Joe's Jottings by Joe Albert

Zone 3 deer regs under fire

However you feel about the deer regulations in Zone 3 – antler-point restrictions and no cross-tagging of bucks – this much is clear: It was no secret what was happening. In Outdoor News and elsewhere, the five-year project, and the…

A quick rundown of Minnesota Outdoor News bits

As always, there's lots going on in the state's outdoor realm. Here are some of the highlights, and things to watch for: • It seems clear that a study of what's killing moose in northeastern Minnesota will go forward. The…

A tough winter? Yup

The Minnesota DNR winter severity data released today show what the vast majority of Minnesotans would tell you: It's been a much more severe winter than last year. For the week ending Feb. 20, the winter severity index - the…

Dayton fills Lessard council vacancies

The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council is complete. Gov. Mark Dayton yesterday made his two citizen appointments, bringing the council to full strength at 12 members. Dayton's two appointments were Scott Rall, who lives in Worthington and has been on the…

Zebra mussels, property values, and Chicken Little

A story in the Park Rapids, Minn., newspaper last week caught my attention. The topic was zebra mussels, and the main person quoted was a county commissioner from Kandiyohi County. That county, and the Green Lake association - for good…

Anti-public lands bill introduced

Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, has introduced his long-rumored bill - HF 332 - that would make it illegal for the state to own any more land than it currently owns. The salient part of the bill reads like this: "The…

Wall of Shame Mounts Recovered... Should we Shoot Collared Bears?

To circle back on last week's report on the thefts from the DNR's Central Region offices, which included animal mounts from the Wall of Shame: St. Paul police officers and state conservation officers recovered most of the items, including the…

MN DNR: Wall of Shame mounts stolen

St. Paul - Thieves have stolen 18 white-tailed deer and other mounted animals from the DNR. The agency and St. Paul Police Department are investigating the thefts of the mounts - all killed by poachers and now part of the…

On Controlling Aquatic Invasives

Look for Minnesota DNR to push policies regarding aquatic invasive species such as milfoil and zebra mussels during the legislative session that kicked off Tuesday. Included will be enforcement provisions and other measures designed to stop the spread of such…

Who will be DNR Commissioner? And other stuff...

One thing that didn't fit into this week's story about Mark Dayton finally winning the election and preparing to succeed outgoing Gov. Tim Pawlenty - the creation of a Governor's Pheasant Opener. Dayton mentioned his plan to hold such an…

McNamara takes over

We told you last week to stay tuned about the fate of Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar. He was to head the committee that deals with environment and natural resources policy and finance in the House. Several days after House leadership suspended Hackbarth from…

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…

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…

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…

Made your deer-hunting plans yet?

The fishing opener is still a month away, but it's not too soon to start thinking about deer hunting. At least if you're the governor of Minnesota. Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced yesterday the seventh annual Governor's Deer Hunting Opener will…

LOHC bill authors named

The bills that carry the recommendations of the Lessard Outdoor Heritage Council have been introduced. In the House, it's HF 2131 and the author is Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul. Co-authors include Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher and…

Habitat funding recommendations

The Lessard Outdoor Heritage Council made its final picks for year one of dedicated funding. It's a nearly $69 million package that includes 18 on-the-ground habitat projects and that funds a program to distribute small grants to sporting groups and…

Keep the pressure on

It was good to see the Star Tribune editorial this morning that dealt with the Lessard Outdoor Heritage Council. While the newspaper opposed dedicated funding to begin with, it's good to see its defense of the council now in the…

About This Blog

Joe Albert is an outdoor journalist and author who has covered fishing, hunting and conservation since the early 2000s. He worked as a writer and editor at Outdoor News from 2004 to 2016, and ventured off on his own in April 2016. He contributes regularly to Outdoor News and other publications, including fieldandstream.com. He’s also the author of the game warden Tony Leach series of crime novels, which are set in northern Minnesota. His books are available at www.writerjoealbert.com, where he also blogs regularly. Joe and his wife live with their two children in Bloomington, Minn.

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