Outdoor Notes: Dec. 24 | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Outdoor Notes: Dec. 24

Posted: December 21, 2012 - 6:14pm

■ DNR urges snowmobile safety

Recent snowfall will likely bring out more Minnesota snowmobilers and that means there’s an increased chance of an accident, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

There were six snowmobile-related deaths in Minnesota during the 2012 snowmobile season. That compares to 13 fatalities in 2011 and 19 fatalities in 2010.

The usual causes of snowmobile accidents are operator inexperience, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and high speeds.

“Snowmobiles can travel as fast, or faster, than an automobile, and require every bit as much or more experience to operate,” said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR enforcement education program coordinator. The speed limit for all snowmobile trails and public lands and waters is 50 miles per hour.

Hammer noted that today’s sleds can easily do 70, if not 100, miles per hour. Unfortunately, they don’t stop like a vehicle or offer the same protection.

“Speed kills and that is a fact with snowmobiles,” said Hammer.

Snowmobilers also need to be alert on all trails. They might not realize trails go over ponds or lakes where the ice might not be formed yet.

DNR snowmobile safety courses can be completed by either attending a snowmobile safety training course from a DNR-certified instructor or by CD.

To obtain the Snowmobile Safety Training CD, or for general information, call 651-296-6157, or toll-free 888-646-6367, 800-366-8917 or email info.dnr@state.mn.us.

For more information on the dates and locations of these courses, visit the DNR website: www.mndnr.gov or call toll-free 800-366-8917.

■ Ice warnings issued for

aerated lakes

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) warns ice anglers, snowmobilers, skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts to use caution when going onto any lake covered or partially covered with ice, especially those that feature aeration systems.

”Open water areas created by aeration systems can shift or change shapes depending on weather conditions,” said Marilyn Danks, DNR aquatic biologist. “Leaks may develop in air lines creating other areas of weak ice or open water.”

Aeration systems are generally operated from the time lakes freeze until ice break-up in the spring. They help prevent winterkill of fish, but they also create areas of open water and thin ice, which are significant hazards.

Two types of signs are used to post aerated lakes: “Thin Ice” and Warning” signs. The person who applies for the permit is to maintain “Warning” signs at all commonly used access points to the lake. This sign warns people approaching the lake that an aeration system is in operation and to use extreme caution. The permittee must also put up “Thin Ice” signs to mark the area’s perimeter.

For more information, call a regional fisheries office or the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367.

Area lakes that likely have aeration systems in operation this winter include:

• WADENA: Stocking.

• AITKIN: Cedar (McGrath).

• CASS: Eagle, George, Loon, Meadow.

• CROW WING: Nisswa, Platte.

• MORRISON: Alexander, Shamineau.

• TODD: Jacobs.

■ Winter activities announced at Deep Portage

HACKENSACK — Deep Portage Learning Center and Conservation Reserve in Hackensack has announced several guided programs and events:

• Guided snowshoe hikes at 1 p.m. Jan. 12 and Feb. 2. Join a Deep Portage naturalist for a hike through the South Bog. You will learn snowshoe technique as well as discover the natural history of the Deep Portage landscape. Snowshoes fit ages 10 years and up. $5 per person.

• Energy solutions tour at 1 p.m. Jan. 12 and Feb. 2. Deep Portage has five solar installations, three wood gasification models and a wind turbine. This program will be a walking tour and demonstration of the renewable energy installations. $5 per person.

• Indoor climbing wall at 1 p.m. Jan. 19 and Feb. 9. Join Deep Portage staff for an afternoon of climbing instruction on a 35-foot climbing wall. All equipment is provided and will fit ages 8 years and up. Space is limited to 20 climbers. $10 per climber.

• Thirty-second Annual Winter Rendezvous starting at 9:30 a.m. Jan 26. A day filled with outdoor winter fun for the whole family. You will have an opportunity to compete in a tomahawk toss, curling, orienteering challenge, wildlife trivia, snowsnakes and many more fun events. A hot lunch will be served at noon or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch. The festivities will wind down around 2 p.m., when plaques and ribbons are awarded to participants. The participation fee is $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12, seniors and Deep Portage members. Lunch is an additional $5 per adult and $3 per child.

Please pre-register for these programs. For reservations or additional information, please call Deep Portage at 218-682-2325, or toll-free at 888-280-9908, or email portage @uslink.net. Deep Portage is located 10 miles east of Hackensack, off Cass County Road 46, and also is open for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Visit the website at www.deep-portage.org.

■ Brainerd Archery Club indoor leagues location change and upcoming schedule

Brainerd Archery Club 3D leagues and tournaments are scheduled, starting in January at the Northern Pacific Center located on 13th Street S.E., Brainerd.

This is a different location than past years. An open house will be held Jan. 4 from 6-8 p.m.

Leagues will start Jan. 8 and run through March 29. Archers may shoot anytime between 6 and 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays and choose to be on a two-man team or shoot individually.

The first two weeks of leagues will be practice sessions, with league scoring starting Jan. 22. League archers will turn in one score card a week.

The Brainerd Archery Club will host three weekend 3D tournaments — Jan. 12-13, Feb. 16-17 and March 16-17 (8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays). They will consist of 30 life-sized animal targets placed at unmarked yardages. No broadheads or rangefinders will be allowed.

For league play, the club is offering an unlimited 3D shooting pass (for members only) for $80. An additional fee of $30 per team will go toward first-, second- and third-place team trophies.

Archers of all abilities are welcome and need not be a member of the archery club to participate, but club members get reduced shooting fees, free use of the outdoor range (except during scheduled tournaments), voting privileges, a quarterly newsletter about club activities and membership in the Minnesota State Archery Association.

Membership fee is $40 for a family, $30 for individuals, $20 for juniors (under age 14). BAC members are charged $8 for 3D shoots (30 targets), non-members are charged $10.

For more information on the BAC, or any of the aforementioned events, call 218-838-8713 or 320-232-0267 or email brainerdarcheryclub@gmail.com.