• Cut Some Trails

    August 22, 2019 Comments (0) deer, grouse, habitat

    NOKAY LAKE TOWNSHIP, MINN. – I’ve chronicled in these pages my family’s efforts to help our land in central Minnesota, bought by my grandparents in 1964, to recover from the effects of a tornado that hit in 1973. The twister wiped out massive white and red pines and oaks and left a barren moonscape. Aspen, the

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  • Boundary Waters Passage

    August 20, 2019 Comments (0) camping, canoeing

    In the summer of 2019, I took an epic adventure to the BWCA and wrote a series of stories about it. Adventure Unfolds In this prologue to the series, see the preview video and an interactive hand-drawn map of our journey. See it HERE. Part 1: Epic Journey We set out for adventure in the million-acre …

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  • The Spirit of the Hunt

    February 7, 2019 Comments (0) Uncategorized

    I wrote a piece for the Winter 2019 edition of Pheasants Forever Journal. It’s not available online, but I encourage you to join PF, which is an outstanding conservation organization, and get yourself a copy.

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  • Shug’s World

    January 3, 2019 Comments (0) camping

    Like Pronto Pups and the largest boar, Sean Emery is a Minnesota State Fair staple. For 27 years, Emery has taken the stage twice a day at the Fair, and some families make sure to see his show ever year. It’s a quirky combination of expert juggling, gentle insults of the stoic Midwestern audience, and …

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  • Jorge, Cancer, and Me

    November 29, 2018 Comments (0) pheasant

    The first time I hunted pheasants with Jorge Vicuna, we were alongside the James River, just south of Huron, S.D. My dog and I walked along the edge of a cornfield at the top of the riverbank. Jorge and his dog sloshed through the mud at the river’s edge. As we approached a dogleg in …

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  • Duck Fest in Gackle, North Dakota

    October 22, 2018 Comments (0) waterfowl hunting

    Sometime in the late 1990s, Jay and Gary Haut of Jamestown, N.D., went to a team goose shoot in Bottineau, just south of the Canadian border. Unfortunately, geese hadn’t yet started to migrate. The hunt was a bust. But the idea got the brothers thinking. Their family roots were in Gackle, 200 miles south, known

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  • My Interview with Steven Rinella

    July 19, 2018 Comments (0) hunting

    Steven Rinella says that if it weren’t for the fun and the food, he wouldn’t hunt, but it’s hard to imagine the outdoors celebrity doing anything else. With a back-story of hunting squirrels and whitetail deer as a youth in Michigan, he burst onto the public scene in 2008 with his book, “American Buffalo: In

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  • About that Turkey

    June 13, 2018 Comments (0) turkey

    A couple months ago, I penned a story for the Star Tribune about my lack of success at hunting wild turkey, and about Aidan’s amazing success cough, luck, cough. Here’s a clip: For years, I didn’t see the allure of turkey hunting — or, to be honest, of any dogless hunting. If I couldn’t have …

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  • The Odyssey of a Loon Egg

    June 8, 2018 Comments (0) habitat, nongame wildlife

    My latest report in the Star Tribune is the saga of an unhatched loon egg from our lake last summer. (The photos, of course, are from Courtney.) Here’s how it begins: As they’ve done every year since 2003, Bob and Carole Otto approached a spring day in 2017 with the same mission. A couple of …

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  • From Forest to Fare

    November 28, 2017 Comments (2) turkey

      It’s quite a story about how this kid ended up serving a smoked wild turkey that he’d shot to the family on Thanksgiving last week. In October, I was in Vermont, visiting colleges with his older brother. We were sitting in a hotel room when my phone rang. I answered and heard Aidan, 13, …

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