Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

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

March 4, 2002

Outdoor politics producing hot issues

Aside from wood ducks, Canada geese, and a few other species of birds returning from their southern wintering grounds, outdoor activity has been pretty slow of late.

In fact, the only things that seem to be scurrying around or in any kind of hurry are skunks, raccoons, and other rodents trying to cross the road. Most of these animals are out of their winter dens and are ready to tackle another season. Also back in business for another season are our state legislators.

Their season has already started and they have been busy scurrying around from one committee meeting to another. Tackling issues like ATV use on public lands, deer baiting, walk-in programs, and a possible youth turkey hunting season.

Like the animals mentioned above, many aren't sure where they are going, they just want to get there.

There is the solution to many of our outdoor problems, and the legislators who are trying to get there need our help. They need to know how we feel? What matters? What is important to us and what isn't?

Without that information from the people they were elected to serve their mission in solving the problems related to the outdoors and making our environment a better place for all of us is near impossible. Worse, if you don't express your opinion as a hunter, angler, and outdoor enthusiast, someone else will, and your legislator will ultimately listen and act on the behalf of those who speak.

It boils down to your ethics, opinions, and actions.

With shotguns locked in the case, and fishing gear stored, now is the time to pick up the phone and give your legislator a call.

Outdoor notes

­ The Lester Prairie Sportmen's Club will meet tonight, at 7 p.m., at the clubhouse.

­ The Lester Prairie Sportsmen's Club will host its annual father/son-daughter banquet at the Lester Prairie City Hall Friday, March 22. The Zoo Mobile from the Minnesota Zoo will be on hand.

Tickets are available from club members.

­ For good, late ice panfish action, use light tackle and be mobile.

­ Dry conditions this winter may lead us to a difficult spring. Water levels may be very low and the risk of grass fires could be high.

­ Expect the legislature and the Department of Natural Resources to change deer baiting laws this year.

­ Take some time to repair your wood duck houses. Some of the birds have already started to return.

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