September goose hunters urged to 'head west'
Hunters who take part in the early Canada goose hunting seasons that begins Saturday should consider the West Goose Zone, located south of I-94 and west of U.S. 71 and State Highway 60. While the hunt is open throughout the state the West Goose Zone is the only zone where hunting on or near water is permitted. In the remainder of the state goose hunters must be at least 100 yards from surface water during this season.
Removing the restriction on hunting on surface water in the West Goose Zone is intended to increase hunting opportunities on public lands where goose populations are especially high.
The early goose season is Sept. 2-Sept. 22 statewide except in the Northwest Goose Zone, where the season is Sept. 2-Sept. 15. Daily bag limits are five Canada geese except in the Northwest Zone and Southeast Zone, where the daily limit is two Canada geese.
With the exception of persons under 18 or over 65, hunters are required to obtain a $3 permit, available at ELS locations. The $3 permit is also valid for the late December goose seasons that will be announced later. Hunters also must possess federal and state duck stamps, a valid small game license and be Harvest Information Program certified.
Northwestern bear hunters cautioned to avoid diseased bears
A recent outbreak of anthrax among cattle in southern Manitoba has prompted a caution for handling bear carcasses in the area. Although the chances of a hunter getting anthrax from bear meat are remote, officials believe bears could get the disease if they have eaten cattle that died of anthrax.
One of the oldest diseases known to humans, anthrax is caused by a type of bacteria that reproduce by producing spores which can survive for many years in the soil, then grow rapidly in warm, wet conditions.
Animals become infected when spores enter the body. No cases of human infection have been reported in Minnesota for at least 20 years, according to the DNR.
But because they may be handling the carcasses of infected animals, bear hunters may face a slightly higher than normal risk of being infected, state health officials said.
To reduce the risk, don't shoot a bear that is staggering or behaving strangely. Do not open up the carcass after shooting a bear if you see possible signs of illness, including a swollen neck, open sores or bleeding from the mouth, nose or anus.
Even if a killed bear seems normal, wear rubber gloves when cleaning it to reduce the risk of infected fluids getting into open cuts and sores.
Minnesota's bear season opened Wednesday.
By commissioner's order campgrounds to remain open
DNR Commissioner Allen Garber has ordered the Division of Forestry to maintain services at campgrounds within state forests. Reductions in services were announced last week as a result of budget shortfalls.
But at the urging of members of the state legislature, Garber has directed the Division of Parks and Recreation to share resources with the Division of Forestry so that reductions will not be necessary. Forestry operates 46 campgrounds, or 20 percent of the DNR's total campsites, and dozens of day-use areas, beaches and picnic sites. Now Parks and Recreation, the beneficiary of millions of dollars during the last legislative session, will assist Forestry with maintenance at some locations.
Brown takes 12th at bass championship
Local angler Brian Brown finished 12th among 42 pros at the Minnesota Pro/Am Bass Tour Championship Aug. 18-19 on Lake Vermilion. Brown was in 10th place Friday with eight smallmouth weighing 18 pounds. On the second day he landed eight largemouths weighing 14 pounds.
The top 40 anglers in points after four qualifying events, last year's Angler of the Year and the winner of the Tournament of Champions are invited to fish the championship. Brown was the 25th qualifier. He is sponsored by Nitro boats, Mercury outboards, Shimano rods and reels, Precision Propeller Works, Bristow's Marine and LakeMaps. The championship will be aired on MSC at 7 p.m. on Aug. 30.
Fishing tournament organizers need to plan now
Fishing tournament organizers should begin planning now for contests in 2001 due to a change in the state statute regulating tournaments. The first deadline for tournament organizers is Sept. 1, when the DNR will begin accepting applications for 2001 tournaments.
Only two tournaments are allowed per month on lakes of less than 2,000 acres and no tournament cannot have more than 50 boats or 100 participants. Lakes from 15,000 to 55,000 acres can have five contests per month but only three can have more than 100 participants. There are no limits for lakes larger than 55,000 acres.
If the number of applications exceeds monthly limits, the DNR will conduct a lottery to allocate available permits, similar to the system used for wildlife hunting permits. Tournament applications received Sept. 1 through Oct. 27 will be eligible for any necessary lottery drawing. Tournaments with a history established for a particular lake and time period will have preference over others. All other applications received after Oct. 27 will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis through the 2001 season.
Wild rice season dates announced
The following wild rice lakes are managed in a partnership between the Mille Lacs Band and the DNR. Opening dates for ricing on each lake are listed below and are posted on access sites to these lakes. For more information call the DNR at 828-2625 or 828-2615.
Aitkin County: Aug. 24, Big Sandy Lake (includes adjoining Aitkin Lake, Flowage Lake, Prairie River, Sandy River Lake); Lake Minnewawa.
Aug. 25, Mallard Lake.
Crow Wing County: Aug. 26, Lower Dean Lake.
Aug. 25, Hesitation WMA (Seventeen Mile Lake, also known as Rice Lake).
Pine County: Crooked Creek and Hay Creek will be announced at later date and posted at access points.
Firearms safety training to begin
Several firearms safety training classes are being offered in the area, including;
Sept. 11, Moose Lodge, Brainerd. Six night classes open to boys and girls who will be 12 by Nov. 4. Call 764-3261.
Sept. 8-10 and 15-17, City Hall, Motley. Classes are noon to 3 p.m. Open to all boys and girls who will be 12 by Nov. 4. Call 352-6647.
Sept. 7, Brainerd. Classes are 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Last class is range day on Sept. 26. Call 829-7582, 829-1159, 828-8153 or 829-6180.
St. Croix State Park deer quota reduced in 1837 ceded territory
The number of special deer hunt permits available this fall in the St. Croix State Park deer hunt has been reduced from 650 to 450, the DNResources announced.
The reduction was in response to deer harvest declarations made by the eight Chippewa bands involved in a court case involving an 1837 treaty. Under the terms of the court findings and agreements, the eight Chippewa Bands are allowed to declare up to 50 percent of the available surplus of antlerless deer in each permit area in 2000, but no more than 900 anterless deer total.
The bands' declarations totaled 720 antlerless deer in 15 permit areas included in the ceded territory and another 25 deer in Wild River State Park and 100 from the St. Croix Park Hunt.
Rydell National Wildlife Refuge to host special deer hunt
Rydell National Wildlife Refuge, a 2,100-acre refuge near Erskine, is hosting a special deer hunt for disabled persons. The hunt will open at noon Oct. 13 and continue until noon Oct. 15. Seven miles of trails will allow disabled hunters to hunt in specially designated areas. The application deadline for the hunt is Sept. 15. For additional information or applications call (218) 687-2229 or (218) 773-6100.
Watersheds poster available from DNR
How does your watershed flow?
A colorful poster explaining what watersheds are has just been printed by the DNR. The two-sided poster shows a topographic relief map of major watersheds across the state on one side. On the other side the poster features suggestions for protecting and improving watersheds and water resources.
The poster is designed to be a tool for school teachers, lake associations, service groups and anyone else interested in promoting protection of water resources.
The poster is available free of charge from the DNR Information Center, or from DNR hydrologists or fisheries staff at local DNR offices throughout Minnesota. The DNR Information Center can be reached by calling toll free 1-888-MINNDNR.
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