Wrote a portion of this week’s Outdoor Insights column in the
print edition of Outdoor News about whining I’m hearing among some
birders. Some of my fellow birdwatchers (I consider myself one) are
upset that Minnesota sandhill crane hunters don’t need a federal
migratory bird stamp, the so-called Duck Stamp, to hunt cranes.
Nearly 2,000 hunters bought $3.50 permits to hunt cranes in
Minnesota, and one blogger reminded readers that the DNR announced
the hunt without holding any public hearings.
As I outlined in the August 6 edition, the DNR by law didn’t
need to hold hearings, and people have been hunting the growing
midcontinent flock of sandhill cranes, which numbers about a half
million, for 50 years. Nationally, hunters take about 20,000 birds
from the flock each year, and if Minnesota hunters add 1,000 birds
to that total, I’ll buy a kilt and learn to play the bagpipes.
For the record, I have no problem requiring hunters to purchase
a federal duck stamp to hunt all migratory birds. That said, I’ve
read a lot of whining, gnashing of teeth and borderline sportsmen
bashing over a nonissue. The vast majority, probably 90
percent-plus, of guys who hunted cranes already own federal and
state duck stamps. How about this: If more than 10 percent of the
guys who hunted cranes in Minnesota this year didn’t own a federal
Duck Stamp, I’ll play my bagpipes, in the kilt, for a local Twin
Cities birding club somewhere outside this winter.
I highly doubt anyone will have to witness that sordid
Rob Drieslein has been a professional newspaper and magazine
outdoors scribe since 1992. In 1997, he became editor of Minnesota
Outdoor News and began serving as managing editor of the Outdoor
News publications in 2003. In addition to his print editorial
duties, Drieslein cohosts Outdoor News Radio (syndicated by the
Minnesota News Network) and Outdoor Talk Radio on KTLK-FM 100.3 in
the Twin Cities. Drieslein and his wife of 15 years raise three
sons, all of whom enjoy canoe camping trips in the Boundary Waters,
waterfowl hunting, and fishing for stream trout in southeast