Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz
Herald Journal

July 19, 2004

Hoping for a big catch

To rival the photo in last week’s column of the 2.4 pound sunfish I caught over the Fourth of July, I’m hoping to run a photo of my next big catch in next week’s column.

My wife Amy, was hoping, actually pleading, praying, and begging that the photo would have been available for this column.

But, sorry, deadline is already passed, and the photo hasn’t even been taken yet.

If you remember, we are expecting a baby boy to go along with our two daughters Abbi, and Emmi, and the little stinker that has been kicking my wife in the ribs for the past few months is due any day now.

For Amy, sooner is definitely better than later.

In simple terms, you can pity and expect more than the worst for any mosquito that comes near her, and sometimes husbands, and little girls, look an awful lot like mosquitoes.

Moving on to the great outdoors, good fishing for northern pike and sunfish on several area lakes, hot humid weather, all kinds of lawn mowing, and swarms of mosquitoes are dominating the scene right now.

The talk on hunting, and the upcoming fall, is just getting started, and according to reports, the muskie action is finally starting to pick up.

Before I end this brief column, I’ll leave you with these tips; go fishing in front of the next low pressure front, and pay a lot of attention to the barometric pressure.

When you see the needle dropping, head for the lake.

Lastly, if you’re a mosquito, or could be remotely mistaken for one, stay away from my house.

Deadline approaching for prairie chicken, fall turkey hunts

From the DNR

Hunters seeking to apply for the 2004 Minnesota prairie chicken season or the fall turkey hunt are reminded that they need to do so by July 30 at any one of 1,800 Electronic Licensing System (ELS) vendor locations statewide.

The five-day prairie chicken season, which will begin Oct. 23, is open to Minnesota residents only.

Hunters who apply for one of 100 available permits will be charged a $4 application fee.

They may apply individually or in groups up to four hunters. Prairie chicken licenses cost $20.

The hunt will be held in seven prairie chicken quota areas in west-central Minnesota, which are located between Crookston and Breckenridge.

Up to 20 percent of the permits in each area will be issued to landowners or tenants of 40 acres or more of prairie or grassland property within the permit area for which they applied.

The season bag limit is two prairie chickens per hunter.

FALL TURKEY SEASON

Applications for this year’s fall turkey hunt are also being accepted at ELS vendors across Minnesota.

Fall turkey hunters may apply for one of 4,380 permits to hunt in one of 24 permit areas from Oct. 13-17 or Oct. 20-24.

This is a 13 percent increase in available permits compared with 2003.

Beginning in this year, a license issued under the landowner/tenant special drawing is restricted to land owned or leased by the holder of the license.

The requirement that the land must be agricultural or grazing has been dropped.

The fall turkey hunt application fee is $3. The license is $18 for residents and $73 for nonresidents.

A $5 stamp validation is also required for turkey hunters 18 years of age or older.

Application worksheets and maps of permit areas for both hunts are available on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

Successful applicants for both hunts will be notified by mail at the end of August and must purchase their permit at an ELS vendor.

Conservation officer’s tales - June 2004

From the DNR

• Memory lapse

Conservation Officer (CO) Kevin Prodzinski (Zumbrota) reported a subject was cited for borrowing a fishing license when he could not remember “his” birthday.

He had his cousin’s license in his pocket.

• To tell the truth

CO Larry Francis (Remer) cited an individual for unattended lines after the officer sat with the lines on the end of the angler’s dock for 30 minutes.

When confronted, the party claimed to have left his lines and dock only 10 minutes prior. Somehow the officer didn’t believe him.

• More charges

CO Brad Schultz, (Center City) encountered an individual who was stopped for BWI and refused testing last August, was convicted, lost his boat, and lost his motorboat operating privileges for one year.

The officer observed him driving his wife’s brand new boat on its alleged first day on the water.

Charges for operating a watercraft with suspended privileges are pending.

• Litter is natural?

CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area) reported that approximately 400 people camped in the SRA over the Memorial Day weekend.

Failure to respond to two warnings within eight hours to keep a clean camp, lead to the eviction of a group of approximately 40 young adults from public land near the Mahngan mine for litter.

One young partier told the officer that “litter is natural.”

• Eighth DWI in 12 years

CO Brent Speldrich (McGregor) encountered a boater that was having motor problems.

It was later found that this operator was intoxicated, his eighth DWI arrest in 12 years. His boat is pending forfeiture procedures.

• What’s under the hood?

CO Lloyd Steen (Ray) worked at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) in International Falls where CBP officers found a jug of alcohol and an overlimit of 29 walleyes hidden under the hood of a pickup coming into the U.S. from Ontario by three Missouri anglers.

The overlimit of walleyes was turned over to Officer Steen.

