TV host cautions anglers on getting on ice too soon

BIG RAPIDS —  It’s late December, but plenty of outdoor activity is still taking place as far as Kyle Randall, of Paris and TV host of the Wilderness Journal, is concerned.

“The late doe season started Monday, so you’re still going to see some folks trying to put venison in the freezer,” Randall said. “It’s a mixed bag for the deer season so I think there’s more than average number of people out there trying.”

As far as fishing is concerned, Randall cautions anglers to stay off the ice until it’s solid and safe.

“There’s been a number of people, unfortunately, including some very well known to the Wilderness Journal family, who have fallen through the ice. Unfortunately, in one instance I believe, they didn’t make it. Definitely, stay off the ice until it’s more secure.”

The snow load has been keeping the ice soft, Randall indicated.

“We’ve had plenty of cold weather,” he said. “But with the snow on top of the ice, it insulates it enough so it just isn’t solid. We have some warm weather coming up in the next few days. It will be a week to 10 days before I would think of going out there, and I would definitely not go out alone. Ice fishing is ice fishing. It’s something that is done best in the group.”

Diehard deer hunters are still doing some bow hunting. Muzzleloading has ended locally.

“There is an extended doe season going until the end of the month and the second half of archery season is still going (through Jan. 1) and there’s still a number of deer around,” Randall said. “With the warm up coming, there’s a lot of people primarily due to the fog and warmth early in the firearm season that didn’t harvest a deer. Now there’s still a number of deer available.”