12-28-2017 Outdoors

Fishing

 Due to the holidays and the lack of angler participation, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) weekly fishing report is not available the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

Ice conditions are not safe especially after the rain and warmer temperatures. Snow and slush will hide dangerous areas. Ice anglers would be wise to wait until the next good freeze before heading out on the inland lakes.

There is no ice fishing in the southwest Lower Peninsula yet. The cold this week may freeze up some channels by the weekend, but at this writing there is no safe ice to report.

Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake reported no safe ice, although it is starting to set up in the channels of Lake of the Woods which is usually the first to freeze. Any ice that forms from the cold we have pouring in this week should be treated with extra caution as it will be thin.

Dave recommends using an ice pick harness for safety. He described it as a harness worn under your coat with runner straps down your arms that have ice picks attached. If you fall in and its thin ice, you can claw your way out of trouble as the picks give you the traction you need.

The Carl T. Johnson Hunt and Skill Center in Cadillac will hold two Hard Water School ice-fishing classes this season. The two classes will be on Saturday, January 27 and Saturday, February 24. The classes will cover how to set up equipment, how and where to fish, when to be out on the ice, how to fish with electronics, and how to stay safe on the ice and follow rules and regulations.

The cost of the class is $30 per person and includes lunch. Nearby lodging is available to stay and fish Sunday. For more information contact Ed Shaw at 231-779-1321

Hunting

 There will be January deer hunting opportunities in Ionia and Montcalm counties to aid in chronic wasting disease surveillance. The DNR announced the additional hunt and listed the dates as January 4-7 and January 11-14, 2018.

The hunt will occur on public and private land in the following townships: Easton, Ionia, Keene, Lyons, North Plains, Orleans, Otisco and Ronald in Ionia County. In Montcalm County it will be Bloomer, Bushnell, Crystal, Day, Evergreen and Ferris.

Important hunt information: Baiting is not allowed after January 1, and cannot be used during this extended hunt season; All rules and regulations for the firearm deer season apply; Licenses, including a deer license, combination deer license, private-land antlerless deer license for DMU 354 or DMU 419, or a public-land antlerless deer license for DMU 354 or DMU 419, are valid.

Antlerless deer may be tagged using the deer license or combination deer license. All other license restrictions apply.

Hunters participating in this January hunt will be required to turn in heads of harvested deer within 72 hours of harvest for disease testing. Questions about checking deer or using the drop boxes, call 616-794-2658.

To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD (chronic wasting disease) infection in humans. However, as a precaution the U.S. Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club

 The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on Saturday, January 13, 2018. Class registration is held on Sunday, January 7 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The class is taught by a certified NRA and RSO instructor and the cost of the class is $100. For more information or to be put on the list, please call (269) 621-3370.

Watervliet Rod & Gun Club

 The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on January 11 and January 13, 2018. Registration is on Tuesday, January 9, between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. and cost of the class is $100. They will have a lawyer explaining the law pertaining to concealed carry during class. Please call (269) 468-3837 or (269) 470-9191 for more information.