Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

  • Announcements

    • Rick

      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

      Fluid forum view allows members only to get right to the meat of this community; the topics. You can toggle between your preferred forum view just below to the left on the main forum entrance. You will see three icons. Try them out and see what you prefer.   Fluid view allows you, if you are a signed up member, to see the newest topic posts in either all forums (select none or all) or in just your favorite forums (select the ones you want to see when you come to Fishing Minnesota). It keeps and in real time with respect to Topic posts and lets YOU SELECT YOUR FAVORITE FORUMS. It can make things fun and easy. This is especially true for less experienced visitors raised on social media. If you, as a members want more specific topics, you can even select a single forum to view. Let us take a look at fluid view in action. We will then break it down and explain how it works in more detail.   The video shows the topic list and the forum filter box. As you can see, it is easy to change the topic list by changing the selected forums. This view replaces the traditional list of categories and forums.   Of course, members only can change the view to better suit your way of browsing.   You will notice a “grid” option. We have moved the grid forum theme setting into the main forum settings. This makes it an option for members only to choose. This screenshot also shows the removal of the forum breadcrumb in fluid view mode. Fluid view remembers your last forum selection so you don’t lose your place when you go back to the listing. The benefit of this feature is easy to see. It removes a potential barrier of entry for members only. It puts the spotlight on topics themselves, and not the hierarchical forum structure. You as a member will enjoy viewing many forums at once and switching between them without leaving the page. We hope that fluid view, the new functionality is an asset that you enjoy .
Troy Smutka

Central MN Waterfowl Hunting Reports by Great Day on the Water Guide Service

Recommended Posts

Troy Smutka

10/11/16 Central MN

     Decent first three weekends of the waterfowl season in central MN. Been water hunting only so far, on permanent water. Ducks are dispersed with all the temporary flood water around from all the rain. Crops are slowly coming out, will probably be behind schedule due to wet conditions. We have harvested mallards, wood ducks, BWT, GWT, shovelers, pintails, redheads, ringnecks, ruddy ducks,and Canada geese so far. Locals the first two weekends, but the cold front last week move a lot of local ducks out and a few new birds moved in out of ND and Canada. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

Dad with a goose, mallard, ruddy duck, bluewing teal, wood duck, ringneck and redheads from Todd Lake.jpg

I got this goose on Cedar Lake in late September.jpg

A mallard and wood duck taken in late September.jpg

Me with a wood duck, greenwing teal, and pintail from Todd Lake.jpg

Me and Dad with mallards and a goose from Todd Lake.jpg

Me and Dad with blue wing teal, a shoveler, and a goose from Cedar..jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fish_hunt_guy

Nice report Smuts. Keep them coming!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

10/23/16     Central MN

     Cold front last week and again this morning brought new ducks into central MN. Mainly observed migrating flocks of ringnecks, wigeon, gadwalls, canvasbacks, and mallards--calendar migrators from ND and southern Canada most likely. Had a few good days of duck hunting from a boat on a couple mid-sized shallow lakes. It is that time of the year for calendar migrators. Any time you can get out over the next couple weeks during or the day after a strong west or NW wind, or the day after a cold, clear night with a light westerly wind go for it. Soon these ducks will blow through and we will be waiting for the hardy Canadian ducks that stay just south of the snow and ice line. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

014cd309aadc8069278c86aa3b8970eb20f73110e8.jpg

01949819d12327db0eec6b3f706f7b9dbfb0e2269e.jpg

01c248df1d9c897cd33cee1cae1915e758f9c6b511.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

11/13/16     Some new birds moved into central MN with the cold nights Thursday and Friday. We saw thirteen species of ducks as well as large Canada geese, small Canada geese, snow geese, and specklebellies. Harvested a large Canada goose and seven species of ducks this weekend. Seemed a little like the late October migration a little late. You know the weather, and the migration, are unusual when you decoy wood ducks and goldeneyes on the same 60 degree day in mid November in MN! Sounds like some cold and wind coming at the end of this week--should have some more birds coming through. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

