REED CITY – Lyle Lodholtz has the perfect set up for a sportsman as far as he’s concerned.

Lodholtz, who grew up in Lake County, has his own hunting lodge in Reed City a quarter mile off of U.S. 10. He established it in 1996.

“It’s been a work in progress,” he smiled. “It was an old barn I restored the inside to. I’ve got 200 acres here. I used it, plus a bunch of my friends and my kids. We stay here and hunt the property, primarily deer hunting, and duck hunting, turkey hunting, goose hunting, bird hunting...whatever we can hunt that’s legal.”

Just in this past year, Lodholtz has gotten into duck and goose hunting, thanks to his brother, Howie Lodholtz.

“It’s excellent, we’re having a ball,” he said. “I like the fact we can be out there together. Bow hunting is unique compared to rifle hunting.”

Lodholtz predicts a good firearm season for hunters.

“We’re seeing lots of deer and lots of good bucks,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a very good season again.”

In his hunting lodge, Lodholtz has a mount of a 12-point buck that he shot on property in Paris that he’s owned since 1986.

“I shot it on the 15th last year. It’s the best buck I’ve ever shot,” he said. “We had trail camera pictures of it, that and other multiple good bucks. It happened very quickly. I had a doe come across a ridge. A deer was following it. I had five seconds to determine if I would shoot it or not. It looked good so I shot.

“The unique thing was also there were three bucks behind him trailing her also. There were four bucks totally at that same time.”

Lodholtz bagged an impressive turkey this spring, a five-pound bird, 11 1/2-inch beard and 1 3/8 spurs.

“That’s a very large turkey,” he said. “I shot it here on this property. There’s lots of turkeys around,” he said. “Me and my brother had a great turkey hunt.”

Lodholtz also enjoys rabbit, squirrel and partridge hunting.

He’s a traveling salesman in auto parts and bases his office out of his lodge. He covers nine midwestern states.

“I’ve hunted in quite a few states like Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas, Alabama, Florida...I recently came back from a bow hunting trip in Missouri two weeks ago where I was fortunate enough to bow kill a Missouri eight-point whitetail,” Lodholtz said. “The hunting here, in my opinion, you can go to other states such as Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, the farm belt regions and you have more concentration of big bucks available to you.

“I do quality deer management here, l plant food plots and try to selectively harvest the deer that I take. I think it’s improving in Michigan. The more people that allow the little guys to grow up, you start seeing more big bucks. I’m part of a group of Hunters Uniting Neighbors together (HUNT). It’s a bunch of us private landowners that starts at my piece of property here going to the northeast. We have about 8,000 acres of private landowners cooperating together in quality deer management. We’ve been doing this for quite a few years and it’s starting to pay off.”

Lodholtz enjoys fishing but says he doesn’t do it as much of that as hunting due to his schedule.

Eventually, he’d like to go on bear and caribou hunts.

Hunting has been a life-long Lodholtz family tradition.

“Our dad took us hunting and taught us how to shoot,” Lodholtz said.

“We’ve shot trap and skeet and still continue to do that. It’s been a part of our life ever since we were born.”