Gov. Pawlenty proclaims Sept. 15-21 Hunting Heritage Week

September 8, 2008

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has proclaimed Sept. 15-21 as Hunting Heritage Week.

These dates include Take A Kid Hunting Weekend and Youth Waterfowl Day, special opportunities for Minnesotans to pass along the state’s rich hunting heritage to the next generation.

Take a Kid Hunting Weekend is Sept. 20-21. During this weekend, adult residents accompanied by a youth under age 16 may hunt small game without a license but must comply with open seasons, limits, and other regulations.

Youth Waterfowl Day is Sept. 20. This is an opportunity for youth age 15 or younger to hunt waterfowl before the regular waterfowl season opens.

An adult mentor 18 years or older who is authorized by the youth’s parent or guardian must accompany youth hunters at all times.

Jay Johnson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) hunter recruitment and retention coordinator, encouraged hunters to take advantage of these “heritage” opportunities.

“Youth Waterfowl Day and Take a Kid Hunting Weekend encourage the natural path of hunter recruitment,” Johnson said. “That is, they provide quality initial hunting experiences for youth while under the tutelage of a father, mother or other family member. Research shows this is the most effective way to begin a youngster’s development as a hunter conservationist.”

In 2007, 579,000 hunters purchased 825,000 deer hunting licenses, 100,000 duck stamps, and 125,000 pheasant stamps.

The state’s hunting heritage continues to be strong and unlike many states, Minnesota has actually seen an increase in hunting license sales over the past decade.

For additional information about Take a Kid Hunting Weekend and Youth Waterfowl Day, visit the DNR Web site at www.mndnr.gov/huntmup.

Great River Greening holds first landowner training in Wright County
Press Release

Landowners and their families are invited to join Great River Greening, Wright County Parks, Mid-Minnesota Mississippi River RC&D and Wright County Soil and Water Conservation District for a special day of lakeshore restoration training and planting at Collinwood Lake Regional Park.

For the first part of the day, attendees will visit hands-on activity stations and learn about native plantings, invasive species removal, erosion control and more.

Through demonstrations and participation, landowners will gain knowledge on land restoration techniques and will actively restore native plants and stabilize eroding shorelines in Collinwood Park in an effort to enhance water quality within Collinwood Lake.

Through this event, participants will be empowered to implement these practices on their own property.

The Collinwood Lake Landowner Training will take place Saturday, Sept. 13 at Collinwood Lake Regional Park, 10 am. to 4 p.m.

Individuals of all ages, families, community and corporate groups are welcome to participate in Greening’s restoration events.

Pre-registration is required, so sign up today! You will receive a confirmation one week prior to the event with directions and event details.

Volunteers can register online at www.greatrivergreening.org under “Volunteer” or contact the Greening Volunteer Program and Event Manager at volunteer@greatrivergreening.org or (651) 665-9500 ext. 11.

Anglers needed to reel in AEDs and bring Project Lifesaver to Wright County

Sign up now to compete in Buffalo Hospital Foundation’s second annual fishing tournament, Saturday, Sept. 20, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Buffalo Lake. To register, call (763) 684-6800.

The fishing tournament will raise funds to support Project Lifesaver and Heart Safe Communities, two initiatives designed to save lives in Wright County.

Buffalo Hospital Foundation will use funds raised from the fishing tournament to help launch Project Lifesaver in Wright County.

Project Lifesaver uses state-of-the-art technology to track lost children and adults dealing with Autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and related disorders.

Participants wear a wrist band with a radio transmitter.

If that person ever goes missing, emergency agencies use a mobile tracking system to locate them.

The average recovery time is less than 30 minutes.

When Keith Kennedy, an adult with Autism, walked away from a Wisconsin camp this past June, it took hundreds of searchers one week to find him.

Currently, five Minnesota counties and the city of New Brighton, use Project Lifesaver.

Heart Safe Communities provides Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and the training needed for Wright County’s first responders.

The most effective treatment for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is an electric shock to the heart, called defibrillation.

This shock is administered by an AED and police officers are typically the first to arrive at the scene.
AEDs already placed through the county have been credited for saving more than a dozen lives.

• Tournament details

Registration and boat checks for the fishing tournament begin at 6:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 20. The tournament runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Entry fee is $100 per two-person team. Depth finders and live bait are permitted.

Winners are determined by largest fish in total weight in pounds and ounces for each category (walleye, bass and northern).

Winners will receive a trophy and cash: 1st place – $350; 2nd place – $100; 3rd place – $50.

To register, call Buffalo Hospital Foundation at (763) 684-6800.

Registrations will be accepted up to the day of the tournament.

