By Bret Amundson

As editor of a Minnesota sporting magazine, I find the need to cover all parts of the state.  I owe it to Minnesota to try and show off all it has to offer.

And what it has to offer, is a lot.

I spend most of my time these days in the agriculturally rich prairies of western Minnesota.  Waterfowl, pheasants and the Minnesota River system dominate my daily adventures.  Of course we’ve got our share of deer and the dove hunting is probably second to none in the state.

But I can’t focus all of my energies there.  We’ve got Minnesota’s playground, the Brainerd Lakes area just a few hours away.  The southeastern bluff country grows the biggest bucks and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in the northeast may just be the greatest outdoor resource we have.   Of course there are a vast array of hidden, (and not-so-hidden) gems everywhere in between.

How do you cover it all?

Dillon Brickweg lets an arrow fly at a carp.
Dillon Brickweg lets an arrow fly at a carp.

Luckily I’ve got a great group of contributors from all over that bring incredible photography and stories of each portion.  The Minnesota Sporting Journal Radio Network broadcasts across a large swatch of Minnesota radios, (with more stations to come!) and, of course, our readers help us out too, by submitting photos and letting us know about important outdoor events and newsworthy stories in their hometowns.  (Feel free to let us know what you have going on).

But sometimes, you just have to pack up the pickup and get some valuable windshield time.

Over the next two weeks, I’ll be traveling up to the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League Championship in Alexandria.  From there, I’ll be spending a few days at Geneva Beach Resort with Durk Stark and some industry guys.  We’re going to hit the Alec area lakes and rivers with bows in hand trying to help control the carp population.  Walleyes might be on the menu too.

My first year of duck hunting was in the Alexandria area.  Then our land was leased to some different hunters in the offseason and we found ourselves in search of a new spot.  We haven’t been back since.  While I’m there, I plan on trying to investigate that old duck slough and see if we can’t get the family back for one more hunt before the older guys are too old to do it anymore.

Ron Amundson with a Leech Lake walleye
Ron Amundson with a Leech Lake walleye

From there, I’ll be traveling to Walker to go after the hot bite on Leech Lake.  My father, Ron, fished there recently and took the trophy for biggest fish of the trip, a 27.5″.  But the eaters were hungry and the guys had two huge meals and brought fish home in the cooler.   Jason Freed from Leisure Outdoor Adventures promises to put me on ’em while I’m in town.

Next up will be a stop in Brainerd at Camp Confidence.  Dennis Mackedanz invited me to check out the 31st Annual Nick Adams Memorial Fishing Classic .  “It takes off at 8am from Maddens Lagoon and finishes with a weigh-in and shore lunch! This is a chance to fish with some of the greatest fishing guides there is to offer!

If you are unable to join us & would like to help contribute to the Camp Classic events, there are multiple sponsorship opportunities, as well as memorial funds available, please contact Special Events Coordinator, Sarah Smith at 218-828-2344 ext. 203 or email at Sarah@CampConfidence.com

Sunday, I’m getting in a boat with Mandy Uhrich.  She’s has GUARANTEED me a sore, chewed up thumb from all the bass we’ll be catching around Brainerd.  Okay, she didn’t actually say that, but that’s what I’m going with and holding her to it.

After that, I’ll be heading to Ely to join up with Jim Riley at Veterans on the Lake Resort.   I haven’t been up to Ely for a few years so I’m anxious to get back up and this resort sounds like a great organization.  According to their website:

Veterans on the Lake provides highly accommodating services for all guests, including those that are disabled. Our lodge, docks, pool, grounds and many cabins are each built to assist veterans, their families, and accompanying guests with the most convenient and safe support systems and aids.

As a non-profit organization not affiliated with any government or subsidy program, donations are greatly appreciated and highly utilized to help provide a safe, comfortable environment for our wonderful veterans and guests. Please see our donation page for more information and ways you can help.

We also plan to spend a few days chasing smallies in kayaks!

Bret Amundson with a 19" smallmouth
Bret Amundson with a 19″ smallmouth

I’ve got a few days at the end of the trip that I’m still considering adding a few places to check out along the way, so if you have a suggestion, let me know. 

I know it doesn’t sound like a “work” trip, but I take this job of showing off the state seriously and that means trying to cram 4 different trips into one.

It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!

Watch for the Summer Tour PT 2 coming in July.

If you have any locations you think we should check out, 

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