Outdoorsmen Rejoice as Rifle Season Is Upon Us

Happy Hunting

by Published: Nov 13, 2013

Zach Griffin with a buck he shot last season. This year Zach plans to stick to traditions as he uses a family 30-06 Remington 7600 rifle and baits with corn. Nov. 15 marks the opening of the rifle season. Courtesy Photo Provided by: Zach Griffin

Zach Griffin with a buck he shot last sea­son. This year Zach plans to stick to tra­di­tions as he uses a fam­ily 30–06 Remington 7600 rifle and baits with corn. Nov. 15 marks the open­ing of the rifle sea­son.
Courtesy Photo Provided by: Zach Griffin

With Michigan’s 2013 rifle hunt­ing sea­son right around the cor­ner, many are plan­ning to take their next mon­ster white­tail buck.

It’s time to lace up the boots and clean the bar­rels as this year’s hunt­ing sea­son reaches its twi­light. Nov. 15 marks the open­ing day of Michigan’s reg­u­lated rifle sea­son, as many will flock to the woods dressed in camo and orange look­ing to put brown down.

This year’s deer hunt­ing sea­son is already in full swing as the archery por­tion of the legal hunt­ing year started on the first of October, but it is the rifle sea­son that draws a major influx of hunters, includ­ing many Ferris State stu­dents, to the deep woods of north­ern Michigan.

“I have been to three dif­fer­ent col­leges, and Ferris def­i­nitely has more hunters, and hunt­ing comes up more in con­ver­sa­tions,” Ferris fifth year phar­macy stu­dent Jordan Seeger said.

Seeger will be hunt­ing in a swampy area in Mason County this year with his Winchester .300 mag­num and will not be bait­ing dur­ing the rifle season.

“You just have to be a lot more patient this year,” Seeger said, “and make sure to scout.”

The state’s rifle sea­son runs through Nov. 30, with extended muzzle-loader hunt­ing span­ning through the mid­dle of December, depend­ing on which hunt­ing zone you are in. Opening day of rifle sea­son has attracted thou­sands of out­doors­men and the prover­bial “flat­landers” to small, wooded towns and stretched state owned land as they hope to bag the big one.

“I have seen more casual hunters become out­doors­men and also con­ser­va­tion­ists, as more peo­ple are get­ting into food plots,” Brent Vetter, Big Rapids MC Sports out­door cen­ter depart­ment head and senior in Ferris’s mechan­i­cal engi­neer­ing tech­nolo­gies pro­gram, said. “I have also heard of peo­ple hunt­ing big­ger deer, in antler rack size, this season.”

Michigan’s rifle sea­son is sched­uled at this time of the year to coin­cide with the white­tail “rut.” The rut is the time of the sea­son where bucks make their big push to find mates and pro­cre­ate with does. This is a cru­cial time of year for deer as the big­ger and more dom­i­nant bucks will be most active in their search for mates, mak­ing it one of the great­est times to hunt Michigan whitetails.

One of the most notable changes this sea­son has been antler point restric­tions in most coun­ties in the north-west part of the Lower Peninsula. Any buck har­vested in the 12 coun­ties, includ­ing closer coun­ties to Ferris like Osceola and Lake, have to have at least three antler points of one inch on one side. This new reg­u­la­tion ensures that most bucks shot are of a healthy age and size, lim­it­ing the amount of one and two-year-old bucks taken.

“I really just hope every­one is safe and prac­tices the new antler restric­tion laws,” junior in ele­men­tary edu­ca­tion and life­long out­doors­man, Zack Griffin, said. “My advice would be to be patient and sit all day, because you never know when a big one might make a mis­take. Shoot straight!”

Griffin, who cur­rently resides in Osceola County just north of Big Rapids, will be hunt­ing this year with his family’s passed-down 30–06 Remington 7600 rifle and will be stick­ing to hunt­ing tra­di­tions as he baits with corn and sugar beets dur­ing the rut.

With every hunter hav­ing their own bait­ing tricks and tech­niques, a few tra­di­tional lur­ing guide­lines always apply. Always have a food source avail­able to the deer, be it a pile of car­rots or salt lick block, and the use of scents like doe urine and doe estrus is almost a must dur­ing rifle sea­son, as it will help lure the next mon­ster look­ing for a mate into the range of your crosshairs.

As the 2013 rifle sea­son gets under­way, let’s all wish for a safe and suc­cess­ful hunt­ing adven­ture for all who ven­ture into the Michigan wood­land. Happy hunting!