Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz
Herald Journal

August 20, 2007

Apply now for either-sex deer permits

From the DNR

Deer hunters who wish to harvest antlerless deer are encouraged to take extra time in determining if they need to apply to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for an either-sex permit prior to the Thursday, Sept. 6 application deadline.

Adult hunters who purchase an all-season or regular firearm license and hunt in a lottery permit area (noted as blue on the colored maps available with the 2007 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook) need to purchase their license and apply for an either-sex permit by the Sept. 6 deadline.

Hunters who intend to purchase an all-season license and hunt during the muzzleloader season also need to apply if they intend to harvest an antlerless deer this year.

“It’s important for hunters to look at the book every year before the lottery application deadline,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator. “While some areas are always lottery, there have been some changes around St. Cloud and in western Minnesota as well.”

Hunters who fail to apply before the Sept. 6 application deadline or are unsuccessful in the lottery will be restricted to bucks only, Cornicelli added.

Leftover lottery permits will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15.

However, hunters should understand that permits will be limited as most are distributed through the lottery.

A complete list of lottery areas can be found in the 2007 hunting synopsis, which is available on the DNR Web site or at all 1,800 electronic licensing system agents.

Alternatively, hunters can view specific 2007 deer season information at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

DU banquet in Winsted Tuesday, Sept. 11

Quack, quack, it’s back, the Winsted Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will host its annual banquet at the Blue Note Ballroom in Winsted Tuesday evening, Sept. 11.

For tickets or more information, contact the Blue Note.

Friends of the NRA to conduct annual banquet

The annual banquet for the Wright County Friends of the NRA is set for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27 at the VFW in Maple Lake.

This banquet is one of the most successful in the state, commended Al Moy.

Those interested in attending may call Moy at (612) 889-4423.

Goose hunting application period begins for Lac qui Parle controlled hunt
From the DNR

Hunters wishing to reserve a date to go goose hunting in the controlled hunting zone at Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area are reminded to submit their application postmarked between Aug. 20 and Sept. 12.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis.

Proposed regular goose season dates at Lac qui Parle will be Thursday, Oct.18, thru Monday, Nov. 26. The proposed season is 40 days.

Hunters must apply on a standard 3-inch by 5-inch postcard bearing the applicant’s full name and address, and listing their first and second choice of hunting dates.

Only one postcard per hunter may be submitted. Applications should be sent to: Controlled Hunt, Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area, 14047 20th St. N.W., Watson, MN 56295.

Successful applicants will receive notification by mail designating the date of their hunt.

Goose hunting stations will be assigned through a drawing held on the morning of the hunt. Reservation holders may be accompanied by one or two guests.

All hunters in the Lac qui Parle controlled hunt zone who are 18 years of age or older will be charged a $3 fee on the day of their hunt to partially cover controlled hunt expenses.

The reservation system will be in effect for the entire goose season.

For more information, call the Lac qui Parle headquarters at (320) 734-4451.

DNR allows additional ground water irrigation
From the DNR

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced it is allowing farmers who have ground water irrigation permits to increase the amount of water they can put on their crops.

Kent Lokkesmoe, director of the DNR Division of Waters, said the amount allowed to be pumped from ground water sources may be increased for the 2007 growing season due to higher demands caused by drought conditions.

This is similar to actions taken by the DNR during the droughts in 1976, 1988 and 2006.

Approximately 3,600 farmers have DNR permits to irrigate from ground water sources, Lokkesmoe said. An additional 500 farmers have DNR permits to irrigate from streams or lakes.

“Most irrigation permits allow farmers to pump an average of 12 to 16 inches of ground water over each acre of crop land for the entire year. Because of the dry weather outlook, however, this figure has been increased for the 2007 growing season to the amount required to bring the crop to maturity,” Lokkesmoe said.

Lokkesmoe said farmers who do not have irrigation permits must obtain them before they begin water withdrawal.

Applications for irrigation are currently being given priority by the DNR, and are being processed in the order in which they are received.

He also reminded farmers to keep accurate pumping records as a condition for receiving the permits.

He urged farmers to make sure their irrigation system is in good working order and that they are practicing water conservation measures to insure the maximum benefit from the water.

Lokkesmoe emphasized the authorization to increase the total amount of water withdrawn does not apply to irrigators whose wells are causing problems for neighboring wells.

