Something Fishy

Something Fishy
t Doesn't Get Much Better

Monday, January 27, 2014

Kentucky deer hunters set new harvest record for modern gun season

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.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Weather has been very cold, but still caution needed for ice fishing

With the cooperation of Mother Nature and the proper preparation, ice fishing can be fun and productive.
However, the number one concern is making sure the ice is safe to hold the angler. 
The recent deep freeze weather has brought with it thoughts off ice fishing--something we don’t often get to experience in Southern Indiana.
Every couple of years, there is enough cold weather in January or early February for an ice fishing trip or two, but it doesn't happen often. But when conditions are right for safe ice, fishing can be fun and provide a winter’s meal of fresh fish.
In this area, we are fortunate if there are three or four good ice fishing days a year. Some years there are none, but the recent cold snap could make safe ice for a few days.
Often we will get three or four cold days, but they usually are followed by a warmup. If we don’t get good ice, anglers can pack their gear and head north.
Ice fishing continues to grow in popularity in northern states, and many resorts have as much winter business as they do during summer months. Some rent ice shanties complete with heat and lounge chairs. 
In this area, anglers don’t worry about ice shanties. We don’t have enough good ice to make them worthwhile, although they are utilized on some of the northern Indiana and Ohio lakes.
Here anglers cut a few holes in the ice, and hopefully catch some dandy bluegill or crappie. Some people do set up a screen to provide protection from the wind.
For ice fishermen in Southern Indiana, the most important aspect of the sport  also is making sure the ice is safe. Farm ponds generally produce safe ice earlier than larger bodies of water like Patoka Lake.
Ice anglers should be alert to the dangers of different types of ice. Ice may be safe on one pond, and not on another. A slush type of ice is very dangerous and may be only half as strong as clear, blue ice. Slush ice indicates a weakening of the ice. Clear and blue river ice may be 15 percent weaker than pond or lake ice.
New ice is almost always stronger than old ice because the connection between ice crystals decays with age. Dark or honeycombed ice indicates deterioration and should be avoided. 
Wind chill affects the "cold" anglers feel. A light wind can accelerate the formation of ice, but strong winds can force water from beneath the ice and accelerate the decay of ice around the edges. 
Snow is a good insulator for ice and helps keep it strong, but it can also keep it from further freezing or even hide cracks or weak ice. Lakes with moving water should be approached with caution. Water movement can slow the freezing process and leave hard-to-detect thin spots.
Ice conditions can and do vary greatly. Because there are so many variables in ice formation, ice forms at different rates. One spot can be an inch thick while another area close by can be almost a foot thick. I like four inches of ice to feel safe.
When you have good ice, it can be great for fishing. And, panfish never tastes better than when taken from clear, cold water.