Monday, February 25, 2013

Getting Back in Stride After a Crazy February

I know it has been a good week since you have seen a post from me.  I apologize, the last couple of weeks have been very crazy and stressful.  Just over a week ago, I was devastated to hear that a co-worker, and one of my best friends had passed away.  Willie and I worked together as Wildland Firefighters over the last 4 years.  He also contributed quite frequently to the blog here, and he was a part of a close circle of friends that I consider my "pro-staff", if were are professional enough to call ourselves that now.  Willie had been a part of a few fishing trips and shed hunting adventures, times I will never forget!  We will miss him as we prepare to head to Arizona in two weeks, and well, every time we go into the hills, or I strap my fire pack on and head out on the line.  I know we will have more adventures to come.  For now, here is one of my favorite pictures of Willie, and one of the most recent I have of him.  He told me often of his trips to Otter Creek Reservoir ice fishing this winter, I could just never arrange the schedule to meet up with him.  This was one of his best trips this winter, where he and his son were able to pull in several nice rainbows.

I want to dedicate this outdoor and hunting season to your memory buddy!  I hope you feel free to tag along with the boys and I in all we do in the outdoors this year.  Rest well my friend, and God speed!

Who's getting excited for shed season?  It's been a long time coming it seems.  This point of the winter can be tough in finding material to write about, and I look forward to the photos and stories to share.  Ice fishing gets tough in late season, and after a few months I am ready (and needing) to get some boot tracks on the ground!  Well, as you know, we have been out a few times, as others have as well.  It's so very close now, and maybe in full swing where you are.  Check out these photos we snapped on Friday of a few bucks still packing!  Please excuse the pictures, we had a little troube with the low light.

I am seeing a few photos of browns on Facebook from all over the country!  The good news is that I did see a buck tonight that looks as if he has just dropped.  So, tomorrow afternoon it's on, as good weather and a friend to go along with means a few hours of pounding the ground in search of some antler!  Even if it's not brown, check out this white found by my friend Clayton Carter!  Not a bad find for early on in the shed season!

Remember as you hit the field to submit your photos for our shed contest!  You could win a pair of Vortex binos, a Magpul sling from Dixie GunWorx, or a Garmin Rino GPS from us!  Enter your photos by email at or post them to our Facebook page,  You have until the end of April, plenty of time to get at it during not only the deer, but the elk shed season as well!  We hope to add more prizes from other sponsors before the close of the contest as well!  Check out the details on the prizes on our "contests" page.

Finally, we gave Fish Lake a try today since the weather was cooperating.  The Fish Calendar also forecast a 100% day, I mean, who can pass on that?  So, we hit the road at 5:30 AM, and after some time spent digging the truck out of a snow drift (don't try the south cutoff road from U-24) we arrived at the lake at 8:30 AM.  We tried the north end this time, on the advice of a few people.  Setting up in 20' of water we had no trouble catching a dozen perch to use as bait, it actually only took as about 30 minutes to get the perch.  Moving around we had trouble locating anything else on the fish finder.  We pulled in a few rainbows and 1 splake in about 45' of water, from various depths.  Moving out to 90' I was able to hook up with a couple of what I felt were nice macs, but I was unable to land the fish.  Setting our poles only 15-20' under the ice however, we were able to catch several nice rainbows and small lake trout.  On the day we had only 1 splake.  I'm not sure what we are doing wrong there this year, as we have never had trouble catching them at all in years past.  We will be making another trip there on Saturday with a group of youth to see if we can get this "funk" I'm in figured out!