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  1. I wanted to share something with HSOers in the Alexandria MN area. This is the 3rd year of a free event that features hands on outdoor activities for kids and families which will be held on Sunday, August 28th. We have a facebook page now (Youth Outdoor Activity Day - Alexandria MN) and are on youtube (search for Youth Outdoor Activity Day). We could really use some traffic, likes, comments, shares, etc on our Facebook page. We should also be on Ron Schara's Minnesota Bound TV show very soon. This year we received a Youth Recruitment and Retention grant from the Minnesota DNR for just over $24,000. Part of that money will be used to give away hundreds (about 700) rods and reels, 70 bows and 60 BB guns. We will have 35-40 different activities for kids to do, including trap shooting, archery, tomahawk throwing, geocaching, dog handling, fire building, shelter building, outdoor cooking, climbing wall, etc. We are bringing in a trick shooting archery guy for a presentation as well. This event is totally free. We will give a tee shirt to the first 2,350 kids who attend and free lunch for everyone. Two conservation groups have come together to put this on; the Douglas County Chapter of Pheasants Forever and Viking Sportsmen. We will need about 250 volunteers this year I think. The other thing we need is people to bring kids who do not have the opportunity to try some of these activities. That is our target audience. If you, or anyone you know, will be in the area that day, I will guarantee you will have a really fun day if you come out and join us!
  2. Gophers 2014-2015

    It has pushed me to apathy. Which I think is the worst thing a fan can have. I don't know when they play again (Saturday? next week?) and I am not looking it up. I really want to be a fan. I will give them a couple of weeks and see how they do, then maybe I will start following them again.
  3. Well, I think I have hung up the scattergun for the year. Slight possibility I might get out for a short hunt Sunday, but I think I am done. Brought my 10 year old girl and 6 year old son out to a honey hole and shot 2 in the first 10 minutes today. Hunted about an hour and saw 4 hens and 3 roosters so that is a pretty good way to end the year! I sure love hunting roosters and I really love it when they get up cackling like crazy!
  4. Gophers 2014-2015

    I take back all the good things I said. Horrible basketball performance and it honestly makes me look forward to Twins baseball. Wait, did I just say "look forward" and "Twins baseball" in the same sentence? Seriously, after this performance, I don't see them making the NIT this year.
  5. Gophers 2014-2015

    just watched the first half of the game vs the boilers. I haven't had a chance to watch much this year but here are my really early impressions: 1. Nate Mason looks oh-so-smooth! He is going to be a good player for us! 2. Carlos Morris looks like he could develop into something really good as well. 3. Whoever said Joey King doesn't belong on an B1G roster is delusional. Now he might not be the greatest of all time, but the kid has heart and plays hard. All those kids on both sides that are supposedly better than him....have less points than him. So tell me why he is leading both teams in scoring if he doesn't belong on a B1G roster. 4. How do we merge EE and Mo W? Together, they would be a decent center. It is funny how they are polar opposites. Pitino must think, hmmm, can I get away with no offense but some good defense and passion? Lets put EE in the game. or hmmm, can I get away with little passion and no defense but good offense? Lets put Mo in the game. 5. I think this team is similar to our football team but maybe a year or two behind them. We just need an uptick in overall average talent plus a star and this could be a really fun team to watch. Like deep run in the tourney type fun to watch. Mason could be that star in a couple of years.
  6. Gophers 2014-2015

    Lets hope they are still calling the clutching and grabbing fouls when we play Becky....errr Bucky.
  7. Gophers 2014-2015

    Just read that the cupcakes have won 10 games against Big Ten teams this year already including Incarnate Word beating Nebraska. Can you imagine how this board would have exploded if we had lost to Incarnate Word? (incidentally, that should be a crowd chant when Nebraska comes to the barn...INCARNATE WORD....INCARNATE WORD....INCARNATE WORD!). Our rodents escaped without an ugly loss and come tourney selection time, I hope we can point to that as a reason we got in and someone else didn't.
  8. great question! I would give my early season a C. Didn't get out as much as I wanted to, didn't see a lot of birds, but enough to keep my interest up. Midseason I would give a B. Shot well except for a trip to ND I could have been better. Tons of birds out there, great time with good friends. Late season I would give an A-. Shot lights out, saw good numbers of birds considering the year and just had a bunch of really good quality hunts.
  9. MN Pheasant Summit?

