MinBlogs

Winterkill conditions open lakes to liberalized fishing

Snow and frigid temperatures have combined to make some shallow lakes susceptible to winterkill conditions, prompting the Minnesota DNR to open them to liberalized fishing. Lakes opened to liberalized fishing in the West Metro Fisheries Management Area are: • Rice Marsh* (10-1) T 116 R22, 23 Sec 18, 13 Carver County Posted: 02/23/10 • Rutz (10-8) T 116 R25 Sec…

2010 spring light goose hunting begins March 1

Hunting for light geese during spring 2010 in Minnesota will open this Monday, March 1, and the season runs through Friday, April 30. Minnesota hunters can harvest snow geese this spring – including blue-phased and the smaller Ross’ geese – under the provisions of a federal conservation order. This conservation order is part of an international effort to reduce populations…

National Pheasant Fest is this weekend

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have announced that the organization’s premiere event, National Pheasant Fest, will be returning to Des Moines, Iowa, in 2010. National Pheasant Fest 2010 will be held at the Iowa Events Center on February 26, 27 & 28, 2010. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever President & CEO Howard Vincent made the announcement from National Pheasant Fest…

Minnesota conservation legend Harvey Nelson passes away

Visiting my parents with the boys this weekend in southeast Minnesota and planning to take them ice fishing today. Woke up too early and checked my email. There, with a time of 10:32 p.m. Friday was a sad note from a friend in conservation, Brad Nylin, the executive director of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association. He had some bad news: A…

State senator calls for Minnesota walk-in access program

State Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, DFL-Fridley, said Wednesday that he plans to introduce legislation this session that creates walk-in hunting access in Minnesota. He said he’ll invite sportsmen to a series of planning sessions to determine the new program’s content. Walk-in access programs pay private land owners to voluntarily allow hunters access to their property. “The time has come for a…

Orion-The Hunter’s Institute announces newest board member

Congratulations to conservation communications professional Tammy Sapp, who became Orion–The Hunter’s Institute newest board member this week. Sapp is an award-winning writer with 24 years of experience in the outdoor communications field with a focus on hunting and target shooting. She possesses project management and team development know-how through her work at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and the…

Minnesota DNR releases final 2009 deer kill numbers

The Minnesota DNR reported on Tuesday that state hunters officially harvested 194,178 deer during the 2009 season. The decline reflects the fact that fewer permits were available to hunters to harvest antlerless deer because the deer population has been reduced to desired levels in many permit areas. “We regulate deer populations by allocating antlerless deer harvest,” Cornicelli said. “In 2008,…

New state record certified for nontypical bull elk in Kentucky

Frankfort, Ky. — Kentucky has a new state record for a bull elk with non-typical antlers. Harrodsburg resident Terrell Royalty’s 7×7 elk scored 372 6/8 in the Boone and Crockett Club scoring system, besting the old record of 367 7/8 taken in Harlan County in 2008. Royalty took his record elk from a wildlife management area in Knott County on…

First fish-house removal deadlines approaching

The first Minnesota fish-house removal deadline of 2010 kicks in next weekend, then those deadlines come rapid-fire for the next five weeks. All shelters must be off the ice no later than midnight for each of the dates given in the following categories. Inland waters: Dates or removal are determined by an east-west line formed by U.S. Hwy. 10, east…

USDA Secretary Vilsack returning to Iowa to attend National Pheasant Fest

Des Moines, Iowa — Pheasants Forever has confirmed that U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will attend National Pheasant Fest 2010. Vilsack, the former governor of Iowa, is slated to give the keynote address at the Pheasant Fest luncheon on Saturday, Feb. 27 at noon. Immediately following the luncheon, Vilsack will sign a first-ever Memorandum of Understanding between the…

DNR seeks watercraft inspector applicants

The Minnesota DNR is seeking watercraft inspector interns for the upcoming boating season. Inspectors are stationed at public accesses on lakes and rivers infested with invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels. “We’re looking for enthusiastic young adults interested in doing important environmental conservation work,” said Heidi Wolf, DNR watercraft inspection program coordinator. Watercraft inspectors inform and educate…

