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Deer hunters have a good opening weekend

November 15, 2010

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that firearm hunters harvested and registered 85,163 deer the opening Saturday and Sunday, up very slightly from last year’s 85,074.

The early harvest numbers suggest the overall harvest will be somewhat higher than last year, when hunters took about 195,000 deer. Deer hunter numbers are also up this year.

“Statewide, we’re off to a good start,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game coordinator. “But as always, we will see significant regional variability in deer population.”

Cornicelli said the new online and toll-free phone deer registration options make it difficult to make precise comparisons between this year’s harvest and last year’s harvest.

Unlike previous years, when hunters took their deer to registration stations, 54 percent of this year’s successful hunters simply registered their deer by computer or phone

Also, as of Nov. 8, the DNR had issued 431,268 firearms licenses, up from 423,883 last year.

Youth licenses accounted for a portion of the increase, including an increase in licenses for 10- and 11-year-old deer hunters.

Hunters in southeastern Minnesota, where a new antler point restriction regulation went into effect this year, harvested fewer bucks and more antlerless deer.

Buck harvest was down 28 percent and antlerless harvest was up 23 percent.

The regular firearms season ended Nov. 14 for most of the state.

It will continue through Nov. 21 in northeastern Minnesota.

The late southeast firearms season is Nov. 20-28.

Prairie Archers dinner at the Dodge House

Prairie Archers will be hosting a steak/shrimp dinner at the Dodge House in Lester Prairie Saturday, Nov. 20 from 5 to 8 p.m.

The cost of a meal ranges from $8 to $14.

Call in reservations before 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19 to either Jim Richardson at (320) 395-2721 or the Dodge House at (320) 395-2877.

Conservation officers reports from area
From the DNR

• CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked trappers during the past week.
CO Mies also checked deer hunters. CO Mies spent time working shining complaints and other deer investigations.

• CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) had a busy deer opener weekend with a lot of hunters out in the field with the fair weather.
Numerous complaints were investigated and several violations were found with the most common violation being hunting deer over a baited area.
Deer harvest over the weekend seemed to be up in the area from last year.
Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over bait, not wearing blaze orange and transporting a loaded firearm on a motor vehicle

• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) investigated an elk which was caught on a trail camera by a bow hunter.
Several trespass complaints were handled, most of them deer hunters.
The deer opener was worked with very few deer taken and even fewer violations.
Several car-kill deer permits were issued.
Much of the week was spent on the telephone answering a variety of questions.
Local newspaper and TV interviews were given on the deer season and the elk seen on camera.
A district meeting was attended along with a retirement get together for LT Scott Carlson who will be missed by all.

• CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) worked the firearms deer opener in Sherburne County with CO Kanieski.
Most hunters had a successful deer hunt but numerous violations were found including transporting untagged deer, failing to validate site tags, no blaze orange and operate an unregistered ATV.
Three deer were also seized. Several calls were received about dumped deer and waterfowl carcasses.

• CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked waterfowl, pheasant, and archery deer hunting activity.
Additional time was spent working the firearms deer opener.
Hatlestad also checked angling and boating activity, and followed up on possible WCA violations.

• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked an average opening to the firearms deer season.
However, hunters really enjoyed the warm weather they had.
Several calls were handled related to the deer season during the week.
CO Oberg handled calls dealing with wounded deer, trespassing, early shooting, and shinning.
CO Oberg also assisted hunters with a wounded deer that went on to a Nature Conservancy property that is closed to hunting.

• CO Angela Graham (Hutchinson) worked the firearms deer opener seeing several nice bucks, and one odd one.
Officer Graham received a call to come look at a deer that a Hutchinson resident had shot in Renville County; the buck had a large rack that hadn’t officially been scored but was at minimum a 17-pointer that was still in full velvet.
This was the hunter’s first deer in 15 years; he stated that it was worth the wait!
Enforcement action was taken on trespassing, trap tampering, hunting without a license, illegal party hunting, failure to register deer, and no license in possession.

Migration report
From Avery Pro Staff

Name: Ben Cade
Date: November 9
Location: Buffalo
Weather: Unseasonably warm with temps in the high 50s.
Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Most area wetlands are still full. Some sheet water can still be found, however fields have been drying out nicely.

Feeding Conditions: Most all of the corn and soybeans are out, so there are plenty of feeding fields available for waterfowl.

Species and Numbers: We have a good number of Canada geese in the area as well as a few small pockets of mallards.
Migrations: Nothing major with the current warm weather pattern.

Season Stage: We are six weeks into the regular season now.

Hunting Report: Goose hunting in our area has been fantastic over the last three or four days. Hunters have been reporting five and six man limits of geese daily. Duck hunting has still been pretty good for those who have been able to get on key feeding locations.

