Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz

Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal & Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Minn.

Aug. 21, 2000

The fall hunting season is coming fast

Firearms deer hunters - antlerless permit application deadline is Thursday, Sept. 7

Every season, there typically, are a few changes and additions to hunting regulations, license requirements and other laws in regard to hunting in our state. Some are small changes that have little effect on the average hunter, others can be far-reaching and have tremendous effects.

This season, for the first time, Minnesota firearms deer hunters will be required to purchase their license and apply for their antlerless permit through the new (ELS) Electronic Licensing System.

The antlerless permit application deadline is Thursday, Sept. 7, and applications must be made at an ELS license agent.

For firearms deer hunters who will be applying for an antlerless permit, that change could mean a few headaches this season.

Typically, the application deadline day is one that is very busy for area license agents. Hunters in hoards would come through to purchase their deer license and get their permit application in the mail before the deadline. Agents like Joe's Sport Shop in Howard Lake would have three people going with the license books just to keep up with the traffic.

This season, however, places like Joe's will only be able to process or serve one license buyer or permit applicant at a time. Like most license vendors that I am aware of, Joe's was given only one ELS machine.

Frank and Dave at Lil' Angie's Bait and Tackle at the Treasure Hunt near Lester Prairie, which is also an ELS agent, estimated that if everything is working the way it is supposed to, it will take about four minutes, a little bit longer than a fishing license, to process a big game license with an antlerless permit.

The other ELS agent local to our area is Mark's Service in Waverly.

The message here is to get to an ELS agent and purchase your license and apply for your permit well before the Sept. 7 deadline. If you don't, expect to wait in line, as each agent has only one machine and can only handle one person at a time. They can't run three license books and service more than one person at a time like they used to. Also, the ELS vendors in our area also sell many other products and services and will have other customers to attend to.

Along with antlerless permits, the electronic licensing system has created a few questions regarding stamps, state waterfowl, state pheasant and trout, and deer site tagging.

The DNR, along with Dave Groff from Lil' Angie's Bait and Tackle, recently provided me with some need to know information on the subject of stamps, that I will share with you next week.

In this week's column is a reprint of a brochure from the DNR on deer licensing and tagging procedures under the ELS.

Outdoor notes:

  • Federal duck stamps are not part of the ELS and need to be purchased separately. They typically are available at post offices and at certain license vendors.
  • The fishing has been pretty slow in our area of late. A few crappies have been hitting on Winsted and Collinwood. Lake Minnetonka has been providing some fair sunfish action, and there haven't been any reports coming from the Crow River.
  • As the days get shorter and the nights cool off, look the fishing activity to pick up. Soon the northern pike will be in a feeding frenzy the walleye bite will be on again.
  • The early Canada goose season in our area opens Sept. 2.
  • Minnesota's youth waterfowl hunting day is set for Sat. Sept. 16.
  • Now is the time to start getting your hunting dog in shape for the season. When training and conditioning, be very careful of hot weather. Try to work your dog early in the morning, or in the evening when temperatures are often cooler.
  • Take a kid fishing or plan on taking a kid hunting. You will have fun and so will they.

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