Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz
Herald Journal

November 12, 2007

Local deer reports from the area are low

Reports from several local deer hunting parties, hunting over the first weekend of the season, indicated lower than normal success rates compared to previous years.

Several groups reported seeing a few deer, while others didn’t see any.

While deer may have been scarce, there were a number of coyotes seen throughout our area.

Look for a complete summary of the deer hunt as the season progresses, including local registration numbers.

Youth snowmobile training hosted by Winsted Sportsman club

The Winsted Sportsman Club will be sponsoring a youth snowmobile training class starting Monday, Dec. 3.

The three classes will be Monday, Dec. 3; Wednesday, Dec. 5; and Monday, Dec. 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The course will be at the Holy Trinity High School cafeteria in Winsted – enter on the south side of the building.

A driving test will follow later, when it snows.

For additional information, or to sign up, contact Harvey at (952) 393-5933 and leave a message.

Open house at Prairie Archers Club Thursday

Prairie Archers in Lester Prairie is now offering an archery venture crew for ages 14 to 20.

There will be an open house at Prairie Archers Thursday, Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. Pizza, pop, treats, and archery will be available.

The Prairie Archers Club with its indoor range is located at 421 Central Ave. in downtown Lester Prairie (above Angvall Hardware Store).

For more information contact either William Ahlbrecht at (320) 395-8348 or William Bull at (952) 472-3088.

Wright County/West Metro Whitetails announce Hides-for-Habitat drop sites
Press Release

At the following locations you will find Wright County/West Metro Whitetails Hides-for-Habitat boxes.

• Annandale – Lampi Auction, Hwy 55.

• Buffalo – Wal-Mart, Hwy 25 North, Buffalo Gun Club, Hwy 55 East.

• Cokato – Cenex station, Hwy 12.

• Corcoran – Sur Station, Cty Rd 10 & 115.

• Delano – Ault Marine, Hwy 12, All Season Sports, Hwy 12.

• Hamel – Hamel Lumber & Supply – Hwy 55.

• Howard Lake – Joe’s Sports Shop, Hwy 12.

• Maple Lake – H & H Sports, Hwy 55.

• Monticello – Red’s Marathon, Hwy 75, Monticello Sportsmen’s Club, Hwy 25 S.

• Rockford – Ace Hardware, Hwy 55 E.

• Rogers – Alford’s Station, Hwy 101, Cabela’s – 20200 Rogers Drive.

• St Michael – St Michael Hardware, Hwy 241.
Funds raised from the hides are used to purchase and upgrade public hunting land in Minnesota. As well as Youth Hunter Education.

Parasite likely cause of scaup, coot deaths at Lake Winnibigoshish
From the DNR

Trematodes, a small intestinal parasite, are believed to have killed about 3,000 waterfowl on Lake Winnibigoshish beginning last week, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

These parasites have a complex life history and require two intermediate hosts, such as snails, for the parasites to develop.

Waterfowl then consume the infected snails, and the adult trematodes attack the internal organs or blood of the birds.

Infected birds appear lethargic and have difficulty diving and flying before eventually dying.

Dead and sick birds were first observed on Oct. 28 on the west shore of the lake.

Specimens were shipped to the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., for examination and confirmation of the parasite.

The parasite was confirmed in two birds, but further lab results are pending.

Staff from the Minnesota DNR and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services removed about 1,000 dead scaup from Lake Winnibigoshish on Nov. 3.

Wildlife officials estimate that about 3,000 scaup and a few hundred coots have died so far.

“We did some reconnaissance of the entire lake and it appears most of the mortality was concentrated on the west side of the lake, particularly around Rabbit flowage and Raven’s point,” said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist. “We cleaned up a small stretch of shoreline with the highest concentration of dead birds and plan to continue to monitor this area to better estimate the magnitude of the die off or whether other species may be susceptible.”

Waterfowl and coot deaths caused by trematodes have been documented on the Upper Mississippi river in southern Minnesota during the past five years.

The exotic faucet snail serves as the host for the trematode on that stretch of the river.

“We suspect a different snail (the banded mystery snail) may be serving as a host for the parasite on Lake Winnibigoshish, but further investigation is needed,” Cordts said.

Fisheries biologists have documented this snail along the western side of Lake Winnibigoshish for at least eight years, but the full extent of their distribution in the lake, or other lakes, still is unknown.

The species is native to eastern North America and has been documented in other lakes in Minnesota.

In previous cases of waterfowl dies-offs caused by trematodes, ducks usually died three to eight days after ingesting a lethal dose of the trematodes.

Because these birds appear to be dying within one or two days, the snails may be either extremely abundant or be carrying very high levels of the trematode.

“Since this is the first suspected occurrence related to trematode mortality on the lake, we still have a number of questions to answer about the disease and the snails,” Cordts said.

Avian predators and mammalian scavengers, particularly bald eagles and raccoons, have been feeding on the sick and dead birds.

There appears to be no documented threat that they are at risk from feeding on carcasses, however.

Avian trematodes are not known to be a health risk to humans, but the DNR continues to recommend that hunters not consume sick waterfowl and use standard precautions, such as wearing rubber gloves and thoroughly washing hands when cleaning waterfowl.

Nominees sought for 15th annual MN Deer Hunter Ethics Award
From the DNR

Although instances of unethical hunting behavior often draw headlines, they are relatively rare.

Unfortunately, the actions of hunters who exhibit exemplary behavior usually go unnoticed.

That’s why the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA), the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Turn In Poachers (TIP) are asking hunters to share those stories of admirable hunting behavior with others in the form of nominations for the 15th Annual Minnesota Deer Hunter Ethics Award.

The award will honor a deer hunter who has exhibited conduct during the 2007 season that can serve as an example of admirable hunting practices to all hunters.

Awards for youth and adult divisions will be presented at the 2008 MDHA Habitat Banquet on Feb. 23, 2008, at Breezy Point Resort near Brainerd.

Winners also receive special recognition gift certificates from Cabela’s.

“MDHA is pleased to again co-sponsor this award along with TIP and the DNR,” said MDHA Executive Director Mark Johnson. “We are proud of the ethical standards of our deer hunters.
Past award winners have been excellent examples of the type of ethical hunters we hope all hunters aspire to be.”

Wayne Edgerton, DNR agriculture policy coordinator, said the award honors hunters who do the right thing. “Each year we hear about hunters who have done something special that makes us proud to be hunters. This award provides a means to provide public recognition and appreciation for these actions.”

Al Thomas, TIP’s director, agreed. “This award encourages ethics above and beyond legal hunting, TIP is proud to be a part of it.”

Anyone may nominate a hunter by writing a letter or e-mail explaining the actions of the nominee and why that person is worthy of this recognition.

Both youth and adults are eligible, but nominees must be Minnesota residents.

The incidents for which hunters are nominated must have occurred during any of the 2007 Minnesota deer hunting seasons (archery, firearm or muzzleloader).

Nominations will be accepted for the Minnesota Deer Hunter’s Ethics Award until Jan. 4, 2008.

Nomination letters should be sent to Ethical Hunter Award, MDHA, 460 Peterson Road, Grand Rapids, MN 55744-8413, faxed to (218) 327-1349, or e-mailed to bri@mndeerhunters.com.

More information is available on MDHA’s Web site at www.mndeerhunter.com.

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