Minnesota Outdoorsman - Minnesota Fishing and Hunting Reports
 

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On the main basin... As water temps approach mid 40's, walleye anglers reporting strong fall bite. Good fish caught despite a lot of precipitation this past week.  Clear weather in the forecast.  Walleyes staging at various south shore locations in 20-29'.  Jig and frozen shiner the ticket. Anchor up and jig with gold, glow red, or gold/orange.  Fish are very active.

On the Rainy River... Strong walleye activity continues.  Jig and frozen shiners continue to be go to method with some anglers also trolling crankbaits.  Shiner run has slowed for the moment but good numbers of walleyes in the river.  Sturgeon have the feed bag on.  The sturgeon catch and release season goes through April 23, 2019.  The bite is on! 

Up at the NW Angle... Fishing continues to be excellent.  Limits of walleyes being caught in 14 - 25'.  Jigging still producing.  Look for areas of current in neck down areas and outside of bays.  Fall crappie bite continues strong.  Big pike making their presence felt, like it or not!  Muskie trollers boating and releasing good numbers of fish.  The best fall fishing is yet to come!
Not a lot of changes to report from my last post. The weather has stayed warm so lake temps remain close to the same. We need some 30 degree nights to cool the lake/river down to make any big difference in the bite. Sharpe continues to put out limits of over 15 inch walleye for most boats however the boat traffic especially on weekends is heavy. Oahe in areas is putting out limits for well informed fishermen and the traffic is much less. Some days maybe two boats in a 25 mile long run so if you are good at locating the walleye and you do not like to spend your trip in the middle of 20 boats it is the best choice . The fish bags can also have more 18 to 23 inch fish in them. Be aware though that it is a harder hunt than the river. Baits on Sharpe and Oahe still are either bouncer/crawlers or bouncer/minnows with jig minnows catching fish also. Pulling plugs is very good on Sharpe when the wind isn’t blowing weeds around. I along with other guide’s took out a real nice bunch of people with the Pioneer group ramrodded by Courtney then took two father sons customers and then did another of my favorite repeat customer groups NUTRENT AG SOLUTIONS ramrodded by Marty and Emma. Most of these guys/gal are from around the SIOUX CITY  area and just a pleasure to guide. Limits were the norm and along with fish going home a big fish fry was enjoyed by all. The fish were all caught from 5 fow to 10 fow mostly on the above methods. Another company that takes the time to take care of their customer/employee’s in a great way both for them and all of the seven guides that they put on the water along with nice business for the OUTPOST LODGE. Thank you AG SOLUTIONS.

HUTCH’S GUIDE SERVICE

Hutch

Cold-Weather Retriever Care


Here's how to keep your dog healthy and safe when hunting in frigid conditions


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By Gary Koehler 

Most retrievers aren't afraid of cold weather and will throw caution to the brisk wind when hunting waterfowl, fetching birds in icy water and braving even the harshest elements. Properly conditioned duck dogs are built for the cold.

Breeds such as Labs, goldens, and Chessies have thick double coats that repel water to help keep them warm. Nevertheless, retriever owners should recognize that they must take precautions to protect their canine partners as the temperature drops. Frigid weather requires special vigilance and care.

Proper nutrition is the key to keeping your retriever healthy in cold conditions. The more your dog hunts, the more calories he burns. Factor in extremely cold weather and his fuel consumption increases even further. To meet your retriever's energy needs you must feed him larger portions of high-energy, nutrient-rich dog food. This will help him retain body fat, which acts as insulation and reduces the rate of heat loss from his torso. At least one study suggests that gun dogs may need up to 80 percent more calories per pound to maintain a healthy weight during the hunting season than what they require during the off-season.

This does not mean that you should stuff your dog with a heavy meal just before heading to the duck blind or immediately upon returning home from a hunt. Feed him in the early evening, after he's had a chance to rest and recover from a long day in the marsh. If the increased rations are too much for him to handle in one meal, try feeding him in two installments, allowing him to sleep between meals. Keep in mind that your dog will also require ample water to stay properly hydrated. The more food he eats, the more water he needs for his digestive system, and the rigors of hunting only increase this demand. Always carry clean, fresh water with you on the hunt and give him a drink at regular intervals throughout the day.

The importance of maintaining a retriever's body weight in cold weather can't be overstated. If your dog is not properly nourished, prolonged exposure to the cold, wet conditions of waterfowling could result in a drop in body temperature. This burns up available energy and lowers blood sugar, which can lead to hypothermia. Signs of this serious condition include violent shivering, listlessness, and apathy. If you suspect that your dog has become hypothermic, rap him in a blanket and take him indoors. Give him a warm bath followed by a vigorous towel rub to dry his fur and skin. Hypothermia can be deadly. If you feel that your retriever might be in danger, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian.

Frostbite is another concern in wintry weather. Pale skin is one telltale sign of this condition, which typically affects a dog's toes, ears, tail, and scrotum. To avoid frostbite, always be sure to remove any ice or caked mud from your retriever's feet. Paw pads that are severely cracked or bleeding should be examined by a veterinarian. Prevention is important because frostbitten tissues are more susceptible to repeated freezing.

Neoprene dog vests have become quite popular over the past several years. These vests not only provide insulation, but also serve to protect your dog from abrasions caused by ice shards or tree branches. Always make sure the vest fits snugly. A loose fit can allow moisture to get trapped between the vest and the dog, which is not a good thing when the thermometer bottoms out.

Ice holds its own inherent dangers. A slip on the ice can cause your retriever to sustain joint and ligament damage. Worse still is the prospect of your dog falling through the ice and becoming trapped beneath it. Don't take any chances.

Putting your retriever in jeopardy should not be an option. There may be days when it is best to leave him at home. Let common sense prevail. And be careful out there.

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