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Local bear hunter tags possible record holder


By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Aug 31st, 2012
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Jennifer Nolte of Chatfield shot and killed a 403 pound Black Bear. Photo submitted

When you think bear hunting, you may get the image of a burly, north woodsman holding a large rifle while stalking a massive beast. You may be surprised then to meet Jennifer Nolte, of Chatfield. The small-framed mother of three young children is hardly the stereotypical hunting image, but her skills with a bow are nothing less than impressive.

Nolte, along with husband Chad and friend Tim Melver, of Preston, recently returned from a hunting excursion in Ignace, Ontario with quite a tale to tell. While the trio is still awaiting official news, following a 60-day wait period, Jennifer may have tagged the largest black bear ever shot by a woman. There’s no doubt that the bear will at least make the top ten record book.

With the season opening this past August 15, the trio made arrangements to hunt through an outfitter. The way the system works is much different than the lottery-type hunting here, due to the high number of bears in Ontario. “The outfitter purchases a permit for a 150 square mile piece of land in a bear management area,” says Melver. “It’s wild hunting, on provincial land, exclusively open to only non-residents, and we purchase our tags through the outfitter. It’s actually really affordable.”

While it was Melver’s fourth bear hunting trip, it was the Noltes’ first bear expedition. In two days, Melver says the trio saw six bears and they tagged their bears in three days. To some it may sound terrifying, being only 12-15 yards away from the bears in nothing but a portable tree stand, but Black Bears are not aggressive like their cousin, the Grizzly. Still, it’s thrilling for the hunter. “It’s an adrenaline rush!” enthuses Melver.

The typical Black Bear male weighs 200 to 250 pounds on average, while the female of the species averages 200 pounds. On all fours, they stand at three to four feet high, but standing on their hind legs, they can reach seven feet in height. Melver and Chad Nolte’s bears weighed in around the 250 pound mark, while Jennifer’s prize was a whopping 403 pounds.

Chad Nolte is a team member of Driven TV, on the Outdoor Channel, which chronicles hunting of all sorts. Both Chad and Jennifer’s hunts will be aired on the show next summer, although the air date has yet to be announced.

Not surprisingly, the trio already has plans for the 2013 bear hunt. “It’s such fun,” notes Melver. “It’s a hunter’s para .....
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Free wagon rides along the Lanesboro-Whalen State Trail

Fri, Aug 24th, 2012
Posted in Whalan The Great Outdoors

The Annual Wagon Ride along the Root River is scheduled for Wednesday, September 5, 2012, beginning at the Sylvan Park in Lanesboro. Tractor pulled wagons will carry participants from the Sylvan Park in Lanesboro then travel to Whalen and back to ..... 
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Zumbro Valley Audubon Program: “Preston Chimney Swifts”

Fri, Aug 24th, 2012
Posted in Preston The Great Outdoors

In 2011, Preston set the record for the largest number of swifts in the state of Minnesota. Please join Audubon members for an enjoyable evening of watching Chimney Swifts do their amazing dive into the large chimney attached to the TrailHead Inn & ..... 
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National Trout Center holds raffle for great prizes

Fri, Aug 17th, 2012
Posted in Preston The Great Outdoors

Here’s your chance to win a Headwaters Bamboo Rod (Model: Peerless Santiam 7’0” 5/6 wt Medium) valued at $800 and a box of seven dozen hand-tied flies by Lyle Besse valued at $200. To view these items please visit the National Trout Center’s ..... 
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Restoration of Minneopa State Park waterfall bridge will limit park access

Tue, Aug 7th, 2012
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

An extensive reconstruction of the 90-year-old waterfall bridge at Minneopa State Park will limit access to certain areas of the park over the next three months, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "The waterfall brid ..... 
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1899 Independence Day celebration at Historic Forestville

Fri, Jun 29th, 2012
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Join us for an Independence Day celebration with a flavor of the 19th century! The Grand Ceremony with the reading of the Decleration of Independence begins at 1:00 p.m. Enjoy a food concession provided by the Friends of Forestville which includes K ..... 
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FREE! Fly casting, fly tying and fishing instruction with the federation of fly fishers

Mon, Jun 18th, 2012
Posted in Preston The Great Outdoors

Join us on Saturday, June 23, 2012, at the National Trout Center in Preston, MN for a full day of free fly fishing activities. Learn from the best. The Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) is a highly respected national organization, well known for produ ..... 
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National Bike Month promotes health in children in Harmony and Preston

Mon, May 7th, 2012
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

The Harmony Area Chamber of Commerce and Preston Tourism are proud announce the “Harmony-Preston Biking Passport” for all children and youth up to age 18. To celebrate National Bike Month in May and to encourage local children and youth to use o ..... 
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