“August Eyes”

Posted by Kevin Eason October 4, 2012
“August Eyes”

Feeling Bad for Phil pays off! Who would have thought of limits of walleye, jigging the Detroit River in the middle of August?

These guys usually hit it really hard in the early spring when limits of walleye aren’t uncommon but when they invited me to tag along and have some fun on this beautiful August afternoon the last thing we expected was a 3 man limit of those tasty eyes. The crazy thing was we pretty much had the river to ourselves and the only thing that really left the River were the fisherman.


Category: Jeff Kempf | Fishing | Videos

2012 Michigan Deer Hunting Season Starts Tomorrow

Posted by Kevin Eason September 21, 2012

Well it is finally here the first start of Michigan's 2012 deer hunting season. Tomorrow September 22, 2012 kicks of the season with the start of early doe hunt along with the youth and 100 % disabled veterans hunt. This is a two day hunt in which hunters can choice between their choice of weapons a firearm, bow or crossbow. The early doe hunt is only in certain DMU'S while the youth and 100 % disabled veterans hunt are statewide. Please make sure you refer to the 2012 Michigan Antlerless Deer Hunting Digest for complete regulations, license information and maps.
Will you and your friends be going out this weekend to try and fill the freezer? I hope so, most of the Sanctuary team will be out there with you trying to fill those tags. Remeber that this is an excellent time to donate some venison to the hungry by use of the Michigan Sportsman Against Hunger program.

What do you think of the early Antlerless firearm season? Do you love it or hate it?

We would love to hear from you!!! Please comment and or share this link with your friends.

Be safe out there and good luck to all.


2012 Sanctuary Outdoors Coming This Fall !

Posted by Kevin Eason September 17, 2012

 Do you love watching Deer Hunting Videos? Sanctuary Outdoors proudly brings you along for the 2012 Deer Hunting Season in Michigan, Ohio & Illinois. Searching for big bucks and working full time at  9 to 5 jobs is our story. Follow us through the season as we bring you weekly updates on the hunting woods, trail camera pictures, videos & gear reviews.





Get Ready for your next hunt, with Sanctuary Outdoors.




Please share this video with you freinds click on the like or share buttons below to spread the word.

Maps & Permission To Hunt

Posted by Kevin Eason September 16, 2012

 September 2012. All the preseason work is done and all we can do now is wait.

“Sausage Feast” is behind us. The grueling 3 day event / party of processing last year’s harvests is all but a memory. Once again, what a great memory it was. We thanked all our gracious land owners with care packages of venison goodies and fish and the ongoing preparation for 2012 whitetail deer season is on.



My style of preparation starts with studying “Maps”. I don’t know why but I just love maps! The internet is a great tool that makes it easy to study and understand the farms or tracks of land that I’m interested in. Once I’ve identified a general area that intrigues me for whatever reason. Maybe I saw a big buck in a field or cross the road, maybe someone else told me about seeing one or maybe this area has a reputation for producing some big bucks. Whatever the reason, this is where I start.


A good online map, GoogleEarth, for example will show you everything you need to see to get you started. I like to look at the big picture first. Identify the biggest sections of woods, and then follow the hedge rows, fingers, and smaller woodlots that lead to other sections of woods. At this time I might be focusing on a couple mile area. Then I start to break it down. First by identifying the potential food sources within each area and the travel routes that the deer might take to go to and from them.


Now that I broke it down to manageable sections of land I go to another site and do a parcel search to find out who owns the land I’m interested in. In many cases the property boundaries are outlined over an aerial photograph allowing me to see exactly who owns the land. You can usually find out everything you need to know.


Now the fun part begins. Going door to door and asking for permission to hunt. This is not the easiest thing to do but it’s a numbers game and in time it becomes enjoyable and sometimes very rewarding.  I don’t only talk to the land owners of property I’d like to hunt but will usually talk to every house along the way. Even though it might not be the piece I’m interested in they might be able to offer some insight to the other properties or the people who own them. The key is being personable and try to learn everything about you can about everyone. Rejection is the norm but even after being rejected you have to be respectful of the landowner’s decision and I generally continue in a conversation. This has proven beneficial many times and in some cases has developed into great hunting property and great friends.

So all that door knocking and rejection finally pays off with a yes. “YES”! Now I refer back to my original aerial photographs and think back to the notes of all the folks that didn’t allow hunting. Regardless of the amount of acreage these can be sanctuaries and studying the routs to and from them might be key to harvesting that once in a lifetime buck. I also make notes of all those that do hunt and try to identify escape routes from their property that might lead into mine.  I generally like the thinner fingers/funnels for both scenarios.



