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Minnesota fishing and hunting licenses go mobile

August 5, 2013

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR

Forgot to buy your license? Then connect to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) mobile licensing page to purchase select fishing and hunting licenses via your smartphone.

“This service is a convenience for people who need a license when they’re on the go,” said Steve Michaels, DNR license program director. “Not every type of license is offered but the mobile purchase site is ideal for people who have yet to purchase a fishing, small game or state stamp validation and suddenly discover that they need one.”

Customers who purchase off the mobile site won’t receive a conventional paper license.

Instead, they’ll receive a text message or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers.

More than 1,100 sales of electronic licenses have been logged since the mobile site’s soft launch in late June.

“The site isn’t, as yet, full service,” Michaels said. “There are features and products in the works. Even so, mobile license purchasing is a convenience DNR has not offered before and the sales numbers show our customers are responding.”

License types available for purchase on the mobile site include short-term angling, individual angling, resident combination angling, resident individual sports, resident combination sports, small game and state stamp validations.

Any license that requires a site tag such as deer or turkey is not available for mobile purchase.

Once a customer purchases and receives mobile license information by text, email or both, he or she must be able to provide the email or text information to a DNR enforcement officer upon request as proof of a valid license.

Mobile device users will automatically be identified when visiting the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense and selecting the “Purchase” button at the bottom of the page.

Minnesota residents 21 and older who never have purchased a hunting or fishing license can’t purchase a license electronically.

They should initially purchase from a license agent or call DNR at 888-646-6367 and provide their driver’s license number so electronic purchasing can be enabled.

The mobile site is for purchasing only.

It is not a mobile version of the complete DNR website.

All licensing information such as seasons, dates, times, eligibility or restrictions should be reviewed before a mobile purchase is completed.

Similar to the licenses purchased via the DNR website or by phone, a 3 percent convenience fee will be added to the customer’s order total.

License dollars are the fiscal foundation of fish and wildlife management in Minnesota.

License revenue is dedicated to managing 5,400 fishing lakes, thousands of miles of rivers and streams, 1,400 wildlife management areas and more than 150 field conservation officers.

Buying a license means lakes are stocked and managed, fish and game laws are enforced and conservation efforts happen on the ground.

Friends of NRA banquet Aug. 24

The Friends of NRA Banquet is Wednesday, Aug. 14 at the Crow River Golf Club in Hutchinson.

The cost to attend is $40 per person, or $60 per couple.

The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with gun drawings and a social hour, followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

Raffle tickets can be purchased at the event. For additional information, e-mail Nate Johnson at nate@phcraig.com.

LP trapshooting news and notes

There are two more weeks left in league shooting for the Lester Prairie trapshooting league, with the party/shoot off night coming Wednesday, Aug. 21.

First half winners who will need to shoot off Aug. 21 are:

• Class AA – The Ringers
• Class A – B&R Repair
• Class B – North Central Ambulance
• Class C – Schauer & Sons
• Class D – King Pin Pub.

There will also be an Annie Oakley fun shoot again Aug. 21, and all shooters are welcome.

Online learners offered field experience at Aug. 11 deer clinic
From the DNR

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites women and men who have completed Minnesota’s new virtual online firearms safety certification range and field day to attend Deer Day on Sunday, Aug. 11.

Deer Day is a great complement to the new online adult hunter education course and virtual field day.

Deer Day provides hands-on experiences with a variety of firearms and basics of how to hunt deer.

The event, hosted by the DNR’s Becoming An Outdoors Family program, will be from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on the Wilkens Farm near Mora in Kanabec County.

Youth, ages 10 and older, are welcomed to attend accompanied by a guardian.

“The deer hunting clinic is an excellent opportunity for individuals who chose the virtual range and field day option to have one-on-one time with instructors to handle firearms, target shoot and and gain insights into deer biology and hunting.” said Linda Bylander, coordinator of the DNR’s Becoming An Outdoors Woman program. “Though open to all ages 10 and older, this hunting clinic places a premium on assisting women and families in a supportive and friendly environment.”

Register for the deer clinic by emailing Linda Bylander at linda.bylander@state.mn.us.

Registration is limited. Lunch will be served.

The virtual online firearms course takes about nine hours to complete and is interactive with narration, quizzes and final exam.

Information about the course and other safety classes is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/safety.

Have a hunting or fishing license? Get a special rate on Twins tickets
From the DNR

Kids and adults who have a 2013 Minnesota hunting or fishing license can buy discounted tickets online for three Minnesota Twins baseball games and receive a free regulation blaze orange Twins logo baseball cap as part of a special promotion with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“Hunting, fishing and the Twins are all big parts of Minnesota’s culture,” said Jenifer Wical, DNR customer enhancement manager. “This is a great deal for those who love the outdoors and outdoors baseball.”

This promotion includes home games Aug. 18 against the Chicago White Sox and Sept. 7 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Those who want to purchase discount tickets should go to www.mndnr.gov/twins and enter their transaction number, which is printed on the license.

A limited number of tickets are available for each game and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

Minnesota 2013 fishing and hunting licenses can be purchased on a mobile device or online at www.mndnr.gov/BuyALicense.

