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Last updated: Feb 14, 2011

Landowner permits, deer feeding ban part of DNR's CWD strategy

Nuisance animal control company owner pleads guilty to overlimit of deer

DNR achieves recertification of nearly 5 million acres

Minnesota House Committee Passes First Pro-Gun Bill of 2011 Session

Over 10,000 attend Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza

Minnesota deer harvest climbs 8 percent in 2010

Preliminary test identifies CWD-positive wild deer in southeast Minnesota

Little Rock Lake Update

Hunter safety instructors/mentors needed for next generation of hunters

Dave Schad named DNR deputy commissioner

Tom Landwehr to head DNR

Maple Grove resident wins 2012 turkey stamp contest

TIP hotline has very effective 2010

DNR preparing management plan for Federal lands in Red Lake area

 

 

 

Landowner permits, deer feeding ban part of DNR's CWD strategy

DNR to conduct public meeting to discuss Chronic Wasting Disease

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is taking the next steps in implementing its Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) incident response plan. They include inviting landowners to participate in a deer sampling process, and putting in place a deer feeding ban.

Landowners who obtain shooting permits from the DNR will be authorized to take deer in a portion of southeastern Minnesota within roughly 10 miles of where a CWD positive wild deer was found, as part of the agency’s efforts to sample wild deer in the Pine Island area for CWD.

Landowners who accept shooting permits will be allowed to authorize additional shooters. All harvested deer will be tested for CWD. 

“Rather than having a traditional special hunt, we are working through local landowners to issue permits so they can assist with the sampling effort,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator and CWD incident commander. “All the land in the surveillance area is private land that cannot be hunted without permission.”

Carcasses of deer taken can be retained by the landowner or designated shooters, or surrendered to DNR for donation to individuals.  CWD test results are expected to be available within three business days so that people holding carcasses can make decisions on processing and consumption. This approach will provide for more landowner control of shooters on their property and will also allow for better control of movement of carcasses prior to testing results being available. Prions can be spread through portions of carcasses, particularly brain and spinal column. If any CWD positive deer are identified, the carcasses will be taken to the University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for disposal.

DNR staff began contacting landowners in the CWD surveillance area on Thursday. Landowner contacts are prioritized based on deer numbers and proximity to the location where the infected deer was harvested.

The deer population estimate based on the aerial survey has been completed and DNR estimates there are 6,500 deer within a 10-mile radius around the positive deer. Of those 6,500 deer, 1,900 were seen within the core area, which is roughly a 5-mile radius around the positive deer. Some of the highest deer numbers were observed in the area the positive deer was taken.  Based on these numbers, DNR has calculated a surveillance goal of 900 deer, of which 500 should be taken from the core area. 

The possibility of using U.S. Department of Agriculture sharpshooters during the sampling effort also is being considered, but no specific plan is in place.

“Our hope is that we can get the majority of the needed sample with landowner shooting,” Cornicelli said. “There may be cases where a landowner prefers sharpshooters, or we need to increase sample size in certain areas beyond what we can get through landowner permits.

“Our goal is to determine the level of infection in the local deer population and to remove additional potentially infected animals,” he said.

In addition to the upcoming sampling effort, a deer feeding ban covering Dodge, Goodhue, Olmsted and Wabasha counties will be in place later this month. The feeding ban includes a wider area because the potential extent of the CWD infection is not known and one of the most probable mechanisms for CWD spread among deer is over a food source that concentrates animals.

"One simple step that anyone placing food out for wildlife can do to help prevent the spread of disease is to stop feeding deer," Cornicelli said.

DNR officials will present current CWD information and plans at a public meeting scheduled for Monday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Pine Island High School cafeteria. After the presentation, a panel of experts from DNR, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association will be available to answer questions.  

CWD is a fatal brain disease that affects deer, elk and moose, but not cattle or humans. The disease was confirmed in Minnesota’s first wild deer Jan. 25. An archer harvested that deer near Pine Island in November 2010.

The DNR has been actively on the lookout for CWD since 2002, when the disease was first found in a domestic elk farm in central Minnesota. An important management strategy for CWD is early detection.

DNR increased its southeastern Minnesota wild deer CWD surveillance efforts in fall 2009 after tests in January 2009 determined that a captive elk on a farm near Pine Island was infected with CWD. The elk farm was depopulated in fall of 2009 and a total of four CWD positive captive elk were found. Heightened wild deer surveillance efforts continued in 2010, with one CWD-positive deer detected.

Since 2002, the DNR has tested more than 32,000 hunter-harvested or road-killed deer, 60 elk and 90 moose as part of its early CWD detection strategy.

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Nuisance animal control company owner pleads guilty to overlimit of deer

The owner of a nuisance animal control company that was providing deer removal services for the city of Burnsville has plead guilty to illegally taking 13 deer from a national wildlife refuge next to city property.

Mercer I. Englund, 66, of Bethel, owner of First Choice Wildlife Control, plead guilty to a charge of gross misdemeanor overlimit of wild animals. He was fined $1,500, had two firearms forfeited, and had his hunting privileges revoked for three years, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

A call to the Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline last February lead State Conservation Officer Tony Salzer of Eagan to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, which borders Cliff Fen Park where Englund was permitted to remove deer. Englund had charged the city for harvesting 22 deer at the park.

During an evening patrol of the park shortly after the TIP call, Salzer heard three shots fired.
Englund and another man were later observed carrying loaded rifles in the refuge. A blood trail lead Salzer to a deer in a nearby ditch. Englund told the officer he had shot nine deer at the park.

“I explained to Mr. Englund that I knew he had reported shooting 22 deer out of Cliff Fen Park and that if he had really shot nine deer in the park, he had shot 13 in the refuge,” Salzer said.

Englund agreed with the numbers and admitted he knew he wasn’t to shoot deer outside of the park.

Anyone witnessing wildlife or fishing law violations is encouraged to contact the nearest conservation officer or law enforcement agency, or to call the toll-free TIP hotline at 800-652-9093. Most cell phone users can also call #TIP in Minnesota.

Finding a Minnesota conservation officer is just a click away at www.mndnr.gov/officerpatrolareas. Click on the map and a balloon will pop up that shows the officer phone number and State Patrol dispatch number.

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DNR achieves recertification of nearly 5 million acres

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) successfully recertified its resource management of 4.96 million acres of state-administered forestlands to two independent, third-party forest management certification systems. Those third parties are The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC).

“Forest certification is a system that recognizes and rewards sustainable forest management,” explained DNR Division of Forestry Director Dave Epperly.

