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  • Tuesday, June 20, 2017 10:33 AM
    IT MAY ONLY be late June and for sure there are 13 weeks until the opening day of North Dakota duck season, but surely you didn’t think I could go very long without a column that had at least a reference or two to duck hunting. Today, I have a special reason for including a little bit about the ducks.
    See, last week, I was honored and saddened to be able to write and deliver a eulogy for a very good friend. I never actually duck hunted in the same blind with this friend, but I did share several days of youth season for about four years with his oldest son.
    Paul Lofy was 
  • Tuesday, June 13, 2017 11:10 AM
    THEY SAY YOU can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can teach him a new fishing lake.
    Last week, fishing with a friend from New Mexico who wanted to catch some Wisconsin bass, I headed for one of my old standby lakes that “never” fails me. You can guess what it did.
    We started fishing shortly after noon and after two hours of tossing assorted plastics, crawlers and jumbo leeches along the shoreline of the small lake, I had caught a grand total of two largemouth, one 14 inches, the other 8. My friend had none.
    Between us, it was
  • Tuesday, June 6, 2017 11:51 AM
    THE JURY IS in. The votes have been counted, although the only one that really counted was that cast by my lovely wife. My vote was worth a little influence, but ultimately, as I have learned over the last 46 years, the final word is given to her.
    As a result, our now 9-week-old yellow lab is officially Gordie; not my wife’s first choice, but the only one of mine she deemed acceptable.
    As I wrote last week, I was tossing several names around; some of them good, some admittedly atrocious, but in the end, it was a tribute to my favorite all-time outdoor writer, Gordon MacQuarrie, that we settled on Gordie.
    For my hockey fan friends, you are welcome to believe he’s named after
  • Tuesday, May 30, 2017 11:34 AM
    HOUSTON, THE BOY has landed. After a series of machinations, and joking phone calls and Facebook posts, a little 9-pound bundle of yellow fur, sniffing nose, bright eyes and unbounded energy has landed in my lap.
    Still without a permanent name, the 8-week-old yellow lab is 
  • Tuesday, May 23, 2017 11:29 AM
    WHENEVER I FIND myself at a loss for words while trying to describe my innermost feelings, my intense passion, my absolute love for ducks and duck hunting, I turn to the master.
    Gordon MacQuarrie, a Superior boy, who was born in 1900 and died far too soon in 1956, is still regarded by every literary scholar I know of as one of the three greatest outdoor writers ever to put words to paper.
    When it comes to ducks, many
  • Tuesday, May 16, 2017 10:38 AM
    AS MAIDEN VOYAGES go, this one was a winner. Last Friday was a lovely day for a voyage, a voyage that began at an early hour with my truck pointed northwest to Duluth, Minn., thence southward 15 miles to Cloquet, Minn.
    After an hour at 
  • Tuesday, May 9, 2017 11:44 AM
    FISHING SEASON IS officially open.
    While a tiny portion of the fishing fraternity probably started the season at the stroke of midnight, Saturday morning – night, if you will – in hopes of being the first to 
  • Tuesday, May 2, 2017 10:54 AM
    YOU WOULD THINK that with my wife being mere months away from age 66 and with yours truly being even fewer months away from age 68 that we would not be having a baby. But we are, sort of.
    First off, there definitely was 
  • Tuesday, April 25, 2017 11:16 AM
    THERE IS MUCH to be said for the quiet-man approach to the outdoor.
    While there are some people who believe it takes something with wheels and a gas engine to have an outdoor experience, and while there are others who enjoy motorized and quiet-man outdoor experiences, I am of the old-school type who believe the greatest rewards of the outdoors are only found while walking on one’s
  • Tuesday, April 18, 2017 10:44 AM
    I CAN THINK of 200 things I love about turkey hunting. On the flip side, I can think of only two things about turkey hunting I do not love.
    The first would be dragging myself out of bed at 4 a.m., every morning. I am one of those who feel some time like 9 a.m. is a gentlemanly time for rising, while 10 a.m. would be even better. Few things can make me willingly rise at the wee hour of 4 and turkey hunting is one.
    Easing the pain of rising last weekend during my Illinois turkey foray, was the familiar voice of Wisconsin’s beloved Bob Uecker. So how in the world did I get Uecker to handle my wake-up call? Simple. Last summer, the Milwaukee Brewers, at one of their fan giveaway days, gave away
  • Tuesday, April 11, 2017 11:30 AM
    ’TIS THE SEASON. No, not that season. The jolly elf is still many months away. This is the season for some serious bird-watching.
