Our Outdoors: Kidding Around

By Nick Simonson For every great ice fishing day with a spirited four-year old, there are those other days where things get cut short or don’t pan out. That’s just part of the process and being ready for what comes results in more good fishing memories.  For each photo of a trout, bluegill or walleye…

Our Outdoors: A Season of Growth

By Nick Simonson Manning the booth at the Bismarck Sport Show for the teams I’m helping to get off the ground with a hard-core group of 20 other volunteer coaches gave me some time to reflect on all our cadre had accomplished since last fall.  From my joining the group mid-summer after relocating to the…

Our Outdoors: Juice It

By Nick Simonson Some of the most memorable fishing trips I’ve been on have been the result of disaster. Okay, not disaster in the terms of life-threatening circumstances, but, it would probably be fairer to say, major inconvenience.  Whether motorless in the flow, or without power on hard water, finding the silver lining hasn’t been…

Our Outdoors: On the Move

By Nick Simonson Just like in summer, staying on the move to find fish is key in winter, especially now as the season settles in and ice thickens up.  Some days are more conducive to mobile ice angling than others, but locating roving schools of perch, or finding that perfect point that draws regular visits…

Our Outdoors: Scent Matters

By Nick Simonson My buddy and I purchased pups from the same litter of labs at mid-summer.  Through stories exchanged over the phone and text message, the two brothers are well on their way to becoming good field dogs, putting up the roosters and hens available in our respective areas during this challenging pheasant hunting…

Our Outdoors: Mingo Modification

By Nick Simonson The gentle up-and-down motion of the gulf waters against our walk-on charter boat sitting a few miles off the coast played with the thick line of my borrowed saltwater setup.  Between my brother and brother in law, I watched for the tap-tap-tap coming up from a hundred feet below on the beefy…

Our Outdoors: Getting Closer

By Nick Simonson The darkening grayness of the overcast sunset hour crept down from the buttes along the small valley formed by the feeder creek and river where my bow stand rests, near their junction.  The rising north winds carried flurries into my eyes which I blinked away. I looked down at the frosted the…

Our Outdoors: United in Orange

By Nick Simonson Blaze orange is the color that binds us as hunters at this time of year.  While we all may don the most visible shade known to man to let members of our hunting parties, or those in others know of our presence, the color serves as a common bond. It is a…

Our Outdoors: The Time We Have

By Nick Simonson I watched the gallon and price counters on the pump slowly tick up, up, up.  I estimated that I’d need about 28 gallons, with the tank of my pickup sitting at just below a quarter and impatiently ticked off each one.  Unwilling to test the limits on the back portion of the…

Our Outdoors: Ways of the Wind

By Nick Simonson Every autumn has a week where the winds of change blow through the upper Midwest, and this one is it for the current season.  With gusts in some places touching 50 miles per hour at the start of the week, the shift toward cooler weather was obvious, as hat-removing gales were a…

Our Outdoors: Getting Trained

By Nick Simonson It happened suddenly, coming up out of a yellow-leafed draw, my lab puppy, Ole – which until that point had lazily wandered in and out of the grass, kept pace behind my boots, and attempted to bite the other dogs in our opening weekend pheasant hunting group – took off.  He switchbacked…

Our Outdoors: Inflection

By Nick Simonson “To put it in perspective, we’ve harvested ten birds in the first two days of the season,” I said in response to the truck-cab recap of the first weekend of pheasant hunting, “last year, in our only walk on day four, we bagged eleven.” Our group’s total was indicative of what the…