■ Another top 10 deer harvest at Camp Ripley
CAMP RIPLEY — Variable weather and a nearly full moon greeted hunters at Camp Ripley on Oct. 27-28 for the second two-day archery deer hunt, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The archers harvested 223 deer, which is the fourth highest harvest for the second hunt. Those deer, coupled with the 208 taken during the Oct. 18-19 hunt, represent the eighth best harvest ever at Camp Ripley.
Although wet weather impacted hunter participation during each hunt, the four-day total of 431 deer is 35 percent above the long-term average harvest of 320 deer for the two-hunts combined, and represents a 2 percent increase above last year’s total harvest of 422 deer.
“Despite some wet weather during each event, hunters achieved another strong harvest at camp and helped 11 lucky hunters take large bucks that weighed more than 200 pounds,” said Beau Liddell, DNR Little Falls area wildlife manager. “The overall harvest is well above average, and administration of the hunt went well.”
A total of 5,003 permits were issued for both two-day hunts, with 4,205 hunters participating. Hunter success during both hunts was 10 percent, which is just above the long-term average of 9 percent.
For the ninth year running, hunters at Camp Ripley were allowed to take up to two deer and to use bonus permits to increase harvest on antlerless deer.
“We’re very pleased with the results the past nine years,” Liddell said. “While Ripley bow hunters are known to be selective for bucks, we have seen increasing proportions of does and fawns taken in recent years to help keep the population in check.”
The proportion of antlerless deer taken at Camp was 5 percent lower than last year, but 4 percent higher than the long-term average (55 percent), with just under 60 percent of this year’s harvest comprised of does and fawns.
The largest buck harvested on the second hunt, taken by Ryan Brenny of Rice, weighed 215 pounds.
Other hunters who harvested large bucks during Oct-27-28 hunt were Nathan Zurn, Foreston, 212 pounds; Brandon Rademacher, Brainerd, 204 pounds; and Ryan McClellan, Otsego, 202 pounds.
The archery hunt at Camp Ripley is an annual event. The DNR coordinates the hunt with the Department of Military Affairs, which manages the 53,000 acre reservation.
■ Archers hunt deer, deer ticks at
CAMP RIPLEY — With more than 4,200 hunters over four days, the Camp Ripley Open Archery Hunt is one of the largest organized hunts in the United States.
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Oct. 18-19 and
27-28 they issued 5,003 archery tags that harvested a total of 428 deer over the four-day event at Camp Ripley.
An important piece of the hunt is the collection of deer ticks on the 53,000-acre installation. These ticks are collected by organizations such as the University of Minnesota and the U.S. Army Public Health Command who remove the tick from the deer and take them to a lab. The ticks are tested for diseases like: Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichiosis.
“Tick-borne disease is a major worry to the military and civilian organizations training at Camp Ripley,” says Camp Ripley Environmental Supervisor Jay Brezinka. “Lyme disease itself can cause chronic fatigue and debilitating physical wear on the human body. These tests give us baselines to use preventive measures and awareness to mitigate the spread of disease.”
Past testing has shown that more than 50 percent of deer ticks on Camp Ripley carry Lyme disease and other diseases. It normally takes an attached tick more than 24 hours to transfer a disease.
Ensuring that military and civilians training downrange spray permethrin on their clothes and check for ticks numerous times per day are simple preventative measures that will vastly reduce the likeliness of contracting tick-borne diseases said Brezinka.
For more information on Tick-borne disease and ways to prevent it, contact the Center for Disease Control at 1-800-232-4636 or visit http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/diseases.
■ Custom rod
LakeLady Custom Fishing Rods will host a rod-building class Nov. 30-Dec. 2.
Build your choice of a casting or spin rod during the weekend class, which includes all components, free use of tools and disposables, 15-17 hours of hands-on professional instruction, a one-year membership to the Custom Rod Builders Guild (optional) and more.
Cost for the class is $278. You will build a rod with a retail value in excess of $200.
This is a great class for father/sons or daughters and even couples.
The class is limited to six to eight builders, begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, at Gander Mountain in Baxter. Other classes are scheduled during the winter based on demand and schedules.
For more information and to register call 218-562-4512.
■ DNR reminds hunters tribal lands closed to wolf hunting
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds hunters that Chippewa tribal lands are closed to wolf hunting. All Chippewa bands have declared tribal lands to be off-limits to wolf hunting and trapping for the harvest seasons that start this Saturday.
Most Minnesota Chippewa reservation boundaries encompass tribal, public and private lands. Tribal lands are not considered public the way state and county forest lands are considered public. As such, they are subject to tribal regulation. The wolf hunting ban only applies to tribal lands, not other private lands or public lands that are otherwise open to hunting.
Anyone hunting wolves within a reservation boundary will need to ensure they are on public or private land open to hunting when the season starts this coming Saturday. Not all tribal lands are posted. The best source for this information is county plat maps, generally available at county courthouses.
“The bands have the authority to control or ban wolf hunting on the land they own or is in federal trust status,” said Jim Konrad, DNR Enforcement chief. “The Chippewa will be enforcing the wolf hunting ban on their tribal lands.”
The affected Chippewa reservations include the Red Lake, White Earth, Bois Forte, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Fond du Lac and Mille Lacs reservations.
For more information on the wolf and deer hunting seasons, visit www.mndnr.gov/hunting/wolf.
■ Mark Kavanuagh elected treasurer of state snowmobile association
The general membership of Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association elected its officers for the upcoming year on Oct. 27 at the Fall Workshop in North Mankato. Re-elected to a second term was President Mark Steinmueller of Brook Park, Vice President Gayle Quistgard of Bemidji, Secretary Janet Widness of Clitherall and Treasurer Mark Kavanaugh of East Gull Lake.
Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association (MnUSA) was organized in 1978 to protect, preserve and promote the sport of snowmobiling throughout Minnesota through favorable legislation and programs. Through the years, MnUSA has become a state and national leader in recreational support. Minnesota today enjoys over 20,000 miles of snowmobile trails because of combined efforts of local snowmobile clubs, State and Federal leaders, Department of Natural Resources and snowmobile volunteers.
■ DNR removes burning and campfire restrictions throughout Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has removed the burning and campfire restrictions in all of Minnesota.
Burning permits will once again be available as determined by local conditions. Residents should be aware that conditions can change daily and some counties may still limit burning as conditions warrant. Until snow covers the ground, fine fuels (such as grasses) can be wet one day and burn the next.
The DNR advises residents and homeowners to use caution if they conduct open burning. Although much of Minnesota received precipitation sufficient to lower the chances of fires starting and spreading, soil moisture is still well below normal. Should a fire start, there is still a chance peat soils could ignite. Any piled material should be located well away from peat soils.
Fall weekends bring many people outdoors to recreate, including hunters, campers, and hikers, according to the DNR.
Everyone is urged to use extreme caution with campfires, keeping them to no larger than three feet high by three feet wide. Do not leave fires unattended, keep water available, and make sure fires are completely out before leaving. People are responsible for costs to extinguish a fire if it gets away.
Fire conditions change quickly. More information, maps, and fire conditions are on the DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html.