01a604f4ec99e71d460ef545e8477b045e5b90c840.jpg

01e5f78fbb71ebceb16b4105244becb2e8c316fa74.jpg

Me with a trophy drake wigeon from Cedar Lake.jpg

01601079d377cb20aef523e647d7dd4d840a3507ab.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

11/28/16     Not the usual activity we expect over the Thanksgiving weekend, but what can you expect with March-like conditions. Warm temps, fog, and even rain made for an anti-climatic conclusion to the duck season. We harvested mallards, bluebills, ringnecks, goldeneyes and a goose hunting from a boat right up to the last day of the season. Had to break a skin of ice in spots on Saturday, but not bad for the end of November. Gonna try some goose hunting in the fields the next couple weeks if it gets cold enough to get the birds feeding regularly and to firm up the muddy fields we have right now. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

0186cdd81c1a4d414846c29d7b7e230cbcf449de86_00001.jpg

01c3e2a930741893a430fca31d6a5ebbed73454a62.jpg

01f53ba2907a27e721319a8a36654fccd8eb256b51_00003.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

9/25/17     Hunted the hot, steamy MN duck opener on a public lake in central MN. Could see lightning to the west and north all morning until the sun came up. Must have been some serious lightning in those storms that were 100 miles away. Could still see the flashes, but of course could not hear any thunder. Saturday morning we saw the most bluewing teal I have seen on an opener since the 1980s. Must have seen a thousand teal and hundreds of mallards and wood ducks. Weren't in the best spot since we were the third boat on the lake, but still managed to shoot some teal and wood ducks. Busy watching ducks all morning. The teal I cleaned were migrators with quite a bit of fat--none on the wood ducks. Sunday morning was a different day--most of the teal were gone and the mallards and wood ducks were more wary. Managed two juvenile mallards. Think the shooting and the weather front moving in got a lot of the BWT on their way further south. All in all, a decent start to the MN waterfowl season, especially considering the temps were more like mid August. See what this weather and some cooler temps brings to the decoys this weekend. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

01e7866089fab63433c602d4b4427f80d01c6087fa.jpg

01b918eb12a388e7317c90a7fd90167b511f177226.jpg

01b4eb4904c38fd72aea14c2d94aaa3938df8747af.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

10/1/17  Got out twice before the rain on Sunday. Hunted a large shallow lake in central MN. Two dozen goose floaters, a dozen mallards, and half-dozen pintails made up our decoy spread. We harvested a goose, mallards, ringnecks, a gadwall, and a greenwing teal. Not a ton of birds moving, but what we saw wanted into our decoys. Need a cold front with strong west or NW winds to get some new birds into MN. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

01018855abad29a9a7110326f89c2f4ac133434da0.jpg

0131dd8f1826d2df2b8e1af97e5e09b066a28b3e57.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

10/8/17     Central MN waterfowl hunting. Got out both days this weekend on a large, shallow lake in central MN. Sat through light rain Saturday until about 8 am. Low ceiling until about 10 am, so what was flying was tough to decoy. Had one goose when the skies brightened and the wind picked up a bit. Stuck it out until about 1 pm, and added another goose, three pintails, a redhead, and a gadwall. Cool and clear Saturday night had bluewing teal migrating, along with other puddlers out of the Dakotas on Sunday. With clear skies and a brisk North wind, we decoyed lots of ducks, and shot O.K. Got four bluewing teal, four wigeon, three gadwalls, and one redhead. Saw several flocks of 30 to 50 bluewing teal, and a couple flocks of canvasbacks that were shootable, but wouldn't quite center up so we passed. A couple cold mornings and some north and NW winds the first half of this week should have most of the teal we saw head on out, but should bring in more "calendar migrators." Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

 

0100e34f01b3f6ef363812ceccb891e5875a5d2d6e.jpg

0145b8335bdea4fb4008232dc2f64867ca0b711e2c.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

