The new year is just around the corner, and as I look back on 2014 I would have to say it has been full of mostly good things. No, things aren't always super rosy in Walleyedan's world but overall I am very thankful for another awesome year. God is always good and as we wind down on the final days of 2014, we can only wait and see what's next.
I grew up hunting pheasants in southwestern Minnesota as did many others, and the memories I store from these days are forever etched in my brain. Hunting with the cousins down in Comfrey, what a blast it was! The other day I had some of those memories brought back as I was invited to join John Maile and some of his cohorts down south and west of St. Cloud. We hunted two different parcels of private property and it sure did seem like the good ol' days of pheasant hunting in Minnesota.
We're having a heat wave! We will experience a melt-down this weekend and that is going to make the ice fishermen and women want to get out and get after it. Just make sure you are wearing your ice creepers (cleats that fit over your boots), because she's going to get pretty slick out there. I was out last night on the north end of Gull Lake and there was about 12 inches of ice where we were. Cars, trucks and ATVs are out and about. Is there a need to watch out where you go out there? You betcha! There are cracks, heaves and areas that didn't have as many days of ice coverage.
Christmas is creeping up on us, are you ready? Well, if you are like me, you count on your wife to carry this weight (and no, she does not like that!). Not fair is it? Not really, but ladies you are wired differently than we are and that is quite obvious. Well, here is a little help for you ladies so you don't have to wander around the stores trying to figure out what to get us. How about a ticket to the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza.
If you are a hunter, or want to become a hunter you better be ready for those days when things don't go as planned. I am speaking to you this morning (Thursday) with extremely sore legs and a very disappointed heart after shooting and not finding a deer. I headed to the woods on Tuesday morning as the kids and Shelley were just rising out of the sack.
Dear deer, do you know what is about to happen? Of course you do. But how is it that you know that the bullets will start flying in another couple weeks? I know, because your mom and dad taught you, right? Or is it that God has given you senses that are so uncanny that hunters have to use their tricks to fool you? These tricks are many and some of them work some of the time but none work all of the time. In my opinion it all starts with your hunting clothing, get it all washed up nicely with some non-scented detergent and hang those articles on the line for days or even a week.
I like big bucks I cannot lie. Everybody likes big bucks (hunter or non-hunter)! And as we move into the most magical time of the deer season (with the approaching rut), people across the country are going "buck crazy." The clothes will be hanging on the lines, all the deer products will be ransacked from the shelves at your local sporting goods stores and people (like myself) will seem to fall into a semi-daze, just getting all caught up in this sport. Around these parts, good luck shooting one of these big buggers.
Does it make you feel more like a man? That was the question I was asked by a hockey coach that was on his way to do some recruiting of some Canadian players. I had stopped at a gas station up near the border of Minnesota and Canada on our way to Saskatchewan to film a waterfowl show for an episode of Mills Fleet Farms' "We Love It! Outdoors." My answer was, yes. And I let him know that's why they are here, for us to manage and enjoy. I grew up hunting, eating and enjoying everything about ducks and geese. And this was indeed an experience (the hunt) that I will not forget.
We are putting the finishing touches on the Fishing To End Hunger walleye tournament that is set to take place on Saturday (today) on the Gull Lake Chain. It's quite the process to organize such an event and I am thankful that it's not all up to me, because if that were the case it wouldn't be taking place!
It's been a beautiful week in Wisconsin! We have been over here all week filming an episode for "We Love It! Outdoors." The subject matter is the elusive whitetail deer. I'm hunting with Todd Hess, a sporting goods representative from Hudson, Wis., and we are hunting on Todd's in-laws farm in the southwest part of the state. The action has been really good but I have yet to squeeze the trigger on my Excalibur crossbow. This is the first year Wisconsin has allowed crossbows during the archery season for the general public.