Brute's Bleat November 1, 2017

I hoped to have photos of pheasant hunting in southern Minnesota for this issue, but that didn’t happen. It was one of those could have! should have! things for me while Mike Muller and I were hunting south of Windom near the Iowa border. Yours truly had an opportunity to shoot both of our two-bird limits last week Wednesday (party hunting is allowed in Minnesota), but I didn’t ruffle a feather on the roosters that busted out of grass in two instances and willows for the other two. All in all I saw a minimum of 12 hens and roosters toward evening hunting public ground. Muller saw a number of hens earlier in the afternoon and one cock which was too for away, even for his 3-inch shells. Seeing that many birds made it a good hunting trip even though it was embarrassing to get skunked. Now all I have to do is figure out what I’m doing wrong before I get out again, if that is possible!
We stopped in Windom at the DNR office to get a handle on which of the WMA (Wildlife Management Areas) contained food plots, figuring that would be helpful. The hydrologist there provided us with the info we needed and commented of the four times he had been out hunting he was successful three times. He felt hunting would improve as more of the corn crop was harvested. The beans were nearly done and the farmers had already made a small dent in the corn harvest. It seemed like the pheasants were hanging out in the corn fields, which were immense, for most of the day or they were just in preferred areas. If time and weather permits, we’ll give that area a return trip.
Muller’s nearly new Suburban had us scratching our heads when the security system would turn on while we were having lunch in a cafe or watching the World Series in the motel Wednesday evening. We stopped at the Chev dealer Wednesday in the morning and the service manager figured the cause could be the dog kennel bumping the back door. It seemed like a logical explanation and we moved the kennel forward, figuring the problem was solved. It wasn’t and Muller used his key fob to turn off the horn and blinking lights a number of times during the game that evening. The game was tied at 11 p.m. and I figured I needed some shut-eye more than staying awake to watch the game. The security system didn’t come back on after I shut off the TV and Muller figured his dogs (two English Setters) may have been the cause moving around inside of the vehicle to trigger the alarm system until they finally went to sleep, too! Muller plans to check that out before we head out on another trip. . .
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It would have been interesting and fun to get out Saturday after the snowfall last week when the pheasant tracks would have been visible, but that didn’t happen. Janis and Anna seemed to think it was more important to take in a sale at the used book stores in the Twin Cities and I got out-voted. I tried a veto, but that didn’t carry any weight either!
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The firearms deer season opens this Saturday and those hunting in northern Minnesota should have snow in the woods with a lot of that area getting at least 6 inches. Back when I was hunting deer snow made them more visible, but the mornings were also much colder. I suppose that makes it a trade-off, but I preferred warmer mornings and no snow which probably put me in the wimp class! Anyway, good luck to all of the hunters who will be taking to the woods for Minnesota’s deer season which is predicted to be better than a year ago. One morning, back in the late ‘50s, a below zero morning still haunts me, but I did shoot a large doe with a Winchester Model 12 shotgun shooting slugs. Back then Ottertail County had just a one-day season which didn’t leave much room for error if the opportunity presented itself.
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Nobody in the Messenger office is telling any fish tales this week and seem to be content to wait for hard water now that the colder weather seems to have moved in on us. I noticed an angler trolling on Minnetonka Lake Sunday afternoon and Don says he may get out again if the weather warms up. I’m content to wait for the hard water!
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Last week’s rain set the soybean and corn harvest back again for a few days and, unfortunately, more precipitation is predicted later this week. That doesn’t bode well for local farmers who have a decent crop, but need some favorable weather to complete the cycle.
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My congrats to the Irish athletic teams who are in the playoffs for state recognition. MLHS has been enjoying some good years in volleyball, football and cross country and there’s definitely a winning spirit in the air as the teams and individuals give their all to win.

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