The 13th annual Carver County youth wood duck box building day took place March 24, and was once again a huge success.
The event, hosted at Burns Excavating facility in Mayer, featured 200 free wood duck boxes built and given away.
Along with building wood duck boxes, there were many other activities for the kids to enjoy, such as a laser shoot game, duck identification, and archery.
Sponsors for the event include: Mayer Baseball Association, Watertown Rod and Gun Club, Hamburg Hunt & Fishing Club, Waconia Lions Club, the family of the late Bob Roepke, West Carver DU Committee members, Watertown Lion’s Club, New Germany Fire Department, Minnesota Valley Deer Hunters Association, Cologne Lions, Minnesota Waterfowl Association, and Carver County Pheasants Forever.
Winsted sportsmen’s club firearms safety classes coming up
The Winsted Sportsmen’s Club will be offering firearm safety classes starting Monday, April 9 at the Blue Note in Winsted.
You can sign-up at the first meeting April 9, and must be 12 years old by Sept. 1, 2012 to participate. Adults are also welcome.
Classes will take place Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays for three weeks, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
The cost is $10 and checks should be made out to the Winsted’s Sportsmen’s Club.
If you have any questions, or are looking for additional information, contact Steve Fiecke at (320) 485-2434.
Lake Mary Ice Out winners for 2012
The ice cover officially was 100 percent off Lake Mary March 19.
There were only four people that correctly picked the 19th of March as the ice-out date.
Three out of these four were randomly drawn for the first, second, and third place winners.
• First-place: Butch Wischnack, NYA $100
• Second-place: Richard (Dick) Fasching, Winsted $50
• Third-place: Rosie Rathmanner, Howard Lake $25
100% of the proceeds from this yearly contest are used for the sole purpose of stocking Lake Mary (bi-annually) with 6-inch fingerling walleye.
Thus far, with the combined efforts of the Winsted Sportsman’s Club, the Watertown Rod & Gun Club, and the Lake Mary Association, 14,600 walleye have been introduced into Lake Mary since 1999.
Firearms safety training in LP
There will be a firearms safety training class taking place at the Lester Prairie Sportsmen’s Club.
Registration for the class will be Tuesday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the LP Sportsmen’s Club, with classes beginning that evening.
The class will then run every Tuesday and Thursday night through early May.
For additional information, contact Doug Minnick at (320) 395-2143.
Volunteer water quality monitors needed
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is seeking volunteers at specific lakes and rivers in our area to work as water quality monitors.
For a list of sites needing volunteers, visit www.pca.state.mn.us/cmp or call 800-657-3864 or (651) 296-6300.
The history of ice out on Howard Lake
As was noted last week, the ice was officially off Howard Lake the morning of March 19.
While that was one of the earliest ice-off dates in the past 70 years, it wasn’t the earliest.
Back in 2000, the ice came off Howard Lake March 15, which is the earliest recorded time since 1950.
The second-earliest ice-off date came March 16, 1987.
The latest recorded ice-off date was in 1950, when there was ice on Howard up to May 2.
The ice usually comes off Howard around mid-April.
LP trapshooting league starting soon
The Lester Prairie Sportsmen’s Club is ready to kick off the 2012 trapshooting season.
Practice night will be Wednesday, April 11, with league shooting kicking off Wednesday, April 18.
For additional information, or to sign up a team, contact Ed Mlynar at (320) 395-2258.
Nine candidates hope to join the “Thin Green Line”
From the DNR
Nine conservation officer candidates started training Wednesday, March 28 as part of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ “Thin Green Line,” the vigilant protectors of the state’s natural resources.
It’s the first Conservation Officer Academy since 2008, and the thirteenth class since academy training began at Camp Ripley in 1994.
Currently, 20 of DNR’s 155 conservation officer field stations are vacant.
“This is a strong class of candidates that will be provided some of the best natural resources protection training in the nation,” said Col. Jim Konrad, DNR Enforcement director. “I’m confident that upon graduation these men and women will continue in the conservation officer tradition, willing and able to stand watch over our state’s valuable natural resources.”
The Conservation Officer Academy curriculum includes 12 weeks training in fish and wildlife laws, rules of evidence, patrol procedures, search and rescue, and fish and wildlife investigation.
The Minnesota Police and Peace Officer Training Board, the licensing agency for police officer training, has certified the classes.
Upon graduation, the new conservation officers will spend 16 weeks in field training with a veteran conservation officer before being assigned their first station.
Conservation officers ensure the future of natural resources opportunities for the people of Minnesota through responsible enforcement of appropriate laws, regulations and rules.
A normal station covers 650 square miles so conservation officers usually work alone and cover extensive and often remote areas of Minnesota.
Unlike most other law enforcement agencies, conservation officers seldom have backup support when they encounter potential lawbreakers.
Another academy is scheduled to begin this fall.
The following is a list of the nine Conservation Officer Candidates attending Academy 13:
• Amber Peterson, deputy, Anoka County Sheriff’s Department
• Scott Arntzen, police officer, Centennial Lake Police Department
• Jason Beckmann, police officer, Worthington Police Department
• Anthony Bermel, deputy, Olmsted County Sheriff’s Department
• Napoleon Genereux, conservation officer, New Mexico Department of Game & Fish
• Desiree Holmberg, community service officer, New Hope Police Department
• Mitchell Lawler, deputy, Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Department
• Jennifer Mueller, deputy, McLeod County Sheriff’s Department
• Shawn Wichmann, conservation officer, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, & Parks
CO Weekly Reports
From the DNR
• CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers.
CO Mies checked trappers, along with giving a talk to a youth turkey clinic.
CO Mies also finished up a goose shooting out of season complaint.
CO Mies also worked on wetland and shore land complaints.
• CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) assisted in getting ready for the upcoming academy by updating course work outline with law updates.
Reller also took numerous calls about the new motorized boat restrictions on Pelican Lake.
A search warrant was conducted and an otter was picked up from an incidental catch by a beaver trapper.
Anglers were out testing the water for the crappie run and in several spots they were finding some early arrivals in the muddy shallows that are the first to warm up.
• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked anglers on area lakes and rivers who were having very good success.
The 13th annual wood duck days was attended with 220 wood duck houses built by kids.
A Boy Scout group was talked to on the duties of a Conservation Officer.
A firearms safety presentation was given at the Watertown Rod and Gun Club.
• CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) worked numerous TIP calls regarding fishermen taking bass and northern out of season.
She attended meetings with the Hennepin County Water Patrol and Three Rivers Park District.
She also testified in court on a BUI case and completed reports.
• CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling, boating, and trapping activity.
Additional time was spent checking ATV activity, and assisting with commercial license checks.
Hatlestad also spoke to the Avid Anglers group on new laws, and spoke at a FAS class in Darwin.
• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) spent time working angling and ATV enforcement this week.
CO Oberg also finished up a shining investigation that lead to an individual being charged with the illegal taking of raccoon.
Enforcement action was also taken for failure to file contractor responsibility form for work done involving the WCA.
Officer Oberg also followed up on calls where two raccoons were electrocuted by overhead power lines and spoke to a landowner about the consequences of dogs chasing deer.
A talk was also given to the Green Isle Firearms Safety Class.
Question of the week
From the DNR
Q: The same woodpecker pecks at our house non-stop.
Do woodpeckers get a headache after a while?
A: Woodpeckers have well-adapted structures that act as shock absorbers inside of their heads.
They have a hard, but elastic beak, a springy tongue-supporting structure called the hyoid and an area of spongy bone inside the skull.
These features, in addition to cerebral fluid interact to suppress vibration in their head so they can peck all day without getting a headache.