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 to fly deer and elk surveys

Low-flying helicopters will be used for white-tailed deer population surveys planned by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for January through March in central and southeastern Minnesota, if suitable snow conditions develop. 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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Round 2 now open for metro conservation grant program

Applications will be accepted starting Monday, Dec. 15, for round two of a metro grant program that aims to restore, enhance and protect habitat in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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Ring in the new year on candle-lit trails at Minnesota state parks

Additional events in January and February provide more opportunities on candle-lit trails

Thousands of people are expected to ring in the new year by taking a walk along candle-lit trails at Minnesota state parks on Dec. 31. The festivities will take place from: Full Story

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Give Minnesota state parks gift cards this holiday season

This holiday season, the Department of Natural Resources encourages shoppers to give the gift of the outdoors with Minnesota state parks gift cards. The cards can be purchased for any dollar amount over $10, and they never expire. They can be used for: 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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Take steps to prevent deer from becoming winter pests

Deer are fun to watch, but can quickly become a nuisance when they are looking for an easy snack near houses. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offers tips to discourage deer from becoming pests.  Full Story

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Drive safely this snowmobile season

As another snowmobile season gets underway, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources encourages snowmobilers to get this season off to a smooth, safe start. 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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Get Wild hockey discounts with a hunting or fishing license

Minnesota hunting or fishing license holders can order discounted tickets to Minnesota Wild hockey games. Full Story

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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

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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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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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