2012-11-29 / Outdoors

Fish Report

Well, it looks like winter may be here to stay if this past weekend and the first of the week is any sign of what’s to come. If you sat the first of the week it sure was totally different than the week before. It sure made for an interesting deer season and a good one for a lot of reasons.

The snowstorm over the weekend made it nice for the grandkids up for the weekend to play in. When they came up they did not bring their winter boots so we had to revert back to what my mom did years ago. We got them ready and then put on each of them a pair of wool socks my mom had knitted for me back in the 50’s. The socks not only kept their feet warm but also their legs too and they never slowed them down a bit. They had a ball.

Since last weekend’s snow and the cold weather the deer have really started moving up north in the hardwoods. Some of the runways look like the “good-old-days” of years gone by. There are a lot of small deer on the move so things should be looking up down the road if we have another mild winter.

This also means that you had better be awake with all the deer on the roads moving around.

Of course deer hunting can kind of be like walleye fishing. You go out on the lake and catch a zillion of just undersize walleye. So you figure next year should be one for the record books when all these just undersize guys become legal. But guess what happens next year, you guessed it, more just undersize fish.

So with a good number of young deer around does one really know what to expect?

Some things never seem to change during deer season. I would say I have had at least a dozen pats either walk right up to where I was or stood and just looked at me as I walked by. It never seems to fail that you see a good number of pats before season. Then they go I know not where during season only to show up and laugh at you during deer season. It seems to happen just about every year.

If you are poking around on some of the side roads now be sure you put on your winter driving mindset. Some of the roads are as slick as can be where the sun cannot hit the ice to melt it. It takes some doing to get used to each year when winter first comes but from all the evidence of people hitting the ditch some just seem to learn slower than others.

All in all I would have to say it has been a deer season on the positive side for most hunters. With the warm, shirt sleeve weather we had the success ratio that it may have been was held back. But as I have always said deer season is more than just bagging a buck. In checking some of the camps where you usually see a number of bucks hanging it seems they were down this year. But one has to also realize that with the warm up we had, a lot of deer were not left hanging long.

Of course I have said in the last few years it seems more and more hunters have become bow hunters. I saw where a lot of camps have as much activity during bow season as during gun season. In fact at some camps I saw more deer hanging during bow season than during gun season.

It will be interesting to see what the totals are for deer season when they come out.

If we get enough snow it will not be long before the snowmobilers will be out in force. I did see a few tracks with the little snow we had but that kind of running can really be hard on the snowmachine.

Here is another press release on an officer losing his life in the line of duty.

Opening day of the 2012 firearm deer season will mark the 104th anniversary of the death of Deputy Game, Fish & Forestry Warden Julius Salmonson, the Department of Natural Resources recently announced.

On Nov. 15, 1908, Salmonson, his brother and a deputy sheriff died as the three men attempted to apprehend those responsible for placing illegal fishing nets in Muskegon County’s White Lake.

The previous afternoon, Salmonson and his brother, Martin, found nets set near the mouth of a channel leading to Lake Michigan. Expecting trouble, they secured the assistance of Deputy Sheriff J.C. Hazeltine. Around midnight, the trio left their horses and lantern along the edge of the lake and proceeded out in a small flat-bottom boat to apprehend the violators.

After hearing no word from them the following day, a search party located their bodies in 7 feet of water about 600 feet off shore. The deaths were declared an accidental drowning after an investigation found no evidence of any violence toward the trio.

“The death of Deputy Warden Julius Salmonson, until 2012, had not been recognized as line-of-duty death,” said DNR Law Enforcement Division Chief Gary Hagler. “Deputy Warden Salmonson died heroically protecting the natural resources he was entrusted with.”

This year marks the 125th anniversary of conservation law enforcement in Michigan. Salmonson is one of 12 fallen conservation officers commemorated by the DNR earlier this year on May 15, when the department dedicated the site for a memorial to conservation officers who have died while protecting this state’s natural resources and the citizens who enjoy them.

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