January 22, 2004

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

I had to the take some time off from writing this article because of all of the disappointments in the sporting world last week. It sure looked like there might be at least one team from Missouri representing us in the Super Bowl. But the Rams vaunted offense fell a little short. I still donít understand why Coach Martz settled for a field goal at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime. The Rams simply wasted valuable clock on that last drive when they could have scored a touchdown and went on to the NFC championship game.

For me the Rams were a bigger shock than the Chiefs. I expected Kansas City to have a little trouble stopping the hot Colts offense. Then again the Chiefs would have trouble stopping the nursing homeís offense at times. I suspect they could at least make the care center squad punt once or twice.

I wouldnít have been half as upset about my NFL woes if it hadnít been 50 degrees outdoors. While most folks were praising the unexpected spring-like conditions, I was cursing Mother Nature. We finally had cold enough temperatures to freeze up the area ponds. But after only two days of fishing on top of the frozen waterways the ice fishing season appears to have been cut short.

I tried my luck Sunday afternoon (after I got fed up with the Chiefs) but eight or ten steps was all I could make my legs take. My knees became a little wobbly when I saw the ice cracking underneath my feet. I was told that some ponds were still safe on Sunday but this little episode was more than enough for me. When the ice is rotten enough that it boughs under your weight, not only does it mean no fishing that day, but it puts a damper on the rest of the year unless its stays warm enough to melt all the ice away for a fresh start. Iím going to be pretty mad in February when itís 10-below but I canít ice fish because of this one little heat wave. On that note, does anyone have any good recipes for wax worms? I got about 250 sitting in the refrigerator that likely wonít make it until next year. (If I knew it was this easy I would whine more often Ė just a few days after writing this the temperatures dropped below zero for some powerful ice making that has me ready to load up the ice tent and try it again Ė tune in next week for the results.)

Top all this off with the fact that bird season closed on Thursday and it/s no wonder Iím a sourpuss. I think the Conservation Department should adjust the closing date so that it at least falls on a weekend every year. Not that I have ever shied too far away from taking a day off from work to ďdo researchĒ for this column but I just got too busy to get away. I even had an invite to a prime time pheasant spot and I was unable to leave work. I must be getting old.

So with no Chiefs, no ice, no Rams and no pheasants, whatís a guy to do? (This is a rhetorical question - one of those questions that isnít really meant to be answered - so no Honey-Do lists will be accepted.)

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