Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in outdoor and travel markets. A former small-town newspaper editor and reporter, she constantly hunts for news headlines you need to read. Barbara also publishes Women’s Outdoor News online and pens columns for the National Wild Turkey Federation and Shooting Sports USA. Hailing from the Ozarks of Missouri, this avid hunter is now mentoring the second generation of hunters - her own little bevy of Realtree-wearing grandchildren.
How Hot Is It?
Enough already! We’re choking and sweating and finding it hard to swallow when we’re outdoors here in the Ozarks. How about in your neck of the woods? The drought that is sucking the life out of our crops and woods and waters is really doing that … sucking the life out of the earth and affecting our wildlife for years to come.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports that its fish kills are up, and not by bowfishers. Said Brian Schults, a DNR assistant regional fisheries manager, “Natural summer fish kills are not unusual. In the past several days, however, we’re getting increased reports of dead and dying fish in many lakes from around the state.”
The hot temperatures affect cool water species fish, such as northern cisco and lake whitefish. It also affects walleye, yellow perch and bluegills.
An accelerated growth of algae, because of the hot weather combined with fertilizer from fields and lawns, can kick off a chain reaction causing oxygen depletion, too. If you own a pond, you might help alleviate the problem there by agitating the water with a pump or fountain or finding a way to keep air moving through it.
Indiana State University professor Rusty Gonser said the impact of the drought might last for two to five years. Insect levels drop. Nocturnal animals start wandering in the daytime to find food and water. We haven't even touched on the problem of lack of vegetation.
What are you doing to help alleviate some of the drought problems? Setting out a birdbath, filling a cattle-watering tank for deer?
I set out a few mineral licks for nursing does, just for an extra boost. Of course, it helps that bucks like them, too, as it also boosts their rack growth.
Any other ideas?