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Wright County Pheasants Forever celebrates 30 years

Feb. 23, 2015

by Chris Schultz

ANNANDALE – The Wright County Pheasants Forever Chapter #95 will hold its 30th annual membership banquet Saturday, March 7.

The event will be held from 5:30-10 p.m. at the Classic Rides and Event Center (Classic Hall, 220 Poplar Lane S.) in Annandale.

Prizes from the 2014 banquet include:

• Matthews bows

• 8 Bird Pheasant Hunts from Gold Meadows

• Unique Home Decor

• Scheels Gift Cards & More

• Several guns

• Chest Freezer

• Prints

• Jewelry

• Tools

To register, or for more information, contact David Lloyd at dlloyd_2000@yahoo.com. To become a sponsor, make a donation, or to inquire about banquet information, contact Melissa Sandquist at 763-354-4090.

DNR Bow Hunter Field Day Test scheduled

A Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Bow Hunter Education Field Day Test will take place Saturday, March 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Grace Bible Church, 300 SW Cleavland Street, Silver Lake.

For more information, contact Jim Richardson, Instructor, at 612-636-7214.

CO Report

From the DNR

• CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) checked an interesting group of anglers on Grand Lake this weekend. The officer was glad to see they were having so much fun without catching many fish. The officer also assisted the county with another vehicle that broke through the ice on Lake Koronis.

• CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes. He followed up on a number of Big Game cases charges pending. He followed up on a trespassing issue. He assisted with getting kids signed up for the upcoming FAS classes this spring. He answered question on spring turkey hunting. He located a dead swan that hit a power line in the Monticello area.

• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) gave a ride along to a DNR Assistant Parks and Trails Supervisor and a Watertown/Mayer High School student. Aeration inspections were done on area lakes. State trails, parks and public access sites were patrolled. Permits were issued for a car killed deer and turkey. Several nuisance coyote complaints were handled. Anglers were checked daily having very good success on crappies and sunfish.

• CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent the week investigating litter complaints on various lakes, inspecting fish houses for licensing and performing angling enforcement. She also spoke to a large group of kids at the annual fishing clinic in New Prague. She has been focusing more time on littering enforcement and thanks everyone who has taken it upon themselves to help clean up after individuals leaving litter on the lakes. Enforcement action was taken on angle with extra lines, no angling license in possession and illegal ATV operations.

• CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and snowmobilers in the metro area lakes and trails. He patrolled state parks, state trails, WMAs, and took calls on animal complaints. He also answered questions in the Hmong community regarding firearm safety classes and small game regulations.

• CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers in the Bloomington station. He returned calls for injured animals and set up upcoming firearms safety classes. He patrolled Fort Snelling State Park and took enforcement action for no vehicle permit and followed up on a report of turkey poaching from another law enforcement agency.

• CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) spoke at a firearms safety class in Prinsburg. He checked ice anglers and ATV operators. Denz also documented fish houses with litter issues and conducted inspection of aeration systems.

• CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the week checking ice fishermen and following up on liter complaints where it was found that people were disposing on deer carcasses along public waters. Time was also spent following up on trapping issues.

• CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) monitored and enforced ATV activity along the Crow River. Mueller collected an accidentally caught otter. She took a report of suspicious activity on a minimal maintenance road near Bird Island. She also received a complaint of dogs chasing deer in McLeod County.

• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) followed up on an accidental take of an otter. Time was also spent checking anglers and recreational vehicle operators. Predator hunters were also checked.

• CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) checked aeration systems. He also spent time working ATV and angling activity.

• CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) entered a fish house and noticed the sole occupant was using extra lines to fish. The CO stated to the person “So you are using four lines today.” The person replied, “Actually five, I have one more in the corner over here.” A citation was issued, but for his honesty in admitting the violation he was rewarded with being able to keep his fishing equipment. Finally enough snow for the coyote hunters to run their dogs, no trespass calls have been received yet, several were checked to see if they were transporting loaded firearms, while others were reminded about the need for a permit to use a radio.

Question of the week

From the DNR

Q: Q: What causes ruffed grouse numbers to rise and fall?

A: Grouse populations are known to fluctuate in a 10-year cycle in prime grouse range. Numerous studies have been conducted to determine the cause of these cycles. Possible mechanisms that have been considered include predation, spring and winter weather, tent caterpillar effects on cover and forage quality, and parasites, to name a few.

Some studies have found support for a relationship between raptor populations and grouse cycles. Northern goshawks switch between targeting snowshoe hares and grouse as populations of each of these prey species rise and fall. However, a 2008 study by researchers from University of Minnesota and the Ruffed Grouse Society reported that the most supported explanation for grouse cycles included winter precipitation and temperature. Grouse counts were highest during cold winters with lots of snow for roosting and during warm dry winters. Conversely, grouse counts were lowest during warm snowy or cold dry winters. However, neither predators nor winter weather can entirely explain grouse cycles, so the phenomenon requires further study.