A Quick Carpin’ Trip

52714 - bowfishing carp chuck bret-14by Bret Amundson

This is what our lake looked like.  Carp everywhere!

This is what our lake looked like. Carp everywhere!

“Do you want to go shoot carp before it rains?”

Chuck Ellingson’s voice pinged with anticipation.  He’d just gotten his boat outfitted with a shooting platform and the nearby Lac qui Parle offered numerous shooting opportunities.   Fishing during the day on a calm, sunny afternoon has been the usual tactic as the muddy water of the Minnesota River can prove to be tough any other time.   (That won’t stop us from trying it at night as soon as the lights are installed however.)

“Yes!” I replied as I drove through Willmar.  I still had 45 minutes to go and knew that I had one or two radio interviews to work on before I could hit the water.

“I’ll call you when I’m ready.”

My speedometer tickled the a click or two above the posted limit as I knew that I had a new platform to shoot off of soon.  I’d only been bowfishing once so far this year and it yielded one of my best outings.  It was with Matt Kargas and Jeremy Lewerenz from Minnesota Archery and you can read the story in the latest issue of Minnesota Sporting Journal magazine.

He's gonna have a headache tomorrow.

He’s gonna have a headache tomorrow.

I arrived at home and was just about to record an interview with Mandy Urich, when my phone rang.

“I’ll be at the landing in 10 minutes, grab some gatorades and I’ll meet you there.”

I told him I had to finish up some work and hung up the phone.  I had driven by the lake on my way home and you literally could walk across it’s surface, using carp as a finned-bridge.   This would be a slaughter.

Chuck, from the Watson Hunting Camp,  launched his boat and picked me up further south on the lake.  As he arrived at the shore, carp scattered and he mentioned that he unintentionally “hit 5 carp along the way!”

The shooting usually came in pairs.  We’d sneak up behind the “pods” of carp swimming upstream, their backs breaking the surface and giving away their location.  The carp grouped up and it was like shooting fish in the proverbial barrel.  We’d shoot numerous doubles, or one would connect and while that fish was being dealt with, the other would find a target.

Chuck with a mirror carp!

Chuck with a mirror carp!

I knew this trip would be short-lived and soon it was back to the landing-35 fish later.   All the carp were good sized fish, but two fish stood out.  One that was still full of eggs and another:  A mirror carp.

There are plenty of lakes offering bowfishing opportunities and many lake associations will gladly welcome ethical carp shooters to help eradicate some of these invasive species.   There are also many tournaments, including one this Friday night put on by Kruger Farms.

Here is the info:

Carp Shoot Flyer



A NEW PODCAST IS UP! Deer hunting, open water walleyes, big pike on tip ups and MOOSE ATTACK!

Woodducks field pond mnsj pod

If you missed last week’s radio show, it’s now available as a podcast!  Here’s what we had: 

The “outdoors” are IN on this week’s radio show.  Dusty Minke from the Kruger Farms fishing team talks about trail cams and whether or not crossbows will be legal in Minnesota soon.  Jake Flaa had a huge day on the ice with huge pike-we’ll find out how he did it.  Eric Wolf spent some time in OPEN water catching walleyes, we’ll find out where and Donny Newman recounts getting attacked by a moose and being saved by a 9-month-old lab.

Click here to listen:

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/64007508/MNSJ%20-%20Radio%20Show%20-%20Seg%201%20week%2082.mp3, https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/64007508/MNSJ%20-%20Radio%20Show%20-%20Seg%202%20week%2082.mp3, https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/64007508/MNSJ%20-%20Radio%20Show%20-%20Seg%203%20week%2082.mp3]

Or download each segment to your mp3 player: SEG 1 – SEG 2 – SEG 3

Coming up on this week’s show:

We’ve got a huge show for you this weekend.  We go straight to Leslie McInenly with the MN DNR to talk about the deer numbers and how the listening sessions went.  We’ve got 5 questions with Dan Stark, the large carnivore specialist with the DNR to talk about the upcoming bear season.  Robert Utne talks about his unique taxidermy business, Wild Images in Motion.  (Check out the link!) If you’ve wondered how to get kids involved in turkey hunting, Tyler Scott has some tips, Tony Mariotti thinks this could be the last weekend of ice fishing and will tell you how to catch those big panfish and John Arman discusses next year’s No Short Cuts Film Tour event.



Click here to see more.

Click here to see more.

The fall issue is filled with stories and photos from the great Minnesota outdoors during our favorite time of the season!  Stories and photos about gun dogs, deer hunting, fall muskie fishing, waterfowl hunting,  and a feature on Minnesota Huntresses, like Melissa Bachman, Nicole Weller Larson, and the

Click here to visit their website.

Click here to visit their website

cover article about Mel Canady’s record breaking muzzleloader.    Plus more from Michael Furtman, Ben Brettingen, Katy Turner,  Taylor Michels, Tyler Scott and more.    Click here to read it today!



