Thursday, July 18, 2019
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Watercraft Registration Fees to Double in Minnesota! Here’s Why!

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Watercraft, pontoon, boat tied to a dock on a Minnesota Lake.

Aquatic invasive species are a growing problem in almost every body of water in the United States.
Minnesota is going to do something about it.

For 26 years the fee for registering a watercraft in Minnesota has remained the same, in a measure that has the support of the majority of boating and lake groups the AIS registration surcharge will double in price beginning July 1 of 2019.

It is should be supported by anyone who enjoys any outdoor recreational activity involving water because the increase will have a huge impact on how well Minnesota can work to not only manage the problem of aquatic invasive species but to also work to prevent further spread to uninfected bodies of water.

This measure is highly significant as there has been no fee increase to AIS registration surcharges since 1993, this fact should make the fee change of $5 to $10.60 a bit easier to swallow.

The surcharge will be put into effect when people register a new watercraft or when they renew the registration on watercraft they already own.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has always focused a great deal of time and attention on reducing the spread of aquatic invasive species. The AIS surcharge will assist the Minnesota DNR and it’s partners in not only managing the existing infestations but more importantly to stop or reduce the spread of AIS infections into new bodies of water. The increases will also help prevent new species from getting a stranglehold on any area water bodies.

Controlling AIS infections can be costly. There are many things that need to be taken into consideration.. The DNR needs many tools to keep things under control. AIS inspections are of utmost importance. It is equally important however that they have the funding to investigate areas that may have new infestations of either common AIS or of new ones that have previously not been in the area.

Many management grants have had to be cut due to lack of money, this has the potential to create a huge problem.

The AIS surcharge fee increase will bring in and increase of $880,000.00 per year that can be put toward the Invasive species program run by the DNR for the fiscal years 2020 – 2021. A portion of these funds will be earmarked to get the grants reinstated.

Gov. Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan included AIS surcharge increase in their budget package. The Fee was included in this years omnibus environment and natural resources bill and was passed by the Minnesota Legislature.

Heidi Wolf who is the Supervisor of the Invasive Species unit of the Minnesota DNR had this to say about the fee increase:

“We’re grateful to the lake associations, boating groups and many others who supported this long-needed increase,” Heidi  Wolf went on to state: “They are a vital part of the important and effective work Minnesotans are doing to prevent the spread of and manage aquatic invasive species.”

The Minnesota DNR has made laws specifically to prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasive species.

It is imperative that ALL boaters and anglers follow these laws Every time they take their watercrafts out.

Follow these laws and do your part to keep invasive species under control:

  • Clean aquatic plants and animals from watercraft.
  • Drain all of the water by removing drain plugs, keep drain plugs out while transporting watercraft.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
Eurasian Milfoil is one of many aquatic invasive species infesting Minnesota waters.

 

Aquatic Invasive species are not always easy to spot. Most everyone has seen Eurasian Milfoil. It is usually quite obvious when it is present in a pond, or lake it is easy to spot.

 

 

Zebra Mussel are very small and could easily be missed if watercraft are not properly cleaned.

Other invasive species are a bit harder to spot. They may be very small and hard to see or be in areas of the watercraft that are difficult to see into. Zebra mussels are quite small and very tiny when they are young.

 

Smaller yet is the Spiny Water Flea.

Photo Credit: Minnesota DNR. Spiny Water flea, Magnified.

They can live in the water that is not drained from the boat such as live wells, ballast tanks and other places that hold water. They also can attach to rig lines anchors and ropes.

 

 

Take one or more of the following precautions before putting the boat in any other body of water. This is especially important if you are taking your watercraft from and area that is known to be infested with an aquatic invasive species.

 

Always follow these simple steps when transporting a watercraft:

  • Spray with very high-pressure water.
  • Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees for a minimum of two minutes or at 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds).
  • Dry for at least five days.

Following these steps will kill or dislodge any Aquatic Invasive Species who may be “hitchhiking” on your watercraft.

The best way to stop the spread of these plants and animals is by following the laws and suggestions given here.

Remember the water is for everyone. We enjoy it let’s be sure our children and grandchildren can enjoy it too.