Monticello artist wins 2008 MN Trout and Salmon Stamp design contest
From the DNR

An underwater scene of brown trout swimming up to take a dry fly will be featured on Minnesota’s 2008 Trout and Salmon Stamp.

Jason Grangroth of Monticello painted the winning oil design. He was a finalist in the 2006 and 2007 Trout and Salmon contest.

Grangroth said he is fascinated with brown trout and it is his favorite trout species to paint. He started painting the winning entry on July 23, the first day entries for the contest were accepted.

The design was selected from among 20 entries in this year’s contest, which was held Aug. 9 at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Headquarters in St. Paul.

Other finalists were David Brandon, Eagan; Steven Trofka, Maple Grove; and William Kane, Jr., Arden Hills.

The DNR, which conducts the annual stamp contest, offers no prizes.

The winner, however, retains reprint reproduction rights to the work, which is usually reproduced as a limited edition wildlife print.

The Minnesota Trout and Salmon Stamp is required for those who fish in designated trout streams, designated trout lakes, Lake Superior, or who possess trout and salmon. They must also purchase a Minnesota fishing license.

The DNR sells approximately 95,000 stamps each year.

The 2008 trout stamp will cost $10, with proceeds going toward trout stream habitat restoration projects, stocking trout, purchasing angling easements, and the management of Lake Superior, according to Mark Ebbers, DNR Fisheries Trout and Salmon Program consultant.

The judges were Ron Nelson, Outdoor News; Dr. Bruce Vondrack, University of Minnesota; John Hunt, Trout Unlimited; Bob Travis, Ideal Printing Inc.; Jason Moeckel, DNR, Fisheries operation supervisor.

DNR asks bear hunters not to shoot radio-colared bears
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking bear hunters not to shoot radio-collared bears.

The DNR is currently monitoring about 40 radio-collared bears, according to DNR bear research biologist Dave Garshelis.

Most reside in the area of the Chippewa National Forest, Camp Ripley Military Reservation, and near Voyageurs National Park.

However, Garshelis indicated that during the fall, bears may travel 50 or more miles from their normal area.

Especially important to these research efforts are newly collared bears in northwestern Minnesota.

After two and a one-half months of intensive trapping this summer, mainly around Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area and Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, Garshelis and a University of Minnesota graduate student were able to catch 16 bears.

“Most of these were fitted with GPS radio collars, which collect and store location data that will be downloaded when we visit the bears in their winter dens,” said Garshelis. “I hope hunters in this area can find other bears to harvest, as we’ve invested a lot of time and expense in these individuals. The data in their collars is extremely valuable in monitoring the dynamics of our bear population.”

The study in northwestern Minnesota is aimed at understanding how bears use the small patches of forest at the fringe of the bear range.

Most research bears have blaze orange collars so they will be more visible to hunters.

“We recognize, however, that in some situations a bear hunter may not be able to see a radio-collar before making the shot,” said Lou Cornicelli, Big Game Program coordinator. “Taking a radio-collared bear is legal unless it is accompanied by a researcher, but we are asking hunters to try to cooperate with research efforts and avoid shooting them whenever possible.”

Hunters who shoot a collared bear are asked call the Minnesota DNR Wildlife Research Office in Grand Rapids at (218) 327-4146. The bear season opens on Sept. 1.

DNR continues to seek input on farmland deer populations
From the DNR

Public input on the future of deer populations in the state’s farmland zone will be collected through August in an online survey posted on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Web site.

The survey is the final part of a statewide deer population goal-setting project that began in 2005.

So far, DNR wildlife managers collected about 900 online comments on deer populations in the farmland zone.

Previously, comments on deer populations were collected at public meetings.

“This is a convenient opportunity for individuals to express their opinion on deer numbers,”said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator. “Their opinion really does matter. DNR has used this kind of input to change regulations in the past.”

Earlier this year, DNR worked with stakeholder teams to help set the future direction on deer populations.

The teams represented such interests as deer hunters, landowners, businesses, counties, and conservation/environmental groups.

The teams met twice to recommend if deer populations should be increased, decreased, or stabilized for each of the farmland permit areas.

For the 2007 season, DNR has already begun adjusting regulations because of the goal-setting process, Cornicelli said.

