Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz
Herald Journal

December 10, 2007

A fish story? But Bub says it’s true!

Below is a story reprinted from the Thursday, Dec. 29, 1960 Winsted Journal.

Here’s a fish story to top all fish stories – and it’s true!

One Monday afternoon several fishermen, namely – Kenny Kohler, Don Roufs, Gordon Otto, Earl Seymour, Cy and Gary Seymour, all of Winsted, and Franny Hertzog of Ashby. Bud Hazel of Minneapolis and Bob Kaspar of Brainerd – made the trek to Lake Mille Lacs.

Earl (Bub) Seymour, while baiting his hook, lost his glasses as they fell into the lake.

A half hour later a young man from Minneapolis came pounding on the Seymour fish house door, holding a pair of glasses in one hand and a walleye pike in the other. The glasses had been stuck in the pike’s throat.

Seymour observed that while he has had several retrieving dogs, he has never seen a retrieving fish.

Deer harvest to rank among MN’s top five
From the DNR

Minnesota hunters are expected to harvest more than 250,000 deer in 2007, according to preliminary estimates from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The projected 2007 harvest is below the 2003 record harvest of 290,000, but still among the top five harvests in Minnesota.

To date, a total of 234,000 deer have been registered electronically.

The last firearm season closed Nov. 25, but the muzzleloader season is open until Dec. 9 and archery hunting continues until Dec. 31.

Final results of the deer harvest will be available in mid-January.

“All things considered, the deer season went well,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator. “There will be some slight reductions in archery harvest, most likely due to a lot of rain this fall. Also, muzzleloader hunters will be less successful in lottery deer areas because of the change in how antlerless permits were allocated.”

Overall, Minnesota’s deer harvest is down 4 percent from 2006, but that year’s deer harvest was the second highest ever recorded in Minnesota.

Some fishing regulations to change today (Dec. 10)
From the DNR

Minnesota anglers should be aware of changes in fishing regulations when new rules are published Dec. 10 in the State Register, according the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Rule changes include:

• Ice fishing meal preparation

While on or fishing waters with size restrictions, all fish for which the size restriction applies must have their heads, tails, fins and skin intact and be measurable except when a person is preparing and using such fish for a meal.

• Take a kid ice fishing

Anglers older than 16 do not need a license from Feb. 16-18, 2008, if they are accompanied by a child younger than 16 and are actively participating in Take A Kid Ice Fishing Weekend.

• Muskie season

Muskie season will close on Dec. 15, 2007. The 2008 season will begin on Saturday, June 7, 2008, and close on Monday, Dec. 1, 2008.

• Packed fish labeling

When packing fish, labels identifying the fish must include the name of the lake where the fish was caught and the size of each of the fish that are regulated under a special size limit.

• Night bowfishing

Taking fish via archery at night will be allowed from June 1, 2008, to Aug. 31, 2008, on selected lakes. Some special provisions for barbed arrows and noise level restrictions will apply.

• Canadian-Minnesota border waters northern pike limit

The bag limit for northern pike caught in Canadian-Minnesota border waters now is three fish with only one of those fish longer than 30 inches.

• Winter trout fishing

All lakes in Aitkin County and Blue Lake in Hubbard County are open to winter trout fishing.

• Zebulon pike reservoir

This 10-acre portion of the Mississippi River near Little Falls is closed to fishing.

• Madtom/stonecat harvest

A permit is required to harvest madtoms or stonecats in Dodge, Freeborn and Mower counties.

• Whitefish/ciscoe netting

Changes in regulations open Devils Track Lake (Cook County) and Elbow (St. Louis County) and remove Upper Red Lake (Beltrami County), Reilley Lake (O’Reilly; Itasca County), Burgen (Douglas County), East and West Fox (Crow Wing County), Island (Itasca County), Little Jessie (Itasca County), Latoka (Douglas County), Mitchell (Crow Wing County), Nisswa (Crow Wing County), Osakis (Douglas and Todd County), Roy (Cass and Crow Wing County), Serpent (Crow Wing County) and Victoria lakes (Douglas County).

A complete list of regulation changes and additional details will be available on the DNR Web site at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing/index.html.

DNR issues ice warning for aerated lakes
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) warns ice anglers, snowmobilers, skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts to use caution when going onto any lake covered or partially covered with ice, especially those that have aeration systems operating on them.

