It’s almost time for ice fishing

The ice fishing season is almost here. Just a week ago some people were ice fishing on Shield’s Lake. Since then, the lake has thawed open. However, in the north many lakes stayed covered with ice. Red Lake comes to mind as a friend fished there this past weekend and he reported 8 to 9 inches of ice. He also said the walleye bite there was just fantastic, with most anglers catching limits. Other lakes in the north half of the state have ice also. Now we just have to see what the heavy snow has done to ice conditions. When the ice isn't very thick the heavy snow pushes the ice down and the snow soaks with water. If it is cold enough all of this will freeze through and we'll have a lot of ice. When it doesn't freeze through we have a big mess. Time will only tell, so just remember no ice is really safe and use caution when going out. The muzzle loader deer hunt officially closed Sunday, Dec. 9. I didn't get a deer, but had some chances and saw a lot of deer. I sure enjoyed the time alone in the woods. Too bad the snow didn't come sooner. Tracks in the snow tell you a lot about the deer habits and your hunt. Many times the deer were close, but I didn't know it. The tracks don't lie. I had a great trip to southwestern Iowa with son Joe. The farmer where we stayed was a great host. We saw a ton of deer. We were hunting open-terraced farm land and I couldn't believe so many deer could hide without any wooded lots. Everybody got their deer, including a monster 13 pointer. Scoring 162 7/8, that Joe shot. That trip will be one long remembered by me. Now I know why Joe makes the trip every year. Thanks Joe!