Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz

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

April 12, 1999

Wild turkeys sighted in Winsted city limits

Four hens and two jakes strolling through Winsted and leisurely feeding and picking through the grass on someone's backyard. That was the case in Winsted last week.

According to reports from several individuals, six wild turkeys were seen in Winsted near the 400 block of Second St. S. at about 8 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday, April 7.

The turkeys were said to be strolling through the residential area between the softball field and the Blue Note.

One individual reported the turkeys were small and did not seem to be bothered at all by onlookers or vehicles driving by.

Typically, wild turkeys are very wary, cautious, and sensitive to human activity. True wild turkeys are so wary and cautious they are one of the toughest animals to hunt, photograph, or watch.

In this case, although the birds were young and appeared to be true wild turkeys, they probably were half domestic pen-raised turkeys that got away from someone in the area.

There have been wild turkeys transplanted in heavily wooded areas not that far away from Winsted, but the odds of these birds being truly wild are slim to none.

As most turkey hunters would agree, true wild turkeys are so nervous, a hunter with some experience couldn't imagine one coming into city limits.

Also, on occasion I have encountered wild turkeys that were transplanted to an area south of Lester Prairie, and these birds are so wary that it is almost impossible to get a picture of them.

Completely wild or not, a few people got the joy of watching something unusual in Winsted last week.

Area lakes fishing report

The ice has only been gone for a week or two and kids are already out in full force with fishing rods in hand and pedals under foot on their way to a favorite fishing hole.

Places like the South Fork of the Crow River and Winsted Lake have been busy with kids trying to nab a few fish.

I saw one young angler on the Crow nab a dandy 10-plus pound carp and reports have Winsted Lake providing some modest to fair crappie action.

Joe's Sport Shop in Howard Lake confirmed the reports from Winsted Lake and added that although fishing activity has been a bit slow so far, it will pick up very soon.

Joe's also noted Lake Mary has been producing a few crappies, and with the opener only a month away, anglers should pick up their licenses now and start getting their gear ready.

On early spring crappie fishing, look for the crappies to move into shallow water very soon. A few good lakes to try, based on fishing success from the last few years, are Winsted, Mary, Swan (near Silver Lake), Mud, and Big Waverly. Drifting across shallow bays with flu flu jigs tipped with a crappie is a good bet for fishing success.

Outdoor notes

  • Winsted Sportsmen's Club will meet Tuesday, April 13 at 7 p.m. at the Lake Mary clubhouse. Members are asked to come early, approximately 5:30 p.m., to clean up the Lake Mary landing and install docks. Members are also asked to bring rakes and shovels. The main item on the agenda for the meeting will be fish stocking of Lake Mary.
  • ­he DNR has scheduled a Becoming an Outdoor Women Field Day Saturday, April 24 at St. Anthony Gun Club just north of Anoka. The event will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • The Wright County Chapter of Pheasants Forever will hold its 14th annual banquet Monday, April 26 at the Buffalo Civic Center. Cackling hour begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner and program at 7 p.m. For ticket information, contact Bob Peterson at 320-963-6581.
  • The trapshooting season at the Lester Prairie Sportsmen's Club is underway. Practice shooting will be Wednesday evening, April 14 with league shooting starting Wednesday, April 21.
  • Good luck to all the turkey hunters heading to the woods this spring.
  • Make plans for your fall hunting trips now.
  • The 1999 Minnesota fishing opener is only a month away, Saturday, May 15. Get your gear ready now and remember to put new line on all your reels.
  • April showers bring May flowers.

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