Monday, March 3, 2014
Saturday, March 1, 2014
This has been a winter to remember. When today's youngsters are old-timers this will be recalling this one. The temperature and snow will become even colder and deeper.
There has been plenty of snow for the kids to enjoy, although most of them probably confined themselves to their electronic gadgets. We were lucky. We didn't have any, but we did have snow ice cream.
Back in the day, ice cream was something special We had no refrigerator. We felt lucky to have an ice box, but the old ice box wouldn’t keep ice cream very long. So, the only time we had ice cream was when we went to town. On Saturday night, we would walk downtown for the band concert at the courthouse square.
In winter there were no band concerts and fewer leisurely trips to town, and less chance for an ice cream treat. But there was snow ice cream.
When that first measurable snow came, Mom usually would make a bowl of snow cream. It tasted great, and as I grew older I was able to make the tasty treat. However, my duties usually related to gathering the white stuff. Someone often chuckled and added, “Don’t get any of the yellow snow.” I may not have been very old, but knew they were telling me to get clean snow and avoid any area the dogs had used as an outdoor restroom.
Later, when we were fortunate enough to have a refrigerator with a freezer, it still was fun to make snow ice cream.
Most of the recipes for snow ice cream are quite simple, but there are a few variations.
The simplest, and the way I recall making it, requires only four ingredients. That is one cup milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup sugar and four or five cups of clean snow.
Mix together the milk, vanilla, and the sugar. Stir this mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Slowly add the snow to your mixture, stirring constantly, until it is as thick as the ice cream.
Some recipes add one beaten egg. That makes it a bit richer. Some call for separating the white and yellow of the egg, beating, and then adding together. Others even call for cooking the egg mixture a bit. And then some add a dash of salt.
Keeping it simple seemed fine to me.
One of the good things about freezers these days is you can even save some of your snow ice cream and eat it a bit later.
The EPA or some organization today probably warns that the snow is full of all sorts of toxins, but go for it. Enjoy it. You won’t be eating that much anyway.
Snow and those old memories also brought back the thought on snow angels. I suspect some kids still make them.
If you’ve never made one, you’ve probably seen them in movies or on television. You lay down in the snow on your back and move your arms up and down over your head to form the wings. Then you move your legs side to side to make the bottom part of the angel’s robe.
When you get up from the snow, your snow angel will be imprinted into the snow.
If you have youngsters around, encourage them to make some snow angels and gather snow for ice cream the next time we have a fresh snow. Hopefully, there won't be too many more 2014 snows before spring.
Guess, I’m still a kid at heart. I like snow, and would love a bowl of snow ice cream.
Monday, February 10, 2014
It’s been too cold and weather too rotten for most sensible folks to fish recently, so it is a good time to sit by the fire and reread Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac, or yes, clean and organize a tackle box.
Since my Almanac copy has been misplaced, it’s time for the tackle box,, or yes, tackle boxes.
Over the years, I’ve attempted to reduce tackle and boxes. I used to maintain a Canada box, boat box, small boxes for vehicles, bass box and a general storage and backup box. Now. I’m down to a Florida, an Indiana, a car box, and a general storage box.
So it was with great interest I read my friend T. J. Stalling’s blog about tackle box reduction. T. J. is a 45-year tackle industry veteran. He is a marketing guru and and “Crazy Ideas” guy at TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group (Home of Road Runner Lures and six hook brands including Tru-Turn, Daiichi, XPoint, Team Catfish, Mr. Crappie and StandOUT Hooks).
Most of us carry tackle we never use, so why carry or haul stuff around we don’t use.
It reminded me of years ago when I golfed in a league with an elderly friend George Kerr. George only carried three golf clubs: a putter, driver and a five iron. He hit the ball straight down the middle He could beat the socks off most younger guys.
Back to T’J’’s blog...
“Imagine the clutter of nearly 50-years of fishing in both salt and fresh waters. You would think there are eight tackle boxes in the boat. That is not the case.
“There are two bags, one for freshwater and one for salt. Total weight may be 25-pounds. A few “collections” reside incased in glass shadow boxes. These will never see water again.
“A list follows.
