Updates & News

Northern Lights Lodge 2023 Moose Hunt

This whole year was different than others. The ice went off three weeks early, wild roses bloomed over a month early, and the first half of August was cold. We were even considering moving our moose hunts up a week, because we were afraid of an early freeze up, but then things changed. The last half of August was very warm and it stayed that way all fall. We are also in a major drought. The enclosed picture shows how low our water is. Our west lake is down about five feet. We had to start landing the plane on the east lake as the water is quite deep at the end of the dock there.

The three most important things for a successful hunt is #1 - favorable weather, #2 - favorable weather, and #3 - favorable weather. That is one thing you can't change or do anything about. You just have to hope for the best. Our moose hunt started September 22. John picked up two hunters, at our sea base in Lynn Lake, from the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. As they got close to the lake and cabin John spotted a forest fire about 15 miles south of us. We didn't think it would affect us, but it did. In the three weeks during and around moose hunting the wind blew from the east, southeast, and southwest almost all of the time. We had only about three days of wind from the west or north. The wind was strong the first few days from the southeast and really got the fire going. One night we could see the flames shooting up real plain, and it was still about fifteen miles away. The fourth day into the hunt the smoke got so thick on the south end of our lake that Lori had to follow the shore line to get back to the north end which didn't have as much smoke. Not good for hunting. The daytime temperatures for the first week were in the high sixties and low seventies. We closed up and left the lodge on October 17 and we still had not had a killing frost. The second week we were in the mid to high fifties, with lows in the mid forties. The first night of the hunt, September 22, Lori and her hunter saw a young bull and a cow. The hunter passed on the bull. The next morning Lori called in another young bull (mid 30's inch rack) and the hunter passed on that but got to watch him for about 15 minutes which was fun. On Monday Lori and her hunter saw a cow and calf. The rest of the week was hot and windy and no one saw any moose. Friday morning Lori and her hunter had a small bear come in really close to them and watched him play for 15 minutes. We seen a total of five bears durning our hunts, which is more than we have seen in the last ten years combined. That evening Lori was calling on the North end of the lake, where it is about 200 yards wide. They were in the boat tied up in the middle. All at once a bull started grunting and breaking branches from the west side and another one started doing the same from the east side. Lori and the hunter decided to take the first one that came out. About 6 pm, after calling to him for 45 minutes, the one on the west came out as mad as can be and the hunter shot him.He then ran into the lake and started to swim for the boat. He didn't get far. We had to get a rope around him fast and drag him to shore with the boat. He was a monster with a rack of 55 inches, the largest bull we have ever taken. See the picture attached. Since it was getting dark we had to field dress him the next morning. We used a come along to pull him up on shore and went to work. Since all moose must be deboned to take back into the US we worked on the moose until dark that night, and got it all done. The next morning John made two trips to town and brought back our second pair of hunters, a father and son, also from the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. This was on Sunday October 1. The first couple of days of their hunt was not to bad for weather and the smoke had cleared. The next six days was wind, drizzle, and clouds. The moose were not moving and we were unable to call with the strong wind. John kept saying that if the weather would change and straighten out we would get a moose. Sunday it started to change for the better. On Monday John called in a cow and bull but it was right at dark and the bull got into some trees and we could not see him. That was the last day of the hunt for these hunters however we asked them to stay another day and maybe we can get the bull we saw tonight. Tuesday morning nothing came in. So Tuesday evening John had a feeling we were going to get a moose. The father was hunting with John and the son with Lori. John said we should all go to his area as it has always been good and he felt it was time for a bull to come out. Our two boats set up fairly close and John started calling about 4:30. At 5:45 a cow walked out on the east side of the bay. When John cow called the cow just stared at him. John figured there was a bull back in the trees as the cow kept looking back to the trees. John did a few bull grunts and the cow would look up in his direction and go back to eating. That cow stayed there for over an hour. At 6:50 the bull walked out and John's hunter shot him. We always wait one hour before we check on a downed moose if we can't see it. John could hear the moose groan and was sure it was down and dying. All at once ten minutes later we looked up and there was another larger bull and three cows standing on shore. This bull was up in the 40 inch range. He was grunting and snorting at us. The son from Lori's boat shot at him. It was just at sundown. We could not go and look until morning. Wednsday morning we found the moose the dad shot but no sign of the moose the son shot at. So, I guess he will be there for next year. Needless to say we cut up meat all day and topped it off with a meal of bacon wrapped tenderloins for supper. Delicious! This was the best hunt we have ever had as far as seeing moose. All our hunters were great people, and our Lab Skye was a huge hit with everyone. We saw seven bulls, and only shot two, so next year looks very good. We can't forget to mention our great fishing. Our hunters usually fish in the afternoon before the evening hunt. The water tempertures were so warm that the Lake Trout were not up until our second week. The first week our hunters only caught Northerns and the fishing was slow. In the second week the Lake Trout started to hit and the Northerns really hit with pretty good size. Our second week hunters caught over eighty Northerns and over thirty Lake Trout. We had a couple of meals of Lake Trout, including Lori's famous stuffed Lake Trout and we also smoked some of the Lake Trout which are great also. We have openings for next year, so if anyone is interested give us a call. Have a great fall and winter.




