Sunday, December 12, 2010

December Winter

Oak Point is in the grip of winter weather. The Oak Point Road has a crust of snow and ice from the beginning to the end. Today we are getting the Arctic cold that is on its way south to the area that has the blizzard and snow today. I enjoy my winter days when we have a nice arm fire going in the fireplace and plenty of football to watch on TV.

Outdoor Tree

We have two Christmas trees at our house on Oak Point. Pictured is the outdoors tree that we cut down in the forest. For a $5.00 fee you can get a tag to cut a tree in the Chippewa National Forest. We went out on Wednesday afternoon and looked at numerous trees before we settled on this one. When they grow in the wild, most look like "Charlie Brown Trees" they are not trimmed, but if you look through a couple hundred you can usually find one that fits your needs.

Leech Lake Association
Annual Christmas Dinner

Coming up this coming Thursday December 16th, 2010 at the Ranch House Supper Club. Social Hour 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm, then our speaker Doug Schultz Large Lake Biologist, MN DNR and his topic will be "What Does a New Leech Lake Management Plan mean to me?". Dinner served at 7:00 pm with selections of prime rib, walleye, chicken supreme, and chicken and ribs.

Leech Lake Management Plan

The 2011-2015 Plan which is authored by Doug Schultz, our speaker is available on line at It's a 40 plus page report that you might want to review before listening to our speaker.

Anne M. Dunn

Anne M. Dunn an Ojibwa author and storyteller, and former resident on Oak Point was a feature speaker at a program held at the Cass Lake Library recently. She told a number of her stories she learned from her mother and grandmother as a young girl growing up on the Leech Lake Reservation. Oral legends and animal fables were an important source of Ojibwa history that has been told and retold over many, many years.

This coming Thursday, December 14 at 4:00 pm the Cass Lake library has an interesting speaker and author, Anton Treuer, a BSU faculty member will speak about his new book, "Assassination of Hole-In-The Day".

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

White Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving on Oak Point was white and cold. We had two snowfalls last week, one on Monday the 22nd, and the second one was on the afternoon of Wednesday the 24th and into the morning of Thanksgiving Day. We went to visit with our son, Matt and his family down in the cities. Thanks-giving is all about family and friends and the start of the Holiday Season. We all got a chance to say what we are thankful for.

We are getting another snowfall today Monday the 29th. The National Weather Service has a winter storm warning for our area today until noon tomorrow with new snows from 6 to 10 inches. With all the new snow one can easily see the deer tracks all over the places that I hunted. The big game specialist for the DNR was quoted as saying, It's looking like once everything is said and done we are looking at about 215,000 for the state wide kill."

Leech Lake ice has a lot of water on top of it thanks to the heavy snows. Walker Bay, Steamboat Lake and some of the larger lakes still have some open water. Yesterday I saw some fish houses out, which I think is way to early. I can't think of a Thanksgiving where we could go ice fishing this early.

Leech Lake Area
Watershed Foundation

The Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to promote activities that preserve and sustain the national resource of the area for the use and enjoyment of current and future generation. The Leech Lake Watershed is one of the 15 sub watersheds that drain into the Upper Mississippi. Our watershed consists of 674 lakes that all drain into Leech Lake. The total area consists of 855,000 acres of which Leech Lake is 111,500 acres. Our watershed is located in Cass, Hubbard and parts of Beltrami Counties. It's home to half of the Minnesota naturally reproducing Muskie lakes. One-third of the watershed area is in public ownership such as county, state and federal.

Monday, November 22, 2010

November Winter

We have moved into the winter season here on Oak Point. It's cold and snowy this morning. The ice on Leech Lake is as far as we can see all around the Oak Point area. The 2010 deer hunting season quietly ended Sunday evening, November 21st. I went out for the last time and sat in a stand and saw no other hunters or hear any shots. I had a great hunt, but no deer this year. It was good just to be a part of the annual hunt.

Oak Point Resort

Our neighbors Lee and Laura Nupson have been busy this fall at their resort. Pictured here is the latest addition, they built new living quarters above their lodge for them selves. Lee told me that they are doing quite well this year and that they are looking forward to December, because they have a number of reservations for their cabins and spearing houses. They will be putting out the spearing houses just as soon as the ice is strong enough. Its good to hear that they are doing well this year. I might be interested ion renting one of their spearing houses a time or two over the upcoming holidays. The Oak Point Resort has a website at or phone them at 218-335-2993.

Beltrami Electric Coop.

Our supplier of electric power on all of Oak Point is Beltrami Electric Coop. out of Bemidji. They have been around this past week notifying their clients that starting in mid December they plan on removing trees and brush in the oak Point area underneath their over head power lines. This is nothing new, they have been doing this clearing process about every 5 to 7 years for some time. It's necessary to protect us from power outages and the chance of danger to our property and persons. What is new though, is that they plan on coming through one year after the mechanical clearing and apply a herbicide to control resprouting of trees and brush. Along the Chippewa Beach Road area this can be as close as 250 ft. from Leech Lake. This makes me nervous and I plan on checking into this. The US Forest Service does not allow them to spray on any of their properties.

Beltrami Electric has someone to call and his name is Dan Edens, Manager of Operations at 218-444-3649. I call and talked to him how you can opt out of the spraying and he told me that before they spray they will be contacting each of us and we can decline to have our property sprayed. If you have any concerns about this spraying you can contact me or call Dan Edens.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

First Snow

We woke up to our first covering of snow this morning. We must have 2" to 3" of the wet snow, compared to the 10" to 12" that they got down in the cities. The temps right now are in the low 30's with a forecast of somewhat higher temps for the next few days, so we are hoping for the snow to melt. Our son and family who live in south Mpls. were some of the unlucky homeowners whose electric power was knocked out.

Deer Hunting

Deer hunting continues here on Oak Point. The number of hunters in the woods are down some this weekend from last weekend, but still lots of blaze orange hunters are out. I had the privilege of going hunting with Gilbert Starr on Saturday morning. Gilbert grew up on Oak Point, Starr Point area, and he knows the area like the back of his hand. He show me the area that he has hunted over the years, included various tree stands. He has plenty of stories of successful hunts, both deer and bear, associated with various stands. With the new snow on the ground maybe that can help me locate a deer. The Minnesota DNR estimates that nearly 90,000 deer were taken during the first weekend from the approximate 450,000 hunters in the woods. I have until November 21 to get my deer.


Saw my first flock of swans flying over this morning. They are usually the last migratory birds that use the Leech Lake area as a stop on their way south. Saw some birds on the lake yesterday, I don't know if they were fisherman or duck hunters, but I suspect their days are limited. Usually by Thanksgiving we have some ice on the "big lake". We typically don't see any ice fishing houses out until sometime in December. Been burning plenty of oak wood in our fireplace these shorter days since we are back on Central Standard Time. Darkness comes early. So a warm fire and a warm supper in the oven is welcome. I cooked a bear steak in the slow cooker that turned out real tender and very tasty and was a great main dish with some locally grown potatoes.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's That Time Again

The opening of the Minnesota Deer Firearms Season started on Saturday November 6th. It's like a state holiday here on Oak Point, second only to the Fishing Opener. Lots of hunters took to the woods Saturday morning. I have never seen more hunters out after the local deer herd. Oak Point is located entirely in Zone 197 where the season runs until Sunday November 21. I heard many success stories. Most of the larger parties had at least one successful hunter. I heard of one party that had three deer to their credit.

I went hunting myself for the first time in about 15 years. I was not successful myself, or should I say "not yet". I still have plenty of time. I had to borrow a rifle, buy some new blaze orange clothing, build a deer stand and bake some oatmeal cookies. I even had to find my hunting knife and sharpen it up. I had the help of my grandson Aaron, who visited us during the long MEA weekend, building the deer stand. Maybe sometime in the future we can get him up here for some hunting. It did feel strange sitting in the deer stand and listing to the Loons doings their musical serenade.

The weather we had was just great. We had wake up weather in the low 30's. Saturday we had a high in the high 40's and today we made the 50's with a calm winds. No rain. The strong winds that we had last week brought down some flocks of Bluebills ducks who fly over the surface of the water with a whistling noise.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Indian Summer

The weather we had this first full week of October was simply spectacular. We had sunny skies, and warm temperature in the 70's and even hitting 80 degrees a couple of days here on Oak Point. Lots of visitors up to their cabins to do fall chores these last few days. Most of the docks and lifts are now in, mine included. In many neighborhoods groups get together and work as a team to bring the equipment in. These are borrowed days that I am sure we will be paid back with cold temps fairly soon.


Another fall duty we all have on Oak Point is leaves. Actually I think the Oak leaves are down earlier this year then some of the years in the past. I think this is the case since many trees budded out earlier this spring then normal, so the time has come for the leaves to fall. Many of us have cleaned our leaves once this fall with the full knowledge that we will have to do it one more this fall. I will have to mulch the leaves at least once more this week.

Hunting and Fishing

The local duck hunter chased the local birds out already and they are waiting for the big flights to come in. Grouse hunting has been spotty, with a few birds taken by the hunters that work for their birds. No more bear sightings and very few deer sightings. I understand that the bow hunters have not seen many deer. I was lucky enough to draw a doe permit this year. Good reports on the Walleye fishing. Lots of fish being taken on the rocky points like Pine Point and Big Hardwood in the evening.


Picked a few green peppers and zucchini for the last time. I still have a few potatoes and beets to dig that I hope to do this week, then I begin the task of tilling the garden. I sort of dread this task for some reason. I guess I hate to see the season end.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Twin Cities Marathon

Our daughter-in-law Stephanie Nitchals ran her first marathon yesterday on a chilly October morning. Her time was 3 hrs and 53 min. and she stayed under 4 hours. This is the mother of our 3 grand kids. She took up running about two years ago. Their were 11,ooo runners that started the race, with about 9,000 finished. They estimated that 300,000 spectators lined the 26 miles of the streets to watch the race. She was the 357th woman to finish the race. We are real proud of her reaching this goal she set for herself.


We didn't have a frost here by Leech Lake, the big lake effect keep us warm on both Saturday and Sunday morning, but a few miles away from the lake there was frost. I took in my winter squash and dug the last of my baking potatoes this morning. I believe that our growing season has officially come to an end. Beautiful day today with heights for casted in the 60's and 70's this week.

Fall Chores

With the help of my neighbor and friend Dennis Yepma, we brought in my boat for the season. Took the boat into the marine shop to have it winterized and serviced for next year. My dock and lift are ready for those people to come this coming weekend to put that equipment up on shore. Had to take my leaf blower in to be worked on, should be able to get it by tomorrow.

High Speed Internet

I know that I have mentioned it before, one of our luxuries is the high speed Internet and cable TV that we get through Paul Bunyan Telephone out of Bemidji. I am able to get most of the sporting events live on my TV screen. This week the Twins start post season baseball. I get most of the NFL football games on Sunday, Sunday evening and on Monday nights. I am able to play fantasy Football with my friends on our computer. Not bad for living in the Chippewa National Forest.

Walleye Meeting

A reminder of the October 13th meeting that the DNR is having at the Walker HS Commons to discuss the proposed slot change from 18 to 26 inch fish to 20 to 26 inch fish. The meeting is from 6 to 9 pm. I plan on going and voicing my support for the change.