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MADISON, Minn. — I have come west again, to kill a pheasant. Maybe several pheasants, should our fortune be so good. Gone now, the too-warm early-season days of October. Gone, too, the massive tracts of standing corn where the birds had too much room to hide. This is the early December hunt. The corn is harvested. Three of us have come, as we have for more than 30 years, to hole up in the red farmhouse. That's three dog lives for some of us, four for others.
Current Minnesota northern pike regulations will remain in effect this winter, but major changes will become effective with the May 12 fishing opener next spring. The changes will include three northern pike zones with different limits and length regulations for each zone. • In the northeast zone, anglers will be able to keep two pike and must release all from 30 to 40 inches, with only one over 40 inches allowed in possession. Spearers also will be able to take two pike but only one may be longer than 26 inches.
• Dec. 30 — Opening of lake trout and stream trout seasons in lakes entirely within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. • Jan. 13 — Opening of lake trout and stream trout seasons in lakes outside or partly outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. • March 31 — Brule River steelhead opener. • May 5 — Wisconsin general fishing opener. • May 12 — Minnesota general fishing opener. QUOTE: "To put your hands in a river is to feel the chords that bind the earth together."
Although some deer hunting seasons are continuing in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, this year's primary firearms seasons are history in both states. Preliminary harvest results from both states have most hunters feeling more positive than in recent years, especially so in Wisconsin. "It's starting to be fun again," said Al Horvath of Superior, who is co-chair of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress Deer and Elk Committee. "People say things are on the upswing."
For Darran Greene, the upcoming Arrowhead Ice Fishing and Winter Show will be a homecoming. Greene, 37, who grew up in Duluth, will be returning to his hometown for the show representing Line Cutterz, a ring that doubles as a line-cutter. The product was featured a year ago on the popular television show "Shark Tank," and the business has taken off since, Greene said. "I'm beyond excited to come home," said Greene, sales and business consultant for Line Cutterz.
A Duluth man I know was returning from the Twin Cities recently when he came upon a car pulled off to the side of Interstate 35. The Duluth man figured he ought to pull over and see if he could offer any assistance. What he discovered was that the other driver had hit a deer — a big eight-point buck. The crash had occurred during the peak of the whitetail mating season — and the driver's car had been damaged beyond driveability. The driver didn't have a working cell phone, so the Duluth man called law enforcement for him.
Santa Claus has been tuning up for his chimney climbing at Duluth's newest city park — Quarry Park in West Duluth. And retailers from across the Northland have offered up some great suggestions for the outdoors enthusiasts on your holiday gift list. Adaptable pack
Wisconsin's nine-day gun deer hunt is over, but hunters can still participate in the muzzleloader season, archery and crossbow seasons and two antlerless-only gun hunts. The muzzleloader deer season is in progress and continues through Wednesday. The annual statewide four-day, antlerless-only hunt will take place from Thursday through Dec. 10. Hunters may fill any unused antlerless tags while hunting in the proper deer management zone, unit and land type specified on the tag.
• Now through Dec. 6 — Wisconsin muzzleloader deer season. • Now through Dec. 10 — Minnesota muzzleloader deer season. • Dec. 30 — Opening of lake trout and stream trout seasons in lakes entirely within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. • Jan. 13 — Opening of lake trout and stream trout seasons in lakes outside or partly outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. • March 31 — Brule River steelhead opener. • May 5 — Wisconsin general fishing opener. • May 12 — Minnesota general fishing opener. QUOTE:
I had never noticed the tree before, I'm somewhat ashamed to say. Maybe it was the way the half moon was illuminating its white bark on this dark November night. I stopped in my tracks to take in the scene — the alabaster sheen of the moon, the old birch, the crusty snow on the ground. The birch was a good two feet thick at the base. Its bare and gnarled branches reminded me of an old woman's hands that had been tortured by arthritis.