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As I look out on the many trees and shrubs in my landscape, I can’t help but take notice of how many of them continue to retain their foliage. Even a couple of my maple trees still have green leaves, but also yellow ones, that are holding fast to the branches.   Literally all of my hydrangea…

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Winter anglers on Mille Lacs Lake will enjoy a walleye harvest this winter for the fourth season in a row, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Similar to last season, anglers will be allowed to keep walleye on Mille Lacs starting Sunday, Dec. 1, with a limit of one wa…

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Minnesota’s firearms deer season begins half an hour before sunrise on Saturday, Nov. 9, and the Department of Natural Resources expects nearly half a million hunters to participate. 

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After that long, long winter of 2018-19, it took forever for my perennial garden plants to break their dormancy, and now it seems like the season was way too short as my plants are fading back and yellow foliage is the predominant color in my gardens. Yes, like so many other gardeners, I do …

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WASCoB is an acronym that stands for Water and Sediment Control Basin. You might have seen one and not even known what it was.  

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Minnesota deer hunters must bring their harvested deer to sampling stations to be tested for chronic wasting disease in the central surveillance area, north-central and southeast management zones, and the southeast control zone on opening weekend of firearms deer season Saturday, Nov. 9, and…

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed multiple young of the year zebra mussels in Spectacle Lake in Isanti County, between the cities of Princeton and Cambridge. This is the first confirmation of zebra mussels in an Isanti County lake.

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Firearms deer season is right around the corner, but for many, the season began months ago. Does the deer season really end? Yes, if you’re talking harvest of a deer, but preparation for the deer season is a year-round activity which involves winter scouting for well-traveled trails, after-s…

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On July 17 of 2017 zebra mussels were confirmed in Comfort Lake, Minnesota. A vigilant resident discovered what she thought was a zebra mussel on July 12 attached to a piece of submerged wood.  The same resident found a second mussel on July 15 at another location on Comfort Lake. The Minnes…

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Walking in the beautiful Snake River in pursuit of fighting, thrashing fish is one of my favorite activities. Last year though, due to unsafe high water, I made just one such venture. As with most outdoor activities, fishing requires patience, and I had used up most of mine.

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As we head into midsummer, there are lots of clues that gamefish can give you if you know what you are looking for. Walleyes especially have a multitude of food sources during the summer months and monitoring your livewell will tell you what they have been feeding on and will clue you in on …

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Hunters can start planning ahead for significant changes to deer season regulations, including a youth deer season that’s expanded statewide, expanded deer feeding and attractant bans, and other updates related to managing chronic wasting disease.

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After enduring a long, cold spring, Mother Nature has finally turned up the temperature warming our rivers and lakes.  Rising water temperatures also means increased growth in aquatic vegetation and the beginning of a pan fish feeding binge.  For anglers looking to catch panfish, the search …

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding motorists that turtles are crossing roads to nest this time of year. Motorists are asked to watch for them and, whenever possible, allow them to cross the road safely.

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Perhaps no one relishes a fishing trip more than my daughter Brenda. Unfortunately, her job doesn’t allow much freedom to pursue the lunkers of which she frequently dreams. Sound familiar? 

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I have long been an advocate for getting more girls and women involved in fishing. The vast majority of folks running boats on our lakes and rivers are still guys. But that is slowly starting to change thanks in part to some unique clubs for women and the introduction and growth of high scho…

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Minnesotans with an all-terrain vehicle registered for private or agricultural use won’t need to pay the additional registration fee ($53.50 for three years) to ride the state’s public ATV trails, Friday through Sunday, June 7-9. Out-of-state riders can explore Minnesota ATV trails that week…

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I have been writing about the hard times that minnow trappers and bait shops are having collecting minnows for a number of years now.  This winter has been one of the harder ones for folks who trap their minnows from rearing ponds.  The harsh temperatures and the extreme snow fall have made …

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The Department of Natural Resources is seeking volunteers for its loon monitoring program. As part of this effort, the DNR has launched a new online system that will help volunteers identify lakes available for monitoring.

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Docks and dock platforms provide access to Minnesota’s lakes and rivers and are regulated to help protect public safety as well as aquatic habitat. As summer approaches, the Department of Natural Resources encourages property owners and lake service provider businesses to review the regulati…

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Feeling that tug on the line, an angler sets the hook and reels in a small sunfish, then asks the perennial question: “Should I keep it?”