10/15/17     Hunted a large, shallow lake both days this weekend. Shot a goose, two pintails, a wigeon, and a greenwing teal on Saturday. Noticed some new mallards and canvasbacks showing up during the day. Got out Sunday, and after the rain and fog, the wind stabilized out of the WNW and the sun started peeking out. Decoyed singles to flocks of twenty-five. Harvested mallards, canvasbacks, ringnecks, a wigeon, and a pintail. Steady action all morning. The calendar migrators from the Dakotas are starting to trickle in! Should see a bunch more with the next strong west or northwest wind. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

01c8de817dc6f5d1573beb0947dfe38d37d4d36950.jpg

017f46d24282610a85964f60647adfdaa02516d680.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

10/22/17     Hunted water in central MN from a boat blind both days. Despite gusty south winds one day and temps not exactly October-like, new ducks were around that moved in during a cold, clear night with a west wind during the week. Calendar migrators from the Dakotas and southern Canada. Saw eleven species and harvested ten--typical late October mixed bag. A mixed, medium-sized decoy spread with a crosswind on a point with the sun behind us was the ticket. An Avery Quick Set blind with fast grass mats and two Lucky Duck HD spinners rounded out the set-up. Subtle mallard quacks, chuckles, and drake whistles mixed with goose clucks, pintail and wigeon whistles locked up birds nice and close--no loud contest calling. Cold weather and West and NW winds this week should get a bunch of new birds in--probably a mixed bag of species still. We saw or heard eight flocks of specklebellies migrating on Sunday. Look for a show about one of these days of hunting on my You Tube channel (Fishing and Hunting the North Country) by later in the week.  Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

011b6577792f72f0ce25bf9fbbc58f6018cff9e9f2.jpg

018cfcaf459238f6c565cefbeeaf6dc1726994d3d1.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tealitup

Where do you hunt out of and what are your rates?  Your website does not say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

tealitup,

     I do not guide hunting trips, just fishing and ice fishing. Doing this as a second job, I do not make enough money at it to pay for the insurance to guide hunting trips. Once guns are involved, the insurance gets much more expensive than with fishing rods. Sorry. I still write articles, make videos, and record my You Tube show about waterfowl hunting, and post reports here.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

10/29/17     Slower in central MN this weekend--not as many new birds around as we had hoped for. Did see enough ducks to keep us on our toes and harvested some mallards. A buddy also took a nice drake goldeneye to mount for his office wall. Cold week ahead with a couple chances of some snow showers will hopefully bring down some of the birds still in Canada. The Dakota ducks staging in MN have been here long enough that they are getting pretty wary. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

01dd59c5552f1910f76efd6cae635b449af3c5057a.jpg

019c49109b5dfa784e3282d16dcc0ef2af705483b3.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
monstermoose78

Keep the posts coming Troy! I enjoying seeing all the reports

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Barbelboy

I agree. As a guy with little kids and wife who works weekends I enjoy living vicariously through your reports!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

Thanks guys. We do try to shoot only drake mallards, but divers can be a bit tricky when they buzz through at high speed. With my 70 year old Dad still hunting with eyes not quite what they were and a 13 year old son of my good friend hunting with us, we do wind up getting some hens despite our intentions. Want my Dad to enjoy waterfowling  for however many seasons he has left in him. While trying to educate the new hunter, we don't want to discourage him either. Hope everyone understands our mistakes from time to time. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

11/5/17      Got three days of duck hunting in before we start losing a lot of the water to ice. Very cold temps coming up this week. Got spoiled hunting open water to the last day of the season the past few years, but probably not going to happen this year. Cold front and snow had huge numbers of bluebills moving through central MN this weekend. Some new mallards moved in as well, and a lot of geese started showing up. Good variety and numbers of birds. Decoyed flocks of up to 100 bluebills and lots of groups of twenty to thirty mallards. Only shot one bird each per group and avoided buffleheads, hoodies, and ringnecks (a couple of ringers flying with bluebills fell) to make the days last longer. Hopefully the rivers, high and fast for this time of year, hold mallards and geese for some field hunting as the corn is finally coming out. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

