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Free entrance to Minnesota state parks and recreation areas on Friday, Nov. 25

Minnesotans encouraged to explore outdoors with friends, family over holiday weekend The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will waive entrance fees to all 75 state parks and recreation areas Friday, Nov. 25 — the day after Thanksgiving. This “Free Park Day” is one of four days each year on which the DNR waives the vehicle permit requirement to enter state…

St. Paul Ice Fishing Show Set for Dec. 2-4

St. Paul — St. Paul RiverCentre will once again host the St. Paul Ice Fishing & Winter Sports Show. The show is slated for Dec. 2-4. This year’s show will feature more than 190 exhibits with products and services for the ice anglers and winter sports enthusiasts. Check out ice-fishing tackle, rods and reels, fish houses, augers, and more. A…

A new Legislature: What’s in store for outdoors?

By Javier Serna Assistant Editor St. Paul — The lack of legislative victories for conservation in Minnesota in recent years almost certainly hasn’t been helped by a divided state government, most recently with a DFL governor and House, and a Republican-controlled Senate. But the partisan deadlock of the past several sessions could be over now that the DFL last week…

Hard Water Ice Fishing Expo Begins Today

Blaine, Minn. — The Hard Water Ice Fishing Expo kicks off Friday at the National Sports Center in Blaine. The expo continues through Sunday. Don’t miss this chance to get a look at what’s new in ice-fishing gear for the season that will soon be upon state anglers. You’ll see the latest in augers, tackle, rods and reels, and more….

Zebra mussels confirmed in Lake Shetek in Murray County

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a report of zebra mussels in Lake Shetek, near Currie in Murray County. Lake Shetek is connected downstream by a meandering stream channel to Lake Sarah, where zebra mussels were confirmed in 2018. The DNR is considering which of several other water bodies connected to Lake Shetek might also be listed for…

Field reports: What Minnesota deer hunters can expect this season

More than 400,000 deer hunters are preparing for the firearms deer season that opens Saturday, Nov. 5. The season offers opportunities to spend time outdoors with friends and family, find adventure and put venison in the freezer. Deer hunting is the primary tool used to manage deer populations, and hunters help keep deer numbers in line with population goals across…

Potential State-Record Muzzleloader Black Bear

ONE FOR THE BOOKS? Jesse Koskiniemi, of Nimrod, shot this 685-pound (615 pounds field-dressed) black bear while using a muzzleloader in Wadena County on Oct. 3. The bear had a green score of 219⁄16. Currently, the largest bear taken via muzzleloader in Minnesota scored 208⁄16. Koskiniemi plans on a full-body mount of the recently killed bruin. Both bears will be…

DNR invites deer hunters to share wildlife observations

Participation helps broaden understanding of deer and 
other Minnesota animals With archery deer season underway and scouting for the upcoming firearms deer season starting in earnest, now is an ideal time for hunters to start using the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources online log for deer and other wildlife sightings. “We’re asking deer hunters to share their observations of wildlife to…

Canada drops its vaccine mandate

By Rob Gillies Associated Press Toronto (AP) — The Canadian government announced Sept. 26 that it will no longer require people to wear masks on planes to guard against COVID-19. Government officials also confirmed Canada is dropping the vaccine requirement for people entering the country at the end of September. Canada, like the United States, requires foreign nationals to be…

Forestry partnerships focus on land surrounding Camp Ripley

LITTLE FALLS — With an infusion of funds and a focus on forestry, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is making it easier and less costly for private landowners to manage their property within the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape, a 10-mile buffer that simultaneously protects natural resources and the National Guard’s training mission. The Mississippi River runs through the 52,830-acre…

DNR conservation officer candidates graduate from academy, hit the field

Eighteen people graduated Tuesday, Sept. 13, from the 21st Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Academy, after training for 16 weeks in all aspects of their new careers as conservation officers. The graduates already have spread out across the state and will spend the next several months field training with experienced conservation officers before assuming their assigned stations. The…

On consecutive days, two 50-plus-inch muskies

By Tim Spielman Editor Aitkin, Minn. — Noah Moss has an uncanny knack for making big things happen on schedule. Call it coincidence. Call it serendipity, if you’d like. His father, Jordan Moss, of Aitkin, says 13-year-old Noah is, perhaps, simply, “a kid with a horseshoe.” A few years ago, Noah wounded a Boone and Crockett-quality buck but didn’t recover…

DNR asks waterfowl hunters to take precautions for avian flu

With some waterfowl hunting seasons starting Saturday, Sept. 3, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is advising hunters to take precautions for avian influenza when handling harvested birds.  “Waterfowl hunters can take steps to minimize the risk of spreading the virus,” said Michelle Carstensen, DNR wildlife health program supervisor. “We’re already getting reports of highly pathogenic avian influenza in wild…

Reminder: Deer lottery application deadline Sept. 8

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds firearm and muzzleloader hunters who want to harvest antlerless deer in a deer permit area designated as antlerless permit lottery this hunting season to purchase their license by Thursday, Sept. 8. Hunters who purchase their license on or before this date are automatically entered into the lottery for the deer permit area or…

DNR reminds hunters to watch for wild ricers 
during early waterfowl seasons

Minnesota waterfowl hunters taking part in early teal and goose hunting seasons in September need to be aware and cautious of wild rice harvesters, because wild rice is ripening at the same time as these early waterfowl hunting seasons. Minnesota’s experimental early teal season runs from Saturday, Sept. 3, through Wednesday, Sept. 7, with shooting hours from sunrise to sunset….

2021 DNR firearms safety instructor of year is longtime advocate of hunter education

Will Purvis, of Vernon Center in Blue Earth County, is the 2021 DNR firearms safety volunteer instructor of the year. He received the award earlier this month during Game Fair in Ramsey. Purvis, a staunch conservationist who has spent decades working to get kids and adults alike interested in the outdoors, has been a volunteer firearms safety instructor since 1996….