• Sponsorship opportunities, donations

Consider becoming a major sponsor, registering a fishing team, donating a cash gift or silent auction item. Your support will help save lives in Wright County.

For $50, you can sponsor a large bobber with your name or organization on it to line a park walkway.

Call (763) 684-6800 for more information.

Ducks Unlimited banquet at the Blue Note Tuesday

The Winsted chapter of Ducks Unlimited will be hosting its annual banquet Tuesday, Sept. 9 at the Blue Note in Winsted.

For additional information, contact Doug Chalupsky at (612) 770-7848 or Dale Gatz at (320) 485-4274.

Crow River Clean Up Day moves into fifth year
From the CROW

The fifth annual Crow River Clean Up Day is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 13 starting at 8 a.m.

The Crow River Clean Up Day began in 2002 and has continued to evolve over the past five years.

The clean up started in 2002 with citizens groups in Rockford, Hanover, and Delano.

The clean up activities inspired Diane Sander, Watershed Coordinator for the Crow River Organization of Water (CROW) to organize a regional event that would encompass the entire watershed.

In the past four years, the CROW, a 10 County Joint Powers Organization has helped coordinate over 1,040 volunteers to remove over 30 tons of trash from 118 miles of shoreline on the Crow River and its tributaries.

The Crow River Clean Up Day is a one-day event. Clean up activities start at 8 a.m. and run until noon in each community.

Following the clean up, volunteers enjoy a sponsor provided lunch while they admire their piles of trash.

Volunteers receive a t-shirt commemoration for the event as a thank you for all their hard work.

Planning for the Sept. 13 event had already begun. The CROW is assisting interested groups to organize clean ups across the watershed.

If you are interested in the clean up or other outreach programs, contact the CROW at (763) 628-1933, ext. 112.

Abnormally dry conditions cause concern
From the DNR

Wildfire suppression officials are concerned about potential fire danger since much of Minnesota has been unusually dry since mid-June.

The weather has significantly impacted the drying of forest fuels in the state.

Though some Minnesota communities and the North Shore received significant rain in the past 24 hours, much of the state remains extremely dry, including much of the western portion of the Arrowhead Region in northeast Minnesota.

Due to the dry conditions, Lake, Cook, and St. Louis counties have burning restrictions in effect, as well as southern Beltrami, Cass and Crow Wing counties.

These restrictions are for open burning and do not restrict campfires on state and private property.

The Superior National Forest does have additional restrictions in effect for a portion of the BWCAW affected by the 1999 blowdown storm.

A period of warmer than normal temperatures and below normal rainfall is predicted along with increasing windy conditions through the holiday weekend and into next week.

People enjoying barbeques or campfires are urged to be extra careful and never leave a fire unattended.

Here are a few other reminders:

• dig a small pit away from overhanging branches, circle the pit with rocks or use a metal fire ring
• clear flammable materials from the area up to five feet from the fire
• keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby
• stack extra wood upwind and away from the fire
• make sure fire is completely out, cold to the touch, before leaving it unattended.

As of Aug. 19, the U.S. Drought Monitor rated a large portion of the Twin Cities metro area and another portion of north central Minnesota in the moderate drought category and a large portion of the rest of the state as abnormally dry.

Although the rainfall received the past few days has lessened the wildfire danger in the Twin Cities metro area and along the North Shore of Lake Superior, conditions just to west and north of these areas remain quite dry.

Many areas of the state have received less than 4 inches of rain in the past 10 weeks.

During a period of time that normally receives about an inch a week, that is less than 50 percent of normal for previous years.

For additional fire information visit the DNR Web site at: site at www.mndnr.gov or the Superior National Forest Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r9/superior.

Goose hunting application deadline near for Lac qui Parle controlled hunt
From the DNR

Hunters looking to reserve a date to go goose hunting in the controlled hunting zone at Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area are reminded the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be accepting applications until Sept. 17.

This year’s goose season is split into two time periods:

• Thursday, Oct. 16 thru Sunday, Oct. 19
• Saturday, Oct. 25 thru Sunday, Nov. 30.

Hunters must apply on a standard 3-1/2 inch by 5-1/2 inch postcard bearing the applicant’s full name and address, and listing their first and second choice of hunting dates.

Applications should be sent to: Controlled Hunt, Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area, 14047 20th St. NW, Watson, MN 56295.

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

New Web site to track fall colors unveiled by DNR
From the DNR

People can now follow the changing fall colors like never before with the help of a new Web page unveiled today by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“Minnesotans traditionally like to get out and hike, bike, camp or just take a scenic drive to enjoy the splendors of our fall colors,” said DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten. “This new site provides a variety of information that helps them do just that.”

