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Bernie Revering Column: New Remington representative is a familiar face

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Brett Favre, the retired quarterback of the Green Bay Packers is well known for his hunting enthusiasm. He has a lifetime of hunting squirrels, quail, waterfowl deer and boar in his native Mississippi and other places.

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He recently signed on with Remington and will be seen in camo, abroad in the game fields, carrying a Remington 870 shotgun, perhaps a 30-06 in the woods, a Model 700, of course. Brett Favre likes the 22 rimfires as well, and his credibility as a hunter and sportsman is well established.

Remington, the maker of a whole slew of sporting firearms, has made a very canny choice here, as Favre is believable and sportsmen trust him.

A ruling on the Right To Bear Arms

The U.S. Supreme Court is into hearings this week, considering the legal position of the District Of Columbia to keep on the books, what is the most restrictive of all personal firearms restrictions. The suit is being brought by a guard who works at the public buildings in the nation's capital. But when he returns to his home when off-duty, his pistol still on his person, he is beyond the law. The ruling will be announced in May. It will probably strike down the D.C. restrictions, which doesn't permit handgun ownership in your own home. Key justices already indicate that they think the Constitution protects the citizen's right to own a handgun, for protection, sport, hunting or whatever other purpose, is compromised by the District.

Concealed carry, semiautomatics, these questions may be clarified by the Supreme Court in a few months. Five of the justices appear leaning toward the favor of the Second Amendment, and that's a majority opinion. Chief Justice Roberts isn't one of them.

Continuing control of bovine TB

Federal sharp shooters may soon begin to use a helicopter from which to shoot deer in the northwestern Minnesota, in order to thin the herd. The outbreak of bovine TB has brought about the special deer hunt, which involves about a dozen hunter-sharpshooters who recently bagged 351 deer and local landowners taking another 33 animals. Reducing the deer herd in a l40 square mile area, has found 17 animals testing positive. The general public hasn't been invited to participate as yet, but who knows whether down state hunters might soon become hunters in the area. The idea hasn't met with much enthusiasm in meetings so far.

Lead in the gift venison

A rifle bullet is a solid lump of lead, encased in a copper jacket. It is designed to hold together after impact with the solid flesh of a big game animal like a deer, but sometimes, it doesn't. There is the real possibility of some lead remaining, but it is remote. Inasmuch as it is common practice for some processed venison finding its way publicly by way of food banks, it has concerned authorities.

It began in Wisconsin's Department Of Health announcing that tests were to be made. Minnesota and North Dakota copycatted the concerns.

It seems reasonable that the perils of one ingesting dangerous amounts of lead from eating processed venison is about a billion to one. Countless numbers of game animals have been taken the past 200 years in America, by bullets from rifles. Is someone needlessly crying wolf? Admittedly, the authorities that have brought up the concern, say that the risks are remote indeed.

Yet, with the game meat being distributed publicly, with official sanction, there is some concern that must be addressed. My view of all this is that it will be investigated and that the whole matter will have its review in the press, and that the very noble practice of sportsmen giving their venison too food banks is going to continue. Minnesota's 97 food shelf locations have distributed in excess of 78,000 pounds of venison this year, before this latest concern surfaced. We hope that the problem will soon be resolved.

Crappie & sunfish action

Relatively few fishermen have been out on the winter ice, even though the wind is down, the middays sunny and wintertime pleasant. Those absent have missed out on some real late season action. The crappies have been active in water that's about 20-25 feet deep. Cormorant Lakes chain, Big Detroit, Sallie and Melissa have all been pretty good. And they're pretty nice in size, as attested to in Louie Eidenschink's photo here. Tulibee action has also been good.

Time for a wood duck house

One of the great success stories in the waterfowl world has been the increase in wood duck numbers. This is largely due to the sportsmen of Minnesota constructing wood duck houses. Placed in many likely spots, success in attracting a hen woodie has been experienced the very first year.

The Cormorant Lakes Sportsmen's Club has been a dominant leader in the construction and distribution of pre-built wood duck houses, and the club has a limited number ready to be put up on your location. Payment isn't expected, but who would object to paying a bit for lumber and materials, or perhaps joining this active group of outdoorsmen and being a part of it all.

Bald eagles are catching fish

The magnificent, stately birds were showing up in numbers on Flat Lake in the Tamarac Refuge last week. At the outlet of the river, where the spring thaw had led to some open water, the fish-eaters were taking a fish on almost every swoop. I've found viewing this to be a spectacular outdoor experience. You can't see it up real close, but you can get the pattern very clearly. Another place is the Ottertail River between the Rice Lake and the lower end of Blackbird. You can best view this at the former Job Corps landing. I was happy to see this symbol of America invade our northland after the brutal winter we've experienced. Viewing the visiting eagles will not last long, so drive out to Tamarac and look for the young and old eagles go at it, as they've done for centuries.

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