Gossip: Deer hunting is the sport of choice for most guys right now, so hunting pressure is minimal for waterfowl

Another strong harvest at Camp Ripley bow hunt
From the DNR

Archers harvested 220 deer and took eight bucks weighing more than 200 pounds at the second two-day hunt held at Camp Ripley on Oct. 30-31, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Those deer, coupled with the 287 taken during the Oct. 21-22 hunt, represent the third highest harvest at the Camp Ripley bow hunts.

The four-day total of 507 deer is about 64 percent above the long-term average harvest of 310 deer for the two hunts, and only nine fewer than the record 516 deer taken in 2008.

“Excellent weather helped hunters achieve a near record harvest and to take 28 bucks that weighed more than 200 pounds,” said Beau Liddell, DNR Little Falls Area wildlife manager. “The overall harvest and large buck harvest are both well over average, so this was an excellent hunt by any measure.”

A total of 5,002 permits were issued for both two-day hunts, with 4,294 hunters participating.

Hunter success during the first hunt was 13 percent (3 percent above average), and during the second hunt was 10 percent (1 percent above average).

The success rate was just above 11.5 percent for the two hunts, which is nearly identical to last year and 2.5 percent higher than the long-term average of 9 percent.

For the seventh year running, hunters at Camp Ripley were allowed to take up to two deer and to use bonus permits to increase harvest on antlerless deer.

“We’re very pleased with the results the past few years,” Liddell said. “Although Ripley bow hunters are known to be selective for bucks, we have seen increasing proportions of does and fawns taken in recent years to help control the population.”

The proportion of antlerless deer taken at Camp was 3 percent higher than last year and much higher than the long-term average of 55 percent, with about 63 percent of this year’s harvest comprised of does and fawns.

The largest buck, taken by Adam Breth of Moorhead during the second hunt, weighed 232 pounds.

Scott Cavanaugh of Random Lake, Wis., harvested the largest doe, weighing 128 pounds.

Other hunters who harvested large bucks were:
• Roy Paumen, Annadale, 231 pounds.
• Gregory Guck, Pierz, 228 pounds.
• Randy Porter, Foley, 225 pounds.
• Paul Tomala, Mahtomedi, 213 pounds.
• Adam Anderson, St. Cloud, 211 pounds.
• Vance Gertken, Bagley, 207 pounds.
• Chad Fuller, Roseau, 203 pounds.

The archery hunt at Camp Ripley is an annual event.

The DNR coordinates the hunt with the Department of Military Affairs, which manages the 53,000 acre reservation.

DNR seeking entries for Legacy Amendment logo design contest
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking entries by Dec. 7 for a contest to design a logo that will identify all projects funded by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.

Projects fall under one of four funds – clean water, outdoor heritage, parks and trails, and arts and cultural heritage – and the logo must cover them all.

The winning logo will be displayed throughout the state at access points to any land or water resources acquired or protected, construction projects, or printed and other materials that were funded by the Outdoor Heritage Fund, Parks and Trails Fund, Clean Water Fund, or the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Ideas that the logo should be designed to communicate:

• Outdoor heritage – Restore, protect and enhance wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for fish, game and wildlife.

• Clean water – Protect, enhance and restore water quality in lakes, rivers and streams to protect groundwater from degradation and protect drinking water sources.

• Parks and trails – Support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.

• Arts and cultural heritage – Support arts, arts education and arts access, and preserve Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage.

The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, placed on the 2008 ballot by the Legislature, was approved by 56 percent of Minnesota voters.

Individuals may submit up to three separate logo entries (one design per entry).

Entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges, with the winning logo selected by the DNR commissioner.

The winning entry will be announced in January.

The contest winner will not receive a cash prize.

For more information, including complete contest rules, visit the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/legacylogo.

Question of the week
From the DNR

Q: It can be difficult to distinguish private land from public land. What should hunters remember as they are out hunting this fall?

A: It is your responsibility as a hunter to know whether or not you are hunting on private or public lands.

Hunters who are interested in hunting on private land or need to access private property to retrieve downed game should “Always Ask First.”

Many landowners are very accommodating and enjoy opening up their land to hunters.

Trespassing is the most frequent complaint landowners have against hunters.

Technically, any entry onto private property without landowner permission is considered trespass.

Failure to ask before hunting on private property can cut off access to these lands in the future and significantly impact hunting opportunities throughout Minnesota.

Many landowners also conduct habitat management programs on their property.

Asking first will ensure that hunters do not interfere with those private land management activities.

Additional trespass information can be found in the 2010 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook starting on page six.