Youth 15 and younger no longer need free small game license

September 30, 2013

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR

With many small game seasons open and pheasant season soon to open, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding hunters that youth age 15 or younger no longer need a free license to hunt small game.

In recent years, youth age 15 and under were able to hunt for free but were required to have a complimentary license in their possession.

“This hunting season it’s very simple for kids 15 and younger,” said Jay Johnson, DNR hunting recruitment and retention supervisor. “They can hunt grouse, squirrels, ducks, pheasant and rabbits without any license or stamps.”

Johnson said youth hunters still need to comply with firearms safety certification and other requirements.

Free and reduced price licenses are one of the tools the DNR is using to encourage youth to experience and continue hunting, he said.

Youth 13 and younger must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Grouse season opened Saturday, Sept. 14. Waterfowl season opened Saturday, Sept. 21. Pheasant season opens Saturday, Oct. 12.

Events added to Waverly Gun Club calendar

Individual Doubles League will start 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3 for five weeks at the Waverly Gun Club.

Rifle sight-ins are planned for three consecutive weeks: Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 19 and 20, Oct. 26 and 27, and Nov. 2 and 3 at the Waverly Gun Club. More information available on the club web-site at www.waverlygunclub.org.

DNR advises waterfowl hunters to avoid spreading invasive species
From the DNR

Now that hunting season is underway, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) warns waterfowl hunters it’s against the law to transport aquatic invasive species (AIS).

DNR conservation officers routinely inspect equipment during the hunting season and enforce state regulations related to invasive species.

Many people only associate the threat of spreading AIS with summertime activities, but hunters are also at risk of moving aquatic invaders from one waterbody to another.

Without proper precautions, invasive plants and animals such as purple loosestrife, faucet snails, Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels could be transported on duck boats, blind material and hunting gear.

“Hunters are legally required to drain all water and remove visible plants from boats and equipment before leaving the water access,” said Allison Gamble, DNR AIS specialist. “Waterfowl hunters should also remove all mud and check everything that could harbor aquatic invaders – even hunting dogs – to avoid carrying unwanted hitchhikers.”

Hunters are required by law to:

• Remove faucet snails and other prohibited invasive species from boats, waders, push poles, decoys, and decoy anchors before leaving the water access to avoid their spread.

• Cut cattails or other aquatic emergent plants above the waterline for blinds or camouflage. Thoroughly clean these materials before moving to another waterbody. When inspecting boats on infested waters, the DNR often finds zebra mussels attached to vegetation.

The DNR also recommends that waterfowl hunters switch to elliptical, bulb-shaped or strap decoy anchors that won’t snag submerged aquatic plants as easily.

Invasive species can damage habitat for waterfowl, fish and other wildlife, and even cause die-offs of waterfowl.

It only takes a fragment of Eurasian watermilfoil to spread into a new waterbody.

At early life stages, some invasive species such as young zebra mussels are difficult to see.

To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another water body: spray with high-pressure water, rinse with very hot water (120 degrees for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds) or dry for at least five days.

Air drying may require additional days due to cool weather.

DNR announces special youth deer season
From the DNR

Youth ages 10-15 are eligible to participate in a special deer season that runs from Thursday, Oct. 17, to Sunday, Oct. 20, in 28 permit areas that encompass portions of southeastern and northwestern Minnesota.

“This youth-only season provides an opportunity for parents, guardians and mentors to schedule and plan a special deer hunt with youth,” said Mike Kurre, mentoring program coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Deer permit areas open to the hunt are 101,105, 111, 114, 201, 203, 208, 209, 256, 257, 260, 263, 264, 267, 268, 338, 339, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 601 and 602. Whitewater Game Refuge also is open to taking either sex deer by eligible youth.

Youth must meet all firearms safety requirement, possess a license and use the appropriate firearm for the permit area in which they are hunting. They may take a deer of either sex.

Licenses for youth ages 10, 11 and 12 are free. Licenses for youth ages 13-17 cost $5. All youths must pay a $1 issuing fee when obtaining a license.

An adult mentor must accompany the youth but may not hunt or carry a firearm.

The special season should occur when students are on school break.

Public land is open as is private land, provided the youth hunter has landowner permission.

Participating in youth deer season does not preclude the youth from participating in the regular firearms deer season but any deer harvested do count against the youth’s season bag limit.

DNR to offer state lands at public auction
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will have 23 parcels of land in northeastern Minnesota for sale at a public auction scheduled for Friday, Oct. 25.

The sale will include parcels in Cook, Itasca, Lake, and St. Louis counties, some of which are lakeshore lots.

“This is a great opportunity for people looking for land in this very popular recreational destination,” said Jodi Dehn, DNR realty supervisor. “It’s not often that parcels in this area of the state become available for sale.”

The auction starts at noon with registration at 11:30 a.m. at the Lake County Law Enforcement Center, main conference room, 613 Third Ave., Two Harbors.

The DNR sale will be immediately followed by a sale of tax-forfeited lands in Lake County.

Interested buyers are encouraged to visit the DNR’s land sale information page at www.mndnr.gov/landsale prior to attending the sale.

Property data sheets with full descriptions of the parcels offered for sale and selling prices will be posted on the website 30 days prior to the sale.

Public invited to 2013 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener events in Madelia
From the DNR

Gov. Mark Dayton is extending an invitation to the general public to join him in celebrating the third annual Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener on Friday, Oct. 11, and Saturday, Oct. 12, in the south-central Minnesota city of Madelia.

The community events on Friday include: a sporting clays range; “Best of the Best” tournament, featuring four of the top exhibition shooting acts in the world; and the 2013 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener’s banquet and reception, which will include live music by Minnesota-based singer/songwriter Martin Zellar and the Hardaways.

