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The Tri-State in the Deep Freeze

January 30, 2014

By Chris Erwin

Only a week or so ago temperatures were in the 50s. Spring fever was brewing with the talk of spring in the air. That was a week ago and it seems like a month! Temperatures have dipped back into the danger zone for pets and anyone staying out in the elements.

I got word the Department of Fish and Wildlife is hatching fish to be stocked in our lakes this spring. However, some will be a little tardy because brood ponds are frozen over and the collection of some broodstock will be a little delayed until the ponds are open again.

Aaron Erwin at the Erwin camp on Cave Run Lake. (Photo by Chris Erwin)

Aaron Erwin at the Erwin camp on Cave Run Lake. (Photo by Chris Erwin)

We often forget about the people working in the background improving our chances once spring gets here. It may feel like there is no end to these crippling temperatures but they will pass and the promise of rebirth is just around the corner.

I was asked a few days ago in a letter commenting on this column how I can write about the outdoors when its 11 degrees outside? The answer is simple: I don’t just write about the outdoors, I write about the love we all have for the outdoors. The truth is when it’s 11 degrees we all miss it the most.

As I stare out this window looking at the snow-covered hills and think back to when I was a kid, the snow in those days was an opportunity not an obstacle. I remember my mother yelling for me to come inside with my frozen hands and plastic bag covered feet numb from playing in the snow. Now don’t act like you never had your mother slip plastic bags over your two pair of socks in an effort to keep you dry…

While the snow is unwanted by many, some of us are making the best of it. The picture is of the author's neighbor playing in the snow. (Photo by Chris Erwin)

While the snow is unwanted by many, some of us are making the best of it. The picture is of the author’s neighbor playing in the snow. (Photo by Chris Erwin)

I know that spring seems far off right now as icicles form around your down spouts and gutters. However, the days are getting longer and the promise of spring is just around the corner.

I took cuttings from my grapes this fall and stuck them in a jar of water by the window in the kitchen. Today, I saw the first leaves start to form on the dead looking branches. I know this doesn’t have a thing to do with the weather outside but it still gives me hope for spring.

I also wanted to tell you ladies this week about a program you may be interested in if you love the outdoors. The information comes from a new release I received this week and I wanted to pass along:

Becoming an Outdoorswoman, or BOW to those who participate, is a nationally recognized program designed for beginners seeking a relaxed, non-competitive environment to learn various skills from seasoned professionals.

The Beyond BOW workshop scheduled for the first Saturday in April offers a variety of topics including tree identification, hunting, fishing, bird identification, wild game cooking, edible plants, archery, shooting and more.

The $50 registration fee covers two class sessions, lunch, equipment and materials. For an additional $25, participants may stay the night before classes start at Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s Camp Robert Webb, located on the shores of Grayson Lake in Carter County. The lodging fee includes a continental breakfast the next morning. Courses are taught at Camp Webb.

Classes fill on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline to apply is March 14.

Women interested in learning basic outdoor skills in a comfortable, friendly environment can register online at fw.ky.gov or call the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources at 1-800-858-1549 for more information.

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