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Local Columns

A letter from Mississippi

The mailman recently brought a letter from a lady who lives in Jackson, Mississippi. This was surprising for two reasons. First of all, I’m pretty sure that I don’t know anyone from Mississippi. Second, who still writes actual letters on actual paper? This practice, were it to take hold, ...

Your place of peace

Many of us are finding some peace either in our backyards or by walking in a park. In today’s anxiety-filled society, there’s a sincere need to find your quiet spot — your spot of serenity. It’s important to have your alone time to solve issues, relax, find humor, let something go ...

Make it a mentorship

The recruitment, retainment and reactivation (R3) efforts underway across the hunting and fishing world are notable, monumental and ultimately important to the future of the outdoors and conservation. States across the map have created special youth hunting weekends ahead of the general openers ...

A tale of two state forests

For our outdoors excursions, Ross and I decided to branch out into Minnesota’s state forests. The kicker is that the closest state forest to us is two-and-a-half hours away. But in our quest to try something different led us to two state forests in the past couple of Saturdays. Both of them ...

A beer

What difference does a beer make in one’s life? Allow me to relate a story centered around the sharing of a beer. For quite sometime, my neighbor and I have always ended our conversations by saying we need to share a beer together. But, life kept getting in the way and that sharing ...

Larry the lumber guy

I have known Larry Ust since forever. Larry grew up on a neighborhood farm, coached 4-H softball for our two sons and delivered our mail for 25 years. “I would still be a mail carrier if I hadn’t broken my arm and suffered some nerve damage,” Larry told me recently. “I really enjoyed ...

Summer slabs

Whether tucked in along a late summer weedline, pinned up against a steep break along a shoreline channel edge, or suspended off a pile of debris behind a bridge piling picking off the bits of food that flow by, many of my late summer angling adventures have been defined by schools of crappies ...

Three bright planets this August and a reliable meteor shower!

The big highlight for August stargazing is the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. It’s one of the best of the year as our world crosses into a dense debris trail left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle that last passed through this part of the solar system back in 1992. The Perseids get going the first ...

Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area

Since the latter part of May, Ross and I have been getting together for what I call “social distance” outings. He lives in Wood Lake, and I live in Marshall, so during the stay-at-home order, we took that seriously. We didn’t see each other in person for two months. It was OK, we just ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: Can a vehicle with a Minnesota collector plate be driven legally in other states? Answer: The general rule is states honor the registered vehicle and registration laws from the state the vehicle is registered. So as long as you’re legal in Minnesota you will be fine on your ...

Books and Beyond

The title of the last chapter in “The Ragman’s Son” is “Thanksgiving.” It’s 1987, and Kirk Douglas has been working on his 500-page autobiography for about a year. He begins the book by telling us about his mother and father, who didn’t learn to read. Kirk has taught me to ...

Balance

Because of two early learned lessons, I realized the value of balance quite early in life. First, I learned to balance work and play — an attribute owed to my parents. Farm life was mostly hard physical labor and I was introduced to the balance of break time and work time. Yes, we worked ...

A win when we needed it

The passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, a bill which would provide permanent funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) through royalties generated by offshore drilling in federal waters around the United States, represents a bright, optimistic light in a time of challenge ...

The new girl

The most difficult part was breaking the news to my dearly beloved. How do you tell someone that you have found another? We have been together for decades. I can hardly remember a time when she wasn’t part of my life. But the heart wants what the heart wants. My new love interest was ...

Once in a lifetime

I just had an experience of a lifetime! For the past few weeks, we’ve been reading about a recently discovered comet that would fly by the earth, and, if looking in the correct area of the sky, one could see it. What really makes it interesting is the fact the comet only comes by the earth ...

Food waste

22% of the waste that goes into the Lyon County Landfill is food waste. While it is easy to compact food waste once it gets into the landfill, there is more to the story. So, first, what are we wasting when it comes to food waste? A recent survey of the Lyon County Landfill this past spring ...

Practice makes perfectly OK

There are few hunters that I envy. Content with the options I have close to home for the limited species I pursue each fall with the time I can muster, I enjoy the success and adventures of my friends and relish hearing their stories from far off places or lucky tag draws when we meet up for a ...

Comet NEOWISE is the real deal!

Over the last several years there have been forecasts of bright comets coming. In fact some predictions went way over the top with promises like; “Comet of the Century this Month!” or “Comet Coming Visible in Daylight!” Even this year there have been two false alarms for potential ...

A Covid wedding

For thousands of years, we humans have celebrated weddings with sacred ceremonies, solemn vows, and DJ music that’s loud enough to curl your shoelaces. So, mankind knows how to do weddings. But how do you pull off a wedding in the midst of a pandemic? This is a question that has presented ...

I want to help

Over the years, I’ve been blessed. What does that mean to you? The Italians have a phrase I like to blend into the word blessing, and it’s “Sempre Avanti!” It means Always Forward! Of course, all of us have our own definition of what being blessed means to us. For many, it means a ...