“Shad Assassins by Bass Assassin top the list. These are one of the most versatile baits ever made. I will change it up to Skippy Fish or Bang’s Vapor Shad too. We rig them with Daiichi CopperHead or Buttdragger Hooks. It is often the first bait we cast at sunrise.
“Creature style baits are next. Lizards crawfish, and frogs really work. Naturally, these being “fat” baits, the Daiichi CopperHead hooks are the winner. Bass of all varieties crush them. Culprit, Bass Assassins and more come to mind. Try these in cover or off deep points on a Carolina rig.
“There are times that nothing but a spinnerbait will do. Strike King’s Bleeding Bait series is an obvious favorite. Choose variations of white and or grey first.
“Road Runner heads a plenty. Selections include; original, barbed, pro-series, glow heads and Randy’s Rollin Runners. They all have a situation that fits.
The small plastics are a surprise. Colors include; white, black, pink, monkey milkshake, orange, and five variations of chartreuse. That adds up to about 10-colors. “The variations of each really add up to about 20. While the color spectrum is totally covered, choosing transparent or opaque is often the first decision. Brands include Southern Pro, Mid-South Tubes, Lake Fork Shads, Bobby Garland, and Bang-shads. Many of these plastics pull double-duty as drop-shot baits.
“Several hard-baits reside in the box. Strike King’s Diamond Shad and a few topwater lures.
“The “hook box” is jammed with everything you need for nearly every technique. You cannot catch fish without them, so the selection is broad.
“That is about it for fresh waters. This is proof enough you do not have to fill the boat with tackle. Just choose wisely.”
Friday, February 7, 2014
Kentucky in a few years has gone from a state where seeing a bear was rare, to its first hunting season, to an expanded season with hunters taking 20 bruins.
The growth of the bear population and the research and management of the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources has made the hunting season possible.
The 2013 bear season that concluded this past December introduced an expanded bear hunting zone as well as an archery and crossbow season.
Both the firearm and archery/crossbow bear seasons received a 10-bear quota for the 2013 seasons for a total of 20 bears. Both quotas were filled.
Hunters can now hunt bears in 16 Kentucky counties, up from four counties in 2012.
“We are very excited that hunters met the 10 bear quota both during the new archery and crossbow season as well as the firearm season,” said Steven Dobey, bear biologist for the KDFWR. “It was gratifying to see our hunters get out there and be productive.”
Hunters harvested eight male and two female bears during the firearms bear season. They took six males and four females during the archery and crossbow bear season. No hunters harvested a bear during the bear quota hunt with dogs that ran for five days in late December after the conclusion of the firearm and archery and crossbow bear seasons.
“We had bears harvested in six counties; three of those were outside the original bear zone,” Dobey explained.
Letcher County accounted for seven bears harvested, the most of any county in the 16-county bear zone. Hunters took three bears each in Harlan, Leslie and Perry counties and two bears in both Pike and Wayne counties. All bears were taken on private land.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Hoosiers have until the end of February to provide input on proposed regulations, and they also can suggest future regulations.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish & Wildlife wants to hear ideas on fishing, hunting, trapping and other fish and wildlife related regulations in Indiana, including special permits/
Until Feb. 28, the public can use a convenient online form to contribute ideas and provide input on issues the DNR has identified for consideration, according to information provided by the DNR.
The form is at wildlife.IN.gov, at the “Got INput?” box near the middle of the page.
“Got INput?” allows the public to comment on ideas put forward by the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife as well as requests for rule changes from citizen petitions.
The program also allows members of the public to propose their own ideas on any fishing, hunting or trapping topic.
“This is an opportunity for people to let us know what changes they would like us to consider,” said Gregg McCollam, assistant director of the Division of Fish & Wildlife. “This process also allows us to get much-needed feedback on issues that the division is in interested in moving forward.”
Monday, February 3, 2014
Pat McDaniel down at Orlando, Fl, recently documented the catching of his 200,000th fish. It was a black crappie taken while fishing out of Lake Fairview Marina.
According to a story in the Orlando Sentinel, McDaniel meticulously keeps records of all his fish, plus the amount of time he fishes. He spent 558,640 minutes pursuing those 200,000 fish.
McDaniel credits his wife, Carole with his latest angling milestone. He made no mention of what Carole thinks about the time he spends fishing, but it must be OK with her. They remain married.
