■ Early wolf season concludes; late season started Saturday
Hunters registered 147 wolves during the early portion of Minnesota’s first wolf season that ended Nov. 18; 53 fewer than the statewide harvest target, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The wolf harvest trend closely mirrored the deer harvest trend.
“The harvest was highest at the beginning of the season then declined as fewer hunters returned afield,” said Dan Stark, DNR large carnivore specialist. “It’s been a smooth start to the state’s first regulated wolf season. Interest was strong. Harvest is well within expectations.”
Minnesota’s late hunting and trapping season begins Saturday, Nov. 24. It will conclude Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, provided late season harvest targets in each of Minnesota’s three wolf zones are not met. Hunters and trappers are encouraged to monitor the DNR website www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/wolf/index.html daily to ensure their season is open.
■ Spring turkey hunting applications accepted through Jan. 11
Hunters older than 17 who want to hunt during the first four seasons of Minnesota’s 2013 spring wild turkey hunt have until Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, to apply for a permit, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Youth hunters 17 and younger can purchase a permit for any season over-the-counter.
The hunt will consist of six five-day and two seven-day seasons. All adult resident and nonresident wild turkey hunters interested in hunting during one of the first four seasons must apply online, in-person or by phone. Permits for each of the last four seasons will be sold over-the-counter only and no applications will be taken.
A total of 5,781 permits are available for the spring turkey hunt. Dates for 2013 are: Season A – Wednesday, April 17, to Sunday, April 21; Season B – Monday, April 22, to Friday, April 26; Season C – Saturday, April 27, to Wednesday, May 1; Season D – Thursday, May 2, to Monday, May 6; Season E – Tuesday, May 7, to Saturday, May 11; Season F – Sunday, May 12, to Thursday, May 16; Season G – Friday, May 17, to Thursday, May 23; Season H – Friday, May 24, to Thursday, May 30.
Permit areas were consolidated from 77 to 12 last year, providing wild turkey hunters more flexibility and opportunity in larger geographic areas.
One slight change alters the boundary between permit areas 501 and 503. Check the map at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/turkey for details.
All hunters must pay a nonrefundable $4 application fee at the time of application. Nonresident hunters may apply online or telephone at 888-665-4236 (MNLICENSE). A nonrefundable $3.50 transaction fee will be charged for online and telephone applications.
Hunters who are not successful in the drawing may purchase surplus turkey permits, which are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, in mid-March. They also may choose to purchase a license over-the-counter for any of the last four time periods.
Hunters who are successful in the drawing for one of the first four hunts and choose not to purchase a tag will lose the current year’s preference point for future drawings but not accumulated preference from past years.
The availability of archery resident and nonresident spring turkey licenses includes the last four seasons. Archery licenses may be purchased for the last four hunts only in any permit area with 50 or more applicants. Licensed archers may hunt each and all of the entire last four time periods.
An application information sheet is available from any DNR license agent and online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/turkey. Hunt information materials include a map of wild turkey permit areas, permit quotas and season dates.
Information also is available by calling the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free -888-646-6367.
■ Grant awarded to protect Mille Lacs muskie habitat
The Minnesota Land Trust was awarded a $335,000 grant from the Conservation Legacy Program (CPL) to protect 1,200 feet of undisturbed shoreline and muskellunge spawning habitat on Lake Mille Lacs.
The project is one of 24 across the state to receive $3.5 million in grants from the CPL. The projects represent forest, prairie, wetland and grassland habitats.
“Conservation, partnership and legacy – those three words epitomize what this program is about,” said Jamie Gangaware, conservation program grants specialist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “Conserving habitat for current and future generations is our primary goal.”
The program, which is administered by the DNR, aims to restore, enhance and protect more Minnesota habitat. Local, state and federal nonprofit organizations and government entities are eligible for program grants.
The program also awards smaller grants of $50,000 or less on projects that propose activities that fall within standardized and widely accepted habitat improvement practices. These Expedited Conservation Project grants are awarded on a continual basis through May 15, 2013. Five projects recently received $128,000 for these preapproved habitat improvement activities.