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The Game Wardens of Winter, Wisconsin

Howdy, Neighbor. People have been telling Phil he’s a good storyteller for a long time… so we are trying something new and pretty-much non-sales Just sharing occasional sweet stories, tall tales, and life lessons learned around these parts. Northwoods Notes are a new, semi-bi-irregular peek into the heart and mind of Phil Frasier… you can read or listen… whichever you prefer… and you are receiving a copy because you’re a current customer of Frasier’s Plumbing and Heating, Inc. We think you’ll like them, but you can unsubscribe any time by clicking on the link at the bottom. But we hope you give us a chance!



They would call me up on the landline and say, “Phaser, this is the Eternal Revenue Service. We want ya to take us fishin’.” 

They had nicknames for everybody. 

Ray, Dave, and Mel… the Game Wardens of Winter, Wisconsin. 


I met these fellas through their kids. I was in my early twenties, and I was doing a lot of work with youth groups at local churches and coaching cross country and track. And I did a lot of hunting and fishing to put food on the table. 

Ray, Dave, and Mel liked to hunt and fish, too. That’s just two of the many things we had in common. We hit it off right from the start. 

I remember taking the Game Wardens to do some fishing on Martin Luther King Day, because all of us had the day off.


First, we’d meet for breakfast at the Winter Café. Two eggs, hash browns, bacon, toast, and a cup of coffee for a buck-ninety-nine. We’d talk about the outdoors, current events, these kids today, and anything else that came to mind. 

I tell ya, as much as I enjoyed being out on the lake with these fellas, I think I enjoyed our breakfast at the Winter Café even more. 

Ray, Dave, Mel, and I would head out to Sand Lake to catch a mess of walleye and pike. 

Years later, the four of us went to Canada for some wilderness fishing. We also did some Chippewa Flowage fishing trips. Man, did we catch some fish up on Caribou lake. 

The most memorable time was when Ray got hooked. Here’s this big ol’ tough burly guy about to pass out from a tiny hook in his hand. I removed it using the pop method. It’s called the pop method because the hook makes a little pop sound as it comes out. 


Anyway, today’s the day I always think about The Game Wardens of Winter, Wisconsin. 

I really miss those guys. 

Take care, neighbor. Take good care.

P.S. – Happy Martin Luther King Day. 


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