CHEBOYGAN -- TheDepartment of NaturalResources office inCheboygan is among thelocations open to successfulhunters and trappers to bring their catch to be examined.Many DNR office locationsare offering furbearer regis-tration hours for during the2012-2013 furharvester sea-sons. Anyone taking a bobcat,river otter, fisher, marten orincidental catch must bring the animal to a designatedfurbearer check station forexamination. DNR staff members collectbiological data from the har-vested animals, including sex, age and physical condi-tion of the specimen. Theskull of each specimen willalso be retained for tooth andDNA samples. An official sealis then attached to each peltto show it has been inspect-ed."Registration for thesefurbearers is mandatory, asthe information gatheredhelps us determine proposedbag limits and season struc-ture for the future," said DNRfurbearer specialist AdamBump. "Cooperation fromtrappers and hunters in thiseffort is greatly appreciated."The following DNR officesare open for furbearer regis-tration during regular busi-ness hours: Please note, dueto field staff limitations, allfur harvesters are encour-aged to call ahead to ensuresomeone is available to assist with furbearer registration.) •Baraga, Bay City, Cadillac,Gaylord, Marquette andNewberry operations servicecenters•Cheboygan, Crystal Falls,Escanaba, Gwinn andNorway field offices DNR offices with specially designated furbearer regis-tration dates and hours are asfollows: •Wakefield: 10 a.m. to 2p.m. (Central Time) on Jan. 9& 23; Feb. 6 & 20; March 6 &20; and April 17•Stephenson: 4 to 6 p.m.(Central Time) on Jan. 4, Feb.7, March 7 and May 4 DNR ffices that offerfurbearer registration by appointment only: Approximately 40 addi-tional DNR locations (includ-ing operations service cen-ters, field offices, state gameareas and state parks) offerfurbearer registration during normal business hours by appointment only.Trappers and hunters mustcall ahead to ensure staff availability at locations thatrequire an appointment. Fora full list of locations, includ-ing contact information, visit www.michigan.gov/trap-ping. Non-DNR locations openfor furbearer registrationinclude: •U.S. Forest Service Officein Manistique, by appoint-ment only •U.S. Forest Service Officein Rapid River, 8 a.m. to 4:30p.m. M-F•Settler's Co-op in BruceCrossing, by appointmentonly Trappers and furbearerhunters are reminded thatthey must register their owntake and cannot register forothers. Complete details andinstructions for furbearerregistration can be found inthe 2012 Michigan Hunting and Trapping Guide, which isavailable online at www.michigan.gov/hunting,at DNR operations servicecenters, and at authorizedlicense vendors statewide. For more informationabout furbearer registration,contact Adam Bump at 517-373-1263, or call one of theDNR offices listed above.
Successful trappers and hunters must bring catch to DNR furbearer check station forexamination
Ice Fishing is a Very Cool Sport!
On-line at www.weeklychoice.com
January 3, 2013 Choice Publications ... The Best Choice! • Page 3-B
Furbearer registration open at Cheboygan
By Doug DerrerTRAVERSE CITY -- In theirfirst game of the Scott MillerMemorial Holiday Tournament the Bay Reps fellto the Traverse City CentralTrojans 7-2. The Trojan special teamsdid most of the damage,scoring three power play goals and a short-handedgoal to lead their team to vic-tory. After Central scored apair of goals 11 seconds apartin the opening period, ZachHill scored a short-handedgoal for the Reps to get Bay Area within a goal.The Trojans would add twomore goals in the opening period before Hill scored hissecond goal with 8 secondsleft in the period to make thescore 4-2 in favor of Central. The second period wouldbe costly for the Reps as theTrojans added two moregoals and they lost Hill as theresult of a controversialcheck from behind call whichdisqualified him for the restof this game and the next twogames. A third period short-handed goal by the Trojansmade the final score 7-2 infavor of Central. In the consolation bracketthe Reps faced Midland andBay Area goalie Claire Huhtasaw her first action in netafter returning from a kneeinjury she suffered during soccer season. The Reps andChemics skated to a 0-0 tieafter one period as bothteams played strong defense. Midland came out strong in the second period andscored three goals to take a 3-0 lead in the second inter-mission. Midland scoredanother goal in the thirdperiod before Travis Kirk scored a power play goal forthe Reps with an assist from Andrew Dzierwa, but twomore Chemic goals wouldmake the final score 6-1 infavor of Midland.The Reps would faceTraverse City West in theirfinal game of the tournamentand after a scoreless firstperiod the fireworks woulderupt in the second