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Columns

Bait and banter: Get the morning scoop at Chalstrom’s

Sam Cook column: The regulars begin arriving shortly after the shop opens at 6 a.m. Earl Jahr takes his place on a stool by the fishing line. Ward Poppenberg heads straight for the coffee pot. The rest stand with their backs to the minnow tanks or lean on a counter.

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Sam Cook column: Year of the porcupine

The yellow dog was ahead of us on the old logging trail, and when I came around a bend, I could see she was on point. She will do that with pheasants and grouse.

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On the prairie, you get a clear look at home turf

Sam Cook column: Sun-up in North Dakota. I’ve got McClusky in my rearview mirror, just over the dog kennel where a yellow Lab sleeps.

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Out in the hinterland, people care

Sam Cook column: The hinterland is somewhere far from home, preferably where there is at least a mile between houses as the redtail flies, where the nighttime landscape is dappled with a handful of yard lights below and about a million stars above. And with good people, who still have time to visit.

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Through hardship, the village will be there

SAM COOK: The bride is dancing now, dancing with the man she has vowed to spend her life with. She looks beautiful on her wedding night, blond hair spilling down in curly tendrils, blue eyes glinting in the DJ’s lights.

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Parenting produces independent offspring

Sam Cook column: You raise these kids to think independently, and doggone if they don’t become independent thinkers.

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Bowhunters immerse themselves in nature

It’s the season many of us rarely see, the one in which bow hunters, clad head to toe in camouflage, slip silently into the woods. They climb a tree, something most of us have forgotten about since childhood, and sit on a tiny platform high above the ground.

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Duluth woman reaps the reward of a lifetime of generosity

SAM COOK: At 95, Harriet Schwenk of Lakeside still is tending her flower garden and mowing her lawn whenever she can beat one of the neighbors to it.

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Chance encounter with wounded deer brings sense of sadness

Sam Cook column: Although the deer bore no visible wounds, it was clear from the way her hind legs were splayed that she had been hit hard in the hind quarters by the passing car. She was going to die, probably right there.

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Death, and life, of bear No. 56 helps put our lives in perspective

SAM COOK: I would love to have been with bear researcher Karen Noyce that day in June when she last saw Bear No. 56 alive.

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