Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Tori McCormick

Minnesota duck hunting opener better than expected? Hunters find plentiful birds across the state

If, for some unfortunate reason, you couldn’t participate in last weekend’s traditional duck opener in Minnesota, you missed out on, as one waterfowler mused on social media, a “hunting bonanza.” 
Steve Cordts, Minnesota DNR waterfowl staff specialist, said reports from wildlife managers and hunter bag checks across the state found many happy waterfowlers – even if excessively dry conditions made wetland and shallow lake access tough in many areas
“It was a very good to excellent opener for a lot of hunters,” Cordts said on Monday afternoon. “That’s my assessment based on the reports I’ve gotten.”

Can’t find the deer you shot? A new tracking group in southeastern Minnesota is part of a growing network

Lisa Gargulak missed the first call. She didn’t feel her smartphone vibrate in her jacket pocket.
Who could blame her? She was sitting comfortably in a deer stand, on a crisp, sun-splashed, near-perfect morning in October 2021 near Spooner, Wis.
Gargulak was hoping to arrow a deer, but, she admits, it was “a pretty quiet morning.” At 9 a.m., another call came in – and this time she felt the vibration. It was the same person who’d called earlier.

Number of waterfowl hunters still declining: What are the effects of fewer hunters?

As Minnesota hunters prepare to take to the marshes, lakes, and fields for Saturday’s regular duck opener, a national waterfowl conservation and hunting group is sounding the alarm on the continued decline of North American waterfowl hunters and what it means for the future of habitat conservation.
The Delta Waterfowl Foundation, based in Bismarck, N.D., reports fewer people hunted waterfowl last year in North America than during any season in the past 60 years. That analysis comes from hunter-participation statistics from both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Minnesota’s duck hunt 2023: Good and bad, dry conditions will impact the season

Duck hunters, buckle up: Minnesota’s 2023 opener on Sept. 23 is shaping up to be a parched affair, with wetlands, shallow lakes, and river systems across the state running low and, in some extreme cases, not running at all.
The increasingly drought-addled conditions, wildlife officials say, make pre-opener scouting more important than normal. That’s true for locating and patterning ducks, as well as determining if dry conditions will affect access and mode of travel.
“Like the last few years, it’s dry across a lot of Minnesota … and that’s unlikely to change before opening weekend.”

Table being set for upcoming U.S. Farm Bill, with plenty at stake for hunters and anglers

In early August at Farmfest in Redwood Falls, eight members of the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee, including five from Minnesota, fielded questions – some sharper than others – about the next federal Farm Bill.
The current $867 billion Farm Bill, passed in 2018, expires at month’s end, and a new bill is a top congressional priority amid other pressing issues, including passing a federal budget. At the forum, House members heard from corn farmers and biofuel supporters, dairy farmers, and nutrition-program advocates. All have stakes in a new Farm Bill that funds their pet programs. But few questions revolved around farmland conservation and the voluntary conservation programs that are important to hunters, anglers, and conservationists.

Soon-to-be metro wildlife management area in Minnesota’s Washington County a ‘spectacular place’

When newcomers first set eyes on the sprawling 2,600-acre cattle ranch owned by Kelley Land and Cattle Co. in Washington County, Minn., they are invariably smitten by the property’s nearly unblemished natural amenities and beauty.
“It’s truly a spectacular place,” said Bob McGillivray, land protection director for the Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit group. “The family has kept the property in incredibly good shape over the years.
The good news for hunters, anglers, birders, wildlife watchers, and conservationists is that a large portion of the property, also known as Kelley Farms, will become a state wildlife management area, likely in fall of 2024.

Hunting diving ducks: Three spots to head after north country waters ice up

A few generations ago, if you grew up hunting ducks in Minnesota or Wisconsin or anywhere in the Great Lakes region and likely beyond, there’s a good chance you cut your teeth chasing diving ducks.
From Field & Stream to Sports Afield, the era’s outdoor periodicals glamorized the pursuit of rough-water-loving bluebills, redheads, and canvasbacks and its many shotgunning disciples. The late wildlife artist, Les Kouba, painted his childhood waterfowling memories that included many evocative diver scenes, from flocks of canvasbacks lifting off mist-shrouded marshes to wave-buffeting bluebills angling into the stiff winds and spitting snow.

Minnesota study gains insight into how brainworm impacts state’s low moose numbers

New moose research conducted by scientists at the University Minnesota and the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is shedding added light on why the population of the iconic northwoods giant declined so precipitously in northeastern part of the state beginning in 2006.
Researchers say the primary driver behind the decline is brainworm, a parasite that impacts the animal’s nervous system, which can lead to paralysis and ultimately death. This has been known for years. The new research, however, discovered evidence that moose in Minnesota consume species of gastropods – slugs and snails – that are known hosts of the brainworm parasite.

Wood ducks: Hunting tactics for these handsome, early migrators

If ducks were models, the drake wood duck would rule the catwalk.
With iridescent chestnut, green, and purple plumage, accented in snowy white, the undeniably handsome drake woodie is one of nature’s most spectacular winged specimens. For waterfowl hunters, wood ducks can be sneaky fast, darting in from all angles, regardless of wind direction. They’re deceptively wary and have a well-earned reputation for spurning decoy spreads – unless you are well hidden and precisely where they want to be.

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