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A couple weeks ago I was able to spend time at our cabin with family and I have to say I enjoyed every moment of that. I have enjoyed spending quite a bit of time at the cabin this year starting this past spring and finishing up just a couple of weeks ago. Some of that time was “alone time” with just myself and the critters, which at times can be very enjoyable.

There were times when I almost felt that the phrase “getting away from it all” was coined just for me. I really enjoy spending time at the cabin fishing with friends, my wife, sons or grandkids, but there are those special times when being at the cabin with no agenda and no clock to watch can be great. You wake up in the morning and have no plan. Maybe you decide to go fishing or maybe you just sit on the deck looking out over the lake all the while watching the birds feeding busily at the feeders. I am actually more active when I am up there because I can always think of things that need to be done, but I can peck away at them at my own pace.

Fall and spring are extra special because the weather is usually plenty cool and the fire in the woodstove makes the cabin feel nice and cozy. There is nothing better than sitting in that cozy cabin with a nice fire burning in the woodstove. I read more when I am at the cabin by myself than I do at any other time. Ahhh…. there is nothing better than the peaceful tranquility of the north woods with only the sound of wind rustling through the pines, squirrels chattering busily in the trees above, an eagle soaring overhead or birds calling to each other. Then there are the sounds of the night like loons calling, raccoons chattering in the darkness and, somewhere in the forest, the sound of wolves howling can occasionally be heard. From the lake nearby you can hear the sound of bullfrogs or even hear a beaver slapping its tail on the moonlit waters. We have also seen grouse, deer, a black bear, and a badger and other critters that have yet to be identified. There are times when you visit the outhouse in the middle of the night you may hear what sounds like a large critter rustling through the trees nearby. All of this combines to make the whole experience pretty special and if you throw in just a little bit of the unknown, it’s actually pretty exciting.

After our last visit to the cabin I returned home to face reality. We must have more dogs in our neighborhood than most. It seems like when one quits barking another one chimes in to take its place. One of my first nights back home from the cabin, a nearby neighbor put his dog out in the yard and headed to his night job. It is a large dog that starts barking as soon as its front paw hits the yard and doesn’t stop until it gets let back inside. It barked nonstop until almost 3 a.m. when a police officer arrived to check it out after receiving a call from someone other than me. Finally I was able to get a couple of hours of sleep before I had to get up for the day. The following weekend someone around the corner from us was having a big party, which I usually wouldn’t have a problem with, but to still be yelling and hooting and hollering at 3 in the morning is a little much. This is about the time I really started to long for those peaceful tranquil nights I enjoy at the cabin.


Mille Lacs ice anglers allowed to keep 1 walleye, 5 northern

Anglers may keep one walleye between 18 and 20 inches or one longer than 28 inches when ice fishing begins on Mille Lacs Lake this winter. 

The winter walleye regulation goes into effect on Tuesday, Dec. 1, and extends through Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources decision reflects the Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee’s desire to keep winter fishing open all season.

“The clear consensus among committee members was to implement a conservative regulation allowing fishing to continue throughout the winter without the risk of closure,” said Don Pereira, DNR fisheries chief. “We believe this regulation meets that criteria.”

If winter walleye harvest approaches the established cap, catch-and-release will be implemented so angling can continue. The DNR made the decision after considering three regulation options it presented for committee discussion on Wednesday, Oct. 21, in Garrison. Discussion among committee members provided the DNR with good input and positive direction, reinforcing the DNR’s belief that the regulation protecting small walleye was the wisest choice.

“The committee stressed members’ support for a conservative management strategy that helps ensure the future health of the lake,” Pereira said. “The DNR fully supports that approach.”

Consistent with the committee’s discussion, the DNR also will reduce the limit of northern pike on Mille Lacs from 10 to five, with one fish longer than 30 inches allowed. Anglers may only keep a northern longer than 30 inches if they have caught two pike shorter than 30 inches and have both in immediate possession.

The pike regulation goes into effect on Dec. 1 and continues through Sunday, March 27, 2016. Its intent is to provide anglers with additional opportunity to catch and keep fish on Mille Lacs.

Until next time, fall is a great time to be outside just enjoying the whole outdoors experience. Spending time enjoying what nature has to offer can be a very rewarding experience.

Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers because they are the reason we are able to enjoy all the freedoms that we have today.

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