Sochocki enjoys hunting success

Mark Sochocki
Mark Sochocki

BIG RAPIDS — Mark Sochocki has been a busy hunter in December and is ready for the new year.

Sochocki, Big Rapids’ Housing Commission director, went to Nebraska last week for bird hunting with his oldest son. It’s an annual trip for Sochocki.

“I went well,” he said. “We shot a lot of birds.”

But bird hunting in Michigan was very bad,” Sochocki said. “Last season was pretty slow.”

He’s also been busy watching his two sons play varsity and JV basketball at Evart.

Locally, “I didn’t do much deer hunting,” Sochocki said. “My son Lane did and shot a couple of nice bucks toward the end of the season.”

Sochocki indicated it was a decent buck season around Osceola County.

He’s a huge Saginaw Bay fisherman during the winter walleyes and perch.

“Once we get some ice, we’ll be making some trips over there,” he said. “Overall, the bird hunting has been fairly steady in Nebraska but on a slight decline as habitat is being lost at an increasing rate in the Great Plains. This was, by far, the worst year for me, pheasant hunting in Michigan since I began bird hunting in 1977, and ruffed grouse numbers in Michigan are the lowest I have ever seen. Overall, 2018, for me from a hunting and fishing perspective was a mixed bag as the hunting opportunities and success in Michigan continues to decline, but on the bright side, the fishing continues to be outstanding.

“We had some tremendous days on the water this year, including days on Saginaw Bay where we could catch a four-person limit (32 fish) of walleyes in less than two hours on some trips and the late summer/early fall perch fishing on the bay was outstanding as well. We had some very good salmon fishing trips on Lake Michigan as well, including, catching a boat record, 28-pound king during the Ludington Offshore Classic Ruboy Thursday event which was the biggest fish of the tournament, and on days when the salmon bite was slow, we headed offshore, sometimes over 20 miles, and had some good luck finding big steelhead.”