The DNR announced major changes to simplify deer seasons and licensing for this fall, according to Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator.
The changes include allowing a person to individually purchase licenses for regular firearms, muzzleloader and archery in any combination; consolidating deer zones so that licensed firearms hunters can hunt anywhere in the state; simplifying legal big game rifle calibers to allow any center-fire that is at least .220 caliber; and eliminating the need to validate the license when tagging an animal.
For more on the changes, go to news.dnr.state.mn.us/ index.php/2008/06/17/ minnesota-dnr-announces-2008-deer-season-changes/
Duck numbers up, Canada goose numbers strong
Minnesota's breeding mallard and blue-winged teal numbers are higher than last year and the total duck population estimate increased, according to the annual May breeding waterfowl survey results released by the DNR.
The mallard breeding population was estimated at 298,000 - 23 percent above last year and identical to the most recent 10-year average. This year's mallard population estimate is 34 percent above the long-term average of 222,000 breeding mallards.
Blue-winged teal numbers increased 23 percent from last year to 152,000, but remained 32 percent below the long-term average.
The combined populations of other ducks, such as wood ducks, gadwalls, redheads and ring-necked ducks, increased to 290,000, about 65 percent above the long-term average. This was the third-highest total recorded for the combined populations. Much of the rise was due to record high counts of ring-necked ducks, a common but very late-nesting species in northern Minnesota. Ring-necked duck numbers were up by more than 100,000 ducks from last year.
Minnesota's estimated breeding duck population increased to 740,000 this year, 51 percent higher than last year and 19 percent above the long-term average. Minnesota remains well below the goal of an average breeding population of 1 million ducks, which is outlined in the state duck recovery plan. Much of the actual increase was attributed to the late spring and migrant ring-necked ducks.
Brainerd's Kvalevog third in FLW tourney
Toby Kvalevog of Brainerd finished third in the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour presented by Yamaha event, held recently on Cass Lake.
Kvalevog caught 20 walleyes weighing 52 pounds, 12 ounces, and won $8,827.
Scott Steil of Richmond had a four-day total of 20 walleyes weighing 58-02 to finish first and win $100,000.
Kvalevog, who was coming off a victory at a Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League event on Cass, used redtail chubs and caught all his fish in 7 to 14 feet of water.
"I caught my fish in the same places I won the league event," Kvalevog said. "I had three spots around Cedar Island, and I fished the shorelines in front of Shram Lake.
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