Wildlife Wednesday: A Weekend Indoors for Northern Michigan's Outdoor Expo

Sarah Topp Sarah Topp
This weekend was a successful weekend for MUCC’s On the Ground program as well as for the newly launched Deer Michigan website. Among over 90 other vendors, OTG and Deer Michigan hosted booths at the first annual Northern Michigan’s Outdoor Expo in Gaylord, MI. It was a great experience to be alongside so many other outdoor enthusiasts and to spread the word about our organization in Northern Michigan.
OTGBoothVendors and visitors traveled from all over the state to attend the expo. It was great to see Michigan based companies and hunting teams such as Michigan Gone Wild, BUCK CUFFS Deer Drag, All-Blade, Papa Todd's outdoor products, The 906 Hunting Company, Michigan Whitetail Pursuit, Cupped and Committed and many more. Although we all have different focuses or products to offer, we all have a passion for Michigan’s outdoors in common.
Volunteers hold an adult sturgeon on the Black River Volunteers hold an adult sturgeon on the Black River
There were also some great seminars and demonstrations given at the expo. “Sturgeon General” Brenda Archambo talked about Sturgeon for Tomorrow and the annual spawning run that is occurring right now. Volunteers are being utilized for sturgeon guarding along the Black river to protect them from poaching as the adult sturgeon briefly leave Black Lake to spawn. What a sight that must be to see this unique species that can weigh up to 200 pounds and live up to 100 years! I will be volunteering for a shift next week on Tuesday to participate in this incredible experience.
The MGW crew at Northern Michigan's Outdoor expo The Michigan Gone Wild crew
I attended Michigan Gone Wild team member Alvin Sitkiewicz’s seminar that covered deer hunting on Michigan’s public lands. I learned some great tips and had a few good laughs too! He covered topics such as scouting your public land hunting area before you even step into the woods, reading deer scrapes and rubs, and using calls and scents; all particular to deer in Michigan. I won’t give away his tips but I hope there are more opportunities to see his presentation.
I don’t believe there could have been a better location for the Expo than my hometown of Gaylord, MI. Usually, I wouldn’t dare complain about nice weather, especially in Gaylord. This weekend happened to be the nicest yet this spring for Northern Michigan and many of the outdoor enthusiasts that would go to an Outdoor Expo like this one must have been out hunting turkey for the last couple days of the early season or on the water fishing for trout, walleye, or bass; I can’t say I wouldn’t be doing the same!
Chris Engle caught a nice walleye Chris Engle caught a nice walleye
Aside from spending the weekend promoting OTG and spreading the word about the Elk Habitat Maintenance day in the Pigeon River Country State Forest on Friday, June 19th, I enjoyed spending time with family and familiar faces.  I also got to spend Sunday morning enjoying Northern Michigan’s outdoors by fishing for walleye on Otsego Lake with Drew YoungeDyke and outdoor writer Chris Engle. Chris caught a very nice small mouth bass and, for his dinner table, an 18.5 inch walleye. I caught a perch just barely bigger than the jig I was using, which takes immense skill if I may say so. I’ll be out fishing again this weekend to redeem myself.
Also this weekend you can catch OTG in the Upper Peninsula! On Saturday, May 9th, volunteers will be planting crab-apple trees in the Escanaba State Forest. See more details and sign up to volunteer here.

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