If you like healthy northern pike, then the Minnesota DNR’s proposal to implement a 30- to 40-inch protected slot on the Gull Lake chain north of Brainerd deserves your support. The agency has several special and experimental regulations open to public comment through Oct. 20, including the idea to improve pike size on the 13,000-acre chain, which contains Gull and Upper Gull, Margaret, Ray, Love, Nisswa, Roy, and Round lakes in Cass and Crow Wing counties.
Late this summer, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued its annual Waterfowl Population Status Report, which showed some disturbing trends.
Total ducks in the continent’s heartland (32.3 million) are down 7% from 2022 and 9% off the long-term average (LTA). Year-on-year declines haven’t stopped the feds from allowing another liberal structure, including year three of Minnesota’s popular early teal season, which kicked off this past Saturday. Pintails provided arguably the lone bright spot in the survey, up 24% from 2022 at 2.2M birds, though still 43% off the LTA.
With the Aug. 15 deadline to submit entries to the 2023 federal duck stamp contest passed, artists now await judging (this year in Des Moines, Iowa) on Sept. 15-16. Last week, I tried contacting the federal duck stamp office for an answer to what I thought was a simple question: Are contest officials monitoring the potential for entries generated via artificial intelligence (AI)?
Sad news reached the Outdoor News office last week when we learned that Shawn Perich, who wrote for this publication as a field editor and columnist for years, died last Thursday, Aug. 3 at age 64.
One of the reasons I joined this business in 1997 was the opportunity to work with writers like Shawn Perich and Tony Dean. Reality was a little different for this then 27-year-old who found himself attempting to assign stories to a hard-headed field editor from the edge of the Boundary Waters. We argued a bit but eventually reached mutual respect and a deep friendship because of our common focus on conservation.
News last week that Backcountry Hunters and Anglers CEO and President Land Tawney will be stepping down startled the nation’s outdoors advocates. Tawney has been the pied piper of public lands for the growing organization the past decade, bringing his big grin and enthusiasm to pint nights and the state rendezvous many times through the years.
The public policy low point for this scribe in 2023 has been the ongoing transfer of the Upper Sioux Agency State Park to the Upper Sioux Community. By the time state residents became aware of this deal a few months ago, the matter already looked like a foregone conclusion.
To be blunt, I think citizens should be demanding no net loss of public lands here.
The Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance’s remaining board members voted Tuesday, June 27, to formally dissolve the nearly 30-year-old organization.
An umbrella group that represented dozens of state outdoors and conservation groups on statewide public policy matters since its founding in 1994, MOHA led the charge in passing Amendment 2, the so-called Right to Hunt and Fish ballot initiative in 1998. It also played a key role in passing the Legacy Amendment sales tax dedication a decade later.
A couple summers ago, my wife’s aunt asked if we could dog-sit one of her canines for a fortnight. Thus began my crash course in Gordon setters.
An early riser, I’d take 4-year-old female “Vegas” for three-mile walk-runs at sunrise to beat the late June humidity. A rural gal who normally bounds freely in a huge, fenced-in enclosure, Vegas wasn’t thrilled with suburban leash work.
A recent social media post celebrated Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment. It proclaimed that our state is lucky to have the financing Legacy provides for Minnesota’s natural and cultural resources. The post ended with, “Let’s hope it continues for decades to come.”
An optimist would find it hard to argue with such enthusiasm, but as my transition to grumpy old man accelerates, I find it increasingly necessary to point out to folks – particularly younger people – that none of the environmental and conservation assets we enjoy today happened randomly.