Spring turkey hunting application deadline is Friday

January 10, 2011

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR

Hunters who want to get in the field early for the 2010 spring turkey hunt must apply by Friday, Jan. 14, wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.

This spring’s hunt will consist of six five-day and two seven-day seasons.

All resident and nonresident wild turkey hunters interested in hunting this spring must apply electronically via the Internet, or by telephone toll-free at (888) 665-4236 (MNLICENSE).

Resident hunters must pay a nonrefundable $3 application fee at the time of application while nonresidents must pay a nonrefundable $3.50 transaction fee.

Key changes include:
• Licenses for the last two time periods will be sold over-the-counter only;
• Hunters no longer must indicate a second choice of season on the application and;
• Youth 17 and younger by April 13, 2011, are not eligible to participate in the lottery and should purchase a license for the season of their choice over-the-counter.

Additional details are available online at mndnr.gov/hunting/turkey.

Dutch Lake ice fishing contest Jan. 22

Dutch Lake, south of Howard Lake, will be the site for the second annual Dutch and Mallard Pass Lake Association ice fishing contest Saturday, Jan. 22.

The contest will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with registrations taken at the boat landing prior to the contest.

The cost of the contest is $10, with a $100 top prize. Drawings will take place for additional prizes.

For additional information on the contest, go to www.dmpla.org.

St. Michael 13th annual ice fishing contest Feb. 5

The annual St. Michael Lions Club Ice Fishing Contest is a go this year.

The contest will take place at Beebe Lake Saturday, Feb. 5, from noon to 3 p.m.– they will have expanded our the area.

The contest is open to all. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 16 and under.

This years raffle prizes include a gas powered ice auger, Vexilar FL20 Ultra, fishing equipment, and various gift certificates.

Tickets can be purchased at Dehmer’s Meats, Hardware Hank, Lion members, as well as other local businesses in St. Michael.

The Lions and Boy Scouts will be offering food, coffee, and sodas.

This will be an excellent opportunity to bring the whole family for an afternoon of fun conversation and fishing.

For more information call Kent Johnson at (763) 497-5376 or check out the website at www.stm-lions.org.

Dassel Rod and Gun Club seeking donations

The Dassel Rod and Gun Club is seeking donations of either money, or corn to keep their wildlife feeding program going.

Due to the high cost of corn, their fund is nearly depleted. They will provide the feed at their clubhouse on the north side of Lake Washington.

Members will also set up, and maintain feeding stations as long as possible.

All of the donations received will be used to feed wildlife.

Due to the unusually heavy snowfall this early in the season, there is a definite need to save as much of the wildlife as possible.

Monetary donations can be made out to the Dassel Rod and Gun Club Wildlife Fund, and mailed to PO Box 239, Dassel, MN 55325.

Donations of corn can either be dropped off at their clubhouse, or one of their members will be happy to pick it up.

Call (320) 221-3005 if you have any questions, or wish for us to pick up corn.

The wildlife and the Dassel Rod and Gun Club thank you for your support.

Conservation officers tales from MN
From the DNR

• Bull in the woods
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) found the location where a big bull moose destroyed a couple of white pines with his antlers, then moved onto a poplar tree and left rub marks over six feet high.

Remnants of the trees were scattered on the freshly fallen snow.

• The truth is blowing in the wind
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) received a call of an injured bear, which was possibly caught in a trap.

CO Warren investigated the area and was unable to locate the bear or any tracks in the area.

Later, a homeowner in the area offered a possible explanation as a black plastic bag was located stuck on a fence and blowing in the wind.

• Oh, deer
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) received a call regarding a deer, which was seen near a person’s deer feeder with an apparent broken leg, which the caller believed to be from being struck by a vehicle.

When the officer suggested that it wasn’t a good idea to feed deer so close to a highway as it could create unnatural deer movement and do more harm than good, referencing the injured deer, he was told that the six deer at that person’s feeder never crossed the road and her deer wouldn’t let any other deer feed at her feeder, so that was not the case in this situation.

• And the violations just keep on coming
An individual who CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) knew from previous violations was observed with a cancelled driver’s license and an arrest warrant.

After the vehicle was stopped, it was learned that the man was in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

He had also been fishing illegally as his fishing license privileges were revoked as well for violations the officer had previously encountered.

• Come on fella’s, think about it
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) assisted with a fish harassment case on Mille Lacs Lake.

There was an argument about a fishing spot on a 152,000 acre lake.

• Get off of my trail
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that a man encountered a mangy wolf on a snowmobile trail.

The wolf refused to leave the trail so the man followed at a safe distance until there was a wide spot for him to pass.

As he passed the wolf, it lunged at him and snapped.

Conservation officers reports from area
From the DNR

• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) inspected aeration systems on area lakes.
Anglers were checked all week but very few were out due to poor ice conditions.
Several car injured deer had to be dispatched.
Snowmobile trails were patrolled all week.
Trails crossing ditches and creeks have open water from all the rain and are causing several sleds to drop into the water.

• CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling and spearing activity.
Additional time was spent checking ATV and snowmobile activity.

• CO Angela Graham (Hutchinson) checked anglers, snowmobilers, pheasant, and coyote hunters.
Officer Graham also spoke at snowmobile safety classes, and took calls on shooting from the road as well as trespassing.

DNR seeks comments on hunting rules
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is accepting comments through Feb. 28, on proposed changes and additions to various hunting-related rules.

The proposals cover a variety of subjects including wildlife management areas, game refuges furbearer hunting, turkey hunting, waterfowl hunting and minor changes to habitat stamp contest judging rules.

“Many of the rule changes included in this package have been discussed and supported at past public input meetings and are currently in effect as temporary rules,” said Jason Abraham, DNR season setting specialist. “In this process we’re making these rules permanent and we’re encouraging anyone with an interest in wildlife to comment.”

Additional information about the rules process is available online at mndnr.gov/input/rules/wildliferules.

Provisions being proposed in this rule package include:

• Modify various special provisions for wildlife management areas and state game, goose and waterfowl refuges.
• Modifying season for hunting and trapping raccoon, fox, badger and opossum.
• Clarify snaring provisions.
• Modify provisions for transporting and possessing incidentally taken fisher, otter, pine marten or bobcat.
• Establish a 30-day fall turkey season and modify requirements for muzzleloaders used in turkey hunting.
• Modify goose zones, season dates and provisions for hunting on refuges to reflect a lengthened Canada goose season and the elimination of the late Canada goose season.
• Modify application procedures, reproduction rights, design standards and judging requirements for pictorial stamp contests.

The DNR will accept written comments supporting or opposing the rule changes through 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 28.

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

Southeastern stream trout season offers break from ice fishing
From the DNR

While most Minnesota anglers focus on ice fishing, those hankering for some open water action might want to cast their attention toward southeastern Minnesota, where the stream trout season opened Jan. 1.

The southeast’s catch-and-release winter trout fishing season, which runs through March 31, is the result of the increasing popularity of trout fishing and requests from anglers to expand the number of streams open to winter fishing.

Currently, about 135 miles on 38 streams are open to winter trout angling.

“Winter stream trout fishing provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy the outdoors during the heart of winter, and it sharpens your angling skills,” said Steve Klotz, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) area fisheries supervisor at Lanesboro. “It’s highly challenging and great fun.”

Winter trout fishing may require the angler to experiment with different tactics, Klotz said.

As water temperatures drop, so does fish activity.

Every 10-degree temperature increase doubles the biological activity of the fish, so afternoon fishing often is the most productive.

Anglers should carry a thermometer with them.

Fish are most active at temperatures of 38 degrees and above.

Other tips that could increase an angler’s success:

• Fish slow and deep, trout are most often out of the main current flow.
• When fly fishing, effective patterns include scuds, midge pupa/larva, and small pheasant tail patterns. Fly anglers should watch for midge hatches that can increase trout feeding activity.
• For spinning and spincasting equipment, keep your reel cranking by using a Teflon lubricant that’s not affected by cold. Single hooks on spinners help keep fish handling to a minimum. Clipping one hook off of a treble also helps.
• With winter trout waters often crystal clear, trout grow wary, so keep a low profile. It’s often best to stay out of the water.
• Look for springs flowing into streams, where the water often is warmer.

At this time, only barbless hooks are allowed (crimped hooks are permitted) and fish handling should be kept to a minimum.

Trout should not be removed from the water for any longer than it takes to remove the hook and release it.

Anglers also should avoid walking in riffles, where trout eggs may be incubating.

The DNR implemented the winter trout fishing season in 1988 following improved water quality in the 1980s that created good natural trout reproduction in southeast coldwater streams.

The goal has been to provide additional recreational opportunities without harming the trout resource, which is particularly vulnerable during fall spawning and the stress of winter.

DNR creel surveys and other studies have shown that the winter catch-and-release season does not cause any negative impacts to trout populations.

Only select streams are open to winter fishing.

Those streams are listed in the 2010 Fishing Regulation booklet, in the brochure 2009 Trout Angling Opportunities in Southern and Central Minnesota, and on the DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishing.

A sampling of streams open for winter angling include:

• Fillmore County – Diamond Creek, Etna Creek, Gribben Creek, North Branch Creek, South Fork Root River, Torkelson Creek and Wisel Creek.
• Goodhue County – Hay Creek.
• Houston County – West Beaver Creek, Bee Creek, Crooked Creek, Daley Creek, Swede Bottom Creek and South Fork Crooked Creek.
• Winona County – Coolridge Creek, Ferguson Creek, Garvin Brook, Hemmingway Creek, West Branch Money Creek, Pine Creek, Rush Creek, Trout Run, Trout Valley, Whitewater River (Main, Middle and North branches)

Klotz advises anglers to remember that staying dry is the key to staying warm, so it’s important to be cautious when crossing streams or walking along snow covered banks, and to avoid walking on any ice that forms along the water’s edge.