Conservation groups such as those mentioned above, work hard to recruit youth into the hunting sports and once youths are introduced to the sport, those like Cazden Christensen, Hartington, NE. have an opportunity to enjoy the sport of hunting. Cazden who’s really into the outdoors took this buck last season during the Nebraska Archery deer season. (Submitted Photo)
It’s January, cold and wind, that time of the year when we need to figure out what our outdoor options are.
There still are things to do in the outdoors, with Mother Nature being the deciding factor as the weather has a lot to do when it comes to outdoor activities.
You’ll find walleye stacked up below the dam, that made the trip upstream in preparation of the spawn that are susceptible to a jig and minnow worked slowly along the bottom.
Ice fisherman can head for Big Stone, Bitter, and Waubay for perch, crappie, bluegills and walleyes on these lakes as well as the numerous other bodies of water in the Glacial Lakes of Northeastern South Dakota.
On a warmer day, searching for sheds is a great way to see if the buck you’ve been after made it through the season and the rut.
By now, a few of the bucks should have shed their racks, while others will continue to drop theirs through the next couple of months.
With the snow cover we have, it’s easy to see where the deer are traveling and where the jump a fence or a ditch is an excellent place to find sheds.
Calling predators, coyotes and fox is another option as once it gets cold; predators are on the move looking for their next meal.
Predator callers using mouth and electric calls will be out mainly looking coyotes, as those with a light colored fur and no indication of mange are bringing an excellent price.
Some predator hunters near Watertown, South Dakota use snow shoes to track the coyotes and fox. When they see fresh tracks crossing the road, a hunter with snow shoes is dropped off, waiting while the pickup drives around the section, looking to see if the critter crossed the road and if it has, they’ll pick up the hunter and look for more tracks, if the critter hadn’t crossed the road, they let the walker know who then will be hot on the trail.
When it’s below zero with a northwest wind howling through the upper Midwest, only those with heated shelters or those tough enough to fight the cold are going to be outdoors.
Those into skiing and tubing should check out Sioux Falls, South Dakota Parks & Recreation Departments, Great Bear Recreation Park and its winter sports activities. The park features fourteen downhill ski runs, a terrain park, the Kirby Family Tubing Park, cross country and snow shoeing trails, providing outdoor activities for all skill levels. More information on Great Bear is available at greatbear.com
It’s the time of the year when indoor events look pretty good, and where the conservation organizations, Gun shows, events and Sport shows are being held or soon to be held.
Beings there are only so many weekends in a month, some of them are scheduled on the same day, making it tough to get to all of those you’d like to attend
This is a great time of the year for conservation groups to have their banquets and auctions where they raise dollars for habitat and other local programs.
On January 11th, the Lewis and Clark Pheasants Forever, Hartington, NE. held their banquet in Bow Valley and had an excellent turnout as did the Bazile Creek Pheasants Forever when they held their Bill Yeager Memorial Gun Show at the Knox County Fairgrounds in Bloomfield, NE.
Most of the Pheasants Forever groups have several programs, including mentor hunts where members with their hunting dogs take youngsters out on a Mentored Hunt, giving the youngster an opportunity to hunt pheasants for the first time
A Pheasant Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education, and land management policies and programs. Information on membership, banquets, events and auctions is available at www.pheasantsforever.org
For you deer hunters out there, the Nebraska Deer Expo was held on January 17th through the 19th in Lincoln, NE. at the Lancaster Event Center, it featured a trophy deer exhibit, world class hunting seminars, hunting & outdoor exhibitors, and a 3D archery tournament. Interested in attending, go to www.nebraskadeerandgameexpo.com.
If you’ve got elk on your mind, then, the 9th annual Lewis & Clark Chapter Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is for you, as they will hold their banquet and auction at Minerva’s in Yankton, S.D., on February 1st. Doors open at 5 p.m. with dinner served at 7:30 p.m. and the auction beginning at 8 p.m.
The mission of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage. Check out their web site at www.rmef.org
The Northeast Nebraska Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited will hold their banquet and auction March 14th in Wausa, NE. at the Wausa Fire hall with the doors opening at 5:00, dinner at 7:00 and the auction to follow the dinner.
This chapter which has a huge number of kids attending has special drawings for Nebraska Lifetime permits hunting permits, special youth gun and other drawings as well as providing each youngster with a WTU clothing item, backpack or some other WTU item. They also use the dollars raised to issue grants to other youth groups and local organizations.
The Mission of Whitetails Unlimited is to raise funds in support of educational programs, wildlife habitat enhancement and acquisition, and the preservation of the shooting sports and hunting tradition for future generation..
More information on Whitetails Unlimited, its Deer Camps, events, banquets and auctions can be found at www.whitetailsunlimted.com
The East River Srtutters Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will hold their banquet and auction in Tyndall, S.D. March 14th at the Tyndall Community Center 1609 Laurel St. Tyndall, SD 57066.
Its mission: is dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage. Information on event, banquets and their auctions is available at www.nwtf.org
For those of us who like nothing better than to check out the Gun Shows, there’s the Dakota Territory Gun Collector’s Association Yankton, S.D. Gun Show at the NFAA Easton Archery Complex on January 25th through 26th.
Then on February 8th & 9th the Dakota Territory Gun Collector’s Association will hold another big event in Sioux Falls, S.D. at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. For a listing on these and other Dakota Territory Gun Collector’s Association Gun Shows you’ll want to go to www.dtgca.org
The 51st Annual Nebraska Boat Sport & Travel Show will be held on January 31st through February 2nd in Lincoln, NE. at the Lancaster Event Center. The event features booths with hunting and fishing travel opportunities, boats, RV’s along with special seminars and attractions. For times, seminar and other event information go to http://www.nebraskasportsshow.com
Then on March 12th to the 15th, the 53rd annual 2020 Sioux Empire Sportsmen’s show will open in Sioux Falls. S.D. at the Sioux Falls Arena and Convention Center, the Sportsmen Show features resorts, lodges and camps from the Midwest and Canada, boats, RV’s, campers, trailers, along with hunting and fishing seminars. More information is available on when the doors open and seminar times you’ll need go to www.siouxfallssportshow.com
It may be a long winter, but with these events being held, a person can spend some of their time in the outdoor or inside at these events, which should help to shorten up the winter.
Stay warm, enjoying the outdoors, by going out to enjoy the winter outdoor events or inside at the above events, as spring is only a couple of months away, BRRRRR!
Gary Howey, originally from Watertown, S.D., now residing in Hartington, Neb. is a former tournament angler, fishing & hunting guide, an award winning writer, producer, photographer and broadcaster, a recent inductee into the “National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame” in 2017. Howey is also the Producer-Co-Host of the Outdoorsmen Adventures television series and Outdoor Adventures radio. If you are looking for more outdoor information, check out garyhoweysoutdoors.com, outdoorsmenadventures.com and like Gary Howey’s Facebook or watch the shows on the MIDCO Sports Network and on the Outdoor Channels www.MyOutdoorTV.com