    Great link Tom. This helps to clarify some of the misconceptions out there. One of them that I picked up on is that the DNR cannot manage the MWAs without the money to do so. So to criticize the DNR when it has its hands tied is probably not the most effective way to create change. Rather, criticize (and encourage) your elected officials to provide the DNR the funding they need to get the job done.
  10. that is a great time to get out isn't it? We didn't get any snow, so I didn't get the chance. Well, that and I was busy with family stuff. Nothing like a rooster exploding out of the new snow!
  11. keep us updated smallie! I wont get out that much, but should get out a time or two yet. I have one honey hole that is on my list!
  12. Jeez, am I the only 1 still hunting? 3+ (couple of guys just took part in one walk) guys today and got 4 plus a bonus ruffed grouse. So the last 3 times I have been out it has been really good. Gotta work for them as a good number are coming out of the cattails, but we are seeing good numbers and getting opportunities. Good shooting has helped, we figured out that we have shot 16 birds with the last 19 pulls of the trigger! Only 1 bird got away of the last 17 birds.
  13. Got out Wed and today. Limits both days. Around Ortonville today we saw probably 150-200 birds. Man I love late season pheasant hunting!
  14. MN Pheasant Summit?

    I posted this in the Outdoor Discussion version of this thread as well, but thought it also belonged here. I added the last paragraph as that is specific to this thread and has been bugging me for awhile. I will address the Pheasants Forever questions to some degree. Everyone needs a refresher on why PF is such a great organization. The chapter controls the money they raise. Each chapter has a board of directors that decides how to spend that money. The ability to keep and spend that money locally is incredibly powerful. PF also gives quite a bit of latitude on how each chapter spends that money. Each chapter can target youth, habitat, land acquisitions, etc. Some chapters choose to do habitat improvements, some choose youth education, some choose key land acquisitions (there is a vetting process that weeds out the properties that are in the middle of a black desert for instance). Some chapters do a little of each. PF does not sell the land to the DNR, it is donated. PF does not own any land. Therefore, any criticism of PF with regards to habitat I feel is misplaced. There are soooo many WMAs in most counties that a chapter just cannot stretch its dollars and hours far enough among all the different activities that each chapter is involved in. In addition, these are VOLUNTEERS! Chapter leaders are not paid a dime. If people are complaining about PF not doing enough, then I ask, why aren't you a PF volunteer? You could then steer the chapter resources into improving habitat on WMAs! Or wherever the chapter chooses. As for my personal opinion, WMAs are certainly not perfect, but they are essential to improving pheasant and other wildlife numbers. I have hunted other states fairly extensively, but I tell you what, I like MN's model better for our particular circumstance. Other states invested in walk in areas. They do not have a WMA network so they are reliant completely on private landowners. Have you seen what is happening in the Dakotas with regards to CRP and wildlife habitat? Have you seen what happened to Iowa with respect to pheasant numbers? With respect to haying and grazing of WMAs; it is my understanding that they are used as an alternative to burning which we all know has a small window of time and thus many WMAs don't get burned as needed. They will not be hayed and grazed every year (it should only be once every 5-10? years). It is but one tool in the toolbox of the DNR. The WMAs around me are actually in pretty good shape. The monocultures have been replanted into a better mix of grasses and I know of 2 of them that a local sportsmen's group has been allowed to put foodplots on. So to the complainers out there, why aren't you doing it??? As for LandDr's comment to stop supporting PF. Wow. I am usually pretty gentle on internet forums but that comment really bugs me. In fact, it may very well be the stupidest comment I have seen in a long time on a forum. For a guy who makes money doing this to criticize volunteers is beyond ludicrous. Especially given he obviously doesn't understand how PF works. I have never, ever seen PF say that grasslands only are what is needed. Quite the contrary, all of their Habitat Guides discuss winter cover requirements. Please folks, PF is part of the answer but not the entire answer. This problem is way bigger than 10 guys spending $10 grand a year in a county. These chapters are made up of guys and gals that are your friends and neighbors and they are trying hard to make a difference. They need all the help and support that you can give them. Better yet, join them on the committee and implement YOUR ideas.
  15. Time for the late season push to the end! Pretty good year so far considering what some have been seeing. Put up 25-30 on two different farms recently in about an hours hunt each. The keys that I have seen are areas with good nesting habitat have held good bird numbers.