We couldn’t be more excited about the FALL 2013 issue of Minnesota Sporting Journal magazine.  It’s almost here!

We’ve got some great photography again, including a “Fall Colors” photo essay.  Only it doesn’t have anything to do with leaves!

There is a great story from Michael Furtman about gun dogs, you’ll hear about Jason Mitchell’s biggest muskie and you can read the story behind Ben Brettingen’s successful Pursuit of Pope and Young.

There is also a feature on Minnesota Huntresses, including Melissa Bachmann, Nicole Larson, Morgan Gallus and Mel Canady.  Canady is featured on the cover with her record breaking muzzleloader buck.  Read about it in the upcoming issue!  Subscribe today. 

Here’s the cover:


PICTURES OF THE WEEK; Happy Fathers Day!

Here is a sampling from our photography this week.  Let us know your favorite and you could win a subscription to Minnesota Sporting Journal Magazine, where you might end up seeing that picture!  Tell us here which one you like.
*Click on a photo to enlarge
Night bowfishing

Night bowfishing

20130613- dove flying

20130612- Storm-3

20130615- elk

20130612- lqp sunset

20130614- purpley thing

20130614- tractor

20130615- sky

20130615- velociraptor

Sharp Dressed Bird!

Sharp Dressed Bird!

I was very happy with my new antler mount, Mika was not.

I was very happy with my new antler mount, Mika was not.

Crow Fest Shenanigans

by Bret “T-Bone” Amundson

4113 - crow youth

Matthew Nelson and Calvin Dahlheimer showin’ us how it’s done


Blind concealment.

Decoy placement.

All components within a strategic crow hunt.

My tenacious crow team:  Dan Zachman, Travis Dahlheimer, Nate Dahlheimer, Matt Spaeth, and me

The tenacious crow team: Dan Zachman, Travis Dahlheimer, Nate Dahlheimer, Matt Spaeth, and Bret

33013 - foggy crow retsThat’s right, crow hunt.  I may have started with some tongue-in-cheek commentary on this blog, but only partly.  Crows have been known to outsmart the best hunters afield.  Fortunately we weren’t counting on crows to feed us.

I was invited out to Kruger Farms for their annual Crow Fest on Saturday.  I actually arrived on Friday night and was welcomed with Kruger Kuts, walleye egg rolls, and Crown Royal Black.   With a giant steak tucked away safely inside my stomach, I waddled over to the Shuffleboard Tournament and proceeded to get schooled in the ways of shuffleboarding.

33013 - Kruger Farms shuffleboardsThat’s okay since I was clearly focused on the next morning’s excursion.  After a short night of dreaming about “Caw-caws” and dive-bombing black feathers, I was awakened to some frying bacon, cut as thick as two by fours.

4113 - kruger farms crow travis dahlheimer

Travis Dahlheimer shows off his prized bird

Our plan included setting up in a location that had been painstakingly scouted for days.   We camo’d up and headed out.  A few full body decoys were set, the ecaller turned on and then we waited.  And waited.  Crows were in the area, but may have been spooked out during our walk in.  They’re smart.   Watch the
“Caledonian Crow” experiment at the end of this blog.   It gets a little long and wordy, but it’s pretty cool to watch crows figure out puzzles that 75% of our population would probably struggle with.

21 teams had signed up for Crow Fest, aimed at winning the Kruger Farms gift card grand prize.  It was time to get serious.

My team included a marine, an NFL football player (Super Bowl winner Matt Spaeth) among other dead-eye gunners.  We’re in.

33013 - crow heros

Dan Zachman and Nate Dahlheimer show off the spoils of their tag team effort.

By lunchtime we’d knocked down two crows and wondered if the heavy fog that had rolled in was keeping birds grounded.   Conversation turned to NFL contracts, tours of duty, and a few things that aren’t fit for print on this website.  The laughter that followed may have kept us from staying on our toes, as a few ninja crows snuck in and out of our spread unharmed.  Lunch included some bacon and cheese-stuffed burgers and brats the size of my shotgun.   The winning team of Will Harvey and Brady Mensing finished with 29 crows, with a total of 156 egg stealing birds being taken out of the air. 

Duck eggs that had been pecked by crows.

Duck eggs that had been pecked by crows.

Before I left I had the chance to tour the new Kruger Farms store.  If you’re in the Starbuck area, check them out.  Or order online www.KrugerFarms.com.  Their grand opening is coming up later this month.

4113 - kruger farms stuffed crow
4113 - kruger farms pronghorn

4113 - kruger farms mel picture 4113 - kruger farms guns 14113 - kruger farms buck 4113 - kruger farms conservation sign 4113 - kruger farms guns 24113 - kruger farms tackle 1 4113 - Kruger Farms tackle 2

Crows may have gotten the better of us this time, but the battle has just begun.  I’ll be practicing my crow call before next year’s Crow Fest at Kruger Farms!