The new year started out slow on the ice fishing front and from others I spoke with, they are not tearing it up either.

The finish to the upland or bird hunting was kind of wet, as typical winter spots like frozen sloughs and cattails were hard to navigate.

The high water, fall caused many problems with frozen then thawed ice and back and forth, coupled with standing crop made things difficult to say the least. If you were willing to put in the work and a little sweat equity, success was there for you.

I had the pleasure of hunting with my son who was home on leave only to have him shut down his hunt early after breaking through thin ice on a slough and water filled boots on a below zero day. He became my driver which was nice, and his day was finished while wearing old man slippers and driving me around.

With the rocky end of 2019 and start of 2020 in the great outdoors, I turned my school of thought for this month’s column back to the old standby, the North Dakota State University Football Bison. In case you missed it, which would seem very hard to, they won another championship in Frisco Texas or Fargo, Texas as some may want to rename.

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My school of thought regarding this year turned to all the coverage by our local media. Fargo is not considered a major population market by any means but by all the media coverage representing the area you would think we are a suburb of New York. I would say my estimate of four television, six or seven radio stations, numerous newspaper writers, bloggers, social media experts and armchair quarterbacks, this area had some dang good coverage of the game.

I would even go so far as to say the weather coverage started to match that of the sports coverage. I sometimes had to double check if the local weather person was talking about Frisco, Texas or Fargo, Texas or I mean Frisco, North Dakota or wait, Fargo, North Dakota. Even with all the coverage by all the media, I still found something that I see needs improving. I am a media junkie and bounce around and listen to all the different local coverages regarding NDSU football and other topics.

Some things that bug me is the lack of stories that differ from the same old same old. The Bison have a great young quarterback, duh, what is new? He is a special athlete and seems to be even a better person. The team has great cohesiveness and a culture second to none. The fan base of the bison travels well and is something special that most athletic programs in the country would die for. All of these are true and make me warm and fuzzy inside as a fan, but it is a repeated storyline that most if not all have heard.

During the year, the story of drop in attendance was ongoing. Winning should not be boring but without fresh info and some storyline changes, that is part of the drop in excitement. The media coverage was good in Frisco this year and there were some varying stories but also so many interviews with the same people and same stories by different media. I know I think different than most, but an example of a little different feature that I would have done, would be to visit with Zeb Noland the backup quarterback for the Bison. Years ago, I watched a media day coverage of the Super Bowl. Every reporter was surrounding Tom Brady. A couple of tables over, a starting defensive back was sitting at the table with not one reporter talking with him. Guess who I would have been talking with?

That is my school of thought for this month. Local media, you are welcome for the tip, and thanks for the stories you do get and once again, congrats to the Bison.