Crow River/Winsted Ducks Unlimited banquet April 18

April 11, 2011

by Chris Schultz

The Crow River/Winsted Ducks Unlimited Chapters will have its 31st annual banquet Monday, April 18 at the Blue Note Ballroom in Winsted.

Space is limited to the event, so to get your tickets, contact Scott Schmidt at (320) 543-2498.

No tickets will be sold at the door, so to go you must purchase your tickets in advance.

LP firearms safety classes coming up

Firearm Safety Class will be take place Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning Tuesday, April 26 in Lester Prairie.

The class is open to ages 11 and up and will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lester Prairie Sportsman’s Club.

If you have any questions or want to sign up, call Doug Minnick at (320) 395-2143 or (320) 224-5942.

Firearms safety classes in Winsted

The Winsted Sportsmen’s Club will be offering firearms’ safety classes starting Monday, April 11.

The classes will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Blue Note in Winsted, and is for anyone 12 years old or older by Sept. 1, 2011. Adults are welcome.

The class will run for three weeks, and you sign up at the first meeting April 11.

The cost is $10, with checks made payable to the Winsted Sportsmen’s Club.

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

Youth trapshooting registration at the Buffalo Gun Club

The Buffalo Gun Club Youth Trapshooting Program (BGCYP) is getting ready to start.

BGCYP registration will take place Tuesday, April 19 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Buffalo Gun Club (located on Hwy 55 E just past Target).

Created in 2007, the BGCYP provides youth shooters an opportunity to learn the sport of trapshooting in a safe, positive learning environment.

The program is headed by Coach Mark Stevens, an ATA/NRA Certified Shotgun Coach, and co-recipient of the Amateur Trapshooting Association’s 2008 Coach of the Year award.

Together with BGC President Wally Shelstad and a group of dedicated volunteers, including several ATA/NRA registered coaches, more than 135 youth shooters have attended the program since its inception.

This year the BGCYP is once again proud to partner with AIM, the official youth program of the Amateur Trapshooting Association.

The purpose of AIM is to provide a safe and positive experience with firearms and registered trapshooting for youth, elementary school through college age.

AIM encourages good sportsmanship and personal responsibility through competition while establishing the foundation to make trapshooting a lifelong avocation.

A limited number of spots are available for youth shooters and attendance at the registration night is mandatory.

Minimum age to participate is 11 years old.

Thanks to a generous donation by the Wright County Friends of the NRA, BLESS (Brandon Lanie Ethical Sportsmen Society), as well as individual donors, the cost to participate is only $150/youth shooter.

This includes 10 weeks of instruction with two rounds of trap per week, 20 boxes of shotgun shells, instruction both in and out of the classroom, and more.

The program is held each Tuesday, beginning April 26, with a mandatory gun safety and trapshooting education class.

Many other voluntary opportunities for competition are available, including participation at the Minnesota State Shoot in July and five youth-specific trapshooting competitions.

For more information, check out the website at www.buffalogunclubyouth.org or call Coach Stevens at (612) 703-6155.

MN DNR clarifies seasonal closures that protect walleye
From the DNR

Only small portions of some Cook County lakes and streams along the Minnesota-Ontario border that traditionally hold concentrations of spawning walleye will be closed to fishing during the early part of the upcoming season, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

These closures, the majority of which occur annually and are required by law, will not delay the walleye fishing opener on Saturday, May 14, on all other Cook County lakes and streams.

Closed areas, concentrated along the Gunflint Trail northwest of Grand Marias, remain open for travel but are closed to fishing for short periods each year to prevent potential over-harvest of walleye that congregate during the spawning season.

Closures on the border waters, required by state law and done in cooperation with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, are enforced in Minnesota and Ontario.

All areas closed to fishing will be posted.

As in past years, the following areas were closed to fishing on Friday, April 1:

• Sea Gull River from Sea Gull Lake through Gull Lake to Saganaga Lake approximately 1/3 mile north of the narrows will be closed through May 27

• Saganaga Falls on the Minnesota Ontario border where the Granite River enters Saganaga Lake will be closed through May 31

• Maligne River (also known as Northern Light Rapids) on the Ontario side of Saganaga Lake will be closed through May 31

• Channel between Little Gunflint and Little North lakes on the Minnesota-Ontario border will be closed through May 31

• Cross River (inlet to Gunflint Lake) from the Gunflint Trail to Gunflint Lake will be closed through May 27.