These on line maps are so advanced that they can give you the ability to see the elevation changes, identify the ridges and valleys and is some cases get a snap shot photograph and panoramic view from ground level.  I often put pins on the on-line map that give me the GPS locations of good looking spots. I can usually find them in the dark with my cell phone.
Now all the preseason work is done and all we can do now is wait.



Pro Staff Jeremy Fraiser Slideshow

Posted by Kevin Eason September 4, 2012

What is the Future Image of Outdoor TV

Posted by Kevin Eason September 1, 2012

Over the last couple, of months while working on our new website I have been thinking of the direction of the hunting world as we know it. It has changed so much over the last 10 years. It has had me thinking of all the reason that I started hunting and what it meant to me. It reminded me of my first hunts, were the sight of a couple of does and a few squirrels were enough to pump me up. It was the thrill of being in nature up close with all of God’s creation. When the excitement of watching a young buck chase doe’s by your favorite stand was enough to make a great hunt.  Is it that simple? “The hunter’s first thrill of a close encounter” that gets us hooked on the sport.


I read a Blog today by Dave Hurteau of Whitetale 365 a hunting blog found on Field and Stream. It was titled Todays Challenge: Say Something Nice About Outdoor TV In the article Dave Hurteau says “I don’t think it’s that much of a mystery. Watching a giant buck come trotting through the hedge apples or weaving through the bluestem or thumping over the oak flat with the morning light on him is a rare, rare sight for most of us. To see it, many of us are willing to put up with a circus of grade-school antics and a cascade of moronic clichés. Like it or not, outdoor TV is more and more the (or at least a) public face of our sport. And while we absolutely should piss and moan when we don’t like the way we are being represented, we should also stand up and point and shout when it’s done right.”


 Watching hunting videos and Outdoor TV made me a much better hunter than I was ten years ago. But lately it seams to me that there is something lost in the translation of the outdoor television shows. The average hunter has more information available to him than ever before and has the potential to kill big bucks just like on TV, Sure it takes a ton of hard work and dedication to making it happen, but when it happens!!! The level of enthusiasm and true heart that goes into a hunt that you have worked so hard toward, surely can not be miss translated.


In this fast paced world, we live in today is the demand for more buck kills on film, and the search for the biggest bucks caused us to lose focus on what the future of our sport is? Where do we go form here? For as many hunters today that focus on trophy hunting, there are 3 times as many hunters that are happy to put meat on the table.


How do we properly portrait the correct image our sport?


Drought 2012

Posted by Kevin Eason August 28, 2012

Unless you live in a box or climate controlled underground fortress you have more than likely heard all the talk about the 2012 drought. It is being labeled as one of the worst droughts that the US as seen in the last 100 years. It is extremely broad covering 57% of the contiguous 48 states and affecting 1700 counties.


I know that the farmers that we lease land from are on the edge every week praying that we get enough rain to allow the crops to grow and not be lost. I joke about rain dances but am sure that there are plenty of people dancing right now. With 48 % of  corn crops rated poor to very poor and 38%

f soybean crops rated poor to very poor it will be difficult times for our farmers and there families.


So what does this mean for all the crazy whitetail freaks like us?  I know that we have been extraordinarily lucky getting just enough rain when we need it to allow our fall food plots to sprout, will that luck continue? Will there be enough rain to allow the food plots to grow into thick deer attracting magnets? I sure hope so, what I do know is that with the lack of rain fall and also the possibility of the crops being harvested earlier than usual, that deer will have to look harder and longer for a nutritious food source come fall. They will also lose bedding and cover if the crops are taken earlier forcing them into the woods with fewer places to hide. This is actually exciting news if you are lucky enough to have food and cover plots that survive into the late fall and winter months. If your property has  better food and cover than you neighbors, Bam you know were all the big bucks will be.


I am no deer biologist, but I have read various

articles stating that deer antler growth is stunted by the lack of rain, but so far my trail camera photos have not led me to that conclusion, but really how do you gage what a deer’s antlers may have looked like with more rain fall? There is also a lot of concern for disease and infection within the deer herd with them having to drink out of the same stagnate water holes instead of multiple flowing streams and ponds.


Has all this talk about the drought made you change your hunting strategies for the up coming sea

son? I know that it has been bouncing around in my head at night when I try to sleep. Here, is some food for thought, find natural watering holes on your property, look for dropped or cut tree tops for cover, if you have not planted a food plot already there is still time, get out there and plant them  now, scout for acorns, dig an extraordinarily deep pond (lol). If you plan now this could be your best season ever.


