From the DNR
Deer hunting licenses are now available for purchase. Hunters who want an either-sex deer or special hunt permit for the coming season must apply by Thursday, Sept. 5, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.
Hunters should carefully review the list of lottery areas, particularly in extreme northwestern Minnesota and the Iron Range area of northeastern Minnesota.
The following permit areas are designated as lottery this year but were not last year: 176, 101, 105, 111, 267 and 268.
Elsewhere, other permit area designations have changed too in response to local deer population changes.
Regulations are detailed in Minnesota’s 2013 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook and Deer Season Map, which now are available wherever hunting and angling licenses are sold, online at www.mndnr.gov/regulations and in many DNR offices across the state.
Fifty-eight of the state’s 129 permit areas are lottery areas.
The number of permit areas designated as lottery is unchanged from 2012.
The number of either-sex permits available has increased about 10 percent.
People can purchase a deer license and apply for the lottery or a special hunt at any DNR license agent, by telephone at 888-665-4236 or online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense. Lottery winners will be notified in October.
Hunters can apply for lottery deer areas and special hunts using both their firearm and muzzleloader licenses.
Although a hunter can be selected for both licenses, successful applicants can only take one deer in lottery permit areas.
In the case of special hunts, a person may draw both a firearm and muzzleloader permit, in which case he or she must adhere to the bag limits established by each special hunt.
Lottery deer areas in 2013 are permit areas 101, 103, 105, 108, 110, 111, 118, 119, 122, 169, 171, 172, 176, 183, 184, 197, 199, 234, 237, 238, 250, 251, 252, 253, 260, 261, 262, 263, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 272, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298 and 299.
DNR encourages hunters to review new deer hunting regulations, permit area designations and boundary changes before applying.
Current and up-to-date information is available online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/deer and www.mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting.
Dove season opens Sept. 1
From the DNR
Minnesota’s dove hunting season begins Sunday, Sept. 1, and continues through Saturday, Nov. 9, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
A small game license and Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification are required for hunters 16 and older.
Hunters younger than 16 must obtain a free small game hunting license and HIP certification.
The daily bag limit is 15 doves with 45 in possession.
Nontoxic shot is not required but is recommended.
Dove hunting requires only a bucket to sit on, a box of shells, shotgun and earth-tone clothing.
“This is a great way to introduce youngsters to hunting,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife population and regulation program manager for the DNR. “Once you’ve walked to your hunting location, it’s a stationary activity in a controlled environment, which makes it easy for mentors to work with inexperienced hunters under very safe conditions.”
Minnesota has allowed dove hunting since 2004.
The state has about 13,000 dove hunters, who harvest more than 100,000 doves each year.
What’s new at DNR’s State Fair exhibit
From the DNR
A wide range of free educational exhibits, presentations and entertainment, including several new activities and displays, will be part of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair, which runs Aug. 22-Sept. 2 in St. Paul. The DNR building is open daily from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
“The DNR building and surrounding park area is often the traditional first stop for many fairgoers,” explained Renee Vail, DNR state fair project manager. “Minnesotans are passionate about our natural resources and this is an effective and entertaining way for us to communicate conservation messages.”
DNR fish aquariums
The DNR has completely renovated its indoor fish exhibit, installing five large aquariums inside the main building.
Each tank shows fish in their native Minnesota habitat: trout of southeastern Minnesota; fish of the St. Croix River; and species of central, southern and northern Minnesota lakes.
The new tanks are built lower to the ground, making it easier for more guests to see the turtles, fish and other species.
‘Wall of Shame’ location
The Turn in Poachers “Wall of Shame” will be relocated to the former Nature Store building, and will be staffed by a conservation officer from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
The retail store next to the DNR’s outdoor fish pond has been discontinued to make more room for conservation-related exhibits.
A replica rack of antlers from a trophy eight-point buck illegally shot a few years ago will be on display.