The McDaniel story brings to mind Jim Mansfield, who was probably the best pan fisherman I have ever known. He also was a detailed record keep; maybe even more than the Florida angler.
Jim grew up in Southern Indiana where he played basketball as a teen at Otwell High School. At about six-foot-four, he was one of the tallest centers back in those days He also spent much of his free time fishing.
Jim, who later operated an interesting combination store in Tell City, IN, just a few blocks from the Ohio River. The store was half bait and tackle shop, and half music store. His wife, Catherine also was a key part of his fishing. She and his son often staffed the store while Jim headed out fishing, usually to Patoka Lake.
Over the years before he passed away in 2004, Jim documented well over 100,000 pan fish, primarily crappie and bluegill. I can’t recall the numbers, but he might have been closer to 200,000 than 100,000.
Not only did he keep track of each fish, he recorded the water temperature on the trip, the weather, date, time and bait used. Think he also recorded the trip in relationship with the moon. He was a believer in increased fish activity just before and after a full moon, and just before a strong front moves through.
At one point, Jim wanted me to help him with a book utilizing his pan fish data. However, I knew I was too lazy to complete such a detailed project.
I’m confident most people can fish better than me. Besides just not being very good, I spend far too much time jotting down notes and wrestling my camera when I’m supposed to be fishing. But, fishing with Jim was fun, informative and frustrating.
Jim would land 10 fish to my one. He could detect the slightest movement of a bobber as being caused by a fish. I’d never even see or feel such a bite.
Over the years, Jim developed several combination long rods and reels for catching pan fish, and especially for crappie. I’m fortunate to still have one today. Although it has a broken tip, It still catches crappie for the old outdoor writer. It serves to recall memories of a great fisherman and good friend.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Deer hunters set a new Kentucky harvest record of 101,076 deer during the 16-day modern gun deer season that concluded Nov. 24.
According to the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, the Bluegrass state is on pace to set another overall deer harvest record.
Nelson County hunters are also on pace for an excellent season, which will top the 2,000 mark.
And this outstanding season comes only a few years after many thought a devastating attack of EHD would significantly damage the herd for years. It’s an amazing comeback.
“As of Nov. 25, we are at 127,551 for our total season harvest according to telecheck, less than 4,000 from the record,” said Tina Brunjes, deer and elk coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “We had the second highest opening day harvest for modern gun deer season and the highest closing weekend on record.”
As of Dec. 1, hunters in Nelson County had harvested 1,064 bucks and 917 does. Modern firearms hunters had taken 1,650 deer, archery, 218; muzzleloader, 88, and crossbow, 25.
The state overall deer harvest record occurred last season, when Kentucky hunters harvested 131,395 deer. Brunjes explained that a below average harvest for the upcoming late muzzleloader season that runs from Dec. 14 through Dec. 22 would likely still put this season as the best ever for harvest.
“Given that an average late muzzleloader season is 7,000 to 8,000 deer harvested, barring an ice storm or major snow that keeps people from getting out and hunting, we should surpass the overall harvest record,” she said.
A spotty mast crop that makes deer move around, favorable weather and dedicated hunters all combined to account for the excellent harvest so far this deer season.
“The data shows that more Kentucky hunters who go afield are successfully taking deer,” Brunjes said. “In addition, lots of people from what I’ve seen are taking some nice bucks this year.”
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MOUNTAIN LION -- A mountain lion was killed by conservation officers one state away.
According to the Belleville News Democrat, the incident happened after a report from a concerned farmer in rural Whiteside County in the northwest corner of Illinois near the Mississippi River.
Authorities with the Illinois Department of Conservation killed a male mountain lion weighing about 100 pounds.
There were three confirmed sightings in the state between 2002 and 2008, and trail cameras in four counties have captured images of big cats in recent years. Belleville News-Democrat.
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SOCIAL MEDIA DUMMY -- It’s amazing how dumb some folks are related to social media. They post really stupid stuff on the internet.
According to the Brownsville Herald, a Texas man's Facebook posting of his nine oversized red drum first led to some angry responses from other fishermen, then an investigation by Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens that resulted in charges against Luis Casto, 30.
Anglers in the Lone Star state are limited to three red drum per day between 20 and 28 inches. Brownsville Herald.