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Archive for March, 2015


The streams for the most part are still full of ice with open spots here and there. Couple of weeks ago the water run off was on top of the ice, and now the water is all under the ice. The rivers are low right now. We need some good rain to get things going.

There are reports of folks catching some loopers and coho off shore. Seems like there are more coho salmon getting caught than loopers [ Kamloops]. The fish are being caught on spawn bags under bobbers, small looper jigs with a waxie or very small spawn bag with a waxie under a bobber. Coho are also being caught with a simple slip-sinker and inflated crawler rig. This is taking place on the Lower North Shore. I’ll be reporting more in coming days and weeks on the steelhead/looper run. My brother fishes for them almost daily up there. I’ll be making some trips up there also soon. More to come, stay tuned.


Two bull elk were illegally shot and killed near Grygla in an area that holds Minnesota’s smallest elk herd and has been closed to hunting since 2012, according to the DNR. “Our investigation found that these elk had been shot and left,” said Lt. Pat Znajda, a supervisor with the DNR’s Enforcement Division. “The illegal killing of these bulls chips away at the outdoor heritage valued by law-abiding people in this state.”

Wildlife officials spotted the dead elk in late February on state land while conducting an aerial elk survey. An onsite visit revealed a dead bull and a younger dead bull with spike antlers that were found in thick willow cover. Both animals were frozen and had been dead for some time. DNR conservation officers were called to investigate.

“The discovery of two dead bull elk is disturbing,” said John Williams, DNR northwest region wildlife manager. “These bulls represented about 10 percent of the known Grygla herd. Due to the decline of this herd, the causes of which are unknown, there has not been a hunting season since fall of 2012.” There are three distinct elk herds in northwestern Minnesota, which comprise the state’s entire elk population. The Grygla herd has declined in recent years and is currently estimated at 18 elk. Down from the 20 counted last year and 28 counted in 2013.

Elk are managed to maintain a free-ranging, wild population in far northwestern Minnesota. These herds afford recreational and economic opportunities, including wildlife watching and hunting seasons when their populations can sustain a hunt. The DNR is in the process of updating a strategic management plan for elk, which will include a public input process before it is finalized. The plan will address population goals, landowner concerns about crop damage, and opportunities to hunt and view elk.

Anyone with information about the illegal shooting of the two bulls or the suspicious death of a bull elk in the Grygla area in fall of 2013 is urged to call the 24-hour, toll-free Turn In Poachers [TIP] hotline at 800-652-9093. Cell phone users can dial #TIP. They can also contact Znajda at 218-242-1383. For more information on Minnesota’s elk management, visit http://www.mndnr.gov/hunting/elk.


Betty Lessard, who started one of the North Shore’s best-known restaurants, has died at age 90. Carl Ehlenz, the current owner of Betty’s Pies, said the family called him Friday morning to deliver the news that Lessard had died Thursday night. Scott Storms, a nephew of Lessard, said she had broken her hip a while back and had a hard time recovering.

Lessard started selling pies at her dad’s fish shack on the Stewart River in 1956. Soon the pies became more popular than the fish, and Betty’s Pies was born. Betty’s Pies became a landmark between Duluth and Two Harbors, and a must-visit location for many tourists. She watched as the original restaurant was torn down in 2002 to make way for an expansion of State Highway 61.

“The fondest memories…all of the wonderful people I’ve met, all of the friends that I’ve made that I wouldn’t have gotten to know,” she said while watching the demolition. “And I had people from all over coming here.”

Lessard sold her iconic restaurant years ago, but was still a presence at the shop. Her recipes were even published in a cookbook. A memorial service is planned for Monday, April 6, at 11 a.m. at Sunrise Memorial Funeral Home in Hermantown. This is from http://www.WDIO.com .



So why do deer shed their antlers each year? Annual cycles in deer antlers are related to the changing seasons. Deer have adapted their physiology and behavior to respond to seasonal changes, including antler growth and shedding. The environmental cue that regulates antler growth is the amount of day length; the physiological cue is the hormone testosterone.

Simply put, the changing day lengths are sensed by the eyes, which send this message through the optic nerve to the pineal gland located at the base of the brain. The declining day length in late fall and early winter causes a decrease in testosterone, which results in antler shedding.

The actual process of antler shedding involves ta thin layer of tissue destruction that forms between the antler and the pedicle, called the abscission layer. The degeneration of the bone-to-bone bond between the antler and the pedicle is considered to be the fastest deterioration of living tissue known in the animal kingdom. Michelle Carstensen, DNR wildlife health program supervisor.


All this nice weather sure get’s me in the spirit for sausage making. Well it doesn’t take much for that to happen regardless but the nice weather get’s it a notch higher. I wanted to try this recipe I got from a guy in Canada. This called for pork and chicken for the mix so that meant some extra flavor, along with the spices he used. Check out what I made in the Homemade Sausage page [Tasty Chicken and Pork Brats]. You can make these smoked, in the oven, or fresh for the grill.



Surplus Spring Turkey Hunt Licenses Go On Sale

Hunters who applied for a spring wild turkey hunting license but were not selected in the recent lottery are eligible to purchase a surplus license on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 5 p.m., Monday, March 16. A total of 2,789 surplus licenses are available. People who did not participate in the lottery may purchase any remaining surplus licenses starting noon on Wednesday, March 18, when all remaining licenses are made available to anyone. Unlimited over-the-counter licenses for time periods D-H also go on sale at this time.

Surplus licenses will be available at any statewide Electronic License System agent or online at http://www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense. A list of hunting dates, permit areas and the number of surplus permits available in each area is available at http://www.mndnr.gov/hunting/turkey.

Which Fish Species Are The First To Spawn Here In Minnesota In The Spring

Northern pike usually spawn first when water temperatures are in the low 40’s. There is often still ice on the main lakes when pike run into tributary streams, rivers or wetlands to spawn. Walleye spawn a bit later, followed by yellow perch, muskellunge, bass and crappie/bluegill. Henry Drewes, DNR regional fisheries manager.

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