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.
It’s here! Fall has really arrived and it’s time to shift out of the wardrobe. Time for camo and time for warmth, and maybe some waterproofing, too. We knew it would come but we’re never quite ready for it. Maybe I will speak for myself, sorry. It might have something to do with age, something to do with a really busy schedule, but whatever the case I do have my work cut out for me in October. Lots of preparation and hopefully some execution.
There are people that live for fishing tournaments and just can’t get enough of the competitiveness and everything else that goes along with fishing them. And I’m sure there are others that don’t want anything to do with them but still enjoy the sport and everything that goes along with it. I find myself somewhere in between. As a fishing guide, it’s been said many times: “We fish a tournament everyday.” That’s about what it is, as we need to produce everyday or do something to keep those customers coming back.
Year around sports, homework up the kazoo and smart phones! And then we wonder why were are not getting enough kids involved in the “other” outdoor sports. Times have changes, that is for sure. We still have choices and I am thankful that I chose the hunting route when I was in school. I could have either played football on Friday nights or got an early jump on the trip to southwestern Minnesota with my dad and brother every weekend so I could either be on stand, in the duck slough or ready to rump some roosters the next morning.
Good morning! Some of you are out on stand this a.m. with bow and arrow looking for a deer and I’m sure some of you are out wandering around the woods trying to put a bead on a grouse. I hope your trip to the woods is safe and successful. Last Saturday a.m. I was in the duck blind on Thief Lake with two boys, Grant and Jared, and also cameraman Kyle Peterson and his dog Satch, and about 40 yards to our left (9 o’clock) was another blind with Greg Qvale, his dog Flint, cameraman and WLIO producer Ryan DeChaine and 13-year-old Carlie.
Being a part of the boat building process is very rewarding. This is my second season running a Larson FX 2020T fishing boat and the first season for two of our other guides, Bruce Meinz and Nick Miltimore. Larson has been building boats for 101 years and is now in the fishing boat business. I am not sure why it took almost 100 years to start building fishing boats, but I will tell you that we are very pleased with the product.
The other night I had a couple of hours that weren’t earmarked so my son Mac and I hopped in a canoe and paddled around on a small area lake in search of giant bucket mouths. A bucket mouth is another name for the largemouth bass. This is PRIME time for bass, they are scarfing down anything that comes by their bucket. It was a gorgeous night and rubber frogs were our bait of choice. We were the bait of choice for a deer fly or two and Mac got drilled the worst, on top of his big toe — ”itchy” and distracting!