On Saturday, a pancake breakfast will kick off a day of pheasant hunting for the community, state leaders, dignitaries and other hunters who will participate in the event, among hunters across the state.

The Governor’s Opener honors and promotes Minnesota’s longstanding hunting tradition.

This event will showcase the many hunting, recreational, travel and local opportunities that the Madelia area and south-central Minnesota has to offer visitors.

More information, event details and updates can be found at www.mnpheasant.com.

Dayton initiated the Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener in 2011.

Previous host communities were Montevideo and Marshall.

The 2013 event is being coordinated by the city of Madelia, Madelia Chamber of Commerce, Explore Minnesota Tourism and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Madelia has more than 8,600 acres of public hunting land, within 20 miles of the city, which is 20 minutes west of Mankato and just over an hour and a half southwest of Minneapolis.

DNA test confirms identity of wolf that bit teen
From the DNR

DNA tests confirm that the male gray wolf trapped and killed Aug. 26 in the West Winnie Campground on Lake Winnibigoshish is the wolf that bit a 16-year-old male on Aug. 24.

Testing done by forensic scientists at the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California-Davis showed identical matches between the wolf’s DNA profile and the profile of samples obtained from a comforter used when the teen was transported for treatment.

“We were confident that the wolf involved in the attack was removed based on the description and location of the wolf captured following the incident,” said Michelle Carstensen, wildlife health program supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “DNA results provide further assurance that the wolf we captured was the animal involved.”

The DNR also received final results this week of the wolf necropsy conducted by the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

The necropsy report documented a number of abnormal conditions that may have contributed to it approaching and biting a human, which is not normal wolf behavior.

The wolf, estimated to be 11⁄2 years old, suffered from severe facial deformity, dental abnormalities and brain damage caused by infection, according to Anibal G. Armien, the pathologist and veterinarian at the University of Minnesota who performed the necropsy.

It’s likely that the wolf experienced a traumatic injury as a pup and those injuries developed into abnormalities that caused the brain damage, Armien said.

The wolf’s condition likely explains why it was searching for food around the campground, said Dan Stark, the DNR’s large carnivore specialist.

In most cases it is extremely rare for a wolf to be scavenging around an area with frequent human activity and not avoid the presence of people. The wolf’s stomach contained only fish spines and scales.

“It’s surprising that a wolf in this condition survived to this point given its reduced ability to survive in the wild,” Stark said.

“We can’t know with certainty why this wolf approached and bit the teen,” Carstensen said. “But the necropsy results support the possibility that its facial deformity, dental abnormalities and brain damage predisposed it to be less wary of people and human activities than what is normally observed in healthy wild wolves and also affected its ability to effectively capture wild prey.”

The teen sustained multiple puncture wounds and a laceration to his head when the wolf approached and bit his head from behind.

The injuries were not life-threatening.

The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed Aug. 28 that the wolf was not rabid.

Attacks of wild wolves on humans are rare.

This was Minnesota’s first documented wild wolf attack on a human that resulted in a significant injury.

CO weekly reports
From the DNR

• CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked duck hunters.
CO Mies assisted neighboring officers.
CO Mies checked anglers and a commercial check.
CO Mies gave a law talk at the Maple Lake firearms class along with a talk at the Darwin Firearms class.

• CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on several hunting complaints in the Wright County area relating to trespass, property damage due to shotgun BB’s, illegal baiting and late shooting of waterfowl.
Reller also checked a lot of waterfowl hunters over opening weekend and found most having good success with a good number of blue wing teal and wood ducks in the area.
AIS checks of waterfowl hunters were also done with approximately 20 percent violation rate on transporting watercraft with drain plug in.
Enforcement action was taken license violations, AIS violations and unplugged shotgun.

• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) returned calls all week on hunting regulations.
City ordinance calls were returned as well, but should be given to local cities or Sheriffs’ Departments.
The waterfowl opener was worked with CO Sladek with enforcement action taken for failure to retrieve waterfowl, unplugged gun, no state duck stamp, no HIP, no small game license, no lifejacket, no HIP, no State or Federal duck stamps in possession and litter in wetland.

• CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) worked the duck opener in Hennepin County finding fair success among most groups with few violations.
She continued to check fishing and boating activity on Lake Minnetonka.
A ride along was given to a potential CO candidate.

• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked a very busy opening to the 2013 waterfowl season.
Officer Oberg observed very good hunter success overall.
Most hunters were able to bag a few ducks and several limits were checked.
Wood ducks made up the majority of hunter’s bags, followed closely by teal, mallards and some hooded mergansers.
Unplugged shotguns were the theme of the day on opening morning.
Enforcement action was also taken for no license, allow illegal youth hunting, and stamp violations.
CO Oberg also took time to talk to a firearms safety class at Gopher Campfire.

• CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) worked a TIP call of early shooting on the duck opener.
Throughout the opening weekend, blue winged teal and wood ducks made up the majority of duck shot.
Hunters were reminded AIS rules apply as well to duck boats and drain plugs and weeds need to be removed before leaving the lake.
She spoke at two FAS classes as well.

Question of the week
From the DNR

Q: With nesting season over, what is the best method for cleaning out a bluebird house?

A: After birds are finished using the box remove all of the nesting material.

If the box has a door, open it and leave it opened until spring.

This way, rodents won’t chew on the door or the entrance hole to try to get in.

If the box is soiled, spray a 10 percent bleach solution inside, wipe it out and let it dry.

This should remove parasites and disinfect the box so it is ready for next year.