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DULUTH, Minn. — Kandi Geary was just getting ready to leave Kohl's department store in Duluth. A woman and her young daughter were just entering the store. Duluth's Geary, 60, described what happened next. "I was at the bench inside the store," Geary said. "I was putting my hat and mittens on to go outside." This occurred just before Christmas. Geary recently shared her story in a phone interview. Geary said the woman entering the store with her daughter mentioned in passing, "I love your hat." That didn't surprise Geary, she said.
A 12-mile segment of the Norpine Trail System on the North Shore will be open to fat-bikers as well as cross-country skiers this winter. The designated ski trail, groomed for both classic and skate skiing, will be open to fat bikes on a trial basis this winter, according to Norpine Trail Association officials. The out-and-back trail segment open to bikers is from the Ski Hill Road at Lutsen to near Cascade Lodge. Fat-bikers will be permitted to ride on the wider portion of the trails groomed for skate-skiing under appropriate conditions.
The snowies have come again. Snowy owls, denizens of the high Arctic with more than 4-foot wingspans, are showing up in large numbers across Minnesota and other Great Lakes states this winter. Many also have been seen along the New England coast. Such an unpredictable invasion is called an "irruption" by birdwatchers. As of Wednesday, Dec. 13, an estimated 173 snowy owls had been observed in 57 of Wisconsin's 72 counties, said Ryan Brady, a conservation biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in Ashland.
I had never noticed the tree before, I'm somewhat ashamed to say. Maybe it was the way the half moon was illuminating its white bark on this dark November night. I stopped in my tracks to take in the scene — the alabaster sheen of the moon, the old birch, the crusty snow on the ground. The birch was a good 2 feet thick at the base. Its bare and gnarled branches reminded me of an old woman's hands that had been tortured by arthritis.
Greg Kessler misses talking to deer hunters. For most of his 27-year career as a wildlife biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources — he's stationed at Brule — that's what Kessler did on opening weekend of the state's gun deer season. He would usually hang out at JT's One Stop convenience store in Solon Springs, where a lot of Douglas County hunters went to register their deer.
DULUTH — When a nine-point buck came walking toward Leif Birnbaum's deer stand last Sunday, Oct. 15, the Duluth bowhunter took a good look at him. "He was a nice deer," Birnbaum said, "but I was waiting for something a little bigger." Something bigger — way bigger — showed up about an hour later. Birnbaum shot a 10-point buck that field-dressed at 260 pounds.
NEAR BRULE, WIS. — The high-pitched tone blaring from Casper's beeper-collar told hunting guide Damian Wilmot all he needed to know. "Casper's on point," Wilmot hollered through the stand of doghair aspen.
DULUTH — Stone Boulanger of Stone River Wildlife Control says it was the largest nuisance bear he's ever trapped for a homeowner. He trapped the bear last Monday evening, Oct. 9, at a residence in the Duluth Heights neighborhood, he said, where it had been causing repeated damage to the home. The bear weighed 605 pounds field-dressed. That's a whopping big black bear. "I've never seen anything bigger than this," said Boulanger, whose business is based in Carlton. "A big bear is 300. This is just phenomenal."
ISABELLA, Minn.—Justin Bailey of Keewatin was hunting ruffed grouse near Isabella on Tuesday morning when a wolf chased his hunting dog out of the woods. "He was coming at me 100 miles per hour, and right behind him was a wolf, biting at his heels," said Bailey, 33. "They probably passed 5 or 6 feet from us." Bailey was standing at the edge of the road with his son, Andrew Bailey, 3, and his nephew, Brock Bjelland, 5, of Marble, whom he had brought along for the day of hunting.
The closest I ever got to Vietnam was a make-believe village in a grove of trees outside Fort Sill, Okla. It was 1970, and I was a jeep driver for a captain during my training as an artilleryman. Many nights, I'd drive him to "Vietnam Village," a supposed representation of an Army command post in the jungle of Vietnam. It was mostly darkened pathways among the thickets, lit only by red safety lights.