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Throwback Thursday: When Winonans hunted big game

This story originally was published on Sept. 16, 1926, in the Winona Republican-Herald, a predecessor of the Winona Daily News.

Mr. and Mrs. E. L. King, who with their son returned last year from British East Africa with the largest and most complete collection of big game trophies shipped from Mombassa in years, will leave for another big game hunt in East Africa within a month, it was announced today by Mr. King.

Reservations for the trip were completed by cable last night. Ernest King, Jr., their 12-year-old son, who last year brought down a giant rhinoceros and was saved from being crushed to death by a timely shot from his father’s rifle, will not accompany his parents on this trip, but will remain at school.

For scientific purposes

This year’s trip is being made for scientific purposes and it is expected that Winona’s big game hunters will bag a number of specimens that could not be found in British East Africa to the collection now being made up for them in New York.

Lions, leopards and cheetahs will be the main target of the Kings on this trip, which will be into the Tanganyika Territory, formerly German East Africa. Portuguese East Africa will also be visited before their return next June.

Their port of entry to Africa will be Mombassa, from where they will go by rail across Kenya colony to Moshi and Arusha in Tanganyika Territory, where hunters will have a safari of 160 ready to start on the trip into the interior.

Headed for crater

Supplies will be carried as far as possible by motor cars, then by pack animals and finally on the heads of the carriers.

Most of the time will be spent in Ngorongoro Crater, about 200 miles west of Arusha, which is at the end of the railroad. This crater is the largest in the world and the most remarkable zoological garden.

Camped in this crater, 2,000 feet deep, a hole 12 miles in diameter and 35 miles in circumference, all covered with a foot-deep carpet of wild clover, Mr. and Mrs. King will make a selective hunt for big cats which prowl in the crater to make their kills among an estimated wild animal population of 76,000 which never leaves the crater.

A remarkable crater

The remarkable crater where the Kings will make their hunting ground for at least two months came into prominence during the World War when it was discovered that the German soldiers in a critical time were able to keep up their meat rations by hunting wildebeests.

Although Mr. and Mrs. King brought back many lions from their last hunting expedition, a group of six of these now being mounted over a slain wildebeest, they expect to bring back a record bag of specimens of the lion family this year.

Many of the lions in the crater are especially fat, and have fine black manes. The lions of Ngoroagoro are called “daylight” lions because they are seldom molested and are often seen prowling around in the daytime.

Must strike vital spot

“Tackling a lion in daylight is great sport, but the hunter must be sure to strike a vital spot the first shot, for once you start an argument with a lion you have to finish it then and there — and quickly,” declared Mr. King this morning in answer to a query about the thrills of hunting the “king of the beasts.”

“Lions, leopards and cheetah are usually hunted by providing the carcass of a freshly killed deer,” explained Mr. King. The group of lions killed by Mr. and Mrs. King last year are being mounted in the poses usually taken by the lions when closing on the bait. The group will be ready in about another six months and will be brought to Winona when the Kings return next summer.

Will sink fangs into paws

“Shot through the heart, a dying lion will invariably sink his fangs into one of his own paws in his death fury at not being able to reach his enemy,” said Mr. King in telling of some of the habits of the lion he has noted.

From a collection of thousands of pictures taken on the last African hunt, he showed several pictures illustrating this peculiar habit of the dying lion or leopard. Moving pictures were also taken on the last hunt.

“But lion hunting is not the only extremely dangerous shooting,” added Mr. King as he admitted experiencing several tense moments under the charge of wounded elephants, rhinoceros and buffalo.

Mrs. King scores double

He told of the cool courage of Mrs. King last year in scoring a “double” when she walked into a herd of 500 of the dangerous African buffalo to get a shot at a prize black bull. She dropped the head of the herd and barely escaped by knocking down another bull with the second shot in the double-barreled big game rifle.

Her judgment of the value of the bull as big game, he declared, is vindicated by its being listed in London as having the biggest boss of any bull buffalo on record. The boss on a buffalo is a solid armor of horn spreading over the top part of its head between the sharp horns and protecting the vulnerable sop in its head — the brain.

Charges with head lowered

The danger from a charge of a bull buffalo is that it comes on with head lowered and horns fixed, with the boss on its head shielding the brain and heart from the hunter’s shot. A hit in any other spot fails to stop the charge.

The head of the prize buffalo bull is now mounted and in a collection of many trophies of last year’s hunt already received from New York and on display at the J.R. Watkins Company office here.

Another of Mrs. King’s trophies, a giant bull elephant she killed last year, will be ready for the King collection by the time they return from the present trip.

The head has been in the process of mounting for the last year and will be completed in about six months. The giant tusks, containing about $1,500 of ivory, will be fitted into the mounted head.

Old Main plans celebration Saturday

GALESVILLE — The Old Main Historical & Community Arts Center will hold its Main Event Fall Celebration from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

However, with the COVID-19 Pandemic, it will look different than usual. The event will be a drive-thru format and include a 50/50 raffle, autographed Packer football raffle, wine sales from Elmaro Vineyard and a pulled pork dinner.

Alex Wegner, president of Old Main, says, “Our board has carefully developed a plan for how we can safely hold this great event. We could not continue to operate Old Main without the continued support from our community and the aid of our dedicated volunteers.”

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Old Main temporarily suspended all events for the safety of volunteers and attendees. Their volunteers are hard at work planning events for 2021, continuing their preservation work, and planning future improvements to the building.

More information on Main Event and Old Main can be found on its Facebook page and website,

Minnesota calls on Trump, Biden to follow virus guidelines

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz urged the campaigns of President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden on Tuesday to abide by the state’s guidelines for slowing the spread of the coronavirus when the candidates visit Minnesota on Friday.

“Partner with us in the fight against COVID-19,” the Democratic governor said in a letter to both campaigns.

Trump may be running as the “law and order” candidate, but that hasn’t stopped him and his campaign from openly defying state emergency orders and flouting his own administration’s guidelines as he holds rallies in battleground states. Trump has an airport rally scheduled for Friday in the north-central Minnesota city of Bemidji. Biden’s campaign has not yet announced a city or venue for his visit.

Walz said Minnesota requires face masks inside public places and strongly encourages them for outdoor gatherings.

The governor did not say in his letter how state and local officials will respond if either campaign fails to follow the guidelines for their events. Walz spokesman Teddy Tschann said they hope to hear back from the campaigns soon, and that they’ll comply voluntarily instead of forcing the state to enforce its guidelines.

“We’re hoping they don’t put us in a position where they have to do that, but that would be up to local regulatory agencies and local law enforcement,” Tschann said.

While an executive order that Walz signed in June contains an exemption for federal officials, Tschann said it doesn’t apply to the president in this context because he’s coming for a campaign rally and not acting in his official capacity. But even if that exception did apply, he said, it would apply only to federal officials, and not attendees.

“To comply with the relevant guidelines, your events generally must not exceed 25% capacity, not to exceed 250 people. You may be able to increase total attendance if you choose a venue with multiple event spaces with separate capacity limits, as long as you limit each separate space to the lesser of 250 people or 25% capacity. Attendees must maintain social distancing of at least six feet at all times, including when entering and exiting the event,” the governor said in his letter.

Walz said the guidelines are consistent with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx. He noted that Birx on her recent visit to Minnesota praised the state’s mitigation efforts and stressed the importance of face coverings, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.

“COVID-19 continues to pose a threat to Minnesota. Over 1,900 Minnesotans have died from the virus, including more than 200 in the past month. Please demonstrate that you value Minnesota by protecting the health of our communities. Join us in our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, keep our businesses open, and get back to the activities we love,” he concluded.

University of Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan throws downfield during a game against Northwestern last season. Morgan and his teammates have a fall football season to prepare for after the Big Ten Conference announced Wednesday that it would start playing games next month.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield holds up his mask as he speaks at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on a "Review of Coronavirus Response Efforts" on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

breaking top story
Breaking 700: One new COVID-19 death, 20 new cases confirmed in Winona County

One new COVID-19 death and 20 newly diagnosed cases were confirmed in Winona County Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

MDH confirmed that the resident who died was between the ages of 65 and 69.

The death is the first related to COVID-19 since Aug. 15.

