JANUARY 8, 2015-- Happy 2015 all you loyal BWJ readers out there. Sorry about the long, unplanned hiatus from these blog entries. What can I say other than I prefer to spend every spare minute in the woods every fall than at the computer. I can only vow to do better now that winter has settled in and I am back at my desk full time. Michele and I spent the recent holiday period between Christmas and New Year’s out in South Dakota for our annual pheasant hunt. Despite spending over 150 days a year guiding wilderness canoeing/fishing /hunting trips, this South Dakota trip with Michele and our English Pointer , Custer, may very well be the most fun I have all year. The trip is always very cold with super-challenging, wild-flushing birds but I will never be able to get enough of that rush of adrenaline as another beautiful rooster bursts from the cattails and tests your composure and shooting skills. We filled our possession limit of 30 roosters for the 5-day hunt but the highlight was the outstanding dog work of Custer. Custer really came on as a grouse dog this fall so I was hopeful he would be able to carry that over to these super-wary SD pheasants. Over half the birds we shot were over locked-down solid points where we had to boot the bird into the air. Anyone who has hunted late season pheasants in South Dakota will tell you it takes a hell of a dog to point and hold these birds. I am so proud of Custer and really excited for the next grouse/pheasant season. The hundreds of walks we have taken on our back 40 the past four years have really paid off.
We finally got some decent snow cover in Ely- about 6 inches of powder on the ground right now. December was warm and snowless- great for the area deer herd that desperately needs a mild winter, but not so good for daughter Taryn and the Ely high school cross country ski team. It has turned cold the last few days but mid-January is typically our coldest stretch around here.
I have been busy writing/editing articles for future issues of BWJ and can only tell you that we have some our best ever stories in the works in our 28 years of publishing- so stay tuned. I am also busy setting up all my Grand Slam Guide Service trips for 2015. All of my June trips are full but I still have openings for July Quetico trips, 1 last opening for the August Sutton River brook trout trip and a couple open spots for Colorado elk archery and my BWCAW Fall Color Trip. Give me a call at 218-365-5168 if interested in joining me in 2015.