You can find out more about the many aquatic invasive species that lurk in Minnesota waters and most importantly how to prevent their spread at mndnr.gov/ais.

 

Michigan State Parks Campfires, S’mores and Storytellers

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Michigan State Park Campfire Storytelling Events

 

Telling stories around the campfire is a time-honored tradition. Often, those stories contain playful anecdotes and deeply personal memories.

As part of the Michigan state parks centennial, the DNR is hosting storytelling events where you’ll hear seasoned storytellers share their personal park tales.

 

Side view of a ponytailed African American woman speaking into a microphone, outdoors, with the sun shining behind her. Photo Credit Michigan DNR

At a recent event in Lansing, Alexis Horton, the DNR’s diversity, equity and inclusion officer, engaged the crowd with her memories of introducing a group of students who’d never camped before to the fun and camaraderie of s’mores and time outdoors at Waterloo Recreation Area. Listen to Alexis’s story hereListen to Alexis’s story here.

 

Just this past weekend, the DNR hosted a campfire storytelling event in Interlochen. If you missed this event don’t worry there are still 3 more that are coming up this summer.

Future Campfire Storytelling events:

  • July 20 at Van Riper State Park (Champion)
  • Aug. 17 at Belle Isle (Detroit)a
  • Sept. 21 at Yankee Springs Recreation Area (Middleville)

 

These events are more than just listening to spoken stories; they’re a way for people to connect with treasured experiences.

Learn more about the centennial Campfire Storytelling Project at Michigan.gov/StateParks100. Questions? Contact Maia Turek, 989-225-8573.

Basic Ice Fishing Tips for Beginners

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If you enjoy summer fishing and are looking for a new way to enjoy fishing in the winter. The ice fishing is for you! As, soon as the ice freezes on area lakes, rivers and pond let the fishing begin. Then ice fishing is the perfect way to cure those winter blues. If your interested in ice fishing, but need to learn the ropes like: what ice fishing pole should you use? or what ice fishing shelter is best? Then, watch this great ice fishing starter video from the Bow Habitat Station, as they explain things and show you just how ice fishing is done for beginners.

Hand-Selected Ice Fishing Gear for Beginners

Great Beginner Ice Fishing Poles

Click Product Images for Details

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo

Abu Garcia Veritas 3.0 Ice Combo

Great Beginner Ice Fishing Shelters

Click Product Images for Details

Eskimo FatFish Portable 3-4 Person Pop Up Ice Fishing Shanty Shack Shelter Hut
Frabill 640410 Shelter Aegis Frt Door 2110

New Minnesota State Records set for Golden Redhorse and Whitefish

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Relaxing evening of fishing for the next Minnesota State Record.

Anglers have set new Minnesota state records for Whitefish and Golden Redhorse.

The Minnesota DNR has already been busy certifying new State Records for Fish.

First an angler from Oklahoma caught a 13 pound, 9 ounce Whitefish while on his first ice fishing trip. The second record fish caught this year is a golden redhorse weighing in at 4 pound, 13 ounces by an angler who wasn’t about to let anyone break his record so he did it himself.

Minnesota has to categories for State record fish.

  • Fish that are caught and kept
  • Fish that are catch and release only (Northern Pike, Muskellunge, Lake Sturgeon and Flathead Catfish)

On April 6th Oklahoma native Billy King decided to give Ice fishing in Minnesota’s’ Lake of the Woods a try.

Billy and two other anglers were having success catching  walleye, sauger, and tulibee, it seemed in the beginning that his friends were going to have a better fishing experience as they all spent the evening waiting for the sunset Walleye to get their bite on as they fished near a sandbar.

King could have gotten discouraged as he watched his friends pulling in more fish than him but he stayed at his spot and wow what rewards. First he caught the biggest walleye of the day! That was just the beginning, he knew this was an awesome first ice fishing trip when shortly after getting the walleye he pulled in a huge Whitefish!

Oklahoma Native Billy King holding his Minnesota State Record Whitefish caught during his first ever Ice fishing trip.
Oklahoma Native Billy King holding his Minnesota State Record Whitefish caught during his first ever Ice fishing trip.

