Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz

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

August 9, 1999

Getting ready for fall

It's time to start shifting gears.

The drive down summer's highway will be over soon and with a few bumps and turns in the road, fall will be here.

Some years, the shift is gradual and almost unnoticed. Other years, it's like a blown tire - boom, fall is here and where did the summer go?

In the case of most outdoor enthusiasts and hunters, by the time mid-August arrives, fall is greatly anticipated. Opening dates of fall hunting season are known, predictions are made, dogs are aggressively trained and worked, hunting trips set, details closely reviewed, and gear, especially for waterfowl hunters, is fixed, organized, and packed with a great passion.

In August, fall has not arrived, but it does become a state of mind. In fact, I've seen outdoor nuts like myself spend the entire month working on a project or piece of equipment they may only use one or two times during the hunting season.

The project and planning becomes more fun and intense than the actual hunt or trip.

Projects range from painting decoys and duck boats to surfing the Web and mashing through piles of information in order to set up an outdoor trip.

In either case, the effort is one of pure joy, anticipation, and passion.

Last year, I spent the evenings for two straight weeks looking for a good area to duck hunt.

I found a spot and got everything set. Then, during the waterfowl season, I spent exactly one afternoon at that spot.

With August here, it's time to get ready and relive the passion. Decoy lines need to be fixed, boats repainted, dogs worked, gear organized, plans completed, and details worked out.

The September Early Canada goose season in only 26 days away.

Opening dates for 1999 Minnesota hunting seasons

  • September Canada goose season - Sept. 4
  • Archery deer season - Sept. 18
  • Small game, ruffed grouse and other - Sept. 18
  • Woodcock - Sept. 25
  • Duck and goose - Oct. 2 (tentative)
  • Pheasant - Oct. 16
  • Firearms deer - Nov. 6
  • Muzzleloader deer - Nov. 27

For more specific information and season end dates, refer to the 1999 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook which will be available at area license vendors in mid-August.

Outdoor notes

  • The application deadline for deer antlerless and special hunt permits is Thursday, Sept. 9.
  • Licenses for the upcoming fall hunting seasons are available now or will be very soon at area license vendors.
  • Search the Web for information needed for your next outdoor adventure. A good place to start is the site for this newspaper at www.herald-journal.com/outdoors.
  • Plan to take a kid hunting this fall.
  • On hot days, remember to work your dog early in the morning or late in the evening when temps are cooler.
  • To sharpen your shotgunning eye and get used to handling your firearm again, head to the Lester Prairie Sportsmen's Club for a round of trapshooting. The club is open every Wednesday evening through early September for practice and league shooting.
  • If you still have the fishing bug, try night angling for walleye, deep weed edges with small leeches for sunnies, and flipping a pig and jig for bass in 15 feet of water off structure for bass. Another good bet is angling for catfish on the Crow River.
  • The days are getting shorter in a big hurry. Today, the sun will set at 8:28 p.m. On Aug. 31, the sun will set at 7:51 p.m.

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