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I’m back home at the family farm, walking past barns while toting a 12-gauge shotgun. My pants pockets are filled with shotgun shells.

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Forecasting weather in Grand Marais, Minnesota is kind of like throwing a dart at a chart of possible weather conditions. You never know what you are going to land on, and like a lot of Minnesota weather, if you don’t like what you presently have, just wait a little bit.

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Each year’s annual trip into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is an excuse to try out at least one new piece of equipment. Lightweight, high quality backpack camping equipment is often both high technology and expensive.

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Minnesota is home to all manner of migratory birds who make stops here to proliferate over spring and summer before returning to wintering grounds far to the south.

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On my most recent trip to South Florida, I opted out of the state's ocean-side scenery and traveled inland to experience wildlife viewing on an expansive, freshwater, cypress-slough lake. This part of Florida is home to thousands of acres of shallow-water swamps, canals and lakes. It's also …

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Fishermen are funny creatures. We look at bodies of water and ponder how we’d fish them, we plan trips to places we’d like try, and we dream of taking advantage of conditions when they are right for good fishing.

Alone on Center Lake in South Dakota’s Custer State Park, the freshly fallen 6 inches of snow from the previous day’s storm creates a pristine, unspoiled canvas from shoreline to shoreline that swallows all sound. The silence is as beautiful as the snow covers pine trees and rock outcrops.

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Participation in outdoor activities, such as fishing and hunting, continues to dwindle as both parents and children lead busier lives, juggle schedules and are sucked into electronic worlds for work and leisure connected by screens and the wizardry of the internet.

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In a matter of two weeks, the outlook of this upland hunter ranged from doubtful to hopeful and everywhere in between on the topic of getting afield for a final time to chase late season ring-necked pheasants. Nearly a foot of snow fell in parts of southwestern Minnesota and the calendar kep…

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Two recently installed electric barriers east of Mankato will help protect several thousand acres of water, including a number of popular fishing lakes, from the threat of invasive carp. The barriers are set for commissioning later this month.

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The end of open water waterfowl season in southern Minnesota rarely comes as a result of the 60-day season expiring. Rather, it prematurely slams closed when arctic air sinks from the north and locks up sloughs and lakes with fast-hardening ice.

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Ryan Berzins and Zach Gilbert grew up near Bigfork, Minnesota (population 446). With Bigfork High School graduating classes of around 20 students, the two young men knew each other, but being a couple years apart, didn’t start hanging out until they had both graduated.

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My enterprising Labrador retrievers, Cash and Luna, have accompanied me on numerous outings to chase ringneck pheasants. While we've been moderately successful at bagging birds, the season has fallen a bit short of last year's action.

There’s a knock on the cabin door, and my guest has arrived, though guest and host roles will flip quickly. Meadow Kouffeld has managed to fit a few hours in during a busy weekend of running to and fro as a regional biologist for the Ruffed Grouse Society to guide me through the north woods …

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For hunters, the arrival of September signals the start of fall game bird seasons, the first being early goose and dove, which began on the Sept. 1. Those seasons are popular, but they pale in comparison to the regular waterfowl opener that kicks off on Saturday, September 22.

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Part of the allure of fishing is that you’re always one cast away from a big fish. More often than not, anglers repeat that adage to convince themselves to keep at it when fishing slows down.

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During my years as a wildlife photographer, I’ve spent an outrageous amount of time recording American pronghorn behavior. I just love the vast western prairie regions they inhabit, where the sun always seems to shine through impossibly blue skies that reflect down on swaying yellow grasses …

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Some days, you’re just lucky. You get the breaks to fall your way. That’s the only way I can describe falling into an opportunity to be part of a Minnesota outdoors institution.

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It’s 3 a.m. and the alarm rings. My brother-in-law Mark Escen and I sit up, not in comfortable beds but in bucket seats in Mark’s sedan. We’ve dozed for a mere two hours in a parking lot in Racine, Wisconsin, and now it’s time to change clothes, grab any last-minute provisions and see firsth…

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News outlets and social media sites have been ablaze recently with reports of black bears cavorting in southern Minnesota, hundreds of miles south of the toothy critters’ primary range.

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I enjoy smoked salmon, pickled pike, grilled trout, boiled eelpout or even some baked fish from time to time. But like most anglers, a fish fry is the gold standard in my book.

Obituaries

Harry Thorau, 86, retired LeSueur Police Chief died 9/8. Services, Friday, 9/20 at 11 a.m. First Lutheran Church in LeSueur. Inurnment at a later date in New Ulm City Cemetery. Visitation 1 prior to services at church. Koldenfuneralhome.com

Janet C. Schultz, age 78 of St. Peter, died Thursday, September 12, 2019. Funeral: 11:00 am Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at St. Peter Lutheran, St. Peter. Visitation: 4:00-7:00pm Monday and 10:00am Tuesday at church. www.saintpeterfuneralhome.com.