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Early season success

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 3:22 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 3:26 p.m. CDT
Gary Hanna shows off the turkey he got on the opening day of the spring season. It weighed 22 pounds and 2 ounces with a nine-inch beard.

Monday was opening day for spring turkey hunting. Gary Hanna and Kerry Boehle set up their blind early and sat in the elements until about 6 a.m. when Kerry made a couple of calls. They heard a little gobble in the distance. He tried again 10 minutes later and this time he got a loud gobble answer. A few minutes later, a tom strutted in from the timber with another bird behind him. The tom wandered around strutting until he was about 20 yards away. It was time. Gary dropped him at 6:20 a.m. The turkey weighed in at 22 pounds and 2 ounces. It had a nine-inch beard. Nice going guys! You got the season started off right.

The DNR’s inland trout season was a success. It opened last Saturday, and it was estimated nearly 300 people fished that day. I went out during the afternoon when the crowd had lessened and found room to get my line in. I sometimes wonder how big the trout will be each year, and this year there were some big ones.

A man 40 feet to my right pulled in two trout which weighed two pounds and a man to my left pulled in a three-pounder. Mine didn’t come close to that. The visitors center will stay open for a few more days. There’s still a couple of trout left in there.

I received a phone call from an old fishing buddy, Mike Johnson, formerly a Princeton teacher. He said he had gotten his fishing license and when he was reading the fishing rules book, he came across the page dealing with Asian Carp. In the rulebook, it stated that if you boat an Asian Carp, you are not to throw him back into the river. Mike told me he wasn’t fishing for the carp, it jumped in his boat.

Mike felt he needed a little more info, so he called the Region 1 office in Sterling-Rock Falls to gain some answers. Region 1 has been closed since last fall. Mike didn’t give up and finally reached another Region office. In talking to a DNR officer there, he found out that if one jumps into your boat, you are to kill the carp first, then throw it back. If you don’t kill the carp, you are  breaking the law. I can’t quite see getting a ticket for throwing a carp overboard, but thanks for the tip, Mike. By the way, a temporary phone number for Region 1 is 815-772-4708.

• The PHS Sportsman’s Club is wrapping up plans concerning its annual Canada fishing trip. Due to some cancellations, we could use some locals to go with us. We need some fishermen to go with us to fill out our bus quota. If you are interested and want some information, call 815-872-5431. This is a great opportunity. You do need a passport.

Lee Wahlgren is the BCR Outdoor Columnist. Contact him at

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