Whitetail hunting season kicks off in Milan Area


Collin Photo by Matthew Walline
Photo by Matthew Walline
Kyle Meyer was teaching and hunting with his nephew Collin Salenbien who was successful in bringing down an 8 pt. buck.

The 2013 Whitetail hunting season is upon us!   Many residents of the greater Milan area are avid outdoors men and women and our area is generally blessed with excellent hunting opportunities.  Ask anyone who hunts and they will tell you how exciting this time of year is.

For Michigan hunters the 2013 season kicked off with a bang on the weekend of September 21-22 which was the early youth, disabled, and EAS (early antlerless season).   I spoke with many successful hunters who enjoyed the weekends opportunities.  I was fortunate enough to take my son and father with me on a hunt in Hillsdale and Jackson counties.  While it was very special to spend that time with 3 generations (All in one tree) we did come up empty handed.  Luckily there are more than 3

months of hunting season remaining to fill the freezer with some of the healthiest fare available.

Although my son and I failed to fill the freezer this weekend, others in our camp were able to get the job done.  For several seasons now Milan resident and hunting guru Chad Chrysler has been offering opportunities to youth hunters who might otherwise not get a chance to hunt.  I have known Chad since we were kids chasing squirrels in tiny woodlots and his generosity to share with others is a testament to his character.  This year was the third year I have joined him on these hunts and to say it is fun would be an understatement.  This year Chad successfully guided a high school freshman and her grandfather to her first ever deer.  In moments like that you usually get a combination of laughter and tears all at the same time.

Last weekend also marked a big moment in my house.  Even though my son didn’t connect like he did last year, my wife Jennifer picked up the slack by harvesting her first ever whitetail deer.  She was hunting with my father-in-law David Nelson on his farm in Hillsdale county.  She shot a nice doe with a 12 gauge Mossberg shotgun.  After the shot she tried texting me but was unable to do so as she was so excited. The experience she shared with her Father will create memories that will undoubtedly last a life time.   As my own daughters grow up I can only hope to share similar adventures with them.

Many Milan area youth participated in this past weekends hunt and I always enjoy the week after as I hear so many exciting stories from their point of view.  Milan 3rd grader Carson Heath was hunting with his father Jason on Saturday morning when he tagged a nice 8 point buck.  If you know anything about Milan farming or hunting it will come as no surprise that with a last name like Heath they were able to get the job done on a very nice deer.

Milan resident and bow hunting phenom Kyle Meyer and his nephew Collin Salenbien also had success during the youth hunt.  Kyle is one of the best hunters I’ve ever met and he is still a young man.  In his good hands Collin was able to harvest a very nice buck.  I think the smiles in the picture speak for themselves.

Although its nice to bring home a deer when we head out to the woods I’m often reminded of a conversation I overheard between my father and grandfather.  More than a few years ago when I was in college my father and I spent a Saturday morning hunting.  Upon returning home my where my Grandparents where visiting, my Grandfather inquired if we were successful?  My father replied that in fact we were, whereupon my Grandfather went out to take a look in the back of the truck and was surprised to see it empty.  In not so many words he implied that my father was not telling the truth about our success.  My father took a deep breath and replied that he didn’t need to kill anything to be successful.  He watched the sun come up while perched on his stand and watched the frost slowly melt off the leaves.  He was able to see a fox chase a squirrel and a young buck challenge a raccoon for some particular spot on the forest floor.  He felt the wind and morning sun on his face and absorbed all the sights, sounds, and smells that the beautiful fall morning had to offer.  He explained that sometimes, he felt closer to God 25 feet up in a tree than in church.  In a nutshell he described how he was a participant and not necessarily a spectator in the great drama that is the outdoors and best of all he was afforded the opportunity to share it all with his son.  The season is long and you don’t always bring home a deer but that hardly indicates a lack of success.  I hope my Grandfather understood what my Dad was saying as it’s what I’m now trying to pass on to my children.

The season is just starting folks.  The days are ripe for adventure afield.  Stay safe and good luck to all.

Source: By Matthew Walline

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