FOUR WAYS TO GET THE KIDS OUTSIDE
Winter is finally starting to loosen its grip and better weather is showing up in forecasts across the country. Now is the time to get the kids outside, break them out of their winter routine, and ignite their passion for the great outdoors.
It’s still early enough that you may have to be picky about the day you go, but there aren’t many better ways to enjoy the outdoors in spring than with some bobbers and a handful of worms.
Don’t get caught up in thinking that you need a boat to enjoy fishing. Look for shore fishing opportunities on local lakes or ask for permission on private ponds. Even if you can’t take home a pile of fillets for the table, bluegills under bobbers have probably created more outdoor enthusiasts than any other single activity.
The snow is retreating, finally, and it’s time to get out and scour your hunting properties for sheds before the squirrels and underbrush consume them. It’s a lot of walking, or maybe a nice ride on a UTV, but it’s a great time to talk about what you’re seeing, find new trails to catalog for next year, and spend some quiet time in the field with your kids. Every kid loves a treasure hunt, put that instinct to good use.
Scouting for Turkeys
While we’re in the lull before turkey seasons open, there is still time to get some scouting in. Maybe that means moving some cameras around, or finding a new roosting site, but it can be done while pulling double duty on a shed hunt. Regardless, scouting is a great time to get the kids out with you and teach them what to look for as season approaches.
This one is still a few weeks away for some, and a month or more for most, but there’s no reason to not have it on your radar. More often than not people are late to mushroom season, not early. If you have time to be in the woods early to check those spots, there’s no reason not to.
While mushrooms get all the attention, keep your eyes open for other foraging options as well. Ramps are a personal favorite. Just be careful to not over-harvest ramps. You can decimate these clustering wild plants by not leaving enough of a group behind. Properly managed, you can harvest from these clusters year after year. If you’ve never had a ramp, they look similar to green onions and taste like a mix of a mild green onion and garlic. The bulbs can be used like onions, while the tops can be used like any leafy green.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you get outside. This list is hardly comprehensive, but as the cold grip of winter loosens, take advantage of the sunshine and pass along your passion for the outdoors on to your children.