The Brainerd American Legion will host firearms safety training beginning at 6 p.m. on April 5. Succeeding classes will take place on April 7, 12, 14, 19 and 21. Class time on all dates is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Range day is April 9. On April 21 the final test will be given. Students must be 12 and older to enroll. Cost is $10. Phone 829-7582 to register.
Little Falls men found guilty of shining deer
Deer shining surveillance work conducted by the DNR in October has led to two Little Falls men being found guilty of gross misdemeanor deer shining.
Guilty as charged are Cory Vukelich, 20, and Dustin Oldakowski, 21. Each received a $970 fine, and one year in jail stayed for two years as long as they don't have the same or similar violations in that time. They also lost their state big game hunting privileges for three years in Minnesota as well as western states that are in the wildlife violator compact with Minnesota.
The case started in October when CO Paul Kuske of Pierz received a call that two deer had been shot near Swanville. A deer decoy was set up.
Kuske and CO Keith Bertram of Sauk Centre were doing early morning surveillance on Oct. 16 when they saw a vehicle approach. As it got closer, they saw a spotlight from the passenger side shine on the decoy. The vehicle stopped, backed up a short distance and stopped again. A shot was heard and the vehicle accelerated from the scene. Kuske stopped the vehicle a short distance later.
Inside the vehicle Kuske found an uncased and loaded .22 caliber rifle in the cab behind the front seat. Under clothes and other gear he found an uncased 12-gauge shotgun. He also found a spotlight on the floor of the vehicle.
MWT state champs coming to Gull Lake
The 2005 Minnesota Walleye Trail season schedule will include five stops, including Gull Lake, with a total payout of over $65,000.
The MWT consists of single-day qualifiers at four lakes around Minnesota, followed by a two-day championship in September. Each qualifier is limited to 75 teams and features a tournament purse of more than $12,000. The top 30 teams after the qualifiers will compete for $10,000 in the MWT state championship.
Qualifier dates and sites include May 22 on Lake Minnetonka, June 12 on North and South Lida lakes near Pelican Rapids, July 10 on Lake Reno north of Glenwood, and Aug. 14 on the Mississippi River (Pool 4) at Red Wing. The MWT state championship is scheduled for Sept. 10-11 on Gull Lake.
For more information, contact PoleBender Outdoors at (507) 764-2668 or log onto www.polebender.com.
Help DNR count bald eagle nests in the area
The DNR needs help counting bald eagle nests in Minnesota in anticipation of pending removal of the bald eagle from the federal endangered species list. Anyone who finds an active bald eagle nest is asked to contact the DNR's nongame wildlife program.
Bald eagles have experienced a dramatic recovery since they were listed as a federally endangered species in 1967. In 1973, only 115 active nests were found in Minnesota. The DNR nongame wildlife program found 681 nesting pairs in the most recent statewide survey, completed in 2000.
Telephone or e-mail messages reporting sightings should include a detailed description of the location of the eagle nest (including the county, township and nearest landmark), whether or not eagles were seen at the nest, and a way to contact the person reporting the nest.
Report eagle nests to: St. Paul, (651) 296-9662, email@example.com, Grand Rapids, (218) 327-4518, firstname.lastname@example.org, Brainerd, (218) 833-8728, email@example.com, Bemidji, (218) 755-2976, firstname.lastname@example.org, Rochester, (507) 280-5070, email@example.com, New Ulm, (507) 359-6039, firstname.lastname@example.org.
New York Mills boy wins deer rifle from DNR
Andrew Minten's days of hunting deer with a borrowed gun are over, thanks to a little luck and his cooperation with the DNR's chronic wasting disease testing program.
Minten, a 14-year-old from New York Mills, won a .270 Savage deer rifle when his name was drawn from among thousands of hunters who allowed their deer to be tested for CWD. Thirty-three other hunters also received a gun or a bow donated by Minnesota Bowhunters Inc., Gander Mountain, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, Cabela's, Sportsman's Warehouse, Minnesota State Archery Association and Austin-Halleck muzzleloaders.
No positive tests were found for CWD on nearly 13,000 lymph node samples taken from wild deer harvested during the 2004 Minnesota deer hunting season. Since 2001, the DNR has tested nearly 30,000 wild deer for CWD. The disease has never been detected in the state's wild deer herd.
Three fined $1,300 for exceeding perch limit
Three non-resident anglers were recently fined $1,300 each for taking more than their legal limit of perch from Lake Winnibigoshish.
David S. Lape, 54, of Van Wert, Ohio, Dennis J. Lape, 48, and Julie A. Kleinknight, 47, both of East Lake, Michigan, were caught with 249 perch in their possession on March 5. That's 129 perch over their legal limit. The daily perch limit is 20 per person.
DNR Conservation Officer Larry Francis, Remer, received a call March 4 that two men and a woman were overheard at a resort bragging about the fish they had caught. The following day, Francis and fellow Conservation Officer Gary Sommers, Walker, stopped the suspects' vehicle after it left the resort. The bed of the truck contained 26 bags with 249 perch, or 129 perch over their legal possession limit
Each violator received a citation for being 43 perch over the limit and had their licenses seized under the state's gross overlimits law. Each citation carries of a fine amount of $960 and a restitution amount of $430 for a total penalty of $1,390 per violator. Upon conviction the individuals also face a 3-year revocation of their fishing privileges.
Bancroft-Arnesen begin trek over Arctic Ocean
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Adventurers Ann Bancroft of Minnesota and Liv Arnesen of Norway have begun their 1,240-mile trek to ski, sail and swim over the Arctic Ocean after a nearly two-and-a-half week delay in Siberia.
The organizers of the trip announced on Monday that the pair had left Cape Arkticheskiy, Russia, on Saturday after unexpected delays in getting official clearance to travel.
The original plan had for them to leave about Feb. 20. Molly Gaines, a trip spokeswoman, said the delay shouldn't throw off the pair's schedule.
Bancroft, 49, of Scandia, Minn., and Arnesen, 51, of Oslo, plan to teach classes by satellite telephone and the Internet during their trip. Bancroft once taught physical education and worked with special education students in the Twin Cities.
The experienced cold-weather adventurers hope their latest trek will make them the first women to cross the Arctic Ocean over the North Pole on foot.
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