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DULUTH, Minn.—The time is now to increase hunting and fishing license fees, says a coalition of Minnesota hunting, fishing and environmental groups. Forty-eight of those groups — deer hunters, anglers and conservationists — have signed on to a letter sent Tuesday, March 14, to legislative leaders, urging action this session to make incremental increases in license fees before the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has to begin cutting staff or programs.
DULUTH, Minn.—When steelhead season opens Saturday, March 25, on Wisconsin's lower Brule River, it's safe to say a lot of anglers will be drifting bits of colored yarn or marble-sized bags of spawn. Those techniques are time-honored presentations for taking steelhead on the Brule as well as on North Shore streams.
SUPERIOR, Wis. — Neal Kregamaki peered intently through the sights of a freshly assembled Ravin crossbow on Wednesday morning. Kregamaki, of South Superior, works at the Ravin manufacturing facility in Superior's Mariner Mall. It's his job as an inspector at Ravin Crossbows to test-fire the weapons. He squeezed the trigger. An arrow flew from the crossbow and almost instantly smacked a target 20 feet away. On its way, the arrow had passed through an optical chronograph, which measured its speed — 393 feet per second.
CANOSIA WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA, Minn. — On a 12-degree March morning, Rich Staffon loaded gear into a sled behind his four-wheeler. Bucksaw. Loppers. Cordless drill. Throw-rope. Stepladder. A bag of wood shavings. Staffon and his wife, Carol, were going to spend the day helping ducks.
DULUTH — Even when he was very young, Dave Zentner realized that he needed to be outdoors. He was growing up in rural South Dakota, and at 7 or 8 years old, he was allowed to roam free at the edge of town. "I knew really early that I wanted to be in nature," Zentner said. "I was able to take the family dog and run around the outskirts. I was allowed to be by myself. I knew I loved monarch butterflies. I knew mink were something that were terribly interesting. And cackling rooster pheasants."
A few nights ago, two of us went for an evening walk about 700 miles south of our home in Duluth, Minn. We were there for a funeral and had stolen away for a bit of perspective. If you drew one horizontal and one vertical line across the contiguous 48 states, they would intersect not too far from where we walked that evening. America's heartland, as they say.
DULUTH, Minn.—Deer hunters and other interested folks gathered over coffee and chocolate-chip cookies in Duluth on Wednesday night, Feb. 22, to help forge a statewide deer management plan. Thirty-four people — men, women, adults and a few kids — showed up at Lake Superior College to share their views on Minnesota's deer with a sizeable contingent of Department of Natural Resources wildlife officials.
I'm standing next to a replica of a massive Alberta non-typical whitetail deer, and people are coming by to visit. They have come to opening night of the annual Duluth Boat, Sports, Travel & RV Show at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. They are there to touch boats, flex fishing rods, pet Labrador retrievers and quiz resort owners. They have come for bright lights and shiny ATVs and mini-donuts and to forget about slipping on the ice for a couple of hours. And, when they find me, we talk.
FRENCH RIVER, Minn. — Against the pink wash of the pre-dawn sky, an angler stood motionless near the mouth of the French River on Monday. Wearing waders, he was ankle deep in Lake Superior. He held a long fishing rod in one hand. The Lake Superior surf, pushed by modest southwest winds, rolled breakers ashore catching the angler at mid-calf. They did not budge him. His eyes were fixed on his bobber riding far out in the waves.
DULUTH — Bill Lounsberry of Duluth was just settling in for an afternoon of crappie fishing on Fish Lake north of Duluth on Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 8. Lounsberry, a retired letter carrier, was aware that Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing to raise fishing and hunting license fees. "I'm OK with that," Lounsberry said with a smile. "I'm retired. This is pretty cheap entertainment."