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Scott Rall

  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    February 01, 2022
    Some fishing and hunting outings end with full game bags or fish stringers, and others end up with nothing but the receipts of the money you spent. Empty fish stringers don’t always mean that the trip was not a fun or successful one, though.  It depends on what criteria you use to define success. I recently traveled to St. Cloud to attend the Minnesota Pheasants Forever state meeting. This event…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    January 25, 2022
    I spent the weekend trying to keep an old family tradition alive. My parents, now both in the upper 80s, used to make old-fashioned ring bologna. I asked them over and over how it was done, and a few years back my family and I made a batch together. It was comprised of beef and pork and a whole lot of garlic and other seasonings. It is not wild game by any means, but when it comes to outdoor life…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    January 18, 2022
    Last week I gave you all the rundown about how the 2021 pheasant season went. Record-keeping for some outdoor people is totally off the charts. One guy I know records every flush and every harvested bird on every spot he has ever hunted over the past 20 years before he goes to bed. I would fall asleep trying to do that. I don’t have a lot of my outdoor facts and figures written down. Mostly they…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    January 11, 2022
    The 2021 pheasant hunting season has come to a close, and overall it was a year I would consider only fair. I keep track of the number of birds I harvest each year. In fact, I have one tail feather from each rooster dating back to 1996 when I got my first trained hunting dog. This year my harvest total was down about 40 percent. There are several reasons for this, but the lack of roosters in…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    January 04, 2022
    I was sitting in my garage over the New Year’s weekend having a few adult beverages with my neighbor when an all too familiar topic was raised. He expressed his angst about the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — that they are just too powerful. I then prodded for some additional details. I asked him to give me an example of what he thought was too powerful. He came up with a very vague…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    December 28, 2021
    I have a great job as a self-employed, independent investment adviser, helping people try to get to a comfortable retirement. Saving money for your later years is not something that everybody is good at. I would like to think I have made a measurable difference in that regard for my clients over the past 33 years, but they still needed to participate in order to achieve success, and that takes…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    December 21, 2021
    This is a year much like last in that there are more hunters afield later into the season than normal. If Mother Nature delivers like she normally does, there are only a few diehards still chasing what by now are the smartest remaining roosters in the state. This year and last year were very different. This is my hypothesis as to why. In a normal year there are thousands of bird hunters…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    December 14, 2021
    This has been a fabulous fall for conservation work, and I spent the last six to eight weeks with a variety of needed preparations for the coming spring. These include mowing fire breaks and seeding grasses. If you intend to do a prescribed fire in the spring, you need to do all of the preparations before the snow flies. I mowed about five miles of burn breaks so that when the temperatures warm…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    December 07, 2021
    There is no greater supporter of public lands and public lands hunting than me. You have certainly heard me say this before. With the great gift of public lands comes the responsibility to care for them and manage them to their highest potential. Most citizen-owned lands in my part of the state are managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and they do a fine job with the limited…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    November 30, 2021
    My newest Labrador, Ghost, is all grown up now at 1 1/2 years old. He makes No. 4 at my house with his superiors being 10, 7 and 5 years old. At full size he is the smallest dog I have ever had at a whopping 40 pounds. I did all of the obedience and collar training on this dog starting at about 7 to 8 months of age. The puppy needs to grow up a little before you can expect their brains to be…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    November 23, 2021
    Last year about 65,000 pheasant stamps were sold in Minnesota. This is a stamp hunters must purchase that supports pheasant habitat work in the state. It is also a valuable way to accurately count the number of hunters that chase pheasants every year. I have been of the opinion that this count is important because it gauges hunting activity and helps managers understand hunter number trends. Of…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    November 16, 2021
    We are still chasing roosters when time allows, but I got committed to a large seeding project that has taken up most of my free time for the past few weeks, and it looks to last a few weeks more, doing it after my day job is finished. Seeding conservation lands this time of year is challenging, but doing so after the ground temperatures are cold enough that none of the seed will germinate until…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    November 09, 2021
    I am all about ethical hunting. I have never had a game violation and I never plan to get one. There are a few areas where normally good sportsmen can get themselves into a little trouble. I am not talking about a three-state poaching ring; rather, I’m talking about the most common situations in which some folks might be tempted into crossing the line. The most common one is shooting just a bit…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    November 02, 2021
    A dog is a dog is a dog, unless the dog is one of my dogs. All dog owners have different levels of attachment to their dogs. Some keep a dog around only as a family pet. Others hunt with them on special occasions. Most of these dogs with little time afield or with limited training do as much or as little as the owner expects of them. Others will train their dogs extensively or even have a…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    October 27, 2021
    The day I have been waiting for has finally arrived! Pheasant hunting season in Minnesota opened Oct. 16, and there are a few things your hunting dogs need before you get out in the field. Many dog owners will let these items slip until something bad happens, and then they have to deal with them in the aftermath.   Trim toenails The first task is to trim your dog’s toenails. Most dogs live in the…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    October 19, 2021
    My household includes four Labrador retrievers, which some people think is a lot of dogs. It wasn’t always this way for me. I was volunteering at the Little Sioux Retriever Club Hunt test back in the mid-90s and I was sitting around five different dog trainers. I asked them as a group, “Why would anyone need more than one dog?” They all started laughing. I figured you can only hunt one dog at a…
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