Outdoor activity picking up in Lake County

BALDWIN — Outdoor activity the past few months has been anything but quiet in Lake County.

“Overall, deer season was very successful for local hunters,” Lake and Osecola county wildlife biologist Erin Victory said. “Not only did check station numbers pick up this year from last, but reports were consistent in that hunters were seeing more deer, and bigger bucks in our area. This wasn’t too surprising, as going into the season, we had been getting reports all year of folks seeing lots of fawns, twins, and multiple reports of triplets throughout Mason, Lake and Osceola counties.

“This was the third year of APRs (Antler Point Restriction), and the first year there was overwhelming support of those regulations from the hunters we talked to. Weather cooperated a bit more this year too, in terms of being a decent, if not a bit too warm, opener.”

Victory noted furharvester seasons are underway.

“To date we’ve registered 31 bobcat and six otter,” Victory said. “This is compared to 25 total bobcat last year by the end of the season, and a total of 19 otter by the end of the season. There is still a bit of time left before both seasons are complete statewide, but bobcat harvest numbers appear to be up a little, at least locally.”

Fishing update

Lake County anglers also are trying to take advantage of the long awaited ice season.

“Steelhead fishing, has been few since the snow, fair fishing but no banner year,” Doug Loomis, of Ed’s Sport Shop, in Baldwin, said. “We’ve had a couple of entries in the Troutarama contest, one 13-inch perch and a 9-inch crappie. There’s one to two inches of clear ice with two inches of crust ice on top. We recommend using a spud bar no matter where.

“This week, there have been more venturing out. Reports have been familiar to slow for bluegills, crappies and northern. George (Tharp) caught a northern (Monday), but it was too small and he put it back. That was on Idlewild Lake. On average, there’s one or occasionally two inches of clear ice. Most lakes in Lake County are spring fed. There’s a least two inches of slush on top. Reports have been few and far between.”