Invasive species exhibit
Visitors should be on the lookout for emerald ash borers, purple loosestrife, zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil as they walk along a recreated prairie trail, conduct a watercraft inspection or visit an imaginary state forest campsite in a display inside the DNR building.
People can practice using a boot brush to remove invasive plants, learn where zebra mussels might hide on a boat and find out why they shouldn’t move firewood.
Through interactive activities and an informational video, visitors will learn how invasive species threaten natural resources and recreational activities, and how to prevent their spread.
Plus, The Theater of Public Policy, an improv comedy group with a seriously funny take on zebra mussels, earthworms and emerald ash borers, will be part of the DNR outdoor stage lineup.
This is the 20th consecutive year an Adopt-a-River sculpture has been on display.
Each year, a new sculpture is made from trash and scrap collected by an artist at Adopt-a-River cleanups on Minnesota waterways.
The sculpture is a tribute to more than 90,000 volunteers who removed more than 6 million pounds of trash from public waters at more than 3,200 clean-ups over the years.
The sculpture is located in DNR Park, south of the DNR fish pond.
High definition videos showcase DNR experts at work in the field
Inside the DNR building, there will be a theater area with videos showing DNR experts at work in the field.
The high-definition videos feature the moose mortality research project, stocking of DNR State Fair fish pond, harvesting the governor’s holiday tree, a visit to a bear den, a bison round up at Blue Mounds State Park, zebra mussel detecting dogs and a northern pike study on Mille Lacs Lake.
The show lasts 20 minutes and is repeated throughout the day.
State water trails exhibit
The new state water trails display gives people an opportunity to see what it’s like to sit in a kayak and learn more about a wide variety of recreational opportunities throughout the state.
The Minnesota state water trails system is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and is the first and largest system of its kind in the nation.
Water trails are recreational routes on waterways - managed for canoeing, kayaking, boating and camping.
There is a state water trail within an hour of most Minnesotans.
A full program of educational and wildlife presentations along with music and theatrical performances are scheduled for the DNR outdoor and garden stages and the fish pond area.
A variety of groups will offer demonstrations on the DNR volunteer outdoor stage and the garden stage (on the west side of the building).
There will be presentations promoting state parks, campfire safety, ATVs, fishing, water trails, laser fire extinguishing, snowmobiling, hiking, MN DNR K-9 law enforcement unit, the fish fillet challenge, volcanoes, bicycling, aquatic and terrestrial invasive species, how to leave no trace when camping. Scott Wolter, geologist and TV host of America Unearthed, will display his extensive collection of Lake Superior agates.
The Raptor Center at University of Minnesota will educate people about raptors they see in their own back yards.
Last Chance Forever The Bird of Prey Conservancy of San Antonio, Texas will have live bird demonstrations.
There will also be performances by Church Basement Ladies from the Plymouth Playhouse.
Musical acts include Axiom, Ecuador Manta, Russell from MN w/Skippin-Stones, Red Rock Swing Band, Joe Meyer Band, Bitter Ridge, BLT Band (Bill Lommel and Troop), Darlene and the Boys, Roxxy Hall Band, SRO (Standing Room Only), and the Women’s Drum Center.
To view schedule of events, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/events/statefair/schedules.html.
DNR State Fair exhibit fact sheet
From the DNR
• Historic DNR building at State Fair opened Sept. 1, 1934.
• It cost $73,000 to build (almost 10 times the net profit of 1934 State Fair).
• Gate tickets in 1934 cost 25 cents.
• Funding came from federal and state emergency relief administration and State Fair funds.
• Civilian Conservation Corps erected the building in less than six months using machined logs.
• The main building is 186 feet by 66 feet and is 40 feet high.
• Approximately 800,000 people visit DNR building and surrounding park area each year.
• DNR building open daily during State Fair from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
New DNR Aquariums
• DNR has completely renovated its indoor fish exhibit, installing five large aquariums inside the main DNR building.
