Brute’s Bleat: April 23, 2014


It’s easy to forget the 9 inches of snow last week after the remarkably warm Easter Sunday we were blessed with.  Most families were taking advantage of the 70-degree plus afternoon by enjoying themselves in their backyards, driveways, etc. I also noticed a pair of canoeists on Maple Lake who were picking up debris as they paddled between the shoreline and the ice which has taken on a rotten type look. I suspect the local lakes will be showing off their blue water by the end of the week.  One of the latest ice-out dates I found in the Messenger computer memory was April 28, 1975. Many of the snow birds have migrated back from their wintering homes in Arizona, Texas and Florida where they all had exceptionally nice warm winters which made me a wee bit jealous. But there’s no one except myself to blame.     .      .   
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The spring turkey hunt is underway and so far the only successful hunter I’ve talked with was Jim Peterson. He has his permit starting on the opening day, April 16, and one of 1,325 available in area 507 which extends from Wright County north to Clearwater County. Peterson figured he’d sleep in on April 16 (Wednesday) when he heard the forecast for snow that morning. He was surprised the snow hadn’t materialized when he got up and said he was hunting by 8:15 a.m. and had his turkey, a 20 lb. Tom, by 8:25 a.m. He said its beard was only about 6 inches long, but it had a nice fan. He also saw two hens and a monster Tom after he had his bird. He commented he had to find his way out of the woods in the snow, which by then was coming fairly heavily. He likes the early season hunting, primarily because the hunter doesn’t have to contend with mosquitoes or wood ticks. Peterson commented on the DNR’s youth license program for hunters under 17 years old who can purchase a license for $6.00 which allows them to hunt the entire season on a private line with permission. They have to be first-time hunters and need a parent or guardian along.  He felt it is a good program and will help young people get involved with turkey hunting.  He also anticipates over-the-counter license purchases in the near future rather than the permit system      .       .       .      Ken Hennen, another local turkey hunter, is fighting a stubborn cold and didn’t go out on Monday, the first day of his permit, but plans to get out before his alloted time is up.  He said he likes the early morning hunting and commented how important it is to stay concealed while calling in a Tom.  He said if they hear you or see a movement they’re gone and are quicker than a weasel.     .      .      I was in Parkers Prairie Saturday visiting an aunt at that town’s nursing home and had a turkey fly across the road near Lake Carlos. Fortunately it gave us plenty of room, but it was close enough that I couldn’t see a beard so it must have been either a hen or a Jake. 
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I’m waiting for my back yard to dry out a little before I pull my boat out from its winter mooring. I’m not that anxious to go fishing, but it’s time to take inventory of the tackle boxes, fly rod, waders and fish line that may need replacing.  I found out there’s plenty to do in the meantime when I walked to the back end of the lot. Apparently I did a lousy job last fall and everything the snow covered up is suddenly showing up with a vengeance.  It might be a wee bit early for raking leaves, but there are plenty of twigs and small branches that were pruned by the winter winds. The crocuses are blooming and the tulips will be next. It will be a while before you can go Morel mushroom hunting, but rest assured, the time will come. I don’t think very many people got their potatoes planted on Good Friday, but when it comes to gardening I’m thinking about the straw bale system of raising vegetables. So far it’s something I’m just thinking about and I will have to figure out if it can be fit into my spring and summer fishing schedule which seems to take precedence.  One of the pluses about straw bale gardening is the lack of weeding that needs to be done, something I remember doing as a youth and not liking a whole lot. The good side was eating the raw veggies as they grew, or the raspberries and strawberries when they ripened which were supposed to go into the container   .    .     .