Joe Albert

Little this, little that

Some of the things on my radar screen, in no particular order: Five friends and I fished at Upper Red Lake for two days a couple of weeks ago. The final tally: two tiny walleyes, one northern, and several perch. In a word, it was brutal. The temperature started dropping from the mid-20s as we arrived, and it seemed like…

State’s first wolf season comes to an end

Some people expected the hunters and trappers during the state’s first-ever wolf season to come up well short of the 400 animals available during the season. Others expected they would hit the mark, but that it would take most of the season, which was scheduled to end Jan. 31. Some people, based on the harvest patterns they’d been seeing, expected…

State Capitol reorganization

During the past few weeks, we’ve learned more about how things will play out during the upcoming legislative session, which kicks off Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. When Republicans held both bodies of the state Legislature ­ remember that short two-year run – they combined their environment policy and finance committees. That meant Rep. Denny McNamara and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen –…

Deer kill down from last year; buck harvest up

With the Zone 2 and 3A deer seasons closed, and the Zone 1 season still open through Sunday, firearms hunters have killed a total of 134,107 deer so far this season. That’s about 6 percent less than they had taken at the same time last year. Through earlier this week, the buck kill in the 100 series of permit areas…

Election’s over; deer and wolf hunts go on

That was a quick run. After gaining control of the state House and Senate in 2010, Republicans on Tuesday night lost both chambers, leaving Minnesota with Democratic rule in the House, Senate, and Governor’s office. Many of the names we’ve come to associate with outdoors and natural resources issues retained their seats, but we’ll have new chairs for the environment…

Big buck counties

Looking for a trophy buck in Minnesota this weekend? The Boone and Crockett Club yesterday sent out an email with a list of the top 125 trophy counties in the United States. The list, according to the email, is based on B&C big-game records dating to 1830. Two Minnesota counties appear on the list: St. Louis County in the northeastern…

Wolf seasons will proceed as planned

The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Wednesday gave clarity to the wolf seasons this fall and winter: The seasons will go on. The court denied a request for a preliminary injunction from the Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves. Those groups had asked the court to stop this year's wolf hunting and trapping seasons. The groups' suit will…

The northwestern Minnesota fires get real

Our own Tim Spielman reported this week on the fires raging in the northwestern part of the state due to severely dry conditions. As we were putting out the paper, a fire information officer told him the city of Karlstad hadn’t yet been evacuated due to the fires, but that residents had been put on notice. Thanks to the dry…

On wolves

During a conversation earlier this week with Mark Johnson, executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, I let slip that I failed to apply for a license to hunt wolves in the state this fall. Truth be told, I forgot. Like many Minnesotans, I wait until the very last moment to buy my deer license and apply for an…

Summertime grab bag

A little of this and a little of that: It’s been several years since zebra mussels were discovered in the Alexandria Chain of Lakes. Careful readers know my family has a cabin on the chain’s Lake Carlos. This has been an exceptionally hot summer, and even without such heat, the water typically sports a greenish tint by this time of…