“This turned out to be the trip of a lifetime and I have to say that everyone was so nice. Not just in relation to the potential new state record but everyone was so polite and welcoming. It made the trip all the more enjoyable,” King said.

Ethan Rasset is no stranger to state fishing records. In April of 2018 he caught his first state record Golden Redhorse which weighted in at 4 pounds, 8 ounces while fishing the Otter Tail River.

On March 24th he decided to take a fishing trip with a couple of college buddies and see if the Otter Tail still had any big fish to offer.

During the early morning he caught a few smaller golden redhorse. His chartreuse curly-tail artificial lure proved to be to much for this 4 pound, 13 ounce fish who was in a shallow flat covered in rubble to resist. Now Ethan Rasset holds the Minnesota State record for the biggest Golden Redhorse for the Second time, and he was pretty excited about it!

 

Ethan Rasset Holds his Second Minnesota State Record Golden Redhorse
Ethan Rasset Holds his Second Minnesota State Record Golden Redhorse

“Very few people can say they have broken a state record twice!” Rasset said.

 

 

 

Current records and information about how to submit documentation for a record fish are available at mndnr.gov/recordfish.

The Impressive Bug Collection of Andrew Markey Inspires Others to Get Outdoors

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An Insect from Andrew Markey's (AKA - @bugboy) Collection
An Insect from Andrew Markey's (AKA - @bugboy) Collection

Meet Andrew Markey, an amateur entomologist with an impressive collection of hundreds of mounted bug specimens from around the world.

He is better known as @bugboy on Instagram, where he has become an inspirational figure – all thanks to his love and passion for bugs. You’re probably wondering why bugs? After all, most bugs tend to have a bad reputation. It all started after Andrew shared some photos of his insects on social media four years ago, captivating thousands of people and giving them a new appreciation for these remarkable creatures, and inspiring others to pursue their interest in zoology fields such as entomology (the study of insects). Andrew’s audience enjoys seeing these strange, yet beautiful creatures from different parts of the world. From the Amazon rainforest to the mountains of Indonesia, his collection is quite diverse, with many being rare and outstanding in size and color. They are truly a work of art.

“I have always loved the great outdoors. I spent many days being outside appreciating our wildlife. The earliest memory of my fascination with insects was at around the age of 7 after discovering a large grasshopper in my backyard. I was intrigued, so I caught and kept it as a pet for some time. I told one of my elementary school teachers about the grasshopper and that’s when I learned about this specific field of study called entomology. I was inspired to check out some books on insects, and one particularly talked about how to collect and preserve insects from the wild. And this is what led me to the road to perdition,” Andrew explains how he got started in the hobby.

“Getting children interested in bugs at an early age is crucial to dismiss the myths that surround these invertebrates. . .” says Andrew.

Andrew started his collection with local Michigan insects first before expanding to the extraordinary large ones found overseas. Displaying mounted insect specimens is often compared to taxidermy, but there’s more to it. Entomological collections are a valuable resource for scientific research and can help scientists quickly identify invasive pests that affect agriculture. His collection continues to grow and he hopes to have it on public display, whether at a zoo or children’s museum, within the next couple of years for others to enjoy.

Andrew is passionate about the great outdoors and encourages others to get outside and explore nature. He also loves educating people and uses his amazing collection of bugs for educational outreach, visiting various schools, clubs, community organizations, and even private birthday parties, teaching children about biodiversity and the ecological importance of arthropods, in hopes to increase their interest in science and outdoor activities. The hobby of bug catching is also great for home-schooled children who enjoy hands-on learning and outdoor adventure. Andrew says that outdoor learning can have a positive impact on a child’s development and improve their academic performance as it gives them the real-life application of what they are learning.

“Getting children interested in bugs at an early age is crucial to dismiss the myths that surround these invertebrates. Most of the fear that we have with bugs is usually a result from media or common misconceptions, portraying these animals as dreadful creatures, but through outreach opportunities, kids get to see some of these bugs up close, while providing them the chance to ask questions and even interact with them,” says Andrew.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a net and get outside with your kids and observe some of nature’s most underrated creatures and step into the amazing world of bugs! Check out Andrew’s impressive collection of critters on Instagram and give him a follow at @bugboy or visit his personal website and take a virtual tour at www.andrewmarkey.com.

Wisconsin 2019 Migratory Bird Hunting Seasons Approved

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Migratory waterfowl season set for 2019
Migratory waterfowl season set for 2019

Migratory game bird hunters in Wisconsin pursuing ducks, geese, doves, woodcock and other migratory game birds will see some small changes in 2019

This is in comparison to previous years under a new rule that was approved by the state Natural Resources Board at its April 10, 2019 meeting in Madison.

These season frameworks were based on federal guidelines, public comments, input from conservation and hunting groups as well as from results from a waterfowl hunter survey. The waterfowl program expanded its outreach efforts this year to collect public input by using an online input tool and broader outreach via Facebook and email distribution. More than 300,000 people received an email asking for public input, and through social media the department reached more than 51,000 people. These outreach efforts increased participation in public comment on waterfowl season structure by more than 1,000 percent over previous years.

The first of the 2019 migratory game bird seasons [PDF] will open with the early goose seasons (Canada and Light geese), mourning dove and early teal seasons. Regular waterfowl hunting seasons will include a 60-day duck season and a 92-day regular goose season.

Highlights from the approved season structure include:

  • Early teal season length has increased to nine days (Sept. 1 – 9);
  • The three duck zones will open on a single statewide opener for the north, south and Mississippi zones on Sept. 28;
  • A second split in the south Canada goose zone results in a goose season that is open during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays; and
  • An increase in the black duck bag limit (from one to two) and a decrease in pintail daily bag limit (from two to one) based on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service season framework.

As a reminder to Canada goose hunters, registration of Canada geese and in-field validation of the Canada goose hunting permit is no longer required.

Early season dates are as follows:

  • Early Teal, Sept. 1-9: six teal (blue-winged or green-winged)
    WI DNR set limits for Mourning Doves along with other game birds.
    Mourning Dove season will run from Sept. 1 to Nov. 29: The bag limit 15 birds per day.

    per day, sunrise to sunset shooting hours;

  • Early Goose, Sept. 1-15: five Canada geese per day, 20 light geese per day (Snow/Blue and Ross’);
  • Mourning Dove, Sept. 1 to Nov. 29: 15 birds per day; and
  • Woodcock, Sept. 21 to Nov. 4: three birds per day.

Duck season dates and bag limits are as follows:

  • Opening day shooting hours begin one-half hour before sunrise for all regular waterfowl hunting seasons.
  • Youth Hunt: Sept. 14-15;
  • North Zone: Sept. 28 to Nov. 26;
  • South Zone: Sept. 28 to Oct. 6 and Oct. 12 to Dec. 1 (five-day split); and
  • Mississippi Zone: Sept. 28 to Oct. 4 and Oct. 12 to Dec. 3 (seven-day split, closed Oct. 5-11).

The daily bag limit statewide is six ducks, including no more than:

  • Four mallards, of which only one may be a hen

    Male and Female Mallard ducks
    The daily bag limit statewide is six ducks, including no more than:
    four mallards, of which only one may be a hen.
  • Two black ducks
  • Two canvasbacks
  • Three wood ducks
  • One pintail
  • Three scaup
  • Two redheads
  • Five mergansers may be harvested daily, of which no more than two may be hooded.

With the elimination of the Horicon Canada goose management zone, the state now has a single statewide goose hunting zone for the regular season. The Mississippi River is a sub-zone within the statewide zone.

The Natural Resources Board approved the incorporation of a second split in the Southern Zone regular Canada Goose season that would close the season down with the South Zone duck season and reopen again on Dec. 14 and run through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Exterior Zone (92 days total):

  • North Zone: Sept. 16 to Dec. 16;
  • South Zone: Sept. 16 to Oct. 6 (5-day Split) and Oct. 12 to Dec. 1 (12-day split) and Dec. 16 – Jan. 4, 2020; and
  • Mississippi Zone: Sept. 28 to Oct. 4 and Oct. 12 to Jan. 4.

