DNR closes wolf season in northeast Minnesota

Wolf hunting and trapping in the northeast zone will close for 2014 at the end of shooting and trapping hours on Friday, Dec. 5, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

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Completion of Gandy Dancer Trail bridge restores Minnesota-Wisconsin connection

Right on time for the snowmobile season, the Gandy Dancer Bridge across the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, east of Hinckley, has reopened, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 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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Minnesota snowmobile season and weekly trail reports begin

Snowmobilers can legally ride any of the more than 22,000 miles of Minnesota’s state and grant-in-aid snowmobile trails, from Dec. 1 through the end of March, according to the 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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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.
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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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

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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

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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

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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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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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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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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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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 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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New Ulm resident named DNR firearms instructor of the year

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recently named Steve Rykhus of New Ulm as its 2014 firearms safety instructor of the year. Full Story

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Freeport artist wins 2015 duck stamp contest

Freeport artist Scot Storm has won the 2015 Minnesota Migratory Waterfowl Stamp contest with his painting of a Harlequin duck. Full Story

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Zebra mussels confirmed in Cass Lake in Cass County

Zebra mussels have been confirmed in Cass Lake located in Cass County in northwestern Minnesota, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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Deer hunts will take place at several Minnesota state parks this fall

DNR advises park visitors to wear blaze orange or bright colors at parks that remain open during special hunts

Special hunts to prevent overpopulation of deer and protect resources will take place this fall at several Minnesota state parks, and access to the parks will vary during these hunts.

Full Story

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Lake Alexander Woods SNA open to deer hunting this year by permit only

The scientific and natural area program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources would like to clarify that only those people holding a special permit will be allowed to hunt deer at Lake Alexander Woods Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) in Morrison County this fall. Full Story

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DNR officer accepts promotion

Nearly a year after being named an acting enforcement district supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Conservation Officer Jackie Glaser has accepted the position permanently and has been promoted to first lieutenant. Her metro based enforcement district includes Carver, Hennepin, and Scott counties. Full Story

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Youth Waterfowl Day is Saturday

Youth ages 15 and younger can go waterfowl hunting this Saturday, Sept. 13, on Youth Waterfowl Day, when accompanied by an adult who isn’t hunting that day. Full Story

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DNR digital tools help plan hunting time

Hunters making plans for upcoming seasons can get scouting and other services from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources digital tools. Full Story

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Pheasant population up slightly; habitat loss still poses biggest threat

Despite a short-term increase in the number of Minnesota pheasants, habitat loss continues to be the primary factor in the long-term decline of the state’s pheasant population, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

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