Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz
Herald Journal

January 29, 2007

ABC employee finishes second at Gull Lake fishing tourney

St. Cloud’s Jeremy Olmscheid, an employee at ABC Truss in Montrose, competed in the ice fishing contest at Gull Lake.

Olmscheid and around 24 of this friends arrived about four hours prior to the start of the tournament to secure their deep water spot.

About 45 minutes into the contest, Olmscheid marked a nice fish on his Vexilar.

According to Olmscheid, the fish was not very aggressive, as it followed his lure up about 10 feet off the bottom, and back down to the bottom for five minutes.

Finally, he decided not to let the fish catch up with the lure, which is when he started reeling slowly, and kept the lure just in front of the fish.

After Olmscheid noticed that the fish was swimming faster, he stopped reeling, and let the fish catch the lure – that, along with raising the lure, got it to bite.

What Olmscheid had hooked, and brought up through the hole was a 3.5 pound walleye, from 64 feet of water.

This walleye held up through the tournament, and was good enough for second place.

With his second place finish, Olmscheid won a very nice four-wheel ATV.

61st annual Howard Lake Fishing Derby Feb. 10

The 61st annual Howard Lake Fishing Derby is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 10 from 2 to 4 p.m. on Howard Lake.

The grand prize this year will be a 6.5’ by 12’ King Crow fish house on wheels.

First prize is a FL8 Vexilar depth finder; second and third prizes are framed prints; and there will be a number of other prizes given away.

Before the derby, The Country Store in Howard Lake will be serving lunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

There will be a limited supply of fried fish, potato salad, beans, and dinner rolls, which will be served until they are gone.

The lunch is open to the public; all you need is a raffle ticket, which will be available at the event. Children are guests.

McLeod Fish & Wildlife Alliance’s 6th annual banquet March 3

The McLeod Fish and Wildlife Alliance’s sixth annual banquet is Saturday, March 3 at the Pla-Mor Ballroom in Glencoe.

Cash bar and games begin at 3:30 p.m., with a prime rib dinner to follow at 6 p.m.

You will be eligible for the early bird drawing if you respond by Tuesday, Feb. 20 – the early bird prize will be a 10-bird pheasant hunt at Major Ave. Hunt Club.

For tickets, contact Dave Dammann at (320) 864-4961, or Dave Sell at (320) 864-6324.

All proceeds will stay in McLeod County.

Gun safety training coming to Cokato

Gun safety training classes will take place at Cokato City Hall, with one field day being scheduled later in the spring.

Class fee is $15, and parents must accompany students the first day of class.

Participants must be 12 years old by Nov. 1, 2007.

These classes are sponsored by the Rainbow Sportsmen’s Club.
Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays all through February, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Registrations cannot be accepted at Community Education, and preregistration is required.

To register, contact Bill Josephson at (320) 286-5109.

Gun safety training coming to Mayer

Training for Firearms Safety is coming to the Mayer Community Center.

Registration is Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. at the community center.
Classes will be Feb. 22, 27; March 8, 15, 22, and 29, at 9 p.m. each night.

Class is open to age 11 and older, with a cost of $10.

For additional information, contact Beth Heldt during the day at (952) 442-4443, or Doug Ernst during the evenings at (952) 442-4838.

Deer herd reduction planned in bovine TB zone
From the DNR

Five wild deer harvested this fall in northwestern Minnesota near bovine tuberculosis (TB)- infected cattle operations tested presumptive positive for the disease, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The DNR will contract with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sharpshooters and take additional actions for removal of deer potentially infected with the disease.

The presumed positive deer from this year are in addition to two deer from the same area found positive for bovine TB during last year’s testing. Final test results from 2006 are pending.

“The discovery of more bovine TB-infected cattle operations and deer in 2006 prompted this effort to protect the long-term health of the deer population,” said Dr. Michelle Powell, DNR wildlife health program coordinator. “Temporarily reducing deer numbers in highly localized areas will minimize the chance that this disease will begin to spread through deer-to-deer or deer-to-livestock contact. The DNR is committed to working with livestock producers and the Minnesota Board of Animal Health to regain the state’s bovine TB-free status.”

Bovine TB has been found in seven cattle operations in the area. All of the bovine TB positive deer have been located on or within a few miles of TB positive cattle farms near Skime, about 35 miles south of the Canadian border.

Following an aerial survey next week to assess deer numbers and distribution, USDA Wildlife Services sharpshooters will begin to reduce deer numbers in a six-mile radius surrounding the farms where bovine TB was detected near Skime.

USDA Wildlife Services employs teams of trained sharpshooters who are experienced and skilled in efficiently removing large numbers of deer for wildlife damage and health and safety reasons.

These teams will take deer on public land and will also work with landowners to take deer on private land with the landowner’s permission.

All deer taken will be tested for bovine TB. Meat from deer with no obvious bovine TB infection will be salvaged and released for human consumption.

DNR will provide information and food safety guidelines for proper handling and cooking of venison.

“The DNR’s effort to reduce the deer population in selected areas of northwest Minnesota is an important step in the process of eradicating bovine TB from the state,” said Minnesota Board of Animal Health Executive Director and State Veterinarian Dr. Bill Hartmann, “With each TB-infected deer we remove and each herd we test, Minnesota moves closer to regaining its bovine-TB free status.”

