Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Better Weekend

Shotgun Red and Steve Hall
Well, anything would be better than last Sunday's outcome so i am happy to report a pretty calm weekend which included going to the Ice Fishing Show at the National Sportscenter in Blaine on Saturday with my neighbor Lory Brasel, he is really helping to take care of me!  The show was pretty good, I bought 4 things there, the most interesting thing was a Skinny Dipper for my Ice house, and new Crappie ice rod from a real nice guy that was making them himself, a new knife and a LED flashlight, I am a sucker for those things.    The guy selling the Skinney Dipper was Steve Hall, a name from the past for sure.  Steve is the creator of Shotgun Red a well know puppet on the Nashville scene and was a star on TNN, The Nashville Network and appeared on Ralph Emery's show often. It was interesting to see him selling his invention, the Skinny Dipper at the show and we quickly talked about our connection back in the early 1980's when I hunted the Skime Minnesota area with my friends Ron Edberg, Mark Mayerich, Gary Ullom, Mark and Jack Taylor. We hunted public land as well Ron had secured permission to hunt an additional 3000 acres of land adjoining the public land, it was quite interesting.  Steve Hall used to hunt the same land and would stay at a local farm, Marvin Olsen, who like a lot of locals believed he controlled the land next to his as we had a few run in's with him.  Steve ended up buying 1000 acres of our prime hunting area, even though we hunted the south side of his land and he gave us permission the first year, Marvin didn't see it that way and when he burst into out cabin in Skime and threatened to shoot us if he saw us on Steve's land again. we decided it was best to stop hunting that area.  At the show Steve and I talked about the good ol'days, and it was interesting to compare notes.  He has long since sold that land and I often wondered what happened. He continues to sell the Skinny Dipper and a bought a Green Bay Packer colored one but he did have Viking colored ones here is a link to getting them skinny Dipper It looks pretty handy and i have already put it in my ice house, it looks really good and should be a great addition to my ice house. I also bought a custom made ice rod for crappies.  Last year a bought a TURC (Tuned Up Custom Rods) and it broke right away.  This one looks alot better and I got a Black Betty 6061 reel to go with it.

Steve's nice 8 pointer
Sunday was the first Packer Viking game of the season and it comes after Green Bay  had suffered 3 consecutive losses including 1 to Detroit last weekend..uffda.  Well I didn't know if my heart and brain could take another loss but the Pack came out okay with a 30-13 win over the hapless Vikings!During the game my brother Steve texted me this picture of a nice 8 point buck that he shot his last weekend, Saturday was the start of Wisconsin deer hunting season.  I call him yesterday to see if he needed any help but in true Anderson Fashion he said no, he was doing just fine! I told him what he told me, take 3#'s of bacon and grind it with 10#'s of venison however he gave credit where that recipe came from. our dad!  Makes sense now and I am glad he told me There are a lot of deer hunting stories around and I can use them for fillers in the coming weeks seeing that ice fishing could be a little behind.  Way to go Steve!!!  Speaking of ice fishing it's time this weekend to get out my portables and get my equipment ready. Lory and I rigged a couple of nice crappie rods, the one I bought at the show, and this year I went with 2# test line, I really like how you can see the line react to a light bit, it takes some gettintg used to, like my buddy Kevin Aiona, he really has that knack.  Since last Sunday I have been taking it easy and no getting too much done around the house. That is going to have to change soon as my schedule get's pretty hectic the next few weeks, with Thanksgiving coming up, doctors appointment on the 1st,  a trip to Orlando on the 2nd, Ice fishing show on the 5th, Christmas party on the 6th with the rest for the wicked that's for sure!
oh well, I did get some what they call 303 aerospace vinyl protectant for my Ranger Boat cover, they are expensive and it really pays to put it onthe boat when I travel, I get at least 2mpg better so I found something that would help to perserve it better.

Thanksgiving is this week and I wish everyone of my followers a wonderful thansgiving, I personally have a lot to be thankful, my friends who take care of me, my family, my wife, my health (it's still pretty good!) qg=hich wasn't much affected by my stroke from last week,  my fishing partners Keith, Jeff, Bruce, Mark, Pete, and Bill. Please take some time to look around and appreciate that which you should be thankful for!!! Ok, enough, let hope next week we will be thankful for some cold weather and some good old fashion ice making we need about 3 inches for me to be comfortable!  I need to try out that new rod!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Tough Weekend

Pay Attention
Last weekend was sort of a tough one, however unlike the well deserved hard time Jeff gave me, no I didn't have a stroke to generate a topic this week because the ice fishing hasn't come through yet! That's correct, I suffered a stroke on Sunday, was in the hospital until Wednesday and I am just getting things back to normal!  Strkes scare the crap out of me, my grandpa Roy had a sroke at my age and it completeley disabled him, enough to know that IT'S SOMETHING I had dreaded.  Now 50 years later I am faced with the same.  I noticed something was wrong when I was cleaning out the pole shed to put the boat away for the winter and get out my ice fishing stuff.  I sat down to take a small rest then got up and promptly feel tight down on the floor.  No being able to get up I crawled around back to my chair and was able to get up and sit back down.  resting a bit I got on my lawmn mower to head to Tim's house to catch the rest of the game, he finally brought me home in his van when my wife took on look at me and we both verified i had not been drinking on bit, she got me in the car and we headed to the nearest emergency room at Mercy hospital where they promptly and wisely started treating me as a stroke victim and there's where I stayed until Wednesday night.  It could have been a lot worse and I certainly am high risk for a repeat performance even with the different blood thinners and anti clotting drugs I am now on.  Everyone says take it easy but often that's easier said than done. What I really need to do is drop a few pounds  and get some exercise.  That's the same thing I did in 2010 when I had my open heart surgery, I actually got down to 200 pounds, I looked as good as my brother Steve.   Anyway I have a lot of work to do.

Ice fishing Show coupon
It's been pretty slim on the ice fishing side, there is no hard water yet in the state.  I still need to get my ice fishing gear out and maybe with the help of my neighbors they can assist me in at least getting it out in the open so I can start to get rigged up.  The St. Paul Ice fishing show is December 4,5 and 6yh and is one of my favorites.  there is always something to look at and buy at the show and I am sure I can find something this year.  I have included a coupon that you should be able to print and use if your cheap like me and want to save a buck!  i have most everything I need and tend to look for the latest and greatest gadgets especially for my Salem Ice Cabin, maybe look at new panfish poles, or hopefully there might be some new reels coming out that are a little better than the existing ones out there today, we'll see.

Anyway thanks to everyone who offered well wishes to me in the last few days.  Hopefully things work out well and the hard water is upon us soon!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Deer Hunting and Stuff

Sunrise on the Stand
Last weekend was the 2015 Minnesota Deer Hunting opener.  Since 1979 I have been deer hunting with my friend Jack Taylor and the last 12 years we have hunted around his cabin on Platte Lake, which there are a few posts if you go back in the history.  Although it gets more difficult every year to get oneself out to hunt, I enjoy the comradery of getting together at  Rich's old place and hanging with the boys and this year was no different.  Brett now owns the property and there is no one that makes us feel any more welcome than he does, excluding Rich of course. As it has been for all the years I have hunted, the swamp you have to maneuver across isn't any drier now that is ever has been. Unfortunately my ability to trudge across isn't any better.  The last few years Jack and I have hunted his neighbor at the lake Loren's land, 80 acres about 10 miles down the road. It's not a bad place to hunt however it is quite surrounded by hunters, especially the neighbors that post right on his property lines to take advantage of  his open fields.  Last year he found a gut pile in his field, not that it was much of a problem but the slob left his cleaning gloves and other garbage that the coyotes don't eat on the pile.  Some people are pretty stupid.  This year I set up a tree stand on one of the corners of the field looking east.  In years past I would go up anywhere from 16 to 18 feet however I have gotten wiser in my old age and only put up 12 feet of ladder and reduced my height by half, although I am not sure falling 8 feet would be any less painful these days.  Part of the lure of
Deer Camp Deer
deer hunting is actually experiencing the outdoors at it's finest.  Looking east I could watch the sunrise each morning from my stand and it was quite a show.  If you click on the picture it should enlarge and you can see the beautiful alignment of the Moon, Venus, with Mars and Jupiter (not visible on the picture)  all in a straight line at a 45 degrees.  Except for the occasional mufflerless pickup truck roaring by the show was well worth getting up at 5:00 for.  Jack and his son Ben were in his ground blind about 200 yards from me and for both Saturday and Sunday neither one of us seen a deer.  It was really windy on Sunday morning and although the rut had began, nothing was moving around us.  That story repeated itself with the conversations that we had with some of the other hunting parties around except for Brett.  Back in the swamp he was seeing deer all over the place and both him and his son Trenton bagged a nice smaller buck and a doe on Saturday.  On Sunday afternoon I was near Brett's stand when he texted me that he had a nice doe in range and was I interested in it.  Of course....bang, it was down and I had a deer.  Brett was gracious enough to get his ATV and pull it out for me, I gutted it out and hung it up to cool (the one on the left).  With success defined as the chance to have some fresh venison this year, Jack and I left deer camp and headed home.  With the temperatures in the upper 50's we scrambled to get the deer skinned, boned and package on Monday.  I talked to my brother Steve on Tuesday and he mentioned an idea that's worth trying.  When making venison burger instead of adding pork or beef fat simply grind 3 pounds of bacon to 10 pounds of venison meat.  Man that sounds delicious and I report my findings next week.

