Hunting News

Feds: Tribal waterfowlers should keep species restrictions

Netters’ total take below the 3,000 lake trout allocated By Joe AlbertAssociate Editor Grand Marais, Minn. – The result of legislation that passed earlier this year, commercial fishermen in the northernmost management section of Lake Superior were allotted 3,000 lake trout as part of an expanded assessment fishery. The totals: Three fishermen requested tags for a total of 800 fish….

Dedicated funding not part of special session

By Joe AlbertAssociate Editor St. Paul – It looked promising early, and possible as of late, but dedicated funding will have to wait. Some proponents of the bill had urged lawmakers to include dedicated funding if there were a special legislative session. Gov. Tim Pawlenty called one, and legislators were scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon, but dedicated funding wasn’t on…

Lots of special regs scrutinized this fall

Bigger change in walleye rules possible By Tim SpielmanAssociate Editor St. Paul – Anglers who fish in Minnesota likely have seen signs posted at various access sites this summer, announcing the probability of special regulations for a specific species come open-water fishing, 2008. It’s been that way for a few years; although some statewide changes were made a few years…

Planning begins for dedicated funding oversight

By Joe AlbertAssociate Editor St. Paul – Garry Leaf puts a lot of miles on his car driving around the state, talking about dedicated funding to sportsmen. For a long time, add-ons to what began as a fish and wildlife bill were the hot topic. Now, it’s who will oversee the money and what it will be spent on. ‘It…

DNR: Pheasant numbers high for hunting season

DNR Reports St. Paul – Favorable pheasant nesting and brood-rearing conditions should mean another quality fall for Minnesota’s hunters. The DNR’s pheasant index remained near its highest level in 20 years, thanks to pheasant-friendly weather and habitat conditions in portions of southwest Minnesota, the state’s pheasant range. The pheasant index (107 birds per 100 miles of survey driven) topped 100…

DNR unveils plan to fund Vermilion park

By Joe AlbertAssociate Editor St. Paul – The DNR would have enough money to purchase thousands of acres of land on Lake Vermilion for a new state park and at least 4,000 acres of wildlife management areas, among other land, under a proposal unveiled earlier this week. The agency is proposing that a portion of the proceeds from the Environment…

Muskie brood stock suffers summerkill in Lake Rebecca

By Mike KallokStaff Writer Rockford, Minn. – More than 30 muskies up to 36 inches long died thanks to summerkill on one of the DNR’s primary brood stock lakes. The muskies surfaced in the southwest bay of Lake Rebecca – a 250-acre lake near Rockford in Hennepin County. The mortality was likely a result of warmer water, which holds less…

S.D. pheasant numbers are highest in decades

Officials predict a 2-million bird harvest this fall By Tori J. McCormickContributing Writer Pierre, S.D. – Most wildlife managers – they of measured words and poker faces – abhor making black-and-white predictions about an upcoming hunting season, regardless of the species. But that could be changing in South Dakota, where wildlife managers in recent years could have made small fortunes…

Tribes propose Sept. 1 duck opener

By Tim SpielmanAssociate Editor Odanah, Wis. – Last year about this time, state waterfowl managers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan were reacting to a proposal by tribes under the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission umbrella to allow tribal waterfowlers to bait ducks and geese. That aspect of the GLIFWC plan was rejected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife…

State: Limit fish eaten from some east metro waterways

St. Paul (AP) – The Minnesota Department of Health is warning people to limit the amount of fish they eat from several lakes in the eastern Twin Cities area where tests have shown the fish contain a chemical once manufactured by 3M. The new fish advisories were issued last Thursday for Como and a chain of lakes including Phalen, Gervais,…

DNR radio-collars timber wolves in the northwest

By Joe AlbertAssociate Editor Roosevelt, Minn. – By the time hunters start chasing grouse around the Red Lake Wildlife Management Area next month, the DNR hopes to be monitoring the wolves sharing those woods. The plan is to place radio collars on five or six wolves from different packs around the area. Trapping efforts got under way earlier this week….