For more information regarding waterfowl hunting in Wisconsin, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword “waterfowl.”

 

Dirigo Custom Boatworks Builds Canoe for Injured Veterans

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Dirigo Custom Boatworks Builds Canoe for Injured Veterans

A new Maine company has built a specialized canoe for mobility challenged veterans in the tradition of Down East custom boat building.

This unique canoe will greatly enable Maine’s outdoor therapy veteran non profits to increase access to Maine’s healing woods and waters.

Dirigo Custom Boat Works has built the Big Jack 24 foot Grand Laker style canoe for the purpose of safely transporting injured veterans on Maine’s waters as they participate in outdoor adaptive fly fishing programs.

Registered Maine Guide Jack Mosher designed the canoe after he concluded that modern fishing boats are unsuitable for the mobility challenged veterans his nonprofit company brings fly fishing. Mosher explained, “Our re-calibrated warriors have special needs when it comes to adaptive outdoor recreation, and necessity is the mother of invention. We needed a specialized fly fishing canoe for our veterans to complete their recoveries in the Maine outdoors. If you need a custom boat built in Maine, you go Down East!”

Dirigo Custom BoatworksMosher found a new company in Steuben, Maine that had recently completed several canoes in the Grande Laker style. “I really liked the quality, attention to detail and innovation of their work, so I contacted them and explained what we needed,” said Mosher. After a short phone conversation with owner Nate Faulkingham, Mosher traveled to their shop to meet in person with only a hand drawn sketch to show for architectural plans. “Nate and Jon looked at my drawings and said, Okay, we can do that!”

“It was very clear to me that they understood the importance of this canoe to our veterans’ community. We have seen a welcome surge of outdoor recreation in Maine with great non-profits bringing our injured veterans here from all over the country to recover. Mosher’s company (Gold Star Outfitters, Inc) provides pro bono guide and outfitting services for veteran support non-profits such as the Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat, House in the Woods and Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing.

“This canoe will truly enable our guides to bring veterans and their families into the healing sanctuaries of Maine’s abundant lakes and rivers. It is clear to me that our state’s rich history of Down East custom boat building is alive and well at Dirigo Custom Boatworks and I am so thankful for the crew’s work in building Big Jack with such care and professionalism,” Mosher concluded.

The Big Jack dedication ceremony and christening is scheduled for 12:00 PM on March 30, 2019 at the 2019 Maine Sportsman Show, Augusta Civic Center. All veterans and their families are invited to attend with special emphasis on Vietnam Veterans as they celebrate their 50th service anniversary year of 1969.

Snowmobile Safety Refresher | Safety First Makes For Fun In the Snow!

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Snowmobile Safety is Very Important | Outdoor Newspaper

This has been one wild, crazy snowmobile season! Substantial amounts of snowfall have broken records in some Midwestern States.

This may be making the general population crazy, however there is one group of people who are loving every single flake that falls.

The people who love to snowmobile. It has been way to long since they have even been able to ride. This winter that have enjoyed good trail conditions almost all winter. March came in like a lion, from the looks of the forecast maps the lamb is still in hiding so snowmobilers should be able to snowmobile right up till the last day.

Even though there is less than a month of snowmobile season left it is not too late to recap snowmobile safety. In fact, it is the perfect time.

If you are a “newbie” take notes, if you have been riding a snowmobile your whole life then this is a wonderful time for a little refresher.

So Here Are Eight Safety Tips:

Zero Alcohol!

  • Don’t consume any alcohol, or any drugs that could impair your senses before or during your ride.
  • Save the party for after the snowmobile is parked for the day and you and your friends are all safely back at the hotel, cabin or home.

Why This is Important:

  • There were 23 snowmobiling fatalities in Wisconsin during the last season.
  • In 70 % of these deaths Alcohol was the leading contributing factor.
  • That is 16.1 deaths that could have been avoided by just waiting to have that drink.

