‘Tis the season to do some ice fishing, fa-la-la-la-la-la. What’s your style? Are you a social fisher? Or are you hardcore? Do you like tip-ups or do you just like to tip em? These days the options are many and a person can actually have the best of both worlds. The 5-gallon bucket used to be the only way to go but in the last 35 years or so, the sport of ice fishing has evolved into a real modernized sport where “anything goes.”
We are just putting the wraps on year number two of Mills Fleet Farm’s “We Love It! Outdoors” television show and it has been another awesome year in the field. The new season will air within the next couple of weeks and it will be exciting (even for me) to see the finished product. I have been there for all of it but once it hits the editors desk (Chad Koel) I’m never quite sure how all things will be melded together to make what many believe (including myself) has been an awesome show.
Our muzzleloader deer hunt at Philbrook is still open and I am very excited for my return early next week in search of a nice buck. We were over there (near Motley) Saturday through Wednesday and had a blast. It was Bruce Hudalla, his friends Anita Williams and Todd Hess, myself, camera man Kyle Peterson and camera man Brady Kangas. Anita was bow hunting only and she left early in the week get back to her salon in Grand Rapids.
Black Friday is happening right before my very eyes. I am watching many ladies (and very few guys) scurrying about at Anthropology (50th and France) down in the Twin Cities. My ladies are here, too, if you are wondering! Thanksgiving at grandmothers house and a little Black Friday shopping has become a mild tradition. And hey, guess who just stopped in? Lorna Klefsaas (famous Kermit’s wife), another northerner who is down seeing family in the cities!
The transformation of fall into winter has happened! Small lakes and ponds are frozen and the Eigen house is decorated for Christmas. I thought we were always in agreement that we would not decorate until after Thanksgiving but the QVC artificial tree came the other day and that was all it took! Eighteen years or so of the cut-it-yourself, measly little balsams is done.
OK, here we go. Second week of deer camp, swim meet in Superior and Warriors game at the Dome. Can a person pack it all in? Yeah, what the heck. It’s a beautiful Friday morning here in Lake Shore and as I look out at the frost on the roof and not a whisper of wind, it makes me wonder why I’m not in the boat or on stand. Yes, there are “other” things I have to do, too, you know. Although, I think I will be grabbing my bow and arrows as soon as I hit “send” and take a little stroll through the woods to get my morning exercise and peace (and who knows maybe a deer).
As you pick up this paper or read this column electronically, you can bet the shots are ringing out! It’s the Minnesota deer firearms opener. It started this a.m. (Nov. 9) at a half hour before sunrise. There are deer hunters all over the woods this a.m. and there are a wide range of thoughts and emotions and feelings going through those hunters minds and bodies — adrenalin, excitement, cold, lost, scared, nervous, peace, quiet, sick, tired, anticipation and some that have to go potty.
I know that a number of you have a passion for deer and deer hunting and if you didn’t already know it, I do too! These next two weeks are the most exciting two weeks of the year for the deer hunter, things are happening out there in a woods, swamp or field near you! The deer are active and I’m guessing a number of you motorists have noticed “something different” on the roads. We all need to be “heads up” because the male deer (bucks) are out looking for romance and they won’t stop because there are headlights coming.
My first elk hunt ended with myriad memories, sore muscles and no meat on the hook. I had a Remington 7 mm in my mitts for almost a week and I didn’t get to let her bark. Hunting trips, as we all know, don’t always end with a harvest but they do usually end up with a story or 10. And when you put brother John (older than me by three years and living in Idaho) in the mix, the stories are actually endless and almost get to the point of wanting to slip an Ambien in his Fresca.
I just left Bluff Bucks Outfitters in Buffalo County, Wisconsin, where I spent a week in the heart of big buck country to film an episode of WLIO. The week consisted of some highs and lows. The most exiting moment ended up turning into one of the most disappointing moments I’ve ever experienced in my hunting career.