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May, a Great Month for the Outdoorsman

I must say that the month of May is a lot like Christmas for the hunting and fishing crowd; there’s a host of opportunities to hunt and fish for a variety of species. I’ve seen some photos of successful turkey hunters, but a couple were particularly interesting. One of those photos was of Jessica and Erik Steinbacher’s nine-year-old son, Brecken, who had just shot his second gobbler while being accompanied by his dad. What’s more interesting is that his first bird was a jake, but this time, he nailed a double-bearded bird — talk about a great start!

Another successful turkey hunt photo that I saw last week was of a leucistic wild turkey that somebody had taken; the bird was all white except for black markings showing up where black would normally be found.

Leucism is a condition in which melanin and other pigments are inhibited from being deposited in the feathers, thus resulting in possibly an all-white bird or one that is mostly white but with some black pigments remaining visible. A leucistic turkey is not an albino since in albinism, the turkey would have pink eyes, legs, feet, and bills, while leucistic birds usually have normally colored eyes, legs, feet, and bills.

If you’re still interested in getting out and doing some hunting, the groundhogs are starting to show up all over the place. Groundhog hunting can be pursued all summer and into the fall, and it’s a good way to get that deer rifle out and ready for the fall deer season.

If you are not busy chasing groundhogs or turkeys, I don’t have to tell you that May is one of the best times of the year for a variety of fishing. Of course, trout season just got underway last month, but some of the best trout fishing is done during the month of May. The creeks were a little bit high the first week or two due to some heavy rains, but the water has settled down and is looking good, and there’s still plenty of trout left.

My favorite type of trout fishing is with a flyrod, and May is a great month for taking trout on dry flies. So far, after a few outings, I have managed to take a fair number of trout with a number 16 Deer Hair Caddis, but there are still a number of great mayfly hatches yet to come, making for some great surface action.

Several other fishing opportunities are available in May, and walleyes are one of them. Both the river and a few area lakes can provide decent walleye fishing.

The same is true for bass fishing, but the bass season does not officially start until June. If you fish for bass, you cannot target spawning bass beds. Bass should be quickly and carefully released to prevent any damage to the fish.

If you’re looking for some fishing fun and maybe even some fish to take home for the table, the month of May offers up some of the best panfishing opportunities of the year, and that’s especially true of crappies. I spent several days at “fishing camp” with several friends, and all of our fishing is directed towards panfish and, more specifically, crappies.

Crappies are just beginning to move into shallower bays and lake edges where they spawn. They especially like to move into and around wood structures like trees and stumps sticking up out of the water; find that structure and cover, and you will most likely find the crappies.

Now, I was just thinking that if we didn’t have to cut grass, we would have a lot more time to pursue some of the game and fish I just mentioned.