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This past October was a very good month for our family because my wife’s brother, Lynn Johnson, came to Minnesota from his home in Nome, Alaska. He was here from the end of September until the 2nd of November. Whenever he is here in the fall he pretty much has one thing on his mind – bow hunting for deer. He hunted with my son Brian a couple times, but mostly he was hunting with his longtime friend, Wayne.

He has a group of friends he has been bow hunting with for many years and they were able to get together a few times.

At different times he has brought back moose meat, caribou, musk ox, king crab and salmon, but when all is said and done he still likes venison the best. He loves the sports of hunting and fishing and in Alaska it’s not just a sport, but a way of life. Lynn and his wife Margaret have moved venison to the top of their favorites list when it comes to wild game. He did get a nice buck while he was home so being able to take venison back to Nome made this a very good trip.

He had brought some salmon they canned back to share with friends and family. Lynn also brought salmon fillets and at the last family get together we had before they went back we had a smorgasbord of food with everything from grilled goose steaks, rib eye steak and hot dogs. Lynn’s wife Margaret, who we call Sister, prepared baked salmon like only she can make and she topped off the meal with her made-from-scratch apple pies and caramel rolls. Yumm! It definitely wasn’t a cookout that the PETA folks would approve of.

It was good to see Lynn and Sister again and I was glad I was able to spend quite a bit of time with him on this trip. I’m sure Lynn really enjoyed it this time because he got to spend time with family.

It didn’t take Lynn long to get back into the hunting groove when he got back to Nome. I don’t think he was home more than two or three days when he started sending pictures of the caribou hunt he and some friends were on. They had to drive quite a ways north of Nome during what Lynn called a “ground blizzard,” which made the road tough to navigate. There was one part of the road called Golden Gate which is about 50 miles north and almost impassible during storms. After Lynn got back to Nome he tried to contact his friend who had been behind him pulling a trailer with two four-wheelers, but he couldn’t get ahold of him. Lynn got two caribou and after he had dressed them he decided to head back up the road to see if his friend was having trouble. He found there were a few vehicles that couldn’t make it past Golden Gate but his friend did, and was headed back to Nome.

I have always thought of myself as an outdoorsman of sorts, but my brother-in-law is definitely what I would call an adventurer. He has done many things during the years he has spent in Nome that would make for good reading in an Outdoor Life or Field and Stream magazine.

Hunters register 68,401 deer during first weekend

Minnesota firearms hunters registered 68,401 deer during the first three days of firearms deer season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“Hunters are seeing more deer this year as we continue to build deer populations across much of the state,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations program manager. “We’ve issued a conservative number of antlerless deer permits, and because of this, many hunters are seeing deer they can’t shoot. However, patience this year should translate to more harvest opportunities in the future.”

Final numbers from the first three days show that the number of deer registered rose 6.3 percent from 2014. Buck harvest during the first three days of the firearms season was up 8.5 percent from last year.

The DNR is projecting the 2015 total deer harvest to be between 140,000 to 155,000 deer. The 2014 total harvest after last year’s conservative season was just over 139,000.

In much of Minnesota, the deer season continued through Sunday, Nov. 15. Additional deer will be harvested during the northern rifle zone season, which continues through Sunday, Nov. 22; the late southeastern season, which runs Saturday, Nov. 21, through Sunday, Nov. 29; and the muzzleloader season, which begins Saturday, Nov. 28, and continues through Sunday, Dec. 13.

Until next time, with winter just around the corner so take advantage of the weather and get outdoors to enjoy what nature has to offer...

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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