Hunting News

DNR set to release list of ‘at-risk’ flora, fauna

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor St. Paul – For the past several years, Minnesota – along with every other state in the nation – has received funding meant to benefit species that needed a boost. The funding of slightly more than $1 million annually from the federal government came with a caveat when it began in 2001: come up with…

Mysterious songbird kill may be weather-related

DNR Reports Grand Marais, Minn. – The Minnesota DNR recently collected 50 dead birds that were floating 200 to 800 yards from shore in an eight-mile stretch of Lake Superior between Grand Marais and the Brule River mouth. The birds were migrating passerines (songbirds), primarily Swainson’s thrushes, white-throated sparrows, and various warbler species. Record numbers of passerines were reported at…

Game warden testifies in Vang trial

By Robert Imrie Associated Press Hayward, Wis. (AP) – A man in a blaze orange jacket frantically waved to the first law enforcement officers to arrive at the scene where six deer hunters were fatally shot last fall, a state conservation warden testified Monday in the trial of a Minnesota man accused in the Wisconsin killings. The man told the…

CO contingent returns from Louisiana mission

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor St. Paul – Twenty Minnesota conservation officers returned from a mission in New Orleans this week with new experiences under their belts, and a greater appreciation of the destruction in the city. What was to be a 13-day venture turned out to be slightly less than a week (officers returned to the state on Saturday,…

COs head to Louisiana flood zone

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor Enforcement airplane crashes St. Paul – The Minnesota DNR’s Enforcement Division announced this week that 20 of its officers have been deployed to a hurricane-ravaged area of Louisiana to do “anything and everything that can be done,” said Rich Sprouse, public information officer. Ten squads (two officers each) and 10 boats headed for Baton Rouge,…

Jury picking began last week in Wisconsin hunter shootings case

By Robert Imrie Associated Press Hayward, Wis. (AP) – In the northwestern Wisconsin town that was home to six deer hunters killed during a confrontation over trespassing, many folks wonder why the murder trial for a Hmong immigrant is needed and whether they will get justice. “The guy admitted he shot people in the back,” Rice Lake Mayor Larry Jarvela…

Report: Vang may claim self-defense in hunter shootings

Hayward, Wis. (AP) – Attorneys for a Minnesota man accused of killing six hunters in northwestern Wisconsin filed court papers suggesting he may claim self-defense in his trial, a newspaper reported. Chai Soua Vang also won’t pursue a plea bargain to avoid trial, his attorneys told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis last week. Vang, a 36-year-old truck driver from St….

DNR: ATV law change manageable

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor St. Paul – Brad Moore, DNR assistant commissioner for operations, last week delivered a sort of “stay the course” message in a memo to those staffers inventorying state forests regarding future and present trail use. He also took the opportunity to state that legislation from this year doesn’t weaken (as some opponents have charged), but…

Carlos Avery housing project on hold, for now

By Joe Albert Staff Writer Ham Lake, Minn. – A judge has put a stop to construction of a housing development that some say will destroy a dry-oak forest near the 23,000-acre Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area. District Court Judge Sharon Hall last Tuesday issued a temporary injunction at the request of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy that will…

Crow Wing bans permanent stands

By Joe Albert Staff Writer Brainerd, Minn. – Crow Wing County had enough of waiting for state regulation of permanent deer stands. So it passed its own ban. As of Aug. 1, construction and use of permanent deer stands is outlawed on its 103,00 acres of county lands. Crow Wing is the second county to address permanent stands; Cass County…

Weather, hard work slow spread of fire in BWCAW

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor Ely, Minn. — One-thousand-three-hundred acres and $1.8 million dollars after lightning started a forest fire in northern Minnesota, officials on Tuesday said the fire was about 45 percent contained. And future weather promised more good than bad for firefighters. Dewey Hanson, of the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center, said this week the end to a fire…

BWCAW blaze continues; some blowdown burning

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor Ely, Minn. — A fire in the Boundary Waters Area Canoe Wilderness of northeastern Minnesota continued to burn near the Canadian border Tuesday, when a light rain in the morning did little but allow firefighters to change their approach. More rain was possible Tuesday night. “Over the fire, the amount of rain was just over…

