The early goose season has been in full swing for over a week so I decided to get out in the field last weekend. We headed up to the Park Rapids area to meet up with some of my friends and take their kids out hunting. Well they wanted to bring their friends, and so on and so on, so there ended up being seven of us. The good thing is at that age they are full of energy and do not mind getting up at 4 a.m. On the other hand they do eat a lot, and I mean a lot. Although some of these kids started hunting with me a couple of years ago, for some of them it was there first time goose hunting.
September brings the early goose opener and also the Frank Schneider Memorial Musky Tournament. This year I opted to again wait another week to go chase geese and try my luck at trying to boat a musky again. Last year we boated one but it didn't measure long enough to register. This year we had high hopes. The first day was Friday and we started on Leech Lake but with high winds and being newbies to the lake we only had one follow so we decided to stick it out on Cass Lake.
It's hard to believe Labor Day is over and we will getting ready for hunting season already. The Bear hunters have been having some luck thanks to the acorns holding off and most of the archery hunters that are getting their stands up aren't seeing much for sign. This weekend early Goose season starts and from there every weekend opens a new season, at least that's what it feels like. Also, with the wet and cool summer, there is a bumper crop of mushrooms, especially Chicken of the Woods.
Last weekend, over 300 people including captains, anglers and assistants were on Gull and Sylvan lakes for the 13th Annual Fishing Has No Boundaries event. There are 27 such events in 11 states. This year's event in Brainerd with 129 anglers was the biggest ever, not only for the Brainerd area but in the country and even the world. You can tell when something is a great cause, people from all over Minnesota clear their schedules to make sure they can attend the event. I know it is a very special day to us and many of our friends.
I have to admit over the last few years I have avoided the big Nationals weekend at BIR, with all the traffic and people we usually try to get out of town. Racing has been a big part of my life, from snowmobiles to ATVs and stock cars. I have always loved things that go fast. With putting so much time into hunting and fishing it is one of those things that got put on the back burner. On Thursday I got the opportunity to go on a guide trip through the Power Lodge and Napa Auto Parts. I didn't know who I was taking, all I knew is that it was a bunch drivers and crew members from the races.
And another Rod Benders Memorial Tournament is in the books and my love/hate relationship with the Mississippi River continues to be leaning a little on the hate side. Don't get me wrong, the river is a great body of water to fish for many different species but one of my downfalls is that I try to fish it on memory and really do not spend much time on it. There are so many variables to consider such as water level, water clarity and just plain and simple fish moving and not feeding for no reason. Most people's reasoning for it is simply, it's the river.
And before you know it, Game Fair is here and that means the early goose season is not far behind. I am surprised that I still meet people that have never been there. There is a lot to see, including everything under the sun for the waterfowler as well as a ton of hunting dog supplies. Over the years it has expanded to fishhouses, ATVs and bowhunting. Of course it's always fun to try out one of the new shotguns on a round of trap. But one thing that is really cool about Game Fair is being able to select a custom duck or goose call.
It looks like deer hunters will be in for a "conservative" season this year and one saying comes to mind - "A day late and a dollar short." As most hunters who spend time observing deer and other wildlife know, this is something that should have been done more gradually and a few years earlier.
So this week has offered nothing exciting, although I have been thinking about a few things. After spending so much time on the water this summer and realizing how much more expensive things are - gas, ice, etc. - I was really debating spending some money on one of those new "super tough" coolers but didn't think they were worth the $300 price tag. Still, I am sick of spending money every day just to watch it melt away by noon. The roto-molded coolers are nice but, lets face it, most of us are not going to drag it behind our vehicles or throw it off a bridge.
It's hard to believe the 4th of July is already here. That means we are getting closer to early goose hunting and fall fishing but, until then, we have a lot of summer fishing to do. Normally I spend more time chasing walleyes but this summer I have been trying to catch a little bit of everything. After spending the last week on Gull Lake guiding, we definitely caught everything under the sun. We found the Walleyes in 17-25 feet and a Lindy rig with a leech was getting some biters.