A fleet of 10 helicopters flew 17 hours to battle fires in Minnesota on Wednesday, evidence that the warmer weather has significantly increased fire danger statewide.
Thus far 1,649 fires have burned 38,304 acres in Minnesota. That is about 10,000 acres ahead of the seasonal average for this time of the year. The state is averaging about 70 fires a day.
Restrictions on burning permits are still in effect throughout the northern two-thirds of Minnesota. Campfires and charcoal grills are allowed. Permits are being issued on a case by case basis for contractors.
Wildlife tourism workshop scheduled for Crosslake
The DNR has announced a one day workshop to be held May 16 in Crosslake at the Manhattan Beach Lodge to help Minnesota's hospitality industry learn to profit from wildlife.
The workshop is a cooperative effort of the DNR Nongame Wildlife Program, Minnesota Office of Tourism, Minnesota Ornithologists' Union, Minnesota Resort Assoc., Minnesota Hotel & Lodging Assoc. of Innkeepers and the Minnesota Legislative Commission for Minnesota Resources.
The workshop is $30 per person and includes resource materials, lunch, snacks and a copy of "The Traveler's Guide to Wildlife in Minnesota," a guide to 120 places in Minnesota where wildlife can be enjoyed year-round. To register contact the DNR Nongame Wildlife Program at (888) MINNDNR.
Discover Minnesota's watchable wildlife
Information on where to find Minnesota's peregrine falcons, moose, common loons and bald eagles is available in a new book "Traveler's Guide to Wildlife in Minnesota."
Co-authored by Dispatch columnist Andrea Lee Lambrecht and DNR Nongame Wildlife biologists, the book is for people who enjoy nature and all forms of wildlife, such as birders, nature lovers, youth group leaders, teachers and photographers.
Youth waterfowl hunt is Sept. 16
A Youth Waterfowl Hunt has been scheduled for Sept. 16, two weeks before the opening of the regular waterfowl season.
The youth hunt is intended to to encourage older hunters to teach youngsters 15 and younger the traditions of waterfowl hunting. Each youth must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult 18 or older.
Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to 4 p.m. There are no license requirements but hunters ages 13-15 must have a firearms safety certificate in possession.
What to do with wildlife stamps
There's confusion about what to do with wildlife stamps on Minnesota's new electronically issued licenses, according to Karen Beckman of the DNR licensing bureau.
The DNR's new Electronic License System (ELS) requires trout, pheasant, wild turkey and migratory waterfowl stamps to be mailed to customers. In the past the stamps were issued directly to customers by license agents.
With ELS license agents have rolls of licensing paper and electronic terminals rather than booklets with specific license types. The electronic terminals issue a stamp endorsement when a stamp is purchased and the pictorial stamps, which are required by law, are mailed by the DNR.
DNR urges anglers to buy licenses now
The DNR advises anglers to buy their fishing license before the May 13 fishing opener.
After the deer opener the fishing opener brings the most last-minute license buyers. The new Electronic Licensing System (ELS) provides convenient service but because the system is new and sales agents are not used to running it sales can take longer than usual.
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