Shawn Perich

Shawn is a veteran writer and editor well-known for his many books and outdoor stories. A native of Duluth and longtime North Shore resident, he’s spent a lifetime roaming the Northern Wilds and is eager to share what he knows with readers.

Please follow and like us:


Recent Articles by Shawn Perich

Deer fencing available for North Shore landowners
posted on Monday, Mar 27, 2017
Fencing is available at reduced cost to help landowners protect tree seedlings from hungry deer. | SUBMITTED The North Shore Forest Collaborative (NSFC) is providing low-cost fencing materials to private landowners who plant conifer seedlings on their North Shore property. The fencing prevents deer from eating the newly planted trees. Last spring, 38 participants planted and fenced over 1,000 white pine and white cedar trees on their properties along the Shore. An additional 3,000 white spruce trees, which do not require fencing, were planted. Private landowners wishing to plant pine or white cedar…

Deer permit areas aligned with Northeast moose range
posted on Friday, Mar 24, 2017
After attending a public meeting in Duluth earlier this month regarding the Minnesota DNR’s new deer management plan, some folks came away concerned about the future of deer hunting in northeastern Minnesota. Specifically, they worry the DNR will aggressively manage the herd in order to keep deer numbers down to benefit moose and some aspects of forestry. “I’ve never been so afraid for the future of deer hunting on the North Shore," said Duluth taxidermist Randy Bowe after attending the meeting. Curious, I contacted folks within DNR to see what…

In the north woods, it’s hard snow time
posted on Friday, Mar 17, 2017
While ice out came early in southern Minnesota, up here in the North Woods, it’s still full-on winter. After a warm storm dumped rain and stirred Lake Superior into a wave crashing rage, an abrupt cold snap reminded us that winter was still here. Nighttime temperatures fell below zero and hovered in the single digits during the day. To make matters even more uncomfortable, the frigid temps were accompanied by an incessant wind. Despite the winter cold, signs of spring are evident. Out with the dogs just after daybreak on…

On the St. Louis River, past politics made a difference
posted on Friday, Mar 10, 2017
When I was a kid, “the River” was part of my life. We went fishing there, shot ducks in the fall and often just roamed, either in the boat or along its banks. For my father, who’d grown up in the Gary-New Duluth neighborhood of far western Duluth, the River was as familiar as his own backyard and the epicenter of his outdoor life. He never called it anything but “the River.” The River had a name, St. Louis River, the mighty Lake Superior tributary that rises in the highlands…

Sivertson: Let Isle Royale wilderness manage itself
posted on Friday, Mar 03, 2017
The wolves on Lake Superior’s Isle Royale are dying out. The national park’s most famous residents have dwindled to two related and aging animals that are unlikely to breed. It won’t be long until the wolves are no more. In the past, wolves have occasionally traveled to the island when an ice bridge forms to the mainland. As the climate changes, Lake Superior freezes over less often, reducing the opportunities for wolves to make the crossing. Biologists warn that without wolves, the island’s moose will increase, over-browse their food supply…

Is the 2018 Farm Bill a now or never juncture for pheasants?
posted on Friday, Feb 24, 2017
It’s a little crazy that you can build a successful trade show around a bird. But the ring-necked pheasant isn’t just any bird. Pheasant Fest, the annual get-together for the conservation organization Pheasants Forever, was held at the Minneapolis Convention Center last weekend, drawing a record-setting crowd of over 30,000. They came to wander through rows of booths devoted to the pursuit of pheasants: hunting camps, clothing, cookery, shotguns, destinations and dogs…lots of dogs. I walked past one seminar area where a well-known chef was giving a cooking demonstration to…

Of mice and owls…and combat birding
posted on Friday, Feb 17, 2017
Last Saturday afternoon, a tiny boreal owl appeared in my backyard. I don’t know where it came from; there were no tracks around it in the fresh snow. When I walked up to it, the little owl was barely upright. It seemed unaware of my presence. At first I thought perhaps the owl had flown into a window. More likely, it was starving. Even though they are a northern bird, boreal owls have trouble reaching their prey during deep snowy winters. We’ve had a lot of snow on the North…

Know the raven? Not at all
posted on Friday, Feb 10, 2017
They say every wolf has a raven. Maybe so, because I once watched a raven closely follow a wolf as it ambled up someone’s driveway. Here on the North Shore, there are more than enough ravens to go around. I hear them croak as they pass overhead nearly every morning when I step outside with my dogs. Their presence is a constant in my life. Aside from road kills and deer season gut piles, ravens are unconcerned with the ways of man. They soar above our world, commenting on what…

Is Minnesota becoming infested with smallmouth bass?
posted on Friday, Feb 03, 2017
Last week, Outdoor News columnist Joe Fellegy reported on a topic that begs for more attention: the sudden surge in smallmouth bass numbers across northern Minnesota. He interviewed a number of seasoned anglers who agreed that smallmouth bass have become abundant in many waters where they were once uncommon or nonexistent. Fellegy writes that although fisheries biologists and anglers are aware of the sudden proliferation of smallmouths, fish managers haven't yet responded to this significant shift in the state's fisheries. Imagine if Asian carp suddenly appeared in northern Minnesota waters.…

Congress to possibly delist wolves
posted on Monday, Jan 30, 2017
It's crazy to think nearly 20 years have passed since the Minnesota DNR convened a citizens' roundtable to develop recommendations for a state wolf management plan. At the time, it was anticipated that delisting wolves from the federal Endangered Species Act was imminent and management responsibility soon would be turned over to the state. In the ensuing two decades, wolves have remained listed all but three years as legal actions filed in federal court by wolf advocates thwarted permanent delisting. Pardon the pun, but now it appears wolf advocates may…

