2013-02-21 / Outdoors

Fish Report

Well, needless to say February is sure making up for the warmer winter weather we had in January. Just today Yooper’s (Tuesday) got to use their snowblower only to find out that with the wind and more snow, they will get the pleasure of using it again. It makes one my age think for some reason the driveway got longer and just maybe a little wider as the years went by. And it is truly amazing how fast the years go by.

For some reason people have quit talking about how mild winters are compared to what they were years ago. In fact, they are now saying, “This winter is getting to be like the winters we used to get.” Whenever you get a winter like we are having you know you are getting snow, snow and more snow when you start hearing people say, “With all the snow we are having I’m starting to have problems finding places to put it.”

Welcome to the U.P., where the month of February is always the month where if we are going to have winter weather we will have it.

With the snow we are getting and the couple of blast of cold-cold weather we received, we will have to see how it affects the deer and other wildlife. Sometimes the long cold weather is harder on deer than anything else, but when you get them both it can be bad.

The people that are jumping up and down and cheering about all the snow is the snowmobilers. Even around our town we have observed a lot more activity than for the past number of years. But of course the fact we have snow just may have something to do with it.

I am sure you have heard by now that there is a push to change the cost of the Michigan hunting and fishing license. If you want to see what they have in mind you can go to the Michigan DNR on the web and look under “Learn about the restructuring of hunting/fishing licenses.”

In my years of working as a conservation officer I have always said that if you took the time to crosscheck the activity between poaching, drug use, and those stealing or breaking into camps you would find a lot of times that the same parties are involved. Downstate this once again proved true.

A Shiawassee County man this past fall was found to be in violation of everything from drugs, stealing deer blinds, to killing a large number of deer and turkey. Officials ultimately confiscated more than 170 antlers, as well as shoulder mounts, crossbows, and turkey beards,

He was later charged with 125 poaching-related offenses, including 115 counts of taking or possessing deer over the legal limit, one count of taking a deer without a license, seven counts of taking a turkey without a license, and two counts of illegal baiting. The drug and larceny charges were filed separately.

He could face more than $120,000 in restitution, the loss of his hunting privileges for three years, and up to 90 days in jail for the alleged poaching charges.

It seems you read more and more about poachers that are just kill crazy and have no regard for either, the laws, other sportsmen, or wildlife itself. It seems they just get their jollies seeing how many they can kill and pile up. It sure is great when you hear about them finally getting caught.

One interesting thing about all the panic taking place and all the gun news out there, along with states trying to solve all their problems with new gun regulations, is the fact with all the guns sales taking place the hunters will benefit in the long run with the increase of Federal money coming to Michigan.

The federal funds come from excise taxes collected on firearms and archery equipment under the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937, better known as the Pittman- Robertson Act. With the increase in the sales of guns-ammunition and archery equipment there has been a real increase to wildlife programs to the states. It is another way gun owners help with the great outdoors for those that enjoy it.

With all the nasty weather we are having the first of the week just maybe we will have good weather on Saturday for the kid’s ice fishing contest on the quarry. I do know there are a lot of youngsters looking forward to it. There are other activities taking place on Saturday too, so get out and enjoy the day.

Even with all the snow and the fact that you have to except winters with cold weather up here in the U.P., life cannot get any better. You know a Yooper is enjoying life when they can call and laugh during a snowstorm about all the snow that is piling up in front of their garage. Or they tell you they will have to shovel snow to get it down where their snowblower can get at it.

I always said you may as well laugh about it because we are too old to cry and besides your tears would just freeze on your face anyway.

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