The Rooster Crows – March 26, 2010

By Bill Anderson

Spring has sprung! The northward migrating snow and blue geese, which had been down in Nebraska only a week earlier, arrived here in huge numbers by Thursday and Friday of last week, their noisy, squawking flights over town nearly drowning out the rattle of diesel powered pickup engines on Rutland’s Main Street. The Spring conservation hunting season on these birds has been open for a month, and some shooting near town was heard last weekend. No reports of hunter success have been received as of this writing, though. These geese may be bird-brains, but they are not totally devoid of sense. By the time they arrive at this point in their Spring migration, they have already been shot at for 1,500 miles, and have become quite adept at avoiding their ground bound pursuers. The successful hunter, even in a season in which there are hundreds of thousands of geese and there is no legal limit on the number that may be taken, must be at least as wily as a goose, and an embarrassing number find that they have difficulty crossing that intellectual threshold. The Spring conservation hunt of snow and blue geese is held in an attempt to keep the prolific birds from over-populating, over-grazing and destroying their summer range in northern Canada. The huge populations of snow and blue geese, as well as of other waterfowl, including their cousins, the magnificent giant Canada geese, are the products of conservation efforts begun more than a century ago, during the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, himself an avid hunter and outdoors enthusiast. The efforts have been so successful that some species, once thought to be headed for extinction, are now so numerous as to be regarded as pests in many areas. Well, it is the hunter’s good fortune. When it comes to fishing, waterfowl hunting, upland game hunting or big game hunting in southeastern North Dakota, the “good old days” are right now.

Friday, March 19, was the day for the Grand Opening at the remodeled and renovated Rutland Café. The Rutland General Store, owned and managed by Gretchen Vann, acquired the Café from Shari Leinen back in mid-October, and spent the next 3½ months in a make-over of the facility that was originally built and equipped in 1948. Carpenter John Buskohl of Milnor did most of the remodeling work, while Calvin Jacobson and crew of Jacobson Plumbing, Heating and Excavating of Rutland took care of their specialties and Harvey Kleingarn of B&K Electric of Forman re-wired the business. At 10:00 on Friday morning, Shirley Mahrer cut the ribbon opening the corridor between the General Store and the Café, after brief remarks by owner Vann. Mrs. Mahrer’s late husband, Bernard Mahrer, was the original builder, owner and operator of the Café, 62 years ago. Other operators and owners, including: Bernard’s parents, Frank & Minnie Mahrer; Harry & Martha Christensen; Henry & Mabel Hare; David & Adeline Brakke; Edna Anderson & Lois Nelson on behalf of the Rutland Commercial Club; Ralph & Lois Nelson; Sue Nathe; and, Shari Leinen were also recognized and honored during the ceremony. A number of prizes were awarded in drawings held throughout the day, including a Grand Prize of an “Auto-Start”, with installation, contributed by Dick Nelson Sales & Leasing of Valley City. Dick’s parents, Ralph & Lois Nelson, owned and operated the Café for 36 years, from 1962 through 1998. The Grand Prize was won by Ella Lou Nelson of Rutland. The Rutland community is fortunate to have such a fine commercial facility on its Main Street, and extends congratulations to the owner and employees on a job well done.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – March 26, 2010”

The Rooster Crows – February 26, 2010

By Bill Anderson

The Calendar said February 24 on Wednesday morning, but the thermometer said it was the 55th day of January, according to the Assembled Wise Men at the Rutland Café. Depending on whose thermometer was checked, the mercury was hovering at somewhere between 21 and 25 degrees below zero. “Is it cold enough for you?” was the question of the day, to which the correct answer was, “Not until the fat lady sings!” The answer was nonsense, but so was the question.

Kevin and Wendy Willprecht returned from a Winter vacation get-away in Jamaica on Friday, February 19. They had flown out of Fargo a week earlier, making stops at Minneapolis and Atlanta before landing at Montego Bay.  The Breezes Beach Resort near the city of Nigrel was their final destination.  Kevin reports that 7 miles of white sand beach and ocean water temperatures hovering around 80 helped make their stay a pleasant one. Coffee beans and sugar cane are the two major crops grown on the mountainous island, says Kevin, with much of the sugar cane becoming the raw material for the production of Jamaican rum, one of the island nation’s major exports, along with bauxite, the ore from which aluminum is made. A former British colony, Jamaica has been an independent nation since 1962. Despite a booming tourism business, much of the island nation’s population appears to struggle with Third World economic status, says Kevin. All in all, he reports a very enjoyable time on the tropical Caribbean paradise. The Wilprecht’s children spent their vacation time in the Grandma and Grandpa Resort at the home of Arlen & Jan Willprecht in Lidgerwood, where the attentive staff catered to their every need.

Rob & Lacey Wyum departed Rutland on Friday, February 19, bound for Minneapolis, where they boarded a flight to Miami on Saturday, Feb. 20, with their destination being a cruise ship headed for the eastern Caribbean. The cruise is a delayed honeymoon trip for Rob and Lacey, who were married in Milnor last October. Rob is employed with his father, Mark, and uncles, Steve and Mike, in the Wyum Brothers Ransom Township farm business. Lacey is employed at the Sargent County Abstract Co. in Rutland and in the Clerk of Court’s office at the Sargent County Courthouse in Forman.

Here’s some urgently needed information! The Spring Conservation Snow and Blue Goose hunting season opened in North Dakota on Saturday, February 20.  Although we have plenty of snow, right now we have no geese. According to Jack Lalor, Assistant Project Manager at the Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge, the geese are still down in Texas, Louisiana and Mexico with the rest of the snowbirds, waiting for the snow between here and there to melt. As conditions appear now, Mr. Lalor stated, it is unlikely that many geese will be seen here before late March or early April. The purpose of the Spring conservation season is to reduce the numbers of snow and blue geese so they do not over populate, over graze and destroy their summer nesting range in northern Canada. Resident hunters need a valid 2009 North Dakota hunting license and a shotgun in order to participate in the hunt, according to Mr. Lalor. There is no daily limit or possession limit during the conservation season, and hunters may remove the plugs from shotgun magazines, as well. Non-resident hunters may also participate in the hunt without the usual limitation on the number of days that restricts their hunting opportunities during the Fall season. Non-residents may purchase a license to participate in the Spring snow and blue goose season from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department for a fee of $50.00. The season ends on the first Sunday in May.  Even though the season is open right now, though, an expedition afield will probably not be very productive for several more weeks, in Mr. Lalor’s opinion.

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