Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz
Herald Journal

April 23, 2007

A look at one little backyard bunny

Back in March when we had some warm weather, myself, Amy (my wife), and our kids’ Abbi, Emmi and Ethan got a head start on some lawn work that was left over from the fall.

In that process, three to four small piles of leaves were left in the back yard waiting for the last snowfall of the year to melt.

During that time a mother rabbit decided to let mother nature take her course under one of our small piles of leaves.

Last week, when we finally decided to pick up the piles, low and behold, there were seven baby rabbits under one pile and, before I could get them covered back up, our kids had already seen them, starting what I’m calling “the backyard bunny adventure.”

Before I go on, my kids our very adventuresome and I have to constantly tell them to leave wild animals, eggs, and of course baby bunnies alone and we already have a pet bunny affectionately named Tiffany.

As the week progressed, the kids were just relentless about uncovering the little bunny nest and looking at the bunnies and least 10 times every day.

By Tuesday, every neighbor kid and some we didn’t even know, had made it to the backyard to check out the bunnies.

By Wednesday, three of the bunnies were gone, hopefully they had just hopped away into a near by woodlot.

However, according to one of the boys in the neighborhood, and to the fear of my daughters, a big hawk had been circling our backyard all week.

Then, finally, by Thursday there was only one bunny left and it wasn’t in the nest anymore.

It had made it to the front pocket of my seven year old daughter Emmi’s sweatshirt.

When I scolded her she pleaded with me that if she didn’t take the bunny the big hawk, the one the size of a Boeing 747, that had been circling our yard surely would have eaten it, and so goes the backyard bunny adventure.

Take the pledge
By Jim Saric
Editor, Musky Hunter

Do you remember your first fishing trip? I can’t recall the entire trip, as I was too young, but I do remember one key part. My first cast was with one of my dad’s bait casting outfits. My hands were barely big enough to hold on, but I tried. The first cast was woefully short. So he told to really give a heave. I did.

The lure went farther and so did the entire bait casting outfit. It sank to the bottom of the lake, never to be found again. My dad says at the point he was pretty upset and almost started yelling, but he didn’t want me to quit fishing. He just smiled and gave me another rod to use. Of course, now jokingly, he says he would have made me quit fishing had he known how obsessed I would become with muskies . . .but that’s another story.

My dad taught me a lot about fishing, and I have many great memories fishing many waters with him across the US and Canada. No matter what was going on in our lives, fishing and hunting were a common bond. We always put our differences aside when we were together on the water. I guess I was pretty lucky to have someone take me fishing.

I received some interesting information from Frank Peterson, the president of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, regarding the Angler’s Legacy program. The information is really quite alarming. Of today’s 50 million anglers in the US, 99 percent say they fish because someone once took the time to introduce them to the sport.

In a recent survey measuring participation in boating and fishing. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said “dad” took them on their first fishing trip. Of those 87.8 percent were 35 years of age or older, compared to only 12.2 percent for those under 35.

Now, if dad has a diminishing role in introducing new anglers today, and others don’t step in, how will fishing be passed to future generations?

And how will those who miss out even know what they’ve missed?

Consider further that today in the US, kids spend an average of 44 hours a week experiencing life through a glass – watching TV, playing video games and on the computer. Forty-four hours a week equates to a full-time job and leaves little time for anything else.

The bottom line is there exists a tremendous gap of kids entering the sport of fishing. We all need to step in, take an active role, and take someone fishing. Most of us have boats. Take one day and teach someone new how to musky fish, preferably someone young. They won’t forget it and neither will you. In most cases it just takes one day on the water and a fisherman is born for life. Our future depends on it.

Take the angler’s pledge and give back what you’ve been given (the gift of fishing). Find out more at www.anglerslegacy.org. Get someone hooked.

2007 Lake Mary ‘Ice Out’ contest winners announced

The ice cover was officially 100 percent off of Lake Mary April 1.

There were 30 people that correctly guessed the ice out date. Three names were picked randomly to win prizes.

First place winner of $100 was Andy Jude of Howard Lake; second place, $50, Paul Boor of Hutchinson; and third place, $25, Tom Nothwehr of Norwood Young America.

All of the proceeds from this yearly contest are used to biannually stock Lake Mary with six-inch fingerling walleye.

Thus far, with the combined efforts of the Winsted Sportsman’s Club, the Watertown Rod & Gun Club, and the Lake Mary Homeowners Association, 8,000 walleye have been introduced into Lake Mary since 1999.

