Brute's Bleat October 11, 2017

I slighted my fishing buddy, George Palmer, (at least he was my buddy) a couple of weeks ago in my column when I gave him credit for catching a 3/4th inch sunfish in the cutline below his photo with the big fish. The fish measured 9 3/4 inches and it was one of several he caught that day. I know how it happened, but can only blame it on pilot error (me). He accepted my apologies and we made plans to fish on Oct. 4th. That was a day after the thunder and lightning storm and the sunfish apparently were holed up from that disturbance and we struggled to find them. Those we caught didn’t measure up to George’s standards and they all went back into Indian Lake to grow up. George had a couple of bass which were keepers, but they’re a catch-and-release specie for us. There were a lot of boats out on the weekend’s warm Sunday at local lakes. Don Dittberner, Messenger employee, fished Lake Osakis Friday and caught crappies and sunfish, but no walleyes. He figured it was a bit too early for ‘Ole marble eyes,’ to school as they do in the fall on that lake. Time is starting to run out for open water fishing with the bird hunting seasons now in full swing, but there’s still time to squeeze in another trip. I haven’t winterized my boat yet so maybe we will get out once more. I did get a grouse report from a friend about hearing five flushes on private property in the Duluth area! That’s the only good report that has come my way. A frost could help the situation, but I’m not sure the DNR gave us a factual report on grouse being at the top of their 10-year cycle. Grouse go through a dispersal period in October when they leave the hens and get out on their own. It’s about that time now and the young grouse should be showing up more readily without mother hen to keep them under her wing, so to speak.
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Mike Muller, who is on his second hunting trip to Canada for ducks and geese, said they got 66 Snow geese, 16 ducks and 4 Canada geese on their first day of hunting northeast of Winnipeg. That sounds to us like a lot of goose brats, sausage, etc. . . Muller also likes to put his feet under the table of his Canadian friends and help them observe Canada’s Thanksgiving which was Oct. 9th. From my personal observation no one should be treated so royally as he is when he’s a guest in Canada, or maybe I’m just a wee bit jealous!
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Brian Guimond reminded me that 15th years ago his son, Josh, went missing from his apartment Nov. 10th. Guimond was a student at St. John’s University, Collegeville, and was on his way home the night he disappeared. He was a graduate of Maple Lake High School and gave a dynamic commencement message at the high school. He was named the outstanding student in his class. As a university student he was aspiring to get into politics. He remains a missing person to this day.
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After all the rain we’ve had, roughly 5.5 inches, the leaves in my backyard are starting to pile up. The leaves, along with the black walnuts, seem to be crying out, ‘Get the lead out, Harold’ which I’ll have to do. Normally the squirrels do a good job of gathering the walnuts and storing them for the winter or taking them to Bob Polsfus’ yard for burial, but they are either overwhelmed by the sheer amount of nuts, or he’s not showing them a very warm welcome.
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Minnesota’s pheasant hunting season opens Saturday with this year’s Governor’s event at Marshall beginning with a banquet at the UM/Marshall Friday night. That area is one of the hotbeds for pheasants and even in a down period, I suspect his entourage will get shooting. Within 25 miles of Marshall, there are 37 Walk-In Access areas totaling just under 3,000 acres, 20 waterfowl production areas totaling approximately 3,779 acres and 132 WMAs totaling 24,407 acres. In Lyon County alone there are 47 WMAs totaling 11,184 acres. All are open to public hunting. They may get some competition from a contingent of Maple Lake hunters who favor that area, but most of them are Democrats, too.

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