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Summer has come. It didn’t just walk in but instead strutted in and kicked the door down. Stifling heat, excessive rain and flooding hit us like a gut punch. So now fishing in a boat is more like being broiled on a grill over hot coals. Rains have washed out roads, taken lives and resurrecte…

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If you are reading this column I am guessing you like the outdoor life and all the benefits we pick up along the way like fish dinners, creamed pheasant, smoked duck and fresh apples off the tree. Planting apple trees is something I always wanted to do and after about 6 years of messing up I…

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We have officially moved into summer fishing. The spawn is mostly over around here. We did manage to take a bunch of beautiful bull bluegills the other day and we released some big females with a few eggs in their swollen bellies. There are other indicators it’s summer. Fireflies are lightin…

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River men of days past were crusty old men, unshaven, wearing dirty clothes with patched knees, shirts ripped and torn. Old River Rats who’d shuffle along the docks, laces dragging from old boots with worn leather and holes in their soles. A cigarette dangled from their mouth. Their old swea…

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 There no doubt is a correlation between great athletes and great students. Athletes who excel in their sports oftentimes will find their names towards the top of the list of outstanding students as well. Osceola recently had four wrestlers earn academic All-State status for their accomplish…

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We will never know for sure but it certainly looked like the 2020 St. Croix Falls Saints baseball team was in position to make a run at the top spot in the West Lakeland conference. St. Croix Falls finished second to a powerful Webster Tiger team in 2019 and Webster went on to claim their se…

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For some people it’s the magic of the water that attracts them. It could be the grandeur of the surroundings or chasing fish in a motorboat. For others it’s about exploring quiet waters with a paddle in your hand. I’ve always loved the quiet sports, simple non-motorized activities that don’t…

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The Osceola girls track and field team had a lot of momentum coming into the 2020 season. Osceola was fresh off winning the 2019 Middle Border conference title by 27 point over second place St. Croix Central. The Chieftains had won the Regional meet by 50 points over second place Ashland. OH…

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 You don’t have to be a great student to be a great athlete. You also don’t have to be an excellent athlete to be an excellent student. However being a very good athlete and a very good student oftentimes goes hand-in-hand. St. Croix Falls just proved this theory once again as three of their…

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The Osceola Braves Baseball Club is still waiting to find out whether or not they’ll have a season. 

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It’s Memorial Day weekend and the middle of morel mushroom season. I grew up in a family of hunter-gatherers. I think it all started with my dad, Earl McClay Bennett, who moved to Wisconsin in 1949 with 6 of 7 kids in tow. I was the last kid, born a week before Christmas 1950.

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Beginning your senior year in high school is a big step for anyone. Can you imagine traveling 4,200 miles to live in a different country for your senior year? Your destination has no people that you know and very few people speak your native language. It sounds like a daunting experience, do…

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The Osceola Chieftain’s soccer team finished sixth in the tough Middle Border conference last year. Although wins were hard to come by for the Chieftains they were close in several games but could not get the big goal when needed to add more Ws to their record. Osceola had lost 11 of their 2…

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 St. Croix Falls has had an abundance of wonderful students and great athletes over the years. This does not just happen. Those individuals who have been honored, of course, are very talented but they are also driven to do well. They practice and study hard and receive great direction from t…

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The two big Tom turkeys were gobbling up a storm. Big Gobbler One from the hill behind me south a hundred yards gobbled when another gobbler suddenly answered back 100 yards to my north with a challenging call. It was like I was in the middle of a YouTube video. They were hot and I was excit…

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 Last season was a tough one for the Osceola Chieftain tennis team. They certainly had some talent but they just did not have the depth on the roster that would have helped everyone be better. This season looked to be different with basically the entire roster returning from last year along …

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 Last season the St. Croix Falls Saints softball team finished fifth in the West Lakeland conference. SCF lost in the first round of the WIAA playoffs to Cumberland. St. Croix Falls lost some key players from last season. Their infield, except for their pitcher, was especially hard hit. Stil…

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 Sports are important for many reasons. Some of the obvious ones include helping to develop an athlete’s physical well-being, learn the concepts of teamwork and discipline, and learning how to accept and apply coaching. There are certainly other aspects of sports that are beneficial but yet …

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We spotted seven gobblers in the alfalfa field dancing up a storm for the two hens that seemed quite disinterested in their dance moves. John Travolta had something on these Toms with that cool white leisure suit in Saturday Night Fever. The scene did have an impact on my 11 year old wannabe…

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 Things were going very well for the Osceola Chieftain golf team. The Chieftains won the big 18-hole conference tournament last season on Krooked Kreek golf course in Osceola to wrap up the 2019 regular season. The win helped OHS secure third place in the tough Middle Border conference seaso…

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 Last season the Osceola Chieftain baseball team was scrappy. They started the season with very little experience but made up for this shortcoming by playing hard all the time. They made mistakes, like all teams do, but as they picked up experience they were a tough team to contend with. Osc…

