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The Well-Dressed Waterfowler

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Have you seen the "drowning duck hunter" spot on the Outdoor Life Network? I hope every waterfowler in the country has, and I hope the fish's eye view of what it might be like to drown has caused each and every one to take a serious look at what could happen should they fall overboard. No camera can capture the true horror of knowing you have only a few seconds to live as your lungs begin to fill with water but it comes darned close.  more...

 

 



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Tips For Effective Duck Calling

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Ducks have three zones when they come into sight: the entry zone, working zone and exit zone. If you don't get their attention when they come into their entry zone, unless there is something special about your location, you might as well not call. Mississippi call maker Greg Hood says, "When ducks are up in the air they can see not only your decoys and hear your calling, but everything else within their eyesight. Unless you get and hold their attention, they can look down the lake or river and perhaps see something else that interests them more. It may not be any better than where you are, but because you've lost their interest they're going on, and maybe beyond the place they thought was better," he says. So keep a sharp eye out, be observant, and as soon as ducks are sighted, begin calling to them and try to hold their interest until they focus on your decoys.   more...

 



Watersports  

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Slashbait Walleyes

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When lure manufacturers developed suspending minnowbaits, we pigeonholed them as smallmouth lures. Well, surprise, surprise--slashbaits catch walleyes. Ever since the appearance of Rapala Husky Jerks and Smithwick Suspending Rogues--two of the first minnowbaits designed to suspend on the pause--we've caught amazing numbers of shallow walleyes.  more...

 





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Leading Sail Control Lines Aft

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Going to the mast to raise and lower your mainsail or to tweak other sail control lines is no big deal on a bluebird day. It's also not so bad if you have lots of experienced crew all working together as a team, watching out for each other's safety. But what about when the weather turns ugly with driving rain and pounding seas? Or maybe you're sailing shorthanded, alone on watch at night, or with an inexperienced crew? It's in these circumstances that the benefits of having your sail controls led aft to the cockpit, and at your fingertips, really start to shine. It's also this kind of logical setup that allows a couple out cruising to easily handle a larger boat and it's attendant sail plan. more...

 



Sailing  

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The Beauty of the Jury Rig

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It had been one of those passages. What we had hoped would be a pleasant 60-mile sail with favorable winds had transformed into a test of wills over the course of a few hours; the will of tiny, mortal sailors versus the swirling elements and their relentless onslaught. As the engine slowly decreased its rpms and conked to a halt and the boat went pitching through the black night under double-reefed main against a headwind and contrary setting current, the elements officially held the upper hand.   more...

 



Sailing  

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How to Enjoy Running Aground

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Running aground doesn't have to be an unpleasant experience. Consider that you are learning the bottom topography of your local waters and add that bit of information about the shoal areas to your store of knowledge. The following tips can help you steer clear of trouble, or get you off when you are conducting such a local survey: more...


 





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Scientists find fewer zebra mussels in Lake St. Clair

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HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- Scientists say a lack of clams on the bottom of Lake St. Clair is making it more difficult for zebra mussels to survive.

The clams were the only hard surface on the bottom for zebra mussels to live, but the zebra mussels wiped out the native clams -- hundreds of millions of them, scientist say -- in the past 15 years, The Detroit News reported.   more...

 



Environment  

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Taft quietly signs Lake Erie drilling ban

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COLUMBUS -- Gov. Bob Taft in July signed an executive order banning all gas and oil drilling in Lake Erie for the remainder of his term -- but he didn't tell anybody about it.

Fulfilling a promise he made months earlier, Taft signed the order on July 14. He released no public statement and did not contact those pushing for the ban.

Why keep the signing a secret and miss out on praises from environmental groups? His spokesman insists there was no intentional effort to keep it quiet.   more...

 



Environment  

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Fishing should be about fun, camaraderie

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Perch fishing on the Great Lakes often is more like a party than fishing. It also places fishing in its proper place - as a time to have fun.

Too often modern anglers are caught up in catching the biggest and the most fish. The skyrocketing number of walleye, salmon and bass tournaments around the country make the point self-evident.

or more - anglers who grouch and become irate when they fail to connect with "Mr. Big." I pity them because they have spent many hours on a lake or river and have failed to enjoy the scenery, the camaraderie or the time away from the office or plant. They fail to see the importance of good company or the beauty of the world around them.   more...

 





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Speakers protest plans to drill near Au Sable

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GRAYLING - An energy company is looking at alternative sites for drilling along the Au Sable River, but none of them is far enough away for about 150 people who packed a public hearing Monday night.

About 50 people spoke in opposition to plans by Savoy Energy of Traverse City to drill for natural gas near the Mason Tract along the river in Crawford County.   more...

 



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Great Lakes water usage agreement on track

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 COLUMBUS -- The director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said the Great Lakes states are on track to develop a binding agreement controlling how much water can be taken from the lakes.

Sam Speck is working with officials in eight states and two Canadian provinces to develop a binding agreement that "assures the sustainability of water of the Great Lakes." The lakes make up the world's largest supply of freshwater.

The process began when nine governors and two Canadian premiers signed a charter annex in June 2001. The states agreed to develop an interstate compact, setting across-the-board standards for water usage.   more...

 



Environment  

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The poop on beaches

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Larger viewPollution experts are unsure about the sources of fecal bacteria that's closed several Lake Superior beaches this summer. Some people wonder whether a lack of public restrooms is partly to blame.   more...

 

 

 

 

 



Environment  

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Lethal to the largemouth

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The largemouth bass virus, which began killing fish seven years ago in South Carolina, has now spread to 17 states, including some in the Great Lakes region.   more...


 



Environment  

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Ohio Bans Drilling On Lake Erie

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Ohio’s waters on Lake Erie are off limits to drilling for gas or oil.

Governor Bob Taft signed an executive order banning drilling Tuesday. The federal ban on drilling in the Great Lakes expires in September 2005.

While environmental groups applauded the move, critics say Ohio needs the energy and the money that the drilling would provide.   more...

 



Environment  

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WLSSD explains sewage spills

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Western Lake Superior Sanitary District officials have repeatedly called this summer's series of sewage spills and overflows unprecedented and an embarrassment. And the mea culpas kept coming from WLSSD leadership Tuesday night as executive director Kurt Soderberg explained to dozens of local environmentalists why the spills occurred, as well as the short- and long-term plans to fix them.   more...

 





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