MIDWEST REGIONAL

Coyotes in South Dakota, A pair of Buckeye fowl hot spots, Hit the beds through the ice in Wisconsin, Late-Season Hoosier Honkers

Outdoor Life Online Editor

Missouri Drainage Coyotes
Surefire tips that will get you more pelts this season

SOUTH DAKOTA Even serious predator hunters have to work hard to call up a prime dog. For starters, focus on habitat west of the Missouri River along drainages, such as are found near the White, Bad, Cheyenne, Moreau and Grand rivers. Spend some time knocking on ranch doors in these areas and you'll find great hunting opportunities. Once you find your hunting spot, take heed of these tips offered by veteran caller Mark Kayser.

Be Patient: "Most hunters wait in one spot for fifteen minutes, then move on," says Kayser. "But I've killed many dogs closer to the thirty-minute mark. Patience often will win over even an educated coyote."

Anticipate a Circle: "It's natural for predators to circle downwind of a call, but you can count on it in hard-hunted areas," he says. "Set up where you can see and shoot downwind of your setup."

Get High: "Call from the highest spot around so you can see approaching coyotes," he says. "If you're down in a hole you'll never see them coming."

Shoot From a Rest: Off-hand shooting isn't a good idea. "I started killing more coyotes when I sarted using either a bipod or shooting sticks," Kayser says.

Call Correctly: Sometimes choke-the-bunny is all it takes, but wary coyotes might need more seduction. "A territorial howl can bring even cautious animals running to defend their turf," Kayser says. "Listen to calling tapes and practice until you know you can do it right."

Contact: South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (605-773-3485).
-Scott Bestul

Ducky Duo
Pair of Buckeye fowl hot spots

OHIO A double dose of waterfowling starts with Killbuck Marsh. Annually harboring flights of black ducks, mallards and James Bay Canadas, Killbuck is also loaded with resident populations of wood ducks and geese. Most of the birds can be reached by wading Killbuck's 5,295 acres of marshlands and creeks. The portion of Killbuck Creek just west of State Route 83 in Holmes County is an excellent place to hunt.

Heading east, the 6,772 acres of the Grand River Wildlife Area comprise a vast network of beaver marshes, oxbows and intersecting creeks, which also holds excellent populations of wood ducks. Jump-shoot black ducks and mallards on the main river. The major roads through the area provide hunters with several parking areas.

Contact: Ohio Division of Wildlife (330-644-2293). -Brian Ruzzo

Winter Weeds
Hit the beds through the ice

WISCONSIN Lake Onalaska, a vast backwater formed by the confluence of the Black and Mississippi rivers, sports abundant weed beds that hold fine bluegills, crappies and pike in winter.

Prospect for bluegills on the edges of weed beds in two to nine feet of water using light line tied to a Rat Finkie jig tipped with a wax worm. Look for crappies in deeper holes and near Black Deer Creek. Jig with a Swedish Pimple or Ratso and a large, crushed waxie. Rig a tip-up with 30-pound braided mono and a hook baited with a four-inch shiner for pike cruising weed lines for an easy meal. Contact: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (608-785-9009).

Desert Island
Flying solo for Erie 'eyes

OHIO The early-winter shoreline walleye action in Lake Erie's western basin is so popular that some of the traditional walleye hot spots on the mainland often are crowded beyond capacity. Instead, leave the mainland fishing crowds behind and hop a ferry out of Marblehead for the 20-minute ride to Kelleys Island.

The walleyes are corralling shad against rocky shorelines all along the lake's western basin; large, minnow-imitating crankbaits, retrieved with plenty of stops to allow the fish to find them,esult in savage strikes from big fish.

On Kelleys Island, you can stay the night within walking distance of some of the best fishing spots along the island's south shore, including the ferry docks and privately owned lake frontage where anglers need only ask the owner to gain permission to fish. The Inn on Kelleys Island charges $75 and up per night. The Kelleys Island Ferry serves the island and departs its mainland base located on State Route 163 East on Marblehead Peninsula. A round-trip adult fare costs $9.50 and it's $16.50 per vehicle.

