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EARLY SEASON BASS TIPS AND TRICKS FOR BAITING THE BIG BASS ONE EARLY SEASON TIPS AND TRICKS FOR BAITING THE BIG ONE BLUEBIRDS ALL ABOUT BRAINERD’S BLUEBIRDS NATIVE BIRD ALL ABOUT SPECIES BRAINERD’S NATIVE BIRD SPECIES

WHAT’S MY LINE? WHAT’S MY LINE? MATCHING THE RIGHT LINE TO FISHING CONDITIONS


CONTENTS SPRING 2013

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5 Early Season Bass Tips and tricks for baiting and tacking the big one.

14 What’s My Line? Matching the right line to fishing conditions

22 Parading Here Comes theSpring Byway The area’s Brainerd best area keptgladly secret, welcomes on display the in the spring Spring. back.

8 Fishing Guides Share Snapshots from the Banks The history of fishing in the Brainerd Lakes area.

18 The Dating Game During Spring, finding a mate is the priority for birds.

24 Bluebirds All about Brainerd’s native bird species.

20 Brainerd Lake Area Springtime Crappies The highly anticipated Crappie fishing season is about to begin!

26 Wild Stories Excerpts from conservation officer’s weekly reports.

12 No More ‘Pouting On the Leech Lake this Spring Now it’s all about Walleyes in the booming fishery.

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PUBLISHER LISA HENRY

MARKETING MAX ERICSON

24 MAGAZINE LAYOUT ANDREW GOBLESON

AD DESIGN JENNIFER WENTZEL

SALES SAL A BOGENSCHMIT SARES SARA BOGENSCHMIT

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ONLINE SALES PHIL SEIHEL

BRAINERD DISPATCH

BRAINERD DISPATCH www.braineredoutdoors.com

www.braineredoutdoors.com

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SPRING 2013


here comes

spring

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here comes

Spring Spring seems to have a reputation of its own amongst the seasons of the year.

Almost always it evolves around the renewal and rebirth of our earth. For way back last fall, before the earth shed its fading summer colors and the cold winds of winter cameforth to put the flora and fauna to sleep — and encapsulate us all in ice and snow — the seeds for this year’s summer scene were sown. Not only in and on this earth, but also in the warm wombs of a great many animals, that they might replenish themselves and propagate their species. Mother Nature knows there is only one season for birth in the wild. It’s a season that supplies food for those young, emerging babies and gentle rains with ample warm sunshine to nurture plants. One that only happens in springtime and it happens best right here. Even the birds that flew thousands of

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miles to escape the rigors of winter come back knowing this is where they need to nest and raise their young. But beyond all that, something called spring fever happens in the minds of people who have long endured whatever winter had to throw at them. Then, as if on cue, this rebirth comes to fruition. Nowhere is it more prominent than here in the lakes’ country. For nature abounds here and it is such an integral part of life in this land and it’s no accident this place was chosen to showcase it all. No accident at all that this is where it all seems to come together like clockwork. Where streams, freshened with melting snow and ice, team with fish looking to spawn; and the sky above is filled with birds looking for a place to

SPRING 2013

nest. Musty burrows and dens are abandoned and creatures that lay forgotten and napping for months now stretch their legs and show off their tiny replicas that were born in the springtime. I remember being in school, in the springtime, and how hard it was to keep my mind on my studies. How I would go to the pencil sharpener by the classroom window so I could smell the soft breezes that came in the open windows; how the air outside smelled like freshly turned dirt and lilac blossoms. The maple trees across the street, swelling with buds, would be wet with running sap. The playground was inviting me to a game of marbles and I could almost hear the crack of the bat on the baseball diamond.

My daydreams were a brief respite from my studies and from those dreams came a desire to leave the confi nes of that room to escape to the fields and the forest. I’m older now and I have cashed in to so many spring coupons from the book of life. I go to the go to the woods quite often. No more daydreaming at the pencil sharpener. No more trying to reinvent the wheel. Nothing on this earth compares with the beauty, the peace and serenity that are there just for the taking. For my dog Molly, my faithful companion, and me, it’s always been there for us come springtime. New sights for me, new smells for her and a new season for all of us as we walk the trails in Mother Nature’s own back yard.


“I soft breezes could smell the

that came in

the open windows;

how the air outside

smelled like

freshly turned dirt and

lilac blossoms.”

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Bluebirds Bluebirds are a favorite for many who enjoy their songs and brilliant blue color. There are three species of blue birds found in the United States. Two of them are western species, the Mountain Bluebird and the Western Bluebird. The third species is the Eastern Bluebird, which is the only one found east of the Mississippi River. Welcome, Bluebirds! The first documented Bluebird for Minnesota was by a doctor in the town of Lanesboro on March 21, 1903. The Northland Arboretum is the only Important Bird Area found in the Brainerd lakes area that provides excellent opportunities for viewing Bluebirds. The Eastern Bluebird migrates back to our area in March/April, with males arriv-ing fi rst. Nesting starts in April/May and they can raise two to three broods each summer. Who’se who? The males are bright blue with a chestnut colored chest and white belly. The females are very similar, but less colorful than the males. The Eastern Bluebird is about 7 inches tall with a 12-inch wingspan. They feed mostly on insects during the summer but change their diets to more fruit and seeds during the fall and winter seasons. Most of our Bluebirds do migrate to fi nd more suitable weather and a food source.

Bluebirds rarely visit bird feeders unless you provide suet or mealworms. Pitching Camp Bluebirds nest in natural tree cavities or nest boxes when provided. At one time many of them used dead trees or wooden fence posts that were commonly found around farms. Since they don’t excavate their own cavities the primary source most likely came from woodpeckers. The Bluebird population started to decline between 1930s through 1970s for several reasons; increased competition from non-native House Sparrows and Euro-pean Starlings, fence posts replacement and the removal of dead or dying trees. This caused a decline in nesting locations and habitat for them. With the lack of dead trees or wooden fence post cavities many people started placing nest boxes out, which are readily accepted by Bluebirds. One of the most popular and successful houses for Bluebirds is the “Peterson’s” Bluebird house. This design quickly became a fa-vorite after he responded back to a newspaper article about bluebirds in decline stating that his house was being used successfully. Soon after others found success with this house, which led eventually to the Minnesota Bluebird Recovery.

Move in ready! Now in Northern Minnesota there are thousands and thousands of the Peter-son style houses that are found just about every-where in suitable habitat. which is a huge contributing factor of the return of the Bluebird across its range. There are other boxes to choose from as well but the Peter-son is the most common and is often recommend. The entrance hole for the Peterson style Bluebird house is 1 3/8inch — this needs to be exact, any larger could invite unwanted house sparrows. New Neighbors You can attract Bluebirds to nest near you by providing nest boxes that are properly placed in favorable locations. Bluebirds prefer large open lawns, clearings and fi elds with short to medium height vegetation where they can fi nd insects on or near the ground. With the proper housing and placement in the right habitat Bluebirds have accepted these so-called “Bluebird trails”. These new trails have become successful that has greatly increased the num-ber of Bluebirds here and elsewhere. The number of boxes placed on a trail will depend on how much space and habitat that is available. Most of the trails that you see today are boxes that are paired at SPRING 2013

a certain distance between a second pair of boxes and so on. This pairing is usually recommended when Tree Swallows occupy the same area. In most cases the Bluebirds will use one box and the Tree Swallow will use the other as they don’t compete with each other. Build your own Box Boxes should be about 15-20 feet apart and at least 300 to 500 feet between the next pair of boxes. If the paired boxes are not properly spaced you may end up with less Bluebirds and more tree swallows because Bluebirds are territorial and will defend other Bluebirds from nesting to close. These numbers vary a little depending on what you can fi nd but having more space between the paired boxes will yield more Bluebirds. Houses should be placed where they can be easily and safely be monitored like old fi elds or large mowed areas. Once you have placed your box at the right height and location you can feed Bluebirds live food such as mealworms. Mealworms will be available in April from MN Backyard Birds. The rebar can be pounded 8-12 inches into the ground using a small sledge hammer depending on the soil.

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MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Excerpts from the Brainerd Area’s conservation officer weekly reports

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HIBBING

HUTCHINSON

Jan 4th, 2013

March 7th, 2013

CO Don Bozovsky wrote: An angler was found fishing where he claimed he had an angling license (and signed the written warning affi davit stating he had the license) tried to cover his tracks by buying the license 44 minutes after the fact. The angler apparently did not know that the license purchases are date and time stamped. Since then he has been issued a warrant and when found, he will be rewarded with a summons for no angling license and signing a false affi davit.

CO Jen Mueller wrote: Crappies appeared to be bitingwell in the early evening till just after sundown judging by the numbers of nice size fish in the pails. One couple boasted that it didn’t take them long before they were almost at their limit, it was then noticed they had two extralines down. The couples were forced to release any live specimine and Enforcement action was taken on the fishing with extra lines including written citations and a scheduled court date.

TOFTE

GLENWOOD

Feb 17th, 2013 Colonel Tomas Wahlstrom. A few snowmobilers rode illegally down the road, on the wrong side, and almost collided with the Game Wardens patrol vehicle.

March 1st, 2013 Dan Baumbarger finished investigating a northern pike over-limit case which resulted in the violator being in possession of 28 northern pike over his limit.

STAPLES

ALEXANDRIA

Colonel Jefffery Halverson handled a TIP call that a fisherman placed a large musky looking fish in the trunk of a car.Subsequent investigation revealed it to be an illegal length northern (34 inches) that was hid under the spare tire cover in the trunk of the perp’s car.

CO Mitch Lawler wrote while working on Lake Mary,Lawler came across an individual ice fishing who had an outstanding warrant. The individual was arresed and transported by snowmobile to the lake access where sheriff’s deputies were waiting to transport to jail.

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WHERE YOU’D RATHER BE.

BRAINERD DISPATCH

BRAINERD DISPATCH brainerdoutdoors.com

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