Conservative 2014 deer season will rebuild herd, challenge hunters

By Tom Landwehr, commissioner, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Like more than 400,000 others, I am anxiously awaiting Saturday, Nov. 8, when Minnesota’s firearms deer hunting season begins. Full Story

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Hunters reminded that bonus permit use limited this season

Hunters in most of the state are not allowed to use bonus permits to take antlerless deer during the 2014 season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.   Full Story

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Hunters, off-highway vehicle users should review Pine County trail changes

Before venturing into the woods this fall, hunters, trappers and other recreationists are encouraged to review the changes to some trail designations in Pine County. The areas include trails located on state lands in the Nemadji, General Andrews, Chengwatana and St. Croix state forests. Full Story

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Grand Rapids area whitefish, cisco sport netting to open

Opening dates have been set for whitefish and cisco sport netting on Grand Rapids area lakes, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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Whitefish, cisco sport netting opens on Lake Vermilion, Newton, Basswood, Fall lakes

Lake Vermilion, Newton, Basswood and Fall lakes will be open to whitefish and cisco (tullibee) sport netting from Friday, Oct. 24, through Thursday, Nov. 14, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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U.S. Capitol Christmas tree to make first stop at Itasca State Park

The 2014 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will make its first public appearance on its journey to Washington, D.C. on Sunday, Nov. 2, at Itasca State Park, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.  Full Story

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Mille Lacs Lake fall fish survey shows promise

For the first time since 2008, Mille Lacs Lake walleye surviving into their second year remain abundant and the following year’s hatch appears to be doing well, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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Conservative deer season will lower harvest

Hunters may not see fewer deer when firearms deer season opens Saturday, Nov. 8, but regulations implemented to help increase Minnesota’s deer population will place more of those deer off limits, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said. Full Story

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Hunters can register deer through phone, Internet or in person

Hunters can register deer they harvest by making a telephone call, using the Internet, or bringing deer to a big-game registration station, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Registration instructions for all methods are available online. Full Story

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Deer hunters encouraged to buy license early

With nearly 500,000 firearms deer hunters in the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources encourages hunters to purchase their licenses early to avoid long lines and any potential system issues associated with the high sales volume. The 2014 Minnesota firearms deer season begins Saturday, Nov. 8. Full Story

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Minnesota deer facts

Deer: The Animal

  • Adult female white-tailed deer weigh about 145 lbs., males 170 lbs.
  • The biggest white-tailed deer ever recorded in Minnesota was a 500-pound buck.
  • A whitetail’s home range is about one square mile.

Deer: Hunting

  • Last year, 30 percent of Minnesota firearm hunters successfully harvested a deer. About 53 percent were antlered bucks.
  • 70 percent of Minnesota’s firearms deer harvest typically occurs during the first three or four days of the season.
  • The average hunter spends five days afield during Minnesota’s firearms deer season.
  • Last year’s total deer harvest was about 170,000.
  • Because of a conservative 2014 season designed to boost the statewide population, total deer harvest in 2014 is anticipated to be considerably lower and could reach levels not experienced in decades.
  • Hunters can register their deer via Internet, phone or at walk-in big-game registration stations.
  • The largest typical whitetail buck ever taken in Minnesota had a Boone & Crockett score of 202; shot by John Breen in 1918 near Funkley.
  • Minnesota’s No. 1 non-typical whitetail buck had 43 points; shot by 17-year-old Mitch Vakoch in 1974.

Deer: Licenses

  • In total, about 812,000 deer hunting licenses and permits (all types) were sold in 2013.
  • 95 percent of deer licenses are sold to Minnesota residents.
  • The DNR Information Center remained open two hours later on the day before last year’s deer opener to answer more than 2,000 telephone inquiries, most of them related to the firearms opener.

Deer: Economics

  • Nearly 500,000 deer hunters in Minnesota.
  • Direct retail sales – $234 million.
  • Salaries, wages, business owner income – $127 million.
  • State and local tax revenue – $28 million.
  • Number of directly supported jobs – 3,760.
  • Economic impact is greatest in Greater Minnesota.

