Get a Good Start for 2020

Outdoors with Forda Birds—By John Andreoni

Like many others, I like to start off the New Year with positive vibes. For example, I ushered in 2020 by going to church twice in the same day. That’s definitely not me, but the skies didn’t part, a bolt of lightning didn’t smoke me, and I accomplished what I set out to do. I keep talking about the last volume of the Going Wild with Forda Birds series. Volume V is finally finished, sent to the editor, and then off to the publisher. The series covers 50 years of outdoor columns I’ve written, and I don’t think I ever intentionally included any fake news or alternative facts. People make fun of the term “alternative facts,” but I did read somewhere that they do exist but are predominately used by courtroom lawyers and politicians scratching for votes. I can believe that…or not. After all, evidently truth isn’t necessarily true.

As far as starting 2020 outdoors, I haven’t wetted a line although area fishermen have been fortunate in starting the year with open water and relatively mild temperatures. All of the canal lakes are producing fish depending on conditions and the skill level of the fishermen. This should change shortly and ice fishermen will be hoping to get a pattern of subfreezing weather before spring thinks about setting in. Last year at this time, there was up to 13 inches of ice reported on area lakes. There was three inches or so in December, but that didn’t last long.

According to Division of Wildlife reports, more deer were harvested during the 2019-20 season than in 2018-19 at the same time. An estimated 370,000 deer hunters were or will be in the field this season, and if this is a normal year, one out of three will fill a tag. Hunters who still have an open tag will have four days starting on January 4 to hunt with a muzzleloader. True, the muzzleloader only provides the hunter with one shot, but with modern technology, some of these guns are as effective as a shotgun or a rifle chambered for one of the big straight-walled cartridges. Regardless, hunters should get a break on the weather during the muzzleloader season. According to the forecasts, high temperatures should be above freezing for all four days. The bad news is that there is a chance of rain on two of those days.

I don’t intend to fish or hunt during the first part of 2020. First, I have absolutely no desire to chase a deer with a muzzleloader or anything else for that matter. I’m not against deer hunting, but it’s not on my priority list this season. As far as fishing goes, I don’t care to be on the ice and will be content to wait for spring. I guess age and some minor medical issues helped make these decisions, but I’m trying to be relatively smart and get some health back before I go trapesing off into the wilderness when the weather breaks this spring.

Meanwhile, I do have some interesting options to consider this year that are taking place indoors. Some sport shows have morphed negatively over the years adapting to the internet and growing online sales and purchasing. The benefits of hands-on product sales has always had its benefits, and area sport shows are starting to adapt again to that concept. For example, the 62nd annual Cleveland Boat Show will have a New Fishing Expo added to the event. The Expo will include exhibits of tackle and related equipment, fishing charters, and resorts catering to anglers. There will also be many hands-on opportunities including a trout fishing pond, casting and flipping challenges, kayak fishing demonstrations, virtual sport fishing simulators, fly fishing lake, and a continuous line-up of seminars and clinics. 100,000 square feet of display area have been added to this show to accommodate the changes and additions. The show runs from January 16-20 at the I-X Center, Cleveland.

The Cincinnati Sport show is now under new management. Renfro Productions has acquired the Ford Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show from Hart Productions. Fishing tackle and the Hawg Trough seminar series will return for 2020! Renfro has been around as long as the original Cincinnati Show and is the producer of what is billed as the largest sport show in the nation, the Ford Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show. The Cincinnati Show will again be held at the Duke Energy Convention Center. Show dates are January 17-19 & 22-26.

Getting fired up for 2020 isn’t going to be a problem for many people, me included. All of us will be facing challenges of some sort. How we deal with them will determine whether we have a good year or not. Along with facing standard ills, I also want to use my boat more this year, catch some big fish, find some mushrooms, and maybe rescue another dog. With those goals, every day should be a good one.