Rick Bramwell mug

Rick Bramwell

One good thing about the coronavirus “stay at home order” is if you enjoy the outdoors, you are somewhat exempt. If you go fishing or hiking, go alone or only with someone who lives with you would be my advice.

The following is a statement taken from Indiana’s DNR website Wednesday: “Outdoor activities, and travel to and from those activities, are still permitted. This includes hiking, biking, fishing, boating, birding, hunting, camping, geocaching and other self-directed legal activities. Hoosiers should practice social distancing while participating in these activities. It is important that you know before you go.”

Also from the DNR, your hunting and fishing license due to expire at the end of March has been given an extension to May 22. Make sure you maintain a printed copy on your person. I photo a copy on my cellphone.

Entrance fees for state parks and other DNR facilities have been waived. Lodges are closed while campgrounds are open. Many of the state park inns are offering carryout.

Jay Brown is the first to report a morel find in Indiana almost two weeks ago. A relative found two blacks peeking in Pekin on March 14. There should be some small blacks up around here any day.

At present, I’m in a small cabin in southern Indiana. I’m fishing, scouting for wild turkeys, looking for shed antlers and early morels. I have food and my favorite snacks, jerky and boiled eggs. I will try a new Keto snack my daughter Jourdan sent me called Whisps Cheese Crisps. The low carb diet has pushed my weight to its lowest in over 30 years.

Tune in to Mitch in the Morning on 1240 AM WHBU on Thursday morning about 8:30. I will be his guest and may be calling from a boat on a 12-acre lake.

This coronavirus has been a life-changer for me. I’ve spooled new line on my reels, began to organize tackle, cleaned out the garage and achieved many other tasks that might have gone undone if the NCAA Tournament was in full swing.

I removed the collapsed front deck of my Bass Tracker, no easy task, and will have cousin Jay Bramwell cut a new piece and help install it.

My fruit trees are pruned and the branches deposited on my neighbor’s burn pile. Two of the trees I planted 24 years ago were dead.

All last mowing season, I had to inflate one of the tires every time I mowed. And, after each mow, I vowed to remove the tire, buy a tube and have it installed. Ditto, a year later, mission accomplished.

Toilet paper and hand sanitizer have been in short supply as has hamburger and sausage. Luckily, I live in south Madison County and the Knightstown Locker is a short drive. They have been hit hard, too, but have managed to keep up. The business has always kept a supply of steaks and ground meats frozen. They cut a mean ribeye, and I like how they season their sausage. Their hamburger and sausage are packed in 1-pound sleeves.

Let’s hope and pray this pandemic will soon be a bad memory. It has made me appreciate what we have in this country and how quickly we can lose it.

Rick Bramwell’s outdoors column runs on Thursdays.

Rick Bramwell’s outdoors column runs on Thursdays.

Recommended for you