Top 10 big game hunting violations
1) Hunt over bait
2) Transport uncased/loaded firearm
3) Fail to validate
4) Fail to register
5) License not in possession
6) Untagged
7) No valid license
8) Lending, borrowing, transferring or altering a license
9) Unmarked/unregistered bear bait station
10) Shooting from the road at big game

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Mild conditions greet hunters during first Camp Ripley hunt

Archers took a two-day total of 75 deer during the first two-day bow hunt at Camp Ripley Military Reservation near Little Falls on Oct. 15-16, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said. Full Story

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A face like a pig and a penchant for drama: on the trail of a rare snake

By Harland Hiemstra, DNR information officer

Slowly waving what looks like a small rooftop TV antenna from side to side, Erica Hoaglund steps carefully through the little bluestem, blazing star and black-eyed Susans growing in the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. In her other hand she holds a small receiver that periodically emits a chirping sound, louder or softer depending on where she points the antenna. Full Story

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Youth archers harvest 6 deer at Ripley and Lake Alexander Preserve

Cool, sunny conditions greeted youth participating in the 13th annual youth archery deer hunt at the Camp Ripley Military Reservation north of Little Falls and the 11th annual youth archery hunt at nearby Lake Alexander Preserve over the weekend. Full Story

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Public hunting land dedicated during Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener helps protect Worthington’s municipal water

More than 150 outdoor supporters and hunters gathered Saturday during the Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener to dedicate a recently acquired wildlife management area (WMA) near Worthington. Full Story

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Mankato named host community of 2015 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener

Gov. Mark Dayton announced tonight that the city of Mankato has been chosen as the host community for the 2015 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener. Full Story

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Learn wilderness survival basics before going afield

A missing duck hunter near Mille Lacs Lake forced to spend the night in the woods is a good reminder that anyone spending time outdoors should know wilderness survival basics, said an official with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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State Line Lake rehabilitation project enters final phases with rough fish eradication Oct. 9-10

A multiyear cooperative effort to improve water quality, fish and wildlife habitat on State Line Lake near Emmons, is entering its final phases. Full Story

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Whitefish and tullibee sport netting opens Oct. 10

Recreational netting for whitefish and tullibee opens Friday, Oct. 10, on designated lakes in northern Minnesota, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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DNR seeks volunteers to join deer goal setting teams

People interested in helping the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources establish deer population goals for large portions of northeastern, north-central and east-central Minnesota can apply online. Full Story

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DNR enforcement names new chief pilot

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Enforcement Division has named Conservation Officer/Pilot Tom Buker its chief pilot. He had been the acting chief pilot since October 2013. Buker will assume the permanent position and be promoted to captain Oct. 8. Full Story

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Mille Lacs fish diet study is topic of presentation

A study of what fish eat in Mille Lacs Lake, and how much food is consumed by predator fish in the lake, will be the subject of a Department of Natural Resources presentation and discussion. Full Story

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Worthington to host 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener

The southwestern Minnesota city of Worthington will host the 2014 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener on Friday, Oct. 10 and Saturday, Oct. 11.  Full Story

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Hamrick wins again in 2015 pheasant stamp competition

A painting by Stephen Hamrick of Lakeville was chosen as the winning design from among 16 entries in the 2015 pheasant habitat stamp contest sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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Temporary off-highway vehicle trail closures begin in November

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will restrict recreational use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) in some areas during the upcoming firearms deer hunting season. Vehicles affected by the restrictions include all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-highway motorcycles (OHMs) and registered off-road vehicles (ORVs) such as four-wheel drive trucks that are not being used in conjunction with deer hunting by a licensed deer hunter. Full Story

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Changes greet hunters at Lac qui Parle controlled goose hunt

A number of new changes will greet goose hunters at the Lac qui Parle Refuge controlled hunt this year, including elimination of the need to register for blinds in advance, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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High interest in latest round of Conservation Partners Legacy grants

 Seventy-one applications totaling more than $8.9 million were received for the first round of the Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) grant program, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Compared to last year’s Round 1 application cycle, this is nearly twice the amount requested and twice the number of applications received. Full Story

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DNR seeks citizen volunteers to join fish species work groups

Volunteers are being sought to join five citizen-agency work groups that will discuss how the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources manages fish. There will be individual work groups for bass, catfish, panfish and walleye, and one that will focus on both northern pike and muskellunge. Full Story

