From the DNR
Deer hunters who use a firearm or muzzleloader in a lottery area and want to harvest an antlerless deer must apply for an either-sex permit by the Thursday, Sept. 9, deadline established by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Nearly half of Minnesota’s deer permit areas now are lottery areas.
They include deer permit areas 103, 108, 118, 119, 127, 152, 155, 169, 171, 172, 173, 176, 183, 184, 197, 218, 219, 223, 224, 229, 230, 235, 238, 246, 247, 250, 251, 252, 253, 255, 258, 259, 262, 269, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 283, 285, 289, 290, 291, 294, 295, 296, 299, 338A, 338B, 347A, 347B.
“Annually we estimate deer numbers using a population model that considers harvest and over-winter survival,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator. “We then use that information to determine which areas would be designated as lottery.”
In lottery deer areas, firearms and muzzleloader hunters may only harvest a buck unless they apply for and receive an either-sex permit, which allows them to harvest an antlerless deer.
For 2010, all firearm and muzzleloader hunters must apply if they want to take an either-sex deer.
Successful applicants will be able to take an antlerless deer in that area only during the season listed on the application.
“For example, if you apply for the permit for the muzzleloader season, it’s not valid during firearms season”, Cornicelli said.
This year, hunters are able to apply for one firearm and one muzzleloader permit.
However, a hunter cannot take more than one deer from all lottery areas during all deer seasons, which include archery, firearms and muzzleloader.
Individuals who are successful in both lotteries may only fill one permit.
If the permit is filled during the firearm season, the muzzleloader either-sex permit is no longer valid.
If a hunter harvests a deer during the firearms season in a lottery area, that hunter still can hunt statewide during the muzzleloader season in any managed or intensive area.
Lottery winners will receive permits via U.S. mail.
Hunters may apply for an either-sex permit through any Electronic License System agent, online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by calling 1-888-665-4236.
Bonus permits cannot be used in lottery deer areas, regardless of weapon type.
Hunters who are unsuccessful in the lottery may only harvest a legal buck throughout the season in lottery deer areas.
Archery hunters may take a deer of either sex in a lottery area without applying for a permit.
Archery hunters who are successful in any lottery area may not harvest another deer from any other lottery area using a bow, firearm, or muzzleloader.
They may harvest additional deer using bonus permits in managed and intensive areas.
Special mentored youth/women pheasant hunt
If you are a youth, age 12 to 17, or a woman who has not experienced the rush of the flush as a pheasant explodes from cover, we want you.
The Minnesota DNR and Pheasants Forever have teamed up to provide a very special mentored pheasant hunt in Minnesota Saturday, October 23.
This great opportunity will teach you about hunting techniques, skills, safety, and wildlife habitat.
Applicants will be randomly drawn by lottery to participate in the county of their choice.
On the application/waiver page, please indicate which county you would prefer to hunt in.
You may also tell us how far you would be willing to travel if you are not drawn for your first county choice.
Please keep in mind, the farther from the seven-county metro area you apply for, the better the odds of being drawn for the hunt.
Experience your heart racing as rooster pheasant busts from nearly under your feet and you pull the trigger on an incredible outdoors opportunity.
Applications must be received at the Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources Central office by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8.
For additional information, contact Mike “Cold Front” Kurre at Michael.Kurre@state.mn.us.
Roadsie wildlife counts to bre released Sept. 7
From the DNR
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will release its annual roadside wildlife survey Tuesday, Sept. 7.
The report summarizes roadside counts of pheasants, gray (Hungarian) partridge, cottontail rabbits, white-tailed jackrabbits and other wildlife observed in the early morning hours during the first two weeks of August.
The observations take place throughout the farmland region of Minnesota.
Observers surveyed 171 25-mile routes, 152 of which were located in the ring-necked pheasant range.
Dove season opens Sept. 1
From the DNR
Minnesota’s dove hunting season begins Wednesday, Sept. 1, and runs through Saturday, Oct. 30.
A small game license and Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification are required for hunters 16 and older.