Moose population decline continues in northeastern Minnesota

Bad news continues for Minnesota’s moose population, According to results of an aerial survey released Monday by the Minnesota DNR, the moose population in northeastern Minnesota continues to decline. Survey results revealed lower moose numbers and the proportion of cows accompanied by calves continued a 13-year decline and dropping to a record low of 28 calves per 100 cows. “These…

New DNR license-buying system goes online Feb. 18

Minnesotans who buy their hunting, fishing and other DNR licenses at retail outlets will soon do so via a new electronic licensing system. Effective Feb. 18, DNR retail license sales will be available on new touch-screen terminals that allow sales clerks to be more efficient when inputting data and outputting licenses. “Hunters, anglers and trappers alone account for about 3.3…

Heated camper cabins now open at Afton State Park

Two new camper cabins, heated and wired with electricity, have opened at Afton State Park near a bluff overlooking the St. Croix River. The White Pine and Bur Oak cabins are located by the park’s group campsite. The new cabins, one of which is accessible, are available year-round at a cost of $50 per night, smoke-free, and sleep up to…

WMAs: No longer a Minnesota bonding bill priority?

This week’s Outdoors Insights column focuses on the declining revenue for wildlife management areas in the Minnesota bonding bill. The state House and Senate released their versions of the bonding bills last week, and it wasn’t pretty for WMA acquisition. Neither body offered more than $1 million for WMAs, which made the $4 million that Gov. Tim Pawlenty has proposed…

National Wild Turkey Federation honors Aitkin-area CO

The Minnesota chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation has named Conservation Officer Bob Mlynar as its Minnesota Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Mlynar is a 14-year employee of the Minnesota DNR and currently stationed in Aitkin. “CO Mlynar has been a valuable asset to the state of Minnesota and a role model for others to follow,” said Tom…

Minnesota Waterfowl Association awards banquet is Feb. 6

The Minnesota Waterfowl Association has a busy Saturday planned with its annual Waterfowl Symposium followed by an awards banquet tomorrow night, Feb. 6, at the Ramada Mall of America motel in Bloomington. Among the award winners will be Outdoor News’ own Joe Albert, who will be getting the group’s Media Award. The banquet will also mark the kick-off of the…

Two Minnesota juveniles charged with poaching seven deer

The Minnesota DNR reports that two Roseau County youths have been charged with deer poaching and related gross misdemeanors as part of an investigation by the agency. A 16-year-old from Roseau was charged with taking big game without a license, gross misdemeanor taking big game with artificial light, gross misdemeanor transport of illegally taken big game, and wanton waste. A…

Out with the old, in with the old at the USFWS?

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar named a new director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday. Sam D. Hamilton by all accounts has been a smart, career public servant who takes his job seriously. I’m sure he has the stellar credentials to ensure a quick confirmation. You can read the complete, unedited USFWS release below. In some waterfowling circles…

Some high- and lowlights from the 2009 Legislative session.

• Bob Lessard’s name stayed on the Outdoor Heritage Council. The final version adds the name of former state Sen. Dallas Sams. That’s not inappropriate. Sams was a good senator from Staples who worked hard on dedicated funding. He died before his time and deserves some honors, too. • How’d you like to be a conservation officer in southeast Minnesota…

On dedicated funding

All eyes this week are on the Cultural and Outdoor Resources Finance Division in the Minnesota House of Representatives. It’s this committee that will roll together all aspects of dedicated funding – habitat, clean water, parks and trails, and the arts – into a single bill. Meetings have been held nearly every day this week, including this morning, but the…

A clarification about tournaments

I wrote a story a couple of weeks ago about new fishing tournament rules being discussed at the state Legislature. Among the multiple provisions is the DNR could allow weigh-ins at public accesses. I then wrote that a number of muskie, bass, and northern pike groups support provisions in the bill. Perhaps I should have been more specific in saying…

Good start for Minnesota turkey hunters

Turkey hunters in Minnesota took more than 2,200 turkeys during the first season, which ran April 15-19. To give proper perspective to that figure, consider that in the years since the first turkey season in the state in 1978, total harvest in more than half of the seasons has been less than what hunters killed last week. The increased harvest…