The organizations involved greatly appreciate all those who participated in this year’s fund-raiser.

Trap league starts May 3

The Waverly Gun Club summer trap league will be starting Thursday, May 3. Teams and/or individuals are encouraged to attend.

Winsted lakeshore clean-up is set for May 5

Winsted Lake Watershed Association will host a lakeshore cleanup day Saturday, May 5 beginning at 9 a.m. at Mill Reserve Park, Winsted.

Assistance from youth groups is welcome. Dress appropriately.

For more information, call Bev at (320) 485-4327.

Year-end fishing rummage sale in Medina

Calm Corp. is having a first-time-ever event at their warehouse/offices in Medina Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28.

All fishing enthusiasts are encouraged to join Calm Corp. as they hold a year-end rummage sale.

Everyone is welcome as Calm Corp. will be offering discount prices on ice fishing gear, old model shelters, new shelters, blue suits, light house tents, ice fishing tables, t-shirts, hats, and Green Bay Packers Model Fish Trap Pros.

The Calm Corp. warehouse is located at 600 Clydesdale Trail in Medina.

The times for the event are from noon to 8 p.m. April 27, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 28.

Dave Genz will be available from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 28 to talk about ice fishing and sign autographs.

Goodhue native donates $1 million to PF
From Pheasants Forever

Pheasants Forever (PF) announces it has received a $1 million financial commitment from Tobias (Toby) Buck and his wife Donna.

The gift is the largest philanthropic donation to the national non-profit conservation organization in its 25-year history, and Buck becomes PF’s first “Habitat Champion” – a donor who has committed at least $1 million to the organization.

In alignment with Buck’s wishes, PF will utilize the funds to further their youth and education efforts.

An avid and lifelong outdoorsman, Buck has a long association with PF and is one of PF’s charter life members.

He grew up as a pheasant hunter in Goodhue, Minnesota and still maintains a relationship with the local Goodhue County PF Chapter despite having moved to Indiana years ago.

In Indiana, Buck founded the Tippe River Basin Chapter of PF in 1995 and served as its president for the first three years. He is also currently serving his second term on PF’s National Board of Directors.

In 2006, Buck also contributed $100,000 to Minnesota’s Build-A-Wildlife Area (BAWA) partnership, which funds the acquisition of new Minnesota Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) open to public hunting.

Buck’s donation helped acquire a 159-acre parcel of land in his native Goodhue County, which will be dedicated in his Father’s name this August as the Wayne Willis Buck WMA.

“Pheasants Forever’s mission is in my heart,” Buck said. “Through its hundreds of thousands of habitat projects, education efforts and legislative work, Pheasants Forever has long been a champion for conservation efforts, pheasants, quail, and other wildlife. I’ve seen the benefits first hand, and for that work to continue, an investment in our conservation heritage must occur through philanthropy in tandem with the mission PF extends to the environment.”

“That an individual believes in the Pheasants Forever mission as much as Toby Buck does and trusts us to carry out their lifelong dream is the ultimate testament to our organization,” said Howard Vincent, PF’s national president and CEO. “Through his dedicated efforts and generosity, Toby Buck has and continues to embody the spirit of Pheasants Forever.”

Buck has earmarked his donation for PF to use the funds for youth education and the organization’s education arm, the Leopold Education Project.

“We have a responsibility to give back what we can to ensure that future generations take interest in the outdoors and conservation, and Pheasants Forever’s work with youth education makes that possible,” Buck said. “I shot my first pheasant when I was 9 years old,” he said, “I would like my sons, grandsons and others to have similar experiences, to walk the ground I have walked and to enjoy wildlife in the way I have.”

Buck grew up in Goodhue, Minnesota, before moving to Indiana to work as an industrial and mechanical engineer.

A graduate of Purdue University and the MIT BOG program, Buck also served his nation in the US NAVY.

He founded Paragon Medical, Inc., of Pierceton, Ind. in 1991.

Buck serves as chairman and CEO of Paragon, which manufactures surgical instruments and medical devices that serve the orthopedic community.

In 1998 and 2004, Buck was honored as the Ernst & Young Indiana Entrepreneur of the Year in the Manufacturing and Life Science category.

Buck has also served on the Board of Trustees for The Nature Conservancy in Indiana, as well as multiple corporate boards.