period.Nick Sicinski put the Repsup 1-0 when he scored anunassisted power play goal with 13:33 to go in the period.Three minutes later Kirk gavethe Reps a two-goal lead withhelp from Trevor Apsey andMark Mol. The Titans scoredtwo goals to even the score at2-2 before Josh Hill scored apower play goal with 7 sec-onds left in the period to givethe Reps a 3-2 lead. That goal would be the game winner asthe Reps defense and goalieJay Jones stymied the Titanoffense in the third periodand Bay Area held on for a 3-2 win.The Reps will take their 3-7record in the road as they travel to Cadillac on January 2, Tri Valley on Jan. 4 andMid-Michigan on Jan. 5.For many people, fishing isthe most relaxing way tospend the day. And in the winter months the most pop-ular angling activity is icefishing. To those who havenever tried it, ice fishing issometimes looked upon asan oddity, but for others, icefishing is the best kind of fishing. Although it doesn't appealto all, many anglers actually prefer fishing through the iceto open-water fishing. Forone thing, anglers can get just about anywhere on thelake during ice fishing sea-son, something they can't do without a boat during theopen water season. Virtually every fish that's available toanglers in the summer can becaught through the ice -some are even caught morefrequently in the winter.Once you've spent a littletime on the ice, you'll soonsee a different picture. Icefishing is more than just a way to fill the long days of winter. It's a chance tobreathe the cold, clean win-ter air, to spend quiet timeoutdoors with family andfriends, and to relax and col-lect one's thoughts away from the hustle and bustle of a busy world. Just walking on the ice canbe a unique experience,especially when no snow obscures the view of the water below. However, as with any outdoor activity,safety should be your topconcern. When it comes toice safety, you should steerclear of dark spots or places where the snow looks discol-ored.Some other good rules tofollow include: 1. Never fishalone, 2. Tell someone where you are going and when youexpect to return, 3. Alwaystest the ice with a spud(described later), 4. Take theappropriate emergency items, such as a lifejacket andice picks, and 5. Take a cellphone with you in case youneed to call for help. Dress in your warmest winter clothes;fill a thermos with hot coffee,chocolate or tea; and bring an empty bucket or old lawnchair to sit on.To get started ice fishing, you'll need the basics: some-thing to make a hole in theice, something to clear thehole and keep it open and icefree, and something to fish with, or equipment. The two basic tools used tomake holes in the ice arespuds and augers. A spudfeatures a long-shank with achisel-like end that's used tochip a hole in the ice. A spudis a tool you use when the iceisn't too thick. An auger is acorkscrew-like device with acutting blade that operateslike a hand drill to make ahole in the ice. For extremely thick ice, power augers thatrun on batteries or smallgasoline engines are avail-able and make creating holesmuch easier. Once the hole is created itneeds to be cleared of icechips or slush. A skimmer (ora slush scoop) is a small cup with holes in it (to let the water run out) on a long han-dle. It is inexpensive and per-fectly suited for the job. A skimmer is used to clear thehole right after it's made, as well as throughout the day if it's particularly cold and if additional ice forms.Please note the size of thehole is important. The holemust be big enough that youcan get a fish out, but not toolarge of a hole that it may endanger someone's life. Anglers are recommended tokeep their holes to a maxi-mum of eight to 10 inches indiameter which wouldaccommodate the size of most fish species. Whenabandoning fishing holes,anglers should mark them with a tree branch, sticks orchunks of ice to alert othersof their presence.Ice fishing equipment canbe divided into three basiccategories: hook-and-line,tip-ups and spears.Most hook-and-lineanglers use short, limberrods with reels or simplespring-tension spools to holdthe line. Sometimes they may use something as simple as acouple of pegs on the rodhandle used to wrap the linearound. Limber rods allow the use of light line, whichusually results in better fish-ing and absorbs more of theshock when fighting fish.Hook-and-line anglers uselive bait, artificial lures orsometimes both to catchmany different species of fish. Anglers often use smalllures, such as teardrops orflies, with live bait - such as wax worms (bee moth larva),spikes (fly larvae), wigglers(mayfly larvae) or minnows -attached to the hook for bet-ter action. The bait can befished without movement or jigging can be used to attractthe fish. Jigging is most suc-cessful if a lure of any kind