Youth Conservation Field day at Gopher Campfire Saturday

August 20, 2012

by Chris Schultz

Gopher Campfire will once again be hosting the popular Youth Conservation Field Day event, scheduled for Saturday, August 25.

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, Black Powder, and trapping information.

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 Information: call Stephen Nelsen at (320) 587-0783 or email ksknels@hutchtel.net.

Black powder, cannon, and mortar shoot at Rainbow Sportsmen’s Club

The Rainbow Sportsmen’s Club is hosting their Black Powder, Cannon and Mortar shoot Saturday, August 25, and Sunday, 26.

There will be black powder shooting all day Saturday and Sunday morning until 11 a.m.

The cannons and mortars will begin firing about noon on Sunday.

There will be a pancake breakfast Sunday morning from 7 a.m. to noon and a lunch wagon on grounds both days.

Everyone is welcome to participate or spectate so bring the whole family for a fun time of old fashioned shooting and good food.

The club is located four miles north of Cokato on Highway 3 – follow the signs.

Deadline for disabled veteran hunt application is Aug. 31

The Wright County Pheasants Forever chapter has teamed up with Wright County Parks, Wright County Veteran Services, Hasty-Silver Creek Sportsman Club, Capable Partners, Four Points Retriever Club, and the NAHRA to offer a special disabled veterans waterfowl hunt Saturday, Oct. 6.

The hunt will take place on land owned by the Wright County Parks Department.

Applications can be obtained through Wright County Veteran Services, or online at www.wrightcountypf.org, and will be available until Friday, Aug. 31.

The hunt is open to all disabled veterans who currently reside in Minnesota. Eight disabled veterans will be selected to hunt through a lottery drawing and will receive an all-expense-paid morning of waterfowl hunting, lunch, and target shooting.

For more information on the application process or to apply for this hunt, contact Genell K. Reese from Wright County Veteran Services at (763) 682 7325, or Melissa Sandquist from the Wright County Pheasants Forever Chapter at (763) 354 4090.

The Wright County Friends of the NRA will host its 10th annual banquet today

The Wright County Friends of the NRA will host their 10th Annual Banquet at the Classic Hall Event Center in Annandale Monday, August 20 beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The chapter has been the number one fundraiser in the state for the past two years – with all donations used to promote the shooting sports.

Many organizations in Wright County have benefited from these funds to include youth programs and women shooting programs.

The banquet this year will include a silent auction, live auction, and various raffles throughout the evening.

According to Committee Chairman Bruce Bartl, “We have great prizes and auction items this year, including limited edition firearms only available through this banquet. More importantly, funds raised at the banquet will be put to good use promoting shooting sports within Wright County and Minnesota.”

None of the funds raised through Friends of the NRA are used for political purposes.

If you would like more information about attending the banquet or providing a sponsorship contact Bruce Bartl at (763) 682-0653.

Tickets must be purchased in advance of the banquet.

DNR reminds visitors to bring only approved firewood onto state lands
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds visitors that only approved firewood is allowed on land administered by the DNR, which includes state parks, state forests and wildlife management areas.

In recent weeks, various state parks have been experiencing a surge of people bringing in unapproved firewood.

Firewood restrictions are needed to help prevent the introduction or spread of damaging forest pests, including emerald ash borer, gypsy moth and oak wilt.

Firewood can harbor many different invasive pests.

Once established, these pests can have dire consequences for Minnesota forests.

Approximately 50 percent of overnight visitors typically bring firewood to Minnesota state parks and forest campgrounds annually, putting state lands at high risk for pest infestations.

Firewood is approved by location, not by vendor. Firewood approved for use at one state park is not necessarily approved for use at another state park.

There are several types of firewood approved by the DNR for use on state administered lands.