    Last weekend, I saw many kinds of birds, primarily songbirds, most of which I could identify, but not all. Other friends were bird-watching too, spotting several species I would not be able to identify; accepting that when birders of their stature say they saw and took a picture of a sawtooth, purple-humpbacked warbler I have to take their word for it that they know what 
  • Tuesday, April 4, 2017 10:12 AM
    MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE, including probably a majority of hunters, that the main purpose of a hunting trip is to kill some specimen of a wild animal.
    To be sure there is. Among the many purposes of hunting, there is that of killing a wild animal for food by some, for trophy bragging rights by others.
    For those who
  • Tuesday, March 28, 2017 11:15 AM
    RAIN. WHEN YOU don’t have it, you beg for it. When you get more than a day of it, you curse it. Poor rain doesn’t stand much of a chance.
    During the past week, as I sat in my recliner watching raindrops splash the window, I welcomed the precipitation. Though the calendar tells us it is spring, there is still snow on the ground and I 
  • Tuesday, March 21, 2017 11:19 AM
    SOMEONE ONCE TOLD me college book learnin’ isn’t everything. Having spent five of the best years of my life as a college student, occasionally even going to classes, I used to disagree with that statement, but in the ensuing 45 years since I ended my college career, I have come to realize college book learnin’ isn’t everything, but it certainly is
  • Tuesday, March 14, 2017 11:03 AM
    THERE ARE THOSE who say March and April are their least favorite months here in the North Woods and you could count me in with those who say that. There are those who would say there is nothing to do in the outdoors during this time, at least until turkey season opens in mid-April and for the most part you could count me among those
  • Tuesday, March 7, 2017 10:53 AM
    IF I WERE to believe in reincarnation, I would have to believe I spent time on planet Earth at a different time as a wild duck. I’m thinking either mallard or wood duck drake. If not a duck, then a magnificent Canada goose.
    I say that because
  • Tuesday, February 28, 2017 11:30 AM
    SUMMER HAS COME and gone in the North Woods. As we all knew, winter had plenty of cards up its sleeve and for now we are back in the soup or to put it more accurately, in the snow.
    Unfortunately, for some, the return to snow and cold came too late. Chief among them would be all the people involved with the greatest show on snow in North America. Those would include
  • Tuesday, February 21, 2017 11:00 AM
    WINTER IN THE North Woods isn’t what it used to be, or is it?
    This past week might have fooled some people into thinking we will have an ultra-early spring, but for anyone who has been around here for 40 years or longer, there is no thought of winter being over just because we’ve had better than a week’s worth of May weather lately.
    Hope may spring eternal, even for those who believe “Mighty Casey” will someday redeem himself at the
  • Tuesday, February 14, 2017 10:45 AM
    “TROUT MADNESS” BEGINS where a good book ought to begin; at the beginning. This wonderful collection of trout-fishing stories from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (U.P.) has been in my possession since 1960, the year it was published under the name Robert Traver, the pen name used by a U.P. district attorney in Marquette County and later Michigan Supreme Court judge
  • Tuesday, February 7, 2017 12:02 PM
    I HAVE BEEN a camper my entire life. Many of my most enjoyable outdoor adventures have included a tent, a sleeping bag and a campfire.
    My first tent, so to speak, was a wool Army blanket stretched over a clothesline tied to two trees about 6 feet apart. It formed an open-ended pup tent about 3 feet high and 3 feet wide. Never mind that the two trees were within 6 feet of the front of our house; I was camping in the great outdoors at the age of 5.
    Our first “real” family tent was an 8-by-8 umbrella tent
  • Wednesday, February 1, 2017 8:09 AM
    SOMETIMES, IT PAYS to be an ordinary Joe.
    Like many, or perhaps most people growing up, I had dreams of being a superstar. Whether it was being an Olympic champion, the next Henry Aaron or the president of the United States, I imagined I could do any of those things and more.
    As I grew up, I realized I was not going to be another
  • Wednesday, January 25, 2017 10:38 AM
    ONE OF THE most important things I have learned in my 67 years on planet Earth is that it is far better to live in a small town than a large city.

    To me, a traffic jam is sitting at the stop sign at the intersection of Highway M and Highway 51, waiting for three cars to pass by before I pull out. In my one and only driving expedition in Chicago, Ill., it took me 90 minutes to go 16 miles and then, to get out of the city, I waited 30 minutes to get through a toll gate, where I was asked to contribute a dollar to help prevent Illinois from going broke. The dollar didn’t help.

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