Brute’s Bleat: September 17, 2014


It’s taken him a while, but Mike Muller finally bagged two geese last week when he and his goose hunting buddies tallied six. He commented up to that time he hadn’t fired his shotgun, although he’d been hunting a number of times. It seemed the geese didn’t swing his way.  Brad Hennen and Bart Lauer were successful bear hunters, although hunting hundreds of miles apart. Hennen in the Lake Vermillion area with his brother, Adam, where he harvested a boar that weighed roughly 170 pounds. He was using a muzzle loader, he had a malfunction and needed to replace the cap, but all ended well. He said the bear wasn’t as fat as they normally are or it would have weighed more. I figured it might be a genetic improvement like what has happened in the hog industry to make them more lean. If you believe that you probably believe in Santa Claus, too! Lauer was hunting near Hill City and his bear, also a boar, dressed out at 160 lbs. He said it was the seventh bear he saw in the three days he hunted and the only one that came in to the bait.  The only other activity he noticed, besides song birds, was one ruffed grouse and a deer.  Hennen commented he and Adam saw one covey of ruffed grouse, quite small, they felt, for this time of the year.   .   .   The only first-hand reports from opening weekend grouse hunters is from Mike Lauer who was hunting with his sons, Jordan and Dominic, in the Crow Wing lakes area. Mike said they flushed and harvested a young grouse about 100 yards into the trail. He figured they flushed four other birds, but didn’t get any shooting because of the heavy cover. He was disappointed with the few flushes they had considering the spring drumming counts were up.  They met two other hunters with a dog and they weren’t having any success either. It sounds like it will be one of those years when it will take a lot of walking which isn’t all bad, but doesn’t do much for my enthusiasm for the sport. I hope to get out later this week, but with Mike’s report, it will be in a different area in hopes of finding that elusive covey. 
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The Messenger office was pretty quiet Monday morning without Editor Gabe Licht there to greet us.  As Messenger readers know, he has taken a new similar position with the Delano newspaper. I enjoyed knowing and working with him during the two years he was with the Messenger, and as the saying goes “it won’t be the same around here without him.”  He had a nose for news and took a genuine interest in Maple Lake and the area the newspaper serves.  One of his traits that impressed me was that I didn’t hear him say anything negative about anyone during those two years. He was fun to be around and he has an upbeat attitude which will serve him well in the newspaper industry. I would say Maple Lake’s loss will be Delano’s gain and we wish him well. 
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We had a white, frosty coating on our garage roof Saturday morning, but there didn’t seem to be any frost on the grass or the petunias or the one tomato plant next to the garage. My coffee buddies figure we’ll be safe until the next full moon which will be October 9th.  If that theory holds true, it should make the farmers happy as they will need time for the soybeans and corn to mature.  The recent rains have given the mushrooms in our backyard a boost. Some of them seem to be the puff ball variety while I’d give some others the more familiar toadstool name.  Taking care of the lawn is cutting into my fishing time, but I’ve been waiting for a warm, quiet day which could happen this week.  One thing I’ve noticed this summer, which wife Janis is pleased with, is the lack of those pesty ill-smelling Japanese beetles which look similar to lady bugs.  I haven’t seen any and believe me I don’t miss them a bit!  Vanna is getting a few points on pheasant roosters in our walks in Ney Park which always makes the walks more entertaining. I keep hoping it’s not a skunk and so far I’ve lucked out.
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I’ve been giving some thought to giving fall turkey hunting a try. It’s in October and the limit is one bird, either sex, for the season.  Apparently one of the ways is to scatter the flock and then call one within shooting range to where you’re concealed. It sounds simple enough with the only stickler finding a flock to scatter.  We used to do that with ducks sitting in a slough before shooting time and they would come back in singles and doubles!