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.
Trapshooting is coming up in area
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 email@example.com.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Bear hunt permit application deadline is May 1
From the DNR
Applications for this fall’s black bear hunt now are available at any of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) 1,650 license agents or online.
Hunters interested in the Sept. 1 Oct. 18 hunt can apply for one of 10,000 available licenses spread across 11 permit areas. Applications are due May 1.
Hunters picked in the lottery must pay $38 for a resident license and $200 for a non-resident license.
In 2008, 17,362 applicants applied for 11,850 permits. Hunters harvested a total of 2,135 bears.
“Issuing fewer permits this year reflects the DNR’s interest in moderately increasing the black bear population,” said Dan Stark, wolf management specialist.
A number of factors are suggesting a declining population. Hunters must submit teeth from harvested bears.
DNR wildlife researchers have determined that those teeth are from a younger class of bears.
In addition, the hunter success rate is declining and there are fewer nuisance bear complaints.
Bear licenses for the no-quota area, which is the area outside of the 11 permit areas, can be purchased directly at any license agent beginning July 1.
No previous application is necessary to buy a no-quota area license.
The bag limit remains at two bears in the no-quota area and one bear in all quota permit areas.
Interested applicants can find bear hunting information on the DNR Web site at www/mndnr.gov/hunting/bear.
DNR teams up with private landowerns to protect prairie habitat
From the DNR
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently purchased a 213-acre Native Prairie Bank conservation easement near the Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area that adds to the state’s small amount of permanently protected, rare native prairies.
The DNR made the purchase by combining $38,000 from The Conservation Fund along with $189,000 in bonding funds from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
“The DNR’s Native Prairie Bank program is an innovative, cost-effective tool for protecting sensitive wildlife habitat that fits well with the state wildlife action plan,” said Tom Duffus, Upper Midwest director for The Conservation Fund. “The support of landowners, elected officials, public agencies and private organizations has made it a huge success. We’re proud to be a part of this effort.”
The easement protects high quality prairie while keeping the land in private ownership and allowing landowners to graze it under a grazing plan approved by the DNR.
A number of rare bird species, including the Marbled Godwit, Wilson’s Phalarope, Upland Sandpiper and Greater Prairie Chicken, as well as Regal Fritillary and Poweshiek Skipper butterflies, reside on the newly protected prairie and on neighboring Plover Prairie, owned by The Nature Conservancy.
The greater prairie chicken has been reintroduced to the Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area.
It uses the area protected by the easement for nesting and for day and night roosting.
The Minnesota County Biological Survey, which receives support from the Natural Resources and Environmental Trust Fund, identified the prairie as a conservation priority.
The Minnesota Native Prairie Bank program protects prairie through conservation easements on private lands that still have original, unplowed native prairie on them.
When a landowner sells a Native Prairie Bank easement to the DNR, deed conditions developed by both parties ensure the prairie will never be plowed, planted into trees, or otherwise changed from its natural character.
Conservation easements help ensure that prairies will exist for future generations while still allowing the land to remain in private ownership.
Landowners can graze and hay Native Prairie Bank easements under an approved Prairie Stewardship Plan.
The DNR often assists landowners with prairie burns and other management tasks.
The public can learn more about the Native Prairie Bank easement program at www.mndnr.gov/prairiestoration/prairiebank.
The Conservation Fund received funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to help implement the state wildlife action plans in the Upper Midwest states of Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin. Minnesota’s state wildlife action plan, “Tomorrow’s Habitat for the Wild and Rare,” outlines priority conservation steps to manage the state’s native animals whose populations are rare, declining, or vulnerable to decline.
The plan identifies 292 species that are in greatest need of conservation and presents profiles for 25 ecologically defined landscapes within Minnesota.
Key habitats for species in greatest conservation need are identified within each of these ecological landscapes.
The action plan’s approach involves a partnership of conservation organizations working together to ensure that species are sustained for future generations.
People can learn more at www.mndnr.gov/cwcs and www.conservationfund.org.
Bull moose hunt application deadline is May 1
From the DNR
Minnesotans who want to experience a once-in-a-lifetime bull moose hunt this fall have until May 1 to apply for a permit.
Applicants will be applying for a total of 225 bull-only harvest permits, which are spread across 30 hunting zones of northeastern Minnesota.
Permits for the Oct.3-18 hunt are awarded randomly to parties of two to four hunters.
Permit applications are available at any of the DNR’s 1,650 license agents.
A fee of $3 per individual must be included with an application.
Only Minnesota residents 16 years and older are eligible for the moose hunt.
Any hunter who received a moose permit since 1991 is not eligible to apply for the once-in-a-lifetime hunt.
Successful applicants must pay a license fee of $310 per party and attend a mandatory orientation session.
In 2008, 2,706 parties applied for 247 permits. Hunting parties harvested 110 bull moose.
There are about 7,500 moose in Minnesota. Concerns that the population is declining prompted the creation of a Moose Advisory Committee, which will make management and research recommendations to the DNR’s Fish and Wildlife Division in June.
“The committee is studying all data that’s available on moose in Minnesota as well as surrounding states and Canadian provinces,” said committee chair Rolf Peterson, Isle Royale’s renowned wildlife ecologist and a professor at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich. “Our goal is to make recommendations on future moose management and research, including specific suggestions on how moose hunting might be managed in the face of a sustained decline in the population.”
Harvesting bull moose has very little impact on the rate of herd population change. Based on population survey data collected in 2008,
DNR wildlife biologists estimate that a high percentage of cows are bred each fall even with the bulls-only hunt.
“Societal perceptions of moose hunting are one of the key issues the Moose Advisory Committee is considering,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator. “We’re eager to hear the committee’s recommendations. Our research to this point indicates that a limited bull-moose hunting season can continue.”
Additional information is available online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/moose.
Questions of the week
From the DNR
Q: Woodpeckers can be seen occasionally mistaking the side of a house for a tree.
Why is this? And, is there anything homeowners can do to keep the birds from drilling a hole in their homes?
A: Woodpeckers drill holes in the side of homes for several reasons.
Sometimes they are after insects and larvae found in and under the home’s siding.
Other times woodpeckers are pecking to attract a mate, make a hole for a nesting spot or to establish a territory.
There are some effective techniques for discouraging woodpeckers.
Bird scare tape or bird scare balloons are two helpful products, and can be purchased at stores that sell bird feed.
The DNR also has a packet containing helpful tips and other information for homeowners with woodpecker problems.
To obtain a copy, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Woodpecker Packet, Box 25, 500 Lafayette Rd., St. Paul, MN 55155.