“Open water areas created by aeration systems can shift or change shapes depending on weather conditions,” said Marilyn Danks, DNR aquatic biologist. “Leaks may develop in air lines creating other areas of weak ice or open water.”

Approximately 280 Minnesota lakes will have aeration systems operating on them this winter.

Private hatchery operators also use aeration systems, usually on small lakes without public accesses.

Aeration systems help prevent winterkill of fish populations by adding oxygen to the lake. but they also create areas of open water and thin ice, which are significant hazards.

Aeration systems are generally operated from the time the lakes freeze until the ice breaks up in the spring.

A permit is required from the DNR to install and operate an aeration system.

Permit holders must publish public notices, post warning signs and inspect the systems at least once every seven days.

Liability insurance is generally required of private parties operating aeration systems in protected waters.

Watch for notices in local newspapers identifying aerated lakes. For further information, contact an area or regional fisheries manager.

Two types of signs are used to post aerated lakes, “Thin Ice” and Warning” signs.

The permittee is to maintain “Warning” signs at all commonly used access points to the lake.

This sign warns people approaching the lake that an aeration system is in operation and to use extreme caution.

“Thin Ice” signs are used to mark the perimeter of the thin ice and open water area. These signs are diamond shaped with an orange border and white background with the warning “Thin Ice” in bold print.

It is the permittees’ responsibility to post and maintain “Thin Ice” signs at 100-foot intervals.

Some municipalities may have ordinances, which prohibit entering into the thin ice marked area and/or prohibit the night use of motorized vehicles on lakes with aeration systems in operation.

These local regulations are often posted at accesses where they apply.
Aeration systems are inspected for safety and compliance with regulations by permittees and DNR personnel.

For more information call a regional fisheries office or the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367).

The following is a list of lakes in our area where aeration systems will likely be in operation this winter.

When there are lakes in the county with the same name as the aerated lake, the nearest town is shown in brackets.

Names in parentheses are alternate lake names. Those names followed by an asterisk are newly aerated lakes.

• Carver: Eagle, Oak, Susan.

• Hennepin: Arrowhead, Bass, Crystal, Gleason, Hadley, Hyland, Indianhead, Irene, Mitchell, Murphy, Penn (Lower Penn), Powderhorn, Rebecca [Maple Plain], Red Rock, Rice, Round, Snelling, Sweeney-Twin, Wirth, Wolfe.

• Stearns: Becker, Black Oak, Dullinger, Marie (Maria) [Kimball].

• Wright: Augusta, Crawford, Dean, Little Waverly, Louisa, Mink, Somers.

• McLeod: Marion, Swan [Silver Lake], Winsted.

• Meeker: Jennie, Star, Thompson.

• Sibley: Silver [Henderson].

Conservation officer tales – December
From the DNR

• Rare, but not unheard of

Conservation Officer (CO) Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) was able to see a rare but not unheard of sight of a female deer with antlers.

• Blazing away

CO Jason Jensen (Forest Lake) noted an illegal fire that was extinguished by the landowner.

The landowner put the charred pile in his truck and drove off down the road.

Unfortunately, the fire re-ignited and the truck caught fire. The truck was a total loss.

• The endless uses for duct tape

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) responded to a TIP call by an ELS agent that an individual registered two antlerless deer, but pulled away with a doe and buck in their trailer.

Upon arriving at the suspect’s home, Kruse found two does on a trailer and one of the does had antlers duct taped to its head!

The owner of the deer stated that his friends wanted him to feel better about the results of his hunt.

• Insanity they say is doing the same thing over and over again!

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reported an individual caught three years ago after shooting a deer at night on posted private property was caught again doing the same thing in the exact same place.

This time a 10-point buck was killed after dark within 150 feet of where the poacher killed a doe at night in the fall of 2004.

This time the poacher also shot directly at an occupied residence with a high power rifle.

• Think again

A hunter contacted CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) after seeing someone walking the ditch of a state highway with a gun and no blaze orange clothing.

The person was located and found to be over twice the legal limit for alcohol.

He was relieved of his rifle and upon conviction will be relieved of his hunting privileges for five years.

In the second case, a hunter was found using a pickup box as a portable deer stand.

He thought it was OK to shoot a deer from it as long as the truck wasn’t moving.

• Venturing into the unknown

CO Brent Speldrich (McGregor) ventured into the unknown when dealing with five illegal immigrant hunters from Mexico.

Upon checking a campsite, Speldrich found a respectable nine-point buck without a site tag.

