Brett Roper

Local outdoors columnist

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Cultures and civilizations long differed on when a new year started. It wasn’t until the late 1500s that the calendar devised by the Romans in 45 BC, where January 1st started the New Year, became the standard. This month was named after Janus, the god of time and transitions, who has two faces; one looking forward and the other looking back. For hunters and anglers located in Utah and Idaho, midwinter is a great time to start the new year.

This is because winter has ecological consequences given our latitude and elevation. All but the heartiest of waterfowl have headed south. Big game hunting seasons are mostly over and humans need to minimize winter kill by limiting disturbance in snow covered areas. Many lakes and reservoirs are covered by ice which means fishermen must think vertically rather than horizontally. Anglers who still fish flowing waters must continually clear ice from their guides while avoiding chunks of the same material floating down the river.

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