Dove season offers easy introduction to hunting

August 31, 2009

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR

Minnesota’s dove hunting season opens Tuesday, Sept. 1, offering youth and others a low-cost and low-equipment opportunity to experience hunting.

Unlike other upland bird hunting, dove hunting is a sedentary activity that occurs in a controlled situation where a mentor can easily coach an inexperienced hunter in an extra-safe environment.

“The upcoming dove season is an ideal time to introduce someone else to hunting,” said Bill Penning, farmland wildlife program leader for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “It requires very little equipment – just a bucket to sit on, a box of shells, shotgun and earth-toned clothing.”

Hunters 16 and older must have a small game license and Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification.

The daily bag limit is 15 doves with 30 in possession.

Although mourning doves are a migratory bird, non-toxic shot is not required but is recommended.

The season continues through Friday, Oct. 30.

Wright County/West Metro Whitetails to host banquet Sept. 13

The Wright County/West Metro Whitetails Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) will be hostings its 19th annual fundraier banquet at the River City Extreme entertainment complex in Monticello Sunday, Sept. 13.

Social hour begins at 4 p.m. and the all-you-can-eat broasted chicken and prime rib dinner starts at 5:30 p.m.

There will be lots of raffles, games, a silent auction, and free bowling for the kids.

The main purpose of the banquet is to raise funds to send kids to the MDHA’s Forkhorn Camps, which introduce kids to the outdoors and the importance of proctecting our state’s valuable natural resources.

This year the Wright County/West Metro Whitetails Chapter sent 23 kids to camps and would like to send even more next year.

If you are interested in attending tickets are $30 for those age 16 and under; $50 for one adult; and $70 for a couple.

The cost includes a dinner and a one year membership to the MDHA.

For more information, call Jim McCarty (763) 682-2061 or Al Weller (763) 370-1206.

Rainbow Sportsmen’s Club to host Fall Shoot

The Rainbow Sportsmen’s Club will be hosting its annual Fall Shoot Sunday, Sept. 13.

There will also be a pancake breakfast, and first-ever hog roast.

The day begins with the pancake breakfast at 7 a.m., followed by .22 rifle offhand shoot – any sights and 50 feet – starting at 10 a.m.

Also at 10 a.m. will be the running deer shoot – shotgun slug or high power rifle.

A trap meat shoot will then begin at 11 a.m., followed by the hog roast at noon.

If you have questions, contact Tim (320) 980-0460 or Dave (612) 670-1916.

You can also go to the web site, www.rainbowsportsmenclub.weekly.com.

DNR’s State Fair building celebrates 75th anniversary
From the DNR

Since 1934, an enormous log building has been the centerpiece of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) State Fair exhibit.

It serves as a landmark, a meeting place and a must-visit educational and entertainment destination where generations of fairgoers have created life-long memories.

The historic structure celebrates its 75th anniversary during this year’s State Fair, which runs Aug. 27-Sept. 7 in Falcon Heights.

“More than one-half million people visit our State Fair exhibit each year. For many people, the DNR building is a must stop,” noted Laurie Martinson, the DNR’s deputy commissioner. “It’s an effective and entertaining way for us to communicate conservation messages to Minnesotans.”

• State Fair favorites

Displays inside the main DNR building cover a wide range of natural resource topics, including watersheds, aquatic invasive species, rocks and minerals, state lands, forests, trails and parks.

The DNR outdoor fish pond and indoor fish tanks give visitors a chance learn about the different fish that call Minnesota home. This year’s exhibit displays nearly 50 fish species.

The DNR fire tower will be open once again for people interested in climbing the 84 steps to get a bird’s-eye view of the State Fairgrounds.

The tower is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, weather permitting.

Another popular stop is a display offering property owners tips on how to keep their homes and cabins safe from wildfires.

Smokey Bear is celebrating 65 years of reminding children and their parents about the dangers of wildfires.

In conjunction with the Governor’s 11th annual Fire Prevention Day Friday, Aug. 28, the DNR Forestry Division will host a variety of special activities and events.

Smokey Bear makes daily appearances at DNR Park at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The DNR Minerals Division will feature a DVD on meteorites, Lake Superior agates and volcanoes.

Inside the “DNR Wildlife…forever Wing,” fairgoers can learn about Minnesota species and wildlife habitat.

Special sound and lighting effects help create an experience of moving from day to night and through the four seasons, as visitors walk through the display.

At the Information Center on the north side of the building, visitors can pick up free materials such as hunting and trapping regulations, and state parks, trails and recreation guides.

DNR staff will be available to answer questions from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

The DNR Nature Store carries a wide range of merchandise, including gift items, clothing, jewelry, educational toys, games, posters, calendars and books.

Most items are designed for outdoor enthusiasts and many are available for sale only during the State Fair.

The Nature Store also sells hunting and fishing licenses, state park permits and the complete line of Public Recreation Information Maps.

Proceeds from the sale of merchandise help fund communication and education efforts at the State Fair.

“The DNR building and surrounding park area is a Minnesota State Fair tradition that is often the first stop for many families,” explained Adele Smith, who coordinates the DNR exhibit. “Our exhibit showcases what Minnesota is all about. People are passionate about our natural resources.”

• Entertainment lineup

A full program of educational and wildlife presentations along with music and theatrical performances are scheduled for the DNR outdoor and garden stages and the fish pond area.

