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Roger Wiltz


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Opinion: ROGER WILTZ: Uncle Bob is expert tuber

On the morning of April 6, Jerry and I were fishing in the boat ramp basin beneath the dam at Pickstown with 16 other nearby boats. I don’t mind not catching fish, but when all the other boats are enjoying success with nice walleyes, it bothers me. Such was the case that morning.


SD lawmakers give extra tourism tax second life; will run into 2013

PIERRE — South Dakota’s additional one-half percent of sales tax on tourism-related purchases won’t expire June 30 as previously scheduled. It also won’t become permanent as Gov. Dennis Daugaard wanted — at least not yet.

Don’t combine stubborn with stupid

The last thing Betsy said as I went out the door was, “Do you want to take the GPS?” I told her I didn’t need it. That stroke of genius cost Doug and me about four hours not to mention the extra gas and a $20 cab fare.

Opinion: Preserve hunts can have many outcomes

Later this month friends and I are going on an Idaho elk hunt. We will hunt with Rulon Jones, the former Denver Broncos defensive end. Rulon owns property in both Idaho and Utah. Check his website at We can hunt 70,000 acres of unfenced land , or 10,000 acres of fenced land – what Rulon calls “the largest hunting preserve in the world.” These horseback hunts are guided one-on-one, and we may choose either a spike camp with tents or the comfort of a lodge.


Opinion: Daley opposes our Second Amendment

Political corruption is synonymous with Illinois. While I was a kid living my high school years in Chicago during the 1950s, Mayor Richard J. Daley’s political machine dictated every Illinois politician’s next move. It included the neighborhood alderman as well as a string of governors who spent time behind bars. Today, we have another arrogant ex-governor who will hopefully spend time behind bars.


Opinion: Flooding’s effect on the fish

My fishing boat, though Spartan in nature, has a live well under the center seat. There are no pumps or batteries. When I want to keep a fish, I lift the lid on the center seat, pull the plug in the bottom of the chamber, and watch it fill with water to the same level as the waterline outside the boat. The water constantly circulates. At the end of the outing, the live well drains when I crank the boat onto the trailer. I remove the fish and replace the plug. It is pure simplicity that does nothing but work!

Opinion: Antlers — worth the price of the hunt?

I don’t really want to tell you about this, for I made a fool of myself the other day, and risked injury to Betsy on top of it. I was going fishing, and I asked Betsy, fresh from hip replacement surgery, to come along. She was hesitant as my little john boat didn’t have a seat with a backrest. Like always, I had a solution. We’ll take a plastic lawn chair with us, and put it in the boat for her.


Opinion: Catfish are where you find them

Catfish are the most under-utilized, unappreciated fish in our South Dakota reservoirs. They get big, they fight with abandon they never quit — and they are good on the table. What more could we ask of a fish? With the catfish spawn close at hand, they are now in shallow water and very vulnerable. Though I’ve caught them in shallow water on sandy or muddy bottoms during the spawn, what happened last Monday was a new experience. Vern and I were fishing from my 14-foot john boat. We were almost against the rip-rap bank on the face of Fort Randall Dam fishing for smallmouth bass and walleyes.


Opinion: Stay informed about wildlife diseases

Imagine crazed mule deer chewing and pulling their own hair out, leaving their hides red with sores. Close examination reveals exotic louse chewing on the skin. The misery ends during the winter when freezing temperatures and pneumonia spell the end for the tormented deer. We are talking about DHLS, or Deer Hair Loss Syndrome.

Opinion: We have heroes among us who care for loved ones all year long

On the afternoon of May 17, fishing partner Jerry and I towed his boat over to White Swan. A more perfect afternoon I haven’t witnessed. Warm but not hot, with modest wrinkles on the surface of a blue expanse that stretched to the hazy green hills of Gregory County. And we had it all to ourselves.

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WILTZ: Would anyone go camping today without without their iPod

As I sat down at the keyboard this morning, Betsy asked me what I was going to write about.

WILTZ: Pack extra underwear on a six-month trip

Relative to hunting or fishing adventures, I really enjoy reading about the way it was.


WILTZ: How about 'No Spin' ice fishing report?

When I went into Abby’s at Pickstown Friday for some wax worms, there was a photo of Mike on the counter with a recent 20-pound, 8-ounce northern pike.


Is Grandpa Roger too cheap or parsimonious?

Late last Saturday afternoon, we went over to LuAnn’s, our daughter, to say “goodbye” as we would head back to South Dakota the next morning. We offered to take them out for supper, and a hearty “Yes” was heard without hesitation. On the way to Culver’s, we stopped at our house to pick up some discount coupons.


WILTZ: When will our pheasants come back?

I had one fine time this past year with either a rod or a gun in my hand, and it was sweetened with the presence of grandchildren. There were also trips to new places.


WILTZ: The Lodge at Chama under a magnifying glass

Late last summer, I wrote that one didn’t have to be a person of means to enjoy an elk hunt as a cow elk hunt can be had for a small fraction of the cost of a bull elk hunt.

WILTZ: A first hunt - It was as good as it gets

On Nov. 9-10, my Wisconsin grandkids – Sam, 15, Grace, 12, and Gabrielle, 12, went on what was a first hunt for the girls. They were accompanied by their dad Tom and his friend Steve, along with grandma Betsy and me. We hunted the Corson County ranch I’ve hunted for the last 43 years.

A play by play account of our recent West River deer hunt

On the north side of the Grand River, there is a place where a half-mile stretch of timber, mostly willow and cottonwood, lies between the river and the flat beneath the high rim to the north.


WILTZ: Coming close to being the victim of a serious accident

I don’t normally hunt pheasants with a large group, but a good friend invited me to join a group of his associates, and I felt honored to be there. I believe that there is always a higher element of risk with a larger group, and this hunt was no exception even though a number of veteran hunters participated.


WILTZ: Let's climb out of the ol' walleye rut

Bear with me for a moment today as I get a wee bit philosophical. Back on Oct. 26, 2011, I wrote about the opening day of pheasant season I shared with friends. I said that we relished the day and pondered how many more like experiences we would enjoy before time threw us a curve ball.