Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

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

Aug. 19, 2002

What will fall 2002 bring?

After a summer of heavy rains and severe flooding, hordes of furious mosquitoes, intense humidity, and an awkward fishing season, it makes you wonder what fall will be like.

Will it be normal, with cooler days progressing toward winter? Will leaves turn color and fill the landscape with beauty in early to mid October?

Will lunker northerns and walleyes bite in shallow water just before freeze-up? When will the peak of the waterfowl migration happen?

Will there be any young of the year pheasants in our area this hunting season, or did summer flooding devastate their numbers? Will the Crow River settle down from the turmoil of the wet summer?

Will lakes Howard and Big Waverly provide the excellent fall fishing they have in the past, or will the flooding still show its effects? Will Lake Ann begin a recovery from a severe fish kill?

Last week, on a drive from Howard Lake to Winsted, I saw two broods of young pheasants in the ditch. The hens looked healthy, but the chicks were small, most likely a second or even third hatch from hens who's first hatch was lost to flooding.

The young pheasants made me think back to the flooding of the summer and then raised the question of what will the fall bring?

As a conservationist, I know the effects of the flooding will be long lasting and that it will take much more time then just one fall season to restore damaged resources.

I also know that we, and what we do to the land, had more to do with the flooding than the large amounts of rain did.

Only time will answer the questions above and only time will tell actually how devastating the flooding of this summer was.

Deer licenses, regulations, permit applications available

From the DNR

The 2002 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook, along with deer licenses and applications for deer antlerless and special hunt permits, are now available at more than 1,800 Electronic License System (ELS) agents and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) License Center at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul.

For an additional $3.50 processing fee, these licenses and applications are also available by calling toll free 1-888-665-4236 or from the DNR Web site.

The 2002 season opener for firearms deer is Nov. 9, the archery deer opener is Sept. 14, and the muzzleloader deer opener is Nov. 30.

A total of 363,765 antlerless permits are available this fall, which is an all-time record. Most of the permit increases are in zones 1 and 2 (the northeastern half of the state), which reflects an increased deer population due to another mild winter.

Antlerless permits are available in all areas except permit area 116 in the area of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota. Intensive harvest permits are available in 39 antlerless permit areas, nearly 30 percent of the entire state.

A total of 30 special hunts will also be held in parks and refuges where hunting is not normally allowed and where the number of hunters must be limited for safety purposes.

GENERAL LICENSE INFORMATION, PAST DEER HARVEST DATA. Regular deer hunting licenses cost $26 for residents and $126 for nonresidents, including the $1 agent's issuing fee. There are also several additional deer licensing options, including a

$51 resident multi-zone buck license that allow hunters to tag bucks-only in more than one zone, and a $76 all-season deer license that allows a resident to hunt the archery, firearms and muzzleloader seasons and take one buck and one antlerless deer. The all-season buck license was replaced by the all-season deer license and is no longer available.

A $6.50 youth firearms deer license, without a tag, is available for residents 12 to 15 years of age. This license requires that the youth be accompanied by a licensed hunter at least 18 years of age who possesses a valid tag and requires that any deer taken by the youth hunter be tagged by another member of the party.

Youth hunters who want to shoot and tag their own deer should not buy this license.

Outdoor notes

­ When you purchase your new 2002 hunting licenses on the electronic licensing system, the license will note appropriate stamps that you have purchased. The actual copy of those stamps will then be sent to you in the mail.

This year I received my stamps in just a few days. It should also be noted that the federal waterfowl stamp is not a part of ELS and needs to be purchased separately. Most license vendors do have them.

­ Minnesota's Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day is set for Saturday, Sept. 14. The use of spinning wing decoys is not permitted.

­ The Early Canada goose season opens Sunday, Sept. 1.

­ There will be no hunting season on Canvasback ducks in Minnesota this year.

­ It's time to get yourself and your hunting dog in shape.

­ The DNR will be conducting August roadside counts for pheasants and other wildlife very soon.

­ Visit the DNR Building at the Minnesota State Fair.

­ The possible snow season starts in 27 days.

­ In next week's column, look for an interesting piece of information on Lake Mary, received from a reader in Burnsville.

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