COs play role in dramatic southeast flood rescues

By Tim SpielmanAssociate Editor La Crescent, Minn. – Ask a DNR conservation officer from southeastern Minnesota about his or her role in the deadly flooding that occurred last weekend, and the short answer you’ll get is, ‘Just doing my job.’ You’ll also be asked to acknowledge the efforts of local law enforcement agencies, firefighters, and citizens who had the means…

Northwest moose: gone in 50 years?

Research attempts to understand northeast decline By Joe AlbertAssociate Editor Grand Rapids, Minn. – Those hunters who shoot a moose this fall will be asked to provide the DNR with blood and tissue samples as the agency attempts to look at diseases and parasites that are affecting northeast moose. The herd there numbered 6,500 animals in surveys this winter. That’s…

A funding possibility for special session?

By Joe AlbertAssociate Editor St. Paul – Since lawmakers adjourned in late May, there has been speculation and talk of the possibility of a special session to deal with proposals that fell by the wayside during a rush end to the legislative session. For much of the summer, the chances appeared slim. Then the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed at the…

Survey: Minnesota among the leaders in outdoor recreation

By Joe AlbertAssociate Editor St. Paul – Need more proof that Minnesota is a hotbed for outdoor activities? Try these numbers: 1,435,000 – the number of anglers who fished in the state, fourth behind Florida, Texas, and California. 13 percent – the rate at which Minnesotans hunt, behind seven states and tied with Missouri and Wyoming. 28 percent – the…

Baiting opener Aug. 17, bear-food reports mixed

By Joe AlbertAssociate Editor Grand Rapids, Minn. – While rain has been scarce across much of the state, and much of the land is bone dry, berries and other bear foods have done well and could affect hunters’ success. Bear season begins Sept. 1 and runs through Oct. 14. Hunters can begin baiting this Friday, Aug. 17. Most summer bear…

Duck season ’07: 60 days, 6 ducks

By Joe AlbertAssociate Editor St. Paul – Once again, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will offer liberal hunting regulations for waterfowl this fall – 60 days and a six-duck bag. But unlike the past two seasons, when the daily bag limit was four birds, those regulations will apply to hunters in Minnesota, too. The season is Sept. 29 to…

Deer group seeks 3A extension

By Joe AlbertAssociate Editor Winona, Minn. – Hunters who take part in the 3A season in southeast Minnesota would have two full weekends to hunt, under a proposal from the local Minnesota Deer Hunters Association chapter. Officials from that chapter, the Bluff Country chapter, say they have collected more than 1,000 signatures in support of their stance. Legislators and DNR…

MPCA, DNR respond to disaster on I-35W

By Mike KallokStaff Writer St. Paul – The Interstate 35 bridge collapse disaster prompted an emergency response from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as it worked to determine the scope of environmental impacts and potential health risks for rescue and recovery workers. ‘The U.S. EPA and OSHA are concerned about what the air quality is like down there,’ said Ben…

Four-walleye bag limit sparks harvest on Red

Red Lake Band’s fish-processing plant could increase tribal demand, harvest By Tim SpielmanAssociate Editor Bemidji, Minn. – Double the fish, double the fishing. At least so far, that’s been the case on the sport-fisherman side of Upper Red Lake. In mid-July, based on the allowable walleye catch and the poundage already caught, DNR officials increased the walleye bag limit from…

Little input on Con-Con drainage

By Mike KallokStaff Writer Bemidji, Minn. – Public input concluded July 25 on a set of proposed rules for determining drainage benefits to the nearly 2 million acres of state-owned Consolidated Conservation areas. Whether or not the rule change will survive will be determined on August 24 by Barbara Neilson, an administrative law judge, according to Michael Carroll, DNR regional…

Feds say light goose order should remain

By Joe AlbertAssociate Editor Washington – The process has been ongoing since 1999, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is about to finish an Environmental Impact Statement that examines management of light geese. As discussed in the 254-page EIS, the agency’s preferred management alternative would allow the use of expanded hunting methods and the implementation of a conservation order…

Farm Bill clears House

By Tim SpielmanAssociate Editor Washington – Members of the U.S. House renewed hope last week that a Farm Bill, which includes a number of conservation programs, might be renewed for another five years by the time the current bill expires in September. By a vote of 231-191, House members passed the measure, which includes about $25 billion over five years…