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Successful Memorial Day trap shoot at BCSC

Becker County Sportsmen's Club recently staged its annual trap shooting bash on Memorial weekend. This year's wingding was a very successful thing. The club made some money to pay for its up to the minute equipment, which attracts so many active visiting shooters.

Again this year, the club is indebted to member Perry Nodsle, wife Carmen and her sisters, Sherry Pederson and Loreli Holt. Perry's brother in law, Dan Pederson, was right in there too.

Preparation begins in April when Perry calls upon hundreds of local merchants, asking to advertise their shops in the very necessary printed program that contains vital shoot information.

Staging the actual shoot requires knowledge, foresight, good weather and reliable equipment. The actual shoot is genuinely enjoyed by the visiting shotgunners. Scores are "registered," that is sent to the Amateur Trap Shooting Association, which keeps records of shooters accomplishments.

After the events of the first day's shooting, a free banquet meal is provided for participants and their families. This requires the culinary skills of Carmen and her sisters. Central Market caters the meal, but Carmen, Perry and the rest get baked turkey, slaw, potato preparations and salads. Well everything together makes up a super meal. All of this requires timing, which the Nodsle group has down to a tee. All in all, it is a grand affair, and the visiting shooters have smiles a yard wide.

Good scores posted

Visitors from northern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota were doing well under sunny skies and warm temperatures. Top gun for the day was Perham's Mark Cenowya with his 100 straight from the 16-yard line. Mark is an AA gun handler, and took home some money. We have old time visitors like Frandell Johnson, Dennis Swearingen, and John Nelson, all winners in the shoot.

Club president Brett Frieson did well, while supervising the shooting of his children Jona and Anthony. They compete annually in Sparta, Ill., in the world series of trap shooting, the Grand American. The pressure to do well at that shoot is tremendous, but the Friesen clan simply takes it in stride, and finish spectacularly high in the stiff competition.

Game and Fish legislation

In the final days of the legislature, Governor Pawlenty vetoed entirely, the DNR sponsored laws and regulations. Included was a study plan for the establishment of a hunter walk-in program similar to the one that South Dakota has. Under this plan, the state rents hunting lands on a year-to-year basis. It has proven popular for upland and waterfowl hunting there. But Minnesota has deep financial trouble and this and other sportsman issues did not make it.

Turkey hunting hugely successful

The final segments of this year's wild turkey hunting indicated that we had again shattered the record on the number of tons taken. 15,162 was the final tally at the May 21 end. Hunting was especially good locally, with little difficulty experienced by hunters who knew what they were doing. It is, unquestionably a different technique, but hunters have worked out some tried and true schemes.

Best sportsmen's towns

Outdoor Life magazine has evolved a reader inspired ranking of desirable living locations across America. As one could expect, many places located in the upper Great Plains states did well. Personally, I would have placed Detroit Lakes ahead of Alexandria, but our town wasn't even mentioned. As one could expect, areas with spectacular deer and pheasant hunting scored well.

Among these were Rapid City, Aberdeen and Mitchell in South Dakota, along with Bismarck, Jamestown in North Dakota. Rochester Minn., was named because of spring and autumn Canada goose hunts. Red Wing and Ely made the list for their river fishing. Factors like population, roads, air access, abundance of wild game and fish, and employment were factored in. Rapid City in southwestern South Dakota was the top choice.

The creatures of Yellowstone

Our oldest National Park is a longtime favorite of American travelers. Here one can see a wide variety of wild animal life, competing or helping each other in one way or another. The common tree squirrel, the gray variety harvests pine nuts and hides them in a cache for winter use. Pine nuts are more than 50 percent fat and will get the squirrels through the long and arduous winter. But roving grizzly bears find the stored nuts and feast on them, putting on the fat they will need in the winter's hibernation. The squirrel can only look on from his perch in the pine.

Wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone Park in 1995. Their numbers have grown to numbers that few had expected. They watch the elk as they roam throughout the park, but don't attack until winter has set in. It is true that elk are prey for the wolf, and it isn't always true that wolves will take only the sick or the young of the herds. A wolf working alone cannot take down an adult elk, very often, but wolves working four at a time can down an elk. The same situation exists where moose are concerned, the deer as well.

The streams of Yellowstone were once open to open-water anglers, but not any more. The grizzly and the black bear catch fish in Yellowstone River in spring and summer, taking a large number of the plentiful fish.

Summertime temperatures in Yellowstone can become very hot. Moths live in the lower elevation greenery, but when heat spoils this, the moths migrate to the rocky slopes at the higher elevations. The grizzly knows this and will dig in the loose slate rocks in the high mountains. Experts declare that a single grizzly can find ten thousand moths in a single day. The moths are high in protein that bears need. The moths are pretty big, over two inches long.

Nature has provided unique methods of survival for Yellowstone's largest creatures, by equipping smaller animals to provide for them.

Among the animals that do this is the beaver. They're back in the park, felling the cottonwoods, mostly, damming up waterways, creating ponds for the use of all. We sometimes interfere with this, but we shouldn't. Better that we stand aside and just watch and marvel how well it all works.