Brute’s Bleat April 19, 2017

Messenger design editor, Don Dittberner, scored early in the spring turkey hunting season last week Wednesday when he harvested this approximate 20 lb. Tom at about 6:30 a.m. The bird had a beard measuring 9 1/2” inches and spurs measuring 1 1/8 inches. He was hunting in Sherburne County on public land and had scouted the area about six times prior to opening day so he had a good indication of where they roosted. Don said this bird was one of two that strutted up on him. He also had an opportunity to video a few other birds that returned to the area. He said he has a number of turkey calls but is reluctant to use them unless it is needed to call them back to you. “It’s best not to give up your location or the Tom may hang up and expect you to come to them. Scouting is the key to early success.” It worked for him on the opener when one of the Toms came into range for a killing shot.
His daughter Kaitlyne also hunts with him, but she is presently on duty with the U. S. Army in Texas, so he took this selfie after the hunt. He said his daughter has harvested three birds so far and was disappointed she couldn’t go this year.
Don said he took his first turkey after going to South Dakota on a guided trip. He has been hunting turkeys in Minnesota since 2004 and has hunted every year since. The DNR established spring seasons after reintroducing turkeys successfully to Minnesota in 1971.
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We had every intention of getting out on the lakes last week, but Mother Nature held the winning hand and her cool weather and wind kept me from my appointed duties. So instead of fishing I worked at getting the lawn mowing equipment in shape for what may be a long mowing season. I don’t have any dandelions yet so I think I’m still a week away from cutting any grass. So while we’re postponing the lawn, I honed in on our English Setter, Vanna, and gave her a spring haircut. She apparently appreciated it and did her usual spring dance after being shorn of her curly locks. We also found two woodticks in the process which I figure is quite early, but also a reminder to use some type of anti tick medicine like Frontline. Messenger advertising sales rep, Vicki, was ahead of me and used Frontline on her cats last week when she found a tiny tick on her feline friend.
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We had the opportunity to visit with a couple from Buffalo after one of the Easter morning services at Holy Cross Sunday. They usually winter in Arizona and spend the summer managing the Huddle Resort on Leech Lake. The resort has been there since 1928 and had over 50 cabins in its heyday, which has shrunk to thirty now along with a first class restaurant and lounge. Their website shed this bit of info about the resort, “As one of the longest continuously-family run resorts in northern Minnesota, Roy and Kay Huddle make each season special for guests. Every year they welcome new guests and families who have become life-long friends – continuing the magic of a Minnesota cabin vacation.” Huddles is located on the south shore of Leech Lake where the walleye fishing has improved immensely since the DNR allowed harvesting of Cormorants. Those birds made their homes on Leech Lake and consumed a lot of walleyes every day. We don’t normally make endorsements for resorts, but we had such an interesting visit Sunday we thought we’d make an exception. Of course there’s always the possibility of making a fishing trip to Leech Lake this summer after their glowing report of great walleye fishing!