With a license, teens can hunt toms for entire turkey season

April 21, 2014

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR

This year for the first time, youth age 17 and younger can hunt the entire Minnesota spring turkey season or until they harvest a turkey and they can choose any location open to turkey hunting, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.

Youth age 13-17 need to obtain a license for a fee of $5. Youth age 12 and younger need to obtain a free license. License vendors will add a $1 issuing fee.

Spring wild turkey season opened Wednesday, April 16 and runs through Thursday, May 29.

Gone is the need for youth to pick a single time period and risk getting shut out by bad weather or an unexpected conflict with school, work or family obligations.

“Adults should share their passion for hunting and get kids out in the field.” said Mike Kurre, DNR’s mentoring program coordinator. “The season structure for youth and inexpensive license fees provide the opportunity to build the family turkey hunting tradition from the ground up – or the parents down.”

Licenses may be purchased from any DNR license agent, online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by telephone at 888-665-4236.

People purchasing via Internet or by telephone should allow seven to 10 days for the turkey license and attached site tag to arrive in the mail.

All turkey hunters must have their license and tag in possession when hunting.

A $3.50 convenience fee will be charged for telephone purchases.

An additional fee of 3 percent of the transaction amount plus $1.65 for mailing the license will be added to online purchases.

Additional information about the spring turkey hunting season is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/turkey.

Waverly Gun Club to host hand gun league

The Waverly Gun Club will be hosting a hand gun league at the club.

The league will run for four nights in May, starting Wed., May 7, and continuing May 14, May 21, and May 28.

Shooting starts at 5 p.m. and goes until 8 p.m.

For additional information go to www.waverlygunclub.org, or contact Gary at either (612) 210-5356 or gary51@charter.net.

Youth trap league starts at Waverly Gun Club April 28

Youth trap league will begin at 6:30 pm Monday, April 28 at Waverly Gun Club. The league runs Mondays through June 30.

Wet, snowy conditions will require temporary road and trail closures
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will need to close many roads and trails temporarily in state forests, state parks, recreation areas and wildlife management areas, due to wet, snowy conditions.

Road and trail conditions are deteriorating rapidly this spring, and many are not yet firm enough to support vehicle traffic without being damaged.

The temporary closures could remain in effect until sometime in May, depending on weather conditions.

“These are normal spring closures that happen when roads and trails become wet and fragile,” said Richard Peterson, recreation program coordinator for the DNR’s Forestry Division. “We ask that people use good judgment, obey the closures and frequently check the DNR website for updates.”

Road conditions can change quickly. The DNR advises people to check individual state park, state trail or state forest Web pages before planning trips to avoid being surprised and disappointed by temporary closures.

Road and trail users should pay particular attention to state forest closures.

Generally, all roads and trails in a particular forest will be closed, but not always.

Those that can handle motor vehicle traffic will remain open but may be restricted by gross vehicle weight.

Signs will be posted at entry points and parking lots.

Online road and trail condition information is updated every Thursday by 2 p.m.

Changes are added as soon as possible to the “Current Conditions” page on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov (www.dnr.state.mn.us/trailconditions/index.html).

Signs may be in place before the website is updated. All signs must be obeyed.

Road and trail closure information is also available by calling the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or toll-free, 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

For information on roads and trails on county land, contact the county directly.

Minnesota fishing facts
From the DNR

Anglers and waters
• About 1.5 million licensed anglers.
• About 500,000 people are expected to fish on opening day of the walleye and northern pike season, Saturday, May 10.
• Minnesota has 11,842 lakes, 5,400 of which are managed by DNR fisheries. There are 18,000 miles of fishable rivers and streams, including 3,600 miles of trout streams.
• Average annual expenditure per angler is about $1,500.
• Although not every kind of fish lives everywhere, 162 species of fish can be found in Minnesota waters.

Participation and the economy
• Fishing contributes $2.4 billion to the state’s economy in direct retail sales, ranking Minnesota fourth in the nation for angler expenditures.
• Fishing supports 35,400 Minnesota jobs.
• Minnesota ranks second in resident fishing participation at 32 percent, second only to Alaska. 1
• Minnesota is the third most-popular inland fishing destination in the country.
• Minnesota ranks sixth among states with the highest number of anglers. The top three states are Florida, Texas and

Who goes fishing
• Most resident anglers - 855,000 of them in fact - are from urban areas. The remaining 474,000 resident anglers live in greater Minnesota.
• Men account for 66 percent of resident anglers. Women account for 34 percent.

Fishing habits
• Significantly more time is spent fishing on lakes rather than rivers and streams.
• The average Minnesota angler spends 15 days fishing each year, with 84 percent of resident anglers never fishing anywhere else but Minnesota.
• The most sought-after fish species, in order of preference, are crappie, panfish, walleye and northern pike.

DNR accepting comments on hunting rules
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting comments through 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 12, on a proposal to make permanent a number of temporary hunting rules that have been in place for at least one hunting season.

The rules pertain to registration of game taken by hunting or trapping, hunter selection and descriptions of various hunting area boundaries such as wild turkey permit areas, deer areas and waterfowl hunting zones.

“Hunters have been applying for licenses and registering game under most of these rules for the past several seasons,” said Jason Abraham, DNR season setting specialist. “By making these temporary rules permanent, we provide additional consistency for hunters and streamline the process for managing a sustainable harvest.”

