Hunters enjoy many opportunities



PARIS - The warmer-than-usual weather for late December has outdoor enthusiasts encouraged over their opportunities for this time of year, and Kyle Randall, a Paris resident and host of the Wilderness Journal TV program, is expecting sportsmen to take advantage.

Deer hunting season is officially in its final days, including the bow season which ends on Jan 1.

"The late doe season is in progress and there are a few fellas still out filling their freezer," Randall said last week. "There certainly are still a lot of deer around. The warm weather is making it easier for people to get into the field than they might if it was 10 below zero out there. I have seen a few buckets with some ice fishing gear in the back of some trucks. I would be a little leary about the ice out there. The smaller lakes are probably all right. I would be awfully careful with this warmup.

"The river fishing is still steady. They're doing all right on the steelhead. There's some things going on out there. Until we get some snow back, it's going to be a little slow."

He added small game opportunities should continue in January and February for hunters looking for squirrels and rabbits.

Fishing is a mixed bag with anglers forced to forget about some lakes and possibly able to get on a few, although the recent warming trend has nullified that.

But Randall is hopeful of prospects in upcoming months.

As for ice fishing, "the key is early dependable ice," Randall said. "If we have another year where it warms and thaws and freezes, you have a situation where fish are moving deeper."