Hunters younger than 16 must obtain a free small game hunting license and the HIP certification.
The daily bag limit is 15 doves, with 30 in possession.
Mourning doves are not a migratory bird, so nontoxic shot is not required however it is recommended.
Dove hunting requires only a bucket to sit on, a box of shells, shotgun and earth-tone clothing.
“This is a great way to introduce youngsters to hunting” said Bill Penning, DNR farmland wildlife program leader. “It’s a sedentary activity in a controlled environment, which makes it easy for mentors to work with inexperienced hunters under very safe conditions.”
Minnesota has allowed dove hunting since 2004.
The state has about 13,000 dove hunters, who harvest more than 100,000 doves each year.
Nationwide there are about 4 million mourning doves.
Western MN refuge established as part of DNR’s duck recovery plan
From the DNR
A new state game refuge established in western Minnesota as part of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Long Range Duck Recovery Plan is expected to provide migrating birds with safe feeding and resting areas.
The North Ottawa State Game Refuge is located in northwestern Grant County and eastern Traverse County, just south and east of Tintah. Dikes constructed by the Bois de Sioux Watershed District help contain water to assist with flood control in the Red River basin.
“This refuge is one element of the DNR’s plan to enhance habitat that we hope will attract and hold a significant numbers of migrating birds,” said Kevin Kotts, Glenwood area wildlife supervisor for the DNR. “Attracting those birds is a key part of potentially increasing migrating waterfowl populations.”
Slightly more than three square miles in size, the new game refuge includes all land owned by the Bois de Sioux Watershed District within the North Ottawa Flood Control Impoundment.
The impoundment is primarily managed for flood control.
However, DNR and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are cooperating with the watershed district to provide habitat for migrating waterfowl and shore birds.
Refuge in the Making
In April 2008, the watershed district petitioned the DNR to establish a game refuge in the area.
The DNR then determined that such a refuge would fit within the Long Range Duck Recovery Plan’s recommendations for a system of game refuges for safe feeding and resting areas.
Following a round of positive public input, the DNR’s Fish and Wildlife Division established the refuge in March 2009.
It is now closed to all hunting; however closure was delayed due to weather and harvest issues.
The North Ottawa State Game Refuge is an example of how moist soil management is used to create and enhance habit for waterfowl and shore birds.
Keeping areas that contain shallow water dry during a portion of the summer growing season promotes germination of annual plants.
When those areas are flooded during the fall and following spring, migrating birds feed on the seeds and invertebrates that have become available.
“Waterfowl using the refuge will almost certainly move off the refuge to feed and use other nearby wetland areas, Kotts said.”This has the potential to create opportunities for waterfowl hunters.”
Poached trophy buck and other wildlife on display at Minnesota State Fair
From the DNR
The rack of a record-setting white-tailed buck taken by poachers will be on display at the Minnesota State Fair near the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) building Tuesday, Aug. 31, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Death of the record eight-point buck garnered national attention late last year when it was discovered that the animal was poached near White Rock in southeastern Minnesota.
Troy Reinke, 32, Cannon Falls, is currently serving jail time after pleading guilty to a variety of charges earlier this year in connection with the incident.
Other poached wildlife also will be displayed throughout the State Fair in the DNR’s “Wall of Shame.”
This is a traveling display of poached trophy heads that state conservation officers take to sports shows each year.
Women can learn outdoor sports at DNR’s fall workshop
From the DNR
Learning by doing is the focus of a weekend-long Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) workshop in September that provides women the opportunity to discover the enjoyment of the outdoors in a fun atmosphere.
Women can experience fly-fishing, backing a trailer, shooting sports of archery or firearms, biking the beautiful Root River Trail or canoe down the river.
The DNR Becoming An Outdoors Woman (BOW) annual fall workshop will be held Friday, Sept. 10, through Sunday, Sept. 12, at the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center near Lanesboro for women ages 14 and older.
“The fall workshop provides a unique opportunity to try out different outdoor sports in a supportive atmosphere,” said Linda Bylander, BOW coordinator. “Prior experience doesn’t matter. Discovering the enjoyment of doing these activities does.”
