More pictures of Northern Minnesota have been added. These are one of a kind original pictures that can be seen only here.
Archive for March, 2014
Bald eagles are migrating back to Minnesota and may be seen in large numbers across parts of the state over the next few weeks, according to the Department of Natural Resources. ” Ice is breaking up along the rivers, so it’s definitely time for folks to keep their eyes out,” said Lisa Gelvin-Innvaer, DNR regional nongame wildlife specialist. “It all depends on the weather. It’s typical to see eagles coming through our area in mid-to-late March, as waters begin to open up and snow melts.”
Only two states, Florida and Alaska, have greater nesting populations of bald eagles than Minnesota. In 2005, researchers estimated there are more than 1,300 active nests in Minnesota. Fall migration typically occors as lakes and rivers freeze over, since most eagles prefer a diet of fish. Bald eagle wintering grounds ideally contain open water, ample food, limited human disturbance and protective roosting sites.
Not all bald eagles migrate southward in the fall, Gelvin-Innvaer said. In southern Minnesota, it’s common for some eagles to find. Bald eagles that stay local may begin courting and nesting as early as December or January. Other bald eagles return to their breeding territories, as soon as a food source is available. ” Eagle migration hotspots are a bit of a moving target, so it’s hard to say where the eagles are right now,” Gelvin-Innvaer said. “In Minnesota, the biggest migrations tend to be along the Minnesota River corridor, the north shore of Lake Superior and around Lake Pepin in southeastern Minnesota.”
Adult bald eagles are easily identified by a white head and tail contrasting with a dark brown body. Bald eagles attain full adult plumage in their fourth or fifth year. In flight, bald eagles are sometimes confused with turkey vultures. However, bald eagles have a tendency to soar on flat, board-like wings, while turkey vultures fly with their wings in a v-shape. Great to have these majestic birds of prey back here in Minnesota!!!
With warm weather on the way, many all-terrain vehicle [ATV] riders are anxious to hit the trails, but the DNR remincs riders to be aware of riding restrictions in some parts of the state due to wet conditions or closures. Between April 1 and Aug. 1, Minnesota law prohibits ATV’s from riding in ditches in the agricultural zone, that is, the area of the state soouth of a line that runs roughly from Morrhead to Taylors Falls along Highway 10 and Highway 95. The area roughly covers the southern half of the state.
“During these four months, ATV riders need to stay out of the road ditches completely in the agricultural zone,” Lt. Leland Owens, DNR recreational vehicle coordinator said. ” In addition to the law prohibiting ATV use, those road didches provide some of the only nesting habitat available in places. ” The ATV restriction does not apply to grant-in-aid trails or to ATV’s registered and used excluslvely for agricultural purposes.
Owens said that in addition to potentially disturbing wildlife, ATV’s in wet road ditches can cause erosion problems and even, in some cases, damage the roadbed itself.
As they do each spring, the DNR will need to temporarilly close some state forest roads and trails to ATV operators due to wet conditions. All off-highway vehicle riders are encouraged to check on trail conditions and temporary closures before planning riding trips to prevent damage to forest roads and trails. Call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll free 888-646-6367. The DNR will also post signs at entry points and at parking lots in state forests.
As the snow melts and March is soon ending so will the ice on our waters begin to deteriorate. Early ice and late ice are the times when safety on the ice is the most critical. The bottom line is that fishermen should never let their guard down at any time when on ice, but early and late ice more caution is needed more than any other time. This winter has been a cold one and along with the cold we had a lot of snow. Snow insulates the ice and weighs the ice down. So thickness of ice around the state will vary. Driving on the ice this time of the year is not recommended in most areas. Personaly, I will start walking on the ice, an leave my vehicle at the landing, right now. Let’s have a safe exit from hard water and get ready for the open water season.
Grand Portage, Minn.– For moose, this year’s winter-long deep freeze across the Upper Midwest is truly ideal weather. The large, gangly creatures are adapted to deep snow: their hollow fur insulates them like fiberglass does in a house. And the prolonged cold helps eradicate pests that prey on moose, like ticks and meningeal worm, or brain worm. Yet moose in Minnesota are dying at an alarming rate, and biologists are perplexed as to why.
In the 1980’s moose numbered about 4,000 in the northwest part of the state: today, there are about 100 or so. In Northeast Minnesota, the population has dropped by half since 2006, to 4,300 from more than 8,800. In 2012, the decline was steep enough-35%- that the state and local Chippewa tribes, which rely on moose meat for subsistence, called off the moose hunt. The mortality rate rebounded slightly this year, but moose continue to die at twice the normal rate to sustain a population. Researchers elsewhere, along the southern edge of moose territory in New Hampshire and Montana, are also beginning to notice declines in the animals numbers.
Seth More, a wildlife biologist in Grand Portage, theorizes that recent years of warmer, shorter winters and hotter, longer summers have resulted in a twofold problem. The changing climate has stressed out the moose, compromising their immune systems. And warmer temperatures have allowed populations of white-tailed deer, carriers of brain worm-which is fatal to moose to thrive.
Still, ” I’m not necessarily convinced that brain worm is the silver bullet that’s killing all of the moose,” Dr. Moore said. “There are a number of different issues.”
Michelle Carstensen, who is leading a $1.2 million moose mortality study by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources that is now in it’s second year, has been trying to pinpoint an underlying cause. Dr. Carstensen’s team has captured and collared more than 200 moose, outfitting them with GPS devices that beam the animals coordinates and temperature data every few hours.
Yet the data coming back have been anything but conclusive, and Dr. Carstensen said that even if it can be confirmed that climate change is to blame, there may be little to be done.
“If we can really pinpoint the overlying cause, then can we even do anything about it?” she said. “Or are we really just documenting a species on its way out of our state?”.
That was an article by Brent McDonald in the New York Times from information by Minnesota MPR. This was an interesting article and has been a subject I have been interested in myself. Global Warming? Conflicting information on that but there are less Moose now than a few years ago. Hopefully the studies find the reason why we have a decline in the Moose population.
Two years ago where we hunt north of Duluth, we have always seen signs of Moose. Did not see any tracks this year. Did see some sign last year. I’ts an awesome sight to see one of these majestic animals in the wild.
I have been working on my site and I have lot’s to add to it for sure. I have created threads for two outdoor sites and one smoking/sausage site. I have been a moderator and on the pro staff on one of the site’s as well. I have threads to this day that have attracted over 30 thousand hits on sausage and more. The sausage threads have always had lot’s of viewers along with my cooking, grilling, and smoking. One thing that surprised me was my Memories of the Arrowhead thread I started in the outdoor threads.
It show’s the life of the hard working people that settled northern Minnesota, the place I love. I”m so blessed to have those pictures that I recieved from my father-in-law. I’m posting them on my site called Vintage Arrowhead on the top right area of my site. Many more pictures to come on there.
Just want to take a minute to thank all of you that have visited my site so far. I have a ton of material yet to post so I ask your patience as I add each day. Thanks, Reinhard.