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Some of the best memories I have a deer camp are from the 80's and 90's. We experienced nieces, nephews, sons and daughters at camp. Our parents were still around helping us get ready for camp and at camp. Great friends, some of who are now passed. We still speak of those camps often. They carry a warm spot on my heart. I'm grateful to still have family at camp now. Life wouldn't be the same without it. We are grateful and blessed for the camps that we have had and continue to have.
 

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My first deer hunt memory was from 1990. I was in the USAF stationed at K.I. Sawyer near Marquette. My boss was born raised in the UP and their family had a long time camp near Hermansville. Ken knew I fished and loved the outdoors albeit I was a city boy from Ohio, nonetheless I got a invite to camp. Boy what an experience! He geared me up from head to toe with orange and a 30/06. Camp was a rustic two room shack, no running water, potbelly stove, bunk room and outside privy. Family and friends would come and go. Pole had buck and does on it all the time it seems. First few days I sat in a box overlooking a swamp and saw all kinds of baldies but no bucks. Temps dipped and it snowed like a MF'er!!! About ten of us did a "drive" through a blackberry patch I stood on the edge/corner as the hooting and hollering started, deer scattered everywhere. I damn near got run over by a bounding doe, what a circus. Never did shoot anything but the family welcomed me as one of their own and I will always cherish my first deer hunt.

Jump 31 years and I still head to the western UP to camp. However with another family that I've been welcomed into.
 

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Deer camp in da UP is something special. It’s what kept me sane during my working career and give me something productive to do throughout the year. I’m not sure what I would do with my time if it wasn’t for owning a UP camp.

Holles Wilber Allen’s invention greatly contributed to the demise of the traditional UP deer camp lifestyle.
 

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Maybe they should start teaching drivers education in zone 3. Previous generations knew how to drive north to zones 1 and 2 to deer hunt even without gps technology. Zone 1 has ~ 6 million acres of land open to public hunting. The instant gratification generation has no desire to leave their parents basement because that’s what they were taught by their parents.
It has nothing to do with how kids were raised although that is a major problem.
The instant gratification crowd used to drive north...
Smart money says to go where there are deer. Previous generations did that just the same as they do today. That's why you go to zone 3 and guys looking for nostalgia drive north for a week of watching birds. We hear stories from Joe every year how he doesn't kill anything and rarely sees deer but he likes the atmosphere. Good for guys like him but if you want a good chance at seeing or killing a nice buck zone 3 is where you go.

You live where you live because it's a beautiful area, not because it's good hunting and no amount of soap box generational insults will change that.
 

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Deer camp in da UP is something special. It’s what kept me sane during my working career and give me something productive to do throughout the year. I’m not sure what I would do with my time if it wasn’t for owning a UP camp.

Holles Wilber Allen’s invention greatly contributed to the demise of the traditional UP deer camp lifestyle.
Lol. Lack of deer contributed more to the demise of traditional UP deer camp lifestyle than any single invention (maybe social media) or how kids are raised. It was the instant gratification crowd of yesteryear that decided not to go to the UP deer camps any more when deer were no longer easy to shoot.

That invention you lament made instant gratification, which you also lament, harder to obtain than than a gun which you seem to prefer....

I can appreciate what you're trying to hold on to in with a UP deer camp. I really can. My own version of deer camp has faded and it sucks. But whom you choose to blame for that is misguided.
 

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Who were your hunting Mentors in the 1980s?
1960’s - Dad
1970’s - Family friend who owned the camp we hunted at that time
1980’s - Gene and Barry Wensel, Roger Rothaar, Dick Idol and many others who were featured in outdoor magazines

Even as a youngster I was reading everything and anything I could find on Whitetail Deer and later, deer habitat management. Like many of you, to the point of it almost becoming an obsession. Early on, there wasn‘t all that much that was readily available. Today there is an overabundance of information right at our fingertips.

Are you obsessed with Deer and Deer Hunting?? :D

Edit: It’s OK if you are - there are worse vices you could be afflicted with. :D
Mine is the same! I came to the conclusion i needed to hunt a little different then i was learning to have greater success a bigger bucks. I used every method I could find to feed the affliction. And still enjoy learning new styles and methods.
 

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It has nothing to do with how kids were raised although that is a major problem.
The instant gratification crowd used to drive north...
Smart money says to go where there are deer. Previous generations did that just the same as they do today. That's why you go to zone 3 and guys looking for nostalgia drive north for a week of watching birds. We hear stories from Joe every year how he doesn't kill anything and rarely sees deer but he likes the atmosphere. Good for guys like him but if you want a good chance at seeing or killing a nice buck zone 3 is where you go.

