Brute's Bleat December 14, 2016

Apparently Mike and Ken Muller and myself were pansies a couple of weeks ago when we got as far as Fergus Falls before we cancelled our pheasant hunting trip to North Dakota. Toughing it out in that North Dakota blizzard were Mark and Fred Menth who harvested possession limits of pheasants in the adverse weather. Mark said hunting in the wind, gust up to 50 mph, was not easy, but he said the birds were bunched up in groves and brush and not quick to fly which was good for himself and Fred. Travelling was impossible on the freeway and blacktopped roads so they used the gravel roads and hunted between Bismark and Dickenson. Fred had a young Lab which did a great job of retrieving on a cripple that it followed for a good 100 yards before it caught up with the cock. Mark, who I ran into Wednesday morning at M & M, jokingly said he had the tank full if I was ready to go. I took a rain check!
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Some walleyes were caught on Edwards Lake as early as last Thursday where the ice is 3-5 inches thick. I’ll be content to wait until later. I haven’t fired up the Strike Master and my fishing buddy, George Palmer, is recuperating from surgery so he won’t be available to drill any holes for another week or so! I suspect the rumor that anglers were on East Maple is true, but I’ll bide my time until the below zero weather has been here and gone this week.
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I came across this saying while paging through some magazines while waiting for my turn at the dermatology clinic, that went something like this, “The weather we have, is the weather we got, whether we like it or not.” I’m sure the cold weather and snow has it’s benefits, especially if you’re in the heating fuel business, selling snow related equipment, both recreational and snow removal stuff; enjoy making snowmen; selling cold weather equipment for winter fishing, bait, etc.; snow tires; or even brandy for a hot toddie.
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I noticed a mourning dove fly into one of our evergreens late last week and now, with the four inches of snow, hopefully that dove and any others that didn’t migrate south, will find a bird feeder or two in town to compensate for the kernels of grain they normally consume. I noticed some fresh rabbit tracks in Sunday morning’s snow when I ventured out to use the snowblower for a second time this year. Anna, Vanna, and myself took a walk in Ney Park Sunday afternoon and from the visible tracks, we were the second group to use the woodsy trail. The snow was loose, puffy, and easy to walk in while we admired the beauty the fresh snow creates and the quietness of the park. On the way back to the parking lot we ran into a couple with their Springer Spaniel. For some unknow reason Vanna will lay down when she notices a dog she’s not familiar with coming towards her which is kind of comical. She’s extremely gentle and gives the appearance of trying to hide. Maybe being 10 years old has something to do with her behavior! Anyway it gave me time to say hello to the couple and find out he also hunts pheasants.He figured he would give it a try in the new snow Sunday afternoon. I was content to watch the Vikings!
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The best present you can give this holiday season? Your presence. Think twice. Don't be fooled by early ice. http://mndnr.gov/icesafety. The DNR goes on to issue it’s annual warning that ice is never 100% safe with these ice safety tips for new clear ice.
4 Inches for people
5 Inches for snowmobiles or ATVs
8-12 Inches for cars
12-15 Inches for crew-cab pickups
• They suggest you double the thickness for white or snow
covered ice.
• Carry two large nails as ice picks in case you fall through.
• Avoid pressure ridges and currents.
• Warn children about the dangers of thin ice.
• Don’t drive on the ice at night.
• Avoid alcoholic beverages.

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