As I scroll through my social media feeds I am seeing a ton of post’s from individuals who are already wishing their deer or elk season was upon them. While big game seasons in the fall are my favorite there are way too many opportunities out there the other 9-10 months of the year to be wishing them away. If you’re not capitalizing on all the year round adventures we’ve been blessed with then you should reconsider your strategy.
If you hunt, there is a good chance you at least do some fishing. Why not spend a little time this Spring wetting a line to mix it up a bit? Depending on the chosen quarry and location you can have a very relaxing time with the family or do some backpacking and brave some icy waters in search of a trophy. Not too mention, according to the Washington State Department of Health, “Fish is a low-fat high quality protein. Fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorus and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times per week as part of a healthy diet. Fish is packed with protein, vitamins, and nutrients that can lower blood pressure and help reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.” Sounds like a pretty good argument to me!!!
Live in the North and want to get some Spring sunshine when Mother Nature just won’t let go with her icy grip? Head South and burn off that lingering Winter chill. For me this year that’s exactly what I’ve had the chance to do. Now living in coastal Texas I’ve been given a chance to do some saltwater (actually brackish) fishing for the first time.
Truthfully, I haven’t been overly successful in landing tons of fish but what I didn’t gain in lbs of fish I’ve certainly made up for with memories and experiences. There are many ways to go about it from heady way out to fishing from the bank or beach. For that coastal inland fishing I’ve been doing the investment in equipment is fairly minor. I merely beefed up the line weight on my usual spinning reels, got a few metal leaders and treble hooks, a couple popping corks. That’s really it. Grab some live or dead shrimp from a local bait shop and you’re good to go (good thing is if the fish don’t bite you can just fry up the bait!). The diversity of fish is tremendous but most people target redfish and speckled trout. That doesn’t mean there aren’t others and I seem to be a magnet for stingrays which helps when nothing else is biting.
For about an eight year run I had the memorable opportunity to chase the Spring steelhead run off the Great Lakes. At first I wasn’t sure what to expect when my friend asked me if I wanted to go with him as there was still snow on the ground and we would be wading in a river. However, after some initial apprehension I have to admit hooking and landing a one of these gorgeous fish has been by far my biggest aquatic accomplishment.
We would fish for 12-14 hours a day from daybreak till after dark. If I spent three days fishing and landed one fish in the net I considered it a success. Fortunately there is a pleasant amount of public land surround tributaries to the Great Lakes so if you would like to hike in and set up a fishing camp there are some very good setups to do so. Again, the investment for this type of fishing is pretty minimal. Get a set of waders, $20 worth of leader, hooks, splitshots, and spawn bags and away you go. Make sure you come prepared because in April in Michigan I’ve fished in anything from a T-shirt to a blizzard.
Hogs! Hogs! Hogs!
Ever since my first trip to Tennessee to hunt hogs I haven’t looked back. Now that I live in Texas you see them laying along the side of the road like I did deer in the Midwest. Want some Spring fun? Come on down! You can hunt them just about anyway you like and they make the best bratwurst and sauerkraut you could imagine. I can whip a pretty mean batch of wild hog sausage biscuits and gravy too!
Some may chastise me but I really haven’t gotten bitten by the turkey hunting bug. When I was growing up in Indiana they weren’t legal to hunt where I lived so I never really got into it. I have been though, and had a great time, although I’ve yet to harvest my first. I do know people who will take weeks at a time off in the Spring to chase them, even making it a state to state road trip. If you haven’t tried it or need some out of state adventure make sure to give it a hard look.
Lions and Tigers and BEARS Oh My!
Ok, so I’m not going to talk about lions and tigers but, Spring bear is absolutely something that may be of interest to you. Why not, right? Many US states and certainly Canada offer Spring time opportunities to chase bruins and it won’t interfere with your fall plans. I’ve only hunted bears in the fall but if I said taking a trip earlier in the year to extend my hunting seasons hadn’t seemed very inviting I’d be lying. Who doesn’t need a bear skin rug anyway!
Until you’ve tried it you just can’t appreciate how much fun you’re missing out on. Day, night, it doesn’t matter. Go and shoot some invasive species. It is an absolute riot and when the action is hot, its hot. Oh, and those videos you see on the internet of fish jumping right in the boat? It really does happen, trust me. I actually stopped by a bow shop last weekend to get 30# recurve I won at a charity auction rigged up to shoot some gar. I’ve seen people pull the “backstraps” out of them and throw in the frying pan. That’s my goal here in the next couple of weeks to see how they taste!
Time is precious, don’t waste it waiting for Fall seasons. Make some plans and make it happen. You never know, you may find yourself taking a few weeks off in the Spring next time rather than saving them all for the Fall.