It’s outdoor sports show time again. An opportunity to get out of the cold, look at the latest goodies available for outdoor people, and plan some outings and
The 55th annual Progressive Insurance Louisville Boat, RV & Sport show is scheduled for the Kentucky Exposition Center, Jan. 25-29, and will have available hundreds of new boats and recreational vehicles, and outdoor gadgets and gear.
The Louisville show provides visitors with a one-stop shop for boats, RVs and gear for all outdoor adventures,” says Kim Muncy, show manager. “The 2012 show showcases the region’s top dealers under one roof offering some of the best deals of the year, plus we have an extensive line up of seminars and fun activities for the whole family.”
Included among the seminars will be presentations by Bill Braswell, retired Kentucky conservation officer, who is now an award winning tournament crappie fisherman, and his partner Dan Dannenmuller. The two were named the Crappie Master team of the year of 2011.
Bill, who is from Hazard, and Dan will be presenting seminars about both vertical and horizontal trolling for crappie and rigging boats for crappie fishing. Dan and Bill both will be on hand doing these seminars to meet and talk with visitors.
Before the Louisville Show. they will appear at the Knoxville Show, and then they will make presentations at Bass Pro Shop in Orlando, FL , Feb 4-5. Then prior to fishing the season opening Crappie Masters tournament on the Harris Chain of lakes, FL, Feb 10 -11..
In addition to shopping the 2012 Louisville show, visitors can find a variety of special features including a new feature this year, Fred’s Shed. Visitors can watch, learn and do. Do-it-yourselfers or boat owners interested in maintaining, repairing or upgrading their boat or engine can head to Fred's Shed for practical, professional advice.
Free, daily seminars and talk-show format clinics covering a variety of topics, including demostrations and question/answer sessions. Together, “The Boating Guy” and certified marine service technician “Fred, The Outboard Doctor,” brings more than 50 years of boating and ‘wrench-slinging’ experience to the Shed.
Others besides Braswell and Dannenmueller making presentations include:
-- Mark Menendez: Bassmaster Elite Series Angler (and Paducah native).
-- Capt. Paul Willett: Ohio River Blue Cats, Bass & Hybrids.
-- Stephen Hedrick: Smallmouth “guru” and owner of Punisher Lures – Jig Fishing and Float & Fly fishing technique for smallmouth.
At the Bass Tub, visitors can get a new perspective on fishing … from the viewpoint of the fish. Enjoy a rare underwater view of fish reacting to—and even striking—different lures and baits during fishing and casting demonstrations by Chuck Devereaux in a 5,000 gallon aquarium stocked with native Kentucky game fish, including bass, perch, crappie and catfish, provided by KDFWR.
There also will be a half dozen experts providing hunting seminars throughout the show, and the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources interactive area will include:
-- FLW Boating Simulator: Experience the excitement of tournament fishing and a chance to feel what it's like piloting a Ranger boat across open waters at high speeds.
-- Laser Shot", Virtual Hunting Game: Visitors can test their skills while being guided through the proper technique by patient and knowledgeable KDFWR staff.
-- 2011 Licenses and Elk Permits: Your one-stop shop for all the licenses you'll need including fishing, hunting, sportsmen's licenses and elk permits.
Kid’s Cove will include activities for children ages 15 and under, including a visit from SpongeBob SquarePants’ best friend, Patrick Star:
Besides trout fishing for the kids, Kentucky Bowhunters Association’s kids archery shooting range will be open and free to children ages seven to 16. They can learn how to shoot a bow and arrow, or improve technique.
As the new year races out of the starting gate headlong into the Mayan calendar’s 2012, we need to make sure we have caught our share fish, bagged our share of squirrels and hiked our share of trails.
While obviously the Mayans were a pretty bright bunch, only a few of them made it to 2012. But their famous calendar which claims this year will be our last gives us cause to enjoy it.
Several brief fishing outings the first week were just that -- fishing for crappie, but not catching. So, it also is time to sift through the desk in-basket, and a couple of interesting times turned up.
Last month, a New Jersey hunter, Bruce Headley, shot an 829-pound black bear in Morris County. It was one of the top dozen black bears in size ever harvested in the United States or Canada.
Back in the late 70’s, I, along with my family lived in Morris County, not far from Headley’s family farm where he shot the bear.
Back in those days, no one ever heard of a bear in New Jersey. However, I do remember doing a story about one that tore up a camper’s tent in Pennsylvania.
