By: Conservation Agent Nate Carr
The cold has driven many of us to stay inside lately. We have to put on extra clothes, scrape ice off our cars, and take it slow on the roads. But, the cold has also brought with it a layer of snow for tracking coyotes, laid down several inches of ice for fishing, made it easier to spot small game, and forced the deer to move early. Though we often curse the cold and are ready for it leave, it does provide us with opportunities that we otherwise wouldn’t get. For instance, my 84 year old grandfather was able to harvest one of his best bucks with his crossbow after 40 years of hunting, because he sat on a good food source through brutal temperatures. I’ve also seen outdoorsman finish the day with a dozen rabbits with the help of high visibility, and a limit of bluegill on a frozen lake. There are plenty of activities this time of year for all ages, so be sure to take advantage of it.
Now that I’ve written this article I see warmer weather in the forecast. So if you are planning to go ice fishing, be sure to take some safety precautions. Fish with a partner and let someone know where you’re going. Avoid areas with moving water such as; culverts, bridges, and streams. Keep in mind that ice can also be weaker near the shore. Walk, instead of drive onto the ice in order to minimize weight. Always check the thickness for plenty of good ice. And of course, don’t forget to purchase a fishing license. I hope you’re able to enjoy the cold and everything that comes with it, and stay safe this winter.