Ron Hustvedt

Ron Hustvedt is an outdoors writer and photographer who covers a broad array of experiences, individuals and events centered on hunting and fishing. He is also a professional educator. Please visit his website at www.WriteOutdoors.com.

Meet the Hudson Bay Bound women after their historic journey that continues to its next phase

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt under Adventure travel, Environment, Recreation, Minnesota History, Events Updated: September 19, 2011 - 12:04 AM

 For Ann Raiho and Natalie Warren, paddling the 1,800 miles from Fort Snelling to Hudson Bay was just one part of the journey known as “Hudson Bay Bound.”

            That phase of the journey, which lasted 85 days, ended on August 25 in York Factory, Manitoba along the shores of Hudson Bay. Raiho and Warren enter the history books as the first women to complete the journey, inspired by Eric Severeid’s book “Canoeing With the Cree” first published in 1935.
            “The end of the Hayes River was a magical experience and we are happy that we accomplished our goal,” Warren said. The journey began June 2 at Fort Snelling, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers.
            The first phase included planning the entire trip while wrapping up their senior year of college at St. Olaf in Northfield and competing in a run for the Ultimate Frisbee national title.
Arriving at York Factory at Hudson Bay

Arriving at York Factory at Hudson Bay

            “A lot of expeditioners spend months of time planning and we did all that while keeping very busy and are so glad that everything worked out,” Raiho said. “Now it’s time to share that experience with others and hopefully inspire them to take their own outdoor adventures,” Warren added.
            The trip doesn’t feel like its over because their arrival in York Factory only sparked the beginning of yet another journey. “For one thing, we took a float plane from York Factory to Gillam and then took a 36-hour train ride to return to Winnipeg where our friends from Menogyn picked us up and returned us to Grand Marais,” Raiho said.
            In early September, Raiho and Warren gave a presentation of their journey to paddlers from all over canoe country at Stone Harbor in Grand Marais. The presentation went so well, they have been asked to share their story with others. “It would be fun to do some public speaking both from a motivational speaker role and sharing what we saw from an environmental perspective—a few offers have come in and we are open to others,” Warren said.
            Warren and Raiho want to be sure that everybody who is interested attends their celebration party this Thursday at the Bloomington REI from 7 to 8:30 p.m. “We’ll tell the story of our trip including video, photos and music provided by us,” Warren said.
            There will also be an auction for a Langford Prospector canoe from Stone Harbor, the canoe they used to make their epic journey. Proceeds from the auction, in addition to the other money they raised along their trip, will be donated to the YMCA’s Camp Menogyn. “People can make donations at the event as well if they are interested and we hope that we can raise at least $10,000 for Camp Menogyn so they can provide outdoor adventures for a lot of young people,” Raiho said. 
            Those who cannot make the event are invited to check their website at www.HudsonBayBound.com for photos, video and the entire blog of their trip along the way.
            The actual canoe they paddled to Hudson Bay is not the one up for bid because of its historic value but it will be on display at Stone Harbor in Grand Marais for years to come.
Ann Raiho looks out over Hudson Bay while strumming a tune

Ann Raiho looks out over Hudson Bay while strumming a tune

            Sharing their trip with others is only part of the next phase. As recent college graduates, both Raiho and Warren are in the middle of one of life’s great journeys. T
Once January rolls around, Inver Grove Heights native Raiho will be heading to Colorado State University of Fort Collins to pursue her master’s degree in ecology.
            Warren, on the other hand, will be job searching as she travels to Madison, New York, Washington, D.C. and her hometown Miami, Florida. “I’ll be back in Minneapolis as well and would love to work here if the right opportunity presented itself,” she said.
            One of the most commonly asked questions of the pair is what they plan on doing for their next wilderness adventure. “I have a cousin who is going on a seven-week trip next summer with Camp Menogyn so I told her in 2015 she can come with Natalie and I on another trip somewhere,” Raiho said.
            Where that trip will take them is another story yet to be told. Topping their historic journey to Hudson Bay will probably not be the goal but getting out there and doing something is always better than sitting around doing nothing.
            Raiho and Warren hope that others are inspired by their journey to do just that.  