Minnesota state park staff updates the fall color information every Thursday, just in time for the weekend.

The new site features a color-coded map that shows where the fall colors are at their peak.

There is a “top picks” section, which highlights the Minnesota state parks with the best options for viewing fall colors and the best viewing areas within each of the 72 state parks and recreation areas.

People can also upload photos on the site, sharing their fall color experiences with fellow Minnesotans.

To view the DNR’s fall colors page, visit www.mndnr.gov.

Bear baiting with off-highway vehicles
From the DNR

Hunters using bear bait should know that several state forests have a new limited classification that restricts travel by off-highway vehicles (OHV) to roads or trails that contain an OHV sign.

If there is no sign, the route is closed to motorized vehicles, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). OHVs include all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and off-road vehicles such as four-wheel-drive trucks.

Also, it is illegal for hunters to make an OHV trail to bait bear in a limited state forest.

• State forest land classifications

Managed – Motor vehicles may operate on forest roads and forest trails unless the trail/road is posted closed.

Limited – Motor vehicles may operate only on forest roads and trails or in areas that are posted and designated open.

Forests classified as limited include: Badoura, Chengwatana, D.A.R., Fond du Lac, General C.C. Andrews, R.J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood, Foothills, Nemadji, Paul Bunyan, Rum River, St. Croix, Snake River, Solana, and Wealthwood.

Closed – Motor vehicles are not allowed except that vehicles licensed for highway use may use forest roads that are not posted closed or gated.

Forests classified as closed include: Birch Lakes State Forest, Burntside (portions in the BWCAW), Finland (portions) Insula State Forest, Lake Isabella State Forest, Lake Jeanette (only portions in BWCAW), Sand Dunes State Forest, Pillsbury State Forest, and Whiteface State Forest.

• State forest reminders

– OHV travel is not allowed on designated non-motorized trails or in areas posted and designated as closed to OHV use

– OHV use that causes erosion or rutting, or that damages trees, growing crops, roads, or natural resources is prohibited

– OHV riders must travel at reasonable speeds on state forest roads and they must obey posted speed limits and traffic laws

– crosscountry travel is allowed for trapping, minnow or furbearer purposes any time of the year there is an open season (mid-October through mid-May for fur, all year for minnows).

In September, people can only travel cross-country to recover a legally taken bear or deer. In September, people cannot use an OHV cross-country to bait, construct stands or access hunting areas. These restrictions are lifted from October through December.

• State lands reminders

OHVs are generally prohibited on wildlife management areas (WMA). Exceptions include Carlos Avery, Hubbel Pond, Mille Lacs, Red Lake, Roseau River, and Thief Lake, where motor vehicles licensed for use on public highways may be operated on established roads but not at speeds more than 20 miles per hour.

Some other WMAs allow OHVs on designated travel routes at speeds of 20 mph or less.

• General OHV rules for all public and private lands and waters

– OHV travel is not allowed on designated nonmotorized trails or in areas posted and designated as closed to OHV use

– OHV travel is not allowed on unfrozen public waters or in a manner that would carelessly damage the natural and ecological balance of a wetland

– it is unlawful to transport an uncased or loaded firearm on an OHV

– it is illegal to shoot at a wild animal from an OHV.

For more specific information about hunting and state forests, see pages 112-114 of the 2008 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook.

For more information about hunting and ATVs, download the Hunting and ATVs brochure at www.dnr.state.mn.us/ohv/hunting.html or request a copy by calling the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367).

Bonus archery permits available for East Minnesota River Refuge
From the DNR

Archery hunters planning to hunt the East Minnesota River Refuge in Blue Earth and Le Sueur counties are allowed to purchase a bonus permit to take an antlerless deer, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The bonus permit option was inadvertently omitted from the 2008 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Handbook.

The refuge is open to archery hunting from Sept. 13 through Dec. 31.

Question of the week
From the DNR

Q: The fall hunting season is upon us. Do resident or non-resident hunters who possess a lifetime Minnesota hunting license need to get a license for the current year?

A: Every hunter who possesses a lifetime Minnesota hunting license must obtain an annual license at no cost for the current year.

This rule also applies to those who have purchased lifetime angling licenses.

Those planning to hunt for pheasant, turkey or waterfowl, or fish for trout, must purchase the necessary stamps.

Hunters who intend to harvest migratory game birds must also get their HIP (Harvest Information Program) certification.

Those planning on taking part in the annual firearms or archery deer hunting seasons must register and receive tags each year and must apply for the antlerless deer permit drawings in areas where the lottery system is still used.

All tags must be used in the year issued. Regular deer tags will be issued at no charge to the licensee; however, hunters will be charged for additional management or intensive harvest tags.