Melting into Spring!

Posted April 06 2013

After Mother Nature unleashed her wrath on us at the end of February with two big snow storms…the weather warmed and it was our turn again to make the sky start falling!  The birds were in a hurry to get back north after the snow storms set them back.  They didn’t stage up like normal, but there were steady migrators rolling through almost daily.  The young snows (juvies) that bring up the tail of the migration offered up some great hunts and a strong finish to the season!  Here is a fun video from our last juvie hunt of the season!


2013 Snows V: The Final Riot


Shortly after snow goose season ended, my wife and I picked up the newest member of our family…six week old, Black Lab ‘Ki’.  Our family is now comprised of 3 Black Labs: the 11 year-old veteran Ruff, 2 1/2 year-old Junior and Ki!  While Ruff still has the drive, it is a lot harder on his body than it used to be.  That said, I still take him out a few times every season, and those occasions are as special for me as they are for him!  Ruff has sired a number of litters (over 100 puppies total) and both Junior and Ki are his pups, as well as many of the retrievers at Habitat Flats.  Ki came from a litter Ruff sired with a friend Nick Hall’s female, Mya.  Nick owns Hall Kennels, and this was a repeat breeding for Ruff/Mya.  It is hard watching a great dog like Ruff get old, but is nice having two of his offspring filling in for him.  It will be a fun off season training Ki and getting him and Junior prepared for the Fall season!  And although I say “fun”…a LOT of patience will be required as well!  I’ve always received my dogs started around 1 year-old, so taking on the start of training is an experience I haven’t had since childhood.  As Ki may very well be my main man for the next 10 years, I am thrilled at the opportunity to explore this even deeper bond.  He’s a bundle of energy and is showing signs of Ruff’s drive!


The only good thing to come from snow goose season ending is the opening of turkey seasons!  As I always say, a hunter’s season never ends…our targets just rotate.  I absolutely love Spring turkey hunting, and after a season of loud e-callers and hunting in groups, the quiet and solitude couldn’t be better timing for the soul.  The weather is generally nice and the trees and plants are coming alive again after a long winter.  Turkey hunting is like a chess game everyday; no two days are the same.   It is also the time of year we start preparing again for the Fall season. The habitat management part of my job is as important to me as the hunting.  It is what I love to do in the offseason, and sets the stage for another successful fall.  Good luck to you all this Spring!  I am looking forward to getting on the tractor and firing up the grease at days end…fried turkey, crappie, and mushrooms on a beautiful Spring evening…it doesn’t get much better!!  As always, feel free to contact me with questions and to share your own outdoor experiences!


 Leave a comment   4 Comments.
  1. April 8th, 2013 Al Walton says:

    Just want to drop a line and say hello! I live about 25 miles east of detroit mich on lake st clair, in a little town called stoney point that sits on the south shore of an incredible fishery, and migration route as far as waterfowl goes!I just learned of your place through friends, some have been a few times and some, like myself who may be going for the first time for snows in the 2014 may know Luke Sherders(wingfeather outfitters) from ontario canada, at this time we are looking at a group of at least 10 hunters and it may be more by then.I have spent time watching your videos and must say that i’m impressed with the area and your outfit, and of the results you fellas get. The job that you do in the off season, as far as planting, preping and managing your property is huge to being sucessful the rest of the time. As i watch the management videos i could only guess as to the feeling you have when it all comes together…So in closing i want to say that i have never been this far from home to hunt waterfowl,and there is a bit of apprehension,but through the positive feedback, and superb video and photography that i’ve watched, i’m hoping this trip will be incredible!……. Al walton

  2. April 10th, 2013 Tony says:

    Al, thanks for the note! The off season work is a part I love very much. I am fortunate because when your ‘job’ is doing something you love everyday, it doesn’t feel like work! I look forward to having you all in camp next Spring. We will do our part to make it an unforgettable experience!! Thanks again.

  3. November 21st, 2013 Dylan says:

    I have asked you once before but I was wondering if you could give me a number or the website of the people who breed your dogs? Thanks!

  4. November 24th, 2013 Tony says:

    Dylan, you can contact Nick Hall at Hall Kennels: