I seriously doubt that there will be many outdoor shows in early this year for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy due to Covid-19. With that being said, I expect a lot of fishing tackle will be bought online without a real chance to look close-up at the new items on the market.

I did look for the Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show as well as the Indiana Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo and saw that they have been cancelled for 2021. This is a very popular and very well attended show for the Danville area.

I hate to buy new fishing tackle without having the opportunity to see it, especially lures but the online buying has become today’s trend. I get a lot of my information on new items such as lures, reels, and rods from friends who I let buy first and then ask for information about them. This, at least, eliminates the guess work out of some of the newer items.

Anglers love to talk about what works well and what isn’t worth buying. If you want to know about a new lure; ask around, someone will tell you about how it works if you ask enough people.

January is the time of the year when deer tend to gather together and many times can be seen in large groups. This is also the time of the year when bucks drop their antlers. The breeding season is over and groups of deer can be seen.

I remember driving past North Vermillion High School in Indiana one January day quite some time ago. There was a large group of deer standing in one the field north of the school. I stopped counting at sixty deer. The deer were of all sizes and most had dropped their antlers. It was an amazing sight to see and I’m sure there are readers of this column today that saw the same sight.

There isn’t much ice on area lakes and ponds right now and the forecast for the next fifteen days doesn’t sound like we have much chance to put on what I would call “Good Ice”

There will be some ice develop as nighttime temperatures dip into the 20s but venturing out on thin, ununiform ice, is crazy and every now and then someone pays a terrible price.

It is recommended that you have four inches of solid ice before venturing out on any lake or pond. Ice can be different on different bodies of water and in different areas of the same body of water. Ice that is crystal clear is good solid ice; something like an ice cube. Ice that is milky has air pockets in it; more like a snow cone. Be careful of this ice!

Be very careful of ice that forms on a river or above a channel that runs through a lake. The channel in Lake Vermilion runs right under the bridge. When I was young kids would ice skate under the bridge, that was an accident waiting to happen as water moving under the ice will erode away the bottom layers of ice.

No fish is worth falling through the ice! Use your head when getting on and getting off the ice. Don’t become a statistic of winter.

During the first segment of the 2020-2021 Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and Late-Winter (LW) firearm deer seasons (December 31, 2020- January 3, 2021), Illinois deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 2,168 deer (620 CWD: 1548 LW).

Harvest in CWD counties consisted of 264 males and 356 females (183 antlered: 437 antlerless). Harvest in Late-Winter counties is restricted to antlerless deer.

The CWD and Late-Winter firearm deer seasons – open in select counties only – will conclude January 15-17, 2021.

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

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