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 The St. Croix Falls Saints team had slowly built a solid foundation. Coach Shawn Gudmunsen had been able to build his roster to a pretty solid team by the end of the 2019 season. With six returning letter winners and some talented newcomers St. Croix Falls was perhaps set to get back to the…

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It was like they had just popped out of the ground, like they had been pulled from a hat. The entire flock of hens and who knew what else were all putting and purring and giving me the evil eye. But the fence line was so thick they couldn’t be sure what I was. Maybe they thought I was a stum…

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 Osceola lost a ton of talent from the 2019 track and field boys team. Gone via graduation were Justin Vorndran, Sam Trinitapoli, Tray Scott, Gustav Peterson, Gavin Peterson, Seth Ott, Karter McNutt, Gabe Lowney, James Korzenowski, Matthew Koprek, Cole Johnson, Ethan Boileau and Gabe Baier. …

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 Veteran Osceola Chieftain softball coach James Gillespie was set to go. He had varsity assistant coach AnnMarie Campeau and junior varsity coach Eric Kisler ready to help evaluate his 27 player roster but the season has been canceled. All that can be done now is to think about what could ha…

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I never thought I’d get addicted to spring turkey hunting like I have but it happened. It’s all about the gobbling of a Big Tom Turkey that for me started in Wisconsin’s first year of turkey hunting way back in 1976! He is LOUD, gobbling up a storm to let everyone know he is out there. Thund…

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 This week the Middle Border conference is releasing the names of their scholar athlete team for 2020. Each of the eight schools in the MBC has a girl and boy athlete recognized for their excellence in the classroom and as an athlete. The Osceola student athletes recognized are Caroline Gear…

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It was not surprising when it was announced. Although many held on to the hope that some sort of spring high school sports season could be salvaged, last week the WIAA announced that the spring sports competitions and tournaments have been canceled in Wisconsin. Virtual coaching will be allo…

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Larry Benitz grew up in Boyceville, Wisc. He quickly grew to love his hometown and sports were a full time attraction to him. After graduating from high school Benitz enrolled at the Univeristy of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and became a Blugold. After his college graduation he applied for a teachi…

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I was up at 6 a.m. this morning to go scout turkeys and get permission to hunt on private lands where I had spotted some turkeys the day before. I was driving around when I saw a half dozen big black blobs in the distance next to some brown blobs. Once I got my binoculars on them, I confirme…

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I’m getting a lot of calls and questions of late regarding ‘when?’  Sticking to outdoor themes, these “when questions” are an annual thing that revolve about not being too late. You never want to hear that age-old response of, “You should have been here yesterday.”  Every spring the first wh…

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The Wisconsin high school spring sports remain on hold as the coronavirus devastates the state, the nation and the world. Vigilance concerning the virus is the top priority. Covid-19 has already drastically affected most of our lives and it appears that things will get worse before they ulti…

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My son Josh and I were online applying for spring turkey bonus tags for this year’s spring turkey hunting seasons in Wisconsin. We were both successful in being drawn for our original season choices for mid April and now we’ve both picked up a second bonus tag to hunt later. Josh wanted to g…

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The winter sports season came to an abrupt end to high schools throughout the nation due to the coronavirus. In Wisconsin the girls’ State tournament was in progress and the boys’ Sectional action was scheduled when it was decided that risks were too great to continue the seasons. The Osceol…

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Every time I head into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula I feel like I’m taking a step back in time and it’s a good feeling. The scenery’s more rustic, the rocks more ancient, the buildings more historic and the fish seem bigger and fight harder. Lake Gogebic was our target. A huge lake almost 20 m…

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I knew Jim Evrard first as a DNR wildlife biologist, researcher, wildlife manager, duck hunter, husband, father, deer hunter, angler, bird hunter, dog lover, blueberry picker and good friend. I was lucky to work with Jim when I was employed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in…

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The Osceola Chieftain powerlifters just got back from the State meet in Appleton. Historically Osceola isn’t satisfied to just get to State; they want to make a name for themselves once they get there. The 2020 results show that the Chieftains once again competed well with the OHS boys finis…

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It wasn’t the season that Osceola boys basketball coach Jacob Meyer and his Chieftain players had hoped for. Osceola ended their 2019-2020 season last week with a first round loss in the WIAA Regional in a game at Northwestern against the Tigers. On paper it was going to be a tough game for …

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Like many of you, I’m thinking about a trip to the Boundary Waters. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is nearly 1.1 million acres of boreal forest laced with interconnected lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands and aquifers. I have drunk clean water right from the middle of remote…

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It is always tough to have your sports season come to an end. That is what happened to the Osceola Chieftain girls basketball team when they lost in the first round of WIAA Regional action against the Baldwin-Woodville Blackhawks. Osceola had defeated BW in a Middle Border conference game th…

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Too bad the regular season has ended for the Osceola Chieftain boys basketball team. Last week was another good week for Osceola as they closed out the Middle Border conference season with a hard-earned road win at Ellsworth against the Panthers. The next night the Chieftains played the West…