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Deer Lakers in Arizona for Holidays 2014.

Left to Right – Margot & Dave Chatterton, Carolyn & Bob Ludwig, Sue Herboldt Johnson & Dale Johnson, Julie & Bob Hennesey, and Sharon & Bob Claude.  The AZ Deer Lakers met for lunch Dec. 12  at Pappadeaux’s Creole Seafood Restaurant. We had a wonderful 2-1/2 hour lunch; much laughter and camaraderie among friends.


Deer Lake SnowBird Report from down south:

a winter tradition!


February 2014

Lake South Annual Get Together  
    As has become a custom, Stan and Lovelle Meester hosted a gathering
of Deer Lake folks at their Punta Gorda, Florida condo, this year held
inside as a rain storm resulting from the latest Arctic blast approached.
Present were Jim and Trish Bogenief, Don and Mag Shields, Dick and Margaret
Orr, Lyn and Doug Hanson, Steve and Nancy Klassen, Pat and George Ritzinger,
and hosts Stan and Lovelle Meester. As luck would have it, the storm broke
as we were all sitting down to dinner causing a quick relocation of one of
the tables. A great time was had by all with many thoughts of summer at Deer
Lake, particularly as intense as the winter of 2014 has been. 



Past Winters Down South


The DLA South Annual BBQ
   The DLA South group again met for their annual BBQ on February 21st at Stan and Lovelle Meester's Punta Gorda, Florida condo. Present, in addition to the hosts were Steve and Nancy Klassen, Don and Meg Shields, Daryl and Sue Sauer, and Pat and George Ritzinger. In true DLA BBQ fashion, all brought wonderful hors d'oevures and their favorite beverages. Many tales were told and a great time was had by all.



Here is a photo from the 2010 South-West Deer Lake Reunion.  The six present and former DLA couples attended a November 4, 2010 party at Don and Abby Marier's home in Sun City Vistoso, Tucson, AZ. From left to right they are Margot & Dave Chatterton, Abby & Don Marier, Carolyn & Bob Ludwig, Sharon & Bob Claude, Trish & Jim Bogenreif, and Pat & George Ritzinger. We shared Deer Lake stories and memories as we soaked up the sun, good food and drinks.



    On February 10, six Deer Lake couples gathered together for the now annual mid winter social event at Stan and Lovelle's Punta Gorda condo. Present were Stan and Lovelle, Joe and Jean Mulheran, Don and Mag Shields, Bob and Carolyn Ludwig, Pat and George Ritzinger, and Sue and Daryl Sauer. There was much good conversation and of course lots of eating and drinking along with thoughts of the upcoming summer on Deer Lake.





    Seven Deer Lake couples tore them selves away from golf courses, swimming pools, and nature trails to gather at the Claudes' lovely Sun Lake, Arizona home for cocktails , conversation, and dinner on November 6. There was much catching up on what has been happening in everyone's lives since lake activities ended in September. Present were newly married Sue (Herbolt) and Dale Johnson, Abby and Don Marier, Trish and Jim Bogenrief, Margot and Dave Chatterton, Carolyn and Bob Ludwig, Pat and George Ritzinger, and hosts Bob and Sharon Claude. 


2011 Pontoon Count:

The certified pontoon accounting firm of Rudder, Sponson and Anchor (RS&A) conducted another Deer Lake pontoon count on July 6, 2011. The count was 140, up from the 136 counted in 2009. The count has been essentially flat since 2006 when 138 were on the lake. The firm estimates it's count accuracy at +/- 2 boats.
The firm believes the economy has stunted pontoon growth. Some pontoons may have been foreclosed to counter new boat growth. Also, potential buyers may be waiting for greener economic times.
RS&A have been conducting these surveys since 1993. The count then was 54. In 1998, there were 68 boats; in 2002, 106 and in 2005, 128.
Dave & Margot Chatterton 