Share your fall 2011 waterfowl hunt here

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt Updated: September 11, 2011 - 9:32 PM

The members of Team Spoonbill (my duck camp)

The members of Team Spoonbill (my duck camp)

The early goose season is a few weeks old, and the early Youth Waterfowl Day has come and gone. The September 24th Minnesota waterfowl opener is rapidly approaching as are many other state openers.

I don’t know about you, but it’s an exciting time to be a fan of hunting ducks and geese and I really hope you take the opportunity to share your hunt with the world by commenting on my blog. I invite kids, first-time hunters, grizzled veterans, old men, young women and everybody else to post their favorite experience from the 2011 waterfowl season.
 
So far this season, I’ve been out goose hunting in northern Minnesota with my father and had a great hunt with four birds down. I’m looking forward to a Minnesota waterfowl opener and then a few trips out to North Dakota. I’ll be sure to post the results of my hunts but want to urge you to do the same.
 
Feel free to talk about your bag but don’t forget the great stories about the one that got away. I always love telling stories about the great retrieves my dog Maddy makes, how about your dog? Then there are the missteps, the follies and the sheer madness of duck camp.
 
Please post your story below and then post it on your Facebook, Twitter or simply send an e-mail to your friends. Invite them to post theirs as well and let’s do all that we can to tell as many stories as possible from the 2011 waterfowling season. 
 
If you happen to bag a spoonbill, pay a visit to the "Team Spoonbill" page on Facebook. Become a fan and post your photos as well. 
The Team Spoonbill logo

The Team Spoonbill logo

Make somebody's year with a simple gesture

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt under Fishing Updated: August 17, 2011 - 2:24 PM
Every fish is a trophy when the fishing is meant to bring smiles to everybody's faces

Every fish is a trophy when the fishing is meant to bring smiles to everybody's faces

Few people understand the significance of the things that they do in their lives. Little things like kind gestures and volunteering a little bit of time might seem insignificant at times but they are anything but that. Scott Roesner was reminded of that the other day when he fielded what started out as just another mid-morning phone call.
 

Any catch is a trophy but there are some true trophies caught as well

Any catch is a trophy but there are some true trophies caught as well

As chairman of the Brainerd Lakes Chapter of Fishing Has No Boundaries, his phone has been ringing a lot lately but not as much as he’d like. The chapter’s annual event is coming up on August 27th and there are not enough volunteers just yet to make the event as successful as he’d like. The phone call was from a woman who has been participating in the event for the past few years and was excited that it’s coming up.
 
She told Roesner that people need to hear what huge differences can be made in someone else's life by caring just a little bit more for someone else than ourselves. “It was one of the best phone calls I’ve ever had,” Roesner said.

 

The woman began by saying "The Fishing Has No Boundaries annual event is the number one thing I look forward to every summer.  It is so much fun!"  She then said, "It is the foundation of mental health for me.  And I think it does the same for everyone that is disabled. These sort of things are what keeps you mentally sane." 
 
Roesner said she wanted him to share her thanks to each and everyone that is involved with Fishing Has No Boundaries.  In closing, she said, "Fishing Has No Boundaries is very significant because it brings a lot of life back into our World. Thank you so much for doing that for us."
 
If you’d like to be a part of this event and this experience, please sign up today to help make this event a success. We are in dire need of boat captains and volunteers. Please go to www.BrainerdLakesFHNB.org and find the form under the volunteer tab. Print it and fill it out but don’t mail it. Time is short and it needs to be faxed to 218-828-2618 or e-mailed to Ron@WriteOutdoors.com
 
It takes a lot of people to make the event possible and more volunteers are needed to make August 27th a success this year.

It takes a lot of people to make the event possible and more volunteers are needed to make August 27th a success this year.

Something for everyone at Game Fair

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt under Children, Family, Environment, Family activities, Gear for Kids, Family, Children, Dogs, Recreation, Family Fun, Outdoors Women Updated: August 4, 2011 - 12:01 AM
The 30th annual Game Fair is worth a visit!

The 30th annual Game Fair is worth a visit!

 

The 30th annual Game Fair is only a week away and this year is looking to be another great one, if not the best one yet. Nearly two million people have visited the Game Fair over the years with about 50,000 a year for the last decade or so. Make plans to be there as the show runs from August 12-14 and 19-21. 