01d5412c6446061879f1f6d604fb31cdb763c61d03.jpg

016e9e79caf8abfa5b4197019a0a8c96d85a3d955c.jpg

0118345d5b33f8d22e76d8c4d802a34c64e57072d5.jpg

01f613d0a6f95dfe79f8218b3dc00c7ff890b14a48.jpg

01a63b913ff7eae2e80f1e6b314952e0698dbb89d8.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

11/12/17     Found some larger lakes open in central MN this weekend, even though a lot of the smaller stuff has frozen. Still a lot of divers around, and a ton of mallards and big geese. Targeted ducks both days and saw mallards, wigeon, shovelers, greenwing teal, bluebills, ringnecks, canvasbacks, buffleheads, goldeneyes, hooded mergansers, and common mergansers as well as swans and Canada geese. Were selective about what we harvested and got some pretty, fat late season birds. Warm the beginning of the upcoming week, then cooling again. If we can find water open next weekend, we will be on it. Otherwise to the fields--lots of mallards and geese to be had there. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

014e70225ee4fe63752c0290895de0ac8cb23ccf30.jpg

01830bdcffe38efa79e35bc48e732e06319eed70e1.jpg

01b74cc048974ba0defb816804e2531996fe247b3b.jpg

01e609accbe382c6a4695c8faa5de967e85fb91a9d.jpg

01aa8996f1c7a0dc3e8815f73b2306e29fdd2029bb.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fish_hunt_guy

Love the reports Smuts. Looks like another great season. Keep it going!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

11/27/17     Thanks fish hunt guy. It was a good season. Kind of ended with a bit of a fizzle over Thanksgiving, but can't complain. Got out on some big water once, and shot a pair of ringnecks. Didn't see much else. Got out in the field for mallards and geese twice. By myself one day, and of course that is when the mallards decided to work. Decoyed over a thousand in three bunches, and took one greenhead from each bunch. Got my Dad and five year old son out the other time, but didn't see a lot and nothing decoyed. Oh well, Parker still had a blast on his first field hunt. That's it for me--waiting for the cold to return and the ice to form for some fishing to start up. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

0131b88556191bcc618968665e88c3ffc8824cb283.jpg

014f64fa357d9a7e6c2a7525d7e594bfb45b68177e.jpg

01ea0abd29fb9746098d69cfbc4dc5cc7cd8534728.jpg

017bcd02757ef19dd111003083b4050acdd85bec9c.jpg

0152eedb2780c702cb40be55356f98d2314af41327.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now




  • Similar Content

    • tealitup
      By tealitup
      Lets see the successful bear hunting pictures from 2017!  I didn't get drawn but would love to see what everyone harvested.
    • Hungryman76
      By Hungryman76
        I'm fairly new to goose hunting (I'm a bow hunter) and I hunt with a few guys that are equally as new.  We all live and hunt in the north east metro about an hour from Minneapolis.  Being new to the sport, our goose calling needs some work.  Does anyone know of someone that gives goose calling lessons?  The lessons don't need to be in the northeast metro, we can travel.
    • monstermoose78
      By monstermoose78
      I went hunting with river rat this morning. I got two drake woodies and Chris got one. Finn was being a pain in the butt and would not fetch Chris’s duck. Finn however fetched both of my ducks. Finn flushed a bunch of woodcocks on our walk out. Finn got muddy today 


    • monstermoose78
      By monstermoose78
      Hey every one,
      my old lohman wood duck finally bit the big one, so I am in the market for realistic sounding wood duck call. My old lohman would stop woodies in their tracks, but I heard the duck commander wood duck call and it sounded off. Please let me know what you use and how it work thank you.
    • OptimO
      By OptimO
      Its that time of the year, turkey season is rapidly approaching and here is a short video clip to help set the mood.
       
      Turkey Hunting Video>> Fast Action - WNYA
    • OptimO
      By OptimO
      Last archery season we tried something different, we hunted on public land for the first time and it paid off.
       