• Each tank shows fish in their native Minnesota habitat: trout of southeastern Minnesota; fish of the St. Croix River; and species of central, southern and northern Minnesota lakes.
• New aquariums are built lower to the ground, making it easier for more guests to see the turtles, fish and other species.
• Combined aquarium capacity of more than 5,000 gallons of water, the same amount of water the average family of four uses in a month.
• When full, tanks will weigh about 118,000 pounds or about the weight of a juvenile Right whale.
DNR Fish Pond
• The DNR’s live fish exhibit is one of State Fair’s most popular attractions.
• Outdoor fish pond holds about 50,000 gallons of water.
• Outdoor pond is kidney-shaped and is about 100 feet by 50 feet.
• This year’s exhibit is expected to display about 45 species of fish that call Minnesota home.
• One of the most popular fish with fairgoers is the paddlefish. Characterized by its long, paddle-like bill, the paddlefish is found in the lower Mississippi River below Minneapolis. Paddlefish grow to be quite large, with fish up to 200 pounds being recorded. The paddlefish is a state threatened species.
• The largest fish in the exhibit is the lake sturgeon, which exceeds 50 inches. A State Fair veteran, this specimen was the gift of an angler who harvested it legally from the St. Croix River several years ago. Lake sturgeon in Minnesota are found in the Mississippi, St. Croix and Rainy river systems.
• Fish pond talks by MinneAqua program specialists take place at quarter to the half daily, from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.
State Park Camper Cabin
• A state park camper cabin model is on display during the State Fair.
• Fairgoers can step inside the 24-foot by 12-foot cabin to check it out.
• Cabins are built to provide a “camping out” experience within the comfort of four walls.
• Cabin has two sets of bunks allowing accessibility for a wheelchair.
• Camper cabin includes a picnic table and a fire ring with grill.
• There are more than 80 camper cabins available to rent in state parks and recreational areas located throughout the state.
• Most cabins are available to rent year-round. Most have heat and electricity. Cabins rent for about $50 per night.
• Camper cabin display model open during the State Fair from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily. Located in DNR Park, near southwest corner of DNR building.
DNR Fire Tower
• Was specifically built for State Fair to provide a wildfire prevention message to visitors.
• Fire tower opened in 1966 and was closed in 1978 because of safety concerns.
• Fire tower was repaired and reopened in 2006.
• Fire tower is 65 feet tall.
• There are 84 steps from bottom to top.
• There is no charge for people to climb to fire tower stairs to get birds-eye view of fair.
• Tower open daily during fair from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., weather permitting.
DNR Wildlife...Forever Wing
• Fairgoers can learn about Minnesota species and wildlife habitat.
• Special sound and lighting effects help create an experience of moving from day to night and through the four seasons, as visitors walk through the display.
• Display located in DNR Building and is open daily during State Fair from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
• This is the 20th consecutive year that an Adopt-a-River sculpture has been on display.
• Each year, a new sculpture is made from trash and scrap collected by an artist at Adopt-a-River cleanups on Minnesota waterways.
• Sculpture is a tribute to more than 90,000 volunteers who have removed more than 6 million pounds of trash from public waters at more than 3,200 clean-ups over the years.
• Sculpture is located in DNR Park, south of the DNR fish pond.
• Smokey Bear is celebrating 69 years of reminding children and their parents about the dangers of wildfires.
• Smokey Bear makes daily appearances at DNR Park at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
• In conjunction with the Governor’s 16th annual Fire Prevention Day on Friday, Aug. 23, the DNR Forestry Division will host a variety of special activities and Smokey Bear appears at DNR Park at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
DNR nursery seedlings on sale
From the DNR
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) state forest nurseries are now accepting orders for April and May seedling pickup or delivery in 2014.
Millions of seedlings are available for 2014 planting season, including 21 species of native bareroot trees and shrubs grown from seeds collected in Minnesota.