 

Slow down:

  • The DNR has set speed limits for all trails for specific hours. So, it is the law.
  • Do not Cut trail corners to the inside is not only dangerous but also illegal.
  • Drive for conditions
  • Maintain a speed that will allow time for you to stop in an emergency.
  • Do not drive faster than the slowest member of your group can safely drive.
Slow Down When Driving in the Evening and Night hours.| Outdoor Newspaper

Why This is Important:

  • In nearly every snowmobiling accident that has ended in loss of life, speed has been a contributing factor.
  • In Wisconsin the DNR has lowered the speed limit at night to 55 for the last 4 seasons and have seen a significant decrease in accidents during those hours.

 

Never travel alone.

  • The “buddy system” is the best policy. Ride with a friend
  • A fun ride can become an extremely dangerous situation if an accident were to occur and there is no one there to help or call for help.

Why This is Important:

  • A snowmobile accident usually means someone will be hurt, so if you have no choice but to go alone be sure someone knows your destination, what trails you are taking and when you expect to get there and return home.

 

Be Prepared (even on short trips)

  • Always carry a GPS and a map of the trails you plan to ride, even if you are familiar with the area.
  • Carry a Cell Phone, Satellite Phone or even walkie talkies.
  • Check for Winter Weather Advisories or Warnings
  • Check with local snowmobile clubs to find out the condition of trails before you ride.
  • Turn up your machine, make sure all is in working order.
  • Never leave without a full tank of gas and the oil filled up.

Why This is Important:

  • It is important to have a way to communicate with the rest of your crew if you get separated.
  • It is imporant to be prepared for the worst. That way you can feel secure in enjoying the trip, knowing that things are planned out

 

Dress Appropriately

  • Always were a snowmobile helmet with either a full-face mask/shield or goggles.
  • Wear layers of clothing that are water repellent.
  • Be sure there are no loose strings or ties that could get caught or tangled in the snowmobile or other equipment.

Why This is Important:

  • It is important to keep your body protected from the elements.
  • Conditions can change fast, layers can be removed or added as needed.
  • Water Repellent outerwear is important, spring riding could get slushy the dryer you stay the warmer you stay.

 

Carry a first-aid kit

      • Flashlight
      • Knife
      • Compass
      • Map
      • Waterproof matches
      • Extra Batteries

    • Why This is Important:

      • If an emergency where to occur help may take a while to arrive, being prepared for the worst is always the best policy. Having a fully stocked first aid kit is a good start to being prepared.

      Avoid Traveling Across Bodies of Water

      • It is always best to avoid traveling across frozen bodies of water.
      • If you must travel across ice be pro-active.
      • Check ice conditions by speaking to local police, bait shops and the area snowmobile clubs first.

      Why This Is Important:

      • No Ice is Safe Ice.
      • Ice conditions can change very quickly, ice that was safe one day may not be safe the next.
      • This true of all ice whether it is on a pond, lake, stream, or river.

      Stay on Marked Trails

      • Where marked trails are not available follow the rules set by the DNR.
        Snowmobile Trails are the Safest Place to Ride.| Outdoor Newspaper
        Snowmobile Trails are the Safest Place to Ride.| Outdoor Newspaper

         

      • If you are in an area where it is allowed ride on the right shoulder of the road.
      • Return to the trail as soon as possible.
      • Be alert for fences, tree stumps and stretched wire that may be concealed by snow.

      Why This Is Important:

      • Marked trails have been designed specifically for snowmobiles.
      • It is the safest place to snowmobile
      • It is the law.

       

      These tips should make for an impressive end a long-awaited snowmobile season.

       

Outdoors Meme: I Fish to Live

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Outdoors Meme - I don't live to fish - I fish to live!

Outdoors Meme - I don't live to fish - I fish to live!Outdoors Meme – I Don’t Live to Fish
~
I Fish to Live!

Outdoors Meme: Birds Not Dropping Duck Hunting Dog Meme

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Birds Not Dropping Duck Hunting Dog Meme Outdoor Newspaper

Birds Not Dropping Duck Hunting Dog Meme Outdoor Newspaper

WTH!! Come-on! You Keep Shooting. . .

But Birds Are Not Dropping!!  :’( :’(

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