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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

Looking forward to living my dream

With the arrival of each New Year, we all think about things in our life that we can look forward to in the coming 12 months.

In a way, we get to start over with a fresh slate and this usually motivates us to do the things that we want.

2013 is going to be a big year for me in that I get to live my dream of fishing the complete FLW Tour professional bass tournament circuit in the U.S.

I have followed these events for many years with hopes that one day I would get the chance to compete and thanks to some tremendous sponsor support, I’m getting that opportunity.

Cold-weather moose hunting

There are many elements to hunting that make it appealing to people.

Some love all the time spent outdoors, most of us enjoying eating what we harvest, and there are deep social and cultural traditions in this activity that most people who participate surely absorb.

For the past several years, my friends and I have had a tradition of heading north to the Red Lake area to hunt moose during the last week of the season. We travel to hunt moose in a beautiful part of Sunset Country and stay in a remote cabin for the week.

Gift ideas for the ice angler

As we get closer to Christmas, I usually receive a few messages from people looking for gift ideas for their friends and family.

If you know somebody who enjoys spending time in the outdoors, then gifts that might improve their outdoor experience probably will be well-received.

This past weekend, I attended the 20th-annual St. Paul Ice Fishing Show—the largest show of its kind in North America. Nearly all of the relevant tackle and ice-fishing companies in the business set up a booth at this event to showcase their product line.

Area hunter bags deer-of-a-lifetime

Early last week, I got a phone call from my good friend and fishing partner, Chris Savage.

He and one of his co-workers, Dennis Chevalier, had been hunting a really big whitetail deer for most of the season. They had been taking turns, putting in many days sitting from dark to dark waiting for this big buck to make an appearance in front of their ground blind.

The phone call from Chris was to let me know that Dennis had taken the big buck with archery equipment.

I immediately packed up my camera to go and check out the big buck with Chris.

Ice-fishing season upon us

One thing about growing up in Sunset Country is that it breeds some of the most extreme and passionate outdoorspeople on the planet.

We have so many top-notch fishing, hunting, and outdoor opportunities that there is never a dull moment.

There is something exciting to do outside all 365 days of the year. And if you live here, and you don’t enjoy some of these activities, you’re missing out.

Put your boat to bed right

This time of year always is a little bit depressing for me.

I love being in the boat and enjoy every minute of our short summer. But now that another open-water season is nearing its end, it’s time once again to put your boat away.

When it comes to winterizing your rig, doing it properly is important if you want to keep it in good condition so it’s ready to roll again in the spring.

Fishing options still out there

This time of year is always a little bit depressing for me—and I’m sure other anglers across Sunset Country feel the same way.

We are running out of time to fish out of the boat as soon our lakes will be blanketed with ice for the next five months.

I like ice fishing, but I think it’s just something about how great our summers are that brings on the depression from the end of another season.

Area deer population in need of help

Over the past week, I’ve gone from one extreme to the other seasonally.

Last week, for instance, I was fishing in Texas in shorts and sandals. This past week, I’ve been dressed in long underwear and boots, tromping around in the woods looking for whitetail deer.

Each fall I run a little deer guiding camp that keeps me busy for about a month. I guide American hunters until their season ends on Nov. 15.

Optimistic about next year on FLW Tour

If you’ve been reading my column over the past month, you know that I’ve been in the southern U.S. fishing in some bass tournaments.

The last event took place this past weekend at the Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas.

This was the fourth of a series of four FLW Tour Opens. I fished in all four events this year and had the time of my life competing against some of the best bass anglers in the world on some famous bass fisheries.

Checking in from Sam Rayburn

They say everything is bigger in Texas and when it comes to bass, they’re right!

I’m on my fourth week away from home this week, but the good news is I get to come home in a few days.

I’m fishing in the final FLW Tour Open of the year this weekend at the Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas and have been pre-fishing here the past few days getting ready for the tournament.

My friend, Jamie Bruce from Kenora, is down with me and is fishing the tournament as a co-angler. We’ve had a great time so far on Rayburn and the fishing has actually been pretty good.