Headline dated July 6, 2009: Stagnant Economy Affects Deer Lake Pontoon Boat Count.
In a stunning trend reversal, the 6th Deer Lake pontoon count was conducted July 6, 2009 by Margot & Dave Chatterton, Margot's sister Mary Kay from Napa, CA, and her husband,Jim. Each person conducted an independent count. The average boat total was 136. This was 2 shy of the 138 count in 2006. We conclude that either the lake is saturated with pontoons or the economy has stunted their growth. We also noticed that no one, as yet, seems to have 2 pontoons.
Finally, the past pontoon boat censuses appear below for historical purposes.
1993 - 54: 1998 - 68; 2002 - 106; 2005 - 128; 2006 - 138; 2009 - 136. Estimated error is + or - 4 boats.
The above results have been certified by the independent accounting firm of Dewey, Countem & Howe.
Dave & Margot Chatterton, Self-Appointed Pontoon Counters for Deer Lake


This story was submitted by the Jacobson family:


 Last July, Jon "Jake" Jacobson, wife Gayle and children Lindsay & Jeff came across an immature Bald eagle on CR 256 near Hwy#62. Having been volunteers at the Minnesota Raptor Center they noticed it had a broken left-wing. Jake had recently attended a class on capturing Baldies, so carefully he approached the bird with a beach towel over his shoulder and gripped the Baldy under the towel and placed the big bird in their pup's kennel for containment. They thanked an on-looker who had thoughtfully just reported the bird to DNR; the appropriate officials, and asked to advise them they would be taking the eagle directly to The Raptor Center, in St. Paul for emergency treatment by a veterinarian.


Arriving at 11:30 PM, the Vet a German intern and Jake worked until 2:15 AM providing the immediate attention this Baldy required.  (What a privilege in the wee hours of July 4th to be helping our national bird, he thought.)  But there was one ugly surprise learned in the process.  This Baldy was not injured by in an accidental collision with a car, as he originally suspected but regrettably, but was shot and had been grounded 3-5 days unable to eat and was now being eaten alive by maggots.  The bullet had passed through one bone and shattered a second in the left wing.  


This one-year old female Baldy, likely hatched in Itasca County during '04, and may even have been hatched on Bear Island, would have soon died if not promptly provided expert care. But the world's most revered raptor clinic sadly was unable to save her. Note; The Jacobsons are DLA members and have vacationed on Deer Lake for many years. They arranged for the Raptor Center's educational presentation to DLA program on eagles in 1999. We thank them for the story and their heroic efforts to save one of our eagles.


Dennis Johnson (of Limerick PA and Deer Lake) writes:

My wife and I were on a winter visit to our Deer Lake house for a few weeks after Christmas. While there, I had occasion to go outside about midnight one evening to a breathtaking sight of a full moon, new snow, and a starry sky. This moved me to compose a poem, "Moonshadows", which I am forwarding in case the newsletter editor would like to include it in an upcoming edition. I thought others might enjoy it.





Purple shadows etch the snow

And silence speaks across the land

Full moon above, the woods below

Branches paint their lacework grand


My hound and I have ventured out

To let him answer nature's call

No other creatures roam about

The forest sleeps, silence is all


Across the lake in frosted white

A faint lamp says we aren't alone

Yet all is quiet in the night

As Nature dwells upon her throne


We stand in wonder 'neath the milky way

Overwhelmed by Nature's grace

The glowing moon is sensed to say

This painting now must pass this place


Time won't soon allow this sight

Moonshadows o'er our wooded hill

Full moon, white snow, a starry night

This awesome show by nature still'd


The hound and I rejoin the hearth

Stomp my boots and enter to find

The frozen music of the scene

Remains forever in my mind.


Dennis L. Johnson     January 2006



Photo of moon rising over Deer Lake, February 2006, by Tom Nelson





Ruminations on Deer Lake

by Dick Baldwin

July 15, 2005


I do my best ruminations lying on my back on the couch on a cool summer day.  Here's where these led me a few weeks ago.


It seemed to me that the DLA Board could well become more of an "idea factory" to generate ideas, encourage ideas, discuss the ideas and thereby sort the ideas and finally provide the leadership to implement ideas that are different and will really make a difference toward the achievement of the DLA mission, goals, and objectives.


