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OUTDOOR Adventures

Okay Wisconsin …

It has been brought to my attention that some readers feel that I give Minnesota way too much love in this column, treating Wisconsin like the red-headed stepchild. I mean no offense to anyone on the cheesy side of the river and for that matter, none to any red-heads or stepchildren. I realize that it is harder to not offend than it is to offend somebody in our current world culture. As to extend a New Years “Olive Branch” to family and friends in the Wisconsin readership area of “Outdoor Adventures,” here goes some love for Wisconsin.

In addition to being big fans of your cheese, dairy, and various other agricultural products, along with countless other Minnesotans, I am a bit jealous of Lambeau Field. What fan of professional football would not have a bit of envy when it comes to that place? Our new digs are nice but let us be totally honest, what you have in Green Bay is something special and in part, because it is outside. Old school football in the elements is what most of us in Minnesconsin were raised on and in Minnesota, we simply have not had that since the before the big marshmallow and our new stadium were built. Oh, and your team’s history and status are awesome, too. I hate to admit that publicly and you will never get props for the guy under center from me, despite him being one of the best to ever play the game. His actions on and off the field make it easy not to like him much.

Another bit of love that tends to not only make us on the Minnesota side of the “Sippi and the Croix” a bit ‘jelly’ is that Wisconsin tends to produce bigger bucks. Yes, we harvest our share of the big boys over here and as I often say, it is not about the antlers as much as meat in the freezer. You can read between the lines and through dissection translate that means I have never had the chance to harvest a monster buck. Would I love the chance to bag a nice 10- or 12-point whitetail? Of course, I would and maybe someday it will happen but for now, I will just continue to be happy with meat in the freezer or investigate hunting Wisconsin next year. If you are open to taking a mud duck with you, give me a ring.

Being a “syndicated journalist” with a column printed in multiple publications, I understand how some readers may feel that the views and opinions expressed in this specific part of the newspaper tend to be a bit biased. In my defense, “Outdoor Adventures” is a column. A column versus an article, will focus on opinion more than fact. I am born and raised in Minnesota, which good, bad, or otherwise will slant my views. To be fully transparent, “syndicated” simply means that the column gets printed in a group of newspapers that fall under the same management and multiple in this instance means three. It does not matter what side of the river we are from, sometimes we try to make the britches we wear a bit bigger than they are. Pride and loyalty are two traits that are in most cases admirable and can also slide to the other side of the spectrum and become less than appealing.

We are all blessed to live where we do in Minnesconsin and especially when it comes to the opportunities to get outside and explore activities that enhance our lives in ways that we probably do not appreciate as much as we should. The ever-changing scenery around these parts is amazing and can be breathtaking on occasion. We have all experienced one of those sunsets in our life. The flow from one season to the next is something that very few parts of the country experience. We all have things that make us proud of the community in which we live. The pride felt by those living in Cottage Grove, Prescott, Hastings, Ellsworth, St. Paul Park, Vermillion, River Falls and beyond can be seen and heard when you visit these places. For example, in Ellsworth, not only do they have the most incredible cheese curds in the country, but they also have a stellar school system with strong music and theatre programs, an excellent wrestling program and this year had a phenomenal football season. Across the river, we still share and celebrate with our neighbors.

There are so many things that, and I think I can speak for many Minnesotans, that we love about Wisconsin and wish we had here. Minnesconsin is a place and a place that we can all be proud of. We can also take pride in being loyal to this wonderful place and the people who live here. Let us come together instead of growing apart and of course, let us all “Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.”

January 5, 2022