Warm weather, please.

Joe
Albert

Associate Editor

Boats and warm weather. Fresh off days and days
of , um, chilly weather, the plan is to check out the Boat Show in
Minneapolis this week. That’s on the heels of Pheasant Fest last
week. Which leads to one question: Is it still only January?

Don’t get me wrong, winter isn’t bad and I’m looking forward to
my annual ice-fishing trip, which is now less than a month away.
But this week always leads to thoughts of warm places and warm
water.

I’ve gone to the Boat Show for years. Never even climbed to the
level of tire-kicking, but it’s fun to see the latest in watercraft
nevertheless. And to begin thinking about being on the lake again,
which, at best, is three long months away.

Moving onŠ

Pheasant Fest, held last weekend in St. Paul, was an excellent
event, and PF leaders say nearly 30,000 sportsmen attended. Not
bad. When I spoke with him earlier this week, Dave Nomsen, PF’s
vice president of governmental affairs, also made what I thought
was a good point:

The chairmen of both the Senate and House Agriculture committees
– Collin Peterson and Tom Harkin – as well as Chuck Conner, the
acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture were in
attendance. With farm bills passed in both the House and the
Senate, a conference committee will be formed soon to try to come
up with one bill. In the run-up to that, it’s probably the only
time that all three men together will be making a public appearance
in regards to the farm bill.

“That sends a statement about the power and strength of wildlife
conservationists,” Nomsen said.

Let’s hope that translates into a bill that advances the cause
of conservation, and that gets passed in the near future.

The next president

You have to have blinders and ear plugs on if you haven’t
noticed the presidential race is heating up. We in these parts love
politics, and are fascinated – good or bad – by how public policy
is created, particularly as it relates to conservation and the
outdoors.

At the presidential level, I haven’t heard much with regards to
those topics, but we’ll be hearing more as the field is narrowed
down.

One thing I have enjoyed – and this has absolutely nothing to do
with the outdoors – is the way Chuck Norris has been injected into
the race. Chuck, I think, largely fell by the wayside. Then jokes
popped up, and the punchlines always dealt with his ability to do
superhuman things. (Example: The quickest way to a man’s heart is
Chuck Norris’ fists. Or, If you have $5 and Chuck Norris has $5,
Chuck Norris has more money than you.)

Now, I’m seeing headlines like, “Norris says McCain too old to
be president” from legitimate news sources. You can’t make it
up.

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