isused.Hook-and-line anglershave the choice of using abobber on the line, just asthey would while fishing inthe summer. Some may alsofish with a tight line and use aspring bobber, which is asmall strip of metal or wirethat extends off the rod tiplike an additional eye on therod. Any motion alertsanglers to the bite, a bonusfor small fish or light-biters.Generally, anglers begin by fishing near the bottom and work their way up in the water column until they locate the fish, then continueto fish at that same depth. Anglers can use bobbers toset their baits at a preferreddepth or fish a tight line,either fishing without move-ment or jigging.For bigger fish, anglers useheavier gear with larger luresor bigger hooks which allowsthem to use larger baits -minnows, smelt, salmon eggsor spawn bags. Anglers gen-erally start at the bottom andgradually move up in the water column when jigging, while those fishing with livebait, spawn bags or salmoneggs generally fish right off the bottom.Some anglers prefer to fish with tip-ups, which aredevices set on the ice abovethe hole that dangle the bait(most often minnows)beneath them. Tip-ups, which feature small reelssubmerged in the water, gettheir name from a flag that'sbent over and attached to thereel. When a fish takes thebait, the reel turns andreleases not only line, but theflag as well. The flags' "tipup" action alerts the anglerto the fish taking out line.Tip-ups are usually spooled with heavy, braided line.Often an angler who is fish-ing with a rod will also set atip-up in a different hole, giv-ing them two ways to catch afish and giving them anopportunity to fish for differ-ent species, or more than onefish, or at two different butclose by locations.Spearing is another form of ice fishing that is a more spe-cialized but traditional sport. Anglers who spear cut largeholes in the ice, usually withan ice saw or chain saw. They fish from tents or small shel-ters commonly calledshanties that can be portableor more permanent (or atleast as permanent as the iceis). The shanty blocks thelight, allowing anglers to seedown more clearly in the water in order to spear thefish. This has given rise to theterm dark-house spearing.Spearing anglers generally dangle decoys or large livebaits (such as suckers) in the water to attract their targetfish. They utilize spears thattypically have a substantial weight to them and haveseven to nine tines on theend of a seven-foot handle.The most common specieshook-and-line ice fishermenare looking for are panfish:bluegill, sunfish, perch andcrappie. Tip-ups are general-ly used for larger game fish,such as northern pike, wall-eye and various trout species.In Michigan, spear fishermenare allowed to target north-ern pike, muskellunge, lakesturgeon and many otherspecies. There are many restrictions associated withspear fishing and anglersshould read the annualMichigan Fishing Guide formore information. A basic tip for all three icefishing methods is that themost success is seen arounddawn until mid-morning andagain from late afternoonuntil sundown. This is espe-cially true for panfish and walleye. Some species can bemore aggressive at othertimes during the day, such asnorthern pike. It's alsoimportant to understand thatfish are more sluggish during the winter and move aroundless, especially during themiddle of winter when icethickness and snow cover isthe heaviest. The more holesanglers cut and try, the bettertheir chances are for locating aggressive fish.One common piece of equipment nearly all types of anglers who ice fish utilizeare electronic fish finders.These help anglers locateboth aggressive and non-aggressive fish and make iteasier to determine if yourholes will be active and how present fish are reacting to your fishing methods.It's important to be pre-pared to face the elements when you go ice fishing by including these items: shelterand apparel.Ice fishing can be a fairly cold activity, especially onthose windy days when itdoesn't seem fit to be out-doors. On such days, a shan-ty is almost a requirement.Many portable shanties areavailable at your local sport-ing goods store, althoughsome anglers, especially innorthern Michigan where theice fishing season can last formany months build elabo-rate but removable shantieson the ice. These may haveinsulated walls and many of the comforts of home.Propane heaters can keepthem warm and help keepthe fishing holes from freez-ing. But even a simple wind-break, made of plywood orparticle board, can help. A sheet of plywood, cut in half and hinged, makes a simple windbreak. If skis or runnersare added to one side, then itcan easily be pulled acrossthe ice.
Reps rally from two losses to edge T.C. West in final game; Josh Hill hammers home game winner
Bay Reps compete in T.C. tourney