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The Sunday of Minnesota Deer Opener Dennis Anderson annually writes his article about his deer camp experience in northern Minnesota.  Fair enough, he's done it for years and while the years could be interchanged without anyone noticing it's acceptable filler for the tiny outdoor section in the Star and Tribune.

Now that two plus weeks of the Minnesota season has come and gone and most that hunt have exchanged stories of hunting camps and deer success around the water cooler at work, here on line, and just in every day conversation how does Anderson think we now want to hear about his Wisconsin opener?  Added bonus is he used some words or phrases in it that I can't decipher and I fancy myself pretty good at understanding vocabulary and the written word...at the very least I'm good at context clues, what happened to writing to the 8th grade level in a paper?   He also states "location undisclosed".   Huh?  Does the landowner not want the word out that a celebrity is in their midst?  

My main point is that we've lived 2-3 weeks of hearing these stories from people we know and like and enjoy them.  To hear it about people we don't even know is meaningless, boring, and most importantly  shows no creativity on Anderson's part. It's his tradition to write about his deer camp and it's tradition for me to be bored.  What's next a Q & A with the DNR chief (done all the time)?

Not wanting to complain without a solution I will offer some suggestions and maybe we can all brainstorm and throw some ideas out for him (remember brainstorming is throwing good and bad ideas out to get people thinking, don't judge the brainstorming) to report on or write about.  Here you go Mr. Anderson:


1.  Research some outstate papers and read what their writers write about annually.  100's of good ideas.

2.   How are Hmong hunters treated at this point since the Vang incident years ago?

3.   Do an article on an old school hunter  or technique, maybe like the famous family from out in Maine who tracked deer in snow with amazing success, the Benoits.

4.  Do an article on the best "Hunter's Dinner" that many communities offer during opening weekend.

Spread your wings Dennis, newspapers are dying and they need good content.  If this continues I'd suggest the Trib just does what Outdoor News does and use freelance writers or what the heck they could use guest columnists.  I bet many people would just write for the enjoyment of it and being published.  


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As a former "ink stained wretch" allow me to make a couple observations: First, your sense that Dennis is just "phoning it in" as they say affirms what I've said since arriving here (MN) and seeing some of his quaint references to outdoor subject matter;  references I had not seen for some time. It's time for Dennis to go sit on a river bank.  But....do not assume that is all he does at the paper. He probably has several other assignments.  Your story ideas are valid and a lot of those and other stories can be done with a telephone.

But Dennis HAS done a lot of good work in MN for wildlife,  habitat and conservation projects. If they assign someone new to do the outdoor page that person is going to end up picking Dennis' brain many times.

Be assured it is not always easy to come up with an idea for a useful column. Until you have faced what Hemingway called "the white rhino" you haven't known mental anguish and day time sweats.  There will be times when you will rage at your blank useless mind!  Ha.

Send Dennis an email with some suggestions.  He will read it and maybe it will rattle his cage a bit. He seems like a decent enough guy and he surely has paid his dues in the outdoor world.

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thanks for the perspective.  I don't need the outdoor writer to do anything politically for the outdoors. I want him to entertain people and me.  

Patrick Reusee entertains me with his work. That's what I'd like from Anderson. 

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