Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

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

Feb. 24, 2003

Sometime you'll need that old outdoor stuff

Like most hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts, I have a garage full of stuff. Some of the stuff are must haves, and I would never hop in my truck for an outdoor adventure without it.

Much of the stuff, considered to be junk by my wife, is neat to have. But, rarely gets used and basically just takes up space. The other stuff, which by the way usually makes it out of the garage and into the house, is the important stuff.

Like the old single shot .22 rifle made in Germany in the 1800s that was given to me by grandfather Gus Pawelk. The 1905 St. Paul Arms Co. single-shot 16 gauge that my dad Walter used for pheasant hunting. The gun was given to him by his father Ewald. When I was a kid, the shotgun hung in the granary for easy access when needed for butchering or to rid the place of pesky varmints. Both of those firearms, along with a few others, are kept securely locked in a safe.

Other items include an old Bassarino fishing lure that was a family favorite and landed a lot fish on Lake Mary, a few hand made and very interesting spearing decoys, a few old and collectible duck decoys, an old, but perfect and well balanced, ice fishing spear made by a gentlemen in Mayer, and finally an old, weathered pin-on compass that my dad wore for years that I soon will be passing on to one of his grandsons.

Actually, I'm not one for keeping junk or a lot stuff around. But, when it comes to outdoor stuff, I just can't bare getting rid of it.

Right now, I'm darn glad I've kept all the stuff and when one of my daughters needs a hunting vest to use they will have their choice of seven or eight old ones that have a lot of character and history.

Finally, I have about 30 fishing rods in my garage, and although I used only a couple of them, I can honestly say that each and everyone of them got used by someone at some time last summer.

Keep the stuff. Sometime in your life it may be more important than you realize today.

Late ice panfish

With walleye and northern pike season closed for another year, now is the time to start thinking fast and furious action on late ice panfish.

As winter gives way and spring starts to appear the action on sunfish picks up in a big way. Lakes like Howard, Mary, Henry, Parley and Clearwater have a long history of providing great action on late ice sunfish.

The real trick to fast action is mobility, it's kind of keep moving until you find them.

When you do find the sunnies and the hole your fishing from slows down you just pick up and move to another one.

Getting a sunburn on a beautiful March day is an added bonus.

Outdoor notes

­ In this week's column there is a press release from the DNR informing anglers on fish house removal dates. Another item that goes along with removing fish houses from frozen lakes is removing all the junk and garbage, like blocking, that may have been with the fish house.

Every year the Winsted Sportmen's Club conducts a lake clean up project just after the houses are removed. If anglers and fishhouse owners do a good job of removing garbage the club's job is that much easier. It's simple, the clean up and conservation of our natural resources is everyone's responsibility.

­ Last week's warm weather melted enough snow to put a big damper on local snowmobile activity. At this time, we would need another good snowfall to start sledding again.

­ The Lester Prairie Sportmen's Club will host the annual Father/Son-Daughter Banquet on Friday, March 21 at Lester Prairie City Hall. Tickets are available from club members and at various Lester Prairie Businesses.

­ Don't forget to purchase your new 2003 Minnesota fishing license. Your 2002 license expires Feb. 28.

­ On a disappointing note, I have not seen a pheasant in several months. Usually when the snow hits pheasants come to the roads to pick gravel and head to open spots in fields to feed. In turn, if there are birds out there they become very easy to see.

If you are feeding pheasants or other wildlife this winter, make sure you carry your feeding program throughout the winter, or until natural food sources become available again. Also, don't place pheasant feeder in areas that make pheasants very susceptible to avian and other predators.

­ The 2003 Minnesota fishing opener is set for Saturday, May 10.

­ Congratulations to the lucky applicants that received Minnesota hunting permits this year. For those applicants that didn't receive permits, don't worry, you will still have a shot at purchasing unused permits sometime this spring.

­ Now, and through the spring as the ground thaws and the soil is soft and muddy, ATV users should be careful not to damage property. During this time, the ground is easily damaged by ATVs and other vehicles and ruts and damage done only hurts the future of outdoor recreational activities.

­ Take some time to take a kid fishing. You will have fun and so will he or she.

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