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  • By Scott Rall, Outdoors columnist
    June 05, 2024
    I made my annual trip up to Upper Red Lake last week, and for the first time in a very long time we caught very few fish. The main reason for the dismal catch rates was the weather. We had high winds two of the three days that we tried to fish that kept us off the water. I have an old, sturdy Alumacraft boat that has been on some pretty rough water, but even for me this was just too much. We…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    May 29, 2024
    I am so glad May 15 has come and gone. This date is the deadline for many of the projects I engage in for conservation purposes. When you light prescribed grassland fires for habitat regeneration, this needs to be done by May 15.  This allows the habitat interruption to take place before the onset of the primary nesting season. The same is true for mowing newly planted CRP acres. These are…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    May 15, 2024
    When it comes to luck, mine is normally pretty sour. Even my closest friends call me the character on the “Snoopy” cartoon who has the rain cloud following him around. When my friends have bad luck, they refer to it as “the luck of the Scoot” (Scoot is my nickname). I needed to get my boat ready for the fishing opener and had about a dozen things to check on before heading out on the road. One…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    May 08, 2024
    Minnesota fishing opener is just right around the corner. This special day will have more Minnesotans out and about than any other outdoor opening day. The season opens at 12:01 on May 11. The season for pan fish stays open year-round but for walleyes and other game fish there is a regulated season in order to allow these fish to spawn unmolested. I used to be one of those folks out at midnight…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    May 01, 2024
    So, I was reminded that it was time for the tick spot and heartworm treatment for my dogs the other day when my phone chimed in and told me so. The ticks are out in full force, and in the past two very short outings, I ended up removing five ticks. I was not in the grass for more than 10 minutes combined. Maybe the mild winter will make tick season all that much more entertaining this season. I…
  • By Scot Rall, Outdoor Columnist
    April 10, 2024
    It is sure starting to feel good outside. Temperatures in my neck of the woods this weekend are going to be in the high 60s. It makes me want to go fishing. The Minnesota opener is scheduled for May 10. Time to double-check to make sure the boat registration is up to date and that the motor starts without issue. I find it perplexing how you can put your stuff away for the winter, and without one…
  • By Scott Rall, Outdoors columnist
    March 20, 2024
    I recently did a podcast with Ron Shara Productions host Travis Frank about volunteering. If you would like to listen to it, search “The Flush Podcast.” We spoke for about an hour about what motivates a person to volunteer for 40 years to the same organization. This is the length of time I have been working on behalf of Pheasants Forever. I recently was named as the first-ever Pheasants Forever…
  • By Scott Rall, Outdoors columnist
    March 13, 2024
    I spent part of the day today rounding up a few pheasants from some friends to add to mine. I am preparing my donation to the Mulligan Stew Feed hosted by the Round Lake Sportsman’s Club this weekend at Round Lake Vineyards. I just smile when I hear people tell me that they won’t eat any wild game. Each person has their own description of what “too gamey” tastes like. I eat all kinds of wild…
  • By Scot Rall, Outdoor Columnist
    February 28, 2024
    Minnesota’s Legislature is now in session, and as always there are bound to be some issues that surface when it comes to natural resources funding. When it comes to funding sources, Minnesota has done a pretty good job of protecting many of these funds from diversion to other non-related spending. The Land and Legacy amendment that was passed in 2009 was passed by a constitutional amendment to…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    January 31, 2024
    Sitting in my day job office this morning, my mind did wander a little bit anticipating the first 70-degree day of 2024. Working outside on habitat projects is about as much fun as I can have. Others like to golf or chase round ball sports. I just don’t share the same interests as many others and that is very OK. Working on habitat that is owned by the public was for a long time very difficult…
  • By Scott Rall, Outdoors columnist
    January 17, 2024
    We just had our first snow of the season, and it did not take very long to wish we had missed the snow for the entire winter. The cold temperatures expected later in the week would have gone a long way to creating safe ice for all of those ice anglers waiting on the shore. With eight inches of snow on what little ice was there, it will now delay the formation of safe ice, as the snow will act…
  • By Scot Rall, Outdoor Columnist
    January 10, 2024
    An interesting winter we’ve been having until this week. Don’t get me wrong, but I can say I totally loved it. There was no snow to shovel and holiday travel and other events had no road conditions to worry about. What this also means is that if you are a die-hard ice angler or pike spearer, there has been very little to no opportunity in the southern half of Minnesota. There is still some cool…
  • By Scott Rall, Outdoors columnist
    January 03, 2024
    By the time you read this, the 22-23 pheasant hunting season will have come to a close. My dad always used to tell me that if you want to see how fast time flies, take out a 90-day note at the bank. I will add to that with how time flies; just see how fast a 10-week pheasant season vanishes. I had a very good season, with more birds harvested this year over last. Like every year, the later into…
  • By Scott Rall, Outdoors columnist
    December 27, 2023
    So, when does an afternoon pheasant hunt turn into a nature walk? Every hunt is a nature walk, but normally at least a few of those nature walks will result in a pheasant or two in the game vest. Late season is far harder than hunting the young and dumb ones that had never been busted by a dog. There is a certain challenge in hunting last season roosters and it is a challenge I enjoy, but this…
  • By Scott Rall, Outdoors columnist
    December 20, 2023
    When is the last time someone did something really impressive and you had more fun watching than if you had done that impressive thing yourself?  It happens to me all the time in the outdoors. Watching someone harvest or catch their personal best in just about any category is pretty easy to get excited about. My son Brandon moved home from the Denver, Colorado, area about a year ago, and now I…
  • By Scott Rall, Outdoors columnist
    November 21, 2023
    Deer hunting in Minnesota is a very big deal. License sales to date for Minnesota this year total $395,000. That is a lot of guys and gals in orange spread across our great state. One great fact to remember is just how safe hunting actually is. There were a very small number of injuries this season, and most if not all of them were associated with an adult hunting with a youth during their…
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