Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’
Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
Yesterday in Washington, D.C., I attended a United States Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on conservation programs and the 2012 Farm Bill. During the proceedings, a bipartisan group of Senators and a collection of farmers from across the country voiced support for a number of federal conservation programs. Given the current political climate, I took the vocal support for our favorite programs, like the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), as a positive signal entering this year’s critical Farm Bill debate. Watch video of the hearing.
Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) kicked off the hearing articulating her support for public access and the Michigan pheasant initiative, specifically noting her attendance at Pheasants Forever’s State Chapter Meeting in Michigan earlier this month.
She also added, “Conservation helps farmers and ranchers to produce food, feed, fuel and fiber while taking care of the land and water. The Farm Bill is a jobs bill, and that’s as true of the conservation title as it is for anything else in the Farm Bill.”
Following Chairwoman Stabenow, Ranking Member Pat Roberts (R-KS) voiced his support for a strong Conservation Reserve Program in the Farm Bill.
U.S. Department of Agriculture officials testifying included NRCS Chief Dave White and FSA Administrator Bruce Nelson. When queried about what the Senate Ag Committee should do about a new Farm Bill, Chief White characterized last year’s Super Committee agreement by Agriculture leaders as having “knocked it out of the park” for conservation and recommended following that path.
Administrator Nelson was asked about the future of CRP. In his response, he spoke about more diversification and targeting of CRP acres, increased use of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), and expanded partnerships like those with Pheasants Forever to provide local wildlife conservation expertise in the form of PF’s Farm Bill Biologists.
Senator John Thune (R-SD), from the pheasant capital of South Dakota, voiced a need for 1.5 million acres of CRP in his home state to continue South Dakota’s $250 million dollar pheasant hunting industry. He noted the success of targeted practices like CRP SAFE (State Acres For wildlife Enhancement) and Conservation Practice 37, which focuses on duck nesting habitat.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) also voiced her support for an entire suite of conservation programs and noted their importance to Minnesota’s hunters and anglers. Senator Klobuchar also spoke about the importance of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) funding in combination with Farm Bill programs.
All things considered, it was reassuring to hear such a large bipartisan group of Senators talk about the importance of conservation programs. However, talk doesn’t put habitat in the ground, clean water in our streams or roosters in the air, your senators and representatives need to hear from you now about the future of conservation programs. Please contact your elected official and let them know that you want to see this verbal support for conservation turn into actions and a new Farm Bill with a strong conservation title protecting our nation’s wildlife and natural resources for future generations.
The D.C. Minute is written by Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Government Relations.
Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
As a non-profit, Pheasants Forever operates under the guidance of a volunteer board of directors. That guidance takes many forms, but boiled down, the board is responsible for ensuring Pheasants Forever operates in the best interest of our members and also helps shape our vision for the future. There are currently 18 individuals on the national board and they meet three times a year.
Through this new series of blog posts, I’ll introduce each of our national board members and share some of their personality and passion for our organization.
Born in what town: Lansing, Michigan
Current Town of Residence: East Lansing, Michigan
Occupation: Owner of media and telecommunications companies
Dogs: Hook, a black lab; Burr, an English Setter; Link, mutt (my son’s dog but he lives with us)
Favorite place to pheasant hunt: North Dakota
Favorite pheasant hunting shotgun: Remington 870
Best pheasant hunt of your life was: Last day of late season in Michigan in a cattail slough, snow on the ground, ice on the ponds. Burr, my English setter, pointed a rooster which I crippled. He promptly lost interest in finding the bird, but Hook, my black lab, tracked him and showed up with the rooster ten minutes later. I know you’re not supposed to hunt pointers and flushers together but that day it worked.
How did you first get involved with Pheasants Forever? In 1993, I was one of the founders of the Ingham County (Michigan) Pheasants Forever chapter. I served as president for the first 15 years.
What is your favorite aspect about serving on the National Board? I enjoy working with all of the people: the volunteers, the staff, and the other directors. This is the finest group of people I have ever worked with. I have never been involved with an organization that has so much passion for its mission.