Phil McMullen, Twins ticket sales executive, said this new partnership with the DNR made sense.

“The DNR is able to provide an additional value to its first-time or long-time license buyers. And for us, it’s a way to express our appreciation for those who have contributed to fish and wildlife conservation through their license purchase.”

DNR offers fewer wolf licenses, lowers 2013 target harvest
From the DNR

A smaller Minnesota wolf population means fewer hunting and trapping licenses will be available when the wolf season opens Saturday, Nov. 9.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) set the statewide target harvest of wolves at 220, 180 fewer than last season.

Starting Thursday, Aug. 1, hunters and trappers can apply for 2,000 early-season and 1,300 late-season licenses.

That’s a reduction from 3,600 early-season and 2,400 late-season licenses in 2012.

The deadline to apply for the hunting and trapping license lottery is Thursday, Sept. 5.

“The changes are a management response to the most-recent wolf population estimate,” said Dan Stark, the DNR’s large carnivore specialist. “As with other game species DNR manages, adjustments are made to regulate hunting pressure and harvest to ensure long-term population sustainability and provide hunting and trapping opportunities.”

Minnesota continues to have the largest wolf population in the lower 48 states.

The DNR’s 2013 wolf population survey estimated 2,211 wolves last winter compared to 2,921 in the winter of 2008.

The most-recent estimate does not include the birth of as many as 2,600 wolf pups this spring, some of which will survive into winter and be counted in next year’s population.

“DNR’s population survey confirmed Minnesota’s wolf population remains firmly established on the landscape,” Stark said. “We can manage seasons for a sustainable population of wolves like we do for dozens of other game species.”

The DNR manages wolf harvest, in part, through a system of hunting zones.

The target harvest in the northwest zone is 145, down from 265 in 2012.

The target harvest in the northeast zone is 65, down from 133.

The east-central zone target harvest is 10, down from 18.

With the possible exception of the east-central zone, those harvest targets will be split between the early and late seasons.

Individuals who apply must pay a $4 fee, show proof of a current or previous hunting license and choose one of three available license options:

• Early season hunting, which is concurrent with the firearms deer season, unless a zone closes earlier because the target harvest is met.

The early season runs from Saturday, Nov. 9, through Sunday, Nov. 24, in all Series 100 deer permit areas and Nov. 9 through Sunday, Nov. 17, in Series 200 deer permit areas.

In the east-central zone, the early season is scheduled to be a two-day hunt this year, concluding when legal shooting hours end on Sunday, Nov. 10.

• Late season hunting, which runs from Saturday, Nov. 30, through Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, or when the target harvest is met, whichever occurs earlier.

If the east-central zone’s target harvest is met during the early season, the late east-central season will not open.

• Late season trapping, which runs from Nov. 30 through Jan. 31, 2014, or when the target harvest is met, whichever occurs earlier.

The statewide bag limit is one wolf and licenses are not zone specific.

Lottery winners will receive a wolf hunting booklet with their notification.

Wolf licenses cost $30 for residents and $250 for nonresidents.

The early season purchase deadline is Friday, Nov. 1, with surplus licenses going on sale at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 6.

The late season purchase deadline is Friday, Nov. 22, with surplus licenses going on sale at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 27.

The DNR sets wolf seasons and quotas based on long-term sustainability, as it does with more than 50 other game species, including many other furbearing mammals.

The DNR received strong direction from the Minnesota Legislature to conduct a wolf season and manage wolves as a prized and high-value fur species by setting the season when pelts have value.

DNR’s goal for wolf management, as outlined in the state’s wolf management plan, is to ensure the long-term survival of the wolf in Minnesota and resolve conflicts between wolves and humans.

The state wolf management plan includes wolf-specific population and health monitoring, research, depredation management, public education and law enforcement efforts.

Additional information about wolves is available online at www.mndnr.gov/wolves.

Question of the week
From the DNR

Q: Finding a place to ride an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or other off-highway vehicle (OHV) takes a little research.

Are there different levels of riding choices – from novice to adventurous?

How can riders find the trail that fits their needs?

A: Minnesota is using the standard symbols to identify level of difficulty.

The symbols are: green circle – easiest that include the most developed, almost road-like trails with rolling hills and few obstacles; blue square – more difficult, narrower trails with steeper hills and switchbacks and some moderate obstacles; and black diamond – most difficult or technical with very steep grades, narrow trails, rough or loose tread surfaces and obstacles.

Most public OHV trails are green with some blue levels available.

The Red Dot and Spider Lake systems are two sites that have some blue level trails.

The only public riding area with significant black diamond level opportunities is the Iron Range Off Highway Vehicle Recreation Area in Gilbert.

It is important for riders to know their abilities and know their machines.

Most of the difficult trails do not provide alternative routes – once the course is started, it must be finished.

For more information see http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ohv/difficulty.html.

More information about trails can be found in the DNR’s book Trail Planning, Design, and Development Guidelines, available for purchase from Minnesota’s Bookstore.

You can also get information by calling the Parks and Trails Division at (651) 259-5600 or toll-free at 888-646-6367.