Evart teacher passionate about bow hunting

REED CITY — It’s the time of year that hunters like Adam Stein of rural Reed City truly relish.

He went to school in Evart and teaches high school biology an earth science and pre-chemistry at Evart. He’s in his 15th year as a teacher but is an avid outdoorsman.

Bow hunting is especially Stein’s passion.

“I shot a 6-point, 14-inch outside spread on my property here,” he said. “It weighed 135 pounds dressed.”

Stein is associated with Hunters Uniting Neighbors Together, a local group that manages land “for a quality buck, a better buck,” he said. “About 5,000 acres of private land is from owners that agreed to try not to shoot those yearlings but let them (grow older). That’s one of the reasons I’ve noticed better weights with the deer around here. We’re getting an older age class of bucks.”

Stein has seen his fair share of deer.

“It hasn’t been too bad this year,” he said. “I call myself a deer hunter, I muzzleload, rifle and bow hunt. I also really enjoy turkey hunting. It’s fun because it’s so interactive. You call them … I’ve got three entered in the Commemorative Bucks of Michigan. There’s certain qualifications.”

The CBM includes turkeys, bears and other species besides bucks, Stein noted.

For turkeys, “It’s a combination of the length of their beard and their spurs,” Stein said. “I’ve noticed a decline (in numbers). Still not bad but not as plentiful as they were.”

The largest buck Stein has bagged is a 10-pointer and he’s shot bucks with spreads as wide as 15 inches.

“I’ve hunted the U.P. before but it hasn’t been as much as I’d like,” Stein said, adding that when retirement nears or arrives, he likes to take out-of-state hunting trips.

On firearm season prospects, “from what I’m seeing now, we’ve had a strong apple crop this year, pretty much everywhere and that makes a big difference, at least for me,” he said. “I think numbers are pretty good. Being a teacher, I’ve talked to students and I think they’re seeing some pretty nice deer.”

When it comes to the three seasons, “I prefer the bow hunting because you have to be so close to that animal and that really becomes a challenge and makes it real exciting,” Stein said.

“There are three things you have to pay attention to. Where is the wind coming from? A lot of people don’t pay attention to that. No. 2, it’s not just about wearing camouflage, it’s about being concealed in the tree or blind you’re in. Third, if you’re using a compound, it’s when you draw. That’s the exciting part for me, in that draw, because there’s so much movement.”

Stein prefers a compound bow.

Stein has also engaged in rabbit hunting.

“I have a beagle and we’ll run it a little bit if we can,” he said.

It all started when Stein’s dad took him bow hunting when he was 12.

“I enjoyed it but not as much as I do now,” he said. “It’s something that grows on you. Having success encourages you to keep going out there. It’s pretty much a family type of thing.”

When he was younger, Stein especially took pride in whatever he was able to take home from a hunt.

“Now that I’m older, it’s more of being out and enjoying the peace and relaxation of being out,” he said.

In the future, Stein would enjoy going out west and hunting for elk.

“There’s a lot of hunting in your own backyard,” Stein said. “You can have a lot of fun locally.”