Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz
Herald Journal

Dec. 12, 2005

Ice fishing season off to slow start

Even with a week of cold weather and some below zero temperatures, reports from local ice anglers are saying the ice isn’t in great shape.

Most reports indicate two to four inches of ice on area lakes, on smaller lakes four inches is common, on some the bigger lakes conditions are varied with four inches being about the max as of Friday, December 9.

Joe’s Spot Shop and Hardware in Howard Lake reported Howard Lake had two to four inches of ice Friday.

A few small portable houses were on the lake near the high bank and there was one larger house near the middle of the lake.

Apparently, the snow cover on most of our area lakes is acting like an insulating blanket on top of the ice and is hampering, or slowing, ice making.

Moving on, local spear anglers have been having some good luck, and are reporting clean and clear water conditions with limited light, or visibility, because of the snow cover.

Spearing has kind of become a lost sport, or art, in our area.

However, if you haven’t tried it, there’s no better way to see what happens under the ice, or experience the winter ecosystem of a clean and healthy lake, or that of a lake that needs some help.

Thin ice and open water on Winsted Lake beginning Dec. 15

An aeration system, creating open water and thin ice, will begin operation on Winsted Lake, McLeod County, Township 117N, Range 27W, Section 2, 11, and 12 beginning Thursday, Dec. 15, under permit DNR F0564071.

Weather conditions may cause the area of thin ice and open water to fluctuate greatly.

Stay clear of the marked area.

Motorized vehicles on aerated lakes are restricted inside the zone marked “thin ice.”

For more information regarding this warning, call Brent Mareck, City of Winsted administrator, at (320) 485-2366.

Minnesota All-State Trapshooting Team

The Minnesota All-State Trap Shooting Teams have been selected for 2005.

Teams are based on the high overall average (HOA) in all three disciplines of trapshooting. Singles, handicap, and doubles.

Men’s requirement is a minimum of 2,500 singles, 1,500 handicap, and 1,000 doubles targets.

Ladies, Veterans, Senior Veterans, Junior, and Sub-Juniors have less minimum target requirements.

Below is a listing of the area shooters that were named to teams.

Men’s 2005 State 1st Team:
• Eric Munson, Cokato, 96.90 percent, captain.
• Robert Munson, Howard Lake, 95.20 percent.
• Jim R. Hessler, Buffalo, 95.17 percent.
• Christopher W. Larson, Glencoe, 95.07 percent.

Men’s 2005 State 2nd Team:
• Walter Shelstad, Buffalo, 94.82 percent.
• Kevin J. Kitzman, Monticello, 94.07 percent.

Women’s 2005 State 1st Team:
• Lou Ann Munson, Howard Lake, 93.68 percent, captain.

Women’s 2005 State 2nd Team:
• Margaret A. Munson, Cokato, 85.95 percent.
• Kim M. Kitzman, Monticello, 85.49 percent.

Junior’s 2005 State 1st Team:
• Chad Kubasch, New Germany, 92.86 percent, captain.

Junior’s 2005 State 2nd Team:
• John J. Kelly, Cokato, 87.99 percent.

Sub-Junior’s 2005 State Team:
• Annah S. Michaelis, Monticello, 86.78 percent.
• Mariah Sue Michaelis, Monticello, 71.98 percent.

Hunting, trapping regulation changes take effect Dec. 19
From the DNR

Changes in hunting and trapping regulations that affect deer baiting, falconry and snaring will take effect Dec. 19, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The changes are part of a larger DNR rule-making process that concluded this month. These changes affect seasons already open and will apply to next year’s hunting and trapping seasons.

Deer Baiting Regulations

Beginning Dec. 19, bait is defined as any food that is capable of attracting or enticing deer, and has been transported and placed by a person.

Hunters are not allowed to use bait, or hunt in the vicinity of bait that the hunter knows about or has reason to know about, or hunt in the vicinity of bait that has been placed within the 10 previous days.

This change clarifies that a hunter cannot hunt deer in the vicinity of foods that were placed to attract other wildlife, if they also attract deer.

Liquid scents, salts and minerals are not considered bait.

Falconry Limits

Beginning Dec. 19, falconry limits for rabbits and squirrels will be the same as for other small game hunters; 10 combined for rabbits and seven combined for squirrels.

In addition, falconers may take three other small game animals, in aggregate.

Snares in the Farmland Furbearer Zone

Beginning Dec. 19, snares may be used on land in the Farmland Furbearer Zone, except on public lands, road rights-of-way, or in fence lines along road rights-of-way, through March 31.

Red Dot Scopes for Turkey Hunting

Beginning with the spring 2006 seasons, electronic sights that self-illuminate but that do not cast rays of light (red dot scopes) may be used for hunting turkeys.

The complete rule package includes a number of regulations, many already set forth in as temporary rules, will apply to next year’s seasons:

• special provisions for state wildlife management areas and game refuges

• controlled waterfowl hunting zones

• deer hunting regulations

• licensing, applications, and tagging provisions

• moose hunting zones

• deer and bear registration blocks

• raccoon, fox, badger, and opossum seasons

• bobcat, fisher, and pine marten seasons and limits

• pelt registration provisions

• wild turkey seasons and permit areas

• prairie chicken hunting seasons and procedures

• waterfowl shooting hours

• goose hunting regulations

• migratory waterfowl feeding and resting areas.

“Many of these changes are already in effect through temporary rules and others are technical and minor,” said Mike DonCarlos, wildlife program manager. “All of the significant changes have been presented and discussed at previous public information meetings.”

The official adoption announcement of the new rules with final changes will be published in the State Register today (Dec. 12).

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