Hunting seasons to open soon

August 22, 2011

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR

Minnesota’s dove, rail and snipe seasons – the first small game hunting seasons of the fall – will open Thursday, Sept. 1, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The state’s sandhill crane and early goose seasons open Saturday, Sept. 3, followed by the small game and archery deer seasons Saturday, Sept. 17.

The duck season opens Saturday, Sept. 24, the pheasant season Saturday, Oct. 15, prairie chicken (by permit only) Saturday, Oct. 22 and the statewide firearms deer season Saturday, Nov. 5.

Youth waterfowl day is Saturday, Sept. 10, and Take a Kid Hunting Weekend is Sept. 24-25.

“Before long, the crisp mornings and the sight of orange- or camo-clad hunters will be common again,” said Dennis Simon, DNR wildlife chief. “Hunters should take a good look at the regulation book this year as a number of season, bag limit, and other changes have been implemented in the name of opportunity and simplicity.”

The 2011 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook is available online at mndnr.gov.

Copies soon will be available wherever hunting licenses are sold.

Simon said ruffed grouse, waterfowl, and deer numbers look good this year.

Pheasant numbers, he predicted, will be down from last year.

This is due to mortality from last winter’s deep snow and tough winter roosting conditions, plus a protracted cool, rainy spring that reduced survival rates of newly hatched chicks.

Other information hunters should know includes:

• Walk In Access (WIA) program: Lands enrolled and posted in this new program will be open to public hunting from Sept. 1 through May 31.

• Take a Kid Hunting Weekend: This annual event will coincide with duck season opener. Adult residents accompanied by a youth under age 16 may hunt small game without a license or Minnesota waterfowl stamp on Sept. 24-25.

• Sandhill cranes: The state’s second sandhill crane hunting season will open Sept 3. It is limited to the northwest goose zone in northwestern Minnesota. A valid small game license and sandhill crane hunting permit ($3) are required. The agency is preparing a sandhill crane management plan to guide the bird’s future management in Minnesota. This will include identifying any additional crane breeding monitoring or assessment needs.

• Chronic Wasting Disease: CWD’s presence in southeastern Minnesota has prompted several regulatory changes, including the creation of a new CWD management area called Area 602. Deer harvested in this area will be subject to mandatory sampling for certain deer, as well as additional transportation requirements.

• Hunter Choice: This new deer area designation will allow hunters to take one either-sex deer without having to enter the either-sex deer permit lottery or possess an either-sex permit.

• Apprentice Hunter Validation Program: This program, which previously allowed a one-year exemption from firearms safety certification, has been changed to allow a two-year exemption.

• Handgun possession: The possession of a handgun by a person authorized to carry and possess other firearms not legal for big game is allowed while muzzleloader hunting.

• Early antlerless deer season: This season is not being offered this year. If necessary, it will be offered in 2012.

• Deer stands: The 16-foot height restriction for elevated stands has been removed.

• Site Validation coupons: These will be required for trappers harvesting fisher, pine marten and river otter.

• Bear baiting: Drums may be used on private land.

A complete calendar of hunting and fishing season openers, closings and lottery application deadlines is available online at www.mndnr.gov.

LP Sportsmen’s Club trapshooting shoot-offs Wednesday

The Lester Prairie Sportsmen’s Club will be having its trap league shoot-offs Wednesday, Aug. 25.

The Ringers won both the first half and second half titles, and are the champions in Class AA.

In Class A, first half champions Dobrava Brothers will face second half champs Gutter Helmet.

Kramer Agency won the first half title in Class B, and will face second-half winner Garber’s Meats.

In Class C, first-half champs North Central Ambulance will square off against second-half champions One Eyed Snipers.

Lastly, in Class D, there will be no shoot-off as Dodge House #2 were declared the champions.

Upcoming events planned at Waverly Gun Club

Waverly Gun Club will host the following events during the month of August.

• Ladies night, Tuesday, Aug. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m.

• Conceal and carry class has been rescheduled from a two-day class to one day only Sunday, Aug. 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To register, call Kevin at (763) 242-4553.

• Black= powder shoot is Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13 and 14. Individual competition is Saturday, team competition Sunday and cannon and mortar competition begins at noon Sunday, Aug. 14. There is no admission and the public is welcome.

More information can be found at www.waverlygunclub.com.

Gopher Campfire Youth Conservation Field Day Aug. 27
Press Release

Gopher Campfire will once again be hosting the popular Youth Conservation Field Day event, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 27.

During the event, future outdoor conservation members can participate in supervised shooting sports, as well as learn why conservation is so important for the future of wildlife in our state.

