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So many different spring things to do

utdoorsmen do their best to find outdoors things to do during late winter.

Hunting seasons are over and fishing season has not started. A person can only cut so much firewood and still call it entertainment. Shoveling snow does not count as an outdoor activity, it is just annoying. Trying to be the last one ice fishing before the ice turns to water is foolish.

After what seems an eternity, suddenly, winter changes into spring. We are once again flush with things, important things, to do outside.

Crappie are starting to move to the edge of the ponds to feed and get ready for the spawn. There are days a person can catch enough hungry crappie to make a nice meal. If it is an unusually cold spring day, it is not always possible to convince one's wife to put on her insulated underwear for a few hours fishing. On days like that, it may be necessary to go fishing alone or skip it altogether, but a few hours spent strolling along the edge of a pond is good therapy for several months of cabin fever.

Turkey season is underway. Iowa has its season split into four sections. I usually hunt the third and fourth season. The weather is generally warmer and the days are a bit longer. By the time most of you are reading this in your morning paper, I will be in the timber listening to the gobblers call around me.

Early morning with the sun coming up over a green field makes a person happy to be alive. The sound of gobblers flying down from their night's roosting place and strutting in the sunshine makes the heart race. To have a big old Tom turkey respond to a call and come strutting out of the timber into an open field with copper and black feathers glistening in the sunlight gives a hunter a sense of satisfaction than can not be beat in any sport.

As the temperature gets warmer, morel mushrooms will start to sprout from their year-long hibernation and again provide us with hour's long games of hide and seek. Some have been found as close to 100 miles south of where I live. In a week or two, mushroom season will be in full bloom here. Within six weeks, everyone from Iowa to the Arctic Circle will be feasting on the succulent fungi.

Mushrooming is an outdoor sport than can and should be enjoyed by the whole family. Morels are easy to identify and have a delicious earthy taste very similar to portabella mushrooms. They are found almost everywhere and can be very challenging to see in their camouflaged hiding places. They can also be hard to see standing starkly against a green background of newly sprouted grass. Young and old alike can enjoy a few hours getting outdoors to get some fresh air and blow off the winter doldrums. If a person is fortunate enough to find a few, they can be savored privately like the gourmet treat they are. If whole bunches are found, friends and neighbors will be impressed with your skill and generosity by sharing.

If you are a true outdoorsman, fry up a few crappie, bake a wild turkey, and serve them both with mushrooms. This would be the ultimate sign spring is here and the surest way to make friends and influence people.

Walter Scott is an outdoors enthusiast and freelance writer from Bloomfield, Iowa.