Approved firewood must meet one of the following conditions:

1. Firewood offered for sale by the DNR.

2. Firewood offered for sale to the public by a vendor that has successfully completed the DNR approval process. A vendor ticket, bundle label or sales receipt must accompany the firewood. This firewood must meet one of these conditions:
• Non-ash firewood originating on lands within Minnesota and within 50 miles of the DNR land on which it is to be used.
• Firewood of any species originating from Minnesota that has been certified by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

3. Firewood that consists of kiln-dried, clean (unpainted and unstained) dimensional lumber that is free of any metal or foreign substance. Pallet boards are not considered approved firewood.

“We encourage our visitors to help us protect our trees,” said Sue Olin, Lake Bemidji State Park assistant manager. “Our state parks, forests, wildlife management areas and other DNR lands are vulnerable to invasion from nonnative forest pests.”

A good rule of thumb to using firewood on state lands is to “buy it where you burn it.”

State park visitors are strongly encouraged to burn all firewood purchased from the park before leaving.

In many state parks, visitors can sell back any unused, unopened bundles they purchased at that park.

The DNR also recommends that people avoid transporting wood from their home area to their lake cabin or other recreation sites around the state.

For more information on approved firewood for use on lands administered by the DNR, visit http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/firewood/index.html.

To locate a DNR-approved firewood vendor, visit http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/firewood_vendors/vendors/list.html.

Lac qui Parle controlled goose hunt applications accepted today
From the DNR

Beginning Monday, Aug. 20, goose hunters can apply to reserve a date to hunt from a blind in the controlled zone at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area.

Applications postmarked between Monday, Aug. 20, and Wednesday, Sept. 12, will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Reservations to hunt in the controlled zone will only be accepted for hunting dates from Thursday, Oct. 18, to Friday, Nov. 30.

To apply, hunters must submit a standard 31⁄2-inch by 51⁄2-inch postcard with their full name and address, plus 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. 22.

Prior to Thursday, Oct. 18, 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.

CO weekley reports
From the DNR

• CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers.
CO Mies worked on a waters complaint. CO Mies checked ATVs.

• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) investigated gill nets on Lake Waconia which turned out to be DNR fisheries nets.
Anglers and boaters were checked on the Minnesota River before the Belle Plaine catfish tournament.
A boat and water safety detail was worked on Prior Lake with CO Block.

• CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) worked invasive species enforcement.
She also investigated a waters violation on Long Lake and assisted DNR staff at a Scientific and Natural Area.
She attended a National Night Out event in Minnetrista and handled several nuisance beaver calls.

• CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling and boating activity.
Additional time was spent checking and advising boaters of the AIS laws.
Hatlestad also enforced ATV and state forestry fire laws, and assisted DNR Wildlife with local pheasant counts.
Time was also spent speaking at an archery hunter education class.

• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) continued training with COC Peterson.
Officers spent time at several busy public access points checking for AIS compliance.
Overall, the boaters who frequent the area have been vigilant with AIS compliance and were appreciative of our presence. Officers spoke at a Firearms Safety class, completed a roadside pheasant survey, and worked the information booth at Farm Fest and at Game Fair.
A day was spent patrolling the St. Croix River in Washington County.
Many boaters were enjoying the cooler weather with some fishing success.
Enforcement action included a citation for no life jacket.

Question of the week
From the DNR

Q: The DNR is in the process of determining the abundance of pheasants in the state’s pheasant range.
How is this number determined?

A: Every year during the first half of August the Minnesota DNR uses roadside surveys to estimate pheasant abundance.
These surveys entail counting all pheasants observed while driving each of 152 survey routes – one to four routes per county – in Minnesota’s pheasant range.

DNR wildlife and enforcement staff survey these routes in the early mornings on days with clear skies, light winds and heavy dew.

Because pheasants are difficult to detect, the annual August roadside surveys do not provide a total census, but rather an index of relative abundance.

This information is then used to monitor changes in the pheasant population over time.

In 2011, for example, 874 pheasants were counted on 3,800 survey miles.

That yielded a population index of 23 pheasants/100 miles.

This value was 64 percent lower than the 2010 index.

The results of the survey are reported in early September and provide a good forecast of the upcoming pheasant hunting season.