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Along the Portage

Along the Portage is the Voyageur's outdoor news section. Here readers find year-round coverage of local hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation. Regular features include the DNR Question of the Week, and Mike Rahn's "Inside the Outdoors" column. Captivating wildlife photos by local photographers are a special addition to Along the Portage.

 

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Recent Headlines

Depth Precision = Fall Crappie

Minnesota's typical grouse hunter?

Ontario Cast and Blast

Lake Minnewawa is free of AIS

DNR announces process to revisit deer population goals in 2015

No new outdoors this week

Wild Rice not quite ready

Mandatory trapper Education Certificate

Several youth hunting opportunities offered this fall

Weekend Wrap

Another “cast & blast” weekend was spent across the border, hunting and fishing the waters of Rainy Lake. It was, however, more casting than blasting, as my partner Jeremy Taschuk and I didn’t do too well in the waterfowl category, but really put a hurt on the big crappie along with a few nice walleye.

Our first attempt to bag a few geese began with eight honkers immediately spotting us and taking flight, squawking all the way. It didn’t matter, as we would be out on the water at first light for an early morning of duck hunting.

Saturday morning came as quickly as the northwest winds were blowing. Seemingly good “duck weather” didn’t pan out.

Jer’ and I had our opportunities, but came to the conclusion that we must be the worst shots on all of Rainy Lake. A box of shells doesn’t last long under these circumstances. Laughing, we’d reload and wait for the next safe target.

We only ended up with ...

For the rest of this story and more, pick up this week's Voyageur Press.

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Fall Crappie

Recent Headlines

Minnesota's typical grouse hunter?

Ontario Cast and Blast

Lake Minnewawa is free of AIS

DNR announces process to revisit deer population goals in 2015

No new outdoors this week

Wild Rice not quite ready

Mandatory trapper Education Certificate

Several youth hunting opportunities offered this fall

Pulling for pike

Depth Precision = Fall Crappie

Fall crappie fishing has been good, with each lake providing plenty of fish of different sizes. They do, however, have one thing in common and that is most all of the lakes have fish suspended, which can make for challenging fishing at times.

When this happens, it’s crucial to place your bait right in the school or slightly above it. Here are a variety of methods to achieve this feat.

Bobbers – The simplest method would be a snap-on or slip bobber depending on depth needed. Once the proper depth is determined, all you have to do is bait up, cast out, and wait for the bite.

Bobber Stop – Placing a bobber stop for a visual aid can be a good way to go but it does have a tendency to catch on the rod guides. I’ve done this. It works but isn’t one of my favorites.

Spool Line Lock – Locking your line under the spool clip is a good way to make sure that you’re in the exact spot with each drop of the lure. I’ve done this during winter months and it works fine as long as you don’t get a big fish on and have to use the drag. That could be a huge problem. This method works great for kids ...

For the rest of this story and more, pick up this week's Voyageur Press.

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This year, spring drumming counts showed encouraging signs, increasing 34 percent from 2013

Recent Headlines

Ontario Cast and Blast

Lake Minnewawa is free of AIS

DNR announces process to revisit deer population goals in 2015

No new outdoors this week

Wild Rice not quite ready

Mandatory trapper Education Certificate

Several youth hunting opportunities offered this fall

Pulling for pike

Good fishing? It's relative

Minnesota’s typical grouse hunter?

MINNESOTA DNR— A hunter with a blaze orange cap and a shotgun keeps an eye on a dog bounding through the underbrush, trailing the scent of grouse. Bright yellow aspen leaves frame the trail. It’s a common autumn scene in Minnesota, a fitting postcard for much of the central and northern reaches of the state.

But who is the typical hunter in this picture?

A first-of-its-kind scientific survey of Minnesota grouse hunters done in 2011 by the Department of Natural Resources sheds some light on this question and other information about the habits, preferences and tendencies of the state’s nearly 100,000 grouse hunters.

In this state, a grouse hunter is most commonly college-educated, hunts in October on state forest land, and is willing to travel as far as 120 miles from home to hunt, according to the survey. To the grouse hunter, far more valuable than bagging a limit of grouse is being able to get away from the crowds and enjoy the outdoors.

The survey also shows how hunters may already be boosting local economies ...

For the rest of this story and more, pick up this week's Voyageur Press.

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