Minnesota rep to author Wetlands Loan Act bill

By Joe Albert Staff Writer Maple Grove, Minn. — Hoping to curb the trend of wetland and grassland losses nationwide, conservation group leaders met Tuesday with U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy, R-Minnesota, in an effort to double the amount of money spent each year on habitat. Kennedy said he would author a bill in Congress to revive a program, the Wetlands…

State conservation leader passes away

By Joe Albert Staff Writer Frank Schneider Jr. was the Outdoor News 2001 Man of the Year St. Paul — A conservation giant in Minnesota has died. Frank Schneider Jr. passed away on Monday, Aug. 8 at 4:45 p.m. of a brain tumor. He was 86, and diagnosed in late May with inoperable brain cancer. “It’s a great loss for…

Wetlands program gets more funding

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor Washington — A federal program that supplies matching grant dollars for projects that benefit wetlands and associated uplands received a boost recently when Congress approved an increase in funding of about $2 million for next year. The increase in North American Wetlands Conservation Act funding raises to $40 million the appropriation. Other sources typically double…

Hunters get duck ‘days,’ lower bag

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor St. Paul – Duck hunters in Minnesota will face tighter restrictions than waterfowlers in other Mississippi Flyway states when the season opens Oct. 1. Minnesota DNR officials this week announced a season with a bag limit lighter than the federal frameworks would allow – four instead of six ducks, including just one hen mallard. The…

Waterfowl Association manages to stay afloat

By Joe Albert Staff Writer Plymouth, Minn. — A group with a cloud over its head the past two years, the Minnesota Waterfowl Association, has a new lease on life. The 39-year-old conservation group will stay in business after delegates learned Saturday its $150,000 goal had been reached and voted unanimously to keep it running. “Everybody was pleasantly surprised,” said…

DNR debating 2005 6/60 duck offering

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor Bemidji, Minn. — Federal officials this week recommended a liberal season – 60 days and six ducks in the Mississippi Flyway, which includes Minnesota – for all U.S. flyways. But state officials say this time around, they won’t be so quick to accept the offer. “There’s serious consideration in the agency (DNR) that maybe we…

Osprey nest could disrupt activity at Irondale High

New Brighton, Minn. (AP) — A federally protected bird of prey has made its nest atop a light pole at Irondale High School’s football field. And because it’s against the law to disturb an osprey, school officials are waiting to see whether school activities can go on as scheduled. If not, the completion of an artificial turf project may have…

DNR debating 2005 6/60 duck offering

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor Bemidji, Minn. – Federal officials this week recommended a liberal season – 60 days and six ducks in the Mississippi Flyway, which includes Minnesota – for all U.S. flyways. But state officials say this time around, they won’t be so quick to accept the offer. “There’s serious consideration in the agency (DNR) that maybe we…

Waterfowl Association manages to stay afloat

By Joe Albert Staff Writer Plymouth, Minn. – A group with a cloud over its head the past two years, the Minnesota Waterfowl Association, has a new lease on life. The 39-year-old conservation group will stay in business after delegates learned Saturday its $150,000 goal had been reached and voted unanimously to keep it running. “Everybody was pleasantly surprised,” said…

Osprey nest could disrupt activity at Irondale High

New Brighton, Minn. (AP) – A federally protected bird of prey has made its nest atop a light pole at Irondale High School’s football field. And because it’s against the law to disturb an osprey, school officials are waiting to see whether school activities can go on as scheduled. If not, the completion of an artificial turf project may have…

State’s first dove season produces 107,000 birds

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul – Minnesota dove hunters last fall, in their first season in nearly 60 years, shot about 107,000 birds, though the number of hunters who pursued them was below early estimates. The DNR estimated up to 50,000 people might hunt doves; about 14,000 hunters did, according to data released by the U.S. Fish and…

WMAs, CREP II top bonding proposals for 2006 agenda

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul – Next year’s bonding bill – assuming it’s passed on time, and if the DNR and Board of Water and Soil Resources get what they’ve proposed – will be a boon to sportsmen. Potential highlights include: $20 million for the acquisition of wildlife management areas; $30.15 million for RIM Reserve and a second…