By Chris Schultz Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal & Howard Lake Herald, Minn. September 7, 1998
Antlerless permits due Sept. 10
For firearms deer hunters, the time is now.
The deadline for applying for antlerless permits and most special hunts is Thursday, Sept. 10. Applications must be postmarked or hand delivered to the DNR License Bureau in St. Paul by the 10th to be eligible for drawings.
A total of 137,680 antlerless permits are available, plus an additional 2,600 permits that are available for youth under age 16 in some areas where the deer herd is recovering from several consecutive severe winters.
A large portion of zones 1 and 2 in the northern part of the state will continue to be restricted to bucks-only hunting for all hunters, and no permit applications will be accepted for these areas.
In addition, there are 32 special deer hunts in parks, refuges, and other areas not normally open to hunting.
Applications for these hunts must be made on the permit application form that comes with the firearms license by the same Sept. 10 deadline.
In our area, licenses and application forms are available at local hardware stores, Joe's Sport Shop in Howard Lake, and Radtke's Bait and Tackle near Winsted.
The Minnesota Volunteer
On several occasions in this column, I have given great acclaim to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' publication, the Minnesota Volunteer.
In my opinion, the Volunteer is far and away the best outdoor, naturalism, and conservation related publication put out or circulated in the state. Its Sept.-Oct. 1998 issue only strengthens my opinion.
On occasion, the Volunteer gets criticized for running articles or information on hunting in our state. Certain readers feel that no information or stories related to hunting should run in the volunteer, even though it is a publication of the Department of Natural Resources.
Those readers feel the Volunteer should concentrate on outdoor/natural resources topics that do not relate to the taking of game or fish.
Not in defense of hunting, but in a display of the importance of hunting in our state and the outdoor lessons and skills learned while hunting, the Volunteer dedicated its Sept.-Oct. issue to hunting, game species, and the lessons that can be learned about the outdoors through hunting.
The issue is not just hunting and the taking of game. It is about why people hunt, what they learn when they hunt, and the relationships that are forged with the outdoors, animals, and other people through the art of hunting.
Articles include Minnesota's Growing Game; Man, Tired; The Gifts of Gun Dogs; Join the Hunt; and The Road to Wild Places.
They cover subjects like the relationship hunters have with their dogs, young naturalists getting started in hunting, hunter safety and ethics, and wildlife management.
By all accounts, the issue is one of the finest outdoor/hunting related publications I have ever read in my life.
If you are a hunter or not, I encourage and urge you to get a copy and read it.
If you would like to subscribe to the Volunteer, call 612-296-0888.
Area fishing report
Big northerns should be hitting, and the walleye bite should be turning back on very soon.
Fall is approaching and so is some of the best fishing of the year. Fall isn't a time to cruise the shallows after panfish; it's the time to fish for lunkers.
Walleye and northern pike will go into a fall feeding frenzy as the days get shorter and the water gets colder. When they do, it's your best chance of the year to nab a few lunkers.
Danny Radtke of Radtke's Bait and Tackle near Winsted reported: Granite and Ida are producing sunfish on wax worms; nice crappies are biting on Winsted Lake and the northern action on lakes around the area has been good.
He also reported that Richard Casey, a young angler from the area, nabbed a nice string of slab crappies from Winsted Lake last week.
Joe's Sport Shop in Howard Lake reported: Fishing has been a bit quiet with most of the outdoor talk centered around hunting, the Sept. 10 antlerless permit deadline, and the early goose hunt. Joe's also reported several bald eagles have been sighted in the Howard Lake area in the past week.
- Radtke's Bait and Tackle near Winsted is now a license vendor. Stamps, hunting and fishing licenses, and permit applications are now available there.
- The cool nights we experienced last week were super and long waited for by this outdoor enthusiast.
- Get yourself in shape for the upcoming hunting seasons.
- Wednesday night is the last chance of the season for you to sharpen your shotgunning skills at the Lester Prairie Sportsmen's Club. League and practice shooting will end for the season on Wed. evening, Sept. 9.
- Be courteous and not competitive with other hunters while in the field this fall.
- Get a kid involved in the outdoors this fall. They'll have fun and so will you.