Friday's Weekend Column
The Garbage Sportsman Come North

by James Glaser
August 29, 2003

This is the time of year the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources allows people to dump garbage in the woods. These same people will tell you they are sportsmen just out baiting the black bears. Every year the woods around this area is covered with piles and piles of garbage, that these hunters use to find a bear.

Years ago people hunted bears out in the woods. They walked the trails, looked where the berries grew, and sat under the wild plum trees waiting for a bear to come out of the woods. Today they set out smelly garbage trying to get the bear to come feed on a regular basis, so that when the season opens they can shoot it.

You don't have time to bring the "bait" out every day? Well you can hire a Bear Guide. A bear guide is a person with tons of garbage that they save up all year, just so they can put it out in the woods before bear season starts. It costs about $500.00 to have this baiting service, but that is not all you get. These guys also have timers set out near the bait so they know at what time of day or night the bear is coming.

Nobody wants to wait out in the woods for their bear longer than they have to, so this timer tells them what time dinner is for this bear and they head out about a hour before and then when the bear comes they plug it. Sportsman.

Every year on opening morning, Charmaine fries up some bacon and eggs, makes me coffee and then calls me down to eat. At the first bite she says, "bang your dead" and I know it is Bear season opener.

A couple of years ago a man brought in a bear to the local gas station to register it and have it weighed. This one weighed sixty five pounds. I asked if it wasn't a little embarrassing to have shot a bear that small. The man said that when that bear came into the bait he could have sworn that it was a two hundred pound bear. This is a good time of the year to stay out of the woods.

Next week school starts and I have been asked to give a couple talks to the grade school and the high school on "flag etiquette," because our school is going to start saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag every day. When I was in school we all said that Pledge every day and most of the people I talked to did too. Some time in the past twenty years they quit doing it.

Flag etiquette is pretty much respect for the flag. There are correct ways to display the flag and there are correct ways to act when you see the flag in a parade.

I plan to tell the kids how much the flag means to millions of Americans and how lucky we are to be living in the United States. I am going to explain to them that there are people every year risking their lives just trying to get to America and in fact several hundred die each year in the attempt. People are trying to get to America because we are the Land of the Free. Every person in this world is looking for freedom and we have it right here and didn't have to do anything to get it. All we have to do is protect it.

The American Flag is a symbol of that freedom and because freedom is so precious the flag of the country that has the most freedom deserves respect. It is hard for little kids to understand freedom because they were born with it. As they grow up and learn about other lands or visit them, the value of our freedom will become something they are thankful for.

Every veteran that has fought for our country has a special love for our flag. For me, I always feel safe when I see the flag and feel that all the good things about America are worth protecting. Veterans see how people in other countries live under other forms of government and they know what a gift it is to be an American citizen.


A British Soldier was killed and one wounded in Basra

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