Brute's Bleat July 20, 2016

For reasons unknown I couldn’t get a decent sunfish bite last week on a windy Wednesday when George Palmer and I first tried Indian and then Maple; or early Saturday morning when Evan Hennen and I gave Maple Lake our best shot. The Schneider Bass Tournament was in progress when we launched our boat Saturday. We noticed one pair of anglers boat a largemouth and another a small hammer handle Northern which is more action than we had. A lot of anglers and lake residents took in the Fire Department’s house burn of Larry and Karen Pribyl’s residence on Donnelly Drive which was spectacular at times when the firefighters would use different tactics to suppress the flames which were shooting out the upper floor windows as part of the training exercises conducted for its members and also several visiting departments. But getting back to fishing, I hope to get out later this week, more or less to find out if the sunfish have moved, or the lack of activity was temporary. . . I spoke with Mike Muller, who is in Florida, Sunday after he e-mailed me a photo of a five-pound Crappie with a message, “Eat your heart out”. He apparently didn’t want to mislead me and confessed it wasn’t a fish he caught, but one that might have come from the Royalton area of Minnesota. Anyway it was huge! He and his buddy, Jessie, had been angling for sunnies in Florida’s 98-degree heat. They ended up catching a total of 27 and some catfish after finding a hot spot while drifting on Lake Okeechobee. I knew he went to Florida, but thought that might have been a roundabout way to Cleveland for the GOP convention! I was hoping for a third party candidate, but that didn’t happen.
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Moving on to Laker baseball, the Howard Lake Orphans turned a bases-loaded, 9th-inning double play to win 6-5 last Wednesday. They defeated D-C Sunday 9-2 and have won the North Star League title with one game with Hutch July 20th. On Friday Maple Lake came from behind to defeat Victoria 11-10 after being down by five in the 6th inning. Sunday’s game with Hutchinson ended up with ML winning 17-14 after being down 9-2 in the early innings. Don Mavencamp thrilled the spectators when he slammed out three consecutive home runs good for seven rbis. There were 43 hits by both teams, 8 home runs and one Hutch player ejection when the language got a little salty from the bench after a called third strike. Maple Lake finished the North Star League season 12-8 and in fourth place. Maple Lake has four games left on their schedule, two with Moorhead, July 20 and 24; Kimball on July 27, and Jordan on July 30th as the second game of the Old-Timers Classic. After that it’s playoff time and that schedule should be out soon.
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Minnesota’s DNR has good news for grouse hunters and reported the spring drumming counts were up 18% statewide. “Ruffed grouse populations tend to rise and fall on a 10-year cycle, and counts this year are typical of what we expects during the rising cycle, which we are seeing now,” said Charlotte Roy, DNR grouse project leader. The highest counts were 1.5 drums per stop in the northeast survey region.
During seasons when the drumming count is high it’s not uncommon to hear the birds give out that tell-tale low sound, which for me is reminiscent of the sound made by the older two-cycle John Deere tractors. Anyway, it was music to my ears and let me know there were some grouse in that part of the woods. Hopefully, the DNR will have a similar report for their fall pheasant roadside count, but that’s probably wishful thinking. Minnesota’s pheasant range has been having some wet and stormy (hail, etc.) weather that isn’t good for the survival of pheasant chicks. Wright County has been spared most of the foul weather and I’ve heard a couple of reports of seeing large clutches of young birds, which is the good news.
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I wish I had the answer for stopping all the shooting violence in the United States, and Europe for that matter; but I don’t and apparently no one else does either.

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