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FIRST DEER NUMBERS

Minnesota firearms hunters registered 68,401 deer during the first three days of firearms deer season, according to the DNR. “Hunters are seeing more deer this year as we continue to build deer populations across much of the state,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations program manager. “We’ve issued a conservative number of antlerless deer permits, and because of this, many hunters are seeing deer they can’t shoot. However, patience this year should translate to more harvest opportunities in the future.”

Final numbers from the first three days show that the number of deer registered rose 6.3 percent from 2014. Buck harvest during the first three days of the firearms season was up 8.5 percent from last year. Zone 1 total firearms harvest was up 8.2 percent, Zone 2 was up 5.9 percent and Zone 3 was up 3.2 percent. The DNR is projecting the 2015 total deer harvest to be between 140,000 to 155,000 deer. The 2014 total harvest after last year’s conservative season was just over 139,000.

In much of Minnesota, the deer season continues through Sunday, Nov. 15. Additional deer will be harvested during the northern rifle zone season, which continues through Sunday, Nov. 22: the late southeastern season, which runs Saturday, Nov. 21, through Sunday, Nov. 29: and the muzzleloader season, which begins Saturday, Nov. 28, and continues through Sunday, Dec. 13.

New this year, hunters can preview an interactive deer information tool being developed by the DNR at http://www.mndnr.gov/deermap. This map is the first step toward launching an online application that delivers useful information hunters need and want. Hunters are encouraged to take a look at the application, discuss it and provide DNR with feedback. More information on deer management can be found at http://www.mndnr.gov/deer.

HOW DO LOTTERY PERMITS WORK

Each year that you apply for a lottery antlerless permit or a special deer hunt [such as a state park hunt] and don’t get drawn, you earn one preference point. You continue to earn points each year that you apply without being drawn, and once you are drawn for permit, you start over at level 1. Keep in mind, you can earn separate preference points for firearm, archery and muzzleloader seasons.

When we conduct our random drawings for lottery permits, we draw first from a pool of those with the most preference points. Then, if there are still permits left, we draw from the next highest preference pool of applicants and so on until all the permits are issued.

If you were drawn for a lottery permit this year, you should have received your permit in the mail by Oct. 16. You can also check to see whether you were drawn by visiting the DNR’s deer lottery Web page at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/licenses/lotteries/antlerless.html. Ron Kullmann, DNR License Center.

DEER REGULATION CHANGE

Deer hunters are reminded about changes in 2015 that affect when licenses purchased after a season is open are valid. A deer hunting license purchased after a season is open is valid the same day of purchase if purchased prior to legal shooting hours. If the license is purchased after legal shooting hours, then the license is valid the following day.

“The language is unclear in the 2015 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping regulations Handbook about when deer hunting licenses are valid, so we want to elaborate on this,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations manager. What changed from last year? Last year, hunters needed to wait two days to hunt if they bought a deer license after a season opened. Also, there was no ability to buy a license before shooting hours and hunt that same day.

Deer licenses can be purchased at DNR license agents across Minnesota, by phone at 888-665-4236 or online at http://www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense. For lists of license agents in each Minnesota county, see http://www.mndnr.gov/licenses/agents.html. There are additional fees for telephone and Internet transactions. Hunters who purchase licenses by phone and Internet will receive their deer license and tags by mail, which can take three to five business days to arrive, so hunters who choose these options should allow enough time for delivery. Hunters must have a valid deer license and tag in their possession when hunting deer. Hunters need to be familiar with deer hunting regulations, which are available at any DNR license agent or online at http://www.mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting.

POLISH WITH SOME HEAT

Just posted the latest sausage I made. Smoked Polish with some heat. I tend to make more smoked sausage from fall through winter and then when spring comes around I tend to make more fresh sausage for the grill. In my Homemade Sausage page I have many other sausage recipe’s as well. Most of these Polish will go to deer camp to be eaten and given away to the boy’s up north. Give these a try!!!

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The step by steps and recipe is in the Homemade Sausage page.

BOATER CHARGED

The Mahnomen County Attorney’s Office has filed two misdemeanor charges against a Moorhead boater following an investigation by the DNR. Steven William Timm, 55, allegedly used a pontoon to chase a large buck that was swimming tulaby Lake in Mahnomen County on Sept. 6, causing the deer to swim further out into the lake and eventually drown.

