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Scott Rall

  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    July 21, 2020
    As July races by, I was thinking that in only a few weeks I will be back on the road at sunrise for four days on four routes across the county that I live in. I waited for more than 20 years to have the opportunity to participate in the Minnesota DNR’s August roadside count program. This is a program that has been in existence since 1955. Wildlife personnel and members of the Minnesota…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    July 07, 2020
    I was on a daylong, 75-mile wildlife ride on my Polaris Ranger with a few friends Saturday to observe habitat conditions on public lands located in Nobles County. One of the riders said her friend didn’t know what a side-by-side was. A side-by-side is the slang term for a 4-wheeled all-terrain vehicle. I don’t know anyone who calls a two-passenger, steering wheel equipped side-by-side an ATV.…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoor columnist
    June 30, 2020
    The Fourth of July should have every American thinking about our independence and those who made sacrifices to keep America free. I am not sure that an ever-growing percentage of our population still keeps those thoughts at the top of the list for this national holiday. As a kid growing up, I remember that almost every neighborhood would be plastered with American flags waving in the wind up and…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    June 23, 2020
    I was kidding my girlfriend, Cindy Scott, about how excited she would be when the new puppy shows up at our house on or about the 20th of July. She has never house-trained a dog before, and I was really piling it on when I said how much fun it would be. House training a puppy is not all that hard, but for some dog owners it is just a miserable task. If this is difficult for you, then all I have…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    June 16, 2020
    Does anybody know what I am talking about when I call a bird a “shy poke”? This was the name I first learned from my grandpa, Arnold Bender, who lived in Leola, South Dakota. This is the nickname for the great blue heron. Another name for them is a looper. This is for their large slow wind beats. The great blue heron was the subject of many watercolor paintings by my favorite wildlife artist,…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoor columnist
    June 09, 2020
    My friend Ken Red has wildlife property in Pine County, Minnesota, where there are pheasants, wood cock, sand hill cranes, ruffed grouse and deer. I am impressed by the difference between my similar spot in southwest Minnesota and his property only 285 miles away. His game species is way more diverse than that of the grasslands in our area. One bird I really admire that’s not found here is the…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoor columnist
    May 26, 2020
    Star Herald editor Lori Sorenson recently told me her son just acquired a black Lab puppy for hunting. Most new puppies go to their new homes at seven to eight weeks of age, so that little one will be about 7 1/2 months old when he gets to use his natural instincts. I wrote a few months back about the differences between flushing breeds and pointing breeds. Today we’ll talk about how to choose a…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoor columnist
    April 28, 2020
    One of the most misunderstood wildlife habitat management practices is spring burning of grasslands. I get calls all the time, and have for the past 20 years, with folks all upset about wildlife management agencies burning all the nests of pheasants, ducks and other ground-nesting songbirds. I liken burning of grasslands to when you can finally get out in the spring when everybody rakes their…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoor columnist
    April 21, 2020
    Snow in April is just a bummer, but it is better than last year when we had over 20 inches in the month of April. The month is not over yet so we will just have to see how the weather pans out. The snow came early enough that I have no reason to believe it will have any effect on pheasant nesting or the majority of the waterfowl that are trying their best at a reproductive effort this spring.…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoor columnist
    April 14, 2020
    I have the very first gun I got when I was 11 years old. It is a lever action .22 rifle made by Browning. It looks brand new and I would never consider selling it. My dad gave it to me. Firearms are truly family heirlooms. I would never consider selling any gun I got from my dad. Buying a young hunter or shooter their very first gun is a once-in-a-lifetime event. It is one you should do well the…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoor columnist
    March 31, 2020
    There is no way to pretend that this CV-19 thing is not a big deal. I started out with more than a little suspicion, as I think many of us did. But after a talk with my daughter, Brittany Remme, a certified registered nurse anesthetist, I got the clear picture. I understand all the rules and figure that working in the outdoors by myself or with one other meets the definition of social distancing…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoor columnist
    March 24, 2020
    It was back in the spring of 2016 that I was able to participate in one of the most memorable wildlife projects of my life. Nobles County Pheasants Forever had recently purchased an 80-acre tract as an addition to Lambert Prairie Wildlife Management Area. This was only a few months after I lost my wife to breast cancer, and as a living memorial to her, I made a contribution to the habitat…
  • February 11, 2020
    To the Editor: It was with great dismay that I read Scott Rall's column, “When Choosing a Lab Puppy, Research Hip Genetics First.” This column not only suggests that hunting dogs cannot be pets, but that they are also a waste of time should they fail to perform. As an owner of both an occasional-hunting hunting dog and a rescue, I am here to inform you that they are pets first. I've…
  • By Scott Rall, guest columnist
    June 11, 2019
    Why is that sportsmen and women in general are so reluctant to speak up about conservation issues that are important to them? It is almost universal all over the county. Only when an issue is so controversial will more than the normal 2-3 percent of hunters and anglers actually get fired up and expend some energy to make their views known. It has been this way for a very long time and it is time…
  • By Scott Rall, guest columnist
    April 30, 2019
    A social media person I am not, but I do have a Facebook page and follow it every once in a while.  I saw a post from Project Upland with a video of a guy with his very first dog. The post followed him and the dog for about the first two years and illustrated how having the dog had changed him and his lifestyle. It made me think back to the first dog I had as a young adult. I have had many dogs…
  • By Scott Rall, guest columnist
    April 16, 2019
    I have three Labrador hunting dogs and one rat terrier housedog. My dogs are highly trained, and to keep them there takes ongoing attention. A great dog will turn into a so-so dog in about six months if the owner does not maintain its talents with constant and ongoing refresher training. I have been involved either directly or indirectly in the training of about 250 different hunting dogs with my…
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