      Deer Hunting Video>> Public Land Archery Hunt - WNYA
    • monstermoose78
      By monstermoose78
      Turkeys seem to be showing up every where again. I have been seeing lots of turkeys in small groups say 5 to 10 birds. Seen 3 toms strutting last night.
    • McGurk
      By McGurk
      Good Luck to all hunters this next week, and I'm sure we'd all love to read your stories (good and bad) and see your pix from the upcoming hunt!  Good Luck and Be Safe out there!
  • Posts

    • Chill62
      Buddy had a camera down on Saturday and he said he'd get a mixture of panfish to come in then they'd fly out of the hole and in comes a pike or two.  He said that when the gills would leave it was because a pike would be around the hole and he knew it was safe again when he'd see his first panfish.  That was in 18-22 fow.
    • redneckdan
      Just pulled two out of st Mary's in eveleth. It was close. Please make good choices out there.   That said, I'm off to find a cup of hot chocolate and a long finlander hot shower....
    • Rick
      No chronic wasting disease was detected in more than 11,000 precautionary samples from deer that hunters harvested this fall in north-central, central and southeastern Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  “This is good news for Minnesota,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the DNR. “The results lend confidence that the disease is not spread across the landscape.” In all, 7,813 deer were tested in the north-central area, 2,529 in the central area and 1,149 in the southeastern area outside deer permit area 603, the CWD management zone. Researchers still are submitting samples from cooperating taxidermists so final results will updated online at mndnr.gov/cwdcheck as they become available. Given no deer with CWD were found in north-central and central Minnesota, the DNR will narrow surveillance next fall to areas closer to the farms where CWD was detected. A fourth precautionary surveillance area will be added in fall 2018 in Winona County because CWD recently was detected in captive deer there. Precautionary testing in north-central and central Minnesota became necessary after CWD was found in multiple captive deer on farms near Merrifield in Crow Wing County and Litchfield in Meeker County. It also was conducted in the deer permit areas directly adjacent to southeast Minnesota’s deer permit area 603, the only place in Minnesota where CWD is known to exist in wild deer. Minnesota’s CWD response plan calls for testing of wild deer after the disease is detected in either domestic or wild deer. All results from three consecutive years of testing must report CWD as not detected before DNR stops looking for the disease. Three years of testing are necessary because CWD incubates in deer slowly. They can be exposed for as long as 18 months before laboratory tests of lymph node samples can detect the disease. Proactive surveillance and precautionary testing for CWD is a proven strategy that allows the DNR to manage the disease by finding it early and reacting quickly and aggressively to control it. These actions, which were taken in 2005 to successfully combat bovine tuberculosis in northwestern Minnesota deer and in 2010 to eliminate a CWD infection in wild deer near Pine Island, provide the best opportunity to eliminate disease spread. Precautionary testing is necessary to detect the disease early. Without early detection, there’s nothing to stop CWD from becoming established at a relatively high prevalence and across a large geographic area. At that point, there is no known way to control the disease. “Overall, hunter cooperation and public support has been tremendous,” Cornicelli said. “While there are always challenges when you conduct this type of surveillance effort, it really couldn’t have been successful without the cooperation of hunters, taxidermists, landowners and the businesses that allowed us to operate check stations.” Complete information about CWD and DNR efforts to keep Minnesota deer healthy are available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwd. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Boundaries for a special late-season deer hunt to help control chronic wasting disease in southeastern Minnesota’s Fillmore County have been expanded to include portions of three surrounding deer permit areas, the Department of Natural Resources said.  The expansion of boundaries for the nine-day hunt that lasts from Saturday, Jan. 6, to Sunday, Jan. 14, became necessary when CWD test results of harvested deer revealed two infected deer in Forestville State Park and a suspected infection north of the disease’s core area around Preston.  