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the outdoors

  • 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
    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, 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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