After months of preparation and two days of staging vehicles, we set out on a Wednesday morning to start our Kek hike in glorious, cool, sunny weather. After hiking all summer in the heat, humidity, and bugs of central Minnesota, this was a very welcome relief. Our first day was the most amb…

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Hunters in the 213 and 273 area blocks are being asked this year to voluntarily submit samples of their deer for chronic wasting disease testing. One case of CWD was detected late in 2019 at a deer farm in Douglas County prompting the Department of Natural Resources to set up a surveillance …

Fall is a great time to be on the water!  The weather is often pleasant, the lakes usually aren’t crowded and the fish bite.  When chasing walleyes, fall anglers often head to the lake armed with a supply of minnows, jigs and live bait rigs and “go to work.” And, for good reason, as jigging …

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The Kekekabic Trail (Kek) is a 40-mile trail that goes between Snowbank Lake east of Ely to the Gunflint Trail northwest of Grand Marais. Most of it is within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) so it requires a permit for overnight hiking. I am not a backpacker so the Kek was n…

There was once a young hunter who lucked into acquiring a very good dog many years ago. He knew what pheasants were and which kind were legal to shoot but not much more. Like the young woman he  married two months before, this was a gift he did not really deserve.

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In “North Country” few outings are so fair as on a warm day in late September and early October. One season is ending and another is beginning.  The North Woods are expressing their grandeur and draw people to view spectacular colored maples, oak, birch, and aspens.  Paired with that and she…

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Recently, a partner and I fished a bass tournament on the Le Homme Dieu Chain of Lakes in Alexandria.  This was my first bass tournament in several years and, even though I’ve been an avid bass angler for more than two decades, it once again served as a good reminder that every fishing trip …

Ferber Park is full of surprises. City parks are normally tame ordinary affairs. They feature comfortable green benches positioned to give tranquil views of local natural wonders. Curved walking paths, manicured green lawns, peaceful lake views, and impressive historical statues are the norm…

When my brother and I were kids we used to pretend we were our dad while he was up North hunting deer. His party would head for a town called Kelliher and stay in an old city bus they had remodeled. 

I headed to northwest South Dakota recently for my annual archery pronghorn antelope hunt.  I’ve hunted the last several years with Ryan Routier and Routier Outfitting.  I had two simple goals: get some much needed relaxation in an antelope blind after a busy summer and, second, to harvest a…



My Instagram account is connected to the National Parks account. Amazing pictures scroll by exalting the majesty of the natural wonders in the USA. Adventures await me if only I dare travel during the pandemic. Then the images of the Arches National Park click by. Photos of natural sandstone…

A crankbait is a lure that gets more play in my boat starting in September and continuing into late fall.  In fact, as the water cools and the weeds start to die, a crankbait is often my “go-to” largemouth bass bait for putting both numbers and larger-sized bass in the boat!

Glendalough State Park and the Battle Lake area continue to draw visitors at an increasing rate due in part to the popularity of the Glendalough Trail and will likely continue based upon park developments.

State House Rep. Bud Nornes recently announced that he will not seek reelection in 2020 after 12 terms and 23 years representing constituents of Otter Tail County. 

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During a pontoon boat ride Aug. 15 on Long Lake north of Fergus Falls with his wife, daughter and parents, Dan Moen found himself doing one of Minnesota’s state birds a big favor.

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One of the advantages of traveling by foot on the North Country Trail (NCT) is the opportunity to observe the incredible animal and bird life along it. Lately, I have had several memorable encounters that left me smiling long after I got back home after a hike so I will recount a few of them.

August is one of my favorite fishing months because, for a variety of reasons, I get to spend more time fishing largemouth bass than during any other time.  And, I truly love chasing “green fish” and the challenges they present.

As the days cooled in late summer a buddy of mine could always be counted on to utter the words, “I’ve got the itch to go hunting.”

