Hunting News

Martinson named DNR deputy commissioner

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul — Mark Holsten, who began earlier this week as head of the DNR, didn’t have to look far to find his deputy. Laurie Martinson, who was named to the post last week, is a former director of the DNR’s Trails and Waterways Division and has been acting assistant commissioner since August. As deputy…

2006: The year in review

By Joe Noble Contributing Writer Plymouth, Minn. — From expectation to frustration and disappointment to celebration and more, 2006 had a little something for everyone. This was the year that “dedicated funding” could have become law. It didn’t. More grassland habitat, thanks in part to CRP, resulted in great wingshooting. The whitetail harvest was also excellent. With the notable exception…

More bans on lead shot coming, timing unclear

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul – At some point in time, shotgun hunters in the state won’t be able to use lead shot while they’re hunting. It’s unclear exactly when that may be, as a task force studying nontoxic shot regulations in the state urged the DNR to proceed with caution, but acknowledged that an all-out ban is…

Coast Guard withdraws Great Lakes ‘live firing’

Agency hopes to develop new, more widely accepted plan By Tim Spielman Associate Editor Cleveland – Responding to a variety of criticism over a plan to practice firing new artillery over portions of the Great Lakes, the U.S. Coast Guard this week withdrew the plan, and promised to work with fishing, environmental, and other groups to develop something more satisfying…

Citizens encourage closer look at G&F Fund spending

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul – If you’re a hunter, you likely believe the money you spend on licenses to hunt animals like deer goes to benefit deer and their habitat. And if you’re an angler, you probably think the money you pay for your license to fish is spent in ways that will enhance the state’s fisheries….

DNR: Waterfowlers saw decent, long duck hunt

Late goose season now on tap By Tim Spielman Associate Editor Bemidji, Minn. — Naturally, there were hunters who had their “worst duck season ever.” Others likely had one of their best. Overall, according to the DNR’s Steve Cordts, it appears the duck hunt in Minnesota leaned more to the good this year for a number of reasons, with conducive…

Deer feeding ban in effect in northwest

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul – Recreational deer feeding has been banned in a 4,000-square-mile area in the northwest corner of the state, in an effort to reduce the possibility of transmission of bovine tuberculosis among deer and elk. The disease has been found in seven cattle herds and two wild deer in the northwest, and its discovery…

Quality, fishable ice found across much of Minnesota

By Glen Schmitt Staff Writer Baudette, Minn. – What a difference a week makes. Ice conditions have improved dramatically across the state as single-digit temperatures quickly ushered in another ice fishing season. From south to north and all points in between, you now can find ice thick enough for walking. While some large bodies of water skimmed over as recently…

Low water affecting Superior fish

By Joe Albert Staff Writer Duluth, Minn. – Drought conditions that brought warm and low levels of water to North Shore streams this summer, and caused die-offs of steelhead, are continuing to have an effect. Water levels in Lake Superior are at their lowest levels since the 1920s, and are about a foot below normal. In addition to harming things…

Gentry pleads guilty in black bear-tagging case

Late goose season now on tap By Tim Spielman Associate Editor Bemidji, Minn. – Naturally, there were hunters who had their ‘worst duck season ever.’ Others likely had one of their best. Overall, according to the DNR’s Steve Cordts, it appears the duck hunt in Minnesota leaned more to the good this year for a number of reasons, with conducive…

Gentry pleads guilty in black bear-tagging case

By Joe Albert Staff Writer Duluth, Minn. — Troy Lee Gentry, one-half of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Duluth to a misdemeanor charge stemming from the killing of a tame black bear near Sandstone in 2004. Gentry, 39, of Franklin, Tenn., admitted that he shot the bear in a pen, and…

Not a record, but 2006 deer kill will rank high

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul — Deer hunters in the state are on track for another banner year. They may not reach the record, set in 2003, but harvest certainly will be among the highest ever. So far this season, hunters have registered 238,097 deer, according to the DNR. That number reflects the number of deer registered electronically…

Walleye bag limit on Upper Red may climb

No changes for 2006-07 ice fishing By Joe Albert Staff Writer Bemidji, Minn. — Upper Red Lake walleye anglers will be subject to the same special regulations during the ice-fishing season as they were when the lake re-opened in May, but could see expanded harvest opportunities as early as next summer. The bag limit will be two walleyes, and the…

Hunter requests help in finding his missing buck

By Joe Albert Staff Writer Sauk Rapids, Minn. — Todd Kuzma, a 32-year-old deer hunter from Sauk Rapids, shot the biggest buck of his life Nov. 10. Less than two weeks later, the 8-pointer’s head, cape, and antlers – Kuzma planned to have the trophy mounted – were missing. “I’ll probably never shoot one like that again, and now it’s…

Democrats likely to elevate environment in Washington

By John Heilprin Associated Press Washington (AP) – The Democrats who will steer environment issues in the new Congress are polar opposites of their Republican predecessors, but changing environmental policy is like turning around an aircraft carrier – it’s very slow. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a liberal California Democrat and one of the biggest environmental advocates on Capitol Hill, was named…

Trends indicate number of younger hunters declining

Minneapolis (AP) — Fewer youth are taking up the hunting traditions of their parents and grandparents, according to licensing numbers from the DNR. And that has DNR officials worried, as the state’s whitetail herd continues to grow. “We can’t manage deer populations without people out there shooting them,” said DNR big game specialist Lou Cornicelli. A decline in hunters also…

Deer hunting success slightly up from 2005

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul — Not all deer hunting parties are reaping the rewards of a population estimated at 1.3 million animals, but hunters as a whole have had a good season so far. As of Tuesday morning, the firearms deer kill totaled about 190,000 – up by about 10,000 deer from last year at the same…

Shake-ups begin as DFLers take control

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul — The national groundswell of opposition to Republicans during last week’s elections carried into Minnesota, though there were several notable instances of politicians bucking that trend. Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty survived by a razor-thin margin his race with challenger Mike Hatch, but two leaders of the Senate DFL, Dean Johnson and Dallas Sams,…

Peterson says he’ll push for more CRP

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor Washington — A shake-up in the U.S. Congress could mean new direction in government policy next year – from national defense to conservation. Following last week’s mid-term election, the Democrats in 2007 look forward to controlling both the U.S. House and Senate. A key player in conservation policy is expected to be a Minnesotan –…

Opener hunters tag 125,000 whitetails

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul — The number of deer taken by bowhunters is up 20 percent over this time last year. Hunters during the early season for antlerless deer in the middle of October also took 20 percent more deer than last year. So it would only be right if the hunters during the regular firearms season…

Disease threat slows transport of fish, bait

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor St. Paul — A ban imposed by the USDA on the importation of several fish species from a number of Great Lakes has left several aquaculture farmers in limbo, and could change the way state agencies screen for a deadly disease known as VHS. A week ago, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service…

Firearms season ’06: Another record kill?

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul — Maybe it’s a deer population that’s estimated at 1.3 million animals. Or the third permit that comes with an all-season deer license. Or the fact that in nearly 40 percent of the state’s permit areas, hunters may kill up to five deer. Whatever it is, Mark Johnson has noticed an excitement for…

Even with tighter rule, baiting still a problem

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul — Deer hunters who recently set out bait could be in for a surprise when they’re sitting in their stand opening morning. Deer may come, no doubt, but so too may a conservation officer. “We’re probably going to have a couple of angry guys come Saturday morning,” said CO Randy Hanzal of Brookston….