REED CITY  — Area outdoorsmen are ready to test their luck in a new year. But at least for a month or two, they’ll probably have to dress warmly.

Andy Duffy of Evart said he hasn’t been out fishing but has done some rabbit hunting.

“That’s been good,” he said. “But with the recent thaw and then the refreezing, it made really terrible snow conditions, he said. “The cold temperatures (this week)...until we get fresh snow on top of what we have now and until the weather warms up a little bit, probably the rabbit hunting will be terrible. I don’t think it will be any good.”

Prior to the end of December, Duffy was hoping to get in some remaining days of grouse hunting.

“Grouse hunting is tough right now with the deep snow, but a hunter can find an occasional grouse if he looks hard,” he said. “I’m thinking about going after squirrels some after grouse season closes.”

Doug Loomis of Ed’s Sports Shop notes that steelhead fishing continues to be good.

“As far as the lakes are concerned, there’s three or four inches in most every lake,” Loomis said. “Idlewild has a false layer on top, it’s a good three or four inches solid, so you may crunch through.”

Bush Lake now has six to eight inches, he added.

“A guy who lives on Minch Lake said he got nine perch (Sunday prior to New Year’s Eve),” Loomis said.

There’s still fish in the Pere Marquette River, reports Casey Hefferan of the Pere Marquette River Lodge.

“Things are cooling off now,” Hefferan said. “Things are getting to be a little bit tougher. The trout fishing has been hanging on. There’s a lot of brown trout to be caught. There’s still plenty of steelhead in the river. You just have to be willing to go out there and shiver to get them.”

There’s limited fishing on the river, depending on the weather, said Jay Frank of Baldwin Bait & Tackle.

“There’s still a lot of steelhead, but the cold weather will slow down the fishemen a little bit,” he said. “I haven’t heard much about ice fishing. I would say proceed with caution.”