“For example,” said Cornicelli, “both the teams and public recommended deer reductions throughout many forest deer areas. Consequently, DNR instituted the early antlerless season in 22 deer areas to lower populations. Conversely, some deer areas went into the lottery or had lottery permits reduced in an attempt to stabilize or increase deer populations.”

“Deer management today must take into account many social and biological factors,” Cornicelli said. “This process goes a long way toward giving us some direction on where to take deer populations.”

The survey may be accessed directly at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

DNR’s Minnesota State Fair exhibit designed to educate, entertain
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will offer a wide range of free educational exhibits, presentations and entertainment options at the 2007 Minnesota State Fair, Aug. 23 - Sept. 3 in Falcon Heights.

New this year, the DNR Division of Forestry will host the grand opening of the Fire Prevention Building. The log structure is located just northwest of the main DNR building.

The red pine building will house a fire tower cab, which once served at Eaglehead (east of Sandstone).

The DNR fire tower will also be open this year for people who are interested in climbing the 84 steps to get a bird’s eye view of the State Fairgrounds.

A full program of educational and wildlife presentations along with music and theatrical performances are scheduled for the outdoor and garden stages and the fish pond area of DNR Park.

Highlights include demonstrations by the DNR’s MinnAqua Program, the DNR’s K9 Enforcement Unit, puppet shows and state park trivia, geology presentations, pointing dog demonstrations by the Minnesota Federation of Field Trial Clubs, Midwest Fly Fishing Magazine; Muskies, Inc., adaptive hunting and fishing equipment for the physically challenged presented by Capable Partners, dogs working with disabled hunters presented by Northfield Kennels,
The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota, and flying bird shows by Last Chance Forever - The Bird of Prey Conservancy of San Antonio.

The DNR Division of Enforcement will sponsor an interactive LaserShot shooting range for youth and adults.

The range gives participants a chance to test their skills at one of four shooting simulation stations.

It’s a free, safe, educational event that’s become a family favorite.

The laser range, in the DNR theater, will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Morph, the transforming frog, the 2007 DNR Adopt-a-River found objects sculpture will be on display on the south end of DNR Park.

It’s a tribute to 71,000 volunteers statewide who have removed 5 million pounds of rubbish from Minnesota waters since 1989.

This year’s artist, Mary Patrice Johnson, of Shoreview, has created the largest sculpture yet, a creature made from rubbish found on our streams and rivers.

Displays inside the main DNR building cover a wide range of natural resource topics: watersheds, aquatic invasive species, rocks and minerals, state lands, forests, trails and parks.

A display provides information to property owners about how to keep their homes and cabins safe from wildfires. Brochures with safety tips will be available.

Smokey Bear is celebrating his 63rd birthday this year and reminds children and their parents about the dangers of wildfires.

In conjunction with the Governor’s Fire Prevention Day on Friday, Aug. 24, the Division of Forestry will host a variety of special activities and events throughout the day, including a fire prevention quiz, beanbag toss and temporary tattoos.

Smokey’s birthday celebration events will take place on the DNR outdoor stage at noon and 3 p.m. with a trivia game for prizes.

Smokey Bear makes daily appearances at DNR Park at 11 a.m., 1 p.m.
Inside the DNR Wildlife...forever Wing, fairgoers can learn about Minnesota’s wildlife and wildlife habitat.

Special sound and lighting effects help create an experience of moving from day to night and through the four seasons as visitors walk through the display.

Free printed materials including hunting and trapping regulations, state parks and recreation guides are available at the information booth on the north side of the building.

DNR staff will be available to answer questions from the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Just outside the southeast corner of the main DNR building, the Nature Store will carry a wide range of merchandise including gift items, clothing, jewelry, educational toys, games, posters, calendars and books.

Many of the items are designed for outdoor enthusiasts and are available for sale only during the State Fair.

The Nature Store also sells hunting licenses for deer, small game and waterfowl and the complete line of Public Recreation Information Maps.

Proceeds from the sale of merchandise help fund communication and education efforts at the State Fair.

Outdoor notes

• Habisch Outdoors will celebrate the construction of its new retail and service building with a grand opening event Sat., Aug. 25.

A firearm, and many other prizes will be given away.

Habisch Outdoors is located a few miles south of Winsted on McLeod County Highway 1.

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