Brute’s Bleat by Harold Brutlag

The 80 degree day on Saturday almost had me saying, enough of this hot weather, can’t wait until fall. The key word in that tongue in cheek sentence is almost. We needed the sunshine to rid Maple Lake of ice which happened late Thursday, May 3 or early Friday when the lake gave up its winter coat; and to give local farmers a reason to think about the planting season which started happening the middle of last week. For some odd reason Lake Mary’s ice went out ahead of Maple Lake by about three days this year. May 3 ties a record for iceout on Maple Lakewhich happened in 2013 on the same date. Bart Lauer has been the official ice out guy, but he pulled the pin and is living up north with his family. Bart’s father, Ron Lauer, initiated the annual opening and closing dates for Maple Lake, so it’s been in that family for a long time. Bart’s successor is his brother Tom. Mary, Ramsey, and Little Maple have boat docks in place and I suspect the city boys will have the dock in on Maple Lake sometime this week so it will be in place for the opener, May 12th. The long range weather forecast for the walleye opener is for 50 degree weather, which is tolerable, but I’m postponing my opener until my brother Charles gives me a thumbs up. In the meantime I’ll chase crappies and sunfish while the water warms up. That reminds me to get a thermometer, something I keep thinking about, but so far haven’t done!

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I haven’t heard very many successful turkey hunting reports which means the hunters would prefer to remain anonymous or didn’t get Tom turkey. Two weeks ago Paul Kjolhaug said he was successful while hunting with his son in the Alexandria area. He bagged a 25 pounder, but I forgot to ask him about the spurs or beard. He commented it was a older beat up bird! Paul said he’s been hunting turkey in South Dakota and other states for a number of years and is a sport he enjoys alot. . . While running to Monticello Sunday morning I spotted a hen turkey in the ditch off Hwy. 25; and later while heading to Ney Park for a walk with Vanna, we came across another hen in the township road ditch not far from the new earth home which is being built on the Potter farm. Janis has been putting the pressure on Anna and me to find her some wild flowers which has been important in her life. We came across some blood roots early last week and on Sunday Anna spotted some white blossoms which we couldn’t identify, but Janis like them so all is well! It’s also about the time to hunt for Morel mushrooms which I had been in a habit of doing, but it takes a lot of time and energy. I have the time, but the energy is in short supply. If I come across any this spring it will be a matter of luck!

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I had a call from Mike Muller Saturday who said fishing for sunfish and crappies in Florida hasn’t been spectacular lately. While fishing with a relative and his guide Jesse, they caught 10 sunfish and 4 crappies which were over the 10 in minimum. He was interested in our Saturday temperature which hit 80 degrees, commenting that was warmer than down south. He’ll be back in ML later this month to prepare for a Lake of the Woods fishing trip and to take his boat out for a test run to see that everything works. That’s something I have to do with by boat. I fired it up Saturday, but haven’t had it on the water yet. Maybe this week!

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A few things to remember before the walleye opener: be sure to get a license, check for proper safety equipment in your boat (some require carbon monoxide detectors), review the Northern Pike rules and limits which have divided the state into regions, have a new 2018 DNR fishing regulations in your boat, keeping in mind the limits vary from lake to lake. If you want to keep the numbers up on the different species of fish, it’s a good idea to practice catch and release.

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Maple Lake’s Lakers baseball team started their season off with a 13-2 win over Montrose/Waverly at the local ball park on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. Their next game is Friday May 11, 7:30 p.m. with visiting Cokato. That game will be followed by another game with Cokato on May 16 in a 7:30 p.m. at Cokato. On Maple Lake’s roster this year are Matt Bergstrom, c; Graham Brown, c, of; Riley Decker, of; Brock Fobbe, if; Lucas Fobbe, 2b; Luke Fobbe, ss; Greg Giebenhain, u; Brian Goedker, p/if; McRae Haney, if; Nate Mass, if; Hunter Malacek, p/of; Donnie Mavencamp, if/p; Grant Mergen, p/1b; Logan Orazem of/p; Casey Pack, manager; Nick Preisinger, p/1b; Derek Rachel, c; Brian Redemske, of; and Mitch Wurm, p/if. Since the Laker schedule was printed the Mound baseball club apparently couldn’t come up with an adequate number of players and won’t be in the North Star League this summer.

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