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Roger Wiltz


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WILTZ: Are you ready for some mule tales?

I still feel badly about it as I don’t like making mistakes. Jerry and I were trolling Ratlin’ Raps (we’ve found these to be very effective in our Missouri on walleyes, smallmouth bass and northern pike) along the shoreline in about 8 feet of water. We had earlier fished the fastwater, but that action was slow so we decided to cover another area. In just a short time we had caught a few respectable northern pike when Jerry said, “Fish on!”

WILTZ: Scratch trophy muskie from my bucket list

The muskellunge, also spelled “musky” or “muskie,”is a large predator fish typically of, but not limited to, the north woods including southern Ontario, northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, Lake Champlain, and the St. Lawrence River. South Dakota has one musky lake, Amsden, east of Aberdeen. I’ve never fished Amsden.

WILTZ: Are you ready today for a blast from the past?

I don’t believe the magnitude of the deer die off, primarily caused by EHD and transmitted by the bite of a midge, can be exaggerated. I’ve read about Hutchinson County being a focal point. Based on what friends and neighbors have told me, southern Charles Mix County falls into that same category.

WILTZ: Hen chicks kicked aside in hatcheries

In last week’s column, I talked about the prognosis for the 2012 South Dakota pheasant season. I’ve received much feedback, most of which supports hot and dry conditions being better than cold and wet. In general, the ringneck hunting should be better than last year’s.

WILTZ: Some final thoughts on the Reindeer Lake trip

A few weeks ago, this column included a photo of some young men holding a flathead catfish that came from the Randall Dam tail waters. A number of readers have commented that that fish should have weighed 20-25 more pounds. I feel that their observations are correct. The fish beneath the Randall Dam are starving. Usually seagulls work the tailrace for baitfish. Not so this year.


WILTZ: Would Ed Lemmon ‘pull our legs’ just a wee bit?

Though I enjoy watching TV anglers fish in exotic places for species I’ve never caught, I also watch the TV fishing shows to learn of techniques that might work well on my home waters. I watched such a program last night, and I’m anxious to try it in the Fort Randall Dam tailrace.


WILTZ: You’ve never seen a hearse pulling a U-haul

You don’t need to know about the internal problems in our marriage, the most common bones of contention, and the things about me that cause Betsy some real stress, but I’ll tell you anyway. After all, you readers are kind of like family.


WILTZ: An update on Kocer’s ND elk hunt

I know you’re all waiting for a report on Tom Kocer’s management elk hunt in North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Unfortunately, Tom failed to qualify with his rifle.


Opinion: ROGER WILTZ: No need for a holiday to remember dad

A few evenings ago, Betsy and I walked down to the Randall spillway from the visitor’s center to watch the discharge.


Opinion: ROGER WILTZ: Northern pike can rebound

In this column two weeks ago, I was very upbeat about fishing conditions on our Lake Francis Case Reservoir. This related mostly to the phenomenal growth I’d observed in walleyes and smallmouth bass since last year. Now, I’m even more enthusiastic than I was two weeks ago. This relates to the appearance of a healthy northern pike population. I feel like a kid with a new toy.


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WILTZ: The Randall tailrace- it's what fishing is all about

When we moved to Parkston in 1966, I fished the Platte Creek area hard without giving any thought to the Fort Randall Dam tailrace. The year of 1971 found us moving to Burke, where I switched my Francis Case Reservoir attention to the Snake Creek area.

WILTZ: What can we do to stop the Asian carp?

When my phone rang last February, the man on the other end said we had briefly visited at the Randall boat ramp last summer. His name was Larry Waterbury, an Armour citizen, and he wanted to know if he could stop by the house to discuss a concern. I told him to come on by.

WITLZ: You'll learn something about pronghorn antelope

Not all good stories make the news. With regard to so called “assault rifles,” the people recently spoke loud and clear, and we all need to know what happened.

WILTZ: We’re in the midst of spring turkey season!

Mid-April finds us in the peak of our South Dakota spring turkey season, and the outdoor TV channels have named South Dakota the best place in the nation to hunt turkeys. Fortunately for hunters, many ranchers see their turkeys as vermin, and they actually encourage the hunting of these big birds! With a courteous request, hunting privileges can be had by knocking on doors.


WILTZ: I feel like a kid with a new toy

In my column two weeks ago, I suggested that the growth stimulation drugs used in the livestock industry and the herbicides and insecticides applied in crop production might be causing a negative effect on the water we drink, the air we breathe and the food we eat.

WILTZ: If you hand load of your own ammo you've learned lessons along the way

A good friend recently told me about his latest handgun acquisitions. The new guns included a Taurus “Judge” revolver that handles both .44 mag and .410 shotgun shells, not to mention a 9 mm Glock semi-automatic. He went on to say that today’s demand for handgun ammunition is so great that he was having trouble finding ammunition.

WILTZ: Are we literally poisoning ourselves?

Having lost good hunting friends in the not-so-distant past, and having current friends who are suffering, the subject of cancer has more than touched me.

WILTZ: Have you ever heard of Pheasant City

It’s part of the wisdom that comes with age. When I’m going to spend some time outdoors, I pay attention to the weather forecast, and I put considerable thought into appropriate dress. Our vehicle is also equipped for a worst case scenario.

WILTZ: International hunters experience some big-time stress

Last night on The Outdoor Channel, I watched Jim Shockey hunt gazelle and sheep in Iran.

WILTZ: Hoping a fishing magazine calls

Like all of you, I have my dreams. In one of them, the In-Fisherman magazine people call me about a fishing technique they read about in my column.