During the upcoming hunt, deer may be taken in an approximate 10-mile radius surrounding the new discoveries. That area includes all of deer permit area 603 as well as the portion of permit area 345 south of Interstate 90, the southern portion of permit area 347 and the northern portion of permit area 348. A map of the area and complete details are available on the DNR’s website at mndnr.gov/cwd. “Hunters must plan ahead,” said Lou Cornicelli, the DNR’s wildlife research manager. “Private land makes up most of the area and hunters must have landowner permission. Public land in the area likely will be crowded. And hunting opportunities will be limited and available only by permit at Forestville State Park and Pin Oak Prairie Scientific and Natural Area.” Within 24 hours of harvest, each deer must be taken to one of four stations where DNR staff will register the deer and collect lymph node tissue for CWD testing. All electronic registration will be turned off. With the exception of fawns, deer cannot be moved from the hunt area without a test result that shows CWD was not detected. Prior to test results, hunters may properly quarter their deer and bone-out meat but the head, spinal column and all brain material must remain in the area until the animal’s test results show a not-detected status. Designated dumpsters where hunters can dispose of carcasses and parts will be available in Preston and Forestville. A refrigerated trailer will be available in Preston for temporary storage of the entire carcass if hunters choose to wait for the test result before processing their deer. After receiving a not-detected test result for the deer, the hunter can take the entire deer out of the area. Since the mid-September start of the archery season 1,334 deer have been tested in permit area 603 and results have shown six confirmed and one suspect cases of CWD. Although the number of CWD-infected deer is down from the 11 positives found last season, three of the new positives were found outside the core area. “We were glad to see the prevalence go down but we’re unsure if we have a disease expansion or if males recently moved into a new area,” Cornicelli said. “Test results of deer taken during this special hunt will help us determine what the new disease management zone boundary will look like in 2018.” Complete information about CWD and DNR efforts to keep Minnesota deer healthy are available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwd. Special hunt rules Hunt dates are Jan. 6-14, 2018. Hunt is open to residents and nonresidents. There is no bag limit, the antler point restriction will be eliminated in this area and cross-tagging (party hunting) will be allowed. Hunters can use any unfilled 2017 license or purchase disease management tags for $2.50. You do not need a deer hunting license to purchase disease management tags, which are valid for deer of either sex. Legal firearms are shotguns, muzzleloader or crossbows using either a firearm or muzzleloader license. Archery equipment must be used if the person is hunting with an archery license. Centerfire rifles are not allowed. All deer must be registered in person at one of the stations below. Registration stations will be staffed 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily during the season: Chatfield – Magnum Sports, 20 Main St. S; Preston – Preston Forestry office, 912 Houston St.; Forestville State Park; Rushford – Pam’s Corner Convenience, at the intersection of Minnesota highways 16 and 43. Submission of a CWD sample is mandatory. All deer will be tagged and tested by DNR staff. Fawns will be allowed to leave the zone. Carcasses from adult deer must remain in the zone until a “not detected” test is reported. This test takes three to four business days so hunters should make the appropriate arrangements prior to killing a deer. Test results can be checked on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwdcheck or by calling the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367. Hunting at Forestville, Pin Oak Prairie and Cherry Grove
      Forestville State Park and Pin Oak Prairie SNA will both be open to limited deer hunting during the special hunt. To avoid overcrowding, permits for these areas will be issued on a first come, first served basis starting at noon on Monday, Dec. 18. Forestville State Park will remain open to visitors during the special hunt. Hunters must have a filled or unfilled 2017 firearm or muzzleloader license to obtain a permit. There is no group application for these hunts. Permits can be obtained online or wherever DNR licenses are sold. There is no fee for these permits. The same hunt rules as described for permit area 603 apply to these areas. Successful hunters can use any unfilled tag, or purchase disease management permits for $2.50. Specific hunt numbers, dates and available permits are: 801: Forestville State Park, Jan. 6-9, 2018, 130 permits. 802: Forestville State Park, Jan. 10-14, 2018,130 permits. 803: Pin Oak Prairie SNA, Jan. 6-9, 2018, five permits. 804: Pin Oak Prairie SNA, Jan. 10- 14, 2018, five permits. The Cherry Grove Blind Valley SNA, which adjoins the Cherry Grove Wildlife Management Area, also is open to deer hunting and no special permit is required. Food safety
