General Outdoor News

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

Tell me what's right and what's wrong

Q: Can I harvest mushrooms in Minnesota state parks and state forests?
A: It's OK to harvest edible fruit and mushrooms in state parks as long as they are only for personal, noncommercial use. However, you are not allowed to pick wildflowers or other plants (edible or not), even for personal use.
In state forests, you may also harvest mushrooms and fruit for personal use. If picking for commercial sales, you need to first get a permit from your local forestry office.

SOURCE: Amy Barrett, Minnesota Parks and Trails Division public information officer

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Work*Play*Earth Day events to be held around Wisconsin

Work*Play*Earth Day events to be held around Wisconsin

MADISON, WI - People will again have additional opportunities to celebrate Earth Day while helping out and enjoying a Wisconsin state park, forest, trail, recreation area or wildlife property during the ninth annual Work*Play*Earth Day events that will be held around the state.
This year there are 31 properties holding events, up from 28 in 2016. Volunteer events are sponsored by the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks and Department of Natural Resources properties. This year events will be held April 21, 22, 29 and May 6.
Volunteers can join DNR staff, local friends group members, and people from nearby communities to help repair and enhance park properties.
"We've seen continued growth in both number of events and the numbers of participants at our Work*Play*Earth*Day events," said Patty…

Read more: Work*Play*Earth Day events to be held around Wisconsin

Confiscated hunting, fishing equipment auction set April 28

Confiscated hunting, fishing equipment auction set April 28

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will hold an auction of confiscated hunting and fishing equipment on Saturday, April 29, beginning at 9 a.m.
Auction items are from people who forfeited their equipment after committing serious game violations. The last auction was in 2014 and there is a large inventory available.
The public auction will be at Hiller Auction Service, 10785 261st Ave., Zimmerman.
Items offered for sale include, but are not limited to: firearms, bows, tree stands, fishing rods and reels, tip-ups, traps, trail camera, spotlights, scopes and spears. There are 387 firearms, 100 bows, 280 other items.
Inspection of items will be available on Friday, April 28, from 1 to 4 p.m., and at 7 a.m. the day of the auction. Once the auction begins, there will be no access to…

Read more: Confiscated hunting, fishing equipment auction set April 28

2017 Spring Fish, Wildlife Hearing results available

2017 Spring Fish, Wildlife Hearing results available

MADISON, WI - More than 5,000 people came out to participate in the 2017 Spring Fish and Wildlife Hearings and Wisconsin Conservation Congress county meetings that were held in every county statewide on Monday, April 10.
The public hearings provide citizens with an opportunity to comment and indicate preference on a wide range of proposed fish and wildlife management issues, Conservation Congress advisory questions, and to submit resolutions for rule changes they would like to see in the future.
Statewide hearing results and the questions are available on the Spring Rules Hearings page of the DNR website or go to dnr.wi.gov; search "spring hearings."
People voting on the department's wildlife management administrative rule proposals supported the option to list the monk parrot as a…

Read more: 2017 Spring Fish, Wildlife Hearing results available

Enjoy view of wildlife from a distance

Enjoy view of wildlife from a distance

MADISON, WI - Get out the binoculars! There's excitement in Wisconsin's woods, fields and backyards as young wild animals emerge, making spring a fun time to observe wildlife from a distance.
Dianne Robinson, a Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist who chairs a multi-agency Keep Wildlife Wild committee, reminds observers to watch the fun of the young animals from afar.
"We need to resist our well-intentioned temptation to interact with a young animal we perceive to be on its own," Robinson said. "Human interaction often does more harm than good in these situations."
Licensed wildlife rehabilitator and Keep Wildlife Wild committee member Cheryl Diehl says never assume an animal is orphaned.
"Some wildlife mothers leave their young unattended to gather food or to protect them from…

Read more: Enjoy view of wildlife from a distance

Wisconsin's annual spring hearings set April 10

Wisconsin's annual spring hearings set April 10

MADISON, WI - Hearings that offer citizens and stakeholders the opportunity to help guide natural resource management in Wisconsin are scheduled in all 72 Wisconsin counties at 7 p.m., on Monday, April 10.
The spring fish and wildlife hearings are held in conjunction with annual county Conservation Congress meetings and feature nonbinding votes and testimony on proposed rule changes as well as advisory topics relating to fish and wildlife management. The spring hearing questionnaire and details on all county meeting locations can be found by searching the Department of Natural Resources website for keywords "spring hearings."
This year, the ballot contains 88 questions regarding new hunting season dates for some game species, revised daily bag and length limits for some sportfish and new…

Read more: Wisconsin's annual spring hearings set April 10

Elk population survey completed in northwestern Minnesota

Elk population survey completed in northwestern Minnesota

Minnesota’s elk range in northwestern Minnesota has three herds with a total of 79 elk, according to the annual aerial elk population survey completed by the Department of Natural Resources in Kittson, Marshall and Roseau counties. Past surveys recorded 83 elk in 2016 and 131 in 2015.
“The variability we’re seeing in these numbers year to year is due mainly to the movement of the Caribou-Vita herd that travels back and forth across the Minnesota-Manitoba border,” said John Williams, DNR northwest region wildlife manager.
“However, we are concerned about declining numbers of elk in the Grygla herd in Marshall County,” Williams said. “This herd hasn’t been hunted since 2012, yet the population continues to trend downward.”
In Marshall County, observers counted 17 elk in the Grygla herd, down…

Read more: Elk population survey completed in northwestern Minnesota

Wisconsin's cottontail rabbits aren't hopping anymore

Wisconsin's cottontail rabbits aren't hopping anymore

Cottontail rabbits are known as hoppers, pushing off with their hind legs and leaping, coming down with their hind foot prints ahead of their front prints.  
All that is changing due in part to climate change, which received a positive carbon dioxide shot in the arm during past weeks.  
Rabbits here in Wisconsin are now walking, not hopping. It allows their entire bodies to be cooled more quickly because of better air circulation by standing upright.  
This new stance is requiring much patience and learning to walk, not hop, and to stand upright, rather than more prone.
While the bunnies are likely to be cooler, they are going to need cooling because they’re slower and more likely to be pursued by predators and of course certainly more likely to be caught by fox, coyotes, owls…

Read more: Wisconsin's cottontail rabbits aren't hopping anymore

Spring burning restrictions begin

Spring burning restrictions begin

With warm temperatures, little to no snow and dry vegetation, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will start spring burning restrictions in parts of the state today.
As conditions for wildfires increase, exposed dead grass and brush can light easily and burn quickly, especially in windy conditions.
To find burning restrictions for different areas, go to mndnr.gov/burnrestrictions or call a local DNR Forestry office. Fire conditions may change quickly. So, be sure to check before burning.
During spring restrictions, the state will not give out burning permits for burning brush or yard waste. Debris burning is especially dangerous in April and May when most wildfires occur in Minnesota. Residents are encouraged to use alternatives to burning such as composting or hauling brush to a…

Read more: Spring burning restrictions begin

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