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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A four-day varmint hunt had been in the works for a couple of months. My buddy’s cabin is located in the middle of 240 acres of pristine northern Michigan woods. His grandfather built this cabin in the 1930’s after acquiring the land through a defaulted loan.

It has had a number of additions over the years, but still retains its rustic flavor: no running water, electricity, or amenities, save for the one essential outbuilding.

When we arrived, there was about 2” of snow, and temps in the low 30’s but it quickly warmed up to near 50*, melting all the snow on the first day. We made several sets, but had no luck. The next day brought warm temperatures again and steady rain/drizzle and not surprisingly, we struck out again on that day. It seemed that nothing was moving in the woods, not even so much as a squirrel. Warm temps and rain gave way overnight to a cold front with sharply lower temps which only served to freeze the now rain-sodden leaves into what sounded like crushed light bulbs as we made out way through the woods. No wonder that we did not call in a thing on the third day when a quiet approach to a stand was impossible. But a skiff of fresh snow and a light east wind buoyed our hopes for a better day as we woke this morning. After sloshing down some strong coffee and a stale bagel, we made our way to this lovely beaver pond where we had seen a lot of sign on the first morning.

The fresh snow dampened the sound of our approach and we quickly set up just after first light. Even so, we managed to flush about a half-dozen turkeys from their roosts which made for some racket. So, I waited about 10 minutes for things to settle down, then launched the interrogation howl on the Foxpro. After 3 minutes with no activity, I switched to the lightning jack call. About 7 minutes into the call, this female dropped down over the ridge you see in the background. She trotted down to the edge of the pond, stopped, sniffed and then locked in on the sound. I followed her through the scope as she moved out onto the thin-ice covered pond and when she came to 40 yds, I woofed her to a stop, and squeezed off the shot. She did a couple of death circles, then lunged forward about 5 yds before piling up.

I quickly switched to the dying coyote ki-yi, but there were no other customers. We made a few more sets without success before packing up and heading home. Still, it was a good day, a great escape from our busy professional lives, and a rare opportunity to enjoy some beautiful country – a little bit of paradise just a few hours from home.

Vardoc
 

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My wanna be live-in is from Lansing and she thinks this looks like the U.P.. Is she close? They have a farm at Vermontville somewhere but I've never been to Michigan. Being from Texas, I don't think of Michigan as having the woods like some of the pics I've seen. Sure looks like beautiful country. Cold, but beautiful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Larry, it DOES look like the UP, but it's located in Mecosta County, in the lower penninsula. That's what's so special about it.

V.
 

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Where abouts in MI? I was raised in the U.P. Looks like you had a good time.

Mike
 

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Nice everything. You're blessed, enjoy!
 

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Sweet..

.. Great report.!! I really enjoyed it.. Thanks for your efforts and Congrats on the successful outing.!! :) d:^) Jake
 

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Enjoyed the trip

Thanks for posting. Looks like a beautiful place detached, yet close to home.

Congratulations :)
 

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Great Post!

Vardoc, being a fellow Michigainian I always look forward to your posts! Looks like a great time and your persistance paid off. Couple of questions about your hunt? Did you guys hunt just the 240 acres, or did you have other (state ground) to hunt as well? How many sets did you make each day? Also, did you go to the same set ups each day? Thanks-Duff
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey Duff,

We had access to 200 more acres on some adjacent land, so a little more than 400 total to hunt. We made about 6-8 sets each day except Sunday when we only made 4. Most times, I'd start with the interrogation howl, sometimes mix in a female howl, wait 2-5 minutes, then use some sort of distress. I used rabbits, birds, and fawn bleats. Sometimes we'd end a set with a crow fight to call in the blackbirds, but we didn't get any shots. We typically covered both up and downwind directions to be sure we wouldn't get "backdoored". Most sets were 15-20 minutes long, sometimes longer if the setup looked particularly good. For example, first morning on the same beaver pond I went 30 minutes 'cause it looked so good and there were a lot of tracks. Hope this helps.

V.
 
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