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Archive for July, 2014

St. Croix State Park Will Pilot Archery Hunting This Fall

St. Croix State Park in Hinkley will pilot an archery hunt for part of the 2014 fall deer season. The archery hunt will be Sept. 29 through Nov. 7, with the exception of Saturday, Nov. 1 and Sunday, Nov. 2, when the park will close for a youth firearms hunt. One hundred archery tags will be available; the deadline to apply for them is Aug. 15.

After a 2011 storm downed trees and dramatically changed the landscape, the number of rifle hunters allowed in the park was reduced for safety reasons. The archery hunt is being added to help safely maintain a healthy deer herd while allowing the park’s pine trees to regenerate. Deer like to browse on the buds of immature pine saplings, which damages trees and stunts their growth. Consequently, when there are too many deer in an area, pine trees often struggle to reach maturity.

To apply for the fall archery hunt, hunters should write their name, street address, email address and telephone number on a postcard and send it to St. Croix State Park, 30065 St. Croix Park Road, Hinckley, Mn 55037. Hunting parties of up to four people can apply together by putting each applicant’s contact information all on one card. The park plans to allow one additional antlerless tag per hunter for the archery hunt, as well as the normal either-sex archery tag. Successful applicants will be notified by Aug. 22. Any questions regarding the hunt can be directed to the park headquarters at 320-384-6591.

Paul Bunyan State Trail Extends To Crow Wing State Park

Construction of a six-mile paved trail segment connecting the Paul Bunyan State Trail to Crow Wing State Park in Brainerd is now complete and open to the public, according to the DNR Parks and Trails Division. The completion of this segment brings the total length of the trail to 116 miles, not including a couple of short on-road connections through the cities of Baxter and Bemidji. Extending all the way to Lake Bemidji State Park, north of Bemidji, it is the longest of Minnesota’s 25 state trails and the longest continuously paved rail-trail in the country. In 2011, the Rail-to-Trails Conservancy bolstered the trail’s growing national reputation by naming it to the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.

An aerial video of the new trail segment-created by the contractor, Anderson Brothers Construction Company of Brainerd-is posted on You Tube at http://youtu.be/cIN-ObQm9OU .

Conservative Deer Season Set for 2014

Northeastern Minnesota hunters will feel the greatest impact from a bucks-only season. In bucks- only areas, no antlerless deer may be harvested by any hunter, including those with archery or youth licenses. Most of these areas are now below goal and that this year’s conservative approach is consistent with the DNR’s long-term commitment to manage deer populations at established goal levels.

It’s been many years for me since I have seen a bucks-only season. I’ve seen many good years up north where I hunt and a few years when no venison came home. We have had a couple of severe winters in the Arrowhead area of Minnesota. Last winter was one of the worst I have seen with the heavy snow and bitterly cold temps. I believe those conditions affected the deer herd in a negative way for sure.

However, firearms deer season is more than bringing home the venison or maybe a trophy buck. It is to be with good friends and enjoy what the outdoors have to offer. Always good times and many memories. I hunt in area 180. I’ll go up to my area in the fall to scout the area and check for signs. Hopefully we have some “normal” winters for a few years and get that herd back up there. Here is the site you want to go to to check for the 2014 regulation and the information for your area http://www.mndnr.gov/hunting/deer/index.html  .

DNR Simplifies Southestern Minnesota Trout Regulations

New trout fishing regulations that took effect July 14 expand oportunities for anglers and simplify regulations in southeastern Minnesota, the DNR said. The regulations extend catch and release seasons in eight southeastern Minnesota counties and seven trout streams in Minnesota state parks. Barbless hooks are no longer required. And beginning Jan. 1, 2015, southeast Minnesota streams are open in winter to cacatch and release trout fishing.

“The new regulations make trout, fishing more accessible and easier to understand,” said Brad Parsons, central region fisheries supervisor. “Anglers will be able to catch and release trout for more of the year and in more streams.” Southeastern Minnesota counties included in the regulations are Dodge, Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona. If anglers plan to fish for trout, they need to check to see if there are any special regulations, including slot limits and required use of artificial lures and flies, for the stream where they plan to fish.

In state parks, the regulations include the following waters: East Beaver Creek in Beaver Creek Valley State Park; Forestville Creek in Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park; Canfield Creek in Forestvill/mystery Cave State Park; South Branch Root River in Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park; Trout Run Creek in White water State Park and Middle Branch Whitewater River in Whitewater State Park.

2014 Trout Seasons

In southeastern Minnesota, the fall catch and release season on trout streams has been extended. The season starts Monday, Sept. 15 following the end of the currently open harvest season and runs through Wednesday, Oct, 15. The harvest season is the period during which anglers may keep trout.

Manitoba Claims First Victory Against Zebra Mussels

The Manitoba government says its experiment to eradicate a zebra mussel invasion in Lake Winnepeg appears to be successful, at least in one of its harbors. Officials say Winnipeg Beach will be reopened after it was closed two weeks ago. The harbor was one of four that was sealed off with a silt curtain and pumped through with liquid potash until it reached a lethal concentration for the mussels.

Rob Nedotiatko, who coordinated the treatment, says test mussels in a nearby secure cage have all died. “The gated curtain at the mouth of the harbor was removed, officially signifying the end of the treatment process,” Nedotiatko told reporters Monday afternoon. “It was determined late yesterday that all test zebra mussels in the harbor; through mortality testing, were confirmed dead.”

Because the mussels in the cage died, officials are assuming the ones not in the cage are dead as well. Nedotiatko said so far, the signs are promising for the harbors at Gimli, Balsam Bay and Arnes. The potash treatment began at Balsam Bay on May 24th and at Gimli Harbor on Saturday, while a curtain is currently being installed at Arnes. The province says the liquid potash treatment in open water, in a lake environment, is the first of its kind.

New World Record Redear Sunfish

Talk about a frying pan-sized panfish! According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, a pending world-record redear sunfish was hauled out of Lake Havasu, weighing in at a whopping 5.78 pounds, and breaking the previous record of 5.55 pounds.

Hector Brito targeted the chalk cliffs area of the lake and expected to see a catfish on the end of his line when his dropshot rig fixed with a no. 8 aberdeen hook and baited with a plump nightcrawler was inhaled. Redear sunfish, aka shellcrackers, in Lake Havasu grow to enormous proportions as they feed on the invasive quagga mussel. Most experts and local anglers believe that redears over the 6 pound mark exist in the lake.


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