Outdoors

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ED GILBERT: Small game hunting is prime time now

Some of the early firearms deer seasons are here, but if you aren’t a deer hunter and want some action, it’s also prime time for some small game hunting. Fact is, if you have a youngster or youngsters that are also prime time for hunting, it may not be a bad idea to start them out on a few smaller game hunts.

Lizzie Sheldon of Howard City is looking for in participating in the DNR’s new Mentored Youth Hunting program with her father, Mark Sheldon.

WOODS & WATERS: Youth movement in Michigan’s hunting

Later this month, Lizzie Sheldon, 10, of Howard City, will be among the first to take part in Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) new Mentored Youth Hunting program.

Die-offs of EHD-affected deer usually occur near water, as deer, dehydrated and suffering from high fever, try to cool themselves down. “If multiple watersheds are involved, the total mortality is higher (in that area),” DNR wildlife biologist Tom Cooley said.

WOODS & WATERS: DNR report record number of EHD-related deer deaths

For many deer hunters and hunting-related businesses in the Ionia, Montcalm and Kent counties, the frost couldn’t come any quicker, especially in Ionia, where a small insect, the midge fly, is the culprit for spreading a disease in the state’s deer population that has wiped out more than 2,800 deer since July.

Stanton resident Bill Simpson holds up two of the fish that helped to a seventh place finish at the 2012 TBF Northern Division Championship last week. Simpson qualified for the 2013 TBF National Championship in 2013.

Simpson earns trip to bass fishing national championship

When it comes to fishing, Bill Simpson knows how to finish. The Stanton resident spent last week in Lacrosse, Wisc. along the shores of the Mississippi River competing in the 2012 The Bass Federation (TBF) Northern Division Championship.

Wood and Waters | Ed Gilbert

ED GILBERT: Duck, goose hunting is in the wings

Yes, duck hunters, it’s about time to oil up your dogs and feed your shotgun some carbohydrates. Duck and goose hunting is in the wings. Actually, an early goose season is on, statewide, beginning today. And from all indications there are plenty of geese around. You know, you golfers may even have to fight your favorite golf course for space, since geese seem to love those links.

Woods and Waters | Ed Gilbert

ED GILBERT: Bass fishing coming on

Although I prefer to fish for trout, I also enjoy tackling a bass or two now and then. And bass season in Michigan is right on our doorstep, so I know many of you are anxiously awaiting to cast away, as am I. But today, I believe I’ll discuss a little different method to catch bass, along with some other fishing thoughts.

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Ed Gilbert: Fly fishing bugs a bit early this year

Depending upon your fishing location in the state, you may find that some flies are early, on time, or even late. Of course, I make reference to Mayflies and caddisflies, which emerge over the trout streams or lakes about this time of year.

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Ed Gilbert: The spring turkey hunt is here

Here it is. The spring turkey hunt is about to pop open and many hunters are prepared for it or busy getting ready. As I believe I mentioned a while back, I’ll not be carrying my shotgun with me because I absolutely forgot to apply for a license. However, I’ll be calling for one of my hunting pals and that’s almost as good as carrying the gun.

Woods and Waters | Ed Gilbert

ED GILBERT: Easter is here and spring has sprung

Yes, Easter is here, and we must remember that it isn’t just time to eat the ears off chocolate bunnies and hide eggs for the kids. We must think of its religious meaning as well. Yes, this is true and all well and good. But the coming of April also heralds some things of importance to the average sportsman, hunter, fisherman and other out-of-doors folks.

Woods and Waters | Ed Gilbert

ED GILBERT: Northern pike and bears in the U.P.

A recent Associated Press article tweaked my thinking about camping in the Upper Peninsula. And yes, it included various outdoor activities that can be done in the winter as well as summer. I have a good friend who lives in the U.P., and he particularly enjoys the fishing and hunting there. He and his family do many other activities there as well, but most of those aren’t in the winter time. Fact is they’re living down in the Lower Peninsula right now!