Trapshooting is just around the corner

March 30, 2009

by Chris Schultz

Several clubs around the area will be kicking off their trapshooting season very soon.

The Lester Prairie Sportsmen’s club is currently looking for interested teams for the 2009 league season, which runs Wednesday nights, April 22 through August 19.

The club opens Wednesday, April 15 for practice shooting.

Shooting hours are from 6 to 9:30 p.m., for information, or to enter a team, call (320) 395-2258 or e-mail edmlynar@embarqmail.com.

Winsted’s Sportsmen’s Club hog roast

The annual Winsted Sportsmen’s Club Hog Roast will take place Saturday, April 4 at the Winsted Legion Club.

The hog roast will run from 5 to 8 p.m., with a membership drive and a meat raffle also taking place during that time.

Tickets in advance cost $8; they will be $9 at the door.

Pick up your tickets at Keg’s Bar, Papa Tom’s Bar and Grill, and at the Winsted Co-op.

Winsted Sportsmen’s Club to offer firearm safety classes

The Winsted Sportsmen’s Club will be offering firearm safety classes at Dr. Thoennes’s Community Room in the basement of the dentist office.

Anyone 12 years of age or older as of Sept. 1, 2009 is welcome to attend, and adults are welcome, as well.

The classes run from 6:30 to 8 p.m., with the first meeting Tuesday, April 7, which is also when the sign-up is.

The class, which will run for three weeks, costs $10, and checks should be made out to the Winsted Sportsmen’s Club.

If you have any questions, contact Steve Fiecke at (320) 485-2434 after 4 p.m.

Habitat Day in Litchfield April 4

Everyone is encouraged to attend “Habitat Day 2009” Saturday, April 4 from noon to 4 p.m. in Litchfield.

This year’s event has many things to offer to anyone interested in wildlife and habitat of our area, and everyone is welcome free-of-charge.

Spring is just around the corner and it won’t be long before wood ducks and bluebirds return to the area in search of nesting sites.

If you have good habitat areas for nesting houses for these species, free, pre-cut bird house kits will be available for assembly on-site (one of each per family).

A limited number of robin nesting shelves and wren houses will also be available, while supplies last.

All necessary tools to assemble the houses will be provided, and staff from the Fish and Wildlife Service, along with volunteers will be on hand to provide assistance with the project.

Information will be provided on wood ducks and bluebirds and how best to place the nesting houses.

Come, build a house anytime between noon and 4 p.m.

The Raptor Center from St. Paul will be on hand with live birds, including a bald eagle.

See some of Minnesota’s raptors or birds of prey and learn how their role in the environment is important to us all.

An hour-long program will be given at 1 p.m., and the education specialists will be available after the program to answer questions about birds, with the birds available for viewing.

Special guests throughout the event will be a Wildlife Wizard, who will quiz children and adults on wildlife and habitat of the area.

Crow River Organization of Water (CROW) will have a staffed booth.

Several displays will be available throughout the event.

One display will include several different types of bird houses, bird feeders, and bat houses.

Plans will be available to build these houses or feeders on your own.

The event is open to everyone, and is free of charge.

Sponsors include the Litchfield Wetland Management District of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, CROW, and David Johnson.

The event will take place at the headquarters of the Litchfield Wetland Management District, US Fish and Wildlife Service.

For further information, call (320) 693-2849.

DNR firearms safety classes in LP

DNR firearms safety classes will take place at the Lester Prairie Sportsmen’s Club Monday and Tuesday nights, starting Monday, April 6 and running through Tuesday, May 5.

The classes will be two hours per night, and are open to anyone who is 12 years old or older by Dec. 31, 2009.

Call Gary Godel to register at (320) 395-2561, or e-mail him at garygodel@mchsi.com.
Space is limited.

Crow River DU to have raffle April 14

Crow River Ducks Unlimited will conduct a dinner raffle at the Blue Note Ballroom in Winsted Tuesday, April 14.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the dinner starting at 7:30 p.m.

For additional information, call (320) 543-3372.

McLeod County PF 2009 banquet April 18

The McLeod County Pheasants Forever banquet will take place Saturday, April 18 at the McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson.

For more information on the banquet and other events, call Mark and Sue Reinert at (320) 864-6325.

Wright County PF to host annual fundraiser

The Wright County Pheasants Forever will host its annual fundraising banquet Monday, March 30 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Buffalo Civic Center.

Funds raised at the chapter event are used to promote wildlife habitat restoration, purchase land for public access, and youth conservation education in Wright County and greater Minnesota.

If you would like to attend this event, contact Walt Barlow at (320) 543 -3660, Josh Pommier at (763) 300-9716, Bob Peterson at (320)963-6581, or Bruce Bartl at (763) 682-0653.

DNR to issue burning restrictions when snow cover is gone
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) expects to implement its annual spring burning restrictions over the central portion of the state in the next two weeks, once snow cover melts.

Restrictions are put in place due to the heightened threat of wildfires.

Fine fuels, such as grass and leaves, ignite easily when dry, and flames can advance rapidly, particularly in windy conditions.

Fires originating from debris piles have caused millions of dollars in damage to Minnesota homes and forests.

While it is best to compost yard waste, those who must burn leaves, grass, and other vegetation, should do so while there is still snow on the ground.

Snow cover drastically reduces the chance of a fire escaping a burn pile and igniting unintended areas.

Those who burn debris before snow melt do not need a state-issued open burning permit.

This state permit is not required when more than three inches of continuous snow cover surround the debris pile, however local municipalities may have their own restrictions.

While broad restrictions may make burning inconvenient, protecting lives and resources is a higher priority.

More information about burning is available on the DNR web site at www.mndnr.gov.

DNR seeking volunteers for frog and toad calling survey
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR’s) Nongame Wildlife Program is recruiting volunteers to participate in its ongoing statewide frog and toad calling survey.

Since 1996, volunteers have collected data by listening to and identifying frog and toad species on specified 10-stop routes.

The results provide information on where species are located and how their populations change in abundance and distribution.

Volunteers are needed particularly in the southwest portion of the state for this year’s survey, which begins Thursday, April 15.

Volunteers “run” their assigned 10-stop route and listen for calls to identify frogs and toads on three nights a year.

These routes are run after dark, in good weather, and in each of the following time periods to capture seasonal variation in calling frog species: April 15 – 30 (early spring), May 20 – June 5 (late spring), and June 25 – July 10 (summer). Dates in the northern portion of the state are delayed by 10 days.

This provides new volunteers with a CD of Minnesota frog and toad species’ calls, a map of their assigned route, instructions, and a field datasheet.

A vehicle is required to travel between stops along the survey route.

A map of available route locations and other survey information can be found on the DNR’s web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us. To volunteer, contact Krista Larson by e-mail at krista.larson@dnr.state.mn.us.

Questions of the week
From the DNR

Q: One of the sure signs of spring is when tree sap begins to run and the spring tradition of maple syrup making begins.
What determines when and how tree sap runs, and what is the process that turns sap into syrup?

A: Maple sap runs best when daytime temperatures are in the high 30s to mid-40s and overnight temperatures are below freezing.

This cycle of above-freezing days and below-freezing nights needs to continue for several days, although nature has been known to occasionally provide a good run under less perfect conditions.

Some sap may flow as early as late January or as late as May, but the typical time for a “good” sap run in Minnesota is March 15 to April 20, or a bit later in cooler parts of the state.

Sap is converted to syrup by boiling off most of the water content of the sap, which leaves the sugar and flavor behind.

It usually takes 30-40 gallons of sap from a sugar maple to produce one gallon of pure maple syrup.