Brute's Bleat October 12, 2016

I gave Mike Muller a call Thursday planning to invite him to go fishing, but found out he was on his way back to Canada for goose and duck hunting. He had a call from a good friend of his, Jim Baker, in Manitoba, who said they had six inches of rain which flooded some fields and was attracting ducks and geese like crazy. On his first trip Mike and his son, Ken, harvested 27 snows, 50 Canadas, 21 ducks and 3 sharptails, but no ruffed grouse. He felt finding snows that early was unusual, but it helped make the trip. Baker said there were still lots of snows still around when he called. . . Local banker, Andy Wahlquist, who has been hunting ducks in western Minnesota, said they are finding lots of mallards and ring-bills, plus a smattering of wood ducks. He also commented about hearing roosters crowing in the early morning while they were in their duck blinds. . . I went on a half-day trip Thursday after ruffed grouse as an alternative to fishing, but it was a poor choice. Getting only one flush, left me convinced that if I’m to find any concentration it means an overnight trip further north. And with the pheasant opener this weekend I’ll have to decide which wins out. As for my half-day grouse trip there were at least three other grouse hunters in the area and I didn’t hear anyone fire a gun. I spoke with what I suspect was a father-son duo and they hadn’t had any flushes by 3 p.m. On the way back to ML I ran into a heavy downpour that started in Royalton and lasted nearly to Clearwater. . . Friday night ML had its first frost of the season and the roofs were white Saturday morning. That didn’t stop the local duck hunters who were blasting away at day-break.
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Congratulations to the Irish gridders on their 15-14 overtime homecoming win over Rockford; and to their extra-point kicker, Andy Mavencamp, who split the uprights in the overtime.
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My Saturday walk with Vanna in Ney Park happened to coincide with the Disabled Vets duck hunt and we were finishing our walk while they were winding up their hunt. The vets and the volunteers who assisted gathered for a group photo of the 5th annual hunt. They had three woodies, one colorful male and two hens, to their credit. I visited briefly with Bob Peterson, a Pheasants Forever advocate, and one of those responsible for organizing the Wright County Disabled Veterans Duck Hunt. He was pleased with the number of veterans that participated Saturday, but said the ducks were kind of scarce. That may have been because of the “blue-bird” weather, sunny and calm, but I haven’t seen many ducks all summer and not a hint of any northern ducks stopping on their migration south.
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I don’t know if the weekend’s mild frost was enough to spurn a week or two of Indian Summer, but a few sunny warm days would help me take care of the ash and Korean elm leaves in my backyard. The maples are hanging tough and the black walnuts have a ways to go. The squirrels have enjoyed the abundance of walnuts this year and are doing a remarkably good job of gathering and storing them, I assume, for winter. I haven’t winterized the boat yet, assuming I’ll find time for one more fishing trip on one of the local lakes.
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After watching portions of the Trump,-Clinton presidential debate Sunday evening I still haven’t heard a candidate I want to vote for on Nov. 8. The only contest I’m sure of is the local public school referendum which will get my yes X on the two issues. Hopefully the majority of the voters in the Maple Lake School District will do the same. These referendums are needed to provide funding necessary to continue present programs and keep Maple Lake Schools great.

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