Brad Dokken / Forum News Service
Jim Brown had seen the two bucks on his trail camera near Walhalla, N.D., earlier in the fall, but then they stopped showing up. That all changed one day in December when Brown, a Walhalla contractor, checked the card on his Cuddyback trail camera. What he saw only can be described as a spectacle of nature: One buck entangled with the rack of another buck whose body is severed from its head. The antlers and severed head hang from the rack of the living buck.
BEMIDJI, Minn. — John Williams likes to use a pendulum analogy when talking about deer populations in northwest Minnesota, and right now, the pendulum is swinging from "not enough deer" to "too many deer" in several areas, the longtime wildlife manager says. That should translate into good hunting opportunities when Minnesota's firearms deer season opens Saturday, Nov. 4—a full six days before North Dakota's deer gun season, which opens at noon Friday, Nov. 10.
A new regulation is in effect this fall in northwest Minnesota that allows deer hunters to leave as many as two portable deer stands unattended in wildlife management areas throughout the hunting season, providing they follow certain guidelines. That could create conflicts between hunters because portable stands are considered public once they're left on WMA lands.
Something funny is going on with Minnesota ruffed grouse hunting this fall, and even the experts are at a loss to fully explain it. A whopping 57 percent increase in spring drumming counts hasn't translated into more birds in the woods. Nowhere close, by most accounts. That begs the question why.
GRAND FORKS — A news release from State Farm insurance hit my inbox earlier this week, and it offered a timely reminder for all of us who log bigtime road miles in the fall pursuing our outdoor passions or just making shorter, routine trips. Be on the lookout for deer. There are more of them out there, and the odds of hitting a deer—or elk, moose or caribou—are higher than they were last year, State Farm said in releasing the results of its 15th annual deer claim study.
BADGER, Minn.—Like most stained-glass artists, Sherri Kruger started small with plaques, decorative crosses and similar pieces. Now she's hit the big time—so to speak—with a panel that's 24 feet long and 12 feet high. The Badger Community Heritage Wall—as Kruger's public art project is called—uses thousands of stained-glass pieces to tell the story of the town's history and culture.
NORTHWOOD, N.D.—As mayor of Northwood in 2007, Rick Johnson remembers the reaction of many people when city officials and others held a tornado drill. "We went and laid some barriers out in the road saying, 'This is a fallen tree,' and I think even the hospital and nursing home participated with victims," Johnson recalls. "Guys all laughed and said, 'Yeah, when are we ever going to use this?' "
GRAND FORKS — Steve Argall admits he was nervous when his son, Erik, competed for the overall singles title during the AIM Grand National trapshooting tournament July 31-Aug. 1 in Sparta, Ill. Erik Argall, 17, who'll be a senior at Thompson (N.D.) High School, won the overall singles championship with a perfect score of 250. AIM, which stands for Academics, Integrity and Marksmanship, is the official youth program of the Amateur Trapshooting Association. More than 2,500 young shooters from across the country competed in the recent AIM event.
Visitors traveling to the Northwest Angle now have another, more convenient option for checking back into the U.S. As Lake of the Woods Tourism reported this week, a "soft launch" of a new border-crossing system is being rolled out over the next few days.
LAKE MILLE LACS — So we're in the boat last Saturday, June 24, catching walleyes on Lake Mille Lacs when the subject turns to bananas and whether they're allowed or forbidden onboard. They're definitely not encouraged, our guide for the day, Jason Freed of Leisure Outdoor Adventures, said of the banana taboo. Freed said he's even heard of anglers who discourage having bananas in a camper if the camper is too close to the boat. The bad juju might rub off and taint the boat, the thinking goes.