An $880 bond amount was assessed for the fish and $100 for the alcohol.

• Temper, temper

CO Tim Jenniges (Windom) reported an angler got upset for receiving a citation for fishing with two lines.

He snapped one fishing rod in two and said, “See, now I only have one line.”

• California dreamin’

CO Lloyd Steen (Ray) was called to U.S. Customs in International Falls to process an illegal importation of an overlimit of northern pike from Ontario.

Five men from California were apprehended smuggling 43 northern over the limit in their duffle bags, suit cases and sleeping bags. A $1,360 bond was collected.

• Bear necessity

CO Brian Buria (Bigfork) reported a cabin owner was upset after a bear destroyed over 10 bird feeders.

CO Buria informed the individual that the large wood carving of a bear holding a “Welcome” sign in his yard might be the real cause of his problem.

The best advice is to bring bird feeders in at night in bear country.

• Eagle and truck collision

CO Dan Cogswell (Grand Rapids) reported responding to a vehicle crash between a truck and a bald eagle.

The eagle went through the truck windshield leaving the driver with several glass lacerations to the face and hands.

The young eagle died and the truck had to be towed.

• Quite a couple

CO Cary Shoutz (Crosslake) responded to an aggressive crappie bite on Lake Emily.

He found a husband-wife fishing combination in possession of 49 crappie, 29 fish over their legal possession limit. Fines and restitution will exceed $1,200.

• Way over limit

COC Keith Bertram (Sauk Centre) was training with CO Doug Lage in the Marshall area.

They received several complaints regarding over limits of crappies.

Two suspects from Tracy were found to have 314 crappies over their limit.

• Duck rescue

Officer Shane Kirlin (Madison) spearheaded a rescue mission involving several stranded wood duck ducklings that had fallen down a storm sewer in Montevideo.

Officer Kirlin, assisted by the Montevideo Public Works Department, rescued the nine ducklings and reunited them with a nervous hen watching the operation from the sky.

• K9 Saber

CO Todd Kanieski (Osseo) reported three suspects fled on foot from him near the Mississippi River into a large wooded area.

Unfortunately for the suspects, Kanieski is assigned a DNR K9 Saber who easily tracked the suspects for just under a half-mile.

Saber led Kanieski to the edge of a swamp where the suspects were hiding.

They quickly gave up once they realized Saber was on their track.

The two adults and one juvenile were charged with obstructing legal process and a minor possessing alcohol.

• When were you born?

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reported a 25-year-old female angler tried to convince the officer that she was only 15 and didn’t need a fishing license.

However, she couldn’t figure out what year she was born to make the story work.

• Burial detail

CO Bob Marts (Wheaton) reported carp are now moving upstream and several young men with air rifles made the decision to shoot the carp.

When the young men were caught and informed that shooting fish is a violation of the law and leaving them lie was wanton waste, all 20 fish were buried one foot deep to ensure proper disposal of the carp.

• Minnesota conservation officer tales is produced monthly by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - Division of Enforcement.

DNR Question of the week

From the DNR

Q: The DNR offers a variety of youth hunts from ducks and deer in the fall to turkeys in the spring.

Who is eligible to take part in these special hunts and how do they sign up?

A: The State Legislature authorized the DNR to conduct special youth-only hunts in 1997.

The primary goal of these special hunts is to provide an opportunity for existing adult hunters to introduce young people to the sport.

During all special hunts an adult must accompany the youth, and while the adult may not hunt, they are not required to have a license.

Youth age 13 and older must have a firearms safety certificate in order to hunt big game; kids 12 and under do not need a firearms safety certificate to hunt small game.

Special permits are not needed for Youth Waterfowl Day and Take A Kid Hunting Weekend, which will be held in September for kids under age 16.

A special youth deer season in northwestern Minnesota in late October for kids 14 and under requires a free license endorsement, which is available at any ELS vendor.

Youth looking to participate in one of three special archery hunts and one of four special deer hunts this fall must enter the drawing for a limited number of permits.

Applications may be submitted at any one of 1,800 ELS vendors throughout the state; the deadline to apply is August 20.

Youth spring turkey hunt applications are available during the winter.

Additional information about special youth hunts as well as dates and locations can be found on the DNR website.

Outdoor Notes

• Make sure your dog has been checked for heartworm, and is on a heartworm preventative medication.

• Get ready to hunt morning doves this fall.

• The 2004 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook will be out at license vendors in early August.

• Young pheasant broods are being seen, and apparently are in better shape then expected.

Reports on the pheasant hatch in much of Iowa are poor, while experts in South Dakota are saying this season could be the best one the state as ever had.

• Today, July 19, the sun will rise at 5:45 a.m. and set at 8:53 p.m.

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