DNR, local Pheasants Forever chapters offer youths new hunt opportunity

July 21, 2008

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR
Interested young people can apply by Aug. 15 for a chance to step into the field with an experienced guide this fall and step out carrying pheasants.

The Pheasants Forever first-ever special mentored youth hunt is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and takes place on Oct. 25.

“This is a new hunting lottery opportunity for Minnesota youths and their parents,” said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator. “We can’t guarantee that every kid will take home a pheasant but we’re sure every participant will learn by doing and will have a safe, high-quality experience.”
Guides from Pheasant Forever chapters throughout Minnesota will be paired with youth hunters and their guardians.

After scouting places to hunt and securing landowner permission when necessary, guides will take participants into the field.

“The guide is there to explain techniques and tactics,” Kurre said. “A parent or adult guardian is there so he or she can learn the right way to continue to foster a youth’s interest as well as learn from the guide.”

To be eligible to participate in the lottery for hunts that are expected take place throughout much of the southern two-thirds of Minnesota, a youth must be 12-17 years old as of Oct. 25; possess a valid firearms safety certificate; and have a parent, guardian or adult authorized by a parent or guardian accompany them as a non-firearms carrying mentor to the pre-hunt orientation and the hunt.

Applicants must specify in which county they’d like to hunt by referring to a map of the counties where Pheasants Forever has chapters.

The chapter map will be included with the application.

Applications for the hunt lottery are due at 4 p.m. on Aug. 15 and are available on the DNR Web site at http://mndnr.gov/youthhunts or by contacting the DNR Information Center at (888) 646-6367.

The lottery will be conducted Sept. 15. Only successful applicants will be notified via post by Sept. 26.

The winner’s notice will contain specific information about hunting license requirements, equipment and contact information for the hunt coordinator.

Youth winners must contact their hunt coordinator after receiving their notice.

Looking to eradicat Wild Parsnip in Wright County
From Wright County PF

The Wright County Pheasants Forever chapter is partnering with the Wright County Soil and Water Conservation District (WCSWCD) in an effort to eradicate Wild Parsnip.

This plant has become a weed of special concern in Wright County due to in very aggressive characteristics and ability to spread rapidly.

Increased concern with this weed is also due to its harmful characteristics when not handled properly.

If skin comes into contact with the sap and is then exposed to ultraviolet light (either sunny or cloudy skies) the affected area will redden and blister.

As part of this partnership, a volunteer effort is being coordinated for Saturday, August 2nd from 8:00 a.m. to noon.

If you are able to volunteer please contact the WCSWCD Office at (763) 682-1933, ext. 3.

Instruction will be provided on how to safely handle the Wild Parsnip.

Please be sure to wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants, gloves and bring a shovel. A lunch will be provided.

Question of the week
From the DNR

Q: What should anglers do if they are fishing on a catch-and-release only body of water, and they catch what they think may be a record-setting fish?

A: Catching a big fish regardless of the species is always a thrill for any angler.

But only fish that are caught and can be kept legally are eligible for state record verification.

In addition, all fish must be positively identified by the DNR before a state record is awarded.

However, some taxidermists will build a replica from the measurements and photo you might take before releasing your fish.

And there is another way for anglers to enjoy the rewards of catch and release: The Master Angler program, which is sponsored by the DNR and Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame.

It recognizes responsible anglers who release quality fish.

The program is open to all licensed anglers in Minnesota, and includes categories for both adults and youth.

Details about this program are available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishing/masterangler/index.html.