Javier Serna

Success rate of Minnesota’s Ripley archery deer hunt up 132 percent

Little Falls, Minn. — Bowhunters killed more than twice as many deer during this fall’s two-weekend Camp Ripley archery hunt as they did a year ago. The hunt, held Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 28-29, saw 263 deer harvested, up 132 percent from last year, according to Dr. William Faber, of Central Lakes College (last year’s harvest total was 113 deer)….

Northwestern Minnesota hunter bags 700-pound black bear [photo]

Roseau, Minn. — Jan Johnson knew there was a big bear around. He just didn’t know how big it was. On Oct. 1, Johnson killed a bear that tipped the scale at 700 pounds near Roseau. He was hunting on his parents’ property. “I knew he was around,” said Johnson, 54. “I’d been after him, trying to hunt him out…

Aquatic invasive species proposal divides the room in Minnesota’s Wright County

Annandale, Minn. — The line of people hoping to attend a meeting about a controversial proposed aquatic invasive species inspection program was beyond the door of the Annandale Municipal Park Pavilion on Aug. 23. “We’re here primarily for discussion purposes,” Alicia O’Hare, Wright County Soil and Water Conservation District water specialist, told the full house. “What’s to discuss?” piped up…

Good news for anglers: Navigating the border at Minnesota’s Northwest Angle just got a whole lot easier

Angle Inlet, Minn. — It just got easier for those visiting the Northwest Angle – that northernmost slice of Minnesota that’s landlocked by Manitoba. A federal pilot program launched in recent weeks eliminates some of the hassle in checking back in with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol when Angle visitors step back into Canada. “I am very pleased to share…

With outlook good for this year’s hunt, bear baiting begins in Minnesota

Grand Rapids, Minn. — A general lack of natural food abundance has both DNR area wildlife managers and bear hunting outfitters thinking it should be a good hunting season, as the bear-baiting period opened Friday, Aug. 11. The hunting season opens Sept. 1 and continues through Oct. 15. The quality and quantity of the natural food crop in a given…

Fish virus found in Minnesota waters for first time

Waterville, Minn. — A fish virus was discovered for the first time in a wild fish population in Minnesota after thousands of common carp, a non-native species, died during the course of several weeks on Waseca County’s Elysian Lake in southeast Minnesota in late June and into July. Despite early signs that the cause was the more-common columnaris disease, spread…

Southeast Minnesota trout streams are hit or miss

Prescott, Wis. — The Xs on Andy Roth’s fly-fishing guide calendar have been accumulating like the rainfall totals in the Driftless Area this summer. At least the big rains that hammered parts of southwest Wisconsin last week – but into southeast Minnesota a bit, too – narrowly missed the two main streams Roth has been fishing – the Kinnickinnic and…

Return of walleye catch and release no certainty for Lake Mille Lacs

Isle, Minn. — The Minnesota DNR’s top fisheries biologist won’t say what will happen when the three-week walleye-fishing closure ends July 27 for Lake Mille Lacs, but that hasn’t stopped speculation from swirling around the 132,000-acre lake. It’s unclear how close state anglers are to reaching their portion of the 64,000-pound quota, of which they are allowed 44,800 pounds. It…

Minnesota angler ties his own flathead catfish length record [Photo]

By Javier Serna Assistant Editor Shakopee, Minn. — For the second spring in a row, Jacob Robinson has landed a 49-inch flathead catfish on the Minnesota River on May 15. The hefty fish, this one an inch thicker in girth (33½ inches) and likely heavier, tied last year’s fish in Minnesota DNR’s catch-and-release length record program, which was launched last…

One-time shot of money to fund 2017 CWD surveillance

St. Paul — The state Legislature’s environment budget bill, signed by Gov. Mark Dayton last week, included $500,000 to pay for wildlife disease testing. It will be needed this coming fall as the state expands surveillance for chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer. The discovery of the fatal deer disease on a deer farm in Crow Wing County – and…

One dog death via trap reported during recent furbearer season

St. Paul — There was one fatal incident involving a dog caught in a trap in 2016, the lowest number since the Minnesota DNR began tracking reported incidents in 2012. It was a low-effort year for trappers, what with a largely depressed fur market, but there’s also reason to believe that educational efforts might be helping to avoid these conflicts….

Study says Mississippi River starts out clean, leaves Minnesota dirty

St. Paul — The Mississippi River remains a healthy, clean stream for much of the way down to about St. Cloud, the river’s most pristine stretch on its 2,320-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. But a new monitoring study released last week by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency shows the river’s water quality takes a turn for the worse…

Muskie anglers score on open water of Mille Lacs [Photo]

Aitkin, Minn. — For the second fall in a row, some hefty muskies have been reportedly pulled out of Lake Mille Lacs. Continued open water opened up opportunity for muskie anglers willing to put up with what can be tough fishing conditions. The muskie season closed Dec. 1. For the second year in a row, there were muskellunge caught and…

Large cat sighting disputed

Originally reported as cougars, DNR officials now conclude it was bobcats Nashwauk, Minn. — The report of a pair of mountain lions in Itasca County has been called a case of mistaken identity by a Minnesota DNR wildlife official. After news of the sighting – first reported by the Pioneer Press – circulated on the Internet, Dan Stark, the Minnesota…

MN DNR agrees to allow bands to kill 10 more moose

St. Paul — The Minnesota DNR has granted a special permit that will allow two Chippewa tribes to each take five moose before year’s end. The move could bring the total number of moose killed by tribal hunters in northeastern Minnesota to 38, ending a three-year moratorium on the beleaguered species, which was estimated last winter at about 4,000 animals,…

Bass Pro Shops’ acquistion: Cabela’s, in $5.5 billion deal

Sidney, Neb. — In the competitive fishing and hunting retail industry, one big fish just swallowed another. On Monday, it was announced that Bass Pro Shops had “entered into a definitive agreement,” to acquire Cabela’s for $65.50 per share in cash, according to a Bass Pro Shops press release. The companies valued the deal at $5.5 billion, which includes debt….