The shooter was located after a two-mile walk through hills and swamps.

The hunter did not have any ID on him and offered to return to the camp. He produced a Mexican ID and stated that he wasn’t a U.S. citizen.

His license, firearm and deer were seized. He was also found to be hunting on a Minnesota resident firearms deer license.

As his fellow hunters returned to camp, they too were found not to be U.S. citizens. Immigration officials were contacted.

• Blaze orange for man’s best friend

CO Brandon McGaw (Babbitt) said after explaining the safety value of orange clothing to an individual, the hunter immediately went to town to buy some blaze orange.

A short time later, McGaw observed the hunter laughing. He was dressed in blaze orange, and walking his dog, who was also outfitted in blaze orange.

• A temporary memory lapse

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) and CO Gene Wynn (Pine City) watched three individuals in a mini-van shine a spotlight at some deer in a field late one night.

A young man carrying a spotlight and loaded, high powered rifle, got out of the van and started walking into the field.

When officers approached, the poacher dropped the rifle and spotlight, pretended to relieve himself, and asked what the problem was.

The two individuals that stayed in the van claimed to not understand English.

They eventually remembered they could speak English and told Grundmeier that they “seen a critter in the field and were wondering what it was.”

• They knew they were wrong

CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji), assisted by CO Hruza, CO Freborg and DNR Pilot Heineman, answered a TIP call that resulted in the arrest of multiple hunters and the seizure of seven deer.

DNR aircraft guided the officers to the stands the hunters were in. Once there, the officers observed corn, sunflower seeds and alfalfa pellets spread on the ground near each stand.

The hunters knew the deer baiting law and knew they were in violation.

• Patience pays off for conservation officer

CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) was parked along a country road contemplating whether or not she had picked an effective spot to work shiners.

Several minutes later she saw a vehicle coming toward her. In somewhat disbelief she observed the vehicle shine the fields with the headlights. She waited.

The vehicle backed up and shined the field again.

She slowly moved toward the suspect vehicle with her vehicle’s lights out.

The night silence was broken by a single rifle shot. Heaton was behind the suspect in a matter of seconds.

He exited the vehicle with his hands in the air.

He was later asked why he did it. He replied, “I haven’t had time to go hunting yet.” His vehicle, rifle and the deer were seized and he was transported to jail.

• An interesting investigation

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) was called to investigate a buck fawn deer that had three ears. There was an extra small ear behind the left ear.

• Stand threat

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) took a call from a young hunter who was confronted by another, who said the young hunter was in a deer stand that he had built.

The hunter replied that since the stand was on public land, anybody could use it.

The other hunter left, came back with a chainsaw, and advised the hunter to get out of the stand or he would cut the stand down.

The hunter got down and the stand was cut down shortly thereafter.

Enforcement action was taken on the hunter who thought he “owned” the stand.

• Surprise on a dusty road

A landowner complained to CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) that he wanted all hunting stopped because he was sick of seeing pickups speeding down the dirt roads and sliding sideways around the corners at intersections.

Two hunters, whose deer stand was the front seat of an extended cab pickup truck, were in luck when the two deer they tried to get around on, turned south and were out of gun range.

When the cloud of dust from the gravel road cleared, the hunters were very surprised to see a DNR Enforcement truck parked 20 yards behind them. Enforcement action was taken.

• Bear struck down south

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) reported it’s odd to see a bear this far south, but recently a male black bear decided to wake up from his winter slumber and grab a bite to eat.

He got a rude awakening when a car between St. Joseph and Sartell struck him.

The bear’s hide will be tanned and used in educational presentations.

• A CO with four legs

CO Todd Kanieski (Osseo) along with his K9 partner Saber investigated a report of a large nine-point deer shot illegally.

K9 Saber’s skills were put to use by determining where the poacher and the buck were standing when the deer was shot.

Saber located two expended shotgun shells from the suspect’s gun. Saber also helped pinpoint where the buck was standing based on a search for trace blood evidence.

The suspect was charged for shooting from the road right of way. The shotgun and deer were seized.

• Oh, brother

CO Tony Salzer (Eagan) observed two hunters walking through a chopped cornfield.

One of the hunters saw Salzer watching from the road, put his gun down in the grass and walked the opposite direction through the woods.

Salzer later made contact with the hunter and it was discovered that the hunter was using someone else’s license.

The hunter’s brother attempted to obstruct the investigation by giving the wrong name of his brother. Enforcement action was taken for both offenses.

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