■ It’s officially official: Wolf season a go
Lottery winners for the much-anticipated first wolf hunting/trapping seasons can now start planning their hunts.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected a request for a preliminary injunction that would have stopped the state’s inaugural wolf hunting and trapping season. That means the planned wolf hunting and trapping seasons will go as planned this fall and winter. Consistent with state law, the DNR may now issue 6,000 licenses, and the first season will start with the beginning of firearms deer hunting on Saturday, Nov. 3. The late hunting and trapping season will begin on Nov. 24.
More than 23,000 hunters applied for licenses via a lottery and the names of lottery winners were available online late last month, after which hunters could purchase their licenses. Even though the lawsuit still loomed, hundreds of hunters still bought their licenses in the days after the lottery selections were made, the DNR reported.
The Court of Appeals ruled that the petitioners, the Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves, did not meet their burden of proving irreparable harm for an injunction to be issued.
“We are pleased with the court’s decision,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “It resolves any uncertainty that hunters and trappers might have had about the upcoming season.”
The petitioner’s lawsuit to challenge the way the season was established is still before the Court of Appeals and will proceed on its merits. A decision is not expected until next year.
The DNR has long said it has taken a conservative approach to the state’s first wolf season by establishing a total target harvest of 400 wolves and a mechanism to close seasons when target harvests are reached. Minnesota has a robust population of about 3,000 wolves, and the season will not have any significant impact on the population, according to the DNR.
■ North Long Lake bass tournament results
Mike and Buzz Guin finished first in the Denny’s Super 30 Minnesota Bass Tournament on Oct. 6 on North Long Lake north of Brainerd. They totaled 23 pounds, 10 ounces and won $2,050.
Also in the money were Ron Mehr and Joe Wambeke, second place, 21-12, $1,000; Scott Johnson and Denny Nelson, third, 20-13, $450; and Brad Longerbone and Mike Polencheck, fourth, 20-10, $300.
The tournament featured a number of top Brainerd lakes area anglers, including Chuck Steinbauer and Ron Lindner.
■ Firearm site-in dates at Lakeshore
The Lakeshore Conservation Club will be open to the public two weekends in October for hunters to site-in their firearms before the deer season.
Dates are Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 27-28. Cost is $5 per gun for non-members and free to club members. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, with members available to help each hunter.
Lakeshore Conservation Club is located on County Road 77 across from Mount Ski Gull. The rifle and pistol range is open year-round for members. For more information, call 218-963-4793 or go to www.lakeshoregunclub.com.
■ Camp Confidence Bass Classic results
Dale and Rick Ruehling finished first, worth $3,800, in the recent Camp Confidence Bass Classic.
Seventeen teams competed in the annual two-day event, with fishing on the Whitefish Chain the first day and Gull Lake the final day. The Ruehlings totaled 46.31 pounds, including a whopping 26.63 pounds the second day.
Prior to the tournament, anglers were asked to raise a minimum of $200 per team to benefit Confidence Learning Center. The anglers brought in over $5,600, and after paying out bonus spots, Confidence Learning Center set an all-time record for money taken in from this tournament — over $4,600. Bob Perkins and Jay Blagen were the top fundraising team at $1,650 and, as a result, their boat was the first out both days. They finished second at 45.56 pounds, worthy $2,300. Keith Tuma and Jim Smith finished third at 42.88 for $1,200, with Bill and Roger Anderson fourth at 39.50, good for $500.
■ Smith is Bass Snatchers’ ‘Mr. Bass’
Jim Smith of Brainerd finished first in the 2012 Baxter Bass Snatchers’ final standings, earning him the title of “Mr. Bass.”
Chuck Steinbauer of Baxter was second, Guy Henkensiefken of Brainerd third, Darren Keifer of Brainerd fourth and Nate Steinbauer of Minneapolis fifth.
■ Some area lakes closed to
Recreational netting for whitefish-tullibee opened Friday on designated lakes (Schedule II) that are less susceptible to sudden changes that impact water temperature, according to the DNR.
But in the greater Brainerd lakes area, the list of note features lakes that are closed to recreational netting in 2012:
• Mille Lacs Lake in Aitkin, Crow Wing and Mille Lacs counties.
• East and West Fox lakes in Crow Wing County.
• Mitchell Lake in Crow Wing County.
• Nisswa Lake in Crow Wing County.
• Osakis Lake in Douglas and Todd counties.
• Roy Lake in Cass and Crow Wing counties.
• Serpent Lake in Crow Wing County.
Schedule I Lakes, which are more susceptible to factors that impact water temperatures, will be opened and closed on a 48-hour notice posted at lake accesses and other public places.
Netting in infested waters may be restricted or closed to sport netting of whitefish and tullibee.
A complete list of all Schedule I and II lakes, status of the seasonal openings and closures as well as detailed netting regulations are available online at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing or by calling the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 in the Twin Cities metro area or toll-free at (888) MINNDNR (646-6367) in greater Minnesota.
— Compiled by Brian S. Peterson, contributing writer.