So here are a few ruminations toward that end. I don't claim originality, or that all, or for that matter any of them in the end will meet the above objectives. But it's a start and something that everyone on Deer Lake has a stake in and can participate


Maintain the septic system program to analyze all of our septic systems for function and encourage correcting any "leakers." This is vital for our "3 in 20" program to preserve the lake.


Fishing:  Someone should keep track of and understand our fish populations, spawning, stockings, and promote "catch and release."


Purple loosestrife and other bad invasive species: Keep track of it. Have education programs. Publicize how to identify it. Have eradication programs. Publicize how to identify it and what to do next.


Zebra mussels: Understand it, where it is, how it moves and what are our risks?


Lawn care: Understand and publicize how lakeshore lawns can and do affect the lake. Provide consultations on fertilizing, mowing and use of niter zones.


On other potential pollution problems have someone become "the expert" on the subject, e.g. gray water running into the watershed, dish detergents, laundry detergents or just plain trash.


Measuring water clarity in an organized way (we do this now). Have schedules, keep records, publicize results, and monitor our "3 in 20" program.


Understand the Deer Lake watershed: How does Moose Lake affect Deer Lake? Should the DLA really be involved with and concerned for the whole watershed?


Managing and encouraging the development of the "Deer Lake Community." What is the community? What are all the ways we can build it? Follow up on social activities so they flourish. How can we relate best with Sunday Brunch programs at Hiawatha? We do well and have many social projects going. But how can we do them better?  New ideas?


Membership Drives. Very important to understand why some things work and some things don't- Follow up with "drop-outs". Consider dues increase or decrease. Which would help our program the most?


Seriously re-consider our membership structure. It seems unnecessarily complex. Consider one class of membership, anyone who has an interest in Deer Lake to pay the dues and participate. The membership requirement now makes it seem as though the Deer Lake Association is a homeowner's association and it shouldn't be!


Help make the "Commons at Hiawatha" a community center: work with Hiawatha to develop community relations and outreach program. DLA is very fortunate to have it available. Use it, don't abuse it.


Taxes: Understand the local tax situation and develop ideas and programs to get "more for our money."


Clean-up the trash, etc. on our properties, by-ways, and avenues, as we do on Hwy. 62 and ear Island.


Get camps, resorts, and permanent residents more involved in preserving our Lake and community.


Develop, publicize, and sell, (distribute and address map of all properties on Deer Lake.


Build our DLEAP Fund for major projects, to say, $300,000. Use DLEAP Funds for major projects. Be careful not to reduce them by "nickel and dime" projects which can come from the operating account.


Really understand the zoning problems and work to use zoning to preserve the lake. Some of us now do this but not all Deer Lake residents understand it. We can do better.


Look for major opportunities to protect Deer Lake and its watershed.  This may seem redundant, but we need to look for new ways to achieve our mission.


Develop new opportunities to raise money and to help fund proposed ventures and keep the DLA sound financially. We don't run a benevolence program:  we are investing in the Lake and the community.


Improve communications:  newsletters, brochures, information letters, news publicity, emails, web site, etc. We must do good work and tell people about it.


Encourage usable motorless craft on the lake, e.g. sailboats, kayaks, canoes by holding regattas, races, etc. For example, we could have a sailing regatta once each year.


Promote safety in, on, and around the lake: education, lessons, publicity, newsletters, etc.


Be exemplary stewards of all we have here and love our neighbors'


Monitor the public access. Promote responsible use of the lake with signs, etc.


Hold occasional garage sales around the lake, a la Hwy. 38 Garage Sale. Use part of the proceeds for lake improvements, or scholarships, etc. It will be a community-builder and fun besides.


Give achievement awards at an annual event for those who make improvements, come up with useful ideas, and do exceptional work on behalf of the Lake.


Understand why the lake level has been so high and has cost so much erosion to the shoreline. This has caused millions of dollars in damage. There is some evidence that there is a sand build-up in the approach to the outlet dam. This should be investigated to see if it may be the cause. Another potential problem with the water flow in this area is the build-up of weeds which slows flow. The DLA could look in to this. Does Moose Lake have the same problem? Should (could) something be done to aid in the regulation of the lake level?


Just ruminations?



Here are some of the many photos that have accompanied our Home Page picture, show some meteriological variations on Deer Lake: