Rob Drieslein

Outdoor Websights

Wrote a portion of this week’s Outdoor Insights column in the print edition of Outdoor News about whining I’m hearing among some birders. Some of my fellow birdwatchers (I consider myself one) are upset that Minnesota sandhill crane hunters don’t need a federal migratory bird stamp, the so-called Duck Stamp, to hunt cranes. Nearly 2,000 hunters bought $3.50 permits to…

Workshop to assist applicants apply for conservation grant money

The Minnesota DNR has scheduled a series of statewide workshops in August to explain the application process for $4,210,560 in Conservation Partners Legacy grants available this year.Projects must be designed to restore, enhance or protect prairies, forests, wetlands and habitat for fish, game and wildlife in Minnesota. Successful applicants must provide a 10 percent match for grants up to $100,000…

Salazar and Vilsack Announce Appointments to Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council

Washington — Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointments of 18 people to the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, a group created earlier this year to advise the two departments about recreational hunting and shooting sports activities and associated wildlife and habitat conservation. “Inspired by the legacy of President…

Exotic species enforcement gone wild

This editor sympathizes with growing concern among letter writers about Minnesota’s hyper-emphasis on exotic species enforcement. Columnist Shawn Perich recently questioned the DNR’s dubiously named, “Pick It or Ticket” campaign, over the Fourth of July. Real subtle, DNR: Threaten taxpayers to remove vegetation from boats and trailers. The public employee who coined “Pick It or Ticket,” and the sixth floor DNR brass…

Apply by Aug. 20 for October special youth deer hunts

Minnesota youth have until Friday, Aug. 20, to apply for 15 mentored deer hunts in October, according to the Minnesota DNR. “With a relaxed pace, these hunts provide high-quality introductory experiences where the total focus of the adult is on mentoring the youth hunter” said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator. “Youth deer hunts provide the ideal learn-by-doing experience.” Youth…

DNR announces special youth deer season

Youth ages 10-15 also are eligible to participate in a special deer season that runs from Thursday, Oct. 21, to Sunday, Oct. 24, in 12 permit areas of southeastern and 15 deer permit areas of northwestern Minnesota, according to the Minnesota DNR. “This youth-only season provides an opportunity for parents, guardians and mentors to schedule and plan a special deer…

USDA to Release Open Fields Funding

Washington — The U.S. Department of Agriculture anounced Thursday that it would to release funding for the “Open Fields” Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program, a new effort to encourage owners and operators of privately held farm, ranch and forest lands to provide public access to their lands for wildlife-dependent activities such as hunting and fishing. Open Fields was…

Iowa DNR advises caution on swollen rivers, reservoirs

Boaters, anglers, paddlers and swimmers are encouraged to use caution if planning to spend time on Iowa rivers or flood control reservoirs this July 4 holiday weekend. Near record flooding over much of the state has sent rivers out of their banks and sending downed trees and other debris downstream. “Our rivers are always changing but with the recent flooding,…

Apply now for the 2010 Minnesota elk hunt

Hunters have until Friday, July 16, to apply for one of 11 elk licenses offered this year by the Minnesota DNR. Licenses for the 2010 hunts will be available in the traditional Grygla area and central Kittson County, which is a consolidation of the north and south Kittson zones from last year. Maps of the two hunt zones can be…

Grand Portage State Park closed for weekend due to construction

In the interest of public safety, Grand Portage State Park, near the Canadian border, will be closed this weekend. The closure will allow for the grading and paving of a new entrance road and other work related to the construction of a new visitor’s center, according to the Minnesota DNR. The park will reopen as soon as paving is complete….

A quick review of 2010 OWAA conference in Rochester

Spent Friday at the Outdoor Writers Association of America annual conference in Rochester. The four-day event travels every year, and it last visited Minnesota in 1996. (Madison hosted the conference in 2005, but I missed that one thanks to the arrival of my third son that exact same weekend. I had my priorities straight.) In my 13 years as an…

Minnesota finalizes agreement for Lake Vermilion State Park

St. Paul — Gov. Tim Pawlenty and officials from U.S. Steel Corporation today signed documents formally transferring property on the shores of Lake Vermilion to the state of Minnesota, the first step in creating Minnesota’s first new major state park in more than 30 years. The agreement includes approximately 3,000 acres of land. The new park will provide greater public…

Minnesota state parks to offer free admission on Saturday, June 12

Along with other parks across the country, the Minnesota DNR is encouraging families to participate in National Get Outdoors Day by offering a variety of free activities statewide on Saturday, June 12. The DNR will also waive the requirement for a $5 vehicle permit and provide free admission at all 73 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas that day. The…

Three Minnesota DNR conservation officers promoted

The Minnesota DNR has announced the promotion of three conservation officers. Mike Shelden was named Fergus Falls area enforcement supervisor, which includes Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Todd and Traverse counties. Julie Olson is the new St. Cloud area enforcement supervisor. The area includes Benton, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Sherburne and Wright counties. Aaron Kahre will be the…

Father and daughter’s first turkey hunt a success

It was raining the morning of April 15 when David Tietz woke his 16-year-old daughter Mattie to do some turkey hunting on a farm south of their home in New Prague. “It was 4:30 a.m., it was raining, and I asked her if she’d like to go the next day,” her father said. “But she’s a real trooper and said,…

Rabid cat attacks highlight idiocy of feral cat colonies

The following press release arrived today from the American Bird Conservancy. I like this group, because they’re birders who expose the terrible environmental consequences of free-ranging domestic cats. While many birding groups and magazines waltz around this issue, these guys provide good data and science to the public explaining this growing problem. Of course, they’re too nice even for me….

Man to retire after 50-year Minnesota DNR career

Larry Koster has a boat that’s long been collecting dust. He figures it’s time to get it back on the water.”I do like to fish and I can sit there for a long time, even if I’m not catching anything,” Koster said. “I just like to be outside, enjoying nature.” After 50 years with the Minnesota DNR as a laborer…

Iowa DNR to host public meeting April 27 on proposed wildlife rules

Des Moines — The Iowa DNR is hosting a public meeting to discuss a number of new proposed regulations including changes to waterfowl seasons, and the antlerless deer season quotas. The meeting will be conducted over the Iowa Communications Network on April 27, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. “This is an opportunity for our hunters and people who support…

More hunting and fishing treaty claims in northern Minnesota?

Minnesota Public Radio reported this morning that the Leech Lake and White Earth Ojibwe Indian bands may look to “reassert hunting and fishing rights they say are guaranteed by 19th century treaties.” According to the story, the northern Minnesota Ojibwe bands say they plan to ignore state law and fish on the shore of Lake Bemidji on the day before…

Two Minnesota commercial minnow dealers convicted

The commercial minnow licenses of two Baudette men have been revoked for three years following an investigation by the Minnesota DNR. John D. Hult, 69, and Kim D. Barsness, 55, convicted in Beltrami County District Court on April 14 for the attempted illegal selling of wild animals (minnows), also face fines and court costs of $1,500 each. A six month…

Upper Red Lake’s mid-season slot adjustment remains for 2010

Regulations that require Upper Red Lake anglers to release smaller walleye during the first month of the open water season will remain in effect for 2010, according to the Minnesota DNR. From Saturday, May 15, through Monday, June 14, anglers must release all walleye 17 to 26 inches long. Effective Tuesday, June 15, anglers must immediate release all walleye 20…

Former USFWS Director to lead Ducks Unlimited

Memphis, Tenn. — Ducks Unlimited announced Wednesday afternoon that H. Dale Hall has been named the organization’s new chief executive officer. A former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (2005-2009), Hall is widely respected as a visionary conservationist and one of the country’s most effective wildlife professionals. “We are extremely pleased that Dale Hall is stepping into this…

Two men charged with Minnesota hunting violations

St. Paul — Two Minnesota men face numerous charges, thousands of dollars in fines and possible jail time if convicted of hunting related violations after an investigation by the Minnesota DNR. Daniel E. Chase, 64, Marine on St. Croix, is charged with failure to register big game, two counts of lend/borrow a license, two counts of unlawful party hunting, hunting…

DNR seeks comments on bear hunting, game refuge and small game rules

Citizens interested in proposed rule changes pertaining to the Lac qui Parle Game Refuge, bear outfitting, bear hunting, trapping, falconry, goose and mourning dove hunting may submit written comments to the Minnesota DNR through Friday, May 21. The rule changes do not include any of the deer hunting, waterfowl, furbearer or small game proposals discussed at 2010 public input meetings….