By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

HUDSON, Wis. (WCCO) — After a weekend of shoveling, it may be hard to believe but in some areas there’s still not enough snow for safe snowmobiling.

WCCO spent some time with the DNR in Wisconsin where conditions are surprisingly not ideal.

You could say Jake Holsclaw was born ready. The Wisconsin DNR officer has always been up for adventure and exploration.

“Growing up the outdoors was important to me,” he said. “My grandmpa was a great outdoorsman my dad was an outdoorsman. Becoming a warden was what I wanted to do. I actually knew from a pretty young age.”

He now patrols central and western Wisconsin, but so far, patrols are a little slow this winter, public trails in the area still aren’t ready to open.

While there is a fresh layer of snow, it may be misleading when it comes to snowmobile conditions.

“It might look like there’s a foot of snow,” Holsclaw said. “But once you pack it down, it’s light and fluffy, and that base gets reduced.”

He says more snow is needed to optimize conditions. Holsclaw says the fine snow leads to obstacles like divots and indentions, but he’s hopeful a few more weeks will bring a few more inches.

There is still hope for a solid season ahead.

“Some of the best snow is in February and March. People just gotta be patient,” he said.

Two more safety tips from Holsclaw: First, he saysm when it gets below zero and windy, it’s best to wait till it warms up.

Secondly, it’s become quite popular to drink while snowmobiling. Holsclaw says that’s how most fatalities happen. He encourages people to wait to have a beer until after they ride.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield