November-December 2014Search our site
Read stories from past issues of Big River
Weather forecast for Upper Mississippi cities
River levels on the Upper Mississippi
Towboat-watching resource: Boats in pools and queued in locks.
Dreaming of a trip down the river? Read about boaters taking a voyage of a lifetime down the Mississippi on River Trips.
The morning had dawned gray and misty. The pungent smell of autumn — fresh acorns, fallen leaves, and damp earth — permeated the air. I'd been cruising the Big Lake Country, blazing trails, counting 'rat houses and clearing portages for the hunting and trapping time soon to come.
I was halfway across a beaver dam when I saw them. I stopped walking then knelt down to get a closer look. They were deer tracks — the largest whitetail tracks I'd ever seen. Deer had been crossing this beaver dam since the first day it was built, maybe ten years ago. This is nothing unusual in the great swamp country along the Mississippi backwaters. Everything on four legs, plus humans, uses beaver dams as bridges in swamp country. In my many years of traveling the swamp I'd seen a whole lot of tracks, but this set of tracks was special. They were long and splayed out wide, after the manner of big bucks, the dew claws sunk deep into the rich, black mud. I made up my mind then and there that I would lay a trap come November for this great monarch of the swamp.
Read the whole story in the Nov-Dec Big River. Buy now
Outdoor Dreams Come True
Volunteers from the North American Squirrel Association help disabled people get outdoors.
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Read More from Big River
River Travel Map
See complete issues from 2006 and 2007 online (PDFs). Select issues here
Volunteer groups on the river - a nine-part series about non-profit groups making a difference on the Upper Mississippi
Take a look back at our April Foolishness river stories.
Troubled Waters Ñ 30 Years in the River Business by Jack Lambert For sale in the Big River Bookstore. Listen to Jack's July 1st talk with Tommy Mischke on The Nite Show - Mischke Til Midnite,WCCO NewsRadio online.
Driftless Area, Lansing to LeClaire, Iowa, and Quad Cities Travel Guides by Dean Klinkenberg. More info and ordering info.