I’ve been keeping an eye on the creek that runs out of Lake Mary into Ney Park which is still wide open. Shortly before Christmas the County Park Service installed a bridge over the water on the park path to accommodate hikers, skiers, etc. Vanna and I tend to use the woodsy trail in the winter, mostly to get out of the wind, so we really appreciate the county’s efforts. (Photo by Harold Brutlag)
Last Thursday was too nice a day to not give late season pheasant hunting a try, so when I finished up some work I loaded up Vanna and the two of us headed west around 11 a.m. I didn’t have a destination in mind, but by the time I got to Willmar I thought Montevideo might be far enough. Our first stop was west of Gluek, a WMA I hadn’t hunted this year, but it had held birds in previous years. It looked good from a distance, but there was too much evidence of someone having hunted it that morning for us to trudge through the snow. We zeroed in on another WMA west of Montevideo that contained a corn food plot. Vanna got a solid point and the bird didn’t want to move even though I kicked around in the weeds and brush. Vanna didn’t give up, but she did move ahead which apparently was too much for the pheasant and a hen busted out. It would have been a great video! We hunted our way around the cattails which were pretty much filled with snow, so I stayed on the field edge.
Maple Lake Mes-senger pub-lisher, Ed Pawlenty, was all smil-es when he nailed five walleyes last week. His largest was 25 inches. He also had several crappies the same day while fishing near Sauk Centre.
I took a survey of shoppers while I was waiting in the car with our Setter, Vanna, while Janis and Anna were looking for items to buy last week. I don’t often go shopping with them because I’m not one to go from store to store or from shopping center to shopping center to get the best deal, but more power to them! That said, my survey shows an estimated 95% of the shoppers were ladies which isn’t anything new to Target, Macy’s, Walmart or any of the large and small stores. They’ve been targeting lady shoppers for years and years. They have no reason to change. As the old advertising motto says, “Ride the advertising horse till it dies.” More power to them in a year when holiday shopping seems to be at an all-time high. That goes ditto for local stores who compete for the shopping dollar. And as this is the last issue before Christmas we wish all of the Messenger readers the merriest of Christmases.
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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I may have found the answer to getting some pheasants rather than walking for a couple of hours and maybe flushing one or two roosters. Actually, it was Mike Muller’s idea to go to the Gold Meadows pheasant farm out of Cold Spring last Tuesday where 12 birds were put out for the three of us, Mike and Ken Muller and myself, to hunt. We ended up harvesting 11 birds and should have had about 14 if my aim would have been better. We hunted mostly unharvested corn and some grass which gave the dogs a good workout as well the three of us. Mike’s dog, Lucky, had the most points of the two English Setters. Vanna had a hen pheasant pinned against a corn stalk and ended up grabbing the bird when it couldn’t fly away. She probably saved me some embarrassment had it flown and I missed it! While walking one stretch of corn I came across two unfired 12 gauge shells (2 3/4 in.) a previous hunter had lost which fit my older O/U Red Label.
The Maple Lake Elementary Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) would like to thank the following individuals and businesses who donated items or their time for our 41st Annual Halloween Carnival: Maple Lake Lions, Maple Lake Legion, Maple Lake Messenger, Star Bank, Bernatello’s Foods, Apple Jacks Orchard, Annandale Dairy Queen, Maple Lake Elementary custodians, especially Greg Helmbrecht, Maple Lake Elementary staff, costume contest judges, MC, and our 70+ volunteers. We couldn’t have done it without you! Thank you for your help and support!
Just in case you may think I’ve lost my enthusiasm for hunting pheasants and have switched to woodpeckers, that just isn’t so. For the past couple of weeks a pileated woodpecker, like the one shown, has been buzzing around our neighborhood apparently in search of food. They’re a pretty bird and a quick check on the internet had this to say about them. “The pileated woodpecker is a large woodpecker native to North America. Roughly crow-sized, it normally inhabits deciduous forests in eastern North America, the Great Lakes, the boreal forests of Canada, and parts of the Pacific Coast.” That makes it sound like it’s out of place in ML, but hey, it adds some color to the winter gray. . . Now getting back to pheasant hunting a planned trip to the northwestern corner of North Dakota was going well until we hit a snag in the weather Sunday. We, Mike and Ken Muller, myself and three dogs, were on our way by about 7:30 a.m.
I would like to say THANK YOU to all my supporters. Even though I lost the mayoral race, I still have two years left on my city council seat. I will continue to work on the issues I feel are important for Maple Lake, be visible in the community and fight for the citizens and the future of this great city. Please feel free to reach out to me at anytime with concerns or ideas for the city.
Contact: deb.geyen @ci.maple-lake.mn.us or (320) 963-3890.
Again, thanks for the continued support. It's much appreciated.
Maple Lake City Council
We would like to thank everyone who helped with our November 16, 2016 Bloodmobile. We were able to send 87 units to the American Red Cross. Thank you to all the volunteers and organizations for their time and donations. To all the callers who scheduled the appointments and volunteers who either worked at the bloodmobile or donated. To Monica, staff and American Legion Post 131 who provided the hall and paid for all the food for the workers and donors and to Margaret Webb and the Legion Auxiliary who baked bars and helped that day. Thanks to Celeste Dahlstrom and the Irish Mentors for promoting the bloodmobile and putting up posters in the businesses.
A special thank you to Marge Pavlik, who prepares and serves lunch to the donors and workers. You are a special volunteer and your time and talents are greatly appreciated.
A Howard Lake gentleman, Jim Wackler, who I got to know while I was working for the Howard Lake Herald years ago, as a town team baseball fan, and a Rock Lake winter angler, had the experience of a lifetime deer hunting this year. He bagged a huge 36-point buck (above) Friday while he was hunting near the end of a corn field and woods. He was armed with a 20 ga. Winchester pump shotgun and slugs. As the story goes Jim said he heard the deer in the corn field from his lawn chair several times and it sounded like a freight train. He waited until the deer stuck his head out of the corn and seeing its size, thought “O’ boy this is a big feller”. When the deer got near enough to shoot he hollered. The buck stopped and that’s when he pulled the trigger. Jim felt the buck had 32 points in its rack, but a closer count was 36. He said he isn’t very steady on his feet and consequently shot the deer through the chest from his lawn chair.