King of the Forest

king of the forest

King, photo by Andrew Inwood

Michigan’s firearm deer season starts today and runs through November 30th so remember to practice sensible precautions if you’re headed out for a walk in the wild. I’m still not sure why this day isn’t an official state holiday because it pretty much is up here in northern Michigan where I live!

Good luck to all you hunters in your quest to fill the freezer with what was a staple of Michiganders for thousands of years … and still is for many Michigan families.

Andrew took this back in November 2008 and asks you to note the broken point on this buck’s magnificent 10 point rack of antlers. View his photo bigger and see more in his excellent Whitetailed Deer slideshow.

More photos and information about whitetailed deer on Michigan in Pictures.

PS: I posted this early in case you’re out there waiting for the sun to rise. ;)



Summer White-tail

Summer Whitetail by Arnie Bracy

Summer Whitetail, photo by Arnie Bracy

Arnie quietly paddled his kayak closer to get this awesome shot of our state animal, the White-tailed deer on the shore of Hamlin Lake. View it bigger and see more in his Summer slideshow.

More white-tailed deer on Michigan in Pictures including this cool pic of a white-tail grabbing a drink in the fall.

Almost Too Curious: Fawn Facts

Almost Too Curious

Almost Too Curious, photo by MichaelinA2

In honor of this great shot of a curious Whitetail fawn, here are some fawn facts gathered from the the UM Animal Diversity Web and the Michigan DNR and two hunting sites, The Whitetail Deer and Tinks.

  • The whitetail fawn loses its spots by the end of October of the same year it was born, or within 3 to 4 months after birth.
  • As the spots disappear, the fawn’s coat also changes from its reddish color to a grayish winter coat. The buck fawn’s face grows a bit darker in color but the belly remains white.
  • Deer tend to live in female-led family groups of up to 25 deer and may live to ten years or more.
  • When playing together, fawn games are suggestive of children’s games like tag. Mock fighting, aggressive postures, and scent marking helps fawns refine social behaviors.
  • Young males leave their mother after one year, but young females usually stay with their mother for two years.
  • The area where the fawn is born normally becomes its adult habitat.
  • Male fawns grow pedicles (the attachment point for antlers) that are typically about one inch in length.
  • Fawns that live past the first week have a good chance of surviving to adulthood.

Check it out bigger and see more in Michael’s 2013 Animals slideshow.

More nature on Michigan in Pictures.

Opening Day 2013: Deer Trail Inn Edition

UP Marenisco Watersmeet MI RPPC 1930s The Deer Trail Inn Saloon & Restaurant DANCING COCKTAILS BEER LUNCHES RED CROWN STANDARD OIL GAS On US-2 Photographer UNK1

Deer Trail Inn Saloon & Restaurant on US-2, photo from UpNorth Memories – Donald (Don) Harrison

Today is Opening Day of the 2013 deer season, and if you’re a hunter I doubt you’re reading this. Almost all of Michigan is potentially open to hunting, so  take extreme care over the two weeks of the November 15-30 Deer Hunting Season.

Confession: I usually root for the deer.

The Toledo Blade reports:

The 2013 “Michigan Deer Hunting Prospects” summary — which is essentially the scouting report on the season – states that deer hunter success in Michigan is sometimes tied to just “being in the right place at the right time,” and that is often the result of being in the field at the peak of whitetail breeding activity. During that fall period, normally ultra cautious bucks will drop their defenses and be on the move much more often.

The state experts say that the 2012 deer season in Michigan was better than the previous year, with hunter success rates showing increases in the Upper Peninsula (UP) and Northern Lower Peninsula (NLP). “Slowly but steadily growing deer populations” in those areas in recent years are credited with improving the harvest.

More than 700,000 deer hunting licenses were purchased in Michigan in 2012, and close to 600,000 hunters took part in the regular firearm season. Overall, deer hunters spent 9.4 million days in the field in Michigan last year, and harvested 418,000 whitetails.

Read on for more and click for the 2013 Michigan Deer Hunting Prospects report.

Check the photo out background big and and check out Don’s massive collection of hunting photos and memorabilia!

The Deer That Jumped Into the Sun

The Deer That Jumped Into the Sun

The Deer That Jumped Into the Sun, photo by arrdubyazee.

Today is Opening Day of deer season in Michigan, and for over 600,000 people, it’s a pretty important holiday. Over on Absolute Michigan we have a roundup of of the 2011 deer hunting season that has all kinds of information about this annual ritual.

If that feature is a shout-out to the hunters, this one is for the deer, because my hunch is that it’s pretty hard to hunt on the sun. arrdubyazee writes:

This is not a composite–I have the original Kodachrome to prove it.

This doe saw something odd in the grass, and came over to investigate. When she discovered just how odd that something was, she turned and bolted.

I count myself very lucky to have captured her in this pose, and I don’t ever expect to be as lucky again. Note that the antlers of a large buck are poking above the grass in the lower right of the image.

See it on black and in his wildlife slideshow.

More about White-tailed deer from Michigan in Pictures and don’t miss this great vintage deer camp photo!

All Ears: Michigan Whitetailed Deer

All Ears

All Ears, photo by (Andrew).

The Michigan DNR says that White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are the smallest of the three members of the deer family found in Michigan – the others being elk and moose.

“White-tailed” refers to the distinctive white tail that when raised is a flag and provides a flash of white, signaling other deer when there is danger. Deer are graceful and swift runners (up to 35 miles per hour), but do not generally run long distances, preferring to seek the nearest shelter whenever possible. Male deer are called “bucks”, females “does” and baby deer “fawns”. These deer tend to live in female-led family groups of up to 25 deer and may live to ten years or more.

Their size ranges between 125 to 225 pounds, although really healthy bucks may be even larger. Their coat is a reddish-brown color in the summer, but becomes much more gray in the winter. This change helps to hide them as the colors of their environment change. Their tubular or hollow hairs provide insulation, allowing them to lie on snow without melting it, as well as creating enough buoyancy for swimming.

Check this out background big and in Andrew’s giant and cool Whitetail Deer slideshow.

Deer Camp … and beer

Empty Beer Boxes
Empty Beer Boxes, photo by U.S. Highway 12

Today is the opening day of deer season, and around much of Michigan businesses, schools and streets will be empty as people head to the woods in search of whitetail deer. Deer season, however, is about more than just filling the freezer with venison: it’s about deer camp. And deer camp, as Ronnie writes (and this photo show), is often about beer:

We all know that when men work hard, we tend to develop a mighty thirst. Just ask anyone who loves to go deer hunting, and they will tell you that just thinking about the next day’s hunt, can make your mouth feel dryer than a Georgia cotton plantation, during a scorching heat wave with a 10 year drought already in place. Therefore, its imperative that one must procure plenty of liquid refreshment to prevent dehydration during these primeval events. Such was always the case whenever my Uncle Bob went deer hunting in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Everyone who went hunting with my uncle, chipped in on a beer fund to help offset the total costs. More often than not, someone would have to drive into the nearest town and buy even more by mid-week. Nevertheless, check out these vintage beer boxes from Bosch, Schlitz, and Stroh’s. The former of the three has a very interesting story. You can read more about the colorful and interesting history of the Bosch Brewing Company, once located in Michigan’s Keewenaw Peninsula until its demise in 1973.

The photo was shot Little Shag Lake near Gwen Lake, outside of Negaunee, Michigan on November 15, 1956 and you can see it (and others) bigger in Ronnie’s slideshow.