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Xplorer

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About Xplorer

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    Sr HSOList.com Family

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  • Location:
    Cloquet, MN
  1. 2017 pheasant brood survey results

    I am going to have the opposite issue when me, my son, and mother/father-in-laws head out to far northwestern North Dakota on the 14th for the week . They are still so dry out there we are planning on staying pretty much off the 2 tracks/section line trails so that we don't set off a grass fire unintentionally via the tailpipe. Luckily almost all of the areas we hunted last year are accessible from gravel and short walks. The numbers there are down even more than SD. The count numbers in the NW section of the state were down 70% from last year (both # per 100 mile and broods per 100 mile). Hunting is going to be much tougher, I'm just hoping alot of cover didnt get hayed or cut this year, but time will tell. Any day spent walking the fields/sloughs with the dogs and family is a thousand times better than any day at work, no matter how few birds are out there this year. Good luck to you and the pup this year, that's a nice looking GSP!
  2. Grand Tetons

    Bummer about the cloudcover, those are some of the most amazing peaks in all of America. I'm taking the family out for 10 days at the end of June, 4th time for the wife and I and 2nd time for our son. The last time he was able to hike all the way up cascade and paintbrush canyons. But for both the trip up to Amphitheater lake, and when we took the aerial tram to the top at Teton Village (10,450' elevation) and hiked the back trail off the mountain and then down Granite canyon, he was mostly on my back in his Kelty carrier. We're renting a VRBO off the Moose-Wilson road so will be close to all the trails. Love that area!!!!!!
  3. What are you all doing this off season?

    I went and "unfrosted" my ground blind on Sunday, and hope to get a few more days trying to fill my tag yet. Then it will be a couple days up on URL or LOTW, and then my 14 y.o. son plays in BB tournaments every weekend until the middle of March. Then its spring break in Roatan, Honduras for a week of snorkeling and diving for the family and back for spring school tournaments and AAU ball til school ends. Lots of practice this next summer, set up a nice 4 shot course in the woods behind the house this fall (ground and elevated spots), and I have promised myself to do alot of scouting close to home to pattern the deer for next fall for my son and I. I got two really nice bucks on the trail camera this year that I am going after next year, looking forward to the challenge Wanderer, maybe I will run into you on B-side this winter!
  4. Humminbird Helix 7

    rundrave, Really good to hear that you're liking the unit!! I bought one (the Helix5 DI/GPS) on cyber monday from Cabela's (merry xmas to me, so I wont actually have it til next weekend LOL). Was $310 and it came with the Navionics+ card. My older Lowrance x510c graph took a dump on me on a trip to Rainy in August, and at this price this unit was a no brainer. I fish Rainy and Namakan quite a bit in summer, and am interested how the DI will work on those, with all the structure we fish. Let us know how using it this winter goes without the ice ducer. I'm gonna stick to the vex and handheld gps for this winter, but if the Helix works good for you in winter I may go that route next year. When my Lowrance Globalmap dies (which I'm sure is gonna be soon, bought same time as the 510) I'm gonna really look hard at getting the Helix7 DI/GPS to replace it. I prefer to run 2 separate units, one for gps and one for a graph side by side o the boat. Since I fish Superior quite a bit, if I had two combo units, if I had issues with one I could always use the other in a pinch for both functions.
  5. For D1 and the NCAA it boils down to the almighty dollar. If they thought having a bigger playoff would return more $$ to them they would do it. With the bowl traditions, I dont ever see D1 going to more than an 8 team playoff ever. They can talk about student/athletes having to study for finals blah, blah, blah, but if every other division can do it, then the full ride kids with their tutors etc could figure it out too. I think that the way they are getting around Penn State is that their losses are bad losses, to an unranked Pitt and a bad loss at MI. Granted those were early in the season, but a 3 point home win over OSU isnt enough to make up for them. Personally, barring several injuries, I really dont see anyone challenging Alabama this year. They actually seem more dominant this year than last. I would have said the same for NW Missouri State in D2, but they had several key injuries in their semifinal win last weekend, and that game is now close to a "pick-em" (wildcat will be the weather in that one, North Alabama may have some adjusting to do playing in snow/ice and very cold weather). I was at their last loss, here at UMD, in the 2014 playoffs. They have won 29 straight since then. I do like seeing teams that would normally never play each other, get together in a bowl game. Just seams that they really try to get tons of Big10/SEC matchups each year (and yes, that equals $$$$$ since they both "travel" well). Ah well, a great time of year for college football fans!!!
  6. I gotta tell ya, this up coming weekend is by far the one I look forward to the most all college season. On Friday night I'll be flipping between the NDSU/James Madison FCS semifinal game and the D3 championship. Then Saturday afternoon, I'll have the D2 championship game, followed by the second FCS semifinal. I enjoy these games way more than the D1 bowl games, tho have to admit that with the BCS playoff, that they're a bit better. The true playoff run that the other divisions have to get thru, makes it all the better to me.
  7. North shore snow

    Unfortunately most area's outside of the Duluth airport area got less. Only 3 inches in Dos Harbors and 2" at my place outside Cloquet. Gonna take alot more to cover those rocks on the NSST, but at least it should be starting to freeze down with this cold. Need to get the swamps frozen down good before grooming can start. I did take a short ride last Saturday, had my niece and nephew at the house for an early Xmas. Rode my trail over towards the GIA trail but could only get half way there. Broke thru one water hole and the swamp was still way too wet to get thru. I did get 2 miles on tho
  8. 1st Shotgun

    I ended up going with the 870, in synthetic stock. I realize the wingmaster is a much better built gun, but truth be told, for alot of the hunting we do for grouse each fall, I think the express will give him many years of good shooting. And I'm guessing that for our big trip(s) out west for pheasant, he will be shooting either my Browning O/U or the Wingmaster. I really wanted him to have a gun that was truly "his", that he can learn to strip down and clean from bore to stock, and these 870's are a perfect one to cut his teeth on. Thanks for all the input everyone!! I'm guessing two weeks from sunday, we will be hitting the grouse woods in the afternoon to give it its inaugural run!!
  9. Upper Red - Average Ice?

