Outdoors notes — Are you ready for ice fishing?
Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN
If the cold weather is giving you a case of ice-fishing fever, get to Gander Mountain in Rochester on Friday, Saturday or Sunday for their Ice Fishing Preview.
Saturday is the big day. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., you’ll enjoy free seminars with experts who’ll cover the latest in tackle, electronics and shelters. Kevin Stauffer of the Minnesota DNR will discuss local lake surveys.
At 11 a.m., Clark Powell will share his secrets for deep-water panfish, and at 1 p.m. Don "Hootch" Hanson will discuss locating fish under the ice.
And if that isn’t enough, bring your kids out to meet Grete Baker, an eighth-grader from Cannon falls who has made a name for herself on the tournament circuit and is a Clam Pro Staff tournament ice angler.
Her nickname on the circuit is "Boo."
TOUGH DEER OPENER:The word from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers is some deer hunters had a hard time around here last weekend, while others did all right.
But it was a lot worse up north.
"Hunters were met with cold, windy weather and had a hard time staying on stand" said Dan McBroom of Rochester. On Saturday, some deer hunters were off their stands and back at their vehicles before 8 a.m. Most hunters reported seeing few deer and hearing few shots."
Around Red Wing, Tyler Quandt said the same thing — a lot of corn left in the field, which made things difficult. Hunters commented on seeing very few deer. Scott Moran of Wabasha said hunters were numerous and some nice bucks were shot, though not a lot of deer were registered.
But around LaCrescent, Plainview, Zumbrota and Rushford, things looked better. Maybe being in the bluffland valleys helped.
Up north, however, rain and cold made it hard to stay out for long.
Duck hunting, on the other hand, seems to be really poor, one officer said, but another found more ducks. One officer speculated that when the ducks do come down, hunting will be sensational for a few days, then die off as Mississippi River backwaters begin to freeze.
YOUTH PHEASANT HUNT: The six boys and five adults who went out on a mentored pheasant hunt Oct. 25 near Chatfield bagged one bird.
Tri-County Pheasants Forever sponsored the event to give the boys a shot at hunting.
One father thanked PF for the hunt: "I had the pleasure seeing my son bag his first bird, WOW, what a thrill to witness. It was a day I will never forget. I can also bet he will not ever forget that day. All of the volunteers that helped out that day were very helpful, knowledgeable and safety minded. It is because of people like all of you that will help make a difference in whether our kids get into hunting and the great outdoors. I can’t thank you enough and I hope you can continue this program year after year."
Anyone interested in joining PF or volunteering, contact Tri-County at its new Web address: www.tricountymn.pheasantsforever.org.