Hunting News

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…

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…

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…

USFWS revamps plan for Mississippi River refuge

By Frederic J. Frommer Associated Press Washington (AP) – Federal officials are creating a new plan for protecting the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge after the original proposal prompted a backlash over restrictions on hunting, camping and other uses. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which held 17 hearings and eight workshops up and down the river since announcing…

Agencies approve plug plan for dry Rice Lake

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor St. Paul – A lake in a state wildlife management area – accidentally drained following ditch maintenance by the Rice Creek Watershed District – will be plugged with an earthen structure that could perhaps make the lake a viable option for duck hunting this fall. According to a press release from the DNR, which manages…

Case of TB in cattle prompts deer testing

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor St. Paul – The discovery of bovine tuberculosis in a cattle herd in northwestern Minnesota has prompted the state DNR to announce deer testing will take place in Roseau County this fall to see if area whitetails contracted the respiratory disease. Mike DonCarlos, DNR wildlife program manager, said the exact area and the target number…

Woodcock population stable for second year

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul – Their numbers may not be on the rise, but woodcock enthusiasts nonetheless can take comfort in the fact that the birds’ population apparently is stable. For the second year in a row, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trend estimates show two separate woodcock populations – Eastern and Central regions – that are…

State duck numbers, harvest down

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor St. Paul – Preliminary harvest reports from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service support what Minnesota duck hunters suspected since their last trip to the duck blind: The 2004 duck season was one that often lacked one important element – ducks. State hunters last year killed about 683,000 ducks, compared to about 884,000 in 2003,…

Debate grows about efforts to relocate urban Canada geese

Minneapolis (AP) – As the metro area continues efforts to control its Canada goose population, one of the most effective goose relocation efforts may be running out of places to send unwanted goslings. The DNR’s urban goose management program collects Canada geese from more than 50 metro cities and county parks. Jim Cooper, a retired University of Minnesota professor who…

Western goose hunters may catch break

By Tim Spielmant Associate Editor Bemidji, Minn. – Goose hunters in western Minnesota, often limited by special protections for Eastern Prairie Population Canada geese, which migrate through the area, may have fewer limitations this fall. DNR waterfowl specialist Steve Cordts recently got a first-hand look at EPP production in Canada, and said things are looking up for the migrants. Cordts,…

Committee: DNR Game & Fish spending receives thumbs up

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul – The DNR is mostly making good use of the money raised by sales of licenses for hunting and fishing, according to the group charged each year with overseeing expenditures. “By and large, everything is OK,” said Rick Horton, chairman of the Game and Fish Fund Budgetary Oversight Committee. The oversight committee issues…

Environmental funding bill keeps DNR running

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul — When a legislative working group passed a bill last Thursday to fund the DNR and other environmental agencies, the room erupted in applause. At the time, Senate and House passage was assumed, as was the governor’s signature. That all happened, and state parks remained open and the DNR avoided being shut down….

Hatcheries operate if shutdown occurs

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor St. Paul — Should Minnesota legislators and the governor end a stalemate and settle on a budget for the next two years, life happily will go on at DNR fish hatcheries. And if they don’t, department officials say fish-rearing activity shouldn’t face much of a setback; at least one staffer will be available at each…

2005 Duck Factory outlook still cloudy

By Tim Eisele Contributing Writer Madison, Wis. — The jury is still out on what duck production numbers will mean for the 2005 hunting season. At the Outdoor Writers Association of America annual convention held in Madison, June 18-21, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gave a briefing on preliminary breeding conditions, but shed little light on pond conditions and…

WMA lake drained; future uncertain

By Tim Spielmant Associate Editor Hugo, Minn. — Duck hunters who set up on Rice Lake in the 360-acre Paul Hugo Farms Wildlife Management Area in the north metro may want to make alternative plans for this season’s hunt. Rice Lake is a virtual mud flat, the water from the 200-acre lake having left via a ditch that underwent a…

Changes could threaten private land conservation

By Dale Wetzel Associated Press By Tim Spielman Associate Editor Washington — Two years after the Washington Post exposed abuses to a system intended to protect wildlife on private land — abuses including tax-reduced easements on golf course fairways and fraudulent agreements between landowners and land trust organizations — federal lawmakers are nearing a plan to close some of the…

Support for deer changes

By Joe Albert Staff Writer Greenbush, Minn. — Clyde Stephens, president of Quality Deer Management, Inc., has been pushing the DNR to alter the way it manages deer in the state, but even he was surprised by the number of changes the agency announced last week. Among them: An antlerless season in mid-October, special regulations in seven state parks, and…

New plan to reform LCMR on the table

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul — State Rep. Dennis Ozment, R-Rosemount, thinks he has a plan to break the legislative logjam that surrounds proposals to reform the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources. The LCMR is a 20-legislator panel that doles out money from the Environmental Trust Fund to pay for natural resource projects. Last fall, Gov. Tim Pawlenty…

Judge tosses out Minnesota lawsuit on N.D. hunting regs

By Dale Wetzel Associated Press Bismarck, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota may restrict out-of-state hunters without violating constitutional protections for doing business between states, a federal judge has concluded. The decision threw out a Minnesota legal challenge to North Dakota’s hunting regulations. “Recreational hunting is not a fundamental right, and states have a legitimate interest in regulating the taking of…