02-09-2017 Outdoors

Fishing

The DNR (Department of Natural Resources) reported that while the colder air did help the freezing process, recent snow cover slowed it down especially in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula.  To the north, the ice held on for the most part on the inland lakes.  Anglers in the Upper Peninsula continue to ice fish.

Overall the DNR said most of the inland lakes especially in the southern part do not have safe ice.  Anglers have been getting out on some of the smaller lakes, but the ice seems to be very spotty, so anglers need to use extreme caution and check the ice frequently when heading out to fish.

Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reported the Black River is open and a lot of Steelhead are being taken.  Kalamazoo River and St. Joseph River are also producing Steelhead.  Ice at the beginning of the week was good, with four inches on Duck Lake and anglers getting panfish.  The channels on Lake of the Woods were also supporting ice fishing with success.  The warm up and rain the first part of the week may change that to no safe ice, so be careful.

Ellinee Bait & Tackle by Paw Paw Lake in Coloma reported that fishing picked up in channels and on small lakes over the weekend.  The rain and warm up at the first of the week may end that.  A cold spell due after that may give a little more time to ice fish.  Steelhead are being taken in Watervliet out of the Paw Paw River.

Hunting

Michele Ketchum of Sparta, Richard Farris of Almont and Jerry Peak of Crystal are the three winners of the eighth annual Pure Michigan Hunt.

Each one of the three winners received a pocketful of licenses and more than $4,000 worth of hunting gear.  Each winner receives elk, bear, spring and fall turkey, and antlerless deer licenses to be used in 2017.  In addition – along with three hunting companions – the winners will get first pick opening morning of the waterfowl season at any of Michigan’s premier managed waterfowl hunt areas.

The prize package had many items including a rifle, 12-gage shotgun, pop-up blind, crossbow, outdoor camera, traps, DVDs, calls, turkey hunting gear and much, much more.  There was also a $100 Visa gift card, $100 gas card and $100 Cabela’s gift card.  The winners officially will be awarded their prizes at the next Michigan NRC meeting, Thursday, February 9 in Lansing.

The DNR said that each $5.00 Pure Michigan Hunt application that is purchased helps fund the wildlife habitat restoration and management in Michigan.  This year’s drawing generated over $259,000 for the fund from the purchase of 51,090 applications by 18,581 individuals.  Applications for the next Pure Michigan Hunt drawing will be available starting March 1.  For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/pmh.

Waterfowl hunters still have time to harvest geese in Michigan this season.  The South Zone late Canada goose season continues through February 11, with a couple of exceptions.  The Muskegon County Wastewater System Goose Management Unit (GMU) is not open for the late season.

The Allegan County GMU is open for late-season goose hunting through February 12.  The Fennville Farm Unit at Allegan State Game Area holds drawings for goose hunting zones on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.   Visit www.michigan.gov/waterfowl for additional information.

The DNR is seeking leads in the poaching of an elk in Montmorency County on Black River Road near Blue Lakes Road.  Officers have collected evidence at the scene and are seeking additional leads.  Anyone with information on this or other poaching incidents is asked to call the Report All Poaching hotline at 1-800-292-7800.  Callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.

The 2017 Spring Turkey Hunt season runs April 17 through May 31.  All applications for limited-quota licenses were taken until 11:59 p.m. on February 1.  Hunt 234 licenses go on sale, over the counter with no application required on March 20.  Hunt 234 offers the most days to hunt, valid from May 1-31, and is open statewide except public land in southern Michigan.  Beginning March 6, applicants can check whether they were drawn for a license at www.michigan.gov/turkey.

There is no guarantee that leftover licenses will be available for any hunt unit, except Hunt 234.  If licenses remain after the drawing, unsuccessful applicants may purchase one leftover license on a first-come, first-serve basis for one week, beginning March 13 at 10:00 a.m.  Any limited-quota licenses that remain as of March 20 at 10:00 a.m. may be purchased by any hunter, including those who did not apply for a spring turkey license.  These licenses will be sold until the quota is met in each hunt unit and hunt period.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club

  The Coloma Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW class on February 11.  The class is taught by a certified NRA and RSO instructor and the cost of the class is $100.00.  For more information