Timm is charged with one count of animal cruelty and one count of prohibited use of a motor vehicle to chase wild animals. Each carries a maximum fine of $1,000, 90 days in jail or both if convicted. Using a motor vehicle to chase, run, or kill a wild animal is illegal with a citation issued and restitution for illegally taken animal. A deer has a $500 restitution value, and the restitution is $1,000 if the animal is a trophy animal.

A state conservation officer was called by a citizen who witnessed Timm drive the pontoon between the deer and shoreline preventing the animal from reaching safety. The witness drove his pontoon to Timm’s location and asked why Timm had done it, but Timm responded, “What do you think I am a deer killer?”. The officer later talked to Timm who said he noticed something in the water, drove his pontoon there to investigate, and attempted to turn the deer back to shore, but the animal swam further out into the lake.

According to the DNR, an interaction that may seem harmless and innocent may ultimately have serious consequence for deer and other wildlife. ” As the state’s wildlife management agency, we have a responsibility to protect the wildlife resource,” said Col. Ken Soring, DNR enforcement director. “Chasing wildlife with any type of motorized vehicle is unacceptable.” Timm is scheduled to appear in Mahnomen County Court on Oct. 29. Report game and fish violations to the TIP hotline at 800-652-9093. Cell phone users can dial #TIP. Informants can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.

BOATER CHASES DEER

I really do not like to post sad new on here, but there are times that I believe stories like this have to be posted. This guy who did this needs to be punished and by that I don’t mean the typical slap on the hand. I don’t know what the punishment for this is but for me it cant be enough. There is no reason to be chasing down a deer on the water or any wildlife on the water. Animal cruelty has many forms, and all forms of it should be addressed by more sever penalty’s than we have now. The person who did this most likely has other issues besides enjoying seeing a animal suffer. I hope the authority’s make sure that this individual never does this again. Here is the story: http://www.wday.com/news/3843772-boater-chases-deer-death-minnesota-harassing-it-drowns.

SALAMI TIME

Like a little tang in your sausage? Well check out my Homemade Sausage Page and see my new recipe for Salami. I used beef this time around but I also stated the formula for using venison. I have other recipe’s for sausage also, so check it out and plan or get started on making some of these delicious sausages for the upcoming deer season, holidays, or just to have some for snacks, meals, or just on the fresh backed bun.

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SAUSAGE TIME

Yep, it’s getting closer. Firearms deer season. I look forward to this every year. Being with friends and family members, sitting by the fire at night, enjoying the hunt, and plenty of good food. Part of the hunt is the bonus of harvesting a deer. Last year with bucks only and low deer numbers we only brought home memories. It’s the memories however that are the most important part of the trip. However if we do harvest a deer this season a lot of that venison will be for sausage. Once you start making your own sausage, you will never buy store bought again. If you want to learn how to make a variety of sausage, fresh or smoked, check out my Homemade Sausage page. It’s full of step by step tips and recipes like the ring bologna I smoked last week shown below. Warning: it can be addicting!!

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LAKE VERMILION STATE PARK

The DNR Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division will hold an open house at the Tower Civic Center, Tuesday, Sept. 1, from 5 to 7 p.m. to provide updates on development plans for Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park. The Tower Civic Center is located at 402 Pine Street, in Tower.

DNR staff will be on hand to provide construction updates on the new campground, public water access and water treatment facility, and answer questions about future development plans. The public is invited to participate and provide written comments. When complete, the park’s main campground will accommodate:

168 people at 33 drive-in campsites, where amenities will include electricity, flush toilets, showers and We-Fi, plus a water access site that will connect campers to boating and fishing opportunities on Lake Vermilion.

60 people at two group camps designed for tents and recreational vehicles, with a sanitation building that includes flush toilets and showers. 30 people at a semi-primitive group camp with vault toilets.

For more information about the park, including the master plan, see http://www.mndnr.gov/stateparks.

MONSTER MUSKY CAUGHT

Yes they are out there!!! This could have been another state record, but of course was released. One of my favorite lakes gave up this monster. Lake Vermillion, one of the most beautiful lakes in the state. The big musky measured in at 57 1/2 inches. See the full story here. http://www.promusky.com/results/2015/15LV.htm

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