Groundhog Day 2017: Will There Be An Early Spring?

Groundhog Day 2017: Will There Be An Early Spring?
Gen. Beauregard Lee, Lilburn, Ga.'s famed groundhog, 2013. (Scott Bernarde photo)

If you're an outdoors enthusiast who can't wait for spring's arrival, and if you believe in weather prognostications from large rodents, then Groundhog Day 2017 was a mixed bag for you.

America's two noted groundhog predictors —  Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania and Gen. Beauregard Lee in Georgia — came to different conclusions during Thursday morning Groundhog Day celebrations.

Gen. Beauregard Lee, Lilburn, Ga.'s famed groundhog, 2013. (Scott Bernarde photo)

Punxsutawney Phil apparently saw his shadow Thursday, signaling there will be six more weeks of winter — or a "late" spring.

But more than  1,000 miles south in Lilburn, Ga., Gen. Lee reportedly did not see his shadow, and predicted an early spring.

What this means for hunters and anglers — if you believe in groundhog meteorologists — is folks in the north may have to wait a little longer for bass fishing, crappie fishing and turkey hunting. An we know many of you are getting pretty antsy for a cabin fever remedy.

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Northern sportsmen might find solace in the fact that Punxsutawney Phil has been correct only 39 percent of the time, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Those in the south should start getting gear ready, if you haven't already.

According to the legend, a groundhog — whether Gen. Lee in Lilburn, Ga., or Punxsutawney Phil at Gobbler's Knob in Pennsylvania — can predict the coming of spring simply by looking down. The annual celebration in Punxsutawney, Pa., has been held since 1887.

Groundhog Day

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