The county’s total cases have broken the 700 mark, landing at 714, with 18 — or about 2.5% — having died.

No other information about the recent death or new cases was released Wednesday, but the county is expected to release its weekly update Thursday evening — a day later than normal due to a Winona mass testing event.

During the first day of the Winona testing event Tuesday, more than 1,250 COVID-19 tests were completed within eight hours, according to Winona County Emergency Management’s Facebook page.

Winona State University’s positive case total continues to grow as it reached 294 as of Sunday, the university announced Wednesday.

This total includes an increase of 85 cases since the previous week.

The university is in a self-imposed two-week quarantine, with classes moved online temporarily until Sept. 21 at the earliest.

On campus, 19 students or employees who have tested positive or are showing symptoms are isolating.

Off campus, 147 students or employees are isolating themselves.

As for quarantining, which is completed when someone may be exposed to COVID-19, 77 students or employees are doing so on campus and 151 students or employees are doing so off campus.

On the Saint Mary’s University campus, there have been 24 positive COVID-19 cases, none of which are employees.

Only one new case on the SMU campus has occurred in the week leading up to Wednesday.

In Minnesota, 513 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

The cases bring the state’s total to 85,813, with 79,583 no longer needing to be isolated.

Of these positive cases, 9,303 are health-care workers.

Statewide, 1,743,611 COVID-19 tests have been completed, with 1,252,392 residents having been tested.

Seven new deaths, including the most recent Winona County death, were reported in the state, bringing the total to 1,933.

Of these people, 1,402 resided within long-term care or assisted-living facilities.

Statewide, 7,019 people have required hospitalization because of COVID-19, with 244 remaining in hospitals Wednesday.

Of the currently hospitalized patients, 136 are in intensive care.

For daily Minnesota COVID-19 situation updates, visit the Minnesota Department of Health’s website.

Databank: Maps and more you can use to track COVID-19 spread

Winona Police Chief Bostrack: Time is right to retire


After 34 years in law enforcement, including 28-and-a-half years with Winona, Police Chief Paul Bostrack will say goodbye Sept. 24.

Bostrack, who became chief in 2009, said the decision to retire was influenced by his children, who are in their last year of school and getting ready to move on with their lives.

“The timing was just right,” Bostrack said.

The decision to retire has been floating in Bostrack’s mind for a little more than a year, but COVID-19 almost changed that.

“When COVID came along, I said, ‘I’m not so sure I’m going to leave while all of this is going on,’’ he said. “But it seems like things have calmed down, because a lot was unknown in the beginning ... and I just went back to my original plan.”

Aside from spending more time with his children, Bostrack said he doesn’t have any big plans.

“Basically just working around the house and catching up on things that have slid for a while,” Bostrack said. “After that, I’m sure I’ll hit a point where I’ll look to do something else. I just haven’t decided what that would be yet.”

Looking back on his career as the chief of police and in law enforcement, Bostrack noted multiple things he’s proud of.

One thing he paid particular attention to was the creation of the Emergency Response Team in the early 1990s and his role in helping build it.

“I developed some policies based on other departments, set up training and made the system work,” Bostrack said. “I was on the Emergency Response Team for about 15 years as the team leader, and that was a very neat opportunity when I was younger and I enjoyed that greatly.”

Another thing he mentioned was working with the city manager and the rest of the department in creating the community outreach officer positions.

“I think that’s a very good program. It’s working out very well so far and I think it’ll hopefully help out a great deal in the future and continue to be a success,” Bostrack said.

As for what he hopes for the future of the department, Bostrack mentioned having a good hiring list — which he has been working on before he leaves — as he expects more people to retire in the near future.

Specifically, Bostrack hopes more social workers can be hired through the department as more about mental health is learned.

“That’s in the process of being looked into very quickly now, to see if they can make that work and have it implemented,” Bostrack said. “It’s good timing, because some of the other departments that have had social workers on have made adjustments based on what did and didn’t work, so we can learn from the trials of others.”

Leaving behind an opportunity to allow for more officers and workers in the department is a priority as Bostrack nears retirement.

“I just want to make sure that we have good people moving into those positions ... and keep the same level of service to the city and maybe even improve on things as we go along,” Bostrack said.