Local fire department receives DNR grant

The fire departments listed below have been awarded a grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant program. Full Story

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DNR seeks comments on Grand Rapids area lake and stream management plans

Citizens interested in learning about or commenting on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources strategies for managing Grand Rapids area lakes have until March 10 to ask questions or submit comments. Full Story

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Sign up now for a firearms safety hunter education class

Now is the time for people to sign up for a hunter education firearms safety class offered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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DNR announces new appointments to committee on natural heritage

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr has appointed eight new members to the committee which advises the department on programs related to the state’s native prairies, forests, and wetlands and their native plants and animals. Full Story

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DNR postpones AIS training and trailer decal program

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will postpone the new aquatic invasive species training and trailer decal program that was due to launch at the end of the month while legislators consider changes to the program. Full Story

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DNR hires new agricultural program liaison

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced that Jason Garms is the agency’s new agricultural program liaison. Garms is a prairie biologist and a corn and soybean farmer. In his new role he will manage DNR agricultural policy development and program alignment. He will work with agriculture community leaders and farmers to strengthen the agency’s conservation partnerships.  Full Story

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DNR announces new special angling regulations

Angling regulations will change on nearly three dozen waters this year, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

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DNR officer honored by state chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation

The Minnesota chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) named Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Sam Hunter as its Minnesota Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Hunter joined the DNR in 2004 and is currently stationed in Park Rapids. Full Story

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Star of DNR eaglecam lays first egg just in time for tax season

Tuesday was the first day income tax returns could be filed, and right on cue, Minnesota’s most famous eagles seem to have dropped a little reminder to brighten the perennial chore. Full Story

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Hugo resident wins 2016 turkey stamp contest

An acrylic painting of a tom turkey by Nicholas Markell of Hugo has won the 2016 Turkey Stamp Contest out of eight entries received for this year’s contest, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.  Full Story

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Register for beginner fly-fishing weekend for youth-adult pairs

A youth paired with an adult can join other youth-adult pairs to learn the basics of fly fishing from experienced mentors over a whole weekend from Friday, May 29, to Sunday, May 31, near Lanesboro, Minnesota. Applications are available in the online events calendar Full Story

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Squirrel and rabbit hunting: One way to get into the winter woods

Even into the depths of winter after other hunting seasons have passed, there is still time to hunt gray and fox squirrel, cottontail rabbit, jack-rabbit and snowshoe hare in a season that runs until Saturday, Feb. 28. Full Story

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37 guns, 28 sets of antlers among items seized in deer case

Charges have been filed against a number of violators following a five-year deer investigation recently completed by conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

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Lake sturgeon continue recovery in Rainy River and Lake of the Woods

A recent lake sturgeon population study in Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River illustrates the slow, steady sturgeon population recovery owing to cleaner water, effective fishing regulations and vigilant enforcement – a success story that one day will allow anglers the realistic expectation of catching 100-pound sturgeon. Full Story

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4 plead guilty to 2013 deer poaching case

Four men pleaded guilty to a 2013 deer poaching case and had their hunting privileges revoked following an investigation by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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Canadian and U.S. investigation leads to heavy fine for game violation

A joint investigation by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Ontario Canada Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry resulted in a heavy fine for a Minnesota man. Full Story

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More restrictive walleye regulations for Upper Red Lake take effect Jan. 23

Beginning Friday, Jan. 23, walleye regulations will become more restrictive on Upper Red Lake because of a record December walleye harvest, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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Winter trout fishing to open for first time on 24 lakes

Anglers for the first time will be able to fish for trout in the winter on two dozen north-central Minnesota lakes, many of them within the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.  Full Story

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Deer population goal-setting public meetings begin Feb. 2

Opportunities for the public to participate in deer population goal setting for large portions of northeastern, north-central and east-central Minnesota begin Monday, Feb. 2, in Monticello.  Full Story

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DNR, Red Lake Nation renew Upper and Lower Red lakes fishery management agreement

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Red Lake Nation and Bureau of Indian Affairs signed a new five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) today that outlines continued cooperative management of the walleye population in the Upper and Lower Red lakes. The signing took place during a brief ceremony in Red Lake. Full Story

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DNR announces 2 high-level appointments

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr announced two high-level appointments today.  Full Story

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No CWD detected among sampled deer in southeastern Minnesota

No chronic wasting disease (CWD) was detected in hunter-harvested deer in southeastern Minnesota during the 2014 firearms season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

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Only 1 of 500 Mississippi River samples test positive for invasive carp

Water samples from southeastern Minnesota pools of the Mississippi River that were collected in August and analyzed in December indicate only a small presence of bighead carp eDNA, according to the Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

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DNR did much to improve habitat, engage citizens in 2014

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources made significant headway in 2014 in improving the state’s natural resources and outdoor recreation, while engaging with thousands of citizens on important environmental decisions. Full Story

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Fishing over the limit nets big fine, loss of boat

An Illinois angler faces nearly $2,200 in fines and restitution, plus the loss of his boat and equipment, following an investigation by conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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DNR expands winter trout fishing in southeastern Minnesota

By David Schueller, DNR information officer

Fly fishing guide Dan Michener walked to a partially snow-covered riverbank in Whitewater State Park. He cast a tiny nymph into the water several times then let it drift through deeper pools, hoping to entice a trout to bite.  Full Story

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Ruling classifies Minnesota wolves as threatened

Effective immediately, Minnesotans can no longer legally kill a wolf except in the defense of human life. Full Story

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DNR, partners working on 4-year plan to boost pheasant numbers

Citizen input from the Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Summit soon will be converted into a four-year action plan to increase and enhance grassland habitat on public and private lands. Full Story

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New treatment aims to eradicate Christmas Lake zebra mussels

In an effort to eliminate any remaining zebra mussels from Christmas Lake in Shorewood, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has undertaken an experimental treatment that has been used only twice before in the U.S. Full Story

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Start a new tradition: Late-season pheasant hunting

An abundance of birds, lack of snow and higher late season bag limits are all good reasons why Minnesotans may want to try some late season pheasant hunting. Full Story

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State expands ‘fat bike’ riding opportunities

Minnesota state parks and trails has expanded the number of trails open for winter fat bike riding, including opportunities at five state parks and four state trails. These new riding opportunities are in addition to 20 miles of existing trails at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, a world-class mountain bike ride center, as rated by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. The winter fat bike riding opportunities in Minnesota state parks and trails now total 78 miles. Full Story

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Darkhouse spearing opens Dec. 22 on Dakota border waters

Darkhouse spearing becomes legal on Minnesota waters bordering North Dakota and South Dakota on Monday, Dec. 22, when a new law allowing spearing of northern pike takes effect. Full Story

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Citizens can apply to serve on Leech Lake Fisheries Input Group

Citizens interested in volunteering to discuss Leech Lake fish and habitat can apply to participate in the Leech Lake Fisheries Input Group. Applications must be completed by Wednesday, Dec. 31, and are available online. Full Story

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Prairie restoration underway at Minneopa State Park

A restoration of prairie and oak savanna habitat is taking place at Minneopa State Park near Mankato this winter, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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10 citizens appointed to Game and Fish Fund oversight committees

The commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has appointed 10 Minnesotans to three-year terms on citizen oversight committees that monitor the agency’s fish and wildlife spending.  Full Story

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DNR settles lawsuit over White Bear Lake water levels

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recently settled a lawsuit through mediation with plaintiffs over White Bear Lake water levels. Full Story

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Spring wild turkey hunters can apply for permits starting today

People can apply for early season spring wild turkey hunting permits now through Friday, Jan. 9, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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, 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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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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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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