But similar to the way bears moved into Kentucky and have been sighted in Indiana, bears moved into New Jersey and thrived. In fact they have done so well, the state started a hunting season a couple years ago after bears became a nuisance in the populous state.
Headley, who was hunting on the farm, which has been owned by his family for nine decades, purchased a bear tag, but really wasn’t hunting for the bruin. He really wanted a deer as his family enjoys venison.
He had seen the bear in September, when it was stuffing itself with yellow delicious apples, in his back yard.
The bear was so large it took near three hours from the woods. Headley and friends had to obtain equipment and cut a path to get it out.
Headley donated the huge bear to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, which hopes to have it mounted and displayed at the Pequest Natural Resource Education Center, so others can see the biggest bear ever taken in New Jersey.
Another surprising item in the “in-box” involves an Oregon wind farm, which would produce environmentally green electric power. The wind farmer is seeking an OK from the federal government to legally kill up to three protected Golden Eagles.
Killing a Golden Eagle could cost someone at least $5,000 and land them in prison for a year.
The federal government is proposing to grant a first-of-its-kind permit that would allow the developer of a central Oregon wind-power project to legally kill golden eagles.
The application for the eagle “take permit” is the first to be received and acted on by U.S. Fish and Wildlife under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
The permit, if ultimately issued, stipulates that there must be no net loss to breeding populations of golden eagles from the wind farm project. That means for every protected bird permitted killed, developers must contribute to conservation efforts for breeding them.
Can you imagine the uproar had an oil or coal company applied for an OK to kill Golden Eagles?
Winter has just started and already some folks are suffering for the cold-weather blahs. Sports shows aren’t yet in full-swing, and there isn’t enough ice for solid-water fishing. So what’s a person to do to deal with the blahs.
Winter is a good time for many outdoor activities including hiking. In fact it is one of the best times for a walk in the woods, for getting outdoors.
While many people park themselves by the fireplace or in front on that new flat screen TV brought by Santa, most winter days are good for hiking in the woods. Hey, football is over (The Colts are thankful).
There are bad winter days not fit for man nor beast, but most can be enjoyable if you are properly dressed and carrying appropriate gear.
So what’s so great about a winter walk? One advantage is you can see more. Often you can see things you can’t when leaves are hanging on trees and other plants. Not only can you see rock formations, cabins, etc., it also is great for watching birds and various animals such as wild turkeys, squirrels, rabbits and deer. It’s a good time to scout for next spring’s turkey.
Many birds migrate, but there are plenty that don’t that are enjoyable to watch during winter months.
And now, through mid-March you also have a shot at seeing an eagle. While more and more eagles now nest in this part of the country, many migratory eagles spend their winters in the area.
Another good reason for winter hiking is the lack of pesky insects. There’s no need to worry about mosquitoes, gnats, and ticks are rare. About the only time you may run into a tick is a warm winter day, when the pests become active.
When there is a small snowfall, the woods truly can become a winter wonderland. Often small waterfalls turn into a thing of beauty when the water freezes making an attractive sculpture.
While enjoying a winter hike, there are a couple of safety rules to keep in mind. Wear plenty of warm clothes, and wear them layered. You can always take off a layer, if you become too warm. But if you are cold and don’t have extra clothes you can be in trouble.
Anytime you are hiking it is a good idea to hike with someone. It’s also a must that you tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. This advice is particularly important in the winter. In summer if you are lost a half day, it may be a little frightening, but you won’t die from hypothermia. That isn’t the case in winter time. Should you fall and injure a leg, it could be a really serious problem while you await someone to find you.
Now is a good time to get off the couch and enjoy a winter hike. Many state parks have special winter events. Check out a park in your area. The Perry County Parks Department conducts regular hikes, and people from outside the county are welcome.
# # # #
LINCOLN PARK FEATURED -- Outdoor Indiana magazine’s January-February issue features an eight-page removable and collectable insert about Lincoln State Park in Spencer County .
The full-color feature story tells how the state park got its start and has evolved, and its ties with our 16th president, who spent his formative years in the area.
According to a Department of Natural Resources news release, the article includes tales even veteran park goers may not know.
The new Outdoor Indiana is available now at most DNR properties and most Barnes & Noble stores in Indiana for $3 a copy. Purchase of a $12 subscription gets you six issues to keep you up to date on Indiana ’s outdoor heritage all year.