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Springtime Means Go Time - How to Make the Most of It

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May 5, 2014
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SpringtimeFamilyTime blogI love spring in Idaho. Maybe it's because I've just been through a long winter or maybe it's because there is so much to do. It's that magical though. What's not to like about it? I could — and usually almost do — burn myself out. Bear and turkey season opens up, crappie will start hitting any second, morel mushrooms are due to pop up any day and the whistle pigs are out in full force.

I get to hunt/fish from Alaska to Florida and yet one of my most fun hunts is blasting whistle pigs (ground squirrels) in the spring. I've been going out nearly every day this week. I've always used a .22 or a .17 HMR but a month ago I went on pro-staff with Crosman (Benjamin) so I've been testing some of their guns.

As a kid I hunted with airguns all the time but haven't in years. Wow they've improved light years. They're a blast to shoot. You may gasp at the initial cost but when you factor in what .22 bullets are costing you suddenly realize that you could pay for the gun with what you save in bullets. On a good afternoon, I'll shoot 3-500 rounds so just this week I would of already shot a pickup load of ammo. Pellets are cheap.

So you can see what I mean, spring in Idaho hits in all of her glory and it is easy to wear yourself out. I'm not a flower type guy but even I have to admit that when the mountain flowers pop out — wow, the mountains are absolutely magnificent.

But with all of this going on don't forget about crappies. When they hit here in southwest Idaho and southeast Oregon, you can fill a cooler. My youngest daughter Kolby has become my fishing buddy the last few years.

I like to hit the water hard and be successful. My daughter helps balance that. She helps me remember to count my blessings that otherwise I'd never even notice. The other day we went to southeast Oregon crappie fishing. Gee, the lake was down the lowest I've ever seen. It was a mudhole and the fishing was tough.

But the drive in through Leslie Gulch is absolutely gorgeous. Kolby just likes getting outdoors, fishing out of a boat and catching some rays. Right off the bat she hung a nice bass and the fun was on.

I packed every conceivable snack to make our trip enjoyable and we had a ball. Maybe it was a perfect fishing trip after all. Even if we didn't fill the boat with crappie, I got to hang with my daughter all day. We had fun, caught a couple of fish, got sunburned and got stuck as we were leaving. Oops, I had to get her home for her night class and we barely made it. Some things mom just doesn't need to know about. It'd been a great day. Just me and my daughter.

Tips to a Fun Outing With Your Kid

  1. Pack good snacks.
  2. Remember, the goal is to bond and make memories. You can go on the Bataan Death March with your buddies.
  3. Find out what their real goal is? Catch some rays? Take pictures?
Tom Claycomb

When not writing for Bass Pro 1Source, Tom Claycomb has a column in the magazine Hunt Alaska, writes for Havalon Knives, and has outdoor columns in newspapers in Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Louisiana. He does freelance writing for numerous other magazines and newspapers; writes for, LIMB Saver,, and Western Whitetail Hunter

In addition, Claycomb teaches 60 seminars annually at sports shows and various outdoor stores.  He is on Prostaff for numerous companies and has tested products for many major outdoor companies. He likes anything outdoor wise and fishes/hunts from Alaska to Florida. His works are available for purchase on Amazon Kindle.  He has killed numerous world record animals (6 years before they reached that status). 

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