Certification of Minnesota forestlands has led to a sustainable supply of forest products and services from healthy, diverse and productive ecosystems. It also lead to continuous improvement in forest management practices, better interdisciplinary coordination and communication among resource managers and stakeholders, and increased global competitiveness for consumers of forest products from certified state forestlands.

Forest certification of state-administered forestlands involves several elements. These include

a voluntary commitment to adhere to independently established standards for responsible forest management; participate in annual audits performed by external auditors; and address any non-conformances or compliance gaps identified during audits.

Epperly said the DNR's outstanding achievement in recertifying almost five million acres to both the SFI and FSC Forest Management Standard is a testament to the department’s commitment and dedication to responsible, sustainable forest management. Currently the DNR administers the largest single FSC forest management certificate in the nation.

“We should all be proud of the commitment and achievements the DNR and other certified land managers have made towards sustainable forestry,” Epperly said.

In addition to the 4.84 million acres of state administered lands certified since 2005, DNR successfully expanded its dual forest management certificates by approximately 104,000 acres. This includes 81,673 acres of Land Utilization Project (LUP) Lands in northwestern Minnesota and 22,600 acres of trails-administered lands in northeastern Minnesota.

FSC has long recognized the DNR for its leadership and commitment to sustainable forestry.

DNR first obtained FSC certification in 1997 for its forestlands located in Aitkin County.

Along with the county-administered lands, these were the first public forestlands to be certified in the United States, thereby establishing the DNR as a national leader in Forest Certification and in protecting and managing natural lands.

Effective dates of DNR's renewed certificates are Dec. 31, 2010 – Dec. 31, 2015.

DNR's FSC Trademark License Code is FSC C020394.

For more information, go to DNR's Forest Certification website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/certification/index.html

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Minnesota House Committee Passes First Pro-Gun Bill of 2011 Session

On Wednesday, January 26, the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee, led by pro-gun state Representative Tony Cornish (R-24B), passed HF 161 by a 10-7 vote. HF 161 was introduced by state Representative Steve Drazkowski (R-28B).

Minnesota law requires an individual to possess a “transferee permit” and undergo the seven-day waiting period before purchasing a handgun. In 1998, the National Instant Check System (NICS) replaced the antiquated national five-day waiting period on handgun purchases, and has proven to be a more efficient and effective way to conduct criminal background checks for firearm purchases. Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) would still conduct criminal background checks on all firearm purchases.

HF 161 would repeal the unnecessary and duplicative state permitting process and allow Minnesotans to join millions of law-abiding Americans—across 38 states—that do not have to seek a state permit before exercising their right to purchase a firearm.

HF 161 is now before the House Civil Law Committee where anti-gun Governor Mark Dayton (DFL) hopes to stall its progress. We need you to let the legislature know of your strong support and help Minnesota become the next state to repeal this out-dated and redundant process.

Please contact the members of the Civil Law Committee and respectfully voice your support for this legislation. Also, please thank the members of the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention and Finance Committee for supporting the passage of HF 161. Contact information can be found below.

House Civil Law Committee

Representative Torrey Westrom (R-11A) Chairman

651-296-4929

E-mail: rep.torrey.westrom@house.mn

Vice Chair

Representative Steve Drazkowski (R-28B)

651-296-2273

E-mail: rep.steve.drazkowski@house.mn

Representative John Lesch (DFL-66A)

651-296-4224

E-mail: rep.john.lesch@house.mn

Representative Glenn Gruenhagen (R-25A)

651-296-4229

E-mail: rep.glenn.gruenhagen@house.mn

Representative Debra Hilstrom (DFL-46B)

651-296-3709

E-mail: rep.debra.hilstrom@house.mn

Representative Bill Hilty (DFL-8A)

651-296-4308

E-mail: rep.bill.hilty@house.mn

Representative Mary Liz Holberg (R-36A)

651-296-6926

E-mail: rep.maryliz.holberg@house.mn

Representative Joe Hoppe (R-34B)

651-296-5066

E-mail: rep.joe.hoppe@house.mn

Representative Melissa Hortman (DFL-47B)

651-296-4280

E-mail: rep.melissa.hortman@house.mn

Representative Tim Mahoney (DFL-67A)

651-296-4277

E-mail: rep.tim.mahoney@house.mn

Representative Pat Mazorol (R-41B)

651-296-7803

E-mail: rep.pat.mazorol@house.mn

Representative Joyce Peppin (R-32A)

651-296-7806

E-mail: rep.joyce.peppin@house.mn

Representative Sandra Peterson (DFL-45A)

651-296-4176

E-mail: rep.sandra.peterson@house.mn

Representative Linda Runbeck (R-53A)

651-296-2907

E-mail: rep.linda.runbeck@house.mn

Representative Peggy Scott (R-49A)

651-296-4231

E-mail: rep.peggy.scott@house.mn

Representative Steve Simon (DFL-44A)

651-296-9889

E-mail: rep.steve.simon@house.mn

Representative Doug Wardlow (R-38B)

651-296-4128

E-mail: rep.doug.wardlow@house.mn

House Public Safety and Crime Prevention and Finance Committee

Representative Tony Cornish (R-24B) Chairman

651-296-4240 
E-mail: rep.tony.cornish@house.mn

Representative Kelby Woodard (R-25B)

651-296-7065 
E-mail: rep.kelby.woodard@house.mn

Representative Glenn Gruenhagen (R-25A)

651-296-4229 
E-mail: rep.glenn.gruenhagen@house.mn

Representative Tim Kelly (R-28A)

651-296-8635 
E-mail: rep.tim.kelly@house.mn

Representative Andrea Kieffer (R-56B)

651-296-1147 
E-mail: rep.andrea.kieffer@house.mn

Representative John Kriesel (R-57A)

651-296-4342
E-mail: rep.john.kriesel@house.mn

Representative Ernie Leidiger (R-34A)

651-296-4282
E-mail: rep.ernie.leidiger@house.mn

Representative Joe McDonald (R-19B)

651-296-4336
E-mail: rep.joe.mcdonald@house.mn

Representative Bud Nornes (R-10A)

651-296-4946
E-mail: rep.bud.nornes@house.mn

Representative Steve Smith (R-19B)

651-296-9188 
E-mail: rep.steve.smith@house.mn

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Over 10,000 attend Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza

Brainerd, Minn. – Preliminary estimates indicate that over 10,000 people were in attendance at the world’s largest charitable ice fishing tournament Saturday for the 21st annual Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza. Participants came from as far as Sweden, plus many from across the country – Texas, Florida and New York to name a few.

