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2015 FIREARMS REGULATIONS

Well they are out for us that are excited for this years firearms season. Most of us are still in conservative hunting areas but things are looking up. In general the DNR says that there were more deer seen after last years milder winter. More does with two or more fawns are seen statewide. The antlers on bucks are growing and growing fast.

Mid-Summer reports from wildlife managers around the state place the overall deer population recovery on solid footing. However, during the 2015 season, conservative population management will allow deer numbers to rebuild across much of the state. One deer limits will apply for most hunters during this rebuilding year. For more information about the 2015 deer season, permit area maps and links to the 2015 Minnesota hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook, see http://www.mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.

BOUNDARY WATERS RESCUE

July 16, 2015. Two conservation officers with the Minnesota DNR were among the first responders to an emergency call July 7 inside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. They joined other first responders from St. Louis and Lake counties after a teenage canoeist from Rochester became trapped in rapids after going over Basswood Falls near the Minnesota-Canadian border.

It took DNR conservation officers Marty Stage and Sean Williams, both of Ely, several hours by motorboat, canoe, and foot to reach the scene, where the initial team was completing rescue lines to the victim and canoe. Together rescuers were able to free the teenager’s foot, get him to shore and begin to warm him up after being submerged in rushing water for nearly six hours.

“He was extremely hypothermic, going in and out of consciousness,” said Williams. “I think his foot was fine, which was amazing-just swollen and bruised.” A State Patrol helicopter later arrived, and the victim was brought to a U.S. Forest Service float plane for transport to the ELy hospital for treatment. Officer Stage said it was a tense situation that could easily have ended badly. “Luckily it was a beautiful warm day with no wind, and there was a lot of time until nightfall.”

The lesson learned once again is not to take unnecessary chances in such a remote wilderness setting, ” Stage said. “Even with today’s technology, when something goes wrong like it did this time, basic tools, some common sense, and other people might still be your best chance for survival.”

CHILI DOGS

Just had to make some fresh chili dogs!! They are so good and have the right amount of heat. Check out my step by step process in my Homemade Sausage page!!

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ZEBRA MUSSELS VS NATIVE MUSSELS

You hear a lot about how zebra mussels are bad for Minnesota’s lakes and rivers. How are native mussels different from these invasive species?

Minnesota has about 50 native mussel species, and they are specially adapted to benefit our aquatic ecosystems. Some native mussels can live for decades, while zebra mussels live only a few years. Native mussel larvae must attach to a fish host for the early stage of life, as compared to zebra mussels that simply release larvae into the surrounding water. Using sticky threads, a zebra mussels attaches itself to native mussels or other underwater objects, while a native mussel uses a foot to burrow into the river or lake bottom.

Both native and zebra mussels can form large colonies, but their effects on the surrounding ecosystem are quite different. A key difference is that invasive zebra mussels filter out food that would ordinarily be consumed by fish. Native mussels, on the other hand, primarily filter out bacteria and fungus without intercepting food for fish. In fact, native mussel colonies create biological “hot spots” that favor other macroinvertebrates, which in turn provide food for fish. They essentially function like a freshwater coral reef. Mike Davis, DNR river ecologist.

WALLEYE STOCKING

Anglers are never far from a lake where they can catch walleye in Minnesota. Fish stocking keeps it that way. Stocking walleyes involves taking eggs from waters that have reproducing walleye populations and releasing newly hatched fry or small walleye fingerlings into lakes that don’t have reproducing populations.

The DNR pays for its stocking effort with fishing license and walleye stamp dollars. This year, the process started April 8 in the Pike River near Tower, used eight egg-take sites and ended April 26 in Fergus Falls.

Curious about walleye stocking? Here’s a snapshot, by the numbers.

2015 Stocking Effort

Eggs taken: 4,655 quarts of eggs, or 582 million eggs, close to the 10-year average.
2015 stocking plan: 286 rearing ponds get 115 million fry and 272 lakes get 296 million fry.
The goal for fingerling stocking is about 140,000 pounds.

General Walleye Stocking Stats

Length of a walleye fry; about 1/3 inch
Length of a walleye fingerling; 4-6 inches.
Lakes stocked with walleye [each lake usually every other year]; about 1,050, all over the state.
Lakes where, without any stocking, anglers could still catch walleye; 260, mostly in the northern half of the state.
Estimated percentage of walleye harvested that result from natural reproduction; 85%, with about half from popular walleye lakes like Lake of the Woods, Leech, Red and Winnibigoshish.
Cost of an easy way to support walleye stocking; $5, to buy a walleye stamp, sold wherever Minnesota hunting and fishing licenses are sold.