“A number of new species and packets were added to the 2014 seedling order form,” said Craig VanSickle, nurseries supervisor. “Red cedar, balsam fir, white cedar and cottonwood seedlings are now available, along with fruiting shrub, oak mix and spruce/fir packets.”
Visit the DNR’s website at www.mndnr.gov/nurseries for a list of available species and to download the tree seedling order form. Call 800-657-3767 to order seedlings.
A minimum of 500 seedlings must be ordered, which is enough seedlings to cover an acre of land.
Seedlings vary in size from 6 to 18 inches in height, and prices start as low as $115 for 500 seedlings.
These seedlings can be used for reforestation, improving wildlife habitat, creating shelterbelts, developing green buffers to protect water quality and cleaning the air by removing carbon dioxide.
Minnesota landowners with forest stewardship plans should contact their plan writer for cost-share program information that cover costs to purchase and plant seedlings.
Contact a local forestry office or visit www.mndnr.gov/foreststewardship to learn about the forest stewardship program.
By law, seedlings purchased from a Minnesota state forest nursery may not be planted for ornamental purposes, resold, given away or removed with roots attached for a period of 10 years from the date of purchase. Seedlings also must be planted in Minnesota.
No reservations needed for DNR Lac qui Parle goose hunt this year
From the DNR
Hunters will no longer need to apply for a reservation date to hunt from a goose blind in the controlled hunting zone at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area.
“Since 1976, hunters have had the opportunity to reserve a date to hunt geese by sending us an application,” said David Trauba, Lac qui Parle wildlife manager. “That process allowed hunters to take part in the first drawing of the morning which was an advantage when we had intense pressure for available blinds.”
Trauba explained that since applications have been declining over the past several years, the traditional process is no longer necessary.
Beginning this year, the first drawing for all hunters will take place at 6 a.m., with no need for advanced registration.
“Hunters just need to show up at our office to take part,” Trauba said.
Daily blind drawings will be in effect from Thursday, Oct. 17, to Saturday, Nov. 30.
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 regular Canada goose season will be 85 days at Lac qui Parle starting Saturday, Sept. 21.
Prior to Oct. 17, the Lac qui Parle State Game Refuge will be closed to waterfowl hunting.
From Sunday, 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.
DNR asks: ‘Are you doing your part to prevent spread of AIS on MN’s waterways?’
From the DNR
A watercraft inspector with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) inspects a boat exiting a lake and finds aquatic invasive species (AIS) attached. DNR officials say it’s a scenario they experience far too often in their efforts to curb the spread of AIS.
“DNR and its partner organizations are working hard this summer to prevent boaters and anglers from transporting invasive species, but we’re continuing to see new infestations and are still finding boats and trailers carrying AIS,” said Col. Ken Soring, DNR Enforcement director.
The latest incident occurred Aug. 2 as a boat usually operated on Lake Minnetonka was exiting Lake Bemidji.
Lake Minnetonka is among approximately 300 bodies of water in 53 Minnesota counties designated as infested with AIS. Lake Bemidji is not.
The watercraft inspector found Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels attached to the boat trailer.
The DNR conservation officer cited the boat operator who now faces a $500 fine.
Nearly 150 watercraft inspectors are stationed around the state this summer to help stop the spread of AIS.
“Watercraft inspectors and conservation officers are doing their job in getting voluntary compliance with AIS laws, but the real success is going to be won when each and every boater takes personal responsibility,” Soring said.
A recent road check at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park in Washington County found 21 percent of the 62 vehicles with watercraft or water-related equipment checked were violating state AIS laws.
A road check near South Long Lake in Crow Wing County found seven of 22 vehicles with watercraft or water-related equipment inspected resulted in an AIS violation rate of 31 percent.
According to the DNR, once zebra mussels are established in a body of water, they can multiply and impact both the ecology and the recreational experience of people using a lake or river.
They are often transported from lake to lake by boaters.
The mussels are only about the size of a finger nail, and their larvae microscopic, making them tough to find.
They have been discovered in various lakes across the state.
Soring said boaters and anglers need to continue to take extra precautions when using Minnesota waters to avoid spreading AIS to new waters. Boaters are required by law to:
• Clean boat by removing plants, zebra mussels and other prohibited invasive species from watercraft, trailer, anchor and all water-related equipment before leaving any water access or shoreland.
• Drain water-related equipment (boat, ballast tanks, portable bait container and motor) and drain bilge, livewell and baitwell by removing drain plugs before leaving water access. Keep drain plugs out and all water-draining devices open while transporting watercraft.
• Dispose of unwanted bait, including minnows, leeches and worms, in the trash. Plan ahead to save bait by transferring it to containers prefilled with bottled or purified tap water.
More information is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/index_aquatic.html.
Upland bird day offers adult and youth beginners a hunting how-to
From the DNR
Anyone who wants to learn the basics of upland bird hunting is invited to attend Upland Bird Day from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Dakota County Gun Club in Rosemount, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.
“The day is tailored to those who have not yet hunted upland birds or have limited experience,” said Linda Bylander, DNR outreach program coordinator.
Participants will learn about pheasant and grouse, their habitats and habits.
A series of hands-on learning stations follow the group presentation.
Stations include how to hunt a field, shotgun patterning, shotgun shooting technique, hunting with a dog, game cleaning and care and how to locate public hunting lands.
The DNR, Dakota County Gun Club and Pheasants Forever are jointly hosting the program.
Register for this free program by contacting Bylander at (218) 833-8628 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is limited.
For a list of programs available through the Becoming An Outdoors Family and Becoming An Outdoor Woman programs, visit www.mndnr.gov/bow.
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: Since 1955, the Minnesota DNR has conducted annual roadside surveys during the first two weeks of August 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 staff survey these 25-mile long routes in the early mornings on days with clear skies, light winds, and heavy dew.
Because pheasants are difficult to count, techniques used to determine population estimates for other wildlife species do not work with pheasants.
Thus, 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.
The results of the survey are reported in early September and provide a good forecast of the upcoming pheasant hunting season.
CO weekly reports
From the DNR
• CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent time checking anglers, boaters and goose hunters in the Wright County area.
A loon was captured that had fishing line and a lure caught on it preventing it to feed or fly.
The loon was released after cutting the line off and taking lure out of the beak.
Reller checked hunters on the new August goose opener and found several groups doing fair on some fields with 6-8 birds, but most water hunters had minimal success with 0-2 birds.
One goose hunter was found hunting without any license, stamps or a plug in his gun.
The hunter also tried to hide his gun and walk away from his hunting party when he saw the Conservation Officer walking into the field.
During the contact it was determined the hunter was already revoked from hunting.
When he was trying to explain his actions to the Conservation Officer, the hunter stated. “Can’t a guy have any fun anymore?”
Enforcement action was taken this for hunting without license, hunting after revocation, no state waterfowl stamp, unplugged shotgun, no angling license and transporting watercraft with the drain plug in.
• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) brought the TIP wall of shame trailer to the Carver County Fair answering lots of questions and explained how Turn In Poachers works.
He gave a presentation to a firearms safety class at the Watertown Rod and Gun Club to a great group of kids.
He worked the earliest goose opener ever held in Minnesota finding two groups with geese but most hunters never shot their guns.
• CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) investigated a wetland violation, along with a littering complaint at a public access.
Mueller spent a day down at Farm Fest working at the TIP trailer and DNR tent.
The last of the roadside surveys was completed with very few pheasant and deer being seen.
The August goose season started off busy with a few geese shot.
AIS, boating and waterfowl regulations were enforced.
Enforcement action was taken on having a shotgun capable of having more than three rounds.
• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked the inaugural August goose season with some success being had close to Hutchinson.
Oberg also worked a booth at Eggstravganza in Gaylord this past weekend.
Oberg answered questions regarding the August goose season and current AIS laws. Oberg also completed his August roadside counts.