The DNR will also continue to issue shooting permits to interested landowners in the affected areas.

Last year, landowners took 90 deer under shooting permits. After the sharp-shooting effort the DNR will consider additional management options, possibly in a broader area, including liberalized hunting seasons, special hunts, bonus permits or extended seasons.

“We recognize that this will likely have a temporary, negative affect on deer hunting in the immediate area and we regret any short-term impacts to local hunters,” Powell said. “However, taking aggressive action before the disease begins to spread through the deer population ensures the long-term health of the deer herd and good deer hunting in the future. We expect deer numbers will quickly rebound after the completion of this effort.”

The DNR will continue to monitor deer for TB in the area throughout the next several years by sampling hunter-harvested deer.

Bovine TB is a bacterial disease that primarily affects cattle; however, other animals may become infected.

It is known to occur in Michigan deer but does not persist in deer anywhere else in the United States.

Cooking meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees destroys the bacteria.

When field dressing all game, the DNR recommends the use of gloves to prevent exposure to a number of diseases, including salmonella and E. coli.

Youth turkey hunt opportunities expanded
From the DNR

Up to 170 first-time youth turkey hunters will get a chance at bagging a wild turkey this spring during the 2007 special youth turkey hunts. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) will sponsor 15 hunts.

Participants will be selected by a lottery. The application deadline is Feb. 23.

The schedule represents a dramatic growth in the number of permits and hunt areas compared with past years. In 2006, three hunts accommodated 44 hunters.

“We set criteria for locations of special hunts and asked NWTF chapters to organize the hunts,” said Ryan Bronson, DNR hunter recruitment program supervisor. “The expanded opportunities are a result of volunteers from the National Wild Turkey Federation who recruited volunteer guides and landowners in a dozen new areas. They are making things happen.”

All but one of the special hunts will occur April 21-22, which is the first weekend of the regular wild turkey season.

Most of the hunters will be on private land thanks to the generosity of landowners who are giving the NWTF permission to use their land.

Thirty hunters will be able to access Olmsted County’s Chester Woods Park.

To be eligible, a potential hunter must be age 12 to 17 as of April 21, hold a valid Firearms Safety Certificate and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Youth are ineligible if they have ever purchased, or been selected by lottery for a Minnesota turkey license of any type. All hunters will be assigned a volunteer guide from the NWTF who is required to accompany them at all times during the hunt.

A one-page application can be obtained from the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

A map showing the hunting units involved, and a list of the individual hunts can also be found on the Web site.

For more information, contact Ryan Bronson at (651) 259-5191, or ryan.bronson@dnr.state.mn.us.

Artificial lights allowed for fox, coyote hunting
From the DNR

Under a new law passed in 2006, hunters may use artificial lights under certain conditions from Jan. 1 to March 15 to take fox and coyote.

Conditions under which an artificial light may be used are listed on page 33 and 46 of the 2006 Hunting Regulations Handbook.

An error in the handbook omits fox from regulations outlining the use of artificial lights.

Minnesota’s red fox hunting season runs through March 15. Coyotes may be taken at anytime throughout the year.

To view 2006 Hunting Regulations Handbook, visit the hunting page on the DNR Web site www.dnr.state.mn.us.

Lost wallet leads to man fleeing officers on a snowmobile
From the DNR

An Albertville, Minn., man will spend time in jail, pay court costs, receive three year’s probation and lose his nearly $7,000 snowmobile following an incident last year.

The DNR Snowmobile Task Force was working a detail on Leech Lake on Feb. 11, 2006, when State Conservation Officer Jim Guida of Brainerd stopped a snowmobile operated by Michael K. Anderson, 29, for jumping over piles of snow near a crowded area.

“I wanted to warn him of the dangers of such activity when I detected alcohol coming from his breath,” Guida said. “He appeared to be removing his helmet when he suddenly accelerated away at a high rate of speed before eventually vaulting over a pressure ridge.”

Pursuing officers followed the suspect’s tracks and located a wallet near the pressure ridge containing Anderson’s driver’s license.

A license check revealed the snowmobile was registered to Anderson.

Several days later, officers obtained consent to photograph the snowmobile as part of their investigation, but realized the owner had attempted to alter the sled’s appearance.

“The sled was taken as evidence and further investigation revealed that decals had been replaced, skis removed, tank cover replaced, and antifreeze boiled out indicated excessive high speeds consistent with chase or driving down a highway,” Guida said.

Anderson plead guilty in Cass County District Court on Jan. 11, to felony fleeing a peace officer, a crime punishable by a sentence of up to three years in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

He received a one year and one day sentence, which was stayed, and placed on three years supervised probation, with conditions of probation to include: serving 10 days of active jail time, followed by 20 days of electronic home monitoring.

He was also ordered to complete a chemical dependency evaluation, avoid use of alcohol and submit to random chemical testing.

During the plea hearing, Cass County Attorney Earl Maus asked Anderson, “and while being pursued by numerous conservation officers you apparently lost your wallet near a pressure ridge?” After a brief pause Anderson replied, “Apparently.”

“Anderson attempted to make a deal with the county attorney to buy back the snowmobile, valued at $6,700,” Guida said. “There are no plans to return a snowmobile used in a felony level offense where numerous officers and the public were placed at risk. It’s going to auction.”

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