Outdoors

Mon
22
Nov

Hook and Bullet Club

When our youngest member first came out to Camp Cholesterol, our oldest member gave him some good advice.<BR><BR>“Remember, what happens at deer camp stays at deer camp.” <BR><BR>Good advice. <BR><BR>There are plenty of goings-on that could make the wives a bit suspicious of our sanity, even more than they are already.<BR><BR>But it’s probably all for the best anyway, especially when we’re having a year like this one. <BR><BR>Heading into the final weekend of the rifle season we stood at a grand total of one deer for seven guys. <BR><BR>Thanks to Jake we were able to try out the new meat pole and I have to say it worked to perfection. This was a great relief but unfortunately our pole designer was not able to join us and see the inaugural hoisting of the venison. <BR><BR>We did get a visit from an unexpected visitor Friday night.

Sun
14
Nov

Birdshot and backlashes

In the early dawn frost of opening day, Don and Cindy Beans tiptoed quietly through the fir and aspen forest to their deer stand on the edge of a ridge, settled down and waited for daylight. A sound of footsteps caught their attention. A doe came past, moving along noiselessly. Don and Cindy were near their home adjacent to the Fernberg Road in a bucks-only area. The doe vanished. Then silence.<BR><BR>From the distance, ravens called hoarsely, winging on their way in search of breakfast. Squirrels began to rustle about in the dry leaves.<BR><BR>Cindy nudged her dad, spotting a deer moving slowly toward them. It was too far off to tell if it was a buck or a doe, so they simply waited. The deer vanished into a ravine, then emerged closer, the antlers glistening in the sunlight.<BR><BR>“My hearts was beating so loud I was sure the deer could hear it,” Cindy recalled later.

Sun
14
Nov

Letter from the hunting shack

Well, the first weekend of deer season has passed us by and the score is: Deer 1, Clarence 0. <BR><BR>I did see a few deer, but they were all small does. The weather didn’t cooperate very much either. The winds that we had on Sunday and Tuesday were downright rude, but my new tree stand withstood the test. I wish, like everyone else, that we had some snow on the ground, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be. <BR><BR>Our crew didn’t get skunked however, as cousin Jeff bagged a nice eight pointer on Saturday morning. The rest of the crew got to see some deer but no shots were taken. <BR><BR>One of the hot topics of conversation at our evening round table was the lack of fresh sign around the woods. It seems that the deer were few and far between and hopefully things will change for the better the second week. Overall, I think it’s safe to assume that a good time was had by everyone and there was certainly plenty to eat.

Sun
14
Nov

Hook and bullet club

The funny thing about deer hunting is that it imitates your regular life at times: not all goes as planned. <BR><BR>Take opening morning for instance. All of Camp Cholesterol were able to clamber out of their bunks, put on the orange and be out the door before the crack of dawn. <BR><BR>This was pretty amazing in itself after our annual Camp Cholesterol Awards Banquet that is traditionally held on the night before the opener. Luckily for us the dancing girls decided to go home early. <BR><BR>After donning our blaze orange, Jake and I walked across a soggy swamp in the dark and made our way up to the two stands we have on the other side. <BR><BR>The other five hunters in our group (Bill, Dave, Brian, Mike and Steve) spread out across the forest, heading for the stands they hoped would be the lucky one that day. <BR><BR>It was quiet in the woods on opener. Real quiet.

Sun
07
Nov

Birdshot and backlashes

Deer hunting is here. Ice fishing is about upon us. Well, not on all of us. Just those of us who engage in this activity. Certainly the major part of our senior population has no interest in obtaining fish by dropping a line through a hole in the ice. <BR><BR>Most sports-minded folk are watching football or basketball from the warm comfort of their living rooms. Most of them are dimly aware that there are some misguided or perhaps mentally impaired citizens who tread out upon the frozen, windswept surfaces of our lakes intent on harvesting, perhaps, the ingredients for a walleye, trout or pike dinner, frost bite notwithstanding. <BR><BR>Ice fisherfolk, although few in number, are an enthusiastic and hearty breed, possibly due in part to the Scandinavian heritage of the north country. Unfortunately, they seem compelled to discuss their activity at length.

