By: Larry W. Walthall
Well once again the weather is going to play an important part of what we write about this week. Believe it or not some hunters have been waiting for this cold weather. It does make for better hunting especially for deer and duck.
But first I want to cover something that can help your fishing. Christmas is just over and some people leave their Christmas trees up until the New Year. If you or someone who has gotten a live Christmas tree here is an idea if you are a fisherman. (Do not do this with any artificial trees.) You can go around town or the neighborhood and see if anyone has put there live tree out for the city to pick up. Most people will allow you to have their tree, but ask first. Collect the trees and get some parachute cord, rope, cloths hangers, wire and some cinder blocks. Go to your favorite fishing spot or somewhere close to where you know fish will migrate. Tie the blocks to the trunk of the tree/trees and sink them. If you tie several together, once the needles rot away it will still make great habitat for baitfish and that will draw the other fish in. I know most of you have a cell phones, some phones already have a GPS built in, if not get the app for locating and pin pointing locations and mark the place where you sink the tree or trees. Depending on how many trees you can find you could mark several locations. These honey holes will pay off for you come springtime. If you don’t want to plant the trees, Arkansas Game and Fish have locations you can drop the tree off so they can use them to plant fish habitat. See their website for drop off locations.
Using your GPS to pinpoint tree stand(s) or duck blind locations, help in the dark early mornings in finding the area where you placed them. That way you are not wandering around in the woods or marshland trying to find your location or spooking the deer, ducks or other hunters.
When it gets this cold the deer seems to stay in there bedding areas longer. Days are also shorter this time of year so I find that using the moon phases helps on deer movement. If you don’t have an Old Farmers Almanac you can get on a computer and find out the moon times schedules. Personally I really like to look in the Old Farmers Almanac as there is some additional information in there that can help your hunting year round, Many hardware stores carry them.
With the Christmas gun hunt being over it’s back to bow hunting season. It might be a good idea to shoot one or two practice arrows at a target just to make sure everything is still sighted in good. It has been awhile since we talked about safety harnesses so I would suggest that you use one when in the climber or using a ladder stand. Also along on the safety topic this cold weather produces frost sometimes on the stand steps. Be sure to check for slippery steps while climbing. It is also a good safe practice to use a drop down rope on your stand to pull your weapon up by rope rather than trying to climb with it. That also allows you to situate yourself in the stand before getting your weapon ready for use. Sometimes I use the rope to also pull up things like my backpack. A little safety goes a long way.
Duck season started back up December 26th and goes through January 28th. Goose season will start up right after duck. It would not hurt to go back over your Waterfowl Hunting Guidebook. Remember there will be a Special Youth Waterfowl hunt February 3rd for youth 15 and under. If you want to get your son, daughter or another youth interested in waterfowl hunting, this is a real good time to take them. They can hunt duck, geese, coots and mergansers. Check your Waterfowl Guidebook for the requirements about Hunters education course.
If you capture any good photos of youth hunting we sure would like to use them. So remember to share with us. We are still looking for some outdoor pictures, ducks, deer, fishing or maybe some game camera pictures. Deer, bear and hogs have been showing up on some cameras. So if you have a picture that you would like to share, you can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, call (479) 252-6351, and let us know you have a picture to submit or drop by 38 Town Square, Greenwood, AR. 72936 to drop it off.
As Always, Be Safe and enjoy OUTDOORS ARKANSAS.