Jake Pfeifer is a reporter and outdoors editor for RiverTown Multimedia. Previously, he worked at Detroit Lakes Newspapers.
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For most people, fishing is a hobby or even a way of life, but for Red Wing resident Eric Olson, it’s also his profession. It’s that expertise that led the pro angler to a second-place finish as Angler of the Year for the National Walleye Tour. Passion is what drew Olson to the sport. He said he often went up to International Falls for two-week vacations with his mom and dad.
An undeserving reputation has surrounded Midwestern bats thanks to their tropical cousins that feed on the blood of livestock and wildlife. Of course, the bats of Minnesota and Wisconsin don't share that trait, but that doesn't mean the average person enjoys their company.
Minnesota's state bird, the common loon, is considered a symbol of wilderness. Its unique call, heard day or night, signals the return of summer to the north woods and one of the region's most iconic birds. More at home in the water than on land, loons swim underwater in search of prey. At 8 to 12 pounds, the loon is larger than a duck but smaller than a goose. The bird can be easily identified with its thick neck, long black bill, red eyes, and spotty black and white summer coat. Its legs are set far back on its body, making walking on land an awkward experience.
Walking down your front steps is an uneventful activity, but when a rattlesnake impedes the path, that quickly changes. That was the case for one Red Wing family when members discovered a timber rattlesnake coiled up on their front steps June 22. It took a call to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Brittany Hauser to send the snake on its way. "It was located right in the middle of town," Hauser said. "Obviously not a common place for a rattlesnake." She speculated that the snake hitched a ride with a harvest or grain truck.
Forty years. A lot can happen in that time. For some people, it can mean seemingly endless mortgage debt has finally been paid off. To the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, it means giving recognition to one of its longest tenured volunteers. Red Wing native Larry Perkins recently received that honor by accepting a 40-year service award from the DNR as a volunteer snowmobile safety instructor.
The Red Wing trap team proved that no stage is too big —including the world's largest trapshooting tournament. The annual tournament held June 12-20 in Alexandria, Minn., provided a chance for the Red Wing team to go up against the best in the state in one central location, and the team was up to the task. "We weren't far off from qualifying for the elite state meet," head coach Scott Kosek said. "The top four teams sent a squad to state and 463 was the cut-off to advance the whole team, Red Wing had 451."
The Red Wing trap team, now in its second year, is set to depart Wednesday, June 14, for the world's largest trapshooting tournament in Alexandria, Minn. The moniker "world's largest tournament" seems to fit well for the state's fastest growing sport. More than 10,000 student-athletes are registered in state leagues, a number bound to continue growing. The same can be said for Red Wing's team, which has grown its membership to 40 this year, including four girls.
A herd of bison stampeded onto the prairie during Belwin Conservancy's bison release Saturday, May 20. The annual event is in its ninth year and has gained popularity over time according to Belwin's executive director, Nancy Kafka. "Around 250 people came the first year," she said. "Last year we were over 1,000." Kafka said one of the main draws to the event is its length. Being such a short event, people can stop by and see the bison get released and then come back later to see them again when the weather is optimal.
Whether it's hopping into a boat and fishing or sitting in a deer stand, turkey or duck blind, there is always something in season for a Minnesota outdoorsman. Finding time for the many outdoor activities is not always easy, but for Red Wing native Jim Isensee, retirement has opened up his availability. More importantly, at the age of 92, Isensee still enjoys getting out and doing what he loves. For example, last weekend he visited Round Lake near Amery, Isensee said. The goal: panfish
On a recent visit to Seminole Rest, located just south of Daytona Beach, Fla., on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, Don Walker came across a peculiar find — painted rocks and shells. While walking on a path at the historic site, Walker noticed his first find — an orange painted shell. "I wasn't sure what to do with it," Walker said about his discovery. Continuing on his walk, he began noticing more painted rocks.