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Cormorant Lakes SC sponsors kids fishing trip

The Cormorant Lakes Sportsmen's Club announces that they will be taking 30 area youth, 12-15 year olds, on a fishing trip on Mille Lacs Lake. The date is next Saturday, June 20. The bus will leave Orton's in Audubon at 5 a.m. and will return about 5 p.m.

All fishing poles, bait and tackle will be provided. Kids should dress for the weather, which can be cool, wet or chilly. To sign up for the trip, please call 439-6210.

Fishing license fees

The money you put up for a resident fishing license goes directly into DNR efforts to improve the sport. There shouldn't be any grumbling about the fee, but there is. The angler faces a rise, $2 at most.

We're buying outboards, boats, pontoons and the like. Pricey watercraft, to be sure. So why bellyache about a paltry increase in what provides the sport in the first place?

The walleye stamp is a good idea, and the money raised will do a lot of good.

North Dakota pheasants

Pursuing the ringnecks is a prime pastime enjoyed by many shot-gunners from the Detroit Lakes area. At present, they're awaiting findings of a survey by the North Dakota Department of Fish & Game as to the survival rate and density of the birds for next fall's hunting. The prime pheasant area out west was hard hit by deep snow from early on. The cattail sloughs were filled with snow all winter long, and pheasants had a hard time finding suitable cover. Pheasants never seem to starve to death, but shelter from the winter winds was real poor at times. Some have predicted that the losses were nearly 50 percent, so we may see a reduction of the daily limit, from three, down to two.

The state won't like doing that, if it indeed happens, but there may be no alternative.

The U.S. Forest Service

The Forest Service is a big and important arm of the Federal government. It is managed by the Department of Agriculture. After all, it concerns growing trees on a big scale, waiting for this standing timber to be logged and made into lumber for building houses.

There is talk on Capitol Hill that it could be better if it were part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Several important, related agencies are already under the Interior banner. These are the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, The National Park Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. These organized services are oriented to wildlife, public lands, and hunting and grazing rights. What better place than Interior, for an agency that manages growing trees. The Forest Service objectives closely parallel those of the other named services already there.

Forestry is big business and it requires close control in order to manage our national forests. Sounds like a good idea to make the change.

Looking at the target

It happens to every one! A gaudy cackling pheasant erupts from the grass a few yards ahead of you. You bring the shotgun up, and you may fire up to three shots at him, only to have him sail on, unscathed. How could I miss that easy shot? Sure, you may have felt hurried, but the probable reason is that you may have looked back at that luminous red bead that the gunsmith recently installed.

That bead looks nice near the muzzle of your gun, but you should have your shotgun fit adjusted so that the shotgun comes up effortlessly into position. You must have your gun fitted so that you're looking down that rib, instinctively bringing the gun into hunting position without any conscious effort on your part. When this is achieved -- and it isn't difficult -- you'll score on jumping pheasants, or greenhead mallards crossing your set of decoys. When the target or bird is airborne, you must ignore that bead.

You'll see the muzzle(s) of the shotgun, and you need only to point them ahead of the bird's path. The smooth follow through of a truly apt shotgunner attests to shooting success. The motion seems effortless, and it is not difficult to achieve. When your stock height and length are such that your eye is looking down that rib to the bead and beyond, that's gun fit. And it leads to taking that rooster, claybird, or mallard with one shot, and in the bag! Fix your eyes on the target. Not on the beads.

If your gun fits, it will come up with your eye, looking along the rib, to that bead. Now it is time to ignore that bead and focus on the target. The result is usually a bird dead in the air. If the unwanted miss comes far too often, you probably looked back at that bead. Or perhaps your gun doesn't fit. Time to seek advice and counsel and get things corrected.