Just like these turkeys need to be very cautious as to what direction they take, so do outdoor recreationists in taking to the woods this Spring. I mean it is spring isn’t it? At least the calendar says it is, but Winter doesn’t want to release its relentless grip on Michigan!
I know most of us are chomping at the bits to get outside and enjoy a long walk, or a hike in the woods, and just take in the sights and sounds of Spring. There are some common sense safety tips for anyone to keep in mind before heading into the woods.
In Michigan spring means mushroom hunting, hiking, trail riding, fishing, turkey hunting, and exploring the trails all our public lands have to offer. Because we all have a touch of “cabin fever” right now we need to make certain we don’t tempt the coyote, (See picture)
Before heading off always let someone know where you are going, and what time you expect to be back. Cellphones work in almost all areas of the outdoors, so take one with you just in case. A GPS system is not a bad idea either. A compass and a small flashlight can be invaluable. I have gotten turned around (not lost) on more than one occasion, and I want to tell you spending the night in a tree deep in a Quebec swamp is not “FUN!” Someday I may write about that “dark night.” Hopefully you will be somewhat familiar with the land your on. Remember there may be turkey hunters in the woods, so wearing hunter orange could save you from being “Thanksgiving dinner.” As we all know the weather can change in an instant in Michigan. Good idea to take a little backpack and put some light rain gear, snacks, and some bottled water in it. During hunting season a lost hunter can always fire his gun, but in the spring a whistle is a good way to make some loud noises to help locate you, if needed. Make sure you have enough layered cloths with you. You can always take some off, but can’t put it on if you didn’t bring it.
Now if we can just coax the sun to appear and warm things up a tad, we can hit the trails, and enjoy all the great state of Michigan has to offer.