One advantage of staying close to home during the COVID-19 pandemic is discovering outdoor treasures right here in Fergus Falls. I know about the riverwalk downtown and the Central Lakes Trail (CLT) heading south out of town and of course the various parks within the city limits, but the One…

Spring is a time when shallow fish and cold water often mean methodical presentations designed to tempt fish that may be a bit lethargic into biting.  During summer, however, faster presentations that trigger aggressive, reactionary strikes are often more effective.

It’s been a few years since we have written any articles for the Blue Blazes column so I thought I would take this chance to remind you what the North Country Trail is all about. It is our hope that by sharing our experiences and information some of you will be moved to join our efforts to b…

The state’s requirement that most of us must wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 strikes me in two different ways. First, it’s a good idea if you want to prove you are doing “something.” Second, it is not a magic bullet.

Volunteers from across Minnesota are needed on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020 to participate in a statewide search for starry stonewort, one of Minnesota’s newest aquatic invasive species. Hundreds of volunteers will gather at local training sites to learn how to identify starry stonewort and other…

 Mac Berg , 9, of Arden Hills caught these two 25- and 26-inch walleyes on Lake of the Woods while fishing with his grandparents Scott and Lisa Brummer of Fergus Falls.

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The Ned rig technique involving fishing a small plastic bait on a small jig when chasing bass.  Here in the northern reaches of the country, we have been using plastic worms of various shapes on small jig heads for years when casting to bass that live on the deep weedlines of many lakes.  “J…

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Outdoor enthusiasts looking to spend time in some of Fergus Falls’ parks may want to reconsider a trip to Barefoot Park, located at the end of St. Andrew’s Street by Quality Toyota, alongside the Otter Tail River. With demolition and cleanup underway at the Mid-Am Dairy property park mainten…

June can be a great time to catch walleye.  The fish have fully recovered from the spawn and are “on the feed” meaning finding fish is usually the key to catching them.  Here are some tips for finding, and then catching, the oft-aggressive walleye of June!

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Like many other events planned for the area in 2020, the Fergus Falls Fish and Game Club regrets that it has decided to cancel its 100th anniversary celebration scheduled for the Bigwood Event Center later this August.  With so many uncertainties going forward the club’s board of directors m…

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Early summer is a great time of year to chase largemouth bass.  Many fish are now recovered from the spawn and are feeding aggressively.  And, many are still roaming shallow to mid-depth waters and can be caught throwing a swim jig, which just happens to be a favorite “bassin’ ” presentation…

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Early summer is a great time of year to chase largemouth bass.  Many fish are now recovered from the spawn and are feeding aggressively.  And, many are still roaming shallow to mid-depth waters and can be caught throwing a swim jig, which just happens to be a favorite “bassin’ ” presentation…

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will reopen campgrounds at state parks, state forests and recreation areas in a phased approach beginning June 1. Gov. Tim Walz announced that public and private campgrounds may reopen beginning June 1, if they create a preparedness plan and foll…

If was a long winter and even longer spring as many have spent the past several weeks social distancing!  Now, however, our governor has told us to get outside and go fishing, while still being safe.  So, we best heed that advice!

I had a high school journalism instructor who had grown up in northern Minnesota and had lived around timberwolves. One day he started talking to the class about wolves and what they were really like. He was not kind to them but when he got done we all knew he had not been talking through his hat.

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Lakes across the Midwest are ice free and warming and that means crappies are spending more and more time shallow.  These scrappy panfish are in those shallows looking for food meaning they can provide some of the year’s fastest open-water fishing action!

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Fishing opener is a Minnesota rite of springtime, and this Saturday’s kickoff of fishing for walleye, bass, trout in lakes, and northern pike will have anglers on the water to wet a line, reconnect with nature and benefit from time spent outdoors.

The 2020 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener celebration has been postponed until May 13-15, 2021. With that, the local planning committee announced the drawing for the Lund Boat raffle has been moved to May 8, 2021. The good news is people can still win the same brand-new Lund boat and the …

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Recently, we filmed a late winter crappie fishing episode for “Fishing the Midwest” TV.  Our goal was to catch crappies 12 inches long and bigger and one of the modifications we made to reach that goal was fishing jigging spoons rather than smaller jigs.