I’ve been attending the Game Fair every year for the past 15 years and have been helping run the show out there the past five years. It’s a great event and the hosts of Game Fair, Chuck and Loral I Delaney, are a class act who are simply amazing. The amount of time and energy they put into hosting the event is phenomenal.

Almost all of the usual fan favorites will be there this year once again and there will be plenty of new things to see as well. This includes exhibitors, dog events, shooting events, archery courses, concessions and plenty of people watching.

One of the great things about Game Fair is that it’s a full family participation event. Bring the dog on a leash and walk around one of the few venues where dogs are more than just allowed, they are invited.

Bring the kids too and have your kids bring a few friends. There are so many kid events to keep them busy and having fun. The event is centered around hunting, but I have a lot of friends who go there every year and they don’t hunt. When I ask them why they go, their answer is that it’s fun to bring the dog and their kids always beg them to go every year.

Tough to beat that!

Located just outside of Anoka on Highway 10 and Armstrong Boulevard, the Game Fair grounds are simply gorgeous. There are 80 acres of oak trees, lush grass, wetlands and a good-sized lake.

One of the benefits of working at Game Fair, that even exhibitors are aware of, is how wild the grounds are when the fair isn’t going on. During the early morning hours the ducks are on the lake, sandhill cranes usually pay a visit, deer are not an uncommon sight and a ton of different species of birds.

Oh sure, they are all close by during the fair and often are seen by the lucky ones who can pull their attention away from all the fair events. With shotgun shooting exhibitions by Tom Knapp, dogs jumping off docks and cruising through obstacle courses, informational seminars and great new products to look at, the wildlife around you can be easily missed.

Fine art and taxidermy are also found at Game Fair. I spoke with Chris Knutson of Art Barbarians in Rogers, MN and he said his booth in the Art Barn will be a busy place as usual. “We’ll have Jim Hautman here the first Saturday of the fair. Scot Storm will be hanging out every day along with Bret Longley on both Saturdays and Sundays.”

For those who don’t know, Jim Hautman is a four-time and current winner of the Federal duck stamp. He’ll be doing demonstrations and chatting with visitors to the booth. Scot Storm is a great guy who I’ve had the privilege of interviewing. He is a phenomenal wildlife artist and winner of this year’s pheasant stamp. Storm and Longley will be doing painting demonstrations as well.

Something that doesn’t get talked about enough is the charitable nature of the Delaneys. They donate a lot to various organizations in the community and non-profits in the community are invited to utilize the Game Fair as a way of fundraising.

National and state conservation organizations are also beneficiaries of the Delaneys and Game Fair. Pheasants Forever has run their “Build a Wildlife Area” fundraiser out of Game Fair since its inception nine years ago and the Delaney’s have given generously to that cause over the years.

This year Federal Ammunition’s new pink shotshells will be available for those participating in the shotgun shooting events. Buy a box and make a donation to help find a cure for cancer.

Politics are tough to escape and Game Fair is no exception. A lot of Congressional representatives and both senators have a booth at the Game Fair along with the Secretary of State’s office. The Republicans and Democrats are both there showing their support of hunting and firearms along with several unions and labor organizations.

Even though it’s an off year for elections, there will be plenty of it to see and the organization “Sportsmen for Change” might even have a forum or two for people to chat with policy makers. I covered the gubernatorial debate last year at the Game Fair and have no doubt that as close as the election was, hearing from those folks firsthand regarding conservation issues probably swayed a few voters one way or the other and decided the election.

If you have never been out there, I encourage you to attend. Stop by the Information Booth and say hello to me (Ron Hustvedt). Say hello to Ron Schara (the “other Ron”). Say hello to Raven the black lab. Say hello to Chuck and Loral I Delaney.

For all the details about Game Fair 2011 go to www.gamefair.com

I’ve left out a lot of additional features of the Game Fair partially because any good blog shouldn’t be this long! The rest of it is for you all to fill in.

What’s your favorite part of Game Fair?

What are you looking forward to?