Lodging, meals, instruction, equipment, and evening entertainment are all included in the low workshop fee.
Registrations are accepted by telephone by calling Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center at 888-800-9558.
BOW programs are funded through sales of hunting and fishing licenses, participant fees and grants from conservation groups.
Additional information about the winter workshop and other BOW offerings is available on the DNR web site at http://mndnr.gov/ education/bow or by calling the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 and requesting a printed copy of events.
Funding available for shoreland vegetation projects
From the DNR
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites grant proposals for projects that would restore native shoreline vegetation across Minnesota.
More than $300,000 is available for projects, which are limited to $50,000 to $100,000 per individual request.
“This is an opportunity for lake associations, local communities and conservation organizations to help enhance native shoreline vegetation and fish habitat in their local lakes, streams and rivers,” said John Hiebert, DNR shoreland habitat coordinator. “Since 2003, a total of 237 restoration projects have been funded, restoring more than 80,000 feet of shoreline.”
The program provides cost share grants to counties, cities, watershed districts, other local units of government, conservation groups and lake associations to conduct shoreline restoration projects with native plants to improve fish and wildlife habitat.
Projects on private properties will have at least 75 percent of the frontage restored with an adjacent buffer zone that is at least 25 feet deep or wide.
The focus of these projects must be on re-establishing vegetation for fish and wildlife habitat.
Funds cannot be used for rock riprap stabilization or permanent wave breaks.
Grants recipients will be reimbursed for a maximum of 75 percent of the total project costs.
Applicants must be able to fund at least 25 percent of the total project costs from non-state sources.
Matching funds may be cash; volunteer labor; and in-kind contributions of materials, equipment and services.
Applications for grants are available on mndnr.gov/grants/habitat/shoreland.html or by calling the DNR at 888-646-6367.
Completed grant applications are due Friday, Oct. 1.
Successful applicants will be notified in February and their funds will be made available after July 1, 2011.
The grants are funded from state lottery proceeds deposited in the Heritage Enhancement Account.
Grants are administered through the DNR Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and selected and designed with guidance from local DNR fisheries managers.
2010 Waterfowl Hunting Regulations book now available
From the DNR
Minnesota’s 2010 Waterfowl Hunting Regulations handbook is now available, wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold, online at mndnr.gov/regulations, and in many Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offices across the state.
Hunters should familiarize themselves with the regulations book before the hunting season begins.
Among the new regulations for this year are:
• The daily bag limit for pintail has been increased to two.
The bag limit for other species is as follows: four mallards (only one hen mallard) two redheads, two scaup, two wood ducks, one black duck, one canvasback. If not listed, up to six ducks of a species may be taken.
The possession limit is twice the daily limit.
• Canada geese may be harvested for 85 days (Oct. 2-Dec. 25) statewide and the bag limit has been increased to three.
The season will be split in the Rochester Goose Zone.
Details are outlined on pages 21-25 of the regulations book.
• Youth younger than 16 are required to obtain a free license before hunting small game or waterfowl.
Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification also is required to hunt waterfowl with the free license.
This requirement applies to youth participating in Youth Waterfowl Day Saturday, Sept. 18.
• Persons leaving waters of the state must drain boating-related equipment holding water and live wells and bilges by removing the drain plug before transporting the watercraft and associated equipment on public roads.
• From Saturday, Sept. 4, through Sunday, Oct. 10, sandhill cranes may be harvested in a portion of northwest Minnesota. Hunters need a $3.50 permit.
In addition to information on regulations, season dates and bag limits, hunters will find articles on sandhill crane hunting, wood ducks and moist soil management in this year’s waterfowl regulations handbook.
Additional information on moist soil management is also available on the DNR web page at mndnr.gov/waterfowl.
Question of the week
From the DNR
Q: Can I take my 10-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son pheasant or squirrel hunting?
A: Resident youth under the age of 13 are allowed to hunt small game without a firearms safety certificate.
The only requirements are that the youth must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and must obtain a free small game license.
For more information go to mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting.