My Areas

Come adventure with the Wildman

Fishing Areas

The Brainerd Lakes Area serves as my primary playground. Some of my favorite lakes include the ones that are home to musky. It is a well-known fact that it takes a healthy predatory fish population to play a part in managing all the other species – thus, musky water typically holds big bass, panfish, walleye and pike. There is something so special about hooking up, and never knowing for sure what bit until you see it. Often, we catch multiple species of fish on the same bait in the same place. Examples of these waters include Lake Mille Lacs, Lake Alexander, Cedar Lake, Shamineau Lake, The Gull Chain and the Longville Area Lakes.

Undeveloped lakes are also favorites of mine… those with wilderness along the shorelines. These lakes tend to go unnoticed, get less fishing pressure, and have a great chance of seeing more wildlife while fishing – which always adds to the experience. I especially enjoy fishing portions of the Mississippi River. The others, I won’t mention.

I’m also happy to travel wherever the business takes me. Some of my favorite lakes to fish are up north – Lakes Bemidji and Vermilion – where I go for multiple day trips. If you are interested in a particular lake, hit me up! I might be familiar, but if I’m not, we can scout it together, or perhaps I can connect you with a guide who is better suited for that water.

Hunting Areas

Northern Crow Wing County and Cass County are my “stomping grounds” for hunting roughed grouse and woodcock. I have spent several decades scouting public land during the fall. Having different stages of forest growth (a big goal for selective logging practices) has been crucial to providing the best habitat for game species. Among hunters (where I come from), Cass County is well known for it’s logging practices, but I always say – 90% of the grouse are in 10% of the habitat, so you have to know where the best “pockets” are. My eyes are trained to know it when I see it.

Depending on habitat, nesting success, and “the cycle” – grouse numbers can vary drastically from year to year in Crow Wing and Cass Counties. If numbers are poor, and if my clients are able to hunt for more than one day – I typically go farther north – even as far as the Canadian Border, where numbers are almost always much, much better. In the fall of 2022, we enjoyed 20-30 flushes per day in some areas. Let’s hope this continues!

Grouse hunts can be very challenging in the early season – from the opener in mid-September to early October. It can be hot, and the leaves are up – so visibility is poor. You tend to “hear birds” but not see them. At the same time, broods may still be together, offering multiple opportunities along trails and logging roads. It’s all about getting a shot. Sometimes, we “pray and spray”, as long as it’s safe, and are surprised to pick up a bird. Hey, shooting is fun!

Grouse hunting is ideal during the month of October, when leaves are changing, many are down, and birds are easier to see and shoot at. Early December, after deer season is over, can be a bonanza too. Late December tends to have deep snow – so this time of year is for the hard core, or in-shape hunter with lots of desire to cover ground to find grouped-up birds.

Pheasant hunts are available in Western and Southwestern Minnesota throughout the season – which begins in mid-October and ends in early January. Early season hunting can be hot, and walking through tall grass and cover can be exhausting for man and dog. Late winter hunts means the same… yes colder, but a guy gets hot and tired trudging through deep snow. Be prepared!

Stay tuned for news on possible hunts for Gambel’s, Scaled, and Mearns Quail in Southern Arizona beginning the winter of 2024/2025. If you have an interest in both hunting and fishing, make sure and ask about the “Hook and Trigger” option (formerly known as “Cast and Blast”), where we fish and hunt on the same trip!

Pheasants Forever
Quail Forever
Muskies inc.