Archive for the ‘Adventure’ Category

“Moving Forward.”

Sometimes what you need in life is right around the corner – but first, you must stop and get directions.

Fat Man’s Landing, MN

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“Fear, no fear.”

We are only as strong and creative as the experiences and new opportunities that we present to our children.
I promise to give my daughter the same guided attention as my parents did I.

(A very proud father smiles today — every day:)

Fat Man’s Landing, MN

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“I’ve Seen God Paint!”

A beautiful fall day hunting.

Fat Man’s Landing, MN

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“Navigating Lock and Dam #1”

It’s 2 o’clock in the morning…I wonder what the other half of the world is doing right now?

Fat Man’s Landing, MN

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“Exercise for my eyes!”

Mushrooms gather on fallen tree.

Fat Man’s Landing, MN

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Finding Deer Antlers in Minnesota Woods

Some call it luck…I call Fate. This fall, my buddy Brian and I walked the trails hunting for grouse only to find this ivory memento of a large eight-point buck.

Congratulations! What A great find!

Fat Man’s Landing, MN


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Each year, the summer heat lifts and the first fall breeze fills my head with excitement. This is a time for hunters, near and far, to dial in their groups, rig decoys, ready their best four-legged friend and put the finishing touches on the gear. Yes! This is a magical time — when we reflect on seasons past and prepare with anticipation for this years harvest.

With the 2011 hunting season upon us, there’s no better time then RIGHT NOW to start setting goals.

Having yearly goals is a great way to achieve success.

The same principles translate to everyday life. When we focus on something important — something we really want to achieve and work hard towards, we truly maximize our potential. From a hunting standpoint, you’ll soon realize that by doing this, you gain much more from the experiencee of planning. Before you know it — your skills, knowledge and overall enjoyment of the outdoors has also increased!

The goals you set — whether it’s herd management, shot proficiency, gaining greater knowledge or simply forming a better attitude; the fact is…it makes you a better hunter! The next step is to recognize what’s realistic (especially with the amount of time you have to invest with each goal).

For as long as I can remember, I’ve set goals for each season. Because I have new goals, I’ve matured as a hunter and a man. I remember some of my earliest goals: “Shoot my first grouse” or “hear a buck grunt.” Even as a bright-eyed youngster, I became less concerned with killing the buck I saw chasing a doe, but rather —  THRILLED with seeing the whole experience! I realized that it isn’t so much about the destination, as it is the journey getting there.

There are many ways to measure success. If you fall short of reaching your goal — what matters most is the experience you gain and lessons learned in the process. It will certainly give you a sense of accomplishment and a better outlook on what it means to “pursue game.”

Whether you enjoy chasing fur, fins or feathers — start setting seasonal goals and before-long, you’ll start to experience what I like to call, “Increased Hunting Success!”

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“Best Fish Fry I’ve Ever Had!”

After a weekend of catching monster sunnies — the whole family sat down to enjoy a world-class Fourth of July fish fry and fireworks!

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As I formulate my thoughts about Earth Day — I’m drawn to memories and the enjoyment of a campfire. Sitting by a campfire you may have experience many of these same sights, sounds and feelings:

  • Feeling the heat against your legs and face
  • Watching sparks dance against a night sky
  • And listening to the fire crackle and hiss with burning embers

Not only is fire essential for the survival of many plants and animals, but for our own life as well. Below is a list of uses fire has given us.

Fire provides:

  • Warmth
  • Cooking
  • Water purification
  • Cauterizing wounds
  • Removing Seeds from chaff
  • Melting hardened substances
  • Dry our clothes
  • Communicate at a distance
  • Food preservation
  • Repel insects
  • Seeing in the dark
  • Keeping animals out of camp
  • Security

Of course, the list goes on, but I want to bring to attention what truly happens when we experience a campfire.

Centuries ago — Neanderthal’s would huddled around a fire to keep warm and most likely shared stories of that days events. It brought light when it was needed and time for bonding.

Today, families enjoy campfires for many these same reasons. We gather around a campfire, share tales, sing songs and dine on hotdogs and laugh over burnt marshmallows. Many families have made campfires a tradition.

Campfires creates memorable moments everyone will cherish. Once the fire gets roaring and everyone settles in with their favorite beverage — listen to the stories and be sure to include your own. You can spice things up with a few creative ideas such as:

  • Everyone writes one topic and throws it into a hat; the first person starts off by drawing one slip from the hat and begins a story using their topic. Once you get to a stopping point, pass the hat to the next person — again, draw one subject and continue the story and so on…

I clearly remember camping and sitting by the campfire as a kid and I’ll make sure my daughter has similar memories to share with her family someday.

From Fat Man’s Landing…sitting around a campfire…Celebrating Earth Day.

Recipe reprinted from Allthingshearandhome.com

The word S’more came from the fact that when your mouth is full of marshmallow, melted chocolate and graham cracker and it taste so good you can’t wait to have another, so you say — “Can I have S’more (some more)!”

Warm Toasted Marshmallow Malted Milk S’mores!

  • 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 Cup Malted Milk Powder
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 3 cups milk chocolate chips (18 oz)
  • 4 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir together cookie mix, crumbs and malted milk powder. Stir in melted butter until soft dough forms. Press into ungreased 13×9-inch pan.
  2. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until set. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt. Spread chocolate evenly over crust.
  3. Set oven control to broil. Sprinkle marshmallows over melted chocolate. Broil with top 4 to 5 inches from heat 20 to 30 seconds or until marshmallows are toasted. (Watch closely; marshmallows will brown quickly.) Cool 10 minutes. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Serve warm. Store any remaining bars tightly covered.