"A TASTE OF THE NORTH"

Lori's cookbook "A Taste of The North" has been a big success, selling many copies this past summer. If you are looking for a collection of wild and tame recipes, you'll want this book. To order a copy of "A Taste Of The North" for only $13 with FREE shipping, click on the "Buy Now" button below or mail a check to:

Northern Lights Lodge
36 Hillside Drive
Winnebago, MN 56098

John & Lori Frank
36 Hillside Drive
Winnebago MN, 56098
1-605-743-6214
e-mail john@northernlightslodge.com


I would like to pass this along to you.

I’m Going Someday
A cowboy poem for all those
sportsmen who dream of someday
taking "that trip of a lifetime!"
BY JOHN NELSON
Gunnison, Colorado

Some days come and some days go,
But Someday never gets here.
Someday is just a dream away.
Someday is always next year.

Someday, we’re all goin’ fishin’.
I’m taking my family with me.
We’re heading to the lunker lake,
Where that trophy’s sure to be.

Someday, we’ll all raft the river,
Or maybe paddle by canoe.
We’ll soak up fun and challenge.
There’s nothin’ we won’t do.

Someday, I’m heading up North,
Or maybe I’ll head West.
Take my son on that dream hunt
Where hunting is the best.

We’ll go by boat, we’ll go by plane,
Or maybe mule or horse.
Somewhere where, big game is big,
In the wilderness of course.

Someday, I’ll win big in the lotto,
And when my ship comes in,
I’ll find the time, I’ll find the money,
I’ll be gone with the wind.

Yet something says there’s work to do
And bills that must be paid.
That time and money can’t be found.
They both must be made.

So the time had come for action.
Someday would soon be here.
I’d go for broke. I’d make my move,
I’d overcome my fear.

Then I called the man to set it up,
to confirm our coming date.
He said, "Someday’s been booked for
years," That we were way too late.

He says, "Everyone’s going someday."
The most popular of days.
He suggested I try firsts or seconds
Of Junes, Julys or Mays

And, when I cursed in great frustration,
He sensed that I’d turned red.
So he agreed to confirm a date for me –
that someday – I’d be dead.

And on that day we’ll be together,
my family and my friends.
They’ll toast the times that could have
been and say their last "Amens."

They’ll say, "Ol John was quite a guy.
He knew how to set a goal!"
Then bury those dreams right with him
inside a six foot hole.

Cuz some days come and some days go,
And Someday will finally get here.
Someday when your dreamin’s done.
Someday there’ll be no next year.

So make the time, take the money,
make your dreams come true.
Because every day is some day.
The decision is up to you.

Remember, last years next year is this year. We will give you the hunting and/or fishing adventures you have always dreamed about. If you have any questions, or would like to book a trip to Northern Lights Lodge, please feel free to give us a call any day or evening. If you call and we are not in, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. You could also e-mail us at john@northernlightslodge.com