What is the single biggest challenge facing Pheasants Forever in the future? Continued loss of habitat and the outdoor heritage that goes with it. We have a great legacy that we need to pass on to the next generation. Young people have as much passion for the outdoors as we do, but we have to give them the opportunities we had.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Charlie McLravy recently published his first novel, The Fool’s Errand. Here’s the novel’s jacket description:
Six years ago, Frank Tavohnen accidentally killed his then wife in the basement of their Petoskey, Michigan home. New evidence, however, is uncovered by an overzealous prosecutor who believes the killing was no accident. While decorating the Christmas tree with his new family, Frank is hauled out of his Grosse Pointe home and arrested for murder.
But all is not lost…yet. Suzanne Fairchild, the sister of Frank s new wife, tries to recruit her former lover, Burr Lafayette, to defend Frank. Burr, in his late forties and recently divorced, is the deposed head of the litigation department of a major Detroit law firm. He is, however, a reluctant advocate having no interest or experience in this or any criminal case. A man at loose ends, Burr much prefers duck hunting with his yellow lab, fly fishing with his law partner, and the pleasures of good red wine. Nontheless, he is a brilliant litigator and Suzanne finally persuades him to take the case.
To prepare for the trial, Burr moves his office to his leaky sailboat in Harbor Springs, just across Little Traverse Bay from Petoskey. He soon discovers there are more secrets buried in Frank s basement and hidden in Petoskey than Suzanne ever let on. The case turns out to be more than a murder trial, and Burr finds his own life in danger.
Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
You may have heard California’s Rapture-predicting preacher has revised his math. It turns out the world is going to end on October 21st instead of May 21st as originally warned. What’s that mean to a bird hunting fanatic like me? With some bird hunting seasons opening up in mid September, I estimate to have about five bird hunting weekends left before the planet explodes.
Here are the five hunts I’d like to make happen before the coming autumn Rapture.
1) Yooper Grouse Opener: It’s a family tradition to return back home to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to open the ruffed grouse season with Dad & Mom. If the world is coming to an end, this one is the most important for me to squeeze in one more time.
2) Hells Canyon: While I hope to be headed north, not south, following The Rapture, I have to chase birds in Hells Canyon one time before I die. While I’ve never been there, I’ve read about and been told stories of magical days in which hunters have shot pheasants, quail, grouse, chukar and Huns all in a single day.
3) Fort Pierre Prairie Grouse: In the last two seasons, I have fallen in love with the Fort Pierre National Grasslands. Although my pup has had close encounters with rattle snakes and porcupines, I have experienced some of my most memorable days afield in search of prairie chickens and sharp-tailed grouse.
5) A Walk Alone: I enjoy time spent afield with others; however, given my druthers, my most treasured hunts are alone behind my shorthair. It seems that if the world is going to end, I’d find peace walking a patch of prairie with my pup Trammell.
Knowing the world is coming to an end early this fall’s hunting season, what will be your final five hunts?
Friday, March 11th, 2011
It’s time for me to get serious about adding bird dog number two. As you may have picked up on through my previous postings, I am absolutely in love with my German shorthaired pointer. However, I’m open to considering other breeds for dog number two.
We all know how attached bird hunters are to their favorite breed, so today’s exercise will be to persuade me to focus my attention for dog number two onto YOUR FAVORITE breed.
Here’s a profile of the most important bird dog attributes to me and my wife:
1) As a Pheasants Forever guy, my pup has to be a good pheasant dog, get along with other dogs and be easy for me to handle in a wide range of settings.
2) As a native of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, I grew up as a ruffed grouse hunter and still do a lot of “partridge” hunting.
3) My wife grew up with a Lab, so she prefers a “larger” dog, but is sensitive / allergic to dogs that shed a lot.
4) I grew up with a Brittany in the grouse woods, so I’m partial to pointing breeds.
5) We don’t have kids at this point, so our bird dog gets a lot of attention and tends to get spoiled.
6) We live in the suburbs on a one acre lot.
7) Dogs live inside the house with us.
8) I love chasing sharpies, prairie chickens, and Huns across the big prairie grasslands of the West.
9) I’d like to do more quail hunting in the coming years and there is probably a ptarmigan hunt on the horizon.
10) I rarely duck hunt. When I do chase waterfowl, it’s typically in a field blind.
In the comment section below, SELL ME YOUR DOG!
The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.
Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
As a non-profit, Pheasants Forever operates under the guidance of a volunteer board of directors. That guidance takes many forms, but boiled down, the board is responsible for ensuring Pheasants Forever operates in the best interest of our members and also helps shape our vision for the future. There are currently 16 individuals on the national board and they meet three times a year.
Through this new series of blog posts, I’ll introduce each of our national board members and share some of their personality and passion for our organization. Up today is Bill Zehnder.
Born in what town: Frankenmuth, Michigan
Current Town of Residence: Frankenmuth, Michigan
Family: Wife (Karen), 4 daughters, 2 sons-in-law and 4 grandchildren
Occupation: Restaurant and Hotel Owner/Operator
Dogs: Large and Small Munsterlanders
Favorite place to pheasant hunt: South Dakota
Favorite pheasant hunting shotgun: Benelli
Best pheasant hunt of your life was: About 10 years ago when we were hunting pheasants and sharp-tailed grouse, I came upon a covey of grouse. At that time I was using a Browning square-back A-5 gun that held 5 shells. Five birds got up and I emptied the shotgun. All my hunting partners were spread out along a ridge watching the whole experience and saw me drop all five birds (much to my surprise!). I look at it as a “hole in one” in upland bird hunting and something that will never be replicated again, primarily because I don’t carry that heavy shotgun any more.
How did you first get involved with Pheasants Forever?
Twenty plus years ago, my dad was pheasant hunting in Nebraska and went to an early Pheasants Forever banquet there. He came back home and decided, “hey, we’ve got to do this here in Michigan.” He was the founding President and Chairman/Chapter leader of the Saginaw County Pheasants Forever Chapter some 25 years ago.
What is your favorite aspect about serving on the National Board?
I enjoy the ability to interact with some high quality, conservation-minded individuals. And, I also enjoy working toward instilling the conservation and land stewardship ethic in our youth.
What is the single biggest challenge facing Pheasants Forever in the future?
Funding is always a challenge, as well as creating awareness amongst the population of how important conservation practices are to our air, our food, our water and the quality of life that we enjoy here in America.
Previous Blog Profiles of National Board Members
The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.
Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
Yesterday afternoon at the office, fellow PFer Rick Young and I were discussing the best time to bring home a puppy if you wanted the dog ready for this fall’s hunting season. In Rick’s opinion, folks had better be looking hard at breeders now if they are planning to be hunting over a new pup by autumn. I’d have to agree with that assessment.
My pup, Trammell, was born in mid April of 2007. She came home with us in early June. So at 5 months old she hunted ruffed grouse in Michigan and at 6 months old she hunted pheasants in Minnesota. Okay, “hunted” is an exaggeration. She went along for a run and learned “how to hunt” from the other dogs. However, by the end of her first season at nine months of age, she was certainly showing the signs of becoming a darned good bird dog with solid points and confident retrieves.
Backing off the math from my experience with Trammell, I’d assess that puppies born in February would enter into the 2011 pheasant season in pretty solid form, given proper obedience training and exposure to both gunfire and live birds.
Which brings me to Pheasant Fest in Omaha this weekend; whether you are interested in pointers, retrievers or flushers, attendees will be able to check out a wide array of breeders and litters. There will be breeds I can’t pronounce (Braque du Bourbonnais), breeds that sound like ice cream (Spinone Italiano) and the most popular breed in America (Labrador retrievers).
So what do you think, if you could pick the perfect age to have your pup enter into his/her first hunting season, how old would that pup be on opening day? Drop your comment below.
The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.
Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
Over the holiday weekend, I caught up on some reading. An article in the most recent issue of The Pointing Dog Journal particularly caught my attention. The piece titled “My Bucket List” was written by Tom Davis, also a contributor to the Pheasants Forever Journal. As the name implies, Tom writes about the hunting adventures he’d like to have before he passes on. It was an interesting read and likely follows thoughts many of us have this time of year as we review our calendars, health, and dog power for the coming autumn. I wrote a similar blog post a year ago titled “My Bird Hunting Bucket List.”
However, what really grabbed my attention was Tom’s tally of the wild upland game bird species shot over his bird dog. Turns out, this sort of “Bird Dog Life List” is fairly common. A couple of guys; Joseph A. Augustine (English Setters) and the renowned Ben O. Williams (Brittany) have even penned bird dog hunting books on the topic. The consensus is twenty different North American upland game birds constitute a “Grand Slam.”
