship of getting together with friends and family and enjoying time in our great outdoors. We are lucky to be living in this country. Where else can you hike, bike, ATV or boat and see the wonders of the outdoors without many other distractions. I shake my head and smile every time I get to enjoy being outdoors. There is so much to see and learn, I know I will always have something fresh to watch for and to try to understand. I should be optimistic, though, I got a note from some pollsters just the other day that said it will be a lock for me to get a nice buck this season That sure makes me sleep better at night.
And that’s the situation as I survey it …
After a 35-year career downstate amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.
Editor’s note: The image is a screen capture from a Vimeo clip of the epic “Escanaba in da Moonlight,” which yours truly was on da set of when dey filmed it, don’tcha know. Holy wuh! You can click it to watch the clip.