At 12:03 p.m. the first angler was welcomed to the weigh-in tent by on-lookers ringing cow bells. There were 724 fish registered this year. Andrew Schultz landed the winning fish, a 7.18 pound Northern in 11 feet of water using a minnow and a tip-up. A first-time Extravaganza attendee from Dousman, WI, Schultz had this to say, “I was really excited because this was the biggest fish I’ve ever caught.” Schultz had his choice between a Ford or GMC pick-up truck – he chose the Ford. In 100th place, winning an Ice Castle Fish House was Brandon Popp from Sauk Rapids, MN. He caught a .55 pound Walleye. In last place (150th) was Bill Werner from Cloquet, MN, and he landed on the leader board with a .43 pound Perch which won him an Arctic Cat ATV 550 Power Steering.

There are two notable characteristics about this event – it is completely volunteer run and 100% of the proceeds are donated to area charities. The Brainerd Jaycees invests more than 20,000 hours in the planning of the contest. Amongst the 400 volunteers was Roberta Jay, the chairman of the contest this year. She said, “I grew up around this event and am amazed every year at its success and the commitment of our volunteers.” The largest beneficiary is Confidence Learning Center, an outdoor recreational facility for people with developmental disabilities, but it’s estimated that 50 charities will benefit from the successful event. The Brainerd Jaycees have donated $2.6-million to charities since the first Extravaganza was held in 1991.

All of the official event information can be found online at www.icefishing.org including a complete winner’s list. Next year’s event will be held on Saturday, January 21, 2012.

