Now that we’re on the eve of the Minnesota firearm deer opener it’s probably appropriate to look over a shoulder to the most recent spring and summer. Morning frost now turns moist grasses into a crunchy carpet, leaves once dark green creating a forest canopy are brown blanketing the forest floor. But last April began with a much different mindset. Some use the boys’ high school tournament as a spring indicator, some the first robin sighting, others wait for lakes to be ice free or Red Wing Blackbirds to claim their own territory attracting a mate. Hunters eagerly await the spring turkey season as gobbling toms search for hens. For me it is the turkey season but most importantly it’s opening the cabin and taking up a semi-permanent warm weather residence coupled with turkey hunting too. Last spring began in that exact way as so many in the past have before but always a fall ending as now. Don’t get me wrong because I eagerly await the season changes because each arrives with an unknown anticipation, comes to a conclusion ushering in a new and different day filled with questions and good times.
Last spring’s turkey hunt was successfully brief resulting in the largest tom I’ve ever tagged. It bounced the scale at 26 pounds wearing a 12” beard and 1 ½” spurs. Probably most memorable because it unknowingly walked within 5 feet of me seated in a turkey chair not breathing or blinking. But this story along with so many others created in the outdoors are really no different than ones belonging to everyone who hunts or fishes. Each are retold and relived at family gatherings, around campfires and with friends often for generations.
Summer began as many have on the water chasing large and smallmouth bass. I thoroughly enjoy the puzzle of where and how, teaching others to do the same and watching those fooled swim away to be caught again. But this summer brought an unexpected thrill along with a learning curve thoroughly enjoyed. After more than 6 decades exploring and enjoying the outdoors each day my goal is to experience and learn more about my passions, which are many.
It began one evening while Cabin Casting Fan Outdoors noticing an unusual abundance of boats in front while on the air. Erik and Matt returned from a trip to Lake Osakis not having a bite. My comment was “I’m not sure what they’re catching but I saw the nets out often in front tonight!” The next morning facing a strong white-capped northwest wind I fished with the boys in Erik’s new Lund. I’ve made it quite obvious in the past on Fan Outdoors that I have little desire to fish walleyes and that I’m also quite clueless. The reality is I had zero interest is trolling due to a bad experience as a “trolling trapped” child in a boat for long tortuous hours. But this day was different as are today’s boats, electronics and gear. The boys caught numbers of fish and even I caught a few. Enough to wet my appetite for this new experience. The next day they headed back home and to work while I tried to repeat my recent experience. This learning curve had a steep upswing the next few weeks with numerous hours spent in the Ranger bow depending on the MinnKota. I boated lots of fish learning so much and thoroughly enjoying it. Discerning between a weed and bite, finding the fish each day, they certainly do move, battling them on 4lb line, not once breaking off and watching most of them return to the depths below. I’m told too that some were indeed trophies although I had no idea. The biggest measured 30 ½”, a number of 29’s and smaller. I had a blast along the way too but the best part, as mentioned before is learning so many things. Guess it’s true that you can teach old dogs new tricks.
But now the water is off and the cabin put to bed, mostly for the winter months ahead & already I look forward to the Cabin Casts of 2018, campfires, mosquitoes (yes that’s right), morels, warm nights and fish! Walleyes now too but soon I will hunt deer and pheasants behind Britts Belle and Snap!
Please get out and enjoy the outdoors that surrounds us! Embrace it, love it and protect it! Again in April we will begin again but there is ice in our future along with crisp clear mornings, and fish to be caught too.
See ya on Fan Outdoors soon!
PS Oh yes while in the turkey blind Erik proposed to Danielle moments after shooting the biggest tom of her life. Another neat outdoor story. We will have a 2018 wedding next summer too!