Activities available to participants include trap shooting, archery, .22 Rifles, BB guns, .22 Pistols, and black powder.

Conservation Education is also an important part of the day, with the DNR’s traveling “Wall of Shame” on display, which features mounts of poached animals that were turned in with the help of the DNR’s TIP line.

“Youth involvement is a key part of our state’s outdoor future,” says event organizer Milan Godejahn, “and this event is all about connecting our area youth to the outdoors through activities that they might not normally get to experience. Our hope is to spark interest in youngsters, and connect them to area resources that can help them safely enjoy the outdoors for a long time to come.”

Doors open at 9 a.m. for registration, the event begins at 10 a.m., and youth ages 6 to 17 are welcome to participate.

The cost for the day is $5 per person. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Youth Conservation Day is sponsored by: Little Crow Archery Club; McLeod County Pheasants Forever; National Wild Turkey Federation (Crow River Cutters Chapter); Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (Crow River Chapter); Conservation Partners of America (Central Sibley Chapter); Buffalo Lake Rod and Gun Club; and Gopher Campfire Club.

For more information, call Duane Thorpe (320) 237-6930 or email ddthorpe1@mchsi.com.

Applications for Lac qui Parle controlled hunt accepted today
From the DNR

Beginning today (Monday), goose hunters can apply to reserve a date to hunt from a blind in the controlled zone at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNRs’) Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area.

Applications postmarked between Monday, Aug. 22, and Wednesday, Sept. 14, will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Reservations to hunt in the controlled zone only will be accepted for hunting dates from Thursday, Oct. 20, to Wednesday, Nov. 30.

To apply, hunters must submit a standard 3-1/2 inch by 5-1/2 inch postcard with their full name and address.

They also must list their first and second choice of hunting dates.

The limit is one postcard per hunter.

Send postcards to: Controlled Hunt, Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area, 14047 20th St. NW, Watson, MN, 56295.

Successful applicants will receive notification by mail designating the date of their hunt.

Hunters may bring one or two guests.

All hunters in the Lac qui Parle controlled hunting zone who are 18 and older will be charged a $3 fee on the day of their hunt, to partially cover controlled hunt expenses.

The DNR will assign goose-hunting stations during a drawing on the morning of the hunt.

The regular Canada goose season will be 85 days at Lac qui Parle starting Saturday, Sept. 24, and follow the same split season closures as the regular waterfowl season.

Prior to Oct. 20, the Lac qui Parle State Game Refuge will be closed to waterfowl hunting.

From Thursday, Dec. 1, until the end of the goose season, hunters still can use designated hunting blinds but access will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, call the Lac qui Parle headquarters at (320) 734-4451.

Prairie chicken, fall turkey licenses available Sept. 19
From the DNR

Prairie chicken hunters who were unsuccessful in this year’s lottery for the prairie chicken hunting season may apply for a very limited number of surplus permits starting at noon on Monday, Sept. 19, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

Likewise, fall turkey hunters who were unsuccessful in this year’s lottery for the fall turkey hunting season may apply for a surplus permit starting at noon on Monday, Sept. 19.

Five prairie chicken permit areas have surplus permits. Area 801 has nine, area 803 has four, area 804 has two, area 808 has three and area 811 has one.

Nearly 7,000 fall turkey permits are still available. This year’s fall turkey season runs from Oct. 1-30.

The DNR makes surplus permits available at all Electronic Licensing System (ELS) outlets and online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense.

Information on surplus license availability and the status of lottery applications is available online at mndnr.gov/hunting.

Hunters who did not enter the lottery will be able to purchase any remaining surplus licenses beginning at noon Thursday, Sept. 22.

Because hunting access in many zones is limited, hunters should obtain landowner permission before getting a leftover permit.

A hunter who obtains a surplus permit does not lose any existing preference for future lottery drawings.

Virus cause of June carp kill in Minnehaha Regional Park
From the DNR

Spring Viremia of Carp (SVC), a notifiable disease to the World Organization for Animal Health, is the confirmed cause of a fish kill that occurred during June in Minnehaha Creek.

The kill, which involved 200-300 carp, occurred June 15 along a stretch of Minnehaha Creek within Minnehaha Regional Park.

SVC is a serious fish disease that primarily affects carp; however, it also can affect other species including bluegill and largemouth bass.

The virus has been found in the United States on eight other occasions, including an isolation from the Mississippi River’s Pool 8 near Dresbach in 2007.

“The discovery of this virus reinforces the importance of new laws designed to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and fish diseases by prohibiting the transfer of water between water bodies,” said Paula Phelps, aquaculture and fish health consultant for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“Spring Viremia of Carp can be spread through waters, so it is very important not to move live fish or water between water bodies.”

