- Member for
- 5 years 10 months
ON NATURE'S LAKE — For an early opening morning, just a day into fall, the start of Minnesota waterfowl season Saturday, Sept. 22, turned out to be pretty ducky. A low deck of clouds hung overhead allowing an incredible orange and red pre-dawn glow for a few minutes before socking in to keep the sun out of our eyes. A persistent southwest wind kept the decoys moving nicely and it was just cool enough so a jacket felt good. A few raindrops even fell as we paddled back to camp. Best of all, for the crew at the Squaw Lake Bird Watchers Society, the ducks cooperated.
SQUAW LAKE, Minn. — At the end of a winding, two-rut driveway under a canopy of maples just turning orange and red, past the black lab running in the yard and before you get to the lake where teal, wood ducks and mallards are flying over miles of wild rice, you'll fund Plushville. Officially known as the Squaw Lake Bird Watchers Society, it's the kind of place that should be in the photograph next to "duck camp" in Wikipedia, or maybe on the cover of Ducks Unlimited magazine.
ISLE ROYALE NATIONAL PARK—Officials at Isle Royale National Park on Friday, Sept. 21, announced details of their plan to bolster the park's wolf population by capturing wolves in nearby regions and releasing them on the big Lake Superior island. The Park Service will trap and transport up to six wolves in coming weeks with a goal of at least 20 and up to 30 wolves moved to the island during the next three years.
DULUTH — We mark the seasons as honking geese head south and as robins return north. Every autumn we marvel at their numbers going south, and every spring we delight that they have come back. But until now scientists have never been able to put a number on exactly how many birds migrate across North America. The bird experts at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology now have done that, using data from 143 weather radar stations across North America from 2013-17. Their findings were published Monday, Sept. 17, in the Journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.
DULUTH — What a difference a few mild winters and a lot more doe permits can make. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources area deer meetings, held at wildlife offices across the state in recent weeks, attracted surprisingly few hunters — some meetings went unattended and the most heavily attended attracted just 14 people. Across northeastern Minnesota, Tower and Grand Rapids attracted eight people each with only five in Two Harbors and just two in International Falls. And not a one of them brought pitchforks and torches.
DEER RIVER, Minn. — It was Fourth of July week and Minnesota Conservation Officer Mike Fairbanks had just come on shift when he heard his radio crackle with reports of a missing boy. Fairbanks radioed back that he and his partner were available to help in the search being quickly organized by Itasca County sheriff's deputies. By the time Fairbanks arrived on the scene, deputies were combing the boy's rural Bovey home, yard and outbuildings. But Fairbanks and Si, his 6-year-old partner, went in a different direction.
WASCOTT, Wis. — Dave Sanda threw his state-issued pickup into park and jumped out, striding quickly down to the water's edge at the small boat landing on Leader Lake. "How's it going out there?'' Sanda yelled to four anglers casting from a boat on a mirror-calm morning. I hadn't even seen the boat from the truck. But Sanda saw the situation as another chance to make contact with the public, another chance to educate a boatload of outdoorspeople, none of whom were wearing life jackets.
TWO HARBORS, Minn. — The Heck series of gravel road bicycle races continues next weekend with the 225-mile Heck Epic: a two-day endurance race taking cyclists up the North Shore from Two Harbors to Grand Marais and back on some of the most scenic — and less traveled — gravel roads of Cook and Lake counties. The Epic is the second of three Heck series races this summer. The Le Grand du Nord race was in May and the third race — the 10th annual Heck of the North — is coming in September.
NEAR SAWYER, Minn. — Just minutes into this particular fishing excursion, Bret Baker started the verbal barbs with a backhanded comment about his son Joseph's first largemouth bass of the day. "Cute one, Joseph,'' Bret said. It didn't take long in the Bakers' 20-foot Lund Alaskan to realize that "cute" meant "small." "Bigger than yours," Joseph, 15, fired back instantly, referring to the fact that his dad still hadn't landed a fish.
ON LAC LA CROIX, Ont. — For Jim Glowacki of Britt, Minn., this was his second trip to the big border lake here in two years, after last year's trek when he bumped his outboard on an infamous rock in the Loon River. For Mike Appelwick of Biwabik, Minn., it was his first time back to Lac La Croix in more than 20 years. But it was Appelwick who remembered precisely where the "56 Rock" on the Loon River was and how to avoid it in the fast-flowing current.