So as I look toward my own German shorthaired pointer’s fourth season, I have taken inventory on Trammell’s own bird hunting life list. Here is Tram’s current tally: a) species I successfully shot over her point, b) the year it occurred and c) the state in which it took place.
- Ruffed Grouse, 2007, Michigan
- Pheasant, 2007, Minnesota
- Timberdoodle, 2007, Michigan
- Hungarian Partridge, 2008, Montana
- Sharp-tailed Grouse, 2008, Montana
In some respects, I look at that list and feel guilty. There’s the greater prairie chicken I missed in South Dakota’s Fort Pierre Grasslands last year. And there’s the doggy plane ticket to Georgia I couldn’t afford preventing bobwhite quail from hitting her list.
On the other hand, three seasons with Tram have been the best three seasons of my hunting career. And if you consider the dozens of states and subspecies necessary to reach double digits, a guy could go broke chasing this list. Plus, I’ll be in the Fort Pierre Grasslands in three weeks and I smell redemption. Come to think of it, I’ll be in Nebraska (bobwhite quail) and Kansas (lesser prairie chickens) in November too. Hunting season is here and things are looking up!
In the comment section below, post the following: a) your dog’s breed, b) your dog’s name, c) your dog’s age, and d) how many birds on his/her life list so far?
Monday, August 30th, 2010
Minnesota’s ruffed grouse hunting season is still three weeks away, but I couldn’t wait any longer. So on Saturday morning, my pup and I headed to the grouse woods of northeastern Minnesota for a scouting look around. What did we find?
1) It’s REALLY Wet in the Woods. Trammell, my shorthair, literally went on point when a creek chub startled her from a puddle in the middle of a logging trail. Creeks, streams, swamps, and bogs are all overflowing their normal banks. Every path I took led to wet feet. Plan to wear your knee high rubber boots for the grouse opener unless we experience a significant lack of rain between now and mid September.
2) The Mosquitoes are Hungry. To most of you reading this, the obvious reaction is “Duh!” Well, here’s what I was thinking: it was noon on a sunny summer day in the high 80s. It was also incredibly windy. How bad could the blood suckers really be? I got my answer. I’ll be hoping for a hard frost in the coming weeks.
3) Not a single bird. That’s not really a surprise when you consider I never wandered off the main trails and the ATV traffic was INTENSE.
In any event, I for one am looking forward to Wednesday. Wednesday is September 1st and the door opens to autumn. I understand the ruffed grouse drumming counts to be down in the Great Lakes states this year; however, I’ve heard excellent reports from friends and family in northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Three weeks till ruffed grouse season also means pheasant season is quickly approaching on the horizon. On your mark, get set . . .
Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
Last night, I lost a piece of my childhood. Ernie Harwell, the Hall of Fame radio voice of Detroit Tigers baseball for 42 seasons, died of cancer at the age of 92.
You see, Mr. Harwell was the voice on the transistor radio every summer night of my youth. He WAS summer in Michigan across Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior.
Whether I was fishing for smallies in the Ford River, paddling McKeever Lake in search of a musky, or bottom-bouncing Little Bay de Noc’s drop-off; Ernie Harwell provided the soundtrack of summer in Michigan.
My job prior to joining Pheasants Forever was with the Saint Paul Saints Baseball Club. That job in baseball created the good fortune enabling me to meet Mr. Harwell on two occasions during Tigers’ visits to the Metrodome for Minnesota Twins’ games. On one of those occasions, I was even allowed to sit in the radio booth for an inning as Mr. Harwell broadcast the game. The consummate gentleman, he even gave a shout out to my hometown of Escanaba, Michigan during that broadcast.
Today, I am joining friends at Target Field for the Tigers & Twins matinee game, but my mind will be in a fishing boat as a 9 year old rocking with the waves as my Mom, Dad and brother listen to Ernie tell us how “he stood there like the house on the side of the road and watched that one go by,” or how my childhood hero Alan Trammell’s drive to deep centerfield is “Looooonng Gone!”
I’ve got a bite Dad. It’s a big one. Get the net!