Super easy my friends and really yummy!

“If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,

A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire.

For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in! Come in!”
~ Shel Silverstein

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Come visit Twin Cities Outdoor Adventures Group (TCOA) new site. It’s the best way to connect with other outdoor enthusiasts!

Located in the heart of the Twin Cities Metro area, TCOA consists of a growing number of outdoor enthusiasts who thrive on sharing new experiences, while building camaraderie with others who also appreciate the great outdoors.

Get Off the Couch

If it’s exercise you’re after…come breath in the fresh, clean air and feel rejuvenated. Join us in planning fun-filled activities such as hiking, biking, camping and many other exhilarating outdoor pleasures.

Outdoor Learning Activities

If you’re interested in knowing more about the outdoors…growing TCOA connections in the community have led to a plethora of learning opportunities, including how-to camping seminars, wildlife identification field trips, local geocaching events and more.

The Right Gear

Having the proper equipment is essential to every safe, successful outdoor experience. If you’re a little low in the outdoor gear department, don’t worry. TCOA’s 1000-plus membership allows us to pool our efforts, so participants have access to the appropriate equipment for their event. Additionally, local sponsors offer informative seminars highlighting equipment, tips and techniques to further ensure that our outings proceed as planned.

Community-Grown Success Starts with our Members
As the foundation of our growth and success, TCOA members are committed individuals who generously share knowledge, volunteer and help plan outdoor activities while engaging others to do the same.

Join us in pursuing our mutual passion for the outdoors! FREE! Join TODAY!

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An elderly couple emerges from their home after a long winter
and are now being pulled by a new presence and their dog.

Another neighbor reaches high from a step-ladder
to hang a basketball net. All these messages tell me it’s spring!

Buckets hang on the side of maple trees, my ears drum
and my eyes focus on a glistening drip and I feel in sync with nature.

Soon the bounce of a basketball beats in unison with running sap.

The glow of a blue flame and the hiss of gas
becomes a burning light as the show begins!

Clouds of steam begin to rise from the pot,
swirling like a tornado after a old maple grove.

The smell — like melting cotton candy and the rush of hot steam
lifts the winters chill from around my head,
as it passes through my nose and into my brain.
The transmission my soul receives is that this is
one of natures best gifts.

As I stand over the pot, feeling the steam massage my face,
I begin to wonder? Would someone ever pay to sit
in a bath of maple syrup? I suppose someone already has —

Today, I will simply bathe in the enjoyment
of making homemade maple syrup
and will savor this experience,
while eating Sunday waffles with
family and friends.

© Copyright 2011 FML Outdoors, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Nature finds me every year — when the water drips from my roof, the brown breast of a Robin magically appears outside my window and my curiosity turns to homemade Maple Syrup and scouring the WEB for Maple Syrup Tours and where to buy tapping equipment.

March is the time when words like, “sugar bush, spile and sugar maple begin to flow through the minds of experienced and want-to-be tappers. This weekend I visited the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum for their Annual Pancake Brunch & Maple Syrup Tour. It was a beautiful day, with many adventurers and families looking to explore and enjoy the taste of real maple syrup — poured over stacks of hot pancakes.

For me — the beginning of each season is like the opening preview to a great movie and waiting is summers performance. Until then, I will smack my lips, and watch, as I savor syrup made from my own maple trees.

Note: If you’ve never seen maple trees tapped or how sap is drawn and boiled to make syrup, I suggest you visit one of the many Twin Cities Maple Syrup Events held this time of year.
Shop for a personalized gift at Zazzle.

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It’s January and I say it’s never to late or to soon to “Think Spring” even though the St. Paul Winter Carnival Medallion is right around the corner! Finding those spring crappies and planning your next summer vacation starts at home. Now!

While on the Minnesota’s DNR Web site, I found some very good information.
If you’re not familiar with Public Recreation Information Maps (PRIM) or the Recreation Compass (An interactive mapping tool) I strongly suggest you get to know these tools. Listed are all 51 areas of Minnesota and the land available for sale from the DNR. Also valuable when planning a fishing trip are the sporting goods shops along the way and map stores to order large prints of your favorite lake.

For more maps: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/prim.html

For lakes check out: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/index.html

When you select DNR data — from hunting regulations to historical items or restoring shoreline, you can create customized maps. At the Minnesota’s DNR website it can be used to browse or find a lake and good structure to fish quickly. Shortcut tools enable you to find a particular lake, city or park fast. More maps can be found at ToMO (Tons of Maps Online): http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/tomo.html

Another great document to have on hand is the Minnesota State Forests at: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/state_forests/sft00046.pdf

For ariel photos go to: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/airphotos/index.html

Ultimately, if you can’t find what you are looking for, call the DNR information hotline at 1-888-MINNDNR or 651-296-6157 in metro. Another option is to email them at info.dnr@state.mn.us. They have always responded to all my questions.

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“Happy Thanksgiving!”

On behalf of the entire FML Prostaff, wishing save travels and bountiful harvest
on this glorious day!

FML Outdoors picture of the Day

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“A friendly visit – Hello.”

I don’t know what changed this year…but usually every deer season a little chickadee will land on my hat or gun. This year I had three chickadees, at different times of the day, land directly in my hand. One even rested on my thumb and proceeded to peck!

FML Outdoors picture of the Day

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