We returned from a week-long visit to our oldest son's home in Cloquet, MN, on Wednesday.
Jon and his wife, Sara, were in Paris, France, where Jon and his company received a distinguished award. We watched over our 12- and 10-year-old grandsons, who basically take care of themselves nowadays.
I took a couple of walks on Jon's rural wooded property around their home, but didn't see any deer, turkeys or grouse. There were plenty of deer droppings, but no deer to be found. In fact, Kathy and I only saw one live deer the entire trip and that was in Eau Claire on our return.
We didn't notice many dead deer on our way up to Cloquet, but saw a handful of fresh roadkills on our way home. The rut is definitely on now.
I hoped to go fishing at Ol' Tom's boathouse this weekend. That was until I looked at the current river stage... above 11 feet and not expected to go below 10 feet for several more days. Unable to reach the boathouse until the river stage reaches around 8 feet, I probably won't be able to get out to it and retrieve my fishin' poles until I can walk on the ice. What a year for fishing!!!!!!!!!!!
Meanwhile, Minnesota DNR conservation officer Tyler Ramaker, in La Crescent, responded to multiple questions and complaints about CWD and EHD last week.
Time also was spent checking waterfowl hunters for the season re-opener. Good compliance with shooting hours was observed, according to Ramaker. A diversity of dabbling ducks was checked in hunters bags with primary species being blue-winged teal, wigeon and gadwall. Diving ducks have been observed on the water, but few in hunters' bags.
Minnesota DNR conservation officer Tom Hemker, in Winona, reports a slow second duck opener due to very high river water and closed public accesses. Some hunters were able to find nontraditional areas to hunt and found some ducks.
Hemker said people are preparing for upcoming deer seasons and asking about new regulations.Until we meet, have a great day outdoors.