      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, to date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in people. However, the CDC advises people not to eat meat from animals known to have CWD. Go to www.cdc.gov for more information. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Pheasant hunters still have time to harvest roosters this December.  “We had a late corn harvest which affected the early pheasant season but things are shaping up nicely for late-season hunting,” said Nicole Davros, farmland wildlife research supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Additionally, despite the lower overall count on our roadside surveys this year, our rooster index went up slightly. This means there are still birds to chase out there.” Field conditions were wet enough that the corn harvest was significantly delayed this fall. “Now that the crops are out of the fields, there are fewer places to hide and hunters should be seeing more roosters,” Davros said. Despite warmer weather in late November, pheasants are already using both grassland cover and winter cover such as cattail sloughs and willow thickets, according to Scott Roemhildt, DNR Walk-in Access Program coordinator. “Hunters who are willing to work these tougher-to-reach areas will have opportunities to harvest birds,” Roemhildt said. “The colder weather in our forecast will make wetlands more accessible to hunters as the water freezes up.” Both Davros and Roemhildt agree that late-season pheasant hunting is a great excuse to get away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, regardless of whether any roosters are put in your bag. “Pheasant hunting is a great way to stretch your legs and clear your mind when things get hectic,” Davros said. Added Roemhildt: “It’s also a chance to introduce someone new to pheasant hunting as kids get time off from school and family comes to visit.” On Dec. 1, the daily bag limit increased to three roosters with a possession limit of nine roosters. Hunters need a small game license and a pheasant stamp to hunt pheasants in Minnesota. A small game license costs $22 for Minnesota residents age 18 to 64, and the pheasant stamp costs $7.50. Pheasant hunters 65 and older need to buy a small game license for $13.50 but are not required to buy a stamp. Hunters age 16 to 17 must buy a $5 small game license but do not need to buy a stamp, and hunters under 16 can hunt pheasants without a license or stamp. Hunters can also purchase a Walk-In Access validation for $3 to gain additional public hunting opportunities on private land that is enrolled in the program. As of September, 25,335 acres of land across 241 sites in western and southern Minnesota have been enrolled in the program. Minnesota’s 2017 pheasant season is open through Monday, Jan. 1. Shooting hours are 9 a.m. to sunset. Additional details on pheasant hunting are available at mndnr.gov/hunting/pheasant. Additional details on the Walk-In Access Program are available at mndnr.gov/walkin. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting public comments on an environmental assessment worksheet (EAW) prepared for the Wright Bog Horticultural Peat project in Carlton County, about 8 miles west of Cromwell.  Premier Horticulture, Inc. proposes to develop approximately 316 acres of the Wright Bog in Carlton County for horticultural peat extraction. The proposed site would be cleared and ditched, with drained water discharged into Little Tamarack River. Sphagnum moss peat would be collected using the milled peat vacuum harvesting method. The agency will take comments during a 30-day public review period ending at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 10. A copy of the EAW is available online on the project page.  A hard copy may be requested by calling 651-259-5126. The EAW is available for public review at: DNR library, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul. DNR northeast regional office, 1201 East Highway 2, Grand Rapids. Minneapolis Central Library, Government Documents, 2nd Floor, 300 Nicollet Mall. Duluth Public Library, 520 West Superior Street, Duluth. Carlton Public Library, 213 Chestnut Avenue, Carlton. McGregor Public Library, Center Avenue and Second Street, McGregor. The EAW notice will be published in the Dec. 11 EQB Monitor. Written comments must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, to the attention of Bill Johnson, EAW project manager, Environmental Policy and Review Unit, Ecological and Water Resources Division, DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4025. Electronic or email comments may be sent to environmentalrev.dnr@state.mn.us with “Wright Bog” in the subject line. If submitting comments electronically, include name and mailing address. Written comments may also be sent by fax to 651-296-1811. Names and addresses will be published as part of the EAW record. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      A walleye stamp can be a gift for an angler that keeps giving, because stamp sales help the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources provide more places to fish for walleye by stocking walleye into lakes where there would be none. “Anyone can buy a walleye stamp any time of the year, even if they don’t have a fishing license,” said Neil Vanderbosch, DNR fisheries program consultant. “The collectible stamp is based on art chosen in our annual stamp contest.” Funds from walleye stamps go toward the cost of purchasing walleye from private fish farms for stocking into lakes. A walleye stamp is not required to fish for or keep walleye. There are several ways to purchase a walleye stamp. Anyone can go to a license agent and purchase a pictorial walleye stamp for $5.75, which is mailed to the buyer. Copies are on hand for purchase from the DNR License Center at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul. The stamps can be purchased online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by phone by calling 888-665-4236. Alternatively, a form can be downloaded from mndnr.gov/stamps and returned to the DNR to have the stamp mailed. Anglers with a fishing license can purchase the walleye stamp validation for $5, and for an extra 75 cents can have the pictorial stamp mailed to them. “True, everybody has to buy their own stamp, but there’s nothing stopping a person from giving away the collectible as a gift,” Vanderbosch said. “It could make a statement about how you helped improve an angler’s opportunity to catch walleye.” The overall walleye stocking effort ramps up each year in April when fisheries staff collect walleye eggs, fertilize them and transport the eggs to fish hatcheries around Minnesota. The eggs spend two to three weeks incubating before hatching into fry that are soon released – two thirds into lakes and one third into rearing ponds. The fish in rearing ponds grow into 4- to 6-inch fingerlings that are stocked into lakes in the fall. In addition to raising and stocking walleye, the DNR also buys walleye fingerlings from private producers to be stocked into lakes, and walleye stamp sales help pay for these fish. Since 2009, funds from the walleye stamp have purchased over 40,000 pounds of walleye fingerlings that have been stocked in the fall, all over the state. Walleye are stocked in lakes that don’t have naturally reproducing walleye populations. Anglers catch the lion’s share of walleye from waters where the fish reproduce naturally – about 260 larger walleye lakes and in large rivers. Because of stocking, walleye can be found in an additional 1,050 Minnesota lakes spread throughout the state. More information about habitat stamps can be found at mndnr.gov/stamps. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      The deadline for firearms wild turkey hunters to apply for early season spring hunting permits is Friday, Jan. 26, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The spring season, which runs from Wednesday, April 18, to Thursday, May 31, is divided into six time periods. Only people age 18 and older who want to hunt using a firearm during the first two time periods (A or B) need to apply for a spring turkey permit. Permits for the remaining time periods (C-F) can be purchased over-the-counter. Archery and youth turkey hunters can hunt the entire season without applying for the lottery. Permits for the last four time periods and youth licenses are sold starting March 1. Surplus adult licenses from the first two time periods, if available, are sold starting around mid-March. People applying for permit area 511, the Carlos Avery State Wildlife Management Area, are advised that the sanctuary portion of the WMA will be closed to turkey hunting except for the special hunt for hunters with disabilities. For turkey hunting, a person may only use shotguns 20 gauge or larger, including muzzleloading shotguns. Only fine shot size No. 4 and smaller diameter may be used, and red dot scopes and range finders are legal. Visit mndnr.gov/hunting/turkey for more information about turkey hunting. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      The commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has appointed 11 Minnesotans to three-year terms on citizen oversight committees that monitor the agency’s fish and wildlife spending.  The appointees are responsible for reviewing the DNR’s annual Game and Fish Fund report in detail and, following discussions with agency leaders and others, prepare reports on their findings. Appointed to the Wildlife Oversight Committee are Garry Hooghkirk, Duluth; Amanda Leabo, Fergus Falls; Mark Popovich, Welch; John Schnedler, Richfield; and Martha Taggett, Golden Valley. Appointed to the Fisheries Oversight Committee are Karl Anderson, Greenbush; Jess Edberg, Ely; Nicole Hertel, Shoreview; Benjamin Kohn, Hudson; Mark Owens, Austin; and Craig Pagel, Duluth. The new appointees join other members whose terms are continuing. The committees will resume work after the mid-December publication of the DNR’s Game and Fish Fund report for fiscal year 2017. “We look forward to working with these citizens,” said Dave Schad, DNR deputy commissioner. “The appointments continue our commitment to share detailed budget information, bring new participants into the oversight process and ensure revenue generated by hunting and fishing license sales is used appropriately.” The Fisheries and Wildlife oversight committees continue a citizen oