Wolves disappeared from the state around 1961 or so, at least that’s the last one way shot before they moved back in almost 30 years later. While doing some historical digging I ran across some interesting mentions of wolves in Luce Co. And outdoor subjects were always of interest, so let’s go back and look at the sorts of things that involved wildlife, fish, DNR and hunters-fishermen got media attention. All of these notes are from the Newberry News.
Aug 18, 1886: “After next Sunday the 15th, deer can be “legally” be killed in this peninsula. [Here we see the typical Yooper wink at the law, like “Yah sure, okay, yousebetcha, we don’t shoot no deers till after dat date, eh?”
March 1, 1887: Luce County established.
12-18-1891: A Christmas Turkey Shoot at Dollarville, all are welcome and people attended from all over the county, but the McM illanboys did the best and carried off the greatest number of fowls.”
1-13-1905: The Board of Supervisors in the Upper Peninsula Counties has taken measures to encourage the extermination of wolves by increasing the bounty. The wolves are threatening the extermination of our deer.
9-15-1905: Two deer the limit: License this year will cost $1.50, double the fee from last season.
9-28-1906: Partridge season opens next Monday, Oct 1, and lasts until Nov. 30. It is unlawful to kill more than twelve in one day or to have more than fifty in your possession at any one time.
11-18-1907: Bounty on sparrows is in effect for the months of December, January, and February. Two cents each and must be in lots of ten.
1-10-1908: Sunday a party of sports was out hunting deer with a dog. The dog ran a deer upon another man who was still-hunting. He first shot the deer, then turned his artillery on the dog, killing it. The owner of the dog took revenge by punching the man who did the shooting, and now he threatens to have his assailant arrested for assault, and the owner of the dog will retaliate by having him arrested for killing deer out of season. [Some things never change oot der in woods, eh]
12-4-1908: J.H.Leaky shot a big timber wlf Monday while returning from a two week hunt at Camp 9. The wolf was one of the largest ever seen here, weighting in at 90 pounds. Mr. Leaky intends to have the wolf mounted.
August 1910: Speed limits on roads in Columbus Township are 10 mph and the clerk is instructed to put a notice in The Newberry News
6-7-1912: John Hatch last Saturday went fishing, taking along his trusted rifle. One his way to the trout stream he shot a monster she-wolf, and afterward visited a few traps he had set, and captured alive a young bear. He then went fishing and landed 46 speckled beauties, among them several two-pounders. [On the other hand, Da times mebbe she changed a whole bunch, eh?
8-15-1913: For all you NRA types: New gun law: Any man buying rifles, pistols, or other tools of destruction will be required to leave his name, age, occupation, and residence in the dealer’s book.[GAWD, that damn Guvmint must be in the process of disarming us Americans….in violation of the Constitution and our rights!]
10-10-1913: The Michigan bear is no longer protected by the state game laws. It is not known if this was decided by the legislature that bears were harmful, or whether it was an oversight in the drafting of the game laws, but at any rate, they are now open season.
5-15-1914: Brook trout fishermen are reminded that the 7-inch minimum remains in force, bthe angler may take only 35 in one day, a change from last year of 50 in a day.
7-29-1914: At fur farm near McMillan, a red skunk appeared, something heretofore unheard of by naturalists or fur men.
5-28-1915: August Ware, who runs a boarding house in McMillan, is now convinced that it is better to patronize the local butcher than to run counter to the law and serve his boarders with nice juicy venison steaks. He thought he could save a little money until he was handed an invitation to appear before Judge Seymour. He contributed $25 to the Library Fund. [Uh, my inflation calculator says that’s $558.59 in today’s funds. Which raises a side question. If inflation is when value is going up, shouldn’t it be unflation when it goes the other way? Just asking.]
7-30-1915: 725 wolves were killed in Michigan this past year.
11-21-1918: Special trains added to handle hunter traffic.
11-25-1927: Two Mackinac City hunters are ill with smallpox in a camp north of McMillan. All the members of the Camp 9 hunting party returned to their home on Tuesday. The party bagged five edeer and reported hunting conditions to be the worst in years.
1-20-1928: Someone decided there are too many dogs in town as several have been found poisoned recently.
12-7-1928: A freak deer was killed in Ewen. Dr. Smith, a Lansing dentist, killed a doe with eight-inch antlers. Amos Thompson shot a large wolf at his camp on the Tahquamenon River on Wednesda.
4-5-1929: Michigan is to vote on a state bird. [Really, and we picked a robin? I shake my head.]
2-28-1930: Adam Massey caught a fine fox, but a coyote got to it first.
7-25-1930: Excitement reigned in McMillan this week about ten o’clock Thursday morning when a doe came up from the swamp and broke its neck while attempting to jump the fence of the tourist park.
10-3-1930: On Tuesday morning tradesmen found a large ten point deer that had been shot and left lying by the section house. Warden Kimmel was notified and came and got the deer.
11-3-1930: Donald McInnis had a distressing accident Thursday when the gun with whih he ws attempting to shoot, backfired on him. We are glad it wasn’t worse.
3-27-1931: A pack of wolves estimated to be at least twelve, are slaughtering deer in the McMillan deer yard. Conservation Officer Thorsen made an attempt to visit the yard but was prevented by flooded conditions in the yard. Another pack is operating in the vicinity of the Tahquamenon Falls and doing much damage. It must be that those 25 wolves are that are all that is left in the Upper Peninsula have migrated to Luce County.[This is what some people think, even today. In 1931 it was said tongue-in-cheek.]
5-29-1931: Harry Fitzpatrick, Laurel Painter, and Alvin Tucker hit a large wolf near ten curves. If was found to weight 85 pounds.
10-16-1931: Supervisor Heidebrfeicht reports the loss of a valuable cow last week, the animal having been shot by headlighters shining deer. It was several days before the loss was discovered and the meat was unfit for food at that time.
1-13-1932: COs gave a confiscated deer to the hot lunch c lub Monday. The clu b is feeding between 35 and 40 children each day. [Economic conditions about the same as today, eh, but hell let the little buggers stand on their own feet or die , we ain’t gonna raise no welfare brats….Heard anyone yapping like that recently? I have.]
3-4-1932: Of the 132,750 fish planted in Luce County, 92,750 were brook trout and 40,000 perch fingerlings.
7-20-1934: Donald McInnis and John King succeeded in landing a 20-pound pike at Fox Lake, near Ross Lake, on Sunday.
11-30-1934: A freak deer shot by Ed Hackstead of Traverse City, near Kentgon in Ontgonagon County, attracted a lot of attention here on Wednesday. Mr. Hackstead was in the town en route rto his home. The deer was of both male and female gender, weight 170 pounds, had a six-point spread of antlers which were soft and still in the velvet.
12-7-1934: An army of 20,000 hunters had brought slightly fewer than 5,000 bucks through the Straits of Mackinac Friday night as the curtan rung down on the 1934 deer season.
3-13-1936: Four deer were killed accidentally here on Monday. Two were struck by a freight train and two by trucks that were hauling cordwood. CO Frank Generou distributed the meat among needy families. [NOTE: I believe CO Generou is the grandfather of CO Derrick Miller, who moved lazst year from Luce County to Washtenaw Co.]
5-15-1936: Forty moose have been trapped on Isle Rouyale and most will be released at Camp Cusino.
10-17-1936: Several thousand trout were planted in the Tahquamenon and adjacent streams by CO Frank Generou this week.
11-13-1936: Edward Stone got lost in the swamp on Monday, north of town, for several hours. He was finally located by CO Frank Generou and brought back to town. Besides being cold and wet, he was none the worse for his experience.
11-20-1936: Deer seem quite plentiful in this area this year.
12-4-1936: Security Act effective January 1, 1937: Provides pensions for workers and women after they reach the age of sixty five.[Workers AND women, as in women AREN’T workers?]
5-28-1937: Twenty-three cans of walleyed pike were planted in local lakes by COs Frank Generou and Richard Beach. Each can held approx. 3,500 fry
6-25-1937: Brook trout have been planted in the headwaters of Columbus Township streams. The trout are five months old and average two inches in length. The Tahquamenon 3,000; Syphon Creek,10,000; East Creek 6,000;Silver Lake 2,500; and Silver Creek, 7,500.
1-14-1938: Frank Generou has purchased the Frank Skidmore home and expexts to move his family thee the last of the month. [“Nuttin’ like help hull damn town find game warden’s house, Holy wah!]
6-3-1938: Cos planted 7-9-inch trout in Silver Creek and in the Tahquamenon River.
2-3-1939: One hundred Michigan whitetail deer are being shipped to Virginia this week to replenish and revitalize the herd in that state. John McLaren of McMillan and Ernest Edwards of Manistique will be in charge of the shipment from this district and will accompany it to Virginia. Fifteen deer are being taken from the UP and the balance from a refuge in the lower part of the state.
2-17-1939: John McLaren returned from Stockton VA where he helped transport 20 deer4 from the reserve at Cusino. Mr. John McLaren expects to leave again next week with twenty more deer to be taken to the Blue Ridge Mountain region in Virginia.
4-28-1939: Smelt jamboree at Black River, last Saturday night.
6-23-1939: Frank Generou just completed a ten-day course in Conservation Officer School at Pigeon River.
10-13-1939: CO Frank Generou planted 38,000 bluegills, and 3,750 largemouth bass in local waters this week.
2-23-1940: An attempt to establish the blue grouse in the UP is to be made this year by the Conservation Department on request of the Northern Michigan Sportsman’s Association. The blue grous is larger than the ruffled grouse, some up to three pounds, and is similarly colored, and marked. It’s range coveres several Rocky Mt. States.
3-15-1940: CO Frank Generou left Wednesday to accompany E. Hastings, state photographer from Lansing, on a two-day trip down the Charcoal Iron Company Line. Mr. Hastings will be taking moving pictures to be used in newsreels depicting the natural resources of Michigan.
