From the DNR
Youth ages 10-15 can participate in a special deer season that runs from Thursday, Oct. 16, to Sunday, Oct. 19, in 27 permit areas of southeastern and northwestern Minnesota, including the 601 Twin Cities metro permit area.
“Youth can hunt with a mentor in a special season that’s all about putting the attention on the youth during the whole hunting experience,” said Mike Kurre, mentoring program coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Deer permit areas open to the hunt are: 101, 105, 111, 114, 201, 203, 208, 209, 256, 257, 260, 263, 264, 267, 268, 338, 339, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349 and 601.
In certain portions of permit areas 346 and 349 in Winona, Houston, and Filmore counties, there will also be an early antlerless season for all licensed hunters who purchase early antlerless permits.
Youth must meet all firearms safety requirements, purchase a license and use the appropriate firearm for the permit area in which they are hunting.
Youth may take a deer of either sex and may only take one deer during the youth season.
An adult mentor must accompany the youth but may not hunt or carry a firearm and does not need a license.
However, in the early antlerless sub-permit areas of 346 and 349, the adult can participate in the early antlerless hunt while being a mentor.
Hunters and mentors must meet blaze orange requirements.
Public land is open as is private land, provided the youth hunter has landowner permission.
Participating in the youth deer season does not affect eligibility of youth to participate in the regular firearms deer season but any deer harvested do count against the youth’s season bag limit.
For more information, see the page 34 of the DNR Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook under the heading Special Youth Deer Season, found online at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting.
Rifle sight in at Waverly Gun Club set
Waverly Gun Club have scheduled two weekends for rifle sight-ins in October. Sight ins begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18 and 19 and Oct. 25 and 26.
Learn wilderness survival basics before going afield
From the DNR
A missing duck hunter near Mille Lacs Lake forced to spend the night in the woods is a good reminder that anyone spending time outdoors should know wilderness survival basics, said an official with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
A recent news release from the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office said that 76-year-old Glenn Huff of Garrison had become disoriented while hunting and was unsure of his whereabouts.
Rather than wander aimlessly, Huff then “hunkered down with his dog for the night, and at first light started to make his way back to his vehicle.”
The following morning Huff and the dog met up with sheriff’s office deputies who reported Huff in excellent condition following the incident.
“That incident is a good reminder that anyone can get lost in the woods, including hunters,” said acting Capt. John Paurus, DNR enforcement education program coordinator.
Panic is an enemy for those who get lost. They should remember the acronym S.T.O.P.
SIT: They should collect their thoughts and realize they are not lost; they just can’t find camp or vehicle.
THINK: What do they have at their disposal both physical and mental that can help them in this situation? Inventory survival kit and start to develop a plan.
OBSERVE: Look around, is there shelter, water, an open area where searchers could see them?
PLAN: Create a plan of action. Pick a spot that to build a fire for heat and signaling. In addition, can the spot provide basic shelter?
A basic survival kit can be packed into a quart zip-lock bag and should contain the following:
• Basic shelter materials: Two 55 gallon garbage bags and 30 feet of braided mason’s line.
• Means to start a fire: Disposable lighter, waterproof matches or matches stored in a waterproof container, or 10 feet of toilet paper or Petroleum Jelly soaked cotton balls in a waterproof container.
• Means of signaling: Whistle, signal mirror (could be an old CD). A fire is also a signal.
• Means of knowing direction: A compass.
• Comfort food: Food bar, nuts or trail mix.
Anytime people head outdoors they should plan for the unexpected and be prepared to spend the night in the woods.
Here are some musts before heading out.
• Always let someone know the destination and return plan.
• Carry a compass or GPS and know how to use it.
• Carry a basic survival and first-aid kit.
• Carry a cell phone.
• Check the weather and dress for it.
These outdoor safety tips are part of the DNR hunter education firearms safety program.
An online study guide for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts is on the DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/firearms/index.html Click on HunterCourse.
DNR seeks volunteers to join deer goal setting teams
From the DNR
People interested in helping the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources establish deer population goals for large portions of northeastern, north-central and east-central Minnesota can apply online at www.mndnr.gov/deer.
Volunteers are being sought to join five advisory teams that will develop deer population goals in various regions of the state.
Each team will focus on deer goals for a specific region, or goal-setting block, of the state.
Goal-setting blocks consist of multiple deer permit areas that have been grouped by habitat type.
“The advisory teams provide a great opportunity for DNR staff to work directly with citizens who are interested in deer management,” said Leslie McInenly, DNR big game program leader. “By bringing in diverse, local interests, the DNR aims to collectively identify deer population goals that are ecologically sustainable and socially acceptable.”
Individuals can serve on one team. They nominate themselves by completing an online application.
The application period is now open and ends Monday, Nov. 17.
Participants will be selected to represent the wide range of public interests in deer management including hunting, recreation, farming, forestry, public health and safety.
They also will be chosen to achieve geographic representation within a goal-setting block.
Deer population goals will be set for 40 of Minnesota’s 128 deer permit areas during the upcoming process, which concludes in May 2015 with the announcement of final goals.
Areas selected for goal setting in 2015 are:
Area 1 - Superior Uplands Arrowhead, which includes permit areas 117, 122, 126, 127, 180.
Area 2 - North Central Plains Moraines, which includes permit areas 169, 172, 184, 197, 210, 298.
Area 3 - Pine Moraines, which includes permit areas 241, 242, 246, 248, 251, 258, 259, 287.
