Guest Outdoor Column
By Daniel Smith
With the upcoming change in temperatures and the beginning of daylight savings time this past Sunday, spring is just around the corner. Spring time is my favorite time of year for many reasons. First, we all have been cooped up all winter with only a few things to keep us occupied. With the change of seasons, the outdoors offers a remedy for cabin fever.
Spring gobbler season opens up on April 12 in Kentucky and April 28 in West Virginia. Now is the time to start sorting out your gear, sighting in your shotgun and also time to start scouting for a gobbler or two to ﬁll your tags. I like to get my gear out and go through everything and make sure nothing has broken or lost since last season. Also I like to get out and pattern my shotgun as soon as I have the opportunity. If you take care of the little things like this early then when season does open then you know everything is in working order and you can concentrate on hunting. Success lies in the details so I like to make sure the little things are in order to ﬁll tags.
These next couple of months also offers up some of the best ﬁshing of the year. Whether you like to ﬁsh for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout, walleye, or crappie, March through May is the time for you. With the W.Va. Division of Natural Resources stocking streams and lakes locally, the trout ﬁshing is abundant.
Local lakes like Laurel Lake, R.D. Bailey Lake, Grants Branch, Yatesville Lake, and Paintsville Lakes are prime for some tight lines this time of year. With ﬁsh coming up into the shallow water to spawn this time of year, their feeding activity is at an all-time high. Again, now is the time to get your reels spooled with new line, check all your rods for defects, and go through all you tackle to make sure you will have everything you will need to get on the water when you get the right day.
If hunting or ﬁshing isn’t your thing, then this time of year is the perfect time to get outside for walks or runs. With the explosion of running in our community (with a lot of help from the Tug Valley Road Runners Club) there are several 5-K Runs/Walks coming up in our area. Speaking from experience running has help transform my lifestyle. I started out running to get into shape for turkey season but that led to continuing to run through summer and the fall competing in several 5-K races and two half marathons. My wife also started to run with me and she completed here ﬁrst Half Marathon this past month. Exercise will make you feel better and it can change your life and there is no better place to do this than in the outdoors.
Parents I urge you to set a good example for your children and get them out there with you. There is no better FACETIME then to spend some time in the sun with your children. So as the days get longer and warmer, get out of the house and breathe in some fresh air and enjoy what the Lord created for us.