Reductions in fishing bag limits for walleyes and panfish
posted on Friday, Jan 20, 2017
They say a picture speaks a thousand words, but sometimes it doesn’t need to do so. Consider an ice fishing photo I recently saw accompanying a story about said topic. A fellow was sitting in a portable shelter, which he’d towed on the ice with a snowmobile that also appeared to be carrying a huge gear box. Propped on the ice in front of the fisherman were not one, but two electronic fish finders. Dangling from the end of the fishing rod in his hands was a 12-inch perch. My…

American Sportfishing Association touts its 2016 accomplishments
posted on Friday, Jan 13, 2017
Last week, the American Sportfishing Association announced its list of the top recreational fishing advocacy accomplishments of 2016.  In some respects, it was a pretty good year. Topping the list was the December passage of the Outdoor Recreation Economic Impact and Jobs Act of 2016. While this act received little press attention, it’s a big deal for those us involved in the many facets of the outdoor recreation industry, as well as everyone who spends their free time outdoors. The act instructs government statistical agencies, such as the Dept. of…

Conservation issues to expect in 2017
posted on Friday, Jan 06, 2017
As we enter 2017, a number of conservation issues simmer on the political pot. Some issues threaten the very existence of hunting and fishing. Starting with the barn-burners, let's take a quick look at issues that will make outdoor news this year. Federal Land Transfers Turning over our national forests and other public lands to states or other entities, starting in the West, is a platform plank for the GOP, which now controls Congress and the White House. These are lands presently open to public hunting and fishing and other…

Can old growth forests be restored?
posted on Wednesday, Dec 28, 2016
Hovland—Residents of Cook County were curious this fall about some forest management work that occurred on public land along the Arrowhead Trail, Pincushion Mountain, Pike Lake Road and Moose Valley Road. The underbrush was cleared from beneath mature trees. The resulting park-like forest appeared to be the opposite of a traditional timber harvest. So, what’s going on? These are ongoing forest management projects that aim to restore long-lived conifer species, such as white pine, white spruce and white cedar, that were common on the North Shore prior to European settlement.…

Minnesota Environmental Fund to protect Lake Superior
posted on Wednesday, Dec 28, 2016
St. Paul—The nonprofit Minnesota Environmental Fund (MEF) is granting a total of $176,000 to four of its member organizations to protect the clean water and natural resources of the Lake Superior watershed. These funds were awarded to MEF in a community service settlement agreement as recommended by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, and are intended to address and provide justice for environmental degradation in Lake Superior. The settlement was made with the owners of the ocean freighter M/V Cornelia, who pled guilty in a plea…

BWCAW Twin Metals copper mining controversy
posted on Friday, Dec 23, 2016
Minnesota's environmental community received an early Christmas gift regarding the copper mining controversy, when the Obama administration announced on December 15 that the Interior and Agriculture departments denied an application for renewal of two hard rock mineral leases from Twin Metals near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), as well as initiated steps to withdraw key portions of the wilderness watershed from new mineral permits and leases. The renewal application was submitted by Twin Metals Minnesota in 2012. The two leases, initially issued in 1966 and most recently renewed…

Fake news isn’t new when it comes to fishing
posted on Friday, Dec 16, 2016
Sometimes the truth hurts. In a recent conversation, someone pointed out that I have long been a purveyor of fake news. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard the term fake news many times in recent weeks. Perhaps it can be most easily described as the crazy stories that pop up on your Facebook feed, originating from some website you’ve never heard of before. The stories may range from political trash talk to “breaking news” of the untimely death of a celebrity who, in the real world, is…

Dealing with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)
posted on Friday, Dec 09, 2016
Drive across Minnesota and you’ll pass through communities you may have never heard of: Castle Danger, Esko, Tamarack, Barrows, Swanville, Westport, Long Beach, Cyrus, Johnson, Beardsley. Doing so, you’ll also cross a remarkably diverse landscape: the rocky hills rising from Lake Superior’s stormy shores, the endless peat bogs and swamps west of Duluth, the magical mix of waters and forests in the lake country, the productive transition from forest to prairie and then the endless farm fields that stretch to the Dakotas. Nearly all Minnesotans know just bits and pieces…

Minnesota’s state parks are the best Black Friday deal
posted on Friday, Dec 02, 2016
In America exists a people who believe a box store is simply a box with nothing inside of it. They are a simple people who pay off their credit card bills monthly and are satisfied with last year's model...even when it is 10 years old. These are my people. I was in Duluth for the Thanksgiving holiday, but on Black Friday the malls and box stores did not beckon. I’m not much for those places at any time, much less on the busiest shopping day of the year. But the…

Points North: In Ontario, the government has a watchdog
posted on Wednesday, Nov 23, 2016
It’s not surprising that northern Ontario has some of the same problems in its forests as northern Minnesota. The moose population is in decline. Commercial timber harvest is down, but the risk of uncontrolled wildfire is up. Bats are battling the deadly white nose fungus. Et cetera, et cetera. In Minnesota, some of the issues are addressed by the DNR, which has management authority over wildlife and state-owned forests. Others, especially forestry issues, are addressed by large forest landowners, including counties, corporations and the U.S. Forest Service. By and large,…