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DNR urges motorists to be alert for deer in the fall

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources urges motorists to be especially alert this autumn to avoid vehicle/deer accidents. Full Story

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Savanna Portage State Park will have limited public access during deer hunt Oct. 25- 26

During the special resource management deer hunt Oct. 25 – 26, Savanna Portage State Park near McGregor, Minn. will be partially closed. Visitors are advised to wear blaze orange or brightly colored clothing if they will be in the park while the hunt is in progress. Visitors should also check for hunt-related information at the park office when they arrive. Full Story

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Zebra mussels confirmed in 2 metro lakes

Two metro lakes will be designated as infested after the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in them this week, underscoring the need for ongoing vigilance against aquatic invasive species in the state’s waters.  Full Story

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Cook County trout lakes to be chemically rehabilitated

Three designated stream trout lakes in Cook County will be chemically rehabilitated to remove undesirable fish species and may be temporarily closed during treatment applications. Full Story

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DNR acquires new forest lands for wildlife habitat and public use

Hunters, wildlife enthusiasts, and wildlife populations now have 304 more acres of state forest land available in the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest, in three southeastern Minnesota counties.  Full Story

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DNR seeks comments on Whitewater State Park campground project

The Department of Natural Resources is accepting public comments from Sept. 29 to Oct. 29 on an environmental assessment worksheet (EAW) prepared for the Whitewater State Park campground development project, 20 miles west of Winona in southeastern Minnesota. Full Story

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DNR urges hunters to think safety 24/7

Another season of hunting is here, and along with it comes all the responsibilities to ensure a safe hunt, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said. Full Story

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Remember water safety during waterfowl season

With many duck hunters anxiously preparing for the Sept. 27 Minnesota opener, the Department of Natural Resources is reminding everyone to think safety on the water, especially during waterfowl season.  Full Story

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DNR to host celebration of paved trail at Glendalough State Park

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division, Otter Tail County and the city of Battle Lake will celebrate the completion of the Glendalough Trail on Friday, Sept. 26, at 11 a.m., at the Glendalough State Park Trail Center. Full Story

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Good waterfowl opener expected this weekend

When Minnesota’s regular waterfowl season opens one-half hour before sunrise on Saturday, Sept. 27, hunting is likely to be good, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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Who is Minnesota’s typical grouse hunter?

A hunter with a blaze orange cap and a shotgun keeps an eye on a dog bounding through the underbrush, trailing the scent of grouse. Bright yellow aspen leaves frame the trail. It’s a common autumn scene in Minnesota, a fitting postcard for much of the central and northern reaches of the state. Full Story

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Lake Winnibigoshish fishing regulations to be discussed

Anglers who fish for walleye on Lake Winnibigoshish and connected waters will have an opportunity to discuss proposed regulations that would narrow the protected slot and allow for the potential of increased harvest. Full Story

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DNR reminds anglers of extended southeastern Minnesota trout season

Anglers who fish trout streams in southeastern Minnesota can take advantage of a longer catch-and-release season this fall, will not be required to use barbless hooks, and will have a longer winter catch-and-release season too. Full Story

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DNR accepting applications for coastal area STAR grants

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting grant applications for short-term action request (STAR) projects through its Minnesota’s Lake Superior coastal program. The deadline for applications is Friday, Oct. 17. Full Story

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Changes to Big, Little Rice lakes benefitting waterfowl

It’s been about two years since the Department of Natural Resources designated Little Rice Lake in St. Louis County as a state game refuge, and more recently made Big Rice Lake nonmotorized for part of the year, but already the changes appear to be improving the number and diversity of waterfowl species using the two lakes. Full Story

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Islands in Pigeon Lake in Meeker County closed due to bird virus

Islands in Pigeon Lake in Meeker County have been closed to public access following the discovery of virulent Newcastle Disease Virus (vNDV) in double-crested cormorants. Full Story

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‘Cabin close-up’ a time to inspect boats and water equipment for invasive species

 The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources asks every cabin and lakeshore owner to watch for aquatic invasive species (AIS) when removing docks, boat lifts, swim rafts and other equipment from the water. Full Story

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