 

 

 

 

 

Look to Wisconsin's Lake Winnebago for consistent, multispecies action

Posted by: Ron Hustvedt under Fishing, Wisconsin Updated: July 18, 2011 - 10:25 PM

Flat calm conditions are not normal on massive bodies of water like Lake Winnebago covering 137,708 acres of east-central Wisconsin. A massive body of water 30 miles long by 10 miles wide, it is a lake fed by the Wolf River and Fox River and drains north into Green Bay.

The lake is full of a wide variety of game fish and an impressive forage base—enough to keep the game fish growing large and chunky. I recently had the opportunity to fish this tremendous body of water and was impressed with all that it had to offer.

Troy Peterson was my guide for the day and a mixed bag was what I was hoping for us to pursue. A professional angler for over a decade, Peterson’s nickname is “Mr. Bluegill” because of his affinity and skill at catching massive bluegills.

“There are big bluegill in Winnebago and there are great lakes in the area but today we’re going to go after smallmouth bass and then walleye,” he told me upon meeting in the morning.

I had the option to go after whatever, but having never fished Winnebago or the area lakes, I was open to whatever he felt was best.

He came highly recommended from the Fond du Lac Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Not only did those folks help me find a guide, they also helped me find a great room and showed me around town. Their office in town is a great place to visit to learn more about the amenities in town or you can visit them online at www.fdl.com.

We started off the morning in pursuit of smallmouth bass on a large boulder field in 15 to 18 feet of water. Three and four-inch tubes were the lure of choice and it wasn’t long until we’d both caught half a dozen chunky smallies.

After a few hours chasing fat, green smallmouth bass, we headed out to the mud flats in the middle of the lake in pursuit of walleye. Like most lakes around the upper-Midwest, Winnebago is about two weeks behind schedule for typical summer patterns.

“The mud bite just got going earlier in the week and we might have a tough time out there finding them, but it’s where the walleye are going to be for next few weeks so I think we’ll do good,” Peterson said.

Wisconsin allows three lines per person so we put planer boards out, three on each side of the boat, armed with spinner rigs of varying colors and blade styles. As a native Minnesotan, I’ve only fished one line per person in the boat. I’ve run boards before, but Peterson provided me with a quick refresher and it wasn’t long until I was proficient at setting them up.

It’s a tactic that would work with multiple anglers in the boat, no matter what size boat. With six lines out and multiple doubles, we still managed to reel in fish after fish without a single tangle. It’s simply a matter of thinking three dimensionally and being able to slide rods up and down the rod holders as the fish dictate.

We caught a ton of sheepshead, a species prevalent in the Winnebago system, in addition to two limits of walleye. None were over 24-inches long but all were healthy and chunky, not to mention strong fighters (especially for walleye).

Before I left, Peterson showed me a great new baitshop in town called The Reel Shot. It features an 11,000 gallon demonstration aquarium stocked with fish and accessible to anglers for sampling lures, reels and rods.

He also extended to me an invitation to return for his favorite species to pursue, big bull bluegill which, according to Peterson, are prevalent in that portion of Wisconsin.

.

The Lake Winnebago Area

There are several cities located along the shores of the lake including Osh Kosh, Appleton and Fond du Lac. For my trip, I stayed in Fond du Lac and fell in love with the town.

I had a Hobie kayak along with for the ride and spent a few hours plying the waters along the southern end of the lake. The Supple Marsh is a beautiful series of channels surrounded by wetlands chock full of fish and birds.

Located in the middle of town, I might as well have been in the middle of nowhere. It was a great place for some solitude and peacefulness in the middle of an otherwise vibrant city.

Even though I had a great room at the Country Inn and Suites in town, and needed to be up at 4 a.m. for a morning fishing expedition, I found myself sliding through the waters of the marsh until well after sunset. I’d probably have stayed longer but the mosquitos urged me to get some sleep for the night sooner than I was ready.

Another great town on the lake is Osh Kosh, which is where I met my guide and where we set off for the day. More than just the brand name of kid’s clothing, Osh Kosh is a great city that truly embraces the lake as part of the town.

Still, Fond du Lac is my city of choice because of its unique location on the south end of the lake. There are massive beaches, numerous parks all along the shoreline, delicious restaurants, canals and river channels enough to shorefish and explore, and a great view of both the sunrise and sunset.

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