Local TV host admits outdoor activity has been slow

BIG RAPIDS — It’s the thick of the winter season, but that doesn’t mean all is quiet on the outdoors front, at least not as far as Kyle Randall is concerned.

Randall, a Paris resident, is host of the Wilderness Journal TV program.

“The only thing I’m hearing lately is they’re starting to get a few decent pike through some of the local lakes,” Randall said. “Other than that, there’s really not a lot happening. Some of the ice is a little slushy and that’s keeping some folks off it. There’s not a lot of other activity that I’m aware of. Nobody is running dogs or chasing rabbits with the crusty snow.

“There’s not a lot happening right now. They are catching some walleye at Saginaw Bay and doing pretty well over there. Over here, the only other thing I know of is they’re getting two or three, sometimes four fish a trip steelhead fishing on the Manistee in the local rivers closer to Lake Michigan.”

He made those comments prior to last weekend when extreme freezing temperatures made the outdoor scene more complicated.

Rabbit hunting conditions would be better with softer snow surfaces, Randall noted.

“With the crusted, compressed snow pack, there really isn’t much in the way of rabbit hunting or any of the regular small game stuff that would normally be happening,” he said, adding that ice fishing “is now a little slower than usual, the only exception being of people catching some pike through the ice. As far as pan fishing, from what I’ve been told it’s been quite slow.”

There’s still several more weeks of winter, but Randall acknowledged that deer mortality potential is likely to be more favorable this winter than last year.

“For what deer are left after last year’s winter up to this point of course, no one knows what the future may bring, but there should be hardly no appreciable winter kill,” he said. “There’s plenty of open feed and greatly reduced numbers to compete for it. There should be no winter kill, especially on the public land.”

Outdoor shows are getting good turnouts, Randall said. He added there are plans for some type of seminar in March at Trigger Time Outfitters in Big Rapids. More details will be provided later.

“We will have a program. We just have to figure out what it’s going to be,” he said.