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Archive for the ‘Fishing’ Category


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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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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“It’s that time!”

I love spring crappie fishing in waders!

Fat Man’s Landing, MN

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First Cast 2011

A group of Hooded-Megansers beat their wings against the water as they fly away from beneath the undergrowth. Wild Roses, Dog Wood and young saplings dip their branches into my favorite Crappie lake. Walking closer — two Grey Herons fly over the trees.

“That’s odd?” I thought to myself. “That’s kinda early to see Herons.” It’s the middle of March and all the lakes are still frozen – but not this one! Because of the heavy snow and potential of winter kill, the Minnesota DNR has underwater aerators running to keep the water open.

Sadly, looking down into the water lay thousands of pale-motionless dead fish! Only the silhouettes of shadowless bodies identify what kind of fish it was. Sunfish, Crappies and Largemouth Bass completely litter the shoreline.

What is Winter Kill?

Winter kill happens during long-harsh winters like the one we had this year. When deep snow covers shallow lakes, the lake is sealed off from the atmosphere and cannot be recharged with oxygenated air. Ice and snow reduce the amount of sunlight reaching aquatic plants, thereby reducing photosynthesis and oxygen production. Deeper Twin Cities lakes with larger oxygen levels can withstand the stress and will usually survive.

In desperation, I’ve seen shore-owners with plows and snow-throwers trying to remove the dense snow pack to allow more light to penetrate the ice.

February, is generally the most critical month. This is about how long smaller lakes can stand, as the rate of oxygen consumption increases by living aquatic organisms and depletes the supply of oxygen stored in the lake.

As I make a few cast….my memories of a great Crappie lake may be all I take home today.

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“Clubbing Outdoors”

With the Yukon loaded to-the-gills and the Beasty Boys playing, fish were soon pulling at our lines and New York strip steaks flamed over a hot grill. The air was filled with laughter and the cold night sky danced with green and purple Northern Lights.

This is my kind of night out-on-the town – swilling a few cold beverages and pickin up a few Walleyes to take home!

A blizzard came through Saturday, which really turned fishing around. My buddy Brian and I caught our limit of Walleyes and Saugers by 3:00! The other ice-house came in at a close second.

I smell a Fish-Fry!

Lake of the Woods, MN

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“The Gods Must Be Hungry!”

A special occasion centered around the enjoyment of the outdoors and to celebrate the fall harvest with friends; once again we gather to tantalize our taste buds with unique dishes — all cooked with wild game. Starting with a variety of appetizers, such as Pickled Dried Venison with Home-made Wine Cheese and Pickled Northern Pike served with Pineapple Infused Vodka. Leaving our guests guessing, we sampled (for some, their first time) Dove Pate and Pheasant White Chili. The main course was Bacon-Wrapped Venison Tenderloin served over Garlic Mash Potatoes and my own steak sauce, made from reduced stock and carmelized onions.

It only goes to show that….the Gods must have been hungry when they create wild game, because it sure is good!

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