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Into the Outdoors: Cabin Fever

For openers, I received some negative feedback regarding the photo in last week’s column of a dead cat in the mouth of a coyote.  The photo upset some readers, and I am sorry for that.  That was certainly not the intention.  The photo was meant to show the importance of keeping your cat inside, safe from the many dangers which lurk outside.  I love cats. My little Maggie is never outside, and she doesn’t mind.  

You know, I had hoped that I wouldn’t fall into the trap of writing about cabin fever, winter doldrums or whatever cliche you want to use for this time of year. Actually, those articles used to annoy me. This winter, however, I have truly fallen victim to them. Now, I am doing it for a second time. The brutal cold, followed by  snow and an extraordinary amount of rain,  have caused me to fall victim to the aforementioned phenomena. While this is not really a cry for help, if anybody has any ideas, I’m listening. My guns are all sparkling,, my knives are razor sharp and my tackle boxes are more organized than they have ever been.  The fact of the matter is that I’m out of things to do, and it’s driving me up the wall. The outdoor shows on television are boring, as they usually deal only with hunting whitetail deer and little else.  I’ve read my magazines from cover to cover. Talk about pathetic, I’ve even checked all of my minnow buckets for leaks. I almost hoped that I’d find one, so that I could fix it. No way. They are all in fine shape.  

With all of this time on my hands, I’ve been able to sit around and get angry about a number of things. One of these peeves involves the Fish and Boat Commission, an agency which I generally support.  What’s bugging me at this particular time is the designation of special areas, wherein you may fish only with flies or with artificial lures.  Don’t get me wrong.  Although I am basically a bait fisherman, I do love to fish with flies.  As for other artificial lures for trout fishing, I’m really not into it, although I certainly have no quarrel with those who choose to do it.  When, however, you consider the fact that we all pay the same price for a fishing license, it is just not fair.  Of course, I now have a senior license, so the money factor no longer applies to me.  Still, unfair is unfair.  I’ve fished with flies beside bait anglers and with bait beside fly anglers, and have seen no problem.  If areas are to be designated for artificial lures only, then it should take an extra license to fish in them.  Period.

Although I know it’s still a rather hot topic, I feel that’s it’s way past time for a junior fishing license for those aged 12-16.  It should cost less than an adult license, but should still be required.  It just makes sense to me.  

Here’s another thing that’s been bugging me a bit lately.  There are actually some sportsmen/women’s organizations that support the notion of an increase in hunting license fees here in Pennsylvania.  This is incomprehensible to me.  Here’s an agency that places no emphasis on customer satisfaction and has run amok for years.  Why in the world would we want to give them more money?

Well, I hope you enjoyed my little cabin fever second installment.  Hopefully, the weather will break soon, and we can get out and do some sucker fishing or something.

On a side note, the bobcat on Dave Lewis’ farm is still around. Not long ago, Dave sent me some pictures captured on his game camera.

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