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A Michigan Cornucopia

Last week our son Daniel found a large amount of morel mushrooms basically under our noses in the beautiful Old Mission Peninsula. Later on my wife used a part of the morels to make a delicious beef stroganoff. Today, I shot my first ever turkey at our place in Posen, the epicenter of God’s Country in northeast Michigan.

I will tell details about the short but successful hunt at another time (and how Ryan led me to the birds), but I would like to mention that my long standing belief that a person doesn’t need artillery loads or elephant rifle recoil level to kill Meleagris gallopavo. Of course a sample size of one is statistically irrelevant, but considering that more and more people are using 410 shotguns loaded with a lot less than an ounce of (extremely expensive) Heavyweight TSS # 9 shot, I couldn’t be far from being right.

I used an old Browning Superposed, with chokes opened up to Improved Cylinder and Light Modified by my good friend and competent gunsmith Del Whitman, shooting Federal Top Gun 12 gauge one ounce shells, loaded with # 8 shot. The range was 25 to 30 yards and I only fired the IC barrel. It did the worlk without problems.

After the hunt I met our friend Fr. Charlie and we took the long way around to have dinner at Bolton Ridge Bar & Grill so we could watch as much wildlife as possible, including an almost totally white piebald deer with it’s ghostly colors floating on top of the green field while comfortably enjoying a beautiful late spring evening and eventually a most wonderful sunset.

The tally of our evening game watch was more or less the following: uncountable whitetail deer, including the almost white piebald and another less white one less than a half mile apart; multiple turkeys, alone, in pairs or in flocks; geese (including a matting pair with young goslings in our yard); wood ducks in a pond along a placid turtle enjoying the warming or cooling air (depending on perspective); a large egret; a flock of ducks getting ready to retire for the night; and not necessarily in this order, a suspicious raccoon, a skunk that looked like he was late for dinner and a large beaver that we believed was about to try to block a culvert and potentially flood a stretch of country road! At last light we saw a woodcock and a snipe.

We are truly blessed by Michigan’s nature and abundant wildlife, especially when we can enjoy and them in company of family and good friends. Shortly I will be in my way to Manitoba for a spring black bear hunt with new friends, and I will keep a journal of that trip to eventually tell its stories to you.

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