    LRG and RCN, Wasn't that just an insane bite!! We got up there at noon on Friday, took the wheeler and Otter out, but went west of the pressure ridge out from Rogers (the road was on the east side where all the trucks/houses were going). We had an area all to ourselves. Between 12:30 and 4:30 we literally had to stop fishing 4 lines, and concentrate on just 1 apiece. We ended up with 47 fish when we headed in to shore, and kept 4 for dinner. Slept in one of Up Norths sleeper houses onshore, and we were back on the ice at 8:30am, in the exact same spot. We put another 26 on the ice by noon, kept our 8 (limit was 4 that weekend) and headed back home. Truly was one of those "you had to be there" bites
  10. Upper Red - Average Ice?

    Rob, My son and I were up on URL last year also between Xmas and New Years in a rental house, and had the slowest fishing I've ever had there. Most of that was due to houses just being put out, and them being right on the road, and on Red you do not want traffic near you all day/night long. That and the water was very cloudy compared to prior years where I was (out of Beacon Harbor). I've only fished the east and north side in permanents in years past, mostly out of Hillmans, Westwinds and Beacons since it reopened, so can't vouch for the south shore. Of course last year was the year I decided not to haul my sled and portable up and regretted it. The guys in the house next to me actually drove to Bemidji and bought a portable and came back so they could go out further, which did pay some dividends for them. If you want to know how the ice is shaping up, check out Tyler and BearPaw Guides facebook page. He is usually the first one on URL to post an ice fishing report, and he is on the lake daily. Based on the fact that the lake is mostly open right now, and the 7 day forecast is not that cool, I really dont see houses being out any earlier than last year (and I see no way that there is an access open on the 9th allowing folks out fishing). You may hit it just right and your time frame may end up being part of "early ice" this year as far as houses on the ice goes. It seems funny to sit here and think of 2 years ago, when my son (12 at the time) and I went up to URL the day after Thanksgiving and fished with the wheeler/portable on 13" of clear good ice. We caught 73 walleyes in just over 8 hours that afternoon and the next morning, and saw trucks and small houses heading out of Rogers well offshore. Today, you could be out in your boat in the 37 degree drizzle they are having.
  11. Winter is that you?

    Rain just turned over to snow here on top of the hill in Duluth. Even had some Thundersnow a few minutes ago (pretty cool seeing lightening bolts thru driving snow showers!) They have upped the forecast for Cloquet to 6-12 now, so we will see what we get.
  12. Sled modifications

    Get an ATV or sled?? OK, other than the smart-arse comment, I would advise that before you do any permanent drilling etc on the sled, to check out how it pulls with different weight distributions. The propane tank (and auger if you're going non-hand) will be the heaviest objects and where they are on the sled will make it pull differently. You don't want to make it any harder on yourself than it needs to be, and having good weight distribution can make a huge difference. I've done some walking into BW trout lakes on the ice pulling a pulk/toboggan sled, and I always tried it out at home to find the easiest load positions before I went. Saved some sweat and back pain.
  13. 1st Shotgun

    Since I have a wing master that he will eventually have I thought I'd try to stay on the lower end of models but with a good product. I know how things go for teens/young adults and if something were to happen (dropped in a river/lake, left somewhere accidentally) replacement of it would be easier for HIM, and mom won't be quite as upset if the price wasn't so much. My 870 went in the drink when I was a young man growing up in LaCrosse,. WI. Was out duck hunting the sloughs north of Goose island and on a return trip back to my buddies house, sploosh, over the side it went in a back cut. Could not find it, and going home was not a fun thing, got quite the tongue lashing to say the least. Next day at high school I told my bud that we were going out after school back to the spot and I was going swimming. It took close to a half hour in the water, but I got it back. Tore it down to pieces, cleaned dried and oiled (and cleaned and oiled again) and it never missed a beat.
  14. 1st Shotgun

    Thats looking pretty spot-on, I thought that there was just over a pound difference, but that was a 12ga vs a 20 ga, Reality is less than a half pound. Gonna go home and measure what length my Wingmaster modified is and go with that, since that is what he has been shooting so far. Looks like most all places have it with a Modified Rem choke tube which is fine (tho it is kinda nice that the Weatherby comes with IC, M and Full choke tubes standard). I've used the full choke barrel on my 870 for ducks and shooting slugs, and the 34" has only been used when I lived out in Colorado and did some pass shooting of honkers from pit or layout blinds. I do have an IC for the 1100 which i like for early season grouse. Time to go to a couple of the local shops and see what they have or can get in before Xmas.
  15. Winter is that you?

    Good Luck!! I just hope the rain that comes first doesnt decide to freeze down on the roads. Junior has his first B-Ball tourney this weekend here in Duluth, so we will be in and out of the blinds both days.