Contact: The Inn on Kelleys Island (419-746-2258); Kelleys Island Ferry (888-255-4325 or 419-798-9763; www.kelleysislandferry.com); Erie County Visitors and Convention Bureau (800-255-3743; www.buckeyenorth.com). -Dan Armitage

Late-Season Hoosier Honkers
Downstate waters hold Canadas well into winter

INDIANA A trio of public areas makes Linton, in southwestern Indiana, the place to be for late-season goose hunting. According to Indiana waterfowl biologist Melody Miller, the White River, the Minnehaha Fish and Wildlife Area and the Greene-Sullivan State Forest all have good water and some of the best goose hunting in the state once the northern waters freeze.

Approximately 10 miles east of Linton, the flowing waters of the White River will remain open most winters. If December is bitter, the geese could be concentrated on the river. A launch site at Sugar Ridge Fish and Wildlife Area (FWA), 1.1 miles southeast of Worthington on State Route 157, provides access for boaters.

The Minnehaha FWA, a short drive west of Linton, spans 8,300 acres. But it's the several area ponds that attract waterfowl, including geese and mallards. State Route 54 near Sullivan provides access to several smaller roads that wind through the area. Completing the trio is the 8,000-acre Greene-Sullivan State Forest, which lies south of Linton. With more than 100 ponds, lakes and reclaimed strip mines, late-season hunters often have the water to themselves-a rarity with public hunting.

Contact: Sugar Ridge Fish and Wildlife Area (812-789-2724); Minnehaha Fish and Wildlife Area (812-268-5640); Greene-Sullivan State Forest (812-648-2810). -B.R.

Upper Little Bay de Noc
The U.P.'s early ice

MICHIGAN This sheltered Lake Michigan bay is a prime place for hard-water anglers to start their season. "Shipping traffic keeps the lower bay from having good ice, but the upper bay [BRACKET "near the town of Gladstone"] is more sheltered and may have safe ice by mid-December," says Michigan Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist George Madison. "The best fishing usually comes between Christmas and mid-January."

Perch, walleyes and northern pike are still in late-fall patterns then, which translates into good fishing near reefs and weed beds. Some of the best action occurs in the early morning hours, before ATVs and snowmobiles have been on the ice and spooked fish.

Michigan icefishermen are limited to two lines, so Madison uses one rod to target fish feeding on mayfly nymphs near the bottom. "I lower the jig to the bottom, raise it about six inches, and jig it," he says. "I use the second line to work on suspended fish, usually in the nine- to eighteen-foot range. Traditional leadhead patterns work well, as do jigging Rapalas in firetiger, and the Swedish Pimple."

Contact: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Gladstone office (906-786-2351); Delta County Tourism and Convention Bureau (800-437-7469). -S.B.

**Illinois **
Chicago Shore-Casting: Navy, Montrose and Bryn Mawr Avenue piers are convenient, productive perches for downtown brown trout. Shore-casters also can score in Lincoln Park Lagoon, from the Fullerton Avenue Bridge to the southern end of the lagoon. Drift alewives or slowly run bright, glittery spoons along breakwaters or any other structure in water no deeper than 30 feet. Contact: Chicago Park District (312-744-4000); Illinois Department of Natural Resources (312-814-2070).

Southern Waterfowling: The South Zone Canada goose season can run as late as January 31, but once its 25,300-bird quota is reached, hunting stops. Top public hunting is at the Union County Public Hunting Area, Wednesdays through Sundays. Its 40 blinds are allocated by a preseason lottery, but daily drawings fill vacancies. Contact: Union County PHA (618-833-5175); Williamson County Tourism (800-GEESE-99); Crab Orchard Hunting Club (800-934-3373).

**Key Dates **
December 3-January 17: Fall archery turkey season.
December 4: Archery deer season closes.
December 5-8: Firearms deer season.
December 9-January 16: Archery deer season.
December 13-15: Muzzleloader deer season.
January 16: Archery deer season in Cook, DuPage, Kane and Lake counties closes.
January 17-19: Handgun-only deer season.
Note: See dnr.state.il.us/admin/systems/ huntdates.htm for specific waterfowl season dates.

