2012-03-15 / Outdoors

Fish Report

Ret. Sgt. John Walker

if you have not been outside to enjoy this week’s weather I have to wonder about you. Out in the sun it almost could convince a person we are really two months down the road. As I said before, the only thing that worries me is the fruit trees are starting to bud out so if we should get some hard frost or a cold blast it would be bad news.

I don’t know what to expect this spring for fish runs with the little bit of snow we had. There is not going to be much of a run-off this spring unless we get a lot of rain. I see where there are already some people looking around along the streams.

It used to be when the spring breakup came a game warden was going off in a dozen directions at once. It used to be the main trapping season for beaver was in the spring. Back then the game warden sold trapping licenses at his home. He also had to place a seal on each otter and beaver caught before they could be sold.

I tell this story all the time in my travels. One spring we were check- ing along the river where trappers could drop in their boat to go trapping on the Manistique River. We came to an area where there was a pickup backed up to the river where the trappers had unloaded their boat and gear. As we came up to the pickup we noticed there was a camera on the roof of the truck.

The trappers were gone up the river and there was nobody around but us. I took my patrol vehicle and parked it so it looked like we had pulled the pickup over and blocked it with our patrol vehicle. We then got out and took the camera off the roof of the trapper’s pickup and took a num- ber of pictures showing our patrol car and their truck.

I have often wondered what the trappers had to say when the wife re- turned from the store after having the pictures developed on their camera of their trapping trip to the U.P.

You also had all the fish runs in the spring. You had trailer parks set up at each smelt stream where people would come up and camp for a week smelting. You also had those that came up once the suckers started to run to catch and can them right on the stream bank. This was something a lot of families looked forward to.

I have always said the best times of the year up here in the U.P. are the warm days of spring after the winter weather and naturally the fall season.

This past weekend I once again went down to the outdoor banquet at Calvary Baptist Church in Midland which has to be one of the most inter- esting ones to attend. Needless to say I was not disappointed.

On the menu they had buffalo, elk, wild turkey, antelope, kangaroo, rabbit, wild boar, and venison. Along with these they had two other rather interesting items.

They had alligator that was fixed by a chef (Bill Lagalo who fixed the whole meal) from a restaurant in Bay City. The alligator meat was breaded and then fried and I have to say I was surprised at how good and tender it was. I had to try it after watching “Swamp People” on TV who are always bragging about how good it is.

The other dish they usually have they did not get this year. It seems rat- tle snake meat has jumped up to almost $40 a pound. When they had more than 500 people at this banquet it was more than they wanted to spend.

But it seems they found a good deal to replace the rattle snake dish. The store owner told them he could give them a real good deal on some python meat. So they got this and the chef made some python chowder. I have to tell you there is no way I was going to bring myself to eat any- thing that has snake in it. So I passed on the python chowder.

Now I was willing to try something made from an overgrown lizard (alligator) but I draw the line on snake.

The speaker was Chad Schearer from the shoot straight TV show on the outdoor channel. He was there with his family who all hunt along with him. He has two young boys who have hunted all over the world. His wife also hunts with him and made it a point to tell that she has accomplished some things in hunting he has not been able to do, like scoring two trophy animals in one day’s hunt.

He also used a game call to make all kinds of sounds and calls. I think everyone enjoyed his testimony about his life and the fact that hunting is a family activity. If you want to see and read more about the Schearer family, their program and what they do, you will find it at www.shoot- straighttv.com. You will enjoy reading about this family.

So get out and enjoy this weather while you can. God is so good!

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