Kevin Winkler

Born and raised in Todd County, Minn., Kevin Winkler was brought up living the life of a outdoorsman. He loves fishing and hunting and now runs a guide service. He offers fall combo fishing and hunting trips and does some photography on the side. He will talk fishing or hunting with anyone, anytime.

Practice makes perfect!

Posted by: Kevin Winkler under Family Fun Updated: September 11, 2009 - 10:10 AM
  It's that time of year again. The days are getting shorter. My maple tree in my back yard has been in full fall color for over two weeks now. As a mater of fact, I'm going to have my work cut out for me this year trying to find the time to keep up on the yard work and fishing trips. At some point in there I try and find the time to knock some holes in the paper. It's not a question of whether or not I can hit the target, more of a re-acquaintance with my rifles.  Some people like to call it good after three or four shots a week before season. I could never figure it out ... Some bow hunters will spend countless hours shooting their bows at target of various ranges and angles, but only shoot their rifles a half dozen times one week before the gun season. How many people look at a ballistics chart to see how well their bullet will perform? Like a bow, you have to tune your rifle to see what it wants you to shoot through it.  Some arrows preform better set at lower pound draw weights and grain in tip weight as well. Why would we think anything less of your rifle? Some aspects of tuning are better left to a professional, but you can try a few things at the range to help with grouping your shots better. Don't start off by thinking something is wrong with your scope if your pattern is all over the place on the paper. Each rifle will have a magic bullet weight that it likes to shoot best. For example, my .308 will drive tacks at 300 yards with a 168 gr. bullet. But if I try a 150gr in it the bullet flys all over the paper. And not all brands will shoot equal. My .243 will split hairs at 200 yards under the right conditions with a 95gr Winchester Ballistic tip, however, if I shoot a 95 gr. Federal or Remington in it the bullets start to stray a bit. Knowing the rate of twist in your barrel will help, but you don't have to know it. Just pick up several different brands and weights of bullets and head out to the range and see for yourself. The Minnesota Twins would not start me out hitting as a DH if I was to only step into the batting cage once a year before the season starts, so why would we head out to the stand with only six shots threw the gun? It is our responsibility as hunters to make ethical choices in the field, and to be able to make a good clean killing shot with the first shot is always the best plan. I've never really like hearing the story's from some people who say ... "Heck, I'm still shooting on a box of shells I got 3 years ago" That might be all fine and dandy if the box was really a case of ammo and not just a 20 round box.

  Good Luck, be safe, and please respect land owners and their right to say no.

Mark Strands New Book

Posted by: Kevin Winkler under Fishing, Equipment, Events, Family Fun, Fishing Techniques Updated: August 31, 2009 - 4:18 PM
  Many of you know Mark Strand. And for those of you who do not recognize his name, chances are that you have read some of his articles in many major outdoor publications. Just pick your favorite fishing or hunting magazine, and if his story's are not published there now, chances are they were in the past. Not to mention his video work as well. Mark has filmed many of your fishing icons like the Linders, Dave Genz, Larry Dahlberg, Babe Winkleman, and many, many more. Too numerous to mention them all. Mark has gathered more knowledge about the outdoors from hanging around the Pro's than most of us will learn in a life time.  He has spent most of his life working outdoors with nothing but the best people in the business.  For many years now Mark has wanted to write a book based on his concerns for the declining numbers of people taking part in fishing and hunting. I got a message from him the other day telling me book's are rolling off the presses right now, and will be available for purchase on September 30th. I'm looking forward to getting a copy myself, and if you love to read about the outdoors as much as I do, and I'm guessing you do if you are here reading outdoor blogs on the Stribs web site. So jot down a post-it note and paste it to the top of your computer screen. September 30th is the date to remember.  Maybe you have a birthday coming up and want to start dropping hints about it. This is going to make great a stocking stuffer for all of my outdoor friends and family's this year.  

Not much time left

Posted by: Kevin Winkler under Fishing, Events, Family Fun Updated: August 21, 2009 - 6:51 AM
  I'm still taking pledges for the 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon. No amount is too small, and this is my desperate attempt at raising more funds to do what I can to help protect our waters. I have been sending out emails and letters to everyone I know. The sad part is that I'm getting very little response back from anyone. I have a huge network of outdoor enthusiast and I figured more people would like to get on board with this. But it really does amazes me at how very few people are willing to do anything about it.  Zebra Mussels are spreading like wild fire and we are the ones doing the damage.