1
Winners Choice-New Ford or GMC truck
ANDREW, SCHULTZ
DONSMAN, WI
7.18 NORTHERN
2
Arctic Cat ATV 550 Power Steering
DANIAL, BORER
ST MICHAEL, MN
4.44 NORTHERN
3
Arctic Cat Cross Fire 800
CHAD, WILKONS
ELKHORN, WI
3.37 WALLEYE
4
Clam Fish Trap Voyager TCX
MARK, YAMAGUCHI
MINNEAPOLIS, MN
3.22 WALLEYE
5
Strikemaster Auger
CURT, ROHLFING
MINNEAPOLIS, MN
3.19 WALLEYE
6
Humminbird 385ci Portable
KAY, ROSKE
SHAKOPEE, MN
2.98 WALLEYE
7
Strikemaster Icefishing Suit
TIM, HARMON
ST FRANCIS, WI
2.88 NORTHERN
8
Aqua-Vu 1 Mav X
JOSEPH, SALZWEDEL
WILDER, MN
2.88 WALLEYE
9
Ice 55 By Humminbird
NICHOLAS, GRANDT
HARRIS, MN
2.72 TULIBEE
10
Strikemaster Icefishing Suit
TIM, WHITEMAN
BRAINERD, MN
2.58 WALLEYE
11
Clam Fish Trap Pro TC
JOHN, BRENNY
RICE, MN
2.57 WALLEYE
12
Strikemaster Auger
SHANE, VOSSEN
DASSEL, MN
2.54 WALLEYE
13
$250 Lindy Shopping Spree
TIMOTHY, AADLAND
BAXTER, MN
2.50 WALLEYE
14
Humminbird 385ci Portable
MATTHEW, DANZL
ST CLOUD, MN
2.48 TULIBEE
15
Aqua-Vu Quad 4x4
MARK, MATICH
PILLAGER, MN
2.42 WALLEYE
16
Clam Fish Trap Denali IV
FREDERICK, WENTZLAFF
HENDERSON, MN
2.42 TULIBEE
17
Ice 55 By Humminbird
GEORGE, KNOPIK
LITTLE FALLS, MN
2.38 TULIBEE
18
$1,250 Cragun's Vacation
JOSEPH, KELLY
ELK RIVER, MN
2.12 TULIBEE
19
Strikemaster Auger
CHRISTOPHER, SCHWANKE
HUTCHINSON, MN
2.08 TULIBEE
20
Arctic Cat ATV 550 Power Steering
CARY, BERNING
ST MICHAEL, MN
2.02 WALLEYE
21
$2,100 Cash
TERESA, BEARCE
ISLE, MN
2.01 WALLEYE
22
Strikemaster Icefishing Suit
MICHAEL, UPHOFF
BRAINERD, MN
1.94 WALLEYE
23
Ice 55 By Humminbird
TRAVIS, HEADLEY
ST LOUIS PARK, MN
1.92 WALLEYE
24
Strikemaster Auger
RUSSELL, HEINONEN
OSAGE, MN
1.84 WALLEYE
25
$250 Lindy Shopping Spree
STEVEN, NOASCONI
OWATONNA, MN
1.46 WALLEYE
26
Clam Fish Trap Kodiak
TROY, FARMER
ALDEN, MN
1.32 NORTHERN
27
Strikemaster Auger
GARRETT, SILVERNAIL
BAXTER, MN
1.32 WALLEYE
28
Humminbird 385ci Portable
RICHARD, POLIPNICK
BAXTER, MN
1.25 ROCK BASS
29
Strikemaster Auger
RONALD, PICK
PIERZ, MN
1.22 NORTHERN
30
Strikemaster Icefishing Suit
CY, PFANNENSTEIN
AVON, MN
1.21 WALLEYE
31
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
MARK, KIEFFER
FOLEY, MN
1.21 WALLEYE
32
Clam Fish Trap Nanook
CURT, HAEG
MORA, MN
1.17 WALLEYE
33
Mr. Heater Package
CRAIG, DEMPEWOLF
CHAMPLIN, MN
1.16 WALLEYE
34
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
CODY, PRZYBILLA
LITTLE FALLS, MN
1.13 WALLEYE
35
Humminbird 385ci Portable
SHALON, WERNER
BROWNTON, MN
1.07 WALLEYE
36
Strikemaster Icefishing Suit
CHANCE, WOODKNIFE
WHITE RIVER, MN
1.07 WALLEYE
37
Aqua-Vu Quad 4x4
JON, HENKE
BRAINERD, MN
1.00 WALLEYE
38
Ice 55 By Humminbird
STEVEN, HINES
NISSWA, MN
0.99 WALLEYE
39
Humminbird 385ci Portable
JIM, CASSIDY
FOLEY, MN
0.99 WALLEYE
40
$1,250 Cragun's Vacation
KEVIN, PROVOST
BRAINERD, MN
0.99 WALLEYE
41
Ice 55 By Humminbird
JAMISON, HOLTHAUS
MACOMB, IL
0.98 WALLEYE
42
Strikemaster Auger
JOSH, MELCHOIR
JANESVILLE, MN
0.97 WALLEYE
43
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
CODY, CAMPBELL
DELOIT, WI
0.97 ROCK BASS
44
Ice 55 By Humminbird
ROGER, KRAMER
LESUEUR, MN
0.97 TULIBEE
45
Clam Fish Trap Denali IV
EUGENE, ZEISE
OWATONNA, MN
0.96 WALLEYE
46
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
KEVIN, REUTHER
JAMESTOWN, ND
0.95 WALLEYE
47
Aqua-Vu Explorer 7
ROBERT, BIRDSALL
MONTICELLO, MN
0.94 WALLEYE
48
Strikemaster Auger
TYLER, SCHWARTZ
STEWART, MN
0.94 WALLEYE
49
$250 Lindy Shopping Spree
THERESA, WARZECHA
SAUK RAPIDS, MN
0.93 WALLEYE
50
Arctic Cat ATV 550 Power Steering
PAUL, GIERE
ROCHESTER, MN
0.92 TULIBEE
51
Humminbird 385ci Portable
JOEL, KINGHORN
ESKO, MN
0.91 WALLEYE
52
Strikemaster Icefishing Suit
JIM, BOLES
OTSEGO, MN
0.90 WALLEYE
53
$250 Cash
ALFRED, MEAD
LONG PRAIRIE, MN
0.90 NORTHERN
54
$250 Lindy Shopping Spree
JEREMY, DAMMANN
DULUTH, MN
0.87 WALLEYE
55
Strikemaster Auger
JEFF, BUSH
MINNEAPOLIS, MN
0.86 WALLEYE
56
Clam Fish Trap Denali IV
TIFFANY, DESHAYES
PARK RAPIDS, MN
0.85 WALLEYE
57
Aqua-Vu Explorer 7
JEFF, ANDERSON
PILLAGER, MN
0.84 WALLEYE
58
Strikemaster Auger
KEITH, TIESKOTTER
PRESTON, MN
0.84 WALLEYE
59
Mr. Heater Package
MARTIN, KATZENMEYER
BRAINERD, MN
0.84 WALLEYE
60
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
TERRY, BRAITH
STAPLES, MN
0.83 WALLEYE
61
$250 Lindy Shopping Spree
LEROY, HORNER
DEERWOOD, MN
0.83 NORTHERN
62
Strikemaster Auger
STEVE, DEYO
WHITE BEAR LAKE, MN
0.82 WALLEYE
63
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
MATT, WALSH
JAMESTOWN, ND
0.81 WALLEYE
64
Ice 55 By Humminbird
TY, SHERIDAN
INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, MN
0.81 WALLEYE
65
Strikemaster Ice Fishing Suit
JEREMY, HENKE
N MAKATO, MN
0.80 WALLEYE
66
Ice 55 By Humminbird
CHAD, NEPTUNE
BRAINERD, MN
0.80 WALLEYE
67
Mr. Heater Package
CHAD, PIEKARSKI
PILLAGER, MN
0.79 PERCH
68
Humminbird 385ci Portable
SCOTT, AASER
CHERRY, MN
0.78 WALLEYE
69
Strikemaster Auger
TODD, SWANSON
ANDOVER, MN
0.78 PERCH
70
$250 Cash
MICHAEL, PARENT
PRINCETON, MN
0.78 PERCH
71
Strikemaster Icefishing Suit
TIMOTHY, OLSON
NEW PRAGUE, MN
0.78 WALLEYE
72
Clam Fish Trap Pro TC
WILLIAM, HEAD
LITTLE FALLS, MN
0.76 PERCH
73
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
DAVID, SMITH
BRAINERD, MN
0.75 WALLEYE
74
Strikemaster Auger
SCOTT, HAAS
CARVER, MN
0.75 PERCH
75
$250 Lindy Shopping Spree
JOSEPH, MEDALLIS
OWATONNA, MN
0.73 PERCH
76
Strikemaster Ice Fishing Suit
