www.herald-journal.com
Ducks Unlimited banquet Tuesday

April 12, 2010

by Chris Schultz

The 30th annual Crow River Chapter of Ducks Unlimited Banquet will be Tuesday, April 13 at the Blue Note in Winsted.

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

Tickets are $50 for a single, $75 for a couple, and $35 for youths.

Your ticket includes Ducks Unlimited membership, dinner, and the opportunity to participate in the auction, silent auction, and numerous drawings.

To purchase tickets, contact Bonnie Durdahl (320) 543-3372; Ken Durdahl (612) 790-0227; or April Debner (320) 543-2903.

Lake Mary Assoc. Ice Out Contest winners

Ice out officially took place Thursday, April 1 on Lake Mary.

There were 21 people that correctly picked that date for the ice out in the Lake Mary Association Ice Out Contest.

Three names were randomly drawn from the 21 with Nadine Berry of Apple Valley taking first place.

Chanhassen’s Ed Janowski came in second, and Barb Schlagel of Aitkin won the third-place prize.

All of the proceeds from this yearly contest are used for the sole purpose of stocking Lake Mary (bi-annually) with six-inch fingerling walleye.

Thus far, the combined efforts of the Winsted’s Sportsmen’s Club, the Watertown Rod & Gun Club, and the Lake Mary Association have stocked 12,600 walleye into Lake Mary since 1999.

Just this past fall, 1,900 walleye were stocked.

Prairie Archers 3D shoot coming up

Prairie Archers will be hosting a 3D shoot Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25.

To get to the event go three miles south of Hwy 7 on County Rd. 15, head east on 170th St., and then south on Eagle Ave. a quarter of a mile and follow the signs.

It begins at 8 a.m. both days, ending at 3 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday.

The cost is $12 for adults, $8 for youths, with a family maximum of $30. A second time through costs $6.

For additional information, contact Doug at (320) 779-0282 or Jim at (612) 636-7214.

Bowhunter education

The Delano Sportsmen’s Club is hosting a Minnesota bowhunter education seminar in April.

The two-day class is Wednesday, April 21, from 7-9 p.m., and Saturday, April 24, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The seminar will cover bowhunter responsibilities, equipment safety and game laws, techniques, game recovery and care, wildlife conservation, and survival and first aid.

Participants must be 12 years old or older, and students 12-18 years old must have a firearms safety certificate.

The cost is $5. Lunch will be available at an extra cost.

Register by calling Mike Speckel at (763) 477-3619.

The class is limited to the first 25 people registered.

Winsted Sportsmen’s Club to offer firearms safety classes

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

The sign-up and first meeting will take place Tuesday, April 13 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The class is open to anyone 12 years old or older by September 1, 2010. Adults are welcome.

The cost is $10, and classes will run for three weeks.

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

Check need to be written out to the Winsted Sportsmen’s Club.

LP Sportsmen’s Club meeting today

The Lester Prairie Sportsmen’s Club will be having a members meeting Monday, April 12 at 7 p.m. at the club.

The next meeting will then be Monday, May 10, also at 7 p.m.

Prairie Archers rib/shrimp dinner at the Dodge House

Prairie Archers will be hosting a rib/shrimp dinner at the Dodge House in Lester Prairie Saturday, April 17 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Reservations need to be made prior to 6 p.m. Friday, April 16 by calling either Jim Richardson at (320) 395-2721 or the Dodge House at (320) 395-2877.

Archery Venture Crew open house

An Archery Venture Crew open house will take place Wednesday, April 17 from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

The open house will be at the Dassel Rod and Gun Club fieldhouse at Lake Washington, one mile west of Dassel, south of Hwy. 12.

There will be pizza, pop, and archery at the open house.

There is also an archery club for teens (guys and girls) ages 14 to 20 every Wednesday after school from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

There will be outdoor archery training and practice, and the club will provide equipment or you are welcome to bring your own.

Instruction will come from William Bull, a Level II NAA instructor and a member of the National Archery Association.

Other adult archers with many years of experience will also be on hand to help.

Annual membership fee of $20 is required.

Late Memorial Day delays walleye opener
From the DNR

Minnesota’s 2010 walleye opener will be Saturday, May 15, one a week later than usual.

State law sets the walleye opener two Saturdays prior to Memorial Day weekend, which does not occur until the last weekend of May this year.

The later start means that the walleye opener will not coincide with Mother’s Day weekend, which will be Saturday, May 8, and Sunday, May 9.

“Moms still can fish free on Mother’s Day weekend,” said Dirk Peterson, fisheries section chief for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “But they’re going to have to focus on panfish.”

Stream trout season opens statewide Saturday, April 17.

The early catch-and-release trout season in southeastern Minnesota opened April 1 and runs through Friday, April 16.

DNR seeks comments on bear hunting, game refuge, and small game rules
From the DNR

Citizens interested in proposed rule changes pertaining to the Lac qui Parle Game Refuge, bear outfitting, bear hunting, trapping, falconry, goose and mourning dove hunting may submit written comments to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) through Friday, May 21.

The rule changes do not include any of the deer hunting, waterfowl, furbearer or small game proposals discussed at 2010 public input meetings.

“The rules in this package have been discussed in most cases for several years,” said Jason Abraham, DNR rules specialist. “Many of the proposals were the subject of public input meetings in years past and received support.”

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.

The DNR will accept written comments supporting or opposing the rule changes, or requests for a public hearing through 4:30 p.m. on May 21.

Comments must be submitted to: Jason Abraham, Box 20, DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4020, or by e-mail at jason.abraham@state.mn.us.

MN bear hunt application deadline is Friday, May 7
From the DNR

Applications for the 2010 Minnesota black bear hunt are due Friday, May 7.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will conduct a lottery for 9,500 permits spread throughout 11 permit areas.

This fall’s bear hunt begins Wednesday, Sept. 1, and concludes Sunday, Oct. 17.

Individuals must apply for the lottery at a license agent or the DNR License Center at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul, by calling 1-888-MNLicense, or online at www.mndnr.gov/rlp.

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 Thursday, July 1.

No previous application is necessary to buy a no-quota area license.

Bear licenses cost $38 for residents and $200 for nonresidents.

The bag limit is two bears in the no-quota area and one bear in all permit areas.

Applicants can find bear hunting information online at www.mndnr.gov/bear.

Since 2002, research data suggests that Minnesota’s black bear population decreased from about 25,000 bears to 20,000 bears.

The number of bear hunting permits has been reduced the past several years to allow bear numbers to increase and provide a less-crowded hunting experience.

In 2009, 17,571 people applied for 10,000 bear hunting permits. No-quota hunters purchased 2,473 permits.

Hunters harvested a total of 2,801 black bears in 2009, including 2,220 in permit areas and 581 in the no-quota area.

Aviation assets are a valuable tool for firefighters
From the DNR

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) firefighters are using four types of fixed wing-aircraft to assist with their fire suppression efforts this spring.

“These aircraft are used individually or in unison to provide some of the best fire suppression in the country,” said Ron Stoffel, DNR wildfire suppression supervisor.

The DNR is using two CL-215 water scoopers that were purchased from Canada in 2001.

The water scoopers are currently based at the Brainerd and Anoka airports.

The CL-215s have proven to be excellent firefighting tools for Minnesota’s lake country.

It takes the scoopers 11 seconds to load with water once they reach the source.

The turnaround time from fire to lake and back to the fire is usually 5-10 minutes.

This allows a lot of water to be put on a fire in a short period of time.

This year, the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs brought in a P3 Orion air tanker for fire suppression in the Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan under a U.S. Forest Service contract.

This aircraft is currently based at the Brainerd airport. The P3 carries 2,550 gallons of fire retardant in each delivery.

