The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

May 17, 2013

Spawing of fish starting to heat up in area

BY SAM VAN CAMP
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — The warm days this week have surely helped the spawning of fish along but the muddy water that is all over the area will keep those fish off the nests for awhile. The crazy year has sent anglers into the clear waters of the area, especially the strip mines that we have throughout the county.

There is still a lot of fishing left in the season but the first part has sure been difficult. With all the standing water around we can expect an influx of insects this summer; especially mosquitoes. If you have standing water around your house, get rid of it if you can as those areas are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

The warmer weather has brought the hummingbirds back as I’ve had quite a few e-mails this week and had a male ruby-throated hummingbird at our feeder mid-week. There is sure a lot of interest in these birds and this is the latest they have come back since I’ve been watching them. If you have your feeders out you will get some coming in soon.

Let the fawns out

Now is the time to encourage your kids to leave the little animals alone as many are being born now. Simply reason with your child as to how he or she would have liked it to have been taken away from their parents early in life. Also explain that many of them die in captivity as most people don’t know how to take care of them and many times; in fact, most of the time, it is illegal.

If you have a fenced in yard and a fawn is born inside the fence please take the time to open a gate to let it out as it will kill itself trying to get through the fence to its mother.

A huge fairy (White)tail

Here is something for the deer hunters that read this column. Of the 13,000-plus whitetails currently honored in Boone and Crockett records, only five—a scant .03 percent—tape 300 inches or more. Remember, 300 inches equals 25 linear feet of antler points, beams, circumferences and spread. Odds of encountering such a colossal trophy in the wild, and taking it in fair chase, are infinitesimally low.

That’s why a recent non-typical whitetail entry in B&C records is so special. Indiana hunter Timothy Beck last autumn tagged a buck that scores an incredible 305-7/8. The buck was accepted for the Boone and Crockett records book earlier this year. One of only five bucks ever recorded that scores 300 or better, it’s also the fourth largest non-typical whitetail in history, the second largest ever taken by a hunter, a state record for Indiana, and the largest recorded anywhere in North America in nearly a decade.

“This is one of those deer that come along so rarely, it makes you pause and marvel at the wonders of nature and modern conservation,” said Richard Hale, chairman of the Boone and Crockett Club’s records committee

Trophy specimens are a sign of quality habitat and healthy, balanced populations. Boone and Crockett originally began keeping trophy records as a way of detailing species once headed for extinction. Hunters led restoration efforts then—and continue to lead and fund conservation programs today. Biologists now compare trophy records and contrast trends to help improve local management strategies as well as state and federal wildlife polices.

I looked over the five non-typical whitetails in Boone and Crockett that scored over 300 inches and found that two of the five have come from Illinois and Indiana. That always raises hope for area hunters.

Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Fridays and Sundays. Call him at 662-6559. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail: pamnsam@nwcable.net