Area 4 - East Central Uplands, which includes permit areas 152, 155, 156, 157, 159, 183, 221, 222, 225, 247, 259.
Area 5 - Sand Plain-Big Woods, which includes permit areas 223, 224, 227, 229, 235, 236, 249, 285, 338, 339.
Teams of 15 to 20 people will participate in one or two public meetings and two to three team meetings in their goal block.
All meetings will take place between February and March of 2015.
Once selected, each team will review biological and social data as well as public input collected at meetings and through online and written questionnaires.
After considering and discussing this information, each team will recommend a deer population goal for each of the permit areas within its goal-setting block.
DNR staff will review the data for each goal block as well as advisory team goal recommendations and final public comments on team recommendations before making final goal decisions.
This is the third year the DNR has worked with citizens to reassess and re-establish deer population goals in Minnesota.
Goals for southwestern and a portion of northern Minnesota were set in 2012.
Goals for southeastern Minnesota were set last year.
Goals for the deer permit areas not part of the 2015 process will be set in 2016.
People don’t have to be advisory team members to provide input on deer population goals.
There will be a number of opportunities for public input and comments this coming winter.
Information about the goal-setting process and opportunities for input and involvement is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/deer.
Early anterless deer season to open in limited areas in southeast
From the DNR
Hunters in portions of southeastern Minnesota can harvest antlerless deer in an early antlerless season from Thursday, Oct. 16, to Sunday, Oct. 19, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
“The early antlerless season addresses high deer densities in localized areas,” said Leslie McInenly, big game program leader. “Hunters should be aware that there is little public land within the early antlerless hunt areas, which consist of parts of deer permit areas 346 and 349 in Winona, Houston and Filmore counties.”
Areas open during the season are identified on the fold-out map that accompanies the DNR Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook.
The map is also available online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.
Hunters are encouraged to review the maps and rules to identify opportunities prior to the season.”
“This is the second year we have implemented an early antlerless season in specific portions of southeastern Minnesota,” McInenly said. “We are continuing to evaluate the approach as an additional tool to manage deer at a geographic scale below that of the deer permit area.”
This year, the early antlerless season coincides with the four-day special youth deer season.
In the early antlerless hunt, only antlerless deer may be taken, and hunters may use up to five early antlerless permits.
Deer harvested during the special season do not count toward a hunter’s statewide limit during the regular season.
Early antlerless permits cost $7.50 for residents and may be purchased wherever hunting licenses are sold.
All deer harvested during this season must be tagged with an early antlerless permit.
Hunters must also have a valid archery, firearms, or muzzleloader license.
Legal firearms or archery gear may be used as long as the appropriate parent license is in possession.
Question of the week
From the DNR
Q: Why does this year seem to be particularly good for fall colors?
A: Some of those magnificent colors we’re seeing this fall were there all summer; you just couldn’t see them because of the green pigment in the leaf’s chlorophyll.
As our days get shorter and the temperatures cool down, trees cease chlorophyll production, allowing yellow and orange pigments in the leaf to show.
Red and purple pigments can be created in some tree species if the late summer weather is sunny and bright and nights are not frosty.
The slightest change too hot, too cold, too wet or too dry can slow the process or cause trees to lose leaves before they change color.
For the latest information on when and where the fall colors are expected to be at their peak, check out the DNR’s fall color finder at www.mndnr.gov/fall_colors.
For more information on what causes fall colors, visit www.mndnr.gov/fall_colors/typical_peak.html.
CO weekly reports
From the DNR
• CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this past week.
CO Mies gave a law talk at the South Haven firearms safety class.
CO Mies checked waterfowl hunters.
• CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked TIP calls issued summons and written warnings for Deer hunting after legal hours, deer hunting over bait, no HIP certification, unsigned federal stamp, wanton waste, taking non-game waterfowl (trumpeter swans), possession of toxic shot in the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, and unplugged gun.
A number of cases are under investigation.
• CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent most of the week checking waterfowl and small game hunters.
Assisted with a car killed moose in Maple Lake that was unusual for this area of the state.
Several TIP calls were also investigated.
Waterfowl hunters coming in to boat accesses were checked for AIS violations, but most were in good compliance.
Enforcement action was taken for transport loaded firearm in motorized vehicle, unplugged shotgun, no PFD in watercraft, failure to have license in possession.
• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) followed up on AIS violations found by watercraft inspectors.
TIP calls on deer baiting cases were investigated.
Watercraft were winterized for storage.
Waterfowl hunters were checked all week in the south closed zone and central open zone.
Enforcement action was taken for taking waterfowl during closed season, unsigned federal duck stamps, no HIP certification, no small game licenses in possession, transport loaded firearm onboard motorized watercraft and transporting zebra mussels on watercraft.
• CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking hunters and following up on complaints.
CO Grewe assisted a neighboring officer with a complaint in his area and attended a district meeting.
• CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) followed up on issues from the opening weekend of the waterfowl opener.
She attended a firearm instructor school in Hibbing all week.
She followed up with a snapping turtle issue near a local lake.
• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports focusing on waterfowl enforcement again last week.
Hunters had good success with most able to bag around three ducks.
Green wing teal, bufflehead, scaup, and canvasback showed up in the area.
At one public water access CO Oberg had a few individuals that decided not to bring their licenses with, a boat without any PFDs and one hunter with an unplugged shotgun.