Indiana
Late-Season Pheasants: When the season ends December 22, wing-shooters still have a chance to take two birds of either sex at "mop-up" hunts staged on eight state properties through January 15. The hunts, which are for pheasants planted by the state, continue daily until the supply of pen-raised birds is exhausted. Contact: IDFW (317-232-4080).

Big Turkey Bluegills: The shallow bays on Big Turkey Lake are often frozen by Christmas. Try tiny jigs on 2-pound-test fluorescent line with clear leaders near small islands, submerged bars, sudden drop-offs, potholes and rises in two to eight feet of water. Contact: Monticello Bobber Co. (219-665-5306).

Key Dates
December 1: Firearms and early archery deer seasons close.
December 7-22: Muzzleloader deer season.
December 7-January 5: Late archery deer season.
December 22: Pheasant season closes.
December 22: Quail season closes north of State Road 26.
December 31: Ruffed grouse season closes.
January 15: Quail season closes, south of State Road 26.
Note: See www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/hunt/ season2.htm for specific waterfowl season dates.

Iowa
Late-Season Wing-Shooting: Grouse hunters are restricted to the northeastern ruffed grouse zone, but statewide opportunities abound for gray partridge, quail and pheasants. Good public hunts, especially for pheasants, in the Sioux City area include 1,000-acre Badger Lake and 1,300-acre Browns Lake wildlife areas. Badger Lake features corn, sorghum and hay seedings. Browns Lake is two-thirds marsh, one-third uplands and timber. Contact: Biologist Chris LaRue, S slowly run bright, glittery spoons along breakwaters or any other structure in water no deeper than 30 feet. Contact: Chicago Park District (312-744-4000); Illinois Department of Natural Resources (312-814-2070).

Southern Waterfowling: The South Zone Canada goose season can run as late as January 31, but once its 25,300-bird quota is reached, hunting stops. Top public hunting is at the Union County Public Hunting Area, Wednesdays through Sundays. Its 40 blinds are allocated by a preseason lottery, but daily drawings fill vacancies. Contact: Union County PHA (618-833-5175); Williamson County Tourism (800-GEESE-99); Crab Orchard Hunting Club (800-934-3373).

**Key Dates **
December 3-January 17: Fall archery turkey season.
December 4: Archery deer season closes.
December 5-8: Firearms deer season.
December 9-January 16: Archery deer season.
December 13-15: Muzzleloader deer season.
January 16: Archery deer season in Cook, DuPage, Kane and Lake counties closes.
January 17-19: Handgun-only deer season.
Note: See dnr.state.il.us/admin/systems/ huntdates.htm for specific waterfowl season dates.

Indiana
Late-Season Pheasants: When the season ends December 22, wing-shooters still have a chance to take two birds of either sex at "mop-up" hunts staged on eight state properties through January 15. The hunts, which are for pheasants planted by the state, continue daily until the supply of pen-raised birds is exhausted. Contact: IDFW (317-232-4080).

Big Turkey Bluegills: The shallow bays on Big Turkey Lake are often frozen by Christmas. Try tiny jigs on 2-pound-test fluorescent line with clear leaders near small islands, submerged bars, sudden drop-offs, potholes and rises in two to eight feet of water. Contact: Monticello Bobber Co. (219-665-5306).

Key Dates
December 1: Firearms and early archery deer seasons close.
December 7-22: Muzzleloader deer season.
December 7-January 5: Late archery deer season.
December 22: Pheasant season closes.
December 22: Quail season closes north of State Road 26.
December 31: Ruffed grouse season closes.
January 15: Quail season closes, south of State Road 26.
Note: See www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/hunt/ season2.htm for specific waterfowl season dates.

Iowa
Late-Season Wing-Shooting: Grouse hunters are restricted to the northeastern ruffed grouse zone, but statewide opportunities abound for gray partridge, quail and pheasants. Good public hunts, especially for pheasants, in the Sioux City area include 1,000-acre Badger Lake and 1,300-acre Browns Lake wildlife areas. Badger Lake features corn, sorghum and hay seedings. Browns Lake is two-thirds marsh, one-third uplands and timber. Contact: Biologist Chris LaRue, S