Local hunter looks forward to bear hunting season in Baldwin area
REED CITY — Rich Garvon can hardly wait for September.
The Hersey resident, who is a car salesman for Crossroads Chevrolet in Reed City, is also an active local hunter and fisherman.
He’s been a lifelong area resident but he’s looking forward to a venture he’ll undertake in September in Lake County.
Garvon for the first time has received a bear hunting permit in the Baldwin unit.
“It’s pretty much Lake County and a little bit north,” he said. “It starts (in mid-September). It took 11 years to get (a permit). Last year in Lake County by the Chase area, they took one right near 400 pounds. There’s very big bears in that area. There’s a lot of bears in that area, but they’re not taking very many. I think the DNR wants their numbers to increase a little bit.”
Garvon bear hunted twice in the U.P., and bagged one bear with a rifle and another with a muzzleloader. “This time, I hope to take one with a bow,” he said. “You can use anything you want but I’ll be hunting with a bow.”
This year’s bear hunt will obviously be much closer to home.
“This is probably going to be the last time I bear hunt because it’s so difficult to get bear permits in this area,” Garvon said. “I’m going to be choosy. I’m going to look for a trophy bear. I’ve taken two bears and I have no use to shoot a 200-pounder. A 300-pound or bigger is what I’ll go after or I’ll just let them go.
“There’s a lot of opportunities in that area. I have a son that lives in that area. I know a l lot of people in that area.”
Garvon enjoys deer hunting, bow and rifle.
“I live out in farm country over by Hersey,” he said. “There is a lot of deer around although there’s not a lot of big quality bucks around. The farmers keep them pretty well thinned out in my area.”
The biggest buck he shot was an 8-pointer with 17-inch spread in 1975, which took third place in the Pioneer’s Big Buck contest that season. Last season, he bagged a 6-pointer.
“I really like bow hunting,” Garvon said. “It’s probably my greatest passion. It’s because of the time of year and there’s not as much competition in the woods as with other hunters.
“I love turkey hunting. I love to call in turkeys and take a good gobbler when I can. The biggest one I shot is the first one I shot with 10 ½-inch beard close to 20 years ago.”
Garvon is an avid trout fisherman.
“I slacked off a little bit the last couple of years,” he said. “My buddy Clutch (Ramsey of Chippewa Lake) and I did a lot of brown trout fishing out of the Pere Marquette River. I love to fish after a good hard rain. Him and I would hit the river and it was common for us to get our limit over there on brown trout.”
His biggest one is a 22 1/ inch brown trout out of the Hersey River.
“We used to ice fish years ago but I got away from it,” he said. “At Haymarsh, I ice fished with Clutch out there.”
Garvon said his dad got him started on trout fishing when he was 8.
“We started my son trout fishing when he was 8 too,” Garvon said.
In the past, he has gone mule deer hunting out West in Wyoming.
There are two factors that attract Garvon to the outdoors.
“One is relaxing and being out there by my myself,” he said. “It gives me a lot of quality time to think. The other aspect is you never know what you’re going to run into. You never know when that deer is going to come through. You never know when that trout is going to hit that line. The anticipation of that is very exciting.
“It’s outstanding fishing in this area if you know the rivers and the streams. That’s the big part of it is knowing where to fish and being willing to get off the road and hike back into the tough areas for trout. Deer hunting, there’s a lot of deer, there’s just not a lot of good quality."