Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Joe Shead

Make the last few days of the Minnesota muzzleloader season count

With preliminary numbers from the recently completed firearms deer season showing a 7% decline in harvest from last year, it’s not surprising that muzzleloader license sales are up a bit, as hunters continue to try to bag their deer.
Although plenty of hunters shot deer during the firearms deer season – 112,636 was the preliminary total from the recently-completed season – many hunters saw fewer deer and harvest numbers dropped. That doesn’t bode well for your chances to shoot a deer, but with persistence and a little luck, there’s still time.

Find panfish to catch largemouth bass beneath the ice

Bass are some of our most popular game fish, but you wouldn’t know it once Minnesota lakes cap over with ice. Expensive bass boats are put into storage, and bass themselves are often almost as conspicuously absent.
More than likely, if you’ve caught largemouths, it’s been by accident, either on tip-ups intended for northern pike or on tiny bluegill jigs that seem too dainty for a bass’s oversized mouth. But largemouths can be caught through the ice, particularly early and late season.

Heavy rains hamper Minnesota’s North Shore salmon run

Recent heavy rains in the Duluth area likely have thrown a wrench into fall fish runs along Lake Superior’s North Shore – at least temporarily.
More than 7 inches of rain fell at the epicenter of the storm near the French River last weekend. As a result, North Shore streams, which usually have light flow in the fall, were raging. A light rainfall in September can get fish moving upstream. Pink, coho, and Chinook salmon, as well as brown and coaster brook trout all enter North Shore streams in fall. With minimal flow, light rain events raise stream levels, which permits fish to run upriver. But the recent rainfall was an extreme event.

An Alaskan moose-hunting saga, part 5: The journey concludes

Disgruntled, I began hiking down the gravel road in the darkness, my wet boots sloshing with every step. It was a quick pace, and I swung my arms for added speed. I told myself that the faster I walked, the sooner I’d be done. I was so close to getting out now.
Why hadn’t I just marked that bike with the GPS? The road into this area is a 29-mile-long stretch of gravel. You would have no business being here if you weren’t hunting, fishing, or camping. That road doesn’t get a lot of traffic.

An Alaskan moose-hunting saga, part 4: Getting the meat out

I’d planned the previous night to be out of this hell hole, but I’d lugged my canoe and its contents only a mile in 14 hours. I still had a quarter mile to go. Although I hadn’t planned to camp, I had been lucky to keep some of my clothes dry.
The clothes I’d been wearing were soaked from the creek and from the rain. The last dry clothes I had left were a great comfort when sleeping that night. When I woke up, it was hard to bend my fingers. Blisters had erupted where my fingers met my palms. It hurt to hold things.

Lake Superior’s impressive hatch of ciscoes is already showing in its salmon catch

Every action has a reaction. As reported previously in Outdoor News, the 2022 cisco year-class in Lake Superior was one for the ages. Biologists are now saying it may double the previous record set in 1984. And the lake’s predators are feasting on these fatty, oily baitfish, which now measure about 6 inches long.
“That year-class of cisco – the 2022 year-class – that’s what all these salmon are chowing down on and that’s why we’re seeing Lake Michigan-esque salmon,” said Cory Goldsworthy, Lake Superior DNR fisheries supervisor in Duluth, Minn.
Salmon – both kings and cohos – have grown larger than normal in Lake Superior this season. And the cold water has kept them around the Duluth area where they’re within reach of many charter-boat anglers.

The story of the 29-year largemouth bass

I should have never caught that big bass back in 1989.
We were at the lake to rake leaves in late October. It was Oct. 22, to be exact, because ever since I have considered that date to be Bass Day, which honestly should be a national holiday. After putting in a token appearance at the rake, I slipped away, then scrambled down the steps to the sauna, where we keep our fishing tackle and water toys.

An Alaskan moose-hunting saga, Part 3: The real work begins

After the shot, I jumped in my canoe and raced across the narrow channel so fast you could have waterskied behind me. But once I reached the mainland, I was nervous about what I might find. I hoped like heck not an injured moose.
And then, there he was, velvet antler pointing skyward, the animal stone dead. Still, I approached cautiously, making sure I was entirely certain he was dead. Had I been shooting at a target, it would have been a terrible shot.

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