Many of the rule changes are intended to streamline regulations, reduce paperwork and modify zone boundaries to better match habitat conditions. The rules, summarized below:

• Modify deer tagging provisions.
• Allow deer hunters to apply for an either-sex permit and a special hunt in the same year.
• Allow for online and telephone registration of bears and bait stations.
• Update elk zone boundaries.
• Provide for site validation coupons for fisher, marten and otter.
• Modify farmland furbearer zone.
• Consolidate wild turkey permit areas from 77 smaller areas into nine larger ones.
• Streamline wild turkey license sales procedures.
• Modify and consolidate prairie chicken zone boundaries.
• Moved the prairie chicken license application deadline to the Friday nearest Aug. 17.
• Correct rail and snipe possession limit for consistency with federal regulations.
• Provide for three waterfowl zones and standardize waterfowl season definition.
• Correct Migratory Waterfowl Feeding and Resting Area descriptions and
• Clarify eligibility of hunters and mentors participating in Youth Waterfowl Day.

The proposed rules are published online in the April 7 edition of the State Register at www.comm.media.state.mn.us/bookstore/stateregister/38_41.pdf?page=10.

They are also is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/input/rules/wildlife/hunting.html.

Comments may be submitted to: Jason Abraham, Box 20, DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55115-4020 or by emailing jason.abraham@state.mn.us.

Wildfire Prevention Week raises awareness of outdoor fire hazards
From the DNR

Gov. Mark Dayton has declared April 20–26 as Wildfire Prevention Week in Minnesota to increase awareness of outdoor wildfire hazards.

Each spring wildland firefighters and rural fire department volunteers spend countless hours battling wildfires that could have been easily prevented.

In the past 18 months, wildfires burned 21 homes and three commercial buildings and threatened more than 500 other structures, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

These fires were caused by people misjudging the weather and danger of fires escaping their control.

“Due to the dead and dry grasses that can easily catch fire, spring is always a risky time for wildfires in Minnesota,” said Larry Himanga, DNR wildfire prevention coordinator. “Right now the fire danger in southern and central Minnesota is high, which means fires can easily start and quickly spread. Therefore, burning permits are not being issued in most of these areas.”

A major cause of wildfires is burning yard waste.

The DNR recommends composting or mulching instead.

If burning is necessary, landowners should check fire burning restrictions in their area, get a burning permit, be careful with their debris fires and remember small-piled debris can hold hot coals for several days to months for large ones.

The DNR has developed new wildfire prevention Web pages (www.dnr.state.mn.us/wildfire/prevention/index.html) to help increase awareness of wildfire prevention and the dangers of wildfires.

Burning restrictions will continue to expand into northern Minnesota as fire danger increases due to snow melt.

Visit www.mndnr.gov/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html for current statewide fire danger information and burning restrictions.

“When you light a fire, you are responsible for keeping it under control and staying with it until it is out,” Himanga said. “If you think your fire is out, check again.”

2014 Arbor Month Celebration encourages nature play
From the DNR

A decline in nature play has prompted the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to put this year’s Arbor Month (May) focus on encouraging kids to climb trees and play with nature in their back yards and within the community.

The 2014 State Arbor Month Celebration will be 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 17, at Oak Hill Park in St. Louis Park.

The event will give families a chance to play with nature, while watching some of the best tree climbers in the state compete at the Minnesota Tree Climbing Championship.

According to the Children & Nature Network and the Commission on Education and Communication, 88 percent of children reported using a computer almost every day, while only 11 percent of children reported visiting a local park or natural area almost every day.

In some cases, the use of electronic media has disconnected children and their parents from nature.

Nature play is easy, affordable and safe.

Frequent, unstructured play in diverse natural settings promotes overall physical and emotional health, cognitive development, creativity, physical ability and coordination, the Green Hearts Institute for Nature in Childhood reports.

It also reduces stress and forms the foundation for responsible environmental behavior.

“Outdoor playtime can easily be doubled with a little planning and a commitment by parents to encourage their kids to climb trees, dig holes in dirt and sand, play in the leaves, plant a garden, build forts, run through tall grass and play with water,” said Jennifer Teegarden, DNR forestry outreach specialist.

State Arbor Month Celebration – May 17

9 a.m. – State Arbor Month ceremony with state dignitaries.
9:30 a.m. – Ceremonial tree planting.
10 a.m. – Musical performance by Kidtime with Rachel.
10 a.m. to noon – Nature play activities, exhibits and presentations.
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Minnesota State Tree Climbing Championships.

For more information, visit www.mndnr.gov/arbormonth.

CO weekly report
From the DNR

• CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this past week.
CO Mies worked on bow fishing complaints where game fish were shot.
CO Mies checked ATVs and worked on a public waters case.

• CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) gave presentations to firearms safety classes in Monticello and St. Michael.
Most lakes in the area have opened up along the shoreline and the ice is deteriorating fast with the high winds and warmer weather making unsafe ice conditions.
Enforcement action was taken for fish house being left out after deadline, take furbearer with firearm and taken furbearer out of season.

• CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fisherman on the Mississippi River.
He assisted with a number of nuisance animal calls.
Officer Sladek gave an enforcement presentation to a firearms safety class and followed up on a road kill bear.
He also investigated a number of ATV complaints.

• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked area streams for fish run. Several animal nuisance calls were handled.
He gave a presentation to the Waconia Lions Club.

• CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked numerous anglers that had success on the opening day of the trout season.
Rainbow trout made up most of the limits caught.
Throughout the week, she investigated a garbage dump, a complaint of shooting from a green SUV in Birch Cooley Township and dogs chasing deer.
She assisted McLeod County with wild turkeys causing problems at an elementary school.
Mueller also spoke at a FAS class in Buffalo Lake.

• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) prepared to instruct at the upcoming officer in-service training at Camp Ripley.
Oberg also spent time setting up talks at firearms safety classes for this spring.
Oberg also assisted with an injured deer call.