You live where you live because it's a beautiful area, not because it's good hunting and no amount of soap box generational insults will change that.
In the early 2000 when I was looking to purchase “deer hunting” land, up north wasn’t even a blip on the radar. Quality deer and minimum drive time was key. I can get so many more hunts in a year in zone 3. No brainer for me. I vacation up north. That’s it. But I do get the big woods affect.


Sent from my iPhone using Michigan Sportsman
 

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In the early 2000 when I was looking to purchase “deer hunting” land, up north wasn’t even a blip on the radar. Quality deer and minimum drive time was key. I can get so many more hunts in a year in zone 3. No brainer for me. I vacation up north. That’s it. But I do get the big woods affect.


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We had a cabin between lake city and Kalkaska back in the 90's and 2000's. I loved that place for 1000 different reasons but We still deer hunted in zone 3.
 
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I'll sound like a broken record, but hunting the 80's and 90's was definitely different than now.
We had more does than you would believe if you didn't see it.
30-40 deer sighted per hunt in the Baldwin area where I started hunting. You never saw a buck other than the occasional spike.
We had a camp there for about 10 years and the biggest buck ever taken was a small 6 point, but we never struck out.
Things changed for me the first time I couldn't get off work in 1994 and I had to hunt opening day on state land in SE Mich.
I killed an 8 point and I haven't hunted north ever again.
I could get permission to private land by just asking.
The other guys still went north for a few years, but I had buck fever..killing limitless does held no appeal now.
It's much different now.
I don't get as many deer..still hunt state land, but there's way more people and the land I could hunt for free is $2500 a season..that's not happening.
It was definitely a fun time, not necessarily better, but fun.
 

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We had a cabin between lake city and Kalkaska back in the 90's and 2000's. I loved that place for 1000 different reasons but We still deer hunted in zone 3.
When I see the bucks you guys kill in Zone 3, sometimes I wonder why I'm so invested in my Zone 2 property. It boils down to family roots and land affordability. I would not be able to afford anything like this in Zone 3:
Cloud Sky Water Water resources Ecoregion
 

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Maybe they should start teaching drivers education in zone 3. Previous generations knew how to drive north to zones 1 and 2 to deer hunt even without gps technology. Zone 1 has ~ 6 million acres of land open to public hunting. The instant gratification generation has no desire to leave their parents basement because that’s what they were taught by their parents.

Deer camp in da UP is something special. It’s what kept me sane during my working career and give me something productive to do throughout the year. I’m not sure what I would do with my time if it wasn’t for owning a UP camp.
You hurl insults, and challenge everyone to come on up and hunt 6 million acres of public available. Yet you, yourself, are hunting private you own.

Do you see the irony?
 

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You hurl insults, and challenge everyone to come on up and hunt 6 million acres of public available. Yet you, yourself, are hunting private you own.

Do you see the irony?
I hunt both on a regular basis. Do you really think deer know the difference between private and public land?
Edit:
Pink is Federal
Green is State
White is private
Handwriting World Rectangle Font Red
 

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I hunt both on a regular basis. Do you really think deer know the difference between private and public land?
Edit:
Pink is Federal
Green is State
White is private
View attachment 792011
Considering I often here you talk of a dozen or more deer in your food plot at a time and from most others I hear them talk of seeing a dozen deer between their entire camp over a week period, I think they know the difference.
 

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Considering I often here you talk of a dozen or more deer in your food plot at a time and from most others I hear them talk of seeing a dozen deer between their entire camp over a week period, I think they know the difference.
As soon as the migration hits 100% are on public land.
 

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Considering I often here you talk of a dozen or more deer in your food plot at a time and from most others I hear them talk of seeing a dozen deer between their entire camp over a week period, I think they know the difference.
Theres deer on public land up there, just have to put in the time to find them. Most don't want to, or don't have time to put in that kind of effort. I have one spot on Federal land, that if I had been on stand the evening of October 7th, I would have seen a minimum of 7 deer, as thats how many my trail cam caught. But I also put in about 20 miles of scouting to find that spot, and 95% of what I walked through I’m sure I would rarely see a deer if I hunted it. Its not like southern MI farmland for sure, in good ways and bad, depending how you look at it.
 

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Are you trying to say there's no difference hunting private vs hunting public land?
Not at all. I hunt public land deer on private land with creature comforts afforded to private land owners. Those that dont hunt migratory deer herds have a hard time comprehending deer spend more of the year on public land than they do on private land and that includes most of deer season.
 
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