Dateline April 1, 2015



What a month for the sportsman!

By now most of the snow has melted and with the long winter just passed anyone worthy of the title is feeling bloodthirsty!

April is my favorite month for deer hunting. The crowds of November are gone and the deer are easy to sneak up on. They are just recovering from the brutal winter and are still feeling a little weak from months of deep snow, relentless cold and little food. The does are heavy with the fawns and don’t feel up to running much. I like that! I find that I can often get four or five in a single day! Just try that in November!

I have heard it said that deer taste bad this time of year, due to the poor diet they have had all winter. That doesn’t bother me any, ’cause I just leave them where they drop. I just don’t like venison.

The bears are out of their dens and are coming to baits well in this fine month. Deer make pretty good bait, but I found that a horse is better. There are lots of them in the meadows along the back roads and most are tame enough to load them into a truck and take them to the bear stand to shoot. I used to shoot them first, but moving a dead horse is a lot of work.

The gobblers are strutting their stuff and April is a good time to beat the crowds that show up in May when the season opens and shoot some birds. I kind of like turkey so I try to shoot a dozen or so each year. I find that I get a lot more with a rifle than a shotgun. You don’t need to be so close and it works a lot better for shooting them off the roost!

Small game is a whole lot less spooky in the spring and I manage to fill my freezer with rabbits, squirrels and grouse in the spring. The birds are easy to find, just listen for the drumming. Usually you can sneak up and blast them on the ground. I find that I also do quite well cruising the back roads and shooting out the window of my truck, it works almost like a blind.

The duck hunting is great! Man, do they ever decoy well! They just fly right in and land. I guess that with nobody shooting at them for a while they lose some wariness. Still, I always keep a .22-250 in my blind to shoot the ones that land out too far out on the lake for my shotgun.

I can get 15 or 20 ducks most days. I don’t like eating them either, so I just toss them into some farmer’s field on the way home.

Speaking of fields, they make a great diversion in April when the hunting or fishing is slow. With the frost just out of the ground there is plenty of mud to tear around in with my 4 X 4 truck. It’s a ball doing “doughnuts” and spinning “rooster tails” out the rear. I doubt the farmer minds; he has to plow it anyway. He will need to fix the fences that fell down over the winter too, so I just cut any in that get in my way.

The fishing ain’t bad in April either! A good fisherman knows where they will congregate to spawn and a half stick of dynamite will get most of them! It’s great fun! I once got almost a hundred brook trout with one toss!

A hunting buddy told me about a household chemical that you can poor into a brook and it will kill all the fish in it for miles. It works too! They just float to the top. They are usually in better shape and a lot less torn up than the ones I get with dynamite. My friend says that they are OK to eat, but I really couldn’t say. I don’t like the taste of fish, so I just toss them on the bank. Except for the bag or two I leave under the front seat of that farmer’s car every year, that will teach him to kick me off his land!

April is a good time to work on my camp. Usually the muskrats will have dammed up the sewer discharge pipe where it empties into the lake and I will have to fix that. It seems like the porcupines like to chewed holes in the wall of the back shed where we hang the deer we shoot during the summer to sell. While I am there, I put out some trot lines and can get quite a few fish overnight. I just toss them under the neighbor’s camp, ’cause, like I said, I don’t eat them and he is a jerk anyway.

The perch are spawning and I always get a bunch of them. They won’t bite so I snag them with a big treble hook, it’s great sport! Got 200 in one day last year!

We had a moose at the camp last April and I shot him with my pistol. He almost got away; in fact he made it to my neighbor’s lawn before I laid him low. Man, they are big! I just left him there, I thought I might use him for bear bait, but after all that work with the horses I decided it would be too much trouble. The Bozo won’t come to his camp until May anyway and by then that bull will be ripe!

Who says I haven’t got a sense of humor?

I also do quite a bit of fox trapping in April and find that I do very well. I don’t think that the hides bring much money, but I am not sure. It’s too much work to skin one out, so I leave them in the road for folks to run over.

Yes April is a great month! There is so much to do that I am overwhelmed, I am busy all day and night. What with fishing in the daylight hours and hunting all night I hardly have time to sleep, let alone work! I feel like my hunting and fishing powers are at their peak in this month. I feel that in April I truly am a SPORTSMAN!