Brute’s Bleat: October 23, 2013


­ I haven’t been out pheasant hunting yet and from the meager reports that have filtered my way I’m not missing a whole lot. I elected to wait for more of the corn crop to be harvested and that’s on the back burner with the recent rains that have slowed up the process.  I noticed there are a fair amount of beans waiting to be harvested southwest of Maple Lake and I figure the rain and soil conditions are holding that up also.   Regardless of the poor reports from hunters and what I’ve gleaned out of the Outdoor News, my hunting companion, Daryl Hennen, figures it’s time for us to make an effort. So we’re planning on Thursday in the Morris area.  That’s an area we’re fairly familiar with, but it’s also one that isn’t high on the list of good places to hunt.  A story in the Outdoor News says hunter participation in that area “has dropped considerably from openers of past years.” As the saying goes, “hope springs eternal” and we’re hoping to find a covey or two, but if we don’t try we won’t know for sure. If you plan on hunting any of Minnesota’s Walk In acres the DNR has an update on that program. It will tell you which ones have been mowed for hay, closed, etc. and it could save you some miles. There’s a list on their website. I haven’t made any other efforts hunting ruffed grouse or fishing, but I did come across a report that Clearwater Lake has been producing walleyes in the evenings. Another fellow said he’s been skunked on his last three sunfish outings locally.   I winterized my outboard one day last week, took out the electronics, batteries, etc., put on the vinyl cover and will soon put it in the backyard for the winter. My next effort will be from the ice   .      .      .     Kip Blizil said his hunting group will be hunting out of Huron, South Dakota this week, commenting he’s keeping a promise he made last spring to his Lab Goldie, that he’d take her on a week’s vacation!  South Dakota’s hunting season for residents opened Oct. 12 and their game and fish department had this quote from Huron hunter Kent Shelton who says he was happy when he went hunting during the resident opener. "Yeah, and the people I talked with all were pleasantly surprised that on the public land they hunted around the Huron area that they saw more birds than they thought they would," Shelton said. 
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Minnesota’s first snowfall of the season happened Sunday and it should serve as a good reminder for me to fire up the snowblower as part of getting ready for the winter.  With my back yard slowly gathering leaves from the maple and black walnut trees it seems like snowblowers shouldn’t be a concern, but it wasn’t too many years ago that we had a Halloween snowstorm and the snow didn’t melt away.  I’m noticing more people decorating for Halloween which should make the retailers happy. It also sounds like some of the big retailers who haven’t been opening on Thanksgiving evening for the Christmas shoppers, will be doing so this year as the battle for the holiday dollars goes on.  
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I’ve managed to take Vanna walking in Ney Park without getting wet last week and one day I was parking my car on the corner and looked up to see what I first thought was the largest Mourning Dove I’ve ever seen perched on the power line. In reality it was a hen pheasant. The next day Vanna and I were headed back to our parked car when a rooster apparently got too nervous and broke out of the weeds flying across the trail into the Lake Mary Wildlife Management area.  I’ve been waiting for some northern ducks to filter into the water impoundment in the park, but that hasn’t happened yet.  There are still some local ducks, half-dozen swans and one day we had a flock of four sandhill cranes fly by us at about tree-top level.  I haven’t seen a deer out there since last spring, but I haven’t been on the corn side of the park where I suspect they are hanging out.