MinBlogs

State’s first wolf season comes to an end

Some people expected the hunters and trappers during the state’s first-ever wolf season to come up well short of the 400 animals available during the season. Others expected they would hit the mark, but that it would take most of the season, which was scheduled to end Jan. 31. Some people, based on the harvest patterns they’d been seeing, expected…

State Capitol reorganization

During the past few weeks, we’ve learned more about how things will play out during the upcoming legislative session, which kicks off Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. When Republicans held both bodies of the state Legislature ­ remember that short two-year run – they combined their environment policy and finance committees. That meant Rep. Denny McNamara and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen –…

Hunting and fishing rules: Some un-common sense

I live in Minnesota where rules regarding hunting and fishing generally make pretty good sense. Our state DNR has to bend to the will of our legislature though, and that can create some strange guidelines and regulations, but for the most part I appreciate what’s in our rule book. For the most part. When it comes to scopes on muzzleloaders…

Some Christmas presents I’d like to see under the tree

The men and women who hunt and fish and use the outdoors offer easy gift-purchasing options. Hunting and fishing are sports that are gear driven so it would seem there are loads of options when special occasions require a gift be purchased for your favorite outdoorsman. So why do I always hear whining and crying and wailing and bellyaching that…

Deer kill down from last year; buck harvest up

With the Zone 2 and 3A deer seasons closed, and the Zone 1 season still open through Sunday, firearms hunters have killed a total of 134,107 deer so far this season. That’s about 6 percent less than they had taken at the same time last year. Through earlier this week, the buck kill in the 100 series of permit areas…

Election’s over; deer and wolf hunts go on

That was a quick run. After gaining control of the state House and Senate in 2010, Republicans on Tuesday night lost both chambers, leaving Minnesota with Democratic rule in the House, Senate, and Governor’s office. Many of the names we’ve come to associate with outdoors and natural resources issues retained their seats, but we’ll have new chairs for the environment…

Global warming: Lots of concern, but how about a solution?

Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately: It doesn’t matter if you believe in global warming or not. It doesn’t matter if you think the climate is changing due to man-made pollution or if you believe weather patterns are always in a state of flux and we’re just in a cycle of some kind. None of this matters….

No American should take the Clean Water Act for granted

Happy birthday to the Clean Water Act. This important 1972 environmental legislation marked 40 years as federal law on October 18. Contributing Writer Tori McCormick has a fine piece in the Nov. 2 edition of Outdoor News quoting Gary Botzek, the executive director of the Minnesota Conservation Federation, http://www.mncf.org/ about the CWA. Back in the early 1970s, the story notes, 60…

Big buck counties

Looking for a trophy buck in Minnesota this weekend? The Boone and Crockett Club yesterday sent out an email with a list of the top 125 trophy counties in the United States. The list, according to the email, is based on B&C big-game records dating to 1830. Two Minnesota counties appear on the list: St. Louis County in the northeastern…

The elections are upon us. What are your priorities?

Soon all American citizens will have the opportunity to take to the voting booths to cast a ballot. There will be races all over the United States decided. The winners will bask in the glory of their victory while the losers will analyze their campaign and begin strategizing their next move. This election cycle is being touted as a consensus…

PETA and the actual threats to hunting

Anti-hunters come in all shapes, sizes and political mindsets so don’t be quick to pigeon hole the anti-hunting movement or else you’ll miss half of those who would put an end to it one way or another. Yeah, that’s right. In this world of polarization where political parties are working day and night to turn our self-governing processes into a…

Wolf seasons will proceed as planned

The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Wednesday gave clarity to the wolf seasons this fall and winter: The seasons will go on. The court denied a request for a preliminary injunction from the Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves. Those groups had asked the court to stop this year's wolf hunting and trapping seasons. The groups' suit will…

The northwestern Minnesota fires get real

Our own Tim Spielman reported this week on the fires raging in the northwestern part of the state due to severely dry conditions. As we were putting out the paper, a fire information officer told him the city of Karlstad hadn’t yet been evacuated due to the fires, but that residents had been put on notice. Thanks to the dry…

Game of kings: Ontario-bound for river-run Lake Superior salmon

Stole away for a couple of days late last week and traveled up Minnesota’s north shore to rendezvous with Shawn Perich in Grand Marias. Perich co-owns a publishing operation there, and the two of us promptly made tracks for the Pigeon River border crossing into Canada. Shawn and I must have looked a little shifty with our fishing rods because…

We need a season on feral cats

I was down on my land in Iowa recently with some other family members and while a bunch of us were milling around near the pole barn a feral cat poked his head out of a nearby patch of corn. A couple of my young nephews immediately started conjuring up ways to catch the feline. My immediate advice to them…

On wolves

During a conversation earlier this week with Mark Johnson, executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, I let slip that I failed to apply for a license to hunt wolves in the state this fall. Truth be told, I forgot. Like many Minnesotans, I wait until the very last moment to buy my deer license and apply for an…

Kicking off the 2012 Minnesota Outdoor News Youth Writing Contest

It’s that time of year when Minnesota Outdoor News kicks off its annual Youth Writing Contest. Since we first launched the annual contest in 1998, dozens of youth have won accolades and cash by sending us their stories and poetic meanderings. Every year, we receive more than 100 entries from students and teachers around Minnesota for the contest, then we select…

Gaining hunting ground for ducks and other waterfowl on Lake Christina

I’ve written thousands of articles over the years and have a little list of favorites. One of those favorites came this past August when I wrote about the Outdoor News “Outdoor Leaders” award winner, the Christina-Ina-Anka Lake Association. I met and interviewed some fascinating people who are passionate conservationists and waterfowlers that won’t take no for an answer. I’ve been…

The Conibear – Tough on Dogs

Trappers have been using conibear traps for years but it seems like lately we’re hearing a lot about hunters who have lost a dog to one of these efficient killers while they were hunting on public land. There has been plenty of discussion on what can be done to keep the hunting dogs safe but rules have yet to be…

Summer wrap-up before fall hunting and fishing

Autumn hunting seasons will be running full throttle in a matter of days and hours. This weekend marks the beginning of early Canada goose, black bear, and mourning dove hunting seasons, and two weeks after that (Sept. 15) the archery deer and small game seasons will begin. Big deadline on Sept. 6 Reminder that Thursday, Sept. 6 is the deadline…

Shooting collared animals: Should it be allowed?

There is so much research on wild animals these days there is always a good possibility that a hunter will run into one that has a collar on it. Wolves, bears, deer and many others are collared so biologists can track their movements and get a good feel for their range and other aspects of their domains. It’s not illegal…

Summertime grab bag

A little of this and a little of that: It’s been several years since zebra mussels were discovered in the Alexandria Chain of Lakes. Careful readers know my family has a cabin on the chain’s Lake Carlos. This has been an exceptionally hot summer, and even without such heat, the water typically sports a greenish tint by this time of…