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      Our hunting heritage

      The most basic hunting know-how can be learned through a standard hunter's safety course. But a hunter's real expertise comes years of trial and error. So hunters are sometimes reluctant to share their hunting secrets with others, especially the younger generation. However, taking someone new hunting with you about more than simply bagging a buck. Take Earl Bevins for example. Heâ??s the president of the Big Bay Sportsmanâ??s Club and heâ??s been hunting for seventy four years. Heâ??s like a walking whitetail encyclopedia and he's perfectly willing to share much of his hunting knowledge.

      He reminded me, â??A mature buck, two and a half years and older is a very smart animal. His hearing, his sight and his smell is ten to twenty times better than ours. So you have to just out-smart him. That's all there is to it.â??

      He probably spends more time in the woods than most people do at work. He knows deer's habits and he knows how to sneak through the woods. He's got lots of other hunting and tips and tricks too. He shared some â??pre-seasonâ?? tricks that he uses each year. â??I use that pure pine soap. I smell like a pine cone. And my hunting clothes and all that stuff I leave in the car, so I don't smell like a pancake in the morning.â??

      But Earl admits he's slowed down over the years. And he understands importance of passing on the knowledge he's gained. His son, Carl Bevins has been hunting for over 45 years now. Carl shared some important thoughts on family tradition. He said â??Both my boys are hunters as well. We enjoy the time together, the camp. And so it's something that you pass on to your family. It's a tradition.â??

      Jill Bevins even gets in on the action. Sheâ??s a local teacher and hunterâ??s safety instructor. She expressed how important it is to share hunting safety and heritage with others. â??It's fun. For me it's to get out into the woods and enjoy the scenery and the nature of the woods. And I try to teach that when I do the hunter's safety.â??

      Of course, carrying a gun through the woods does come with a lot of responsibility.

      â??You have to Know what's behind that deer that youâ??re shooting at. We don't want any accidents. We want everybody to have a good time but we want everybody to be safe.â?? Thatâ??s crucial advice from Brian Reynolds, local veteran and president of U.P. Whitetails.

      Carl Bevins says the actual hunting portion of deer camp is only a fraction of what you should look forward to. He said, â??You get back to camp and you talk about what you saw that day, a doe, a buck or maybe it's a squirrel doing something funny. But it's all fun. It's all part of the hunt. Killing is a minor part.â??

      Although you may be reluctant to share your best hunting secrets, remember the next generation of hunters is already locked and loaded. So take someone new hunting with you. It's a great time. Pass on our heritage!