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If you enjoyed last fall's pheasant season, you ought to like this fall's. Wildlife biologists with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released results from their August roadside counts Tuesday. The pheasant index is similar to last year's, and hunters killed 600,000 birds last fall -- the most since 1964. As usual, the counts are highest in the southwest, where 242 pheasants were counted per 100 driven miles.
According to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials hundreds of hunters are seriously injured and some even killed each year because of falling from tree stands. With Minnesota's archery deer hunting season beginning on Sept. 16 DNR officials are out to remind hunters about safety. DNR officials say the majority of accidents occur when hunters are going up or coming down from a stand and they do not take the right safety precautions. To highlight the need for these precautions DNR officials use the experience of one of its own -- Lt.
Years ago a very nice elderly gentleman from Savage, Minn., mounted a campaign to get the great sulky horse Dan Patch on a U.S. postage stamp. I followed him around and wrote a story about how he lectured to grade school and high school kids, how he talked to fraternal organizations and how he spent lots of money on mailings, trying to convince the U.S. Postal service that it would be a good thing to put the world's greatest pacer on a stamp. They, of course, ignored his pleas, preferring instead to issue five different stamps with Elvis Presley's mug on each.
It will be easy for Minnesota waterfowl hunters won't have to wait to get the latest regulations this year as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has the 2006 waterfowl regulations online now. The online version includes the waterfowl regulations supplement, with information on special goose hunts, waterfowl limits and season dates. The regulations are available on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us DNR officials say a printed version will be available by late August wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold and at the DNR License Center, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul.
Remember John Dean of Watergate fame? He's back in the news with his latest book, "Conservatives without Conscience" (Viking, $25.95).
One of the Minnesota State Fair's more popular attractions will be back this year along with a popular attraction that hasn't been around since 1978. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials say that the live fish exhibit and the fire tower will be back at the fair this year. DNR officials say this year's live fish exhibit is expected to display about 45 species of fish. One of the most popular fish with fairgoers has been the paddlefish. Characterized by their long, paddle-like bill, the paddlefish is found in the lower Mississippi River below Minneapolis.
The Dakota County Technical College Blue Knight men and women's soccer seasons are about to get under way and things are looking good for the 2006 campaign. With 10 returning players, a 12-8-1 record in 2005, an experienced coaching staff and the best recruiting class in the program's three-year history, the Blue Knight men's team can only expect improvement. Regular season play will open Saturday, Aug. 26 as the Blue Knight men host the 2005 regional champions Iowa Western at 1 p.m. Iowa Western ended the Blue Knights' season last year with a 0-1 loss in the regional semifinals.
What's in a title? "The Most Famous American," by Debby Applegate (Doubleday, $27.95) promises a good deal. Who is it? George Washington? Abe Lincoln? Daniel Boone? It turns out to be none of the above. Applegate's most famous American turns out to be Henry Ward Beecher. I figured that was a bit of a stretch and then I read the book and found out what a fascinating character this brother of author Harriet Beecher Stowe was back in the Civil War era. Beecher came from a famous New England family.
There's a little town in my home county called Trempealeau. Years back, while excavating for a new building, diggers found an old fur trading station from the early 19th century, long before Wisconsin became a state. In grade school our teachers told us about it over and over again and explained it was a fur collecting outpost sponsored by John Jacob Astor.
I read portions of "Heat," by Bill Buford when it appeared serially in the New Yorker. Now Knopf is out with it in book form, at $29.95. I'm a foodie who for more hours I want to admit is glued to the food channel. One of my favorite TV chefs is Mario Batali ("Molto Mario") and so when I saw that Buford wanted to work in his restaurants, where my wife and I have eaten, I dove in. The new book is a highly intelligent and humorous take on what fancy restaurants are like these days.