The following areas will be closed to fishing from Saturday, May 14, through Friday, May 27:

• Tait River from White Pine Lake to the Forest Road 340 crossing, including a portion of White Pine Lake

• Junco Creek from the first log dam above County Road 57 downstream to Devil Track Lake, and including a portion of Devil Track Lake near the river mouth.

Wavery Gun Club upcoming events

The Waverly Gun Club will be hosting Ladies Night along with a conceal and carry training.

For more information or to register, call Kevin at (763) 242-4553.

The Waverly Gub Club is at 4465 DeSota Ave. SW, Waverly.

• Ladies Night begins Tuesday, May 10, and will continue the second Tuesday of every month.

It runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and will go on rain or shine. You may shoot from the comfort of a shelter.

You may bring your own center fire handgun and ammunition, if you prefer, otherwise .22 cal. pistols, rifles, targets, and ammuntion are provided at no charge.

A NRA-Certified Range Safety Officer will be present on the shooting line, with instruction available upon request.

Targets for hanguns will be from 7 to 25 yards out, with rifle targets at 50 yards.

• Conceal and carry training will be Monday, April 18 and Wednesday, April 20.

Both nights will run from 6 to 10 p.m., with the class taking a total of eight hours.

This course fulfills the required training to apply for a Minnesota handgun “permit to carry.”

The cost of the class is $100 for the eight total hours, and will conclude with a range instruction/practice/skills test, and a written test.

The course will go over firearm safety, firearms and the law, an introduction to defensive shooting, and basic defensive handgun skills.

No CWD-positive deer detected during sampling effort
From the DNR

Winter sampling is complete in southeastern Minnesota and none of 1,180 deer taken during the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) disease surveillance effort tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

“We looked hard and found nothing,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game coordinator. “This suggests the infection rate is low, which is very good news.”

Landowners and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sharpshooters took 752 yearling or older deer during the sampling.

The DNR also tested 87 deer that died from vehicle collisions or other means.

The DNR initiated sharpshooting this winter following the discovery of a CWD-positive deer in November in the Pine Island area.

Shooting permits for 315 landowners expired Feb. 28.

USDA sharpshooting ended April 1.

All laboratory tests were completed Wednesday, April 6.

Most landowners kept the deer they shot.

Deer taken by sharpshooters were donated to individuals who signed up to receive them.

Cornicelli praised local landowners for their cooperation in the surveillance effort.

“They opened their lands. They shot deer. They helped in so many ways. We thank them for that and look forward to working with them in the future,” he said.

All sampling efforts took place within a 10-mile radius of where an archery hunter harvested the a CWD-positive deer in November.

Thus far, it is the only wild deer to test positive for CWD in Minnesota.

Cornicelli said the removal of more than a thousand deer from the Pine Island area will minimize the potential for the disease to spread from animal to animal.

With the winter surveillance period over, DNR will begin planning for changes to this fall’s deer season in the area.

Those plans will be announced later this spring but hunters can expect a new CWD management zone, mandatory sample submission, carcass transport restrictions, liberalized seasons and increased bag limits.

Details of these changes and other CWD information will be posted on the DNR’s website at mndnr.gov/cwd.

CWD is a fatal animal brain disease.

The National Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have found no scientific evidence that the disease presents a health risk to humans.

The disease is found in 14 other states and two Canadian provinces, including Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Outdoor notes

• I’m hoping to see many of you at next week’s DU banquet in Winsted and we should all be happy and proud of the efforts of the now joined Crow River and Winsted DU chapters.

• The Lester Prairie Sportsmen’s Club opens for trapshooting Wednesday, April 13.

The club is planning a grand opening event for the newly remodeled clubhouse.

To join the trapshooting league or for more information on the club, call (320) 395-2258.

• The spring migration is underway and already a good share of it is over.

In the past few weeks several readers have reported seeing good numbers of canvasback, shovelers, swans, Canada geese, and buffalo head.

We can expect to good numbers of migrating bald eagles in our area very soon.

• Look for ice out to occur on many of our smaller lakes sometime late this week or early next week.

The spring crappie bite will follow immediately after.

• The Dakota Line Regional Trail System in McLeod County took a big step forward a few weeks ago with the completion of a grant application to improve the trail from the Carver County line through the City of Lester Prairie to McLeod County Highway 1.

• Take the time to watch spring happen, before you know it the grass will be green and the trees full of leaves.

• Good luck to all the spring turkey hunters, and Minnesota bear hunt application are now available online and at local license vendors.

• Take a kid hunting or fishing; he or she will have fun, and so will you.