Fire retardant is particularly effective in slowing fast-moving fires and protecting structures.

Once the spring fire season ends, the P3 will go west to support fire activity in the western United States.

Other fixed-wing aircraft available to assist with firefighting efforts include a Single Engine Air Tanker (or SEAT) and a Fire Boss.

The Fire Boss is a SEAT on floats capable of loading and delivering water.

The float modifications are manufactured by Wipaire, a Minnesota company.

Single Engine Air Tankers carry 800 gallons of retardant or water.

They require much less space to take off and land and are much more maneuverable than the larger aircraft.

The SEAT, based at Bemidji, is under contract with the DNR.

Minnesota has also relied on helicopters as a primary fire suppression resource for years.

Each spring nine helicopter bases are staffed with suppression personnel and contracted helicopters.

Helicopters are especially helpful where water sources are too small for the fixed wing aircraft.

Their hovering ability makes them excellent at hitting specific targets.

Most of the suppression aircraft well be at their bases until mid-late May.

Stoffel said Minnesota is fortunate that all the agencies involved in wildfire cooperatively contract and utilize the necessary suppression aircraft.

Air resources are based at airports throughout the northern two-thirds of Minnesota.

Aviation tools are ordered according to proximity and suppression needs.

Stoffel reminds people who enjoy watching aircraft fight fires to stay well away from the drop zone.

Most of the water/retardant deliveries involve large amounts of water from a high aircraft.

It is unsafe to be in the drop area.

New catalog highlights MN state parks
From the DNR

From exploring North Shore history during a guided bike ride on the newest stretch of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail to enjoying a variety of open-air concerts in scenic settings, anyone looking for affordable fun will find plenty of options from which to choose at Minnesota state parks and trails this spring and summer.

The latest edition of the Programs & Special Events catalog lists more than 300 things to do now through the end of August, most of which are free, except for the vehicle permit needed to enter state parks.

Permits are $5 for a one-day permit or $25 for a year-round permit.

The catalog also features a four-page overview of what’s new in 2010.

For example, loaner fishing equipment can now be checked out for free at more than 30 parks, and Kids Discovery Kits (including activities, stories and tips to help ensure that a child’s early outdoor experiences will be fun and memorable) can be checked out for free at 20 parks.

In addition, the new catalog features a Bicycling Guide with:

• A map showing where to find paved state trails, most of which are located on former railroad grades and provide level and easy routes for riders of all ability levels.

• A list of the Minnesota state parks with mountain bike or paved bicycle trails, and how many miles of each they have.

• A calendar of bicycling events taking place at Minnesota state parks and trails in 2010.

To help with trip planning, the catalog includes information on where to find camper cabins ($45-$50 per night) and other lodging (starting at $95 per night).

The Programs & Special Events catalog is available at Minnesota state parks and from the DNR Information Center, info.dnr@state.mn.us or (651) 296-6157 (Twin Cities) or toll-free 888-646-6367.

It is also available at travel information centers, at Ramsey County libraries, and at Twin Cities outdoor recreation retail locations, including REI stores, Hoigaard’s, Joe’s Sporting Goods, Midwest Mountaineering and the Cabela’s store in Rogers.

Programs and special events, including hundreds of listings not printed in the catalog, are also posted online at www.mnstateparks.info.

Free trail maps showing where to find parking, restrooms and picnic areas along state trails can be downloaded from www.mndnr.gov/state_trails or requested from the DNR Information Center.

Question of the week
From the DNR

Q: Do Minnesota state parks currently offer monthly or seasonal camping opportunities?

A: Yes, five Minnesota state parks currently offer monthly and seasonal camping.

These opportunities came about in response to requests from frequent overnight park visitors who wanted to avoid having to haul their camping units back and forth from home to the park, make numerous reservations, or worry about availability.

Feedback was very positive after the first summer of monthly and seasonal camping for a pilot program in 2009, so several campsites will continue to be available for extended stays.