Outdoors Section

DNR seeks input on changes to sharp-tailed grouse hunting

DNR seeks input on changes to sharp-tailed grouse hunting

Sharp-tailed grouse hunting in the east-central part of the state would begin about a month later under a proposal from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“We would limit early-season fall hunting in an area already open to sharp-tailed grouse hunting where habitat changes have significantly reduced their numbers,” said Dave Olfelt, DNR northeast region manager. “The change aims to boost survival of young-of-the-year birds and adult hens with broods, which could provide a benefit to the overall population.”
Fall sharp-tailed grouse hunting is allowed in the northern third of the state. If approved for 2017, the sharp-tailed grouse season in a part of east-central Minnesota and east of a line from Floodwood to the northern border would be open Saturday, Oct. 14, through Thursday,…

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Quick tips can help avoid potential bear conflicts

Quick tips can help avoid potential bear conflicts

MADISON, WI - Many black bears have begun to emerge from their dens throughout Wisconsin, and homeowners are encouraged to take precautions to avoid potential conflicts.
"Many conflicts between homeowners and black bears occur as a result of some type of attractant, especially bird feeders, garbage cans, grills, uncontained compost or pet food left outside and accessible" said Brad Koele, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wildlife damage specialist.
According to Koele, it is especially important to remove these attractants during the spring, when bears are emerging from dens and looking to restore depleted energy reserves when natural foods are limited.
It is illegal to intentionally feed bears in Wisconsin, but it is also important for homeowners to make sure they do not…

Read more: Quick tips can help avoid potential bear conflicts

Youngster's rainbow smelt proves records come in all sizes

Youngster's rainbow smelt proves records come in all sizes

ASHLAND, WI - As proud father Dave Derusha explains it, one of the great things about fishing on Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay is that you never know quite what you'll catch.
Some days it might be coho salmon or brown trout, other days possibly walleye, northern pike or splake. And then there are the rainbow smelt.
On one late winter day this year, Derusha and his son Tanner, age 9, were jigging through the ice with slender spoons resembling young perch. The two had already caught a number of smelt, which typically run about 7 to 8 inches, when Tanner felt a slightly stronger tug on the end of his line.
"We had already been catching some of the biggest smelt I'd ever seen in my life," Dave Derusha said. "You can always tell when you have a smelt on the line because they really flutter…

Read more: Youngster's rainbow smelt proves records come in all sizes

Walleye stamps support better fishing across Minnesota

Walleye stamps support better fishing across Minnesota

Anglers can support walleye stocking by purchasing $5 walleye stamps that help the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources provide more places to fish for walleye.
“You can buy a walleye stamp any time of the year, even if you already have a fishing license,” said Neil Vanderbosch, DNR fisheries program consultant. “All the funds from walleye stamps go toward the cost of purchasing walleye from private fish farms for stocking into lakes.”
The overall walleye stocking effort ramps up each year in April when fisheries staff collect walleye eggs, fertilize them and transport the eggs to fish hatcheries around Minnesota. The eggs spend two to three weeks incubating before hatching into fry that are soon released – two thirds into lakes and one third into rearing ponds. The fish in rearing…

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2017 disabled deer hunt sponsor applications due June 1

2017 disabled deer hunt sponsor applications due June 1

MADISON, WI - Both landowners and hunters with disabilities are reminded to consider enrollment in the Gun Deer Hunt for Hunters with Disabilities Program, which helps provide opportunities for everyone to enjoy hunting in Wisconsin.
Time spent pursuing white-tailed deer is difficult or unrealistic for some, as sitting in a hunting stand or blind is a privilege that is often taken for granted. This program gives disabled hunters an opportunity to hunt deer while mild temperatures persist and mobility is relatively unhampered.
With only six properties enrolled in the first hunt in 1990, the program has grown considerably over the years as private landowners and organizations have discovered this great opportunity to volunteer their time and land. In 2016, more than 70 landowners in 48…

Read more: 2017 disabled deer hunt sponsor applications due June 1

Focus on safety for a successful spring turkey season

Focus on safety for a successful spring turkey season

MADISON, WI - Approximately 80,000 hunters started heading to the field for the 2017 spring turkey hunting season on April 19.
Jon King, conservation warden and hunter education administrator with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, says there are two key factors needed for safe turkey hunting.
"The two most critical ingredients for a successful spring hunt are a detailed hunting plan in one hand and a firm grip on firearm safety in the other," King said.
DNR statistics show 80 percent of accidents during turkey hunting seasons involve hunters mistaking other hunters for game, or hunters failing to positively identify their target. The other 20 percent of accidents are self-inflicted, usually the result of violating one of the four firearm safety rules.
"Turkey hunters, like all…

Read more: Focus on safety for a successful spring turkey season

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