With National Safe Boating Week coming on May
19, anglers by the thousands soon will be headed to the water, and there
are literally dozens of things they can do--including staying dry in two
important ways--to get afloat and stay that way, SAFELY!
First and foremost, with the U.S. Coast Guard
estimating that there are some 14-million boats registered in the country,
and some 8,600 boating accidents every year, there seems to be plenty of
room for better operating. Incidentally, the C.G. also says those accidents
leave 900 people dead and another 4,400 injured. Stacks up, doesn’t it?
It is generally believed that boating accidents
have more than tripled in the last decade, but it also is believed that
there is hope for better things to come. Shucks, it could even happen now
with a few grains of common sense sprinkled around here and there. Boating
safety, in the final analysis is nothing more than the application of common
There are, for example boating accidents caused
by many failures and foibles. But negligence by the operator is the greatest
cause--at least involving the driver of one of the craft in two-boat crashes.
Still, inattention, careless or reckless operation, or fast speed is often
blamed. Alcohol abuse is the greatest contributor. Some 600 crashes are
caused each year by equipment failures.
So what is to be done to help curb (so to speak)
Although the C.G. Auxiliary, formed in 1939 and
now active in every state, has many suggestion to improve safe boating,
very high on its list is taking a safe-boating course, and live by what
you learned. Such courses will be found in every state, and all Canadian
provinces. If you have difficulty in finding a safe-boating course, your
local conservation officer or C.G. Auxiliary will help.
With Easter and Safe Boating Week both on our
thresholds, what better gift could one offer a boater than a course of
study that can save lives?
A call to the DNR’s Division of Enforcement (317-232-4010)
will net you information on safe boating schools.
reader has posed some interesting questions concerning a partially albino
“We have a squirrel in out woods that comes
up around the house with his buddies.
He’s almost entirely white, his head , back ,and
down his legs. Not an albino. I’ve never seen one like this. Have you?
Is this common?”
While I do not consider myself an authority on
albinism, I have seen a number of wild animals and birds affected in some
way with albinism.
Albinism is a hereditary weakness in the critter
affected and may be complete or partial (incomplete, it is called). Furthermore,
I have heard a number of people talk of killing anything that is so affected
(and in any degree) to eliminate (or control) it. Others say that is a
Hitler attitude. It is not for me to decide, but I tend to think birds
and animals so afflicted are rather interesting.
Although one does not encounter an albino or partial
every day, they are not greatly unusual.
reader would like to know if there is a method for freezing minnows (presumably
for fish bait) to avoid their becoming “mushy.”
Frankly, when I fish with a minnow for bait, I
like it alive. However, a dead minnow allowed to “ripen” in the sun, can
be a pretty good catfish bait when wormed on a hook and stepped lightly
Freezing methods for minnow fish bait will be
given more space if others care to share their secrets.
Dead minnows of all sizes are used effectively,
at times, as a dressing for the hooks of artificials.