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Deadline is Thursday for deer permit lottery areas

September 5, 2011

by Chris Schultz

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. 8, deadline established by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Deadlines for firearm and muzzleloader special hunts also are Sept. 8.

Lottery either-sex permits

Hunters can apply for an either-sex permit in lottery deer areas using both their firearm and muzzleloader licenses.

Although a hunter can be selected for both permits, successful applicants still can only take one deer.

The change for 2011 is that the either-sex permit will be valid for both the firearm and muzzleloader season; however, a hunter must have a valid license for that season and the bag limit remains one deer per year.

2011 lottery deer areas are 103, 108, 119, 234, 235, 237, 238, 250, 251, 252, 253, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 294, 295, 296 and 299.

“Every year we estimate deer numbers using a population model that considers harvest and over-winter survival,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator. “We use that information to determine which areas will 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.

Firearm and muzzleloader special hunts

For special hunts, a person may draw both a firearm and muzzleloader permit.

This year, the special hunt tables are not printed in the regulations book.

A complete list is available online at mndnr.gov/deer.

All lottery winners will receive permits via U.S. mail.

Hunters may apply for an either-sex permit through any DNR license agent, online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense, or by calling 888-665-4236.

Crow River annual clean up day Sept. 17

The eighth annual Crow River Clean Up Day will take place Saturday, Sept. 17 in the communities around the watershed.

For more information on the Crow River Clean Up Day, contact Diane Sander at diane.sander@mn.nacdnet.net.

Roadside wildlife counts released Tuesday
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will release its annual roadside wildlife survey on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

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.

Special mentored youth/women pheasant hunt Oct. 23
From the DNR

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, this is for you.

Pheasants Forever has teamed up with the DNR to provide a special mentored pheasant hunt in Minnesota Sunday, Oct. 23.

This is a great opportunity to learn about hunting techniques, skills, safety, and wildlife habitat.

Applicants will be randomly drawn by lottery to participate in the county of your choice.

Applications must be received by Wednesday, Sept. 8.

For additional information, e-mail Michael.Kurre@state.mn.us, or check out the DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

Firewood restriction n effect on state land
From the DNR

With the recent find of emerald ash borer (EAB) in Winona County and the city of La Crescent, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds campers that only firewood purchased at a state park or from a DNR-approved vendor may be brought onto any DNR-administered lands.

This is to prevent the spread of forest pests such as EAB, which can catch a ride to new locations when infested firewood is moved.

“Minnesota is a prime target for EAB, with nearly 1 billion ash trees,” said Susan Burks, DNR invasive species program coordinator. “Remember, the best firewood is local firewood. Help stop the movement of forest pests.”

Minnesotans should take the following steps to keep EAB and other forest pests from spreading.

• don’t bring firewood along on a camping trip
• buy wood locally from an approved vendor
• leave extra firewood onsite and don’t bring it home.

For a list of approved firewood vendors, visit the DNR website.

The receipt supplied by the approved vendor must be retained as proof of purchase.

Visitors bringing unapproved firewood onto DNR-administered lands, including wood brought from home, must surrender it and may be subject to a $100 fine. More firewood information is available online.

Those camping on state forest land outside of a designated campground may gather dead wood on the ground for campfire use on-site.

In state parks and designated campgrounds in state forests, visitors are prohibited from scavenging dead wood.
EAB in Minnesota

In 2009, EAB was found in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul.

In 2010, it was found in the Prospect Park East River Road neighborhood of Minneapolis and the Upper Mississippi River Fish and Wildlife Area of Houston County.

This year, EAB was found in the cities of Shoreview and La Crescent, along with Great River Bluff State Park in Winona County.

To slow the spread of EAB, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has quarantined Hennepin, Houston, Ramsey and Winona counties.

Movement of the following items is prohibited out of these quarantined counties:

• firewood from hardwood trees
• entire ash trees
• ash limbs and branches
• ash logs or untreated ash lumber with bark attached
• uncomposted ash chips and uncomposted ash bark chips greater than 1 inch in two of three dimensions.

Details of the quarantine can be found online.

EAB Background

While EAB spreads slowly on its own, it can move long distances when people transport firewood or other wood products infested with the larvae.

EAB is an invasive beetle that attacks and kills ash trees. Its larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and cutting off the tree’s supply of water and nutrients.

Since its accidental introduction into North America, EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees in 15 states and Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

Deer reported by Oronoco landowner tests negative for CWD
From the DNR

A white-tailed deer, recently discovered in southeastern Minnesota near Oronoco, exhibited some symptoms consistent with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) but was not infected with the disease.

“We appreciate the public awareness about the disease and its potential effects on the deer population,” said Lou Cornicelli, big game program coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “We are relieved this animal did not have CWD.”