10-24-1941: This fall for the first time in 20 years the killing of doe deer will be legal in Michigan. Under the new law, each party of four hunters is entitled to take “one deer,” either buck or doe for camp use. [The so-called Camp Deer Law, which some hunters stll think is in effect, at least in the Yoop]
10-6-1944: Anglers trying their luck next spring will be limited to 10 trout rather than 15 per day.
1-12-1945: Floyd Tucker speared a 24 ¼ lb pike, measured at 47 ½” in Manistique Lake on Thursday.
9-20-1946: The Whorl Club, located on a branch of the Two-Hearted River, has just completed the development of a small waterpower of sufficient capability to furnish their clubhouse with electric lights, running water, and other conveniences. A small wooden damn on the stream was carried out by high water last spring, so the club set about erecting a more permanent structure, with steel tubing, a sluiceway and aluminum water wheel, fish ladder, etc. The project represents the expenditure of several thousand dollars and is designed to be of a permanent nature.
7-7-1947: Frank Peterson had good luck in landing a 26-pound Muskallonge in the Tahquamenon River, Sunday.
9-26-1947: A 230-pound bear was shot Sunday evening on the Charles Kubont farm. The animal had been molesting their calves.
10-31-1947: Michigan is top producer of venison according to a survey by a national outdoor magazine of deer hunting. Michigan’s 1946 deer hunting army of 354,371 killed 115,400 deer.
1-9-1948: A white pine, 13-6 in circumference and 160 ft high is believed to be the biggest white pine in the UP and has been located in the Rock River valley, about 3 miles north of Eben Junction
7-9-1948: Brimley Girl killed by bear. The first case on record of a bear attacking and killing a human occurred Weds about 3 p.m. near Brimley, when a bear seized a three year old child from the back porch of her home, carried her into the woods, killed and mangled her. The bear was later found and shot. [NOTE: The child’s name was Pomranky and if you Google this you can learn the whole story.]
12-3-1948: Mackinac County is laying claim to the largest bear ever shot in Michigan. The beqr, an eight-foot brute, which dressed out at 597 pounds (add roughly 150 pounds for live wt = @750 pounds live). Killed Nov 19 near Spring Lake by Louis Karmes of Hastings MI. The bear is declared to hold the record for the state. [NOTE:For the geographically challenged, Spring Lake is a pond-size little body of water about a mile north of the Carp River and west of the East Lake Road – maybe 4 miles south of East Lake. I think this is now part of the so-called Mackinac Wilderness, which is largely inaccessible except on foot.]
4-25-1952: Quite a few people have been driving out to the Bill Kline farm in Lakefield, to see the albino deer.
4-17-1953: The count of Michigan’s deer and grouse by rural mail carriers started in April this year because of mild weather, the Conservation Department reports. More than 450 rural and star route carriers take part in the count, recording numbers of deer and grouse seen as they drive their mail routes. A total of 126 carriers watch UP back roads, and 327 work northern lower byways.
4-23-1954: “Dump” Bears a Local Problem. The Conservation Commission decided recently it would not prohibit the shooting of bears at city garbage dumps in Michigan. The bear problem came up for discussion at the April commission meeting, and the seven-man board decided unanimously at that time to keep hands off bear-at-garbage-pit questions. [Decidedly modern pols, deciding not to decide.] Look this up to see other details, how Chippewa County organized a one week dump hunt, etc.
Oh, and before I close, anybody know why Deer Park is called Deer Park, or when it became the name? We have reason to believe this area was called Sucker River, then Muskellunge, before becoming Deer Park. It Occurred to our new friend Sterling McGinn that the Deer Park name might have come from the reindeer herd once here, but the Newberry News says the reindeer were delivered to Deer Park, thus the name prolly came before the ‘Boos. Picture of reindeer in enclosure is at tail end of this piece.
Well, that brings us close to 60 years back, and that’s enough. There are some really wonderful county and township and village histories around the Yoop, if you can lay hands on them. Next week I’ll do a photo essay from the Luce County Historical Society and old jail. Beautiful building, great society of history-minded folks.
Of more recent vintage, we have a small bear crossing Muskallonge Trail about 75 yards north of the cabin, and leaving its calling cards. Shanny sniffs in that direction every time he goes out, especially during middle-of-the-night pee breaks. Lonnie has seen this animal’s scat on the beach about 200 yards west of us, but now it seems to be wandering around Max and Brenda Stinson’s house, perhaps because 90+ Audrey Nix (Brenda’s mom) just moved up from Alabama and hasn’t much experience with bruins. She’s been putting out bread scraps for birds. Not many good reports on the bloob crop right now, and if berry crop is down, bears will likely get into some trouble over nest couple of months of summer. Last fall hunters shot at least three bears out of the swamp to our west, all of them 165 lbs or less, all “dogged” out of the Trout Creek” swampitat..” Life Above Da Britch. Love it!
Book World in Esky tomorrow, 1300-1600!