Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

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

March 18, 2002

Winter snow finally arrives

Back in January, in my column I let everyone knows that I hoped Mother Nature would not confuse January and March. Like most of my attempts at angling, my hopes were dashed again.

Without question, Mother Nature has had a tough time figuring out what month we are actually in and what the weather is supposed to be like in that month.

Not saying that snow, snow storms, and cold weather aren't common in March. But, it does get a bit confusing when the weather during most of December, January, and February is similar to that of a balmy March.

In January, the weather was so nice that all I could do was dream of an early spring. Visions of March included open water, and warm, longer days free from the muck and mess of melting snow from a big storm.

The snowblower and ice auger would be put away and the lawn mower, along with my little Johnson 5 1/2 horse outboard would be tuned up and ready to go.

Needless to say, I should get the auger out again, and my snowblower just got its biggest work of the year.

The first day of Spring is March 20, and if Mother Nature doesn't get her state of confusion straightened out, April could get mixed up with July and maybe even January again.

LPSC Father/Son-Daughter Banquet

The 23rd annual Lester Prairie Sportsmen's Club Father/Son-

Daughter Banquet is set for Friday, March 22, at Lester Prairie City Hall.

The doors open at 5:30 p.m., meal at 7 p.m., and entertainment at 8 p.m.

Door and raffle prizes, most donated by local businesses, are given away throughout the evening, and entertainment designed for kids will be provided by the Minnesota Zoo Mobile. The Zoo Mobile will have various animals common to our northern environment on had has part of the show.

Tickets are available from club members and at various Lester Prairie businesses.

Candidates not familiar with spinning wing decoy issue

Every week, I enjoy watching the public television show Almanac. Last week's show included a segment and discussion with two candidates for the governors office. Both are viable candidates and in my opinion, could easily win the election.

During the show, which mostly covered current legislative issues, they were both asked about the spinning wing decoy issue currently being debated.

There is a bill in the house right now asking for a ban on motorized or spinning wing waterfowl decoys.

I understand that there are many issues, and many much more important than spinning wing decoys.

However, neither one of the candidates had a clue of what a motorized decoy was, or that the issue of the future legal use of motorized decoys was being debated in the legislature.

In fact, their responses to the question, left me feeling like we would again have a governor that had no real or personal connection to Minnesota's outdoors. A governor that would not even care enough about our outdoor lifestyle and heritage to hire a Department of Natural Resources commissioner that had personal and real connection to Minnesota's outdoors.

They probably won't know anything or care about the issue until the lobbyists for the motorized decoy manufactures get in touch with them.

Spinning wing decoys or not, it's time that we have some leadership in the governor's and DNR commissioner's office that at least has some fair knowledge about our outdoors and as something in common with well over 1 million anglers, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts.

No travel on Winsted or Swan Lakes

the McLeod County Sheriff is closing Winsted Lake and Swan Lake in McLeod County to all vehicle traffic. According to Sheriff Wayne Vinkemeier, this means all motorized vehicles including cars, trucks, snowmobiles, ATV's and any other form of motorized vehicle. These vehicles are prohibited from entering or driving on these lakes.

The DNR has determined that the aeration systems and the weather conditions have made the ice uneven and unsafe.

Outdoor notes

­ The Crow River Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will host its annual banquet on Saturday, April 9, at Blue Note Ballroom in Winsted.

­ Raise some money for conservation by attending a banquet or fund raising event this spring.

­ The new wildlife area southwest of Lester Prairie along the south fork of the Crow River is shaping up fast. Food plots and grasses were planted last spring, and there has been discussion about incorporating a public canoe access into the project.

­ Please remember that no ice, especially ice at this time of year, is ever completely safe.

­ The 2002 Minnesota fishing opener is set for Saturday, May 11. Who knows what the weather will be like.

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