ROBERT, DERR
ELY, MN
0.73 PERCH
77
Ice 55 By Humminbird
JAMIE, CALLAIS
KABETOGAMA, MN
0.72 PERCH
78
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
MERL, STRONG
LACROSSE, WI
0.71 PERCH
79
Strikemaster Auger
BETHANY, JARVIS
SAVAGE, MN
0.70 PERCH
80
Mr. Heater Package
DAVID, SANDERS
RAMSEY, MN
0.70 PERCH
81
Clam Fish Trap Nanook
BRIAN, BRZEZINSKI
FORT RIPLEY, MN
0.70 WALLEYE
82
Strikemaster Auger
BENJAMIN, PANY
MONTROSE, MN
0.69 PERCH
83
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
BRANDON, CIZEK
BAXTER, MN
0.69 WALLEYE
84
Clam Fish Trap Denali IV
JASON, MERTENS
MARSHFIELD, WI
0.67 NORTHERN
85
Humminbird 385ci Portable
BRENT, CAMPBELL
BRAINERD, MN
0.66 PERCH
86
$250 Lindy Shopping Spree
CRAIG, DOSHAN
BAXTER, MN
0.63 WALLEYE
87
Strikemaster Auger
DOUG, SCHANTZ
CHERMONT, SD
0.61 PERCH
88
Ice 55 By Humminbird
THOMAS, BOYER
BRAINERD, MN
0.60 WALLEYE
89
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
DALE, RUEHLING
NISSWA, MN
0.60 WALLEYE
90
Humminbird 385ci Portable
MARCUS, STEADMAN
MEDINA, MN
0.60 WALLEYE
91
Strikemaster Auger
JEFF, NYQUIST
NISSWA, MN
0.59 PERCH
92
Strikemaster Icefishing Suit
BARRY, KOLFOVEN
MOHAWK, MI
0.59 WALLEYE
93
$250 Cash
DUSTIN, SAWVEL
BRAINERD, MN
0.58 WALLEYE
94
Clam Fish Trap Pro TC
GARY, DULLINGER
STAPLES, MN
0.57 PERCH
95
Ice 55 By Humminbird
ROGER, ANDERSON
CHASKA, MN
0.56 WALLEYE
96
Mr. Heater Package
CHRIS, BOXMEYER
WHITE BEAR LAKE, MN
0.56 PERCH
97
Clam Fish Trap Denali IV
JOSHUA, SMITH
NEW MARKET, MN
0.56 PERCH
98
Humminbird 385ci Portable
JACOB, MUELLER
RICHMOND, MN
0.55 PERCH
99
$250 Lindy Shopping Spree
ALAN, STROSCHEIN
ST CLOUD, MN
0.55 PERCH
100
Ice Castle Fish House
BRANDON, POPP
SAUK RAPIDS, MN
0.55 WALLEYE
101
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
RON, OLSON
ST FRANCIS, MN
0.55 WALLEYE
102
Ice 55 By Humminbird
JOHN, TOPHEN
BLAINE, MN
0.54 WALLEYE
103
Clam Summit Thermal
CHAD, TAATJES
BRAINERD, MN
0.54 WALLEYE
104
Strikemaster Auger
PAT, TABATT
SAUK RAPIDS, MN
0.53 WALLEYE
105
$250 Cash
BRUCE, LONDON
NISSWA, MN
0.53 WALLEYE
106
Clam Summit Thermal
JASON, BOBROWSKI
FORST LAKE, MN
0.53 WALLEYE
107
Strikemaster Auger
HUNTER, HOYNE
ALBERT LEA, MN
0.53 PERCH
108
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
SEAN, VAGTS
BRAINERD, MN
0.52 PERCH
109
Humminbird 385ci Portable
TIM, MEIRDING
LAKE SHORE, MN
0.52 WALLEYE
110
Strikemaster Auger
JESS, PERRINGTON
LITTLE FALLS, MN
0.52 WALLEYE
111
Ice 55 By Humminbird
RANDY, WITUCKL
LITTLE FALLS, MN
0.52 WALLEYE
112
Strikemaster Ice Fishing Suit
BRIAN, JOHNSON
HOYT LAKES, MN
0.51 WALLEYE
113
Humminbird 385ci Portable
AARON, JOHNSON
LAKE PARK, MN
0.51 TULIBEE
114
Clam Fish Trap Nanook
PAUL, NELSON
BROOKLYN CENTER, MN
0.51 WALLEYE
115
Ice 55 By Humminbird
MIKE, WELCH
SARTELL, MN
0.50 PERCH
116
$250 Lindy Shopping Spree
JACK, FISCHER
ANNANDALE, MN
0.50 WALLEYE
117
Mr. Heater Package
JASON, BAHR
BRAINERD, MN
0.50 ROCK BASS
118
Strikemaster Auger
CURTIS, FRUTH
SOUTH HAVEN, MN
0.49 WALLEYE
119
Clam Summit Thermal
MARK, KOLBINGER
BECKER, MN
0.48 PERCH
120
$250 Lindy Shopping Spree
DAVID, IMHOLTE
SARTELL, MN
0.47 PERCH
121
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
MITCHELL, CASPER
BRAINERD, MN
0.47 WALLEYE
122
Strikemaster Auger
CASSANDRA, LADOUCEUR
BRAINERD, MN
0.47 WALLEYE
123
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
MICHAEL, STALEY
CRETE, IL
0.46 PERCH
124
Ice 55 By Humminbird
KEITH, VALENTO
SCANDIA, MN
0.46 WALLEYE
125
Arctic Cat ATV 550 Power Steering
JASON, KOTCHEVAR
SHAKOPEE, MN
0.46 WALLEYE
126
Strikemaster Auger
STEVEN, DAVIS
ALBANY, MN
0.45 PERCH
127
$250 Lindy Shopping Spree
DAVID, TORNOW
BACKUS, MN
0.45 PERCH
128
Strikemaster Auger
CORY, GIEBEL
FARMINGTON, MN
0.45 WALLEYE
129
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
JAMES, BURNS
ST. CLOUD, MN
0.45 WALLEYE
130
Strikemaster Icefishing Suit
DEREK, GRIMES
INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, MN
0.45 WALLEYE
131
Clam Fish Trap Pro TC
WALLACE, BUNGERT
KIMBALL, MN
0.45 WALLEYE
132
Ice 55 By Humminbird
AARON, BENSON
BENSON, MN
0.45 WALLEYE
133
Mr. Heater Package
MICHAEL, BAHR
BRAINERD, MN
0.45 WALLEYE
134
Humminbird 385ci Portable
LANE, CANFIELD
WACONIA, MN
0.45 PERCH
135
Strikemaster Auger
THOMAS, HAGLIN
NISSWA, MN
0.45 WALLEYE
136
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
ADAM, ANDERSON
ST CLOUD, MN
0.45 WALLEYE
137
$250 Lindy Shopping Spree
MATT, STAPLETON
ALBERT LEA, MN
0.44 WALLEYE
138
Ice 55 By Humminbird
MIKE, COOPER
FARMINTON, MN
0.44 WALLEYE
139
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
TERRY, DUNN
OTTERTAIL, MN
0.44 PERCH
140
Ice 55 By Humminbird
ZACH, HENKE
BRAINERD, MN
0.44 PERCH
141
Clam Fish Trap Nanook
VANG YEE, LENG THAO
ST PAUL, MN
0.44 PERCH
142
Strikemaster Ice Fishing Suit
THOMAS, MCGOUGH
DILWORTH, MN
0.44 PERCH
143
Mr. Heater Package
BRAD, LEIFERMAN
MANKATO, MN
0.43 PERCH
144
Strikemaster Icefishing Suit
DANIEL, JOHNSON
LAKE PARK, MN
0.43 PERCH
145
$250 Cash
JAMES, TOAL
BRAINERD, MN
0.43 WALLEYE
146
Strikemaster Auger
GARY, HARE
REMER, MN
0.43 PERCH
147
$250 Lindy Shopping Spree
RICHARD, DUBIEL
MOUNDS VIEW, MN
0.43 WALLEYE
148
Aqua-Vu Explorer 5
JOSEPH, LOFBOOM
HARRIS, MN
0.43 WALLEYE
149
Clam Fish Trap Kodiak
DALE, RICHARDSON
EDEN PRAIRIE, MN
0.43 WALLEYE
150
Arctic Cat ATV 550 Power Steering
BILL, WERNER
CLOQUET, MN
0.43 PERCH

