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Outdoors “With a Twist”

Hello friends,

I have a ton of friends that give me regular reports on their outdoor experiences. I read Lakelinks and I spend plenty of time in the field and on the water myself. I have been working on a walleye-fishing column for ten days (field work wise) and am having little action except on “shorts”.

This springs never ending winter has kept the walleye from becoming aggressive and as I have been finding out the last five days, turkey from being in any type of pattern as I prepare for this weekends Youth Turkey Hunt!

Instead of putting out a column about not catching something, I will try to get you thinking in a different way, I hope you enjoy what I have to say.

This week I am cutting firewood for the winter after next. Like anyone else that burns wood to heat their house, I have used a bunch. There is a lot of work involved in this style of heating but I dislike forced air heat and do not have to go to a health club to stay in shape.

Nothing like grabbing a cold Leinies at the end of the day and sitting next to the woodstove!

One of my best friends, ever, is Pete Hagedorn. Pete is the owner and creator of Chimo Lodge and Outposts out of Red Lake, Canada. I started working in the Canadian bush for Pete back in ‘88. I came up with the idea for this column the following winter. From May 1st until November 1st I stayed in the Canadian bush and hand wrote my story every Friday night. No matter where Pete dropped me off with his Cessna 180 (floatplane) he always found me and got my column out.

This May I will have been writing An Outdoorsman’s Journal for 24-years. In those 24- years, I have never missed a deadline.

Today my friend Pete Hagedorn turned 75. Pete is the toughest, smartest, and one of the kindest men I have ever known. By May 1st Pete will be flying NPO (November Poppa Oscar) to his main camp and ten outposts on multiple take offs and landings everyday until ice up.

Pete Hagedorn has set the bar for myself, as for how to age, and be reliable!

Sunscreen! Folks you have to use it, and it is your responsibility to teach your children to use it, just like wearing a seatbelt. I am annually getting chunks of flesh cut off from me that were cooked by the sun and every year I know dozens of people that are having the same issues.

Melanoma is the deadly form of skin cancer! Basil cell is the maintenance type. Like wearing a harness in the tree stand, you need to be on top of this game.

I wrote two columns this past winter on running a multiple mile otter trapline with my pal Doug Cibulka and occasionally his son Derek. Doug and I walked over 150 miles through dense bush and on scary ice. We added to local economies and the states coffers.

We specifically chose a wilderness area due to the challenge.

This column is run in 60 papers from Iowa, throughout Wisconsin, and into the upper peninsula of Michigan. I heard of two negative letters to the editor after I wrote those columns, about all I can say to those individuals is, get real, learn a bit about biology, economies, and wilderness experiences. The one otter that we harvested will help keep someone warm, the money we spent will help pay bills, and the carcass that we provided to biologists will help with research.

As if that was not enough to wake you up, here are my thoughts on the expanded walleye spearing that is proposed for northern Wisconsin, if the ice goes out. The proposed numbers of walleye that will be harvested is going to have a negative impact on local businesses including, sporting good stores, motels and the local CASINOS!

There will be 172 lakes where only one walleye will be allowed for your daily bag limit. I have been pro-spearing within reason and even did an unbiased column with native spearers back in the mid 90’s.

For those of you that will take part in this springs expanded harvest, please think about the local resort owner that is your friend, who has resisted “condoing out” and know has to deal with his or her guests having to choose if they will stay at their resort this summer.

Please think about the local mini mart where perhaps their geographical area has now been hit with a one walleye limit on its lakes. Those businesses need that summer income to make it through the winter, and every local in the area needs those businesses to buy gas, food, bait, and beverages as well as help pay local and state taxes.

What would happen if this same depletion of a resource happened to casinos? Sunset.