Saturday, August 22, 2009

What Do You Like To Read?

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I’m an outdoor writer, and if we base that on the large number of writing and photography awards on my walls, a decent one at that. I enjoy writing about all types of fishing and hunting but I always could use a little bit of help from my readers.

Send me an email at < > and tell me what you most like to read. Is it bear hunting, and some of the hair-raising pieces I’ve written about my bear-hunting experiences over the past 38 years?

Or, might it be bow hunting for whitetail deer? It’s my favorite passion, but I also want things to be appealing to you. I realize that it’s impossible to satisfy everyone, but with 55 years of hunting and some 250 ore more deer under my belt, I can write all day about whitetail hunting techniques.

How about salmon fishing? It’s still the big deal on the Great Lakes these days, but all isn’t peachy across the state. The Lake Huron salmon fishery isn’t quite as good as it once was , and this year the action has been good on Lake Michigan. Will it hold up or not? Let’s hope so.

Walleyes have ripped the top off the container holding the biggest angling attraction in the state, and snatched it away from salmon 12-15 years ago. Walleyes are easier to catch, taste wonderful on the table, and they match the moods of those people who don’t care to bounce around on the larger Great Lakes.

Where does duck and goose hunting stand on your list of things to do? Do panfish (bluegills, crappies and sunfish) rate high marks, and how about stream fishing for steelhead?

It seems that steelhead fishing (and catching) has slowed a bit from its manic pace of 15 years ago. Do you still thrill to the cold water tightening your wader-clad legs in the spring and fall, and do you enjoy the frosty nip of steelhead in mid-winter below power dams?

Fall salmon fishing in the rivers can be a hoot, and these tackle-busting fish can stir up a bunch of fun for anglers who learn how to catch them with bait, fly, plug or spinner. Hook a 20-pounder in heavy, fast water, and you are in for a long-distance fight that could cover a quarter-mile of river.

How about hare, rabbit and squirrel hunting? These game animals are what most hunters grew up chasing after. They still rank high marks among hunters.

Let’s face it: I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy wing-shooting for ruffed grouse and woodcock. It’s easy to factor ringneck pheasants into that equation too, and to a lesser extent, quail during an open season.

This state needs a mourning dove season again, and even with a season, the nay-sayers would still have plenty of doves cooing during the day, spattering decks with their droppings, and scaring smaller song birds from the feeders. Other states have dove seasons, and their bird populations have not declined or disappeared, and it’s time for Michigan hunters to take some of the birds that we raise.

For a money-strapped DNR, a dove season could help. Studies prove that hunting really doesn’t affect bird numbers in this state, and most states south of Michigan have a season. The idea was soundly trounced in recent years, but perhaps it’s time for the state to study the matter again.

Most of you know I love muskie fishing, and I enjoy writing about this type of fishing—one man, one fish, who will win? In most cases, the muskie almost always wins. It’’s those occasional days when the Muskie Gods smile, and grant us a good battle with a big fish, and that really turns me on. I have never kept a muskie, and don’t plan to start now.

Do you enjoy my occasional rantings about how the Traverse City area is growing too fast? It is expanding in all directions except due north, and one wonders when and where it will stop.

How about my occasional pieces on the ethics of fishing and hunting? We, as anglers and hunters, must impose our personal code of ethics on our outings. We can’t be winking at the fish and game laws, and continue to feel these laws are made for everyone but us. People must study their own brand of ethics, and see if it fits in with those of society.

I spent many years writing outdoor magazine articles, 25 books on fishing and hunting, and 23 years were spent writing about fishing and hunting for a major daily newspaper. Few people would write to the editors and tell them what they wanted. Now, the only boss I have is you folks, and many of you do write. I still would like a sense of direction or I’ll continue to do as I’ve done for nearly six years with this daily weblog.

Which is to write about what I think you would like to read. I try to keep my daily topics timely, but some input is certainly welcome. Which of you is willing to take five minutes to write a note with your thoughts?

Bring ‘em on, and don’t be bashful. I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t want to know.

Posted by Dave Richey on 08/22 at 05:57 PM
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