 

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Minnesota deer harvest climbs 8 percent in 2010

Ideal hunting weather during the opening weekend of Minnesota’s firearms deer season helped hunters harvest 207,000 deer during the 2010 season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

This is an 8 percent increase from the 2009 harvest of 194,186 and the 13th largest harvest on record. Minnesota’s deer harvests have moderated in recent years because the deer herd is at or near population goals across much of Minnesota. Due to varying local population differences, some areas of the state may have experienced a lower harvest rate.

“We didn’t see a dramatic change in harvest this year because half of our deer permit areas were in the lottery designation, which allows for the harvest of only one deer annually,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator. 

Firearms hunters harvested 176,200 deer while archery and muzzleloader hunters harvested 21,500 and 9,300 deer, respectively. Archery hunters harvested 4 percent more deer in 2010. The muzzleloader harvest increased 12 percent from 2009.

Good weather during the opening weekend of firearms deer season likely resulted in hunters remaining in the field longer, which increased their chances of harvesting a deer. Also, most crops had been harvested, which reduced the amount of standing cover available to deer.

Once final population estimates are completed this spring, DNR will evaluate them against established population goals to determine the antlerless permit areas for 2011.

“Hunters should pay close attention to the hunting synopsis, which comes out in late July, to see if they need to apply for a lottery either-sex permit,” Cornicelli said.

The final deer harvest number is calculated using information provided by hunters when they register their deer. Historical harvest information is available online at mndnr.gov/deer.

For the 2011 season, the deadline for the either-sex permit application will be Thursday, Sept. 8.  Archery deer hunting will begin on Saturday, Sept. 17. The statewide firearms deer hunting season will open on Saturday, Nov. 5, while muzzleloader season opens on Saturday, Nov. 26.

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Preliminary test identifies CWD-positive wild deer in southeast Minnesota

Federal laboratory confirms CWD diagnosis

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) received confirmation from a national laboratory on Jan. 25 verifying that the sample from a southeastern Minnesota white-tailed deer tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

The finding by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory at Ames, Iowa, had been expected and confirms a preliminary diagnosis by the University of Minnesota.

The DNR announced on Jan. 21 that a deer harvested by an archer in November 2010 near Pine Island likely would test positive for CWD, a fatal brain disease that affects deer, elk and moose but not cattle or humans.

The DNR is implementing its CWD response plan, the first step of which involves an aerial survey of deer numbers in the Pine Island area. During the next two weeks, DNR will be working with landowners, collecting additional information and will share its plans and findings at a public meeting in February.

Additional information about the disease and the DNR’s plan to manage it is available online at mndnr.gov/cwd.

A preliminary screening test strongly indicates that a deer harvested by a hunter last November near Pine Island in southeast Minnesota had Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). CWD is fatal to deer, elk and moose but not known to affect human health. 

If the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirms the University of Minnesota’s preliminary diagnosis, it marks the first time CWD has been found in Minnesota’s wild deer herd. An official confirmation is expected by next week.

“This is very unfortunate,” said Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner.  “Minnesotans have done much to prevent CWD from entering our wild deer population. The good news is that we are well prepared for an attempt to control the disease and to possibly eliminate it.” 

The DNR is already implementing the state’s CWD response plan. In the weeks ahead, the DNR will take steps to learn more about how prevalent the disease is in the area and will take actions based on that information.

In states where CWD has become well established, efforts to eliminate it from wild deer populations have been unsuccessful. The disease, if unmanaged, can spread and occur at high enough rates to impact long-term deer populations. 

“We found this case of CWD early because we were actively looking for it,” said Landwehr. “Since 2002, we’ve tested more than 32,000 hunter-harvested deer, elk and moose as part of an early detection strategy. We’ve long believed the best way to manage this disease is to find it early and then react quickly.” 

The deer presumed to have CWD was taken by a hunter this past fall about three miles southwest of Pine Island in Olmsted County. The hunter allowed the DNR to take a lymph node sample from the deer when he registered it. Recent microscopic analysis of that sample strongly indicates that the animal had CWD. The hunter has been informed of the results. It is not known how the deer contracted the disease.

Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game coordinator, will lead the agency’s CWD response team. He said the critical first step is to conduct an aerial survey to determine the number and distribution of deer in the Pine Island area. Because this area of the state is almost entirely in private ownership, the second step will be to talk with landowners in the area to seek their cooperation in collecting additional samples and to identify where additional samples can be collected.

Sample collection could take the form of a late winter deer hunt, landowner shooting permits, or sharpshooting in conjunction with cooperating landowners who provide permission. The purpose of the sampling is to collect needed additional CWD samples to assess disease distribution, and also to reduce the potential for the disease to spread.

Michelle Carstensen, the DNR’s wildlife health program leader, said the prevalence of CWD is likely low. “We sampled 524 deer this past hunting season in the Pine Island area and found only one that appears to have CWD,” said Carstensen. She added that the DNR did not find CWD in a total of 2,685 samples taken throughout southeastern Minnesota in 2009 or 500 samples taken in 2008 along the Wisconsin border, from Houston County northward to St. Croix State Park in Pine County.

The DNR has been on the lookout for CWD since 2002, when it was first detected at a domestic elk farm in central Minnesota. In recent years it has put additional focus on southeastern Minnesota. That’s because the disease was detected in 2008 at a domestic elk farm near Pine Island, and because southeastern Minnesota abuts Wisconsin which has had CWD for many years. The domestic elk herd at Pine Island was eliminated after a seven-year-old female was found to have CWD. Three other elk were found to have CWD during the removal effort.

Though it is not known exactly how CWD is transmitted, it is thought to be primarily from animal-to-animal by infectious agents in feces, urine or saliva. CWD can also persist in the environment and may be contracted from contaminated soil. The movement of live animals is one of the greatest risk factors in spreading the disease to new areas.

CWD is a fatal, animal brain disease. The National Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization have found no scientific evidence that the disease presents a health risk to humans. Still, the CDC advises against eating animals known to have CWD. The disease is found in 13 other states and two Canadian provinces, including Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.

For more information about CWD, including maps, frequently asked questions, and a brochure on venison processing, visit the DNR’s website at: mndnr.gov/cwd.

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Little Rock Lake update

In 2007, Little Rock Lake experienced a massive algae bloom, raising the concerns of the lake residents.  In response to the residents rising concerns the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) listed Little Rock Lake on the 2008 list of impaired waterbodies for excess nutrients (phosphorus), marking the start of the Little Rock Lake Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Study. 

The past month you may recall reading about the upcoming Little Rock Lake TMDL Public Meetings.  Now that the meetings have taken place, we would like to share with you a summary of the days’ activities.

A total of 82 individuals attended the January 5th public meetings.  We had great participation from lake residents, farmers, township officials, and county officials. 

Tom Herbrandson, from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), came to announce that Little Rock Lake is going to undergo a health assessment.  This was exciting news for residents that remember the effects of the horrendous smells and scum from 2007’s massive algae bloom.  The health assessment will be an evaluation of potential exposures, health and exposure criteria, and will include recommendations for the protection of health.

