One year ending, another opening

By Ed Gilbert • Last Updated 11:08 am on Saturday, December 31, 2011

I don’t remember getting a year older, but I just glanced at a calendar and here I am.

And as I’ve heard said, “Wherever you go, there you are!” Ah, but rather than say that the glass is almost empty we can at least observe that it will soon be full again. A new year and a bunch of new experiences, good or bad, is soon upon us.

Thinking about the past year, as many of us do, I find it not all a rose garden. However, there were some good experiences to mention, and I’m certain the coming year will bring more.

One thing I really enjoyed was the many fishers, hunters and other outdoor-minded folks that shared stories and experiences with me, and subsequently, with you. After all, I am one person, while there are many of you who also have things to share with others. Let’s not stop sharing those in the coming year. Let me know if you have an experience of general interest and we’ll see what we can do.

Now, after saying such, I’d better mention that not everyone who had a story to share made this column during the past year. I’m sorry about that, but other pressing issues, and sometimes even time constraints, may have gotten in the way. So, if first you didn’t succeed, try again.

As far as the fish and fishing in the past year, one disturbing issue has been the handling of the invasive carp situation around the Chicago waterways. This threat to our Great Lakes ecosystem has been ongoing for several years, and it’s high time some real solutions were instigated to keep those fish out of Lake Michigan and destroying our sport fishing. I don’t care who is holding up a major decision to stop those invasive species, it’s time they get off their high horse and took some positive action rather than dinking around here and there with costly experimental ideas.

Wow! I didn’t really want to get into that issue, but once I start something it’s difficult to change course. Beg your pardon.

Ah, but both fishing and hunting seemed excellent during the past year. For me, it began with the opening of the inland trout season on the last Saturday of April and continued right on through bass season as well as the other species. In all, we had pretty good weather for fishing. And according to DNR reports the various hunting seasons, with few exceptions, were fruitful as well.

The only fractionally disturbing news in hunting, at least to me, was the decision to let 10-year-olds carry guns in the woods. Sure, laws were instigated to insure the kids would be properly supervised, but I was a 10-year-old kid myself once, and I’ll bet dollars to donuts that many will not be properly watched over. We shall keep track of that.

So, as we see, each year comes with its own set of good times along with those that are challenging. Let’s hope that the scale tips in favor of the good.

With that, I want to wish every one a Happy and Prosperous New Year. The good times will be out there. It’s up to each of us to discover them and take advantage of such opportunities. Ed Gilbert is the outdoors writer for The Daily News. His email address is

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