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When it comes to fishing, one could build a very strong case that lasting enjoyment arises from a blend of the old and the new. Success stories are told over and over to groups of family and friends, and the tales, while occasionally stretched to hard-to-imagine dimensions, seem to neither g…

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“Bears are roaming around now with the loss of snow and warmer weather,” said Eric Nelson, wildlife damage program supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources, “so interactions with people have started in many areas of Minnesota.”

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As we head into the early days of May, our thoughts turn to the fishing opener May 9-12. The ice has left our lakes much earlier than anticipated, meaning most of our deep, clear lakes of the north will be ice-free, as will the western and southern, shallower lakes. 

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I drove to Willow River recently. Up 107, over on 23 and up on 35 – the route I’ve traveled hundreds of times. This time, however, was my first in a couple weeks, and you know how appearances can change over time? Well, that not only applies to your old high school classmates! The outdoors u…

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After a most wonderful winter season, it’s a sad time as we have to put away our sleds for the summer. This past winter was no doubt the best conditions in 10 years for snowmobiling. Now it’s about servicing and putting away our sleds. Here are some tips.

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Among the sharp, cracking sounds of baseballs colliding with bats, there is a gentle whooshing sound from ... somewhere. An owl perhaps? And, through the continuing thuds of basketballs pounding the courts, you can detect the subtle sound of a slender “club” rapidly torquing its way through …

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Anglers on Mille Lacs Lake will be able to keep walleye during open water fishing for the first time since 2015. An improving walleye population has been protected by conservative fishing regulations in recent years, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

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As I make my way through the North Country, I can’t help but see the effect of our very cold temperatures and unusual heavy snowfalls on our wildlife. This very difficult winter has been a strain on fish as well as game. 

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Yes, the month of February can be very frustrating as Mother Nature throws all kinds of snow events, ice events and makes this month rather demoralizing. 

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Deicing salts do make getting around in the winter safer and easier, but we should consider deicers’ impact on groundwater, surface water, soil, vegetation, concrete, asphalt, metals and even our children and pets.

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As we head into the midsection of our winter angling, things have changed dramatically, especially in regard to ice conditions.

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Since many of my articles deal with critters and insects, I will start with an article I wrote in 2007. I came across an article by John Myers from the Department of Natural Resources writing about a disease in bats called White-Nose syndrome (WNS). The fungus damages the connective tissue, …

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As I trudged across the frozen lake, I was awestruck by the sheer quietness of the day. My footsteps and my breathing were the only sounds, as I huffed through six inches of recently-fallen snow. I wished I could have walked with absolute silence, but this was pretty close.

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Two weeks ago, I celebrated a one-year anniversary. On Dec. 7, 2017, I went to Abbott Hospital for an angiogram, and that started a sequence of events which included a stent being placed in an artery near my heart, a 3-hour time of recovery, a sudden blockage of blood flow, an acute heart at…

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Every angler knows that “first ice” is the best time of the ice season to get on the fish. Game fish tend to really put on the feedbag as the ice is thickening, and they instinctively feed heavily. 

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As cold temperatures begin to make ice on Minnesota lakes, ice anglers and spearers are gearing up for winter fishing action. For many, winter is a time to seek out the eager-to-bite northern pike. This will be the first ice fishing season of new northern pike zone regulations throughout Min…

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Now is the time to talk with kids about the dangers of ice. Ice thickness varies greatly on lakes, ponds and rivers throughout the state. Some water bodies have none, while others have several inches, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

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On Nov. 4, as deer hunters were into their second day, I started this article. The Vikings were dominating the Lions, and only a few minutes before halftime, I was picking Brussels sprouts and digging carrots from my garden in a light rain/snow conglomeration. The ground was a wet mixture of…

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Wrapping trees for winter protection is not an attempt to keep them ‘warm’ but has the objective to prevent or minimize three sources of winter damage: from desiccating winds, sunscald, and gnawing rodents. Even if the trees in the landscape have survived previous winters unscathed, I would …

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If I could take you away from all those political ads on television, recycle that political mail you’ve been getting, and get your mind off your upcoming politically-induced search for new Medicare insurance providers, would you let me? I’d like to talk baseball for a while. So, have you got…

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The Professional Disc Golf Association will hold its first-ever disc golf tournament, “The Springvale Showdown,” on Saturday, Aug. 25, at Springvale County Park, 3361 Highway 95 NW, Cambridge.

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When I retired last December (eight months ago – unbelievable!), I made a list of all the rivers and small lakes in the area I wanted to fish, either for the first time or, finally, again. It was an impressive collection of exciting memories and hopeful anticipation. 

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Many homeowners enjoy feeding birds, but in bear country the practice often comes with unintended consequences, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.