Maggie Leach, Regional Waters Coordinator with the MPCA, presented a general overview of the TMDL process, sharing with the audience that Little Rock Lake has only non-point sources of phosphorus.  Meaning there are no large pipes to regulate and all implementation strategies in the watershed are going to be voluntary.   Katie Winkelman, Water Plan Technician for Benton SWCD, provided an overview of the Little Rock Lake TMDL process to date and shared the history of Little Rock Lake. 

Bruce Wilson, Research Scientist with the MPCA, presented Bill Walker’s draft modeling results. A 55% reduction of phosphorus will be required for Little Rock Lake to meet the Minnesota Water Quality Standard for Shallow Lakes in the North Central Hardwood Forest Ecoregion.    Through Bill Walkers modeling it was discovered that Little Rock Lake as a high response level, meaning if  people install Best Management Practices (BMP) to lower the amount of phosphorus entering the lake, we will see those effects relatively quickly.  This is certainly the light at the end of the tunnel, not all lakes have this high of a response level.  Bruce explained that with hard work and the participation from all types of landowners (lake residents, farmers and watershed residents) this goal can be attained.  It is going to take an aggressive implementation plan with interim goals but the goal is still attainable.

Following Bruce’s presentation, Katie Winkelman welcomed ideas from the audience on implementation strategies, giving people time to voice their opinions and concerns.  There was phenomenal participation and the following are some of the ideas and concerns that were expressed.

-Septic System Compliance
- Develop restrictions for new building sites to reduce the nutrient/sediment load entering the lake
-Upstream sediment basins to trap sediment before it enters into the lake
-Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) (nutrient management, winter manure storage, etc)
-Irrigation management

One of the most common and exciting question asked was, “What can I do to help?”  This demonstrates the residents’ concerns for Little Rock Lake and the drive to meet better water quality. The answer to that question is contact your local SWCD or NRCS office, to talk about Best Management Practices and to set up a time for a site evaluation and help educate other residents of the Little Rock Lake Watershed, knowledge is truly power.

Benton SWCD/NRCS phone number is 320-968-5300 x3 and Morrison SWCD/NRCS phone number is 320-616-2479

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Hunter safety instructors/mentors needed for next generation of hunters

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking for people who would like to pass on to others their passion for hunting by serving as volunteer instructor/mentors for the DNR’s Firearms Safety Hunter Education Program.

The goal is to have 10 instructors/mentors in every community across the state.

"You can make an amazing difference in the lives of young people by volunteering to serve," said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR Enforcement Education Program coordinator. "And don't be concerned if you don't have any experience teaching young people. We'll teach you everything you need to know to be a good instructor/mentor."

Instructors/mentors work with a group of three or four students ages 11 and older during a 5-6 hour Range and Field Day. The field day allows the youth to complete their certification process after taking the HunterExam online course.

“Volunteers facilitate, mentor and evaluate students as they complete the scenario-based ‘Hunters Trail’ course,” Hammer said.

Activities on the Hunters Trail include outdoor survival, shoot/don't shoot, tree stand safety, firearms transportation, common action types, blaze orange, big game, small game and turkey hunting. Instructors must either join an existing training team or find a suitable site that includes a range, a classroom, and ample outdoor space to create a Hunters Trail. They can collect a fee from students to defray any costs.

Instructor/mentor requirements include an understanding of the basic principles of mentorship; of facilitating scenarios; of various types of hunting activities; and of the principles of safe, responsible and ethical hunting.

Applicants must be 18 yrs or older and pass a background check. They must also complete the instructor prerequisites listed on the DNR website along with additional All Day Range and Field Day training by a DNR trainer and receive instructor certification. Range and Field Days are usually held on Saturdays and vary depending on the time of year.

For more information, contact the DNR Enforcement Education Program Staff at Camp Ripley,15011 Highway 115, Little Falls, MN 56345. Call 800-366-8917, or e-mail enforcement.education@state.mn.us

Instructor prerequisites are available at: www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/instructors/adrfd/index.html.

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Dave Schad named DNR deputy commissioner


A veteran natural resource professional has been promoted to deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by new DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr.

Dave Schad, 53, has served in the DNR since his student worker days in 1981, most recently as director of the agency’s Fish and Wildlife Division. Previously he was the agency’s Wildlife Section chief; he has also served as wildlife operations manager, regional wildlife manager, area wildlife supervisor, and statewide wetland wildlife coordinator and statewide forest wildlife program coordinator.

“Dave’s career path has always angled up due to his depth of knowledge, breadth of managerial skills, and history of good judgment on complex issues,” said Landwehr. “Hunters, anglers and all who care about natural resources should be pleased by this appointment.”

Landwehr said he’s known Schad since they both attended the University of Minnesota, where Schad earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Management. “We intend to work with the entire DNR team and the citizens of Minnesota for the long-term benefit of our natural resources,” said Landwehr.  

In addition to his work in Minnesota, Schad serves on several national committees for the national Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies as well as the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

“I’m honored to have been selected for this position,” said Schad. “I look forward to helping deliver what citizens expect – clean water, healthy forests, outstanding recreational opportunities, and strong economies from the prudent use of our natural resources.”

Schad replaces Laurie Martinson, who was named deputy commissioner by former Commissioner Mark Holsten in 2007. Martinson’s role and responsibilities, as well as those of other commissioner’s office staff, will remain largely unchanged during an upcoming transition period, said Schad.

Schad and his wife, Carol, live in White Bear Lake. Schad is an avid hunter, angler, camper and bicyclist.

There is no word yet on Schad’s replacement; however Deputy Fish and Wildlife Division Director Ed Boggess will serve as acting director during the interim.

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Tom Landwehr to head DNR

(From the Office of Governor Mark Dayton) St. Paul - On Jan. 6, Governor Dayton appointed Tom Landwehr as Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources. Landwehr brings both an insider’s knowledge and an outsider’s perspective to the agency. He has served as a City Council Member and as an Instructor at the University of Minnesota’s School of Natural Resources. He also served for seventeen years at DNR both as a scientist and as a Wildlife Manager. With a Master’s Degree in Business, Landwehr understands that conservation and resource management must be properly balanced to promote economic prosperity and support jobs.  Landwehr is widely respected by people in the conservation, recreation and business communities. He brings to the agency a reputation as someone with creative and innovative solutions to many of Minnesota’s top natural resource issues.
 
