Outdoor Report: Transition time means lull in outdoor activities
Here is the bitter truth: Snowfalls in April are to be expected. So the snow of the past days should be no surprise. We get snow in April; we sometimes get snow in May. It’s normal; it’s part of the spring cycle. But here is another bitter truth: People are pretty much tired of the snow.
Be that as it may, tired of snow or not, we’ve gotten some and we’ll get more. If the forecast is accurate this weekend may be summed up thusly: We get snow Friday and it will turn to slop and melt Saturday and Sunday. That’s April weather for you. And one simple guarantee: We’ll see more snow this month.
So it goes. Life goes on and for the outdoor enthusiast there will be things to do. Snow sports are in the days of life support. Snowmobiling is done with (on prepared trails) and cross country skiing is now the realm of those who won’t give it up until they are on dirt. The diehard skiers will still have their days on snow and there is some fun to be had. But snow sports are pretty much over and done with.
Ice fishing has finally righted itself after a rocky winter. Snowpack and slush on lakes has been more manageable of late and anglers are getting out. Those that do are doing pretty well on crappies and bluegills with perch still slow on most lakes. Now is the time for tip-downs and light jig rods. Good, light tackle makes a difference and while the snow of Friday will slow things for a day or two we expect a strong week for fishing.
We are a week away from turkey season; the Youth Hunt runs April 12 and 13 and the main seasons start April 16. Each of the six seasons now runs seven days instead of five as in years past.
This will not be an easy season. Snow in the woods has hampered dispersal of birds and a harsh winter has reduced turkey numbers significantly as many birds starved during the heavy snow and bitter cold. As the snow melts, the birds will disperse and hunters are advised to continue scouting up until the day of their hunt as birds will be moving during the next few weeks.
And, as difficult as it may seem, we are now about a month away from open water season. If we have open water. Many people are betting we’ll still have ice on many lakes but be patient; a few days of warm weather and some heavy rain can clear ice out in a hurry.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander.