By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
GLADWIN, MI (WNEM) -
Cars jammed I-75 northbound Thursday night in a mad rush "up north."
Friday, Nov. 15, is a holiday, of sorts, for a lot of Michigan people.
"If you don't get one, you don't get one. Who cares!" said Joe McMahan, who was on his way north Thursday night.
Friday is opening day of gun season in Michigan.
And if you ask most hunters, the season isn't all about bagging a trophy buck.
"You just let loose and have a good time. Go up and drink beers, eat bad food and have a good time," said McMahan.
Nov. 15 is circled on the calendar for a lot of people in this state.
Jim Talaga, 78, has been married for 56 years. His anniversary is Nov. 16. He's only been home for one of those days.
"Well, she likes getting away from me for a week," laughed Talaga.
Talaga trades in his wife and polishes off his rifle this time of year. He's hunted on state land near Gladwin for 60 years and it has become his family's deer camp spot. He says the prospect of bagging a buck hasn't always panned out.
"When's the last time you got a deer?" we asked.
"Oh, four, five years ago," Talaga said.
"And you still haven't given up yet?" we asked.
"Oh no, no, if it's got horns, it's down," Talaga laughed.
Talaga's cousin, Bob Gielda, did get a buck last year, but he said that was just a bonus.
"Do you know how expensive a deer is? You got to shoot it, gut it, drag it out, I can go buy hamburger for $3 a pound, it's just you can't shake these memories," said Gielda.
"They think I'm a big hunter at work because I go 'up north.' But honestly, it's about to hang out with my dad, and brother, and just have fun," said Chirs Gielda, Bob Gielda's son.
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