Sun
07
Nov

Hook and bullet club

Now that we’re done with the election so we can really focus on more important things like deer hunting, it’s a good time to look back at how the two intersect at times.<BR><BR>Especially at the end of the presidential campaign, we had the fear factor of not being able to hunt injected into the political advertisements. For many this was a good reason to start paying attention.<BR><BR>But is there really cause for concern? Is there a movement underway to do away with hunting that we should really be worried about? <BR><BR>Good questions that aren’t going to be answered clearly without some amount of suspicion.

Sun
07
Nov

Letter from the hunting shack

Hey! It’s deer season! Obviously I had to write this before the Echo went to print, so you’ll have to wait until next week to get the opening weekend report. <BR><BR>The bags were packed and the food loaded on Friday afternoon, as a good weekend of hunting was anticipated. I sure am thankful that Halloween falls before opening weekend, because it gives me a head start on my chocolate fix. <BR><BR>I’m pretty much a confirmed chocolate junkie and special thanks to my boys for graciously contributing to the old man’s habit. There’s nothing better than munching on a Reese’s peanut butter cup while waiting for Joey Buck. <BR><BR>Last week I mentioned my nephew’s kid got his first deer and it kind of got me reminiscing about some of the characters I used to hunt with down in Georgia. <BR><BR>One guy in particular went by the nickname “Nibbler” because he always had a toothpick in his mouth and he nibbled on it constantly.

Mon
01
Nov

Reminder to hunters headed to the Superior National Forest this year

The Superior National Forest welcomes hunters to the forest, but asks that this activity be pursued with safety and State, federal, and tribal hunting regulations in mind. Hunters are advised that the recently revised Forest Plan includes some new policy regarding the use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) and are also reminded that only portable or free-standing hunting blinds/stands are allowed.<BR><BR>OHV use will be allowed on OHV designated trails and on low-maintenance and unclassified roads unless posted closed. All cross-country OHV travel is prohibited, as well as any travel in ditches and shoulders of National Forest roads. The purpose of the new policy is to continue to provide opportunities for OHV riders while protecting the Forest’s ecological resources and reducing conflicts among Forest users.<BR><BR>Portable hunting stands are defined as those that are chained, belted, clamped, or tied with rope and do no permanent damage.

Mon
01
Nov

Birdshot and backlashes

It is getting into the serious time of year. All fall, hunters have been involved with various sporting activities such as grouse hunting, waterfowl shooting and similar recreational pursuits. However, Saturday, Nov. 6, initiates the serious side of hunting. Deer Season.<BR><BR>At one half hour before sunrise, some 300,000 or so Minnesota deer hunters will be hunkered down in the brush, edging their way through balsam thickets, stump sitting on a cutover or perched high in a tree stand, all with the thought in mind of putting a hunk of lead into a whitetail buck.<BR><BR>Over most of the state, antlerless deer are also legal targets, but hunters who sit and dream, conjure up a vision of some massive stag sporting a rack of 10 points or more and weighing about the same as a Viking defensive tackle.

Sun
31
Oct

Hook and bullet club

We are now in the final week before deer season and already there are spouses across the North Country ready to throw their husbands out in the woods. <BR><BR>For some hunters the itch to go is so great, the anticipation is almost too much to bear. This is especially true if you live in the Great White North. <BR><BR>One of the members of Camp Cholesterol told me last week he’s still working on getting the itch to go. But now that I think about it, I can understand why.<BR><BR>Half of our camp spend their normal lives driving interstate highways in the Twin Cities area to get to work every day. They deal with traffic that’s worse than the mosquitoes up north during a wet summer.<BR><BR>For those of us who find a way to make a go of it up here, we’re immersed in the outdoors almost every day. Even if you live in town, you know that the tamaracks have been in full color for three weeks now.

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