Brute’s Bleat November 25, 2015

I’m guessing most Midwest turtles are getting ready to go into hibernation for the winter now that we’ve had a sampling of snow (Nov. 19th). Ruth (Pribyl) Ternes, daughter of Louis and Fran Pribyl, commented about seeing turtles migrate from or into Mud Lake (Hwy. 55 East, Maple Lake) from Maple Lake back in the ‘60s and looking for information about them and if they still are crossing Hwy. 55 each fall or spring. She said the ones that caught her eye back in the ‘60s weren’t snapping turtles. We’re ruling out painted turtles and are guessing it could have been Blanding’s turtles because she remembers them as being fairly large. Another guess is they might have been rubber back turtles which are fairly large. So if any of our readers have noticed the migration of turtles across Hwy. 55, let us know what you’re seeing and we will pass on the information to Ruth. I think the migration might be more prominent in the late spring, mostly because snapping turtles are seen more readily when they’re looking for a warm spot to lay their eggs. The DNR has this to say about turtles:
“Why Turtles Cross Roads?
Unlike the infamous chicken of many riddles, turtles cross roads not just to get to the other side but because turtles actually have someplace to go. In Minnesota, where all turtles are mainly aquatic, overland journeys usually occur: (1) in connection with seasonal movements between different wetland habitats, (2) during the annual early summer nesting migration of egg-laden females, or (3) when newly-hatched youngsters seek out the backwaters and ponds that will serve as their permanent home. Turtles can travel many miles during a single year, and may even be found far from water; this is no need for concern. Turtles crossing roads in late-May and June are often moving to familiar nesting locations.”
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While hunting pheasant in Renville County on Saturday I came across a duck hunter putting out decoys on the ice in a Waterfowl Production Area. I had stepped through the ice while hunting earlier and figured he was taking quite a chance, but he must have tested the ice and found it safe. As for pheasants, I had one excellent opportunity when Vanna did her job and pointed a bird in the cattails. I sent two salvos after it when it broke out of the tails, but the rooster kept flying. At this stage of the season opportunities don’t come very often and missing is hard to accept. . . The Renville Sugar Refinery appeared to be going full blast and the huge stock of sugar beets looked much larger than the building. There was another staging area not far from town where four long rows of beets were waiting to be processed into something sweet. Obviously I was impressed, not only with the beet harvest, but the soil itself which looked about as rich as any in Minnesota, including the Red River Valley! I also noticed several of Maple Lake’s MP trucks and other equipment stringing some communication wires along one county road.
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I gave Mike Muller a call last week and caught him in Florida fishing Shell Crackers with Jesse, a buddy of his. He commented they had about 20 fish and he was having a good day drifting repeatedly over the school of fish. He came back to ML Thursday and got in on our first cold snap of the fall. He commented he should have gone right back after landing in Minneapolis. I agreed!
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Turkey Day will have come and gone by the time this issue is distributed to most subscribers and it’s my wish everyone enjoyed the Thursday Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. On the heels of the holiday, shoppers had a chance to fight their way to bargains on the infamous Black Friday which is great for the merchants and for anyone who enjoys the frenzy of shopping in a crowd. I’m not one of them and plan to stay as far away from the big box stores and malls as I can get. Christmas holiday shoppers have about four weeks left to finish their lists!
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Minnesota firearms hunters registered 118,599 deer through the second weekend of firearms deer season, up from 104,785 from the same period in 2014, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“Hunters are seeing more deer this year as we continue to build deer populations across much of the state,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations program manager. “We’ve again issued a conservative number of antlerless deer permits, and because of this, many hunters are seeing deer they can’t shoot. However, patience this year should translate to more harvest opportunities in the future.”

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