Stocking Other Fish

The DNR also rears and stocks catfish, muskellunge, lake sturgeon and northern pike using 11 warm-water hatcheries: and stream trout, lake trout and splake in five cold-water hatcheries. To provide youth fishing opportunities in numerous Twin Cities metro area lakes, the agency stocks bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, northern pike, perch and walleye.

For stocking information about individual lakes, enter the lake name on LakeFinder at the DNR Fish Minnesota page, http://www.mndnr.gov/fishmn.

PEPPER STICKS !!!

Something I always like to have when I’m fishing are some beef sticks. This time around with a little kick to them. The thing about getting the right amount of heat that you like is not to have too much that you can’t enjoy the flavor of the meal or beef stick in this case. This was the right amount I think for most people, although I can stand a little more. But all who ate them loved them. If you want to learn how to make these go to the Homemade Sausage page and give it a try. Here are some of the pics, but there are more pics in the Homemade sausage page and the step by steps to all of my sausage making.

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Here they are stuffed in collagen casings before they get the smoke.

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Here are the stick when they are all done. Great color.

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Of course the money shot. Like with all sticks, they don’t last long. Give it a try!!!

BROWN TROUT ACTION

I was on Grindstone lake on Monday [6/8/15] and had a great day on the water. Tony and I went to my favorite spot for crappies but they just didn’t want to bite. Se we decided to drift down the shoreline and check out another spot. It was a area where I Ice fish for trout. There is a overhanging bush with branches right to the bottom. Caught a few crappies right away. Then had something on that took out some drag, and I thought it may be a trout or a bass. Turned out to be a 15 inch crappie.

Then we noticed surfacing all around us. So I decided to toss a small spoon close to the area where I knew trout were surfacing. Got a hit right away. Turned out to be a nice 15 inch brown trout. So we both started to cast spoons and caught 3 more. A loon appeared near us and I knew that great bird had something to do in the action getting very slow to none all of the sudden.

I decided to move up the shore some and continue casting while drifting back to our original spot, knowing the loon moved away. On our drift we caught more browns and lost a couple of big ones. The largest brown was 20 inches. Kept a total of 6. Never seen anything like it in all the years I have fished this lake. All browns and plenty of them. Great day.

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BEER CAN BURGERS

This is becoming my favorite way to make a burger. I don’t need any tomato slices or lettuce for toppings here. Everything I want is in the burger!! Check out how I make this burger in the Smokin Hot Page!!

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STRONG STEELHEAD RUN

Steelhead anglers on Minnesota’s North Shore enjoyed some banner steelhead fishing days this spring. Returns of spawning steelhead to the DNR’s Knife River fish trap indicate it was a record year for wild steelhead returns since the trap began operating in 1996. As of last week, 680 steelhead had passed through the trap this spring. Although some total steelhead runs in recent years were higher, those runs included some hatchery-reared steelhead.

This year’s steelhead run also set a single-day record on April 18, when 157 steelhead were trapped and tagged, said Cory Goldsworrthy, Minnesota DNR, Lake Superior area fisheries supervisor. Despite low water early, conditions were right for a good run, Goldsworthy said. “We have water this year,” he said. “Last year at this time, there was still a bunch of ice on the lake. This year, we had a warm up with the snowmelt. This will be quite a spectacular year for steelhead numbers at the Knife River trap.” With the recent rain, there will be more steelhead coming.

Tough Kamloops Season

Returns of Kamloops rainbow trout, a hatchery reared strain, to the French River trap were up this spring but still below the long term average, DNR officials said. As of last week, a total of 731 Kamloops rainbows had returned to the French River trap, up from 437 in 2014. The long term average is 884. While those returns were encouraging, anglers still found it tough to catch Kamloops rainbows this spring. While Kamloops fishing was less productive than anglers liked, they enjoyed very good coho salmon fishing offshore in March. DNR fisheries crews trap Kamloops rainbows at the French River trap each spring, take eggs from females and use them to rear fish for the following year’s stocking. For the full story read Sam Cook’s article in the Duluth News Tribune’s article in the Sport’s page May 17, 2015.

TIME FOR PULLED PORK

Time for a lot of things on the grill or the smoker for sure. Pulled pork is something I love eat so I make it all year long, but spring through fall is when I make it the most. I just made some the other day. Made up some Reinhard’s Caught A Buzz Sauce and some Asian slaw to go along with that tasty smoked butt. Check out the Smokin Hot page for the step by step and give it a try. Great for family events and a true crowd pleaser.

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