The past year delivered Michiana sportsmen their share of pleasant surprises and disappointments.
Our lakes refilled from the drought of 2011, the EHD virus gave our deer a break, and a good number of steelhead returned to the St. Joseph River this fall.
On the other hand, the weather was goofy, providing us a cool wet spring, cooler summer and a fall that transitioned to winter without an enjoyable Indian summer.
And, of course, the winter has been brutal.
So, as we look ahead into a new year, here are some things to ponder as we “plow” our way into 2014:
Will we be fishing open water – or through the ice this April?
Given the miserable deer season across Michiana last fall, will wildlife managers cut back on the antlerless deer tags to give the herd a chance to rebound?
Have we seen the last of the fatal deer virus EHD?
Will Hoosiers who are angered by Michigan’s doubling of non-resident license fees live up to their promise of not buying one this year?
I wonder how many tickets Michigan conservation officers will write for Hoosiers fishing without a license?
Is there enough support in Indiana for the 25-fish bluegill bag limit that the DNR has proposed?
Can we expect more steelhead to come into Indiana’s section of the St. Joseph River and provide a superb spring fishery?
Whatever happened to all of those coho that Indiana stocked in the St. Joe – the ones that were supposed to create a bonus fishing last fall? Will the 2014 autumn be better?
If the proposal to increase Indiana’s walleye size limit to 16 inches passes, will it create a better big-fish fishery in the coming years?
How many prize-winning tagged smallmouth will anglers catch from Indiana’s St. Joseph River this season?