Don’t Forget – Get out there and let me see your best rain dance.



Category: Hunting News | Kevin Eason

Cougars Verified In Michigan

Posted by Kevin Eason August 27, 2012

Are there cougars found in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula? Well according to the Michigan DNR that answers is yes. In the last two months alone, the Michigan DNR has verified three photos of cougars in Baraga County and southern and northern Marquette County. As of July 27, 2012 the DNR has confirmed eight sets of tracks, one trail camera video and eight photos from nine different Upper Peninsula Counties including Delta, Marquette, Schoolcraft, Mackinac, Chippewa, Ontonagon, Houghton, Keweenaw and Baraga counties. According to a press release by the DNR this is the 17th time the DNR has verified the existence of cougars in the UP since 2008. The last know cougar found in Michigan prior to 2008 was killed in Newberry in 1906.


So why has there been such a dramatic increase in cougar sightings over the last 5 years? Your opinion is as good as mine but according to Adam Bump a specially trained DNR Biologist to investigate cougar sightings “The growing body of evidence continues to indicate the presence of an unknown number of adult cougars in the Upper Peninsula,”. “In the five years since we confirmed our first cougar report we have yet to receive any evidence of breeding activity, as all images and other physical evidence have been from adult cats.” Bump also states “The increase in verified cougar sightings in recent years could be attributed to several factors, although the two most significant are probably the presence of more transient individual cougars moving east from established Western populations, and the growing number of trail cameras being used in the woods, making it easier to capture clear images of elusive cougars,” Bump said. “We appreciate how cooperative the public has been in sending their reports and photos to the DNR for review. This cooperation allows us to effectively monitor cougars in the state.”


The fact is that cougar sightings have been on the rise for the last couple of years. But according to a Michigan DNR press release they are extremely difficult to verify due to lack of physical evidence. Sightings reported to the special DNR cougar team will be investigated. They may come out and visit the site for verification. After they have collected all the evidence, then they decided if the presence of the cougar sighted can be verified.


Please remember that in Michigan cougars are currently classified as endangered species and it is illegal to kill or injure unless in the case of self defense. If you would like to learn more about cougars in Michigan, feel free to visit www.michigan.gov/cougars


If you would like to report evidence or sightings of a cougar you can submit it on the web site www.michigan.gov/cougars. Or for an emergency call the poaching hotline at 800-292-7800.


We would like to hear your thoughts on cougars in Michigan. If you would like to keep this conversation going please comment on this post below.



Photo caption: This trail camera photo of a cougar was taken at 2 a.m. on July 18 in northern Marquette County. The photo represents the 17th time the DNR has been able to verify the presence of cougars in the Upper Peninsula since 2008.

















Photo Caption:

This photo of a cougar was taken by Baraga County resident Fred Nault near Skanee on Saturday, May 5. The photo represents the 15th time the DNR has been able to verify the presence of a cougar in the Upper Peninsula since 2008.
















Reference List : DNR verifies trail camera photo of cougar in northern ... (n.d.). Retrieved from http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/MIDNR-4b8104

Tree Walker Tree Stands Review

Posted by Kevin Eason August 22, 2012

Climbing trees stands have come a long way in the past 8 years. There are many choices on the market today to choose between from stands that are very light weight and portable to stands that are bulkier and more comfortable than your favorite reclining chair.


When it became time, to start shopping around for a new climber I looked at all the retail stores and also searched online for the newest hottest stands out. I became very confused with all the stands to choose from on the market today. I knew that I wanted a climber that was light weight, safe and extremely comfortable but did not know were to find just that. As luck would have it while out on an annual visit to the Woods “N” Water Show in Imlay City, Michigan my brother and I came across a vender selling climbing tree stands. Very impressed by the sales pitch we both purchased a Tree Walker Tree Stand that day.


The Tree Walker Climbing tree stand is lightweight weighing in at only 18lbs and is also extremely comfortable to hunt in. This stand is both easy to use and extremely safe to hunt in. It has a large platform size of 20” X 35” Comfortable mesh seat measuring 22” X 34” and a weight limit of 350 lbs for all you big guys. You can climb trees from 6’ up to 26” in diameter. With all those great features how does it get better here is how get this it’s 100% made and manufactured in the USA, and it comes with a lifetime warranty. “Wow” that should be the end of this gear review, but wait it gets even better.