A variety of groups will offer demonstrations on the DNR volunteer outdoor stage and the garden stage (on the west side of the building), including the DNR’s MinnAqua Program; DNR Parks and Trails will have presentations promoting horseback riding, bicycling, hiking canoeing and kayaking and geocaching 101; Church Basement Ladies 2 from the Plymouth Playhouse Midwest Fly Fishing Magazine; the Muskie Frontier; the Minnesota Bass Federation; the Minnesota Federation of Field Trial Clubs (pointing dogs); the Minnesota Duck and Goose Callers; and the University of Minnesota Raptor Center. Last Chance Forever – The Bird of Prey Conservancy of San Antonio, Texas, will offer flying bird shows most days during the State Fair.

Musical acts include the Brass Kings; Clearwater, Pete Neuman and the Real Deal; Red Rock Swing Band; Standing Room Only Dance Band; The Roxxy Hall Band; Joe Meyer Band; Bitter Ridge Bend in the River Band; Singleton Street Bluegrass; and Ecuador Manta.

For the DNR State Fair schedule, visit www.mndnr.gov.

This year the DNR is continuing its State Fair tradition of offering a wide range of free educational exhibits, presentations and entertainment, including several new exhibits.

What’s new?

• Archery range in DNR indoor theater.

• Video of Minnesota fire towers.

• DNR Adopt-a-River Found-objects sculpture.

• A 24-foot by 12-foot state park camper cabin.

• Horseback riding exhibit.

• Antique Model T fire truck from 1919 on display near the Wildfire Building/Fire Tower.

DNR State Fair building statistics

• The DNR State Fair building opened Sept. 1, 1934.

• It cost $73,000 to build (almost 10 times the net profit of 1934 State Fair).

• Gate tickets in 1934 cost .25 cents

• Funding came from federal and state emergency relief administration and State Fair funds.

• Civilian Conservation Corps erected building in less than six months using machined logs.

• The main building is 186 feet by 66 feet.

• DNR’s State Fair building is 40 feet high at its highest point.

• The fire tower opened in 1966, was closed in 1978, then repaired and reopened in 2007.

• The fish pond and animal displays were added in 1970.

K-9 teams are top dogs
From the DNR

A combined K-9 team from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Minnesota Department of Corrections recently took top honors at the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) regional field trials in Hutchinson.

The K-9s scored highest in the team categories of agility, obedience, article recovery, suspect search, criminal apprehension and criminal apprehension with a gun.

The competition included 75 canine units from Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“For four dogs from two state agencies to take top honors in the team category says great things about both K-9 programs,” said K-9 Conservation Officer Travis Muyres of Ham Lake.

Muyres, and his K-9 partner Hunter, were joined by Conservation Officer Todd Kanieski of Osseo and Saber, Corrections Canine Officer Rick Jennings, and Corrections Canine Officer Mike Langerman. Jennings and Langerman work at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Lino Lakes.

According to DNR Enforcement Director Col. Jim Konrad, “The hard work and outstanding performance of DNR officers Muyres and Kanieski and their K-9 partners, as well as the Corrections canine officers, reflect positively on both agencies. I commend them.”

K-9 units expand the DNR’s enforcement capabilities, noted Konrad. “They play a vital role in our agency’s enforcement efforts.”

The DNR K-9 team now moves on to national competition in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, Sept. 28.

DNR seeks comment on proposed hunting rule changes
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is accepting comments through Thursday, Oct. 29, on proposed changes and additions to hunting rules.

These rule changes would not affect the 2009 hunting seasons.

The proposals cover a variety of areas pertaining to bear hunting, baiting and outfitting; falconry; furbearer trapping; doves; and the harvest of ginseng in Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).

“Many of the rule changes included in this package have been discussed and supported at past public input meetings,” said Jason Abraham, DNR season setting specialist. “As we move forward with these rules, we’re encouraging anyone with an interest in wildlife to comment.”

A copy of the proposed rules and additional information about the rules process is available online at www.mndnr.gov/input/rules/wildliferules/index.html.

Provisions being proposed in this rule package include:

• Modifying provisions for controlled hunting zones on Lac qui Parle State Game Refuge.

• Modifying provisions for taking antlerless deer by muzzleloader in lottery permit areas.

• Modifying provisions for bear hunting, baiting and outfitting.

• Modifying game species that may be taken by falconry.

• Repealing provisions for taking furbearers in national wildlife refuges.

• Modifying trap-tending intervals, the use and placement of body-gripping traps and marking of muskrat houses.

• Repealing duplicate rule provisions relating to certified predator control.

• Creating a standard opening date and bag limit for the mourning dove season.

• Modifying provisions for taking Canada geese.

• Modifying provisions on the harvest of ginseng in WMAs.

The DNR will accept written comments supporting or opposing the rule changes through 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29.

Comments may be submitted to Jason Abraham, Box 20 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4020 or via e-mail at Jason.Abraham@dnr.state.mn.us.

Question of the week
From the DNR

Q: The DNR works with the University of Minnesota Extension Service in conducting the Master Naturalist program. What is the program and how does a person become a Master Naturalist?

A: The Master Naturalist program is a community-based natural-resource volunteer program that is open to any adult who is interested in learning more about the natural world.

This program is different than the Master Gardener program as it will provide participants a broader based understanding of the state’s natural environments.

Those who sign up for the program will have the opportunity to be trained in any one, or all, of Minnesota’s biomes – prairie, deciduous forest or coniferous forest.

However, in order to be certified as a master naturalist, volunteers must complete 40 hours of training and a supervised sponsored outreach project.

Following training, these conservationists will assist the DNR, the Extension Service and other partners with public outreach and management of the state’s diverse natural environments.