A landowner observed the adult male deer on his property walking in a tight circle for a long period of time.

He reported the deer to the DNR, which euthanized the animal and took it to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Lab for testing.

Deer showing signs of possibly having CWD always are tested when discovered, Cornicelli said.

This is the first sick deer found and tested in the CWD zone – which stretches from Wanamingo, Zumbrota and Zumbro Falls southward to Kasson, Byron and Rochester – since sharpshooting ended last winter.

None of the 1,181 deer tested in the area have tested positive for the disease.

The CWD zone was established earlier this year after an archery hunter harvested a CWD-positive deer in November 2010.

Sampling was conducted last winter, and a deer feeding ban was enacted.

Efforts to continue to monitor the area for additional cases of CWD and measures to help prevent its potential spread are in place for the fall hunting season.

“White-tailed deer contract a variety of diseases that express neurological symptoms,” Cornicelli said. “Further testing is ongoing to determine what affected this animal.”

Individuals should continue to notify DNR if they see a deer exhibiting CWD-like symptoms, which can include walking in circles, drooling, staggering, emaciation and a lack of fear toward humans.

More information about CWD, the DNR’s fall surveillance plans, and new regulations for the CWD zone in southeastern Minnesota are available online at mndnr.gov/cwd.

Nebraska angler found with 21 walleyes over the legal limit
From the DNR

A Nebraska angler was fined almost $1,200 after a 700 mile fishing trip to northern Minnesota’s Lake of the Woods resulted in an over-limit.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conservation officer Robert Gorecki of Baudette was patrolling the nearly 350,000-acre lake July 31, when he came across James E. Thomsen, 68, of Ashland, NE.

The officer asked Thomsen how the fishing was.

“When I began asking about how many fish he had in possession, he got nervous,” said Gorecki.

The current daily and possession limit on Lake of the Woods is six walleyes and not more than one walleye more than 28 inches.

At Thomsen’s resort cabin, Gorecki found a freezer containing 53 fillets, or 27 walleyes.

Thomsen admitted that several of the fish were over the 28-inch slot limit.

He was charged with a gross over-limit of 21 walleyes, and told he would have to make a court appearance.

After the officer spoke with the Lake of the Woods county attorney the following morning, the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor, but the fine and the restitution amounts remained the same as a gross misdemeanor.

Thomsen agreed, paid $1,165 in fine and restitution ($535 fine, and $630 restitution), and pled guilty to the violation.

“After he paid the fine, I assisted Mr. Thomsen in hooking his boat trailer to his vehicle, and he left for home. I’m not sure if we will see him here again anytime soon,” Gorecki said.

Anyone witnessing a fishing or wildlife violation is encouraged to contact the nearest conservation officer or law enforcement agency or call the toll-free Turn-In-Poacher (TIP) hotline at 800-652-9093.

The hotline is available to most cell phone users in Minnesota.

Contact the Minnesota State Patrol or a DNR regional or area office for the name and phone number of the nearest conservation officer.

CO weekly reports
From the DNR

• CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers in Stearns and Wright counties.
CO Mies worked on a wetland and boating complaint. CO Mies assisted with an ASI work crew.

• CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) attended a regional meeting in Rogers.
Reller also worked boat and water details in Wright and Sherburne counties, as well as Isanti and Chisago counties.
Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, watercraft registration, PFD violations, and allowing illegal operation of an ATV by juvenile.

• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) attended a regional meeting and training.
Boaters were checked all week for illegal transportation of aquatic invasive species and failure to remove drain plugs from their watercraft.
A TIP call was investigated on hunters shooting geese in a wheat field; it turned out to be kids shooting barn pigeons.
Many calls were returned on hunting questions, most of them pertaining to deer hunting regulations.

• CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) attended a regional meeting in Rogers.
She worked the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes and Mississippi River by bike checking shore fishing activity.
She attended an invasive species law enforcement class and worked public accesses on Lake Minnetonka for invasive species violations.
A waters complaint was also handled.

• CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling and boating activity.
Additional time was spent checking and advising boaters of invasive species.
Hatlestad also checked ATV activity, attended required training, and spoke at a FAS class in Eden Valley.

• CO Angela Graham (Hutchinson) attended the Gopher Campfire Youth Conservation Day with the TIP trailer, and a district qualification shoot.
Officer Graham also checked ATVs, boaters, and anglers that reported having very limited success.

• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) attended firearms qualification and defensive tactics training this week.
Time was also spent setting up the Wall of Shame at Gopher Campfire for Youth Conservation Day.
CO Oberg also spoke at an ATV safety class in Gaylord this week.
Invasive species and angling enforcement was also worked throughout the week.