It is very quit to carry and easy to set up, the two piece stand snaps together with its interlocking system so no need for bungees or straps to hold it together. It is easy as pie to attaché to the tree, even in the dark. It has a memory cable that wraps around the tree with a bright yellow end to make it the fastest climber to set up that I have ever seen. It has a patented Possi Grip engagement system that guarantees no slip (these are 1’ spikes that go into the tree so it is probably not the best choose for public land hunting). I have never once in the 5 years I have owned the stand ever had it slip from its spot on the tree.


You can hunt out of the Tree Walker Tree Stand by facing it toward or away from the tree. This feature is nice to have on a tree stand it gives you the ability to change your hunting style to fit your needs and adapts to all different types of trees you may come across in the woods. It has a foot rest and a shooting rest. It comes with a set of backpack straps that make it very sweet to carry to your tree. It has a very balanced weight when back packing and climbing. I have carried this stand over two miles to my tree with little effort or strain.


As stated earlier, I have owned this stand for 5 years plus and use it on a daily basis through out the Michigan & Ohio hunting seasons. I have yet to have anything break or fail. This stand gives me the versatility to change tree stand locations in search for that monster buck of a lifetime. It is comfortable enough to hunt in all day during the rut when the big boys are on there feet. It is light enough, easy to carrier, super simple to set up, safe and quite so you won’t mind hauling it out into the woods on a daily basis. So the bottom line is “go get you one son” and you will not be disappointed. I have not seen them at any outdoor/hunting shows in a couple of years so the only place I know to purchase this bad boy is on there website at www.treewalker.com  starting price is  $ 329.00 with lots of option cool accessories to buy with it.


Want To See It In Action
Click Here To Watch Watch This Hunt as I Shoot This Great Deer out of My Tree Walker Tree stand.

Primos Truth 46 Trail Camera Review

Posted by Kevin Eason August 21, 2012

I have been using the Primos Truth 46 Trail Camera for a little over a year now. This Camera in my opinion is one of the best trail cameras you can buy for the money. I purchased my trail cameras last year for $89.00 each which I found to be a great value. The Cameras are a little larger than most trail cameras on the market today measuring 7” x 9” x 3”deep. This does not seem to bother me, yes it makes them difficult to carry, but I can carry 4 to 5 cameras in a medium backpack with batteries, SD cards, rubber gloves, and water.


The camera comes packaged with a heavy duty hook strap to secure it to the tree. If security is a concern, there are two ways to protect you camera and SD card. You can install a small pad lock to protect your sd card, and there is a molded security cable hole through case for theft prevention. We typically use a Master Lock Python Cable Lock thru the molded security hole along with the supplied strap to attache to the tree. The camera operates on 4 D batteries which seem to last a long time. On average, we get about three months or 3000 pictures on a single set of batteries. I have had some trouble with the unit operating properly when the batteries level drops below 30%, but over all I am impressed with the battery life of the camera. Supports up to 8 gigabyte SD card but I typically use a 2 gigabyte SD Card which holds about 1600 pictures. I typically check my trail cameras once a month so 2 gigabytes is more than enough memory.


The Primos Truth 46 Trail Camera has a 1.4 second trigger speed with a recovery time of around 5 seconds. Its detection range is around 40 to 50 feet depending on temperature and lighting. It stamps photos or video with date, time, temperature, and moon phase information. Has an image resolution of 3 megapixels, which provides a good picture quality. There is some noise when the camera takes day time pictures due to the filter but I have never noticed a problem with the noise spooking animals.


My favorite part about this camera is its ease of use. It is by far one of the easiest trail camera’s I have ever used. It has a very easy to read back lit led digital display. With the push of a button you can format your SD card, change sensitivity level, set # of pictures

taken at a time and change the time and date. Once you are strapped to the tree and ready to go you just hit the run/wake button and a timer with 30 seconds starts counting down and you are ready to go. When you come back to pull your SD card on your trail camera all you have to do is push the run/wake button, and the digital display shows you the number of pictures taken.




The Primos Truth 46 Trail Camera has everything I need out of a trail camera. It is not the fastest, quietest, or it does not take the best pictures I have ever seen, but it does capture the deer so I can create my hit lists and management plans for the season. I have used a couple different trail cameras that were faster and took better pictures but also cost me a lot more money. If you are considering purchasing a good quality trail camera, that gets the job done but does not break the bank I highly recommend the Primos Truth 46 trail camera. After all, you can never have enough trail cameras.