This year’s Christmas tree for the governor’s official residence in St. Paul is a 50-foot balsam fir from the Nemadji State Forest, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Full Story
State forest Christmas tree to grace governor’s residence
DNR auction in Grand Rapids set for Dec. 6
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will hold a public auction of surplus equipment Saturday, Dec. 6, at 9:30 a.m. in Grand Rapids at the DNR northeast regional office, 1201 East Highway 2, Grand Rapids.
More than 100 items will be sold including automobiles, trucks, ATVs, snowmobiles, tractors, boat packages, outboard motors, boats, trailers, tractor implements and heavy equipment.
Photos and a listing of available items will be posted 10 days prior to the sale at www.minnbid.org. On-site inspection of items will be available only on day of the auction from 8 to 9:30 a.m.
To avoid standing in line the day of the sale, bidders are encouraged to preregister for the auction online at www.minnbid.org. It provides access to information on other auctions conducted by the state of Minnesota.
The sale is being conducted by the state of Minnesota, Department of Administration, Fleet and Surplus Services Division and may include additional items from local municipalities. Benoit Auction Service of Dassel will be the auctioneer.
Parks and Trails Legacy Advisory Committee seeks applicants
Applications due by Monday, Dec. 22
The Department of Natural Resources, the Metropolitan Council and the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission are seeking qualified applicants to serve on the Parks and Trails Legacy Advisory Committee. Full Story
Hunters register 102,000 deer through second weekend
Minnesota hunters registered 102,000 deer through the second weekend of firearms deer season, down 31,000 from the same period in 2013, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story
Furbearer registration is Dec. 5 in Finland, Grand Marais, Two Harbors
Trappers in the Finland, Grand Marais and Two Harbors areas can register furbearers on Friday, Dec. 5, between noon and 7 p.m. at area DNR registration stations. A typo in the 2014 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook incorrectly lists the date as Dec. 6.
Trappers may also call to make an appointment for registration during regular business hours prior to the close of any species trapping season. Trappers are reminded that all furbearers must be registered no more than 24 hours after the close of the season for fisher and marten, and no more than 48 after the close of the season for otters and bobcats. Registrations stations are not staffed on weekends so trappers should plan accordingly to meet registration requirements.
Additional trapping information is available beginning on page 47 of the handbook, or online at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting/index.html.
Mille Lacs open to pike spearing; walleye regulation unchanged
Dark-house spearing of northern pike will be allowed at Mille Lacs Lake for the first time since the winter of 1982-83, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Conference kicks off plan for Lake Superior fisheries management
Those interested in how the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources manages fish in Lake Superior are invited to participate in an informational conference on Saturday, Dec. 6, an event that kicks off the revision process for the next 10-year plan for Lake Superior fisheries management. Full Story
Like outdoors media? DNR subscription deals run through November
Readers of outdoors media have until Sunday, Nov. 30, to take advantage of subscription deals on two publications that are partnering with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story
Upper Red Lake walleye regulations more restrictive this winter season
Walleye regulations will be more restrictive on Upper Red Lake following record walleye harvests the past winter and summer, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story
DNR reminder: ice is not safe right now
Ice is forming on some lakes, rivers and ponds around Minnesota, but DNR conservation officers warn it is too early to venture out. Full Story
DNR closes northeast Minnesota’s early wolf season
Wolf hunting in the northeast zone will close for the remainder of the 2014 early firearms season at the end of shooting hours on Friday, Nov. 14, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story
DNR seeks applications for OHV grants
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking applications for grants to support off-highway vehicle (OHV) trail projects and new trail proposals. Full Story
Minnesota’s snowmobile trails open Dec. 1
Despite the recent snowfall throughout much of Minnesota, snowmobile trails are not yet ready for riding, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story
DNR seeks comments on Grand Marais area lake and stream management plans
Citizens interested in learning about or commenting on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources strategies for managing Grand Marais area lakes and streams have until Jan. 3 to ask questions or submit comments. Full Story
Hunters register 54,000 deer during first weekend
Minnesota hunters registered 54,000 deer during the first three days of firearms deer season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story
10 new conservation officers begin their initial field assignments
Ten new Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers are in their field stations following 16 weeks of field training. Full Story
Minnesota state parks offer benefits to military personnel and disabled veterans
Although Minnesota state offices will be closed in observance of Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11, Minnesota state parks and recreations areas will be open, and free vehicle permits are available to many active military personnel and disabled veterans. Full Story
Deer hunters in far southeastern Minnesota encouraged to submit harvested deer for CWD sampling
Southeastern Minnesota deer hunters who harvest a deer in permit areas 348 and 349 are encouraged to have their deer sampled for chronic wasting disease (CWD) during the opening weekend of the firearms hunting season. Full Story
Whitefish, cisco sport netting dates announced for Shagawa, Ojibway and Bear Island lakes
Additional opening dates have been set for whitefish and cisco (tullibee) sport netting on area lakes, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Tower area fisheries office. Full Story
Hunting: the adventure and the responsibility
There will be nearly 500,000 blaze-orange clad hunters afield when Minnesota’s firearms deer season gets underway Saturday, Nov. 8. Whether they bag a buck or not, it’s great just to be outdoors. Full Story
After walleye stamp contest, Hamrick has won them all
Stephen Hamrick of Lakeville has won the 2015 walleye stamp contest sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, becoming only the second person to win all five DNR stamp contests. Full Story
DNR grants give trap shooting ranges a boost
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has approved nearly $400,000 in expedited small range trap shooting grants to expand, improve or upgrade trap shooting ranges across the state. Full Story
Warm, windy conditions greet hunters during second Camp Ripley hunt
Archers took a two-day total of 70 deer during the second bow hunt at Camp Ripley Military Reservation near Little Falls on Oct. 25-26, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said. Full Story
Brown’s Creek State Trail opens, capping construction season at Minnesota state parks and trails
Following the installation of a bridge over Manning Avenue in June and the recent completion of paving, Brown’s Creek State Trail is now open, the Department of Natural Resources announced today. The 6-mile trail connects Stillwater to the Gateway State Trail, which continues to St. Paul. Full Story
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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