Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz

Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal & Howard Lake Herald, Minn.

March 16, 1998

Bald eagles sighted

The recovery and ever-growing population of the bald eagle in our state and across America is a true conservation success story.

Just a few years ago, the sighting of a bald eagle in our area was almost a miracle. Today, sightings at this time of year and in late fall are somewhat common.

Last week I received 10 to 12 reports of eagles being sighted in the area.

According to the reports, one or a pair of eagles was seen by several people on Winsted Lake, on a chain of gravel pits near Lester Prairie and also on Lakes Emma and Howard.

At this time of year, the birds are following the ice-out line on their way north to breeding grounds in northeastern Minnesota and southern Ontario, Canada. They stick close to bodies of water on their way north picking up dead fish that are available as lakes open up and become ice free.

As late winter progresses into spring, head to a few of our local lakes and keep your eyes open. It's very likely that you will spot a bald eagle.

For a good look, make sure you bring your binoculars.

Ice safety

Mother Nature decided to hang on to winter for awhile and, because of that, it doesn't look like ice-out will be occurring on our local lakes any time soon. Or at least in the next week or two.

Portions of local lakes have opened up and frozen over again several times in the past few weeks. The ice on them may be thick and in good shape in some areas and very thin and unstable in others.

With that in mind, we should all remember that ice is never safe and the wisest choice at this time is just to stay off the ice.

Firearms safety course

A 12-hour course will cover safe gun handling, gun safety in the home, care and storage of firearms, marksmanship, and hunter responsibility.

Upon successful completion of the course, students will receive a certificate and an arm patch.

Instructors who will be teaching this course have completed requirements for certification established by the Minnesota DNR.

Students who enroll must be at least 11 years old. There is no maximum age. The 11-year-old students will receive their certificates on their 12th birthdays and are eligible to hunt with an adult.

Classes will be Mondays and Thursdays starting April 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m at the Winsted American Legion Club basement. The fee is $5, payable to Winsted Sportsmen's Club.

Any scheduling changes due to the Easter season will be announced at the meeting.

Boy Scouts are encouraged to take the training for summer camps, as well as any parent who wishes to learn safe gun handling.

For more information, call Brian Wolford at (320) 485-4237, Steve Kozitza at 485-2672, or Steve Fiecke at 485-2434.

Outdoor notes

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