She added that all unused bait should be disposed of in a trash can, not in the water or on the ground.

DNR fisheries staff collected samples on June 16 for diagnostic testing at the DNR’s pathology lab.

The University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, and subsequently the National Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the SVC diagnosis.

Since June 15, no additional fish kills have been reported to the DNR.

Future monitoring is planned to determine the possible geographic range of SVC within Minnesota.

Testing will occur when water temperatures, which are too warm now, are optimal for isolating any virus present.

Those who discover a fish kill should call the state duty officer at 800-422-0798 and provide the name of the lake, river or stream; the date of discovery; the fish species affected; and the approximate number of dead or dying fish.

The public should not collect samples from a fish kill.

Learn more about SVC and other fish diseases online at www.mndnr.gov/fish_diseases.

MN Conservation Volunteer magazine archives online
From the DNR

Since 1940, Minnesota Conservation Volunteer (MCV) magazine has been a chronicle of Minnesota’s woods, waters and wildlife.

Today, the entire archive of this flagship publication of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is only a mouse click away.

Thanks to a partnership with Minnesota Historical Society and a grant made possible by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, every issue of MCV published over the past 70 years has been scanned and is available as a searchable PDF file.

“Minnesota Conservation Volunteer tells stories that connect people to the natural world,” said Editor-in-Chief Kathleen Weflen. “Now, with this online archive, the world has access to all of these stories. It’s a wealth of cultural and natural history.”

The completion of MCV’s digital access project provides scientists, journalists, historians, educators, students and members of the general public with a unique record of the state’s conservation challenges and efforts by the DNR and its conservation partners to address them.

The archives, which can be found at www.mndnr.gov/magazine, are searchable by article, author and subject.

Users can then choose to either download the article or the entire issue.

The Conservation Volunteer was first published in October 1940 by the then-Department of Conservation for the citizens of Minnesota and, in particular, for a group dubbed Conservation Volunteers.

During the magazine’s history, many MCV stories have been penned by well-known writers, including Michael Furtman, Paul Gruchow, Charles Kuralt, Barry Lopez, Grace Lee Nute, Sigurd Olson, Thomas S. Roberts and Will Weaver.

The magazine has featured the work of notable Minnesota artists, such as Walter Breckenridge, Patrick DesJarlait, Les Kouba and Vera Ming Wong.

Accomplished photographers such as Jim Brandenburg, Layne Kennedy, Bill Marchel and Richard Hamilton Smith frequently contribute their work to MCV.

Weflen said, “The MCV archive can help users discover the history of natural resource management and how it has shaped today’s lands and water.”

DNR seeks public input on moose management plan
From the DNR

Citizens interested in Minnesota moose can now provide input on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNRs’) proposed moose research and management plan.

The public comment period begins Aug.15 and ends Sept. 30. Comments will be taken online only.

The draft plan incorporates many of the recommendations of the 18-member Moose Advisory Committee, which was a group of individuals from diverse backgrounds who all had an interest in the future of moose in Minnesota.

The public can review the committee’s final report and the draft plan, and provide proposal feedback online at www.mndnr.gov/moose.

Additional comments can be emailed to wildlife.dnr@state.mn.us.

“Moose are an important species in Minnesota and the observed population declines are cause for concern,” said Lou Cornicelli, big game program coordinator.”It is our hope that this plan helps DNR prioritize research and management that benefits moose populations.”

Public input will be reviewed and considered in September and October.

The final Minnesota moose research and management plan will be completed in the fall.

CO weekly reports
From the DNR

• CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) attended training and participated in an AIS work crew in Chisago County.
Wright County lakes were slow compared to past years at this time due the high water and the “No Wake” ordinance on most lakes.

• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) assisted Carver County Sheriff’s Department on a shooting complaint in Carver.
He worked the Minnesota River catfish tournament and checked anglers on special regulation lakes.
Boaters were checked all week for illegally transporting invasive species and failure to remove drain plugs.

• CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) worked a boat and water safety detail on the St. Croix River with CO Block.
She followed up on a TIP call on the Minnesota River.
Shore fishermen were checked along area lakes.

• CO Angela Graham (Hutchinson) checked anglers and boaters on local lakes who stated that area fishing has been poor.
Officer Graham also patrolled state and county parks, state trails, and public accesses.

• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports working angling, boating and invasive enforcement in the area.
CO Oberg spoke to a FAS class in Silver Lake.
August roadside counts were also handled.

• CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling, boating, and PWC activity.
Additional time was spent checking and advising boaters of invasive species.
Hatlestad also assisted DNR Wildlife with pheasant counts.