Brute’s Bleat October 5, 2016

Fall fishing is apparently getting more hot and Nick Pawlenty came up with this 25-inch walleye Sunday evening while fishing with his dad at Sauk Centre. They released the lunker figuring it was too large for the frying pan. He also hunted ducks Sunday morning and brought home four Wood ducks for the table.
George Palmer and I gave Rock Lake all of our attention last week on Friday and we were pleasantly surprised with the sunfish we caught, both in size up to 9 1/2, and they were hungry. Getting on the lake with all the high water in the public access took a little ingenuity, but I put Palmer in the boat and I backed into the lake until it floated off and he worked the boat back to shore to pick me up after I parked the vehicle and trailer. Taking a plank along to walk from the shore to the boat dock would have worked, too, but that’s more of a late ice effort. Filleting the 40 sunfish took us a little time, but doing it in the backyard with a promise of a Grain Belt as a reward made the job easier. Palmer brought along a couple of containers of nightcrawlers, one with traditional nighties and one with green nighties. Both worked equally well, but expect to get green fingers if you’re baiting with the greenies.
With a cold snap promised for the weekend I’ll have to put angling on hold and get out the shotgun. Actually we, Daryl Hennen and myself, headed for the Hunter’s Ville State Forest one day last week for a walk in the woods. We hunted for about three hours and flushed three grouse. Neither of us got any shooting and three flushes for three hours is not a whole lot to write home about. Some of the area we hunted looked like it was ideal habitat, and later when we were driving a forest in the Forrester it looked even better, but no flushes. That’s five grouse Vanna and I have flushed this season. One fellow mentioned he harvested one grouse last Saturday south of Duluth in some public land and passed on a couple of covies that were on private property. He also said two fellows limited out with five, but didn’t say which area. This was after church on Sunday and I can’t believe he was giving me a wild grouse story.
* * *
A four-some of Maple Lake hunters, Bart and Tom Lauer, Jake Elsenpeter and Terry Scheider planned an eight-day wolf and bear hunt for a year and a half in Ontario through Gathering Lakes Outfitters. Bart said they had been in contact with the outfitter on a regular basis, but nothing worked out for them when they got to Ontario. To begin with they opted to go with an American Plan, but found out that was no longer available. That meant they would have to drive for three hours whenever they wanted to shop for food, three hours they had planned to hunt ruffed grouse, before they went to their wolf and bear baits for the evening hunt. To top it off the outfitters didn’t have the promised guides for the hunters and he was also lax on providing wolf and bear bait. On the final day of their hunt Tom Lauer bagged a large bear that tipped the hanging weight of 400 lbs. But it was mostly because they took it upon themselves to put out bait. Bart said they shot a fair amount of spruce hens to supplement their meals, but all in all, he was terribly disappointed with their outfitter.