  I have donated 6 four hour trips and countless hours trying to pull together just a few more dollars for a good cause. If you have a little time on your hands please read a little more about the program and what it is I am doing. Here is the link to Recycled Fish and the 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon. I'll be picking the six fishers on September first who will be fishing with me. Steve Grossman from has sponsored a slot and will be giving away his 4 hour trip to some lucky kid on September 13th at the big event at the hunt club called  Hunting Experience weekend. There is still time. If you love fishing and would like the chance to fish Lake Osakis with me, make a small pledge today and I'll toss your name in the hat for one of the trips still open. And remember ... No amount is too small. You can get in for less than the cost of a bottle of soda. 

  If you win a trip and choose not to go, I have several kids in the area who are willing to do the time on your behalf. All donations are tax deductible threw Recycled Fish.

Call me today at 320-594-0060 or

Public access etiquettes

Posted by: Kevin Winkler under Fishing, Equipment, Fishing Techniques Updated: August 6, 2009 - 11:23 AM
  For many people getting your boat in and out of the water is a snap. For others, things never seem to go very well. How many of you have ever sat in line at the ramp watch someone struggle at every attempt to just get their boat to the water. I've often wondered how they would ever get the boat back out of the water with so many troubles just getting it to the water. Things don't have to be so difficult. Sometimes just offering to help out might get you on the water a little quicker. Most days when it's my turn in line I can have my boat off the trailer and the truck parked in under 3 minuets, and 5 to load it and get it out of the way of others. I've spent more than my share of time watching people struggle to just get the boat backed down to the water only to watch them unload the truck into the boat. Many times holding up the rest of the line for more than 15 minuets at a wack.

 Some of the small steps I take at home before I even head to the lake make my launch time go so smooth. For starters, I have my cooler with bait in the boat. If I stop for bait and snacks, it gets loaded right away so I don't have to do it at the access. Things like jackets or camera gear that I might need to load get loaded in the parking area before I get in line for the ramp, and that is where I check to see that my plug is in place and my straps and/or tarp are removed. I know ahead of time that I don't have to get in someone else's way to do these things.

  Lets talk about backing up a trailer. Number one on the list is Mirrors! Think about it for a second, Semi truck drivers that have sleepers on their big rigs don't have to open their doors or drive with half of their body out the window to see where they need to get that 53 foot trailer backed down a tight alley to a loading dock. And they don't have the option of climbing half way in the back seat to see out a rear window. They do everything from the two side mirrors. You can ask anyone of them and they will tell you how good they were at backing up a trailer when they first started. They didn't learn how to do it over night, and they did not use the public boat ramp as a practice area either. Chances are they got most of their practice at home or in a vacant parking lot clear of all other traffic. Over steering is probably the biggest problem most of us have had when it comes to going backward with a trailer. Start out with one hand and grip the wheel and don't let go. If you have to go all the way around once when you started out strait in line with where you were headed, you've already started to over steer. Practice using your side mirrors at home without a trailer, and once you can back up without sticking your head out the window, or over the seat, add the trailer and start over. Keep one hand on the wheel and your next time out, you can spend more time on the water and less time on the ramp.

Back to the basics (Part 2)

Posted by: Kevin Winkler under Fishing, Bait, Equipment, Family Fun, Fishing Techniques Updated: July 17, 2009 - 10:57 PM
 Today was the day. I had a real hard time keeping my mind off the walleye's that I knew were not far from where we were. But today I was to stay focused on with whom and what with, rather than what for. I dusted off those spoons I talked about in part one of this topic. "Back to the basics"  As we motored along the weed edges I found myself looking for the weeds with my eyes rather than relying on my electronics. I played the game much like my father did over 30 years ago. My Co-pilot and company for the day was my stepson Dylan. Still reminding me he is "Big" Dylan and not little Dylan as so many people call him. He turned 6 on the 6th of this month, and my goal today was to give him the dreams I once had after a all afternoon on the water playing with the pike.
For me, it ended up being much more than I expected. I went to the lake with a quest to see if those old spoon's would work just as good as they used to. Needless to say, I was expecting a little less from them than what we did find. The action was pretty good. Way more missed than landed, but I remember that happening the same to me over 30 years ago. Countless short battles with the fish winning the fight with a short run into the weeds. Six of them lost the battle, and will now find their way into the fryer for lunch tomorrow. 

 I do not think Dylan will loose track of where all of those spoon's are. They will not make it back to the junk box on a shelf in the garage. They have a new home in his tackle box. I just might have to borrow some from him the next time we are on the water.


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