“I believe that Tom Landwehr has the years of experience in resource conservation and management, as well as 17 years of service in the DNR, to bring strong leadership to that vitally important agency,” said Governor Dayton. “No other agency of state government affects as many Minnesotans’ lives directly as the DNR.  At its best, the agency is viewed as a wise steward of our state’s natural resources for the benefit of all our citizens and for future generations.  Tom’s mandate from me is to bring out the best in the agency and all of its people.”
 
“I am honored to serve Governor Dayton and the citizens of Minnesota in this critical position”, said Landwehr.  “By bringing together all those with a stake in the future of our state’s resources, I hope to show that sound conservation and vital communities are a natural combination.  We need to have a Department of Natural Resources that works for all Minnesotans.”
 
Landwehr began his career at DNR in the early 1980’s as a research biologist, and quickly moved on to greater responsibility as Wildlife Manager for over 5 years and as the Wetland Wildlife Program Leader for nearly ten. After leaving DNR in 1999 he was State Conservation Director for Ducks Unlimited in Minnesota and Iowa until 2003 and most recently has served as Assistant State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. He has also served on the Shoreview City Council where he served from 1995 to 2002.  He has been an active member of his community for many years, serving on multiple boards and commissions. He has an MS in Wildlife Management from the University of Minnesota, and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management. Landwehr lives in Shoreview with his wife Patty and 2 children, He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys hunting, fishing, canoeing, camping and boating.

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Maple Grove resident wins 2012 turkey stamp contest

A painting of three turkeys near a deer shed by Steven Trofka of Maple Grove will be featured on Minnesota's 2012 Wild Turkey Stamp. His design was chosen from among 24 entries in a contest sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

This is first time Trofka has won the annual turkey stamp contest.

Eleven entries advanced to the second stage of judging, from which five finalists were selected during the contest held Jan. 6 at DNR Headquarters in St. Paul. The second place finalist was Donald Blakney of Princeton. David Chapman of Minnetonka placed third.

An artist whose work is selected for a Minnesota fish or wildlife stamp receives no compensation from the DNR, but does retain reproduction and marketing rights.

The Minnesota Wild Turkey Stamp was authorized by the 1996 Minnesota Legislature at the request of turkey hunters. Stamp revenue is used for wild turkey management and research. Revenues from stamp sales are dedicated to the development, restoration, maintenance and preservation of wild turkey habitat in Minnesota.

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TIP hotline has very effective 2010

An anonymous call to Minnesota’s Turn-in-Poachers (TIP) hotline recently led a conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to a man who had allegedly poached a trophy buck in Hugo.

The man is facing $10,000 in fines and restitution, and loss of his hunting privileges for three years if convicted.

Information from the public leads to the vast majority of arrests for hunting and fishing violations in Minnesota, said DNR conservation officer Alex Gutierrez of Forest Lake.

“With the number of vacant field stations, the extra set of eyes provided by the public has never been more important,” Gutierrez said. “TIP is an invaluable asset to conservation officers.”

Since 1981, TIP has provided a toll-free hotline, 800-652-9093, for poaching information and rewards for arrests and convictions of game and fish violators.

TIP’s aggressive anti-poaching message has been showcased (until recently, see related release on vandalism) in two “Wall of Shame” trailers containing the mounts of wildlife confiscated as a result of arrests for violations of Minnesota game laws.

Minnesota’s TIP hotline was very effective 2010. Investigations into 1,699 TIP calls resulted in 299 arrests and a total of $6,690 in rewards paid. That compares to 1,355 TIP calls, 237 arrests, and $4,350 in rewards paid in 2009.

TIP helps to stop wildlife poachers, but that is only part of what TIP has accomplished, noted Col. Jim Konrad, DNR Enforcement director.

"The TIP hotline actually discourages violations, and with most people carrying cell phones, keying in #TIP can quickly report a violator,” Konrad said. “All sportsmen/women, landowners, citizens and wildlife benefit from poachers being caught.”

When a person calls TIP, information such as how many violators, vehicle description with any license numbers and details of what happened are important to the conservation officer who will be dispatched to handle the call.

Finding a conservation officer is just a click away at www.mndnr.gov/officerpatrolareas. Click on the map, and a balloon will pop up that shows the officer phone number and State Patrol dispatch number.
                                                                                                                       -30-

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DNR preparing management plan for Federal lands in Red Lake area

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is starting on a Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan (CCMP for more than 82,000 acres of federal land that the state of Minnesota leases in the Beltrami Island State Forest and Red Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA). 

These lands, known as Land Utilization Project (LUP) lands, were designated as the Beltrami Wildlife Management Area (WMA) by Executive Order by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1942. The order designates the area “as a refuge and breeding ground for native birds and other wildlife and for research relating to wildlife and associated forest resources.” 

These lands contain upland conifer forests, northern hardwood forests, lowland conifer forests, and wetlands, bogs and brushlands. Important wildlife species include moose, white-tailed deer, wolf, ruffed and spruce grouse, short-eared owls, other irruptive northern forest owls, yellow rails and sandhill cranes.

The LUP lands consist of widely scattered parcels embedded in several DNR conservation land units. Most are in the Beltrami Island State Forest and Red Lake WMA, but some are in Hayes Lake State Park and three peatland scientific and natural areas (SNAs). 

The scattered nature of the parcels among DNR conservation units poses some management challenges, as each DNR unit has a different mission. In addition, many of the LUP parcels are isolated and unmarked, which creates challenges for managing the public use on these lands differently than adjacent land parcels.  

However, the goals of this planning effort are to improve the management of these and other state lands by identifying species of particular concern, deciding how forests and wetlands on the LUP lands should be managed, and setting a vision for land consolidation through land exchanges, said Gretchen Mehmel, manager, Red Lake WMA.  Mehmel oversees management of the LUP lands for the state.

The planning process will begin with scoping Jan. 11 through March 2. The public will have an opportunity to provide input on how these lands are being used and how they should be managed in the future. 

The process will include three public open houses:

People have several options for commenting: 

The second phase of planning will include focus groups to look more closely at cover habitat management, wildlife management, public uses, and land management/land exchanges. 

After the focus group process is complete, a draft plan with alternative management scenarios will be developed. The draft plan and an accompanying environmental assessment are targeted for public release and review next December or January, with a final plan likely completed by June 2012.

Citizens can participate n the focus groups and find out more information by contacting Michael North, project consultant, at 218-833-8623, at michael.north@state.mn.us or by visiting the project website at www.beltramiisland.info.

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© 2011 Outdoors Weekly