For those of us that do not want to spend our days hunched over a hole in the ice, there are still options for open water fishing. Even as the temps go well below freezing winter trout are still a possibility at the end of your line.
Habits of Highly Effective Ice Fisherman:
1) They practice Safety
This may sound like a broken record to many of those currently reading this but it’s true. Ice fishing has risks that other types of fishing simply don’t have. Know the ice thickness. Know where there may be flowing water. Speak with local guides about conditions. Also bring all essential safety gear: ice picks, life vest, and throw rope. No fish is worth dying for, although a trophy walleye is close.
For those that are from the Midwest I’m sure you have heard the term many times. Every November bosses begin to receive requests for days off work, at the same time hunters are pulling the blaze orange out of the closet and wiping the dust off their rifles. Calls are being made to family and old friends about who’s bringing what and what time they will be arriving. The destination is obvious….. Deer Camp.
It is a trend that we see at nearly every state and national park as well as near any body of water on public land. You cannot scroll through Instagram without seeing one of these “artistic structures”. The trend I am talking about is of course rock stacking. It is one that seems to have come from nowhere in a whirlwind that has been adopted by all age groups. I’m sure any hiker or outdoor enthusiast can recall a time seeing someone, face grimaced, hands shaking, attempting to place one rock on top of another. Soon will you will see the same “artist” crouched, phone in hand taking a picture of their newly formed creation.
There has been some hysteria in response to a recent cougar sighting at East Branch forest preserve in Glendale Heights, IL. The sighting occurred January 19th at a forest preserve that is in a very populated and suburban area outside of Chicago. This was a shock to many and almost unheard of for the area. Some questions that need to be answered are: Was there actually a cougar in the suburbs of Chicago? Is there any threat to me or my pets? Lastly, what should I do if I think I see a cougar?
With winter at full swing many outdoor activities require us to voyage out onto frozen lakes, rivers, and ponds. It is important to educate yourself about safe ice practices. The most important thing to remember is that NO ICE IS SAFE ICE.
Most people don’t realize the interconnectedness of hunting and conservation. With politics and media today, it seems that you have a division between hunters and conservationists. Because of this schism there is a need to explain how connected the two actually are
It’s sweltering hot, you’ve already hiked a couple miles checking the boundaries of your park for encroachments. A call comes over the radio that a kayaker has overturned at the lake and you must respond to assist. Your truck is a 30-minute hike away, so you jog back, get in your truck, and get to the location. Other rangers have already gotten the victim out of the water, police are taking a statement and a local fire department has responded as well. You help with crowd control and make sure there is trail access for emergency vehicles. This is a regular day in life of a Park ranger. For a park ranger a day can involve any thing from guiding an interpretive hike to rescuing an injured hiker. It takes a certain type of individual to take on the title of ranger, this is why positions are so highly competitive. So the question is, what does it take to be a park ranger?
Campfires and camping go hand in hand. As the song goes, ‘you can’t have one without the other’. Well you can of course, and any good campsite is improved by the warmth and atmosphere of a good campfire. How do you get a fire going, and what are the safety implications of having a fire burning out in the scrub? A fire may be lit for cooking or warmth in many state forests and national parks, but some additional, regional rules often apply. Blanket seasonal restrictions are mandated in some areas, and geographical boundaries may come into effect so campers need make themselves aware of any area specific rules before lighting any fires.
Day packing is a means to get out and enjoy nature when time may be limited or other means prevent you from spending the night in woods. A day pack hike can range anywhere from an 1-12 hours. Depending on experience and physical ability a day pack can cover up to 20 miles.