He has been married to Donna (Kahl) Buck, formerly of Bellechester, Minn., for 30 years and has four children: Johsua, 24; Moriah, 22; Jacob, 20; and Rachel, 18.

If you’re interested in direct or planned giving to Pheasants Forever, contact Bryan Van Deun, PF’s Vice President of Development, at (651)209-4955 or via e-mail at bvandeun@pheasantsforever.org or contact David Bue, PF’s Director of Development, at (218)340-5519 or via e-mail at dbue@pheasantsforever.org.

For additional information about Pheasants Forever, please visit www.pheasantsforever.org.

DNR reminds horse trail riders of new trail permit
From the DNR

A Horse Trail Pass, designed to generate funds for trail rehabilitation and maintenance, is now required on state trails and other state lands.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Jan. 1 began administering the Horse Trail Pass.

Proceeds from sale of the Horse Trail Pass will assist the DNR in addressing horse trail needs on state trails, in state forests, and in state parks and state recreation areas.

Funds from the pass will be deposited in a dedicated account and used to acquire and develop trails and trail facilities, and to maintain and rehabilitate existing horse trails, noted Kim Lockwood of the DNR Trails and Waterways Division.

“Monies from the horse trail pass will provide a great opportunity for the DNR and the horse trail riding community to work together to establish new riding opportunities and improve those that currently exist,” Lockwood said. “We are excited about the ability to improve upon an already great statewide system of trail riding opportunities.”

The annual Horse Trail Pass fee is $21 for one year beginning Jan. 1 and ending Dec. 31. The fee for a daily horse trail pass is $5.

The pass is required for anyone 16 years of age and older riding on state trails, in state forests, and in state parks and recreation areas.

Riders must possess a signed pass and visibly display the pass on their person or horse tack.

Horse passes can be purchased from DNR Electronic License System vendors across the state.

These are the same vendors who sell fishing and hunting licenses.

Agents are listed on the DNR Web site at. www.dnr.state.mn.us.

For more information, visit the horse home page.

DNR encourages people to make summer camping plans now
From the DNR

With the summer holidays right around the corner, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says there is still time for people to make their camping and lodging reservations at Minnesota state parks.

According to Courtland Nelson, direction of the DNR Division of Parks and Recreation, camping and lodging reservations at many of the busiest state parks already are booked for Memorial Weekend, but for those who haven’t made plans yet, it’s not too late.

“Cabins and campsites at some parks are still available,” said Nelson. “Lodging reservations can be made up to a year in advance. Campsites in state parks and state recreation areas can be reserved up to 90 days in advance. For Memorial Weekend, as soon as campsite reservations became available in February, telephone and online reservations began pouring in.”

Nelson suggested people check for availability and cancellations online.

He also noted that up to a third of campsites in state parks are kept available on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Memorial Weekend is traditionally our busiest of the year at state parks,” said Nelson, “followed by Fourth of July and Labor Day. Reservations can be made now for Fourth of July camping. Those planning ahead for Labor Day Weekend can make reservations for a Friday arrival beginning June 1.”

For schedule of advance booking dates for camping, select the “90-Day Window” on the reservation Web site at www.stayatmnparks.com or contact the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or toll free 1-888MINNDNR (646-6367).

Lodging and camping reservations are made through a centralized reservation service.

Reservations can be made by calling toll-free 1-866-85PARKS (1-866-857-2757) anytime between 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. CDT. Online reservations can be made at www.stayatmnparks.com 24-hours-a-day except for the first day a site becomes available.

On that first day, reservations cannot be made before 8 a.m. The reservation fee is $8.50 and is nonrefundable.

Camping and lodging reservation information is available online at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

Outdoor notes

• The 2007 Minnesota fishing opener is set for Sat., May 12.

• Check the tires, bearings and lights on your boat trailer.

• Remember to purchase a new 2007 Minnesota fishing license.

• Take some time to watch spring happen, soon the trees will be full of leaves and the landscape green.

• Local conservationist Chip Hentges reported a merganser began nesting in one of his wood duck boxes on April 4 and nine eggs were in the box by April 13.

• Last week I saw four deer swim across the south fork of the Crow River.

I have seen many deer near the river, but had never witnessed any swim across before.

The river was high enough that the deer did more swimming than walking to get across.

• Good luck to all the turkey hunters in our area.

• Take a kid fishing; he or she will have fun and so will you.

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