Uncle Loren Nelson
On Friday my dear uncle Loren Nelson died at the ripe age of 87 at his home in Eau Claire.  My wife and I attended the funeral on Tuesday and it really became a true celebration of his life.  Loren and Lavonne (my dad's sister) were my Godparents and for years I was alway wondering why they were my only aunt and uncle that gave me a birthday present. One year when I was about 8 they gave me a book on pirates and for sure it was the first book anyone gave me except the bible my grandmother did.  I was fascinated by it's content about Blackbeard, Black Bart, Captain Kid and a host of others that made a definite impression on my young mind.  The best part of being related to Loren was having his children as my cousins.  Back when we were kids the big events were getting the families together and just hanging around. This is were we got very close to our cousin's that were around the same age and there was no shortage.  Loren's son's that I had the most interaction was Greg and Tom Nelson. Although Tom had left the area after college Greg settled down in Hudson, WI and it was pretty easy to find an excuse to get together.  From ice fishing to Alaska, we always found time to stay up to date on the family.  After a few years we finally got Tom up to Alaska and now he's wondering when we are going again! A few years ago Loren was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Although we had seen him a number of times at "Booger Hollar" it was difficult to stay in touch. Time flies so fast and when we got the news of his passing two things come to mind. First was wow, 87 years old, I didn't realize he was that old.  The second is the guilt associated with the fact that one hadn't seen him in the last couple of years, something we should have done.  In the end there is little one can do other than try to be better with those valuable relationships while you still have a chance.  Loren was a great guy, a fantastic uncle, and we always enjoyed each others company when we had the chance, and I'll never forget what he called be all the time..........Hey Anderson!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Weather and Procrastination

November's Temperature Forecast for Red Lake
To say that this Fall's weather has been fabulous certainly depends on your point of view.  It's the first of November and we are still in the 70's forcing a huge amount of procrastination in getting things done for the winter. Although we've had a killing frost about 3 weeks ago, the area has not seen a "hard" frost, lows down in the lower 20's yet which has left many of the leaves still on the trees.  The month of September and October were fairly dry however the last couple weeks have been quite wet with a good inch of so of rain each week.  The nice weather begs to be spent fishing on the river or maybe some crappies on the nearby lakes but unfortunately each year it seems more difficult to get everything done before winter sets in.  The sprinkler system still needs to be blown out, the potatoes are still in the ground, the boat needs a final cleaning and tucked in unless of course this weather continues to hold out.  I know I've mentioned it before but the latest we have open water fished on Lake Mille Lacs was December 6th and it looks like we are heading towards a very late freeze up this year as well.  Contrast that to last year when we were able to drive on Red Lake ice the day after Thanksgiving, November 28th,  it will be a delayed start for sure.  The long term forecast for Red Lake shows 10 degree above average temperatures meaning my early December travel schedule will probably not make any difference in my ice fishing plans. Hopefully by the second week in December it will be cold enough to get out for the weekend but that might be pushing it for sure as a few years ago we didn't get out until New Years. Looking at the forecast above shows Thanksgiving week to have highs about 40, and that's 250 miles north of the Twin Cities! The weather might be the bad news for the season but the good news is that they decided to open up Mille Lacs to ice fishing this year with a limited harvest of 1 walleye between 18 and 20 inches or 1 walleye over 28 inches.  This is more of a token effort to assist the area businesses and is welcome yet for all practical purposes the limit could be 6 walleyes in the same slot values simply because there are so little fish of this size in the lake. The good news is the lake is full of 12 - 14 inch fish and the catch and release action is promising to be fantastic.  As well it is reported that Red Lake will be changing it's current limit of 2 walleyes under 17 inches to 3 fish of which 2 must be under 17 inches and the third can be under 20 inches. The late ice will help the fish populations so we will see how the season shakes out as these regulations go into effect on December 1st.

From My Talented Uncle Jerry
So my Uncle Jerry has been at it again and shipped a special package to me this week.  I immediately know it's from him however the anticipation of what's inside the box is always special.  Upon opening the box there were 3 items that both figuratively and literally had my names on them.  The first is what looked like a hand carved statue of me after a successful day of fishing. Along with the blue eyes and my gray mustache, Uncle Jerry really captures the essence of who I am by posing me with a large fish in my left hand. The other added touches to a beautiful sculpture is the fact that my name is on the hat and if you look really close you can see my shirt is one of the Green Bay Packers and even has a GB engraved.  WOW!!!  The second thing of interest was a hand carved mouse lure packaged in a box especially made for it, complete with a sliding lid.  I know for a fact that I had one of these in that tackle box he gave me almost 50 years ago (I still have some of those baits) and it was one of his favorites when fishing down at Alma.  It's absolutely perfect and even has a leather tail.  My heart tells me to display it but my logic tells me to try and catch a fish on it as this would be the best of two worlds.  Hard water is coming soon so if I do it will have to be next year.  For sure I'd have to use braided line to make sure I didn't loose it. The third item was a nice wooden spoon and I have the perfect place for it, in my Salem Ice Cabin.  I know Jerry would scoff at the thought of putting it in the kitchen when it could much better to use while fishing, and it will be! I am extremely lucky to have an uncle that thinks so much of me, I love him dearly as he always has a special place in my heart!

Well, it's off to deer hunting and the weather is looking pretty good.  I put up a tree stand this year, not too far off the ground but high enough to get a better view of things. It will be Steak ala Kienitz on Friday night as usual and back home on Sunday night.  With the weather predictions of in the 50's again for next week it might be tempting to take the boat out one day, we'll see.  Good luck to all you Minnesota hunters!