KENTUCKY (1/3/13) – The first week of January brings on a lot of new resolutions for some people. I truly hope that all had a wonderful Christmas holiday, like my family did. We are a blessed nation.
With the new year starting fast, January brings with it some great opportunities to get out in the great outdoors of Western Kentucky. Personally, my New Year’s resolution is to spend more time afield, hunting and fishing, and to get more people involved in the great outdoors.
From Waterfowl hunting, small game, bow deer season, and all the way to varmint hunting, the 2013 hunting season is in full stride. On any given day a person can pick anything possible to hunt in the great outdoors.
Myself, I chose to get out on my ATV with my son, Lucas, one afternoon, just to take a good ride through some woodlands to get a good view of the area. We saw a lot of activity near white oak trees. Mostly there were lots of signs of scratching of leaves on the ground by deer and turkey, and possibly squirrels as well. I scout around all year long.
My advice to those spending time in the woods this time of year is to be prepared for the various weather elements. Wind can be devastating if you are not clothed properly. I wear gloves, a face mask, a warm hat, a couple of thermals, insulated pants and a warm hoody. Keep in mind that your head and neck is where the majority of your body heat escapes from.
As a backup, I also take a blind bag or backpack with extra gloves, hand warmers and a thermos full of hot coffee or hot chocolate.
January is a month that can be very rewarding to outdoorsmen. You can experience a good viewing of a variety of wildlife right now. So far this year, I’ve seen geese, ducks, Bald Eagles, several migrating flocks of sand hill cranes, deer, turkey, coyotes, squirrels, beavers, and bobcats.
There is lots of bird activity this time of year due to migrating waterfowl. If you’re a bird watcher, I strongly suggest that you travel to a waterfowl refuge in Western Kentucky. Henderson Sloughs Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Ballard wildlife WMA, Land Between the Lakes, Muhlenberg County Peabody WMA Goose Lake refuge and Ohio County Island and South Lakes are all excellent areas to view all kinds of waterfowl and birds in general. I have seen thousands of birds on these sites. If you would be interested in visiting these sites, pick up a copy of the Kentucky Hunting Guide for Waterfowl at any participating license dealers or sporting goods.
A good pair of binoculars are imperative to have when bird watching. Land Between the Lakes offers a bald eagle viewing from boats in January. You can find information on their website. There are numerous opportunities for enjoyment this time of year.
Another fun-filled activity available right now is a good hike through the woods. There are no snakes, mosquitoes, or ticks to worry about. Gear up with a good pair of boots and light gear and take a healthy hike early in the day. For hiking, particularly in unfamiliar areas, I urge everyone to use a GPS and/or a compass. Google Mapquest an area before you go.
Don’t let the chilly weather stop you from enjoying the great outdoors of Kentucky. Hunt, fish, trap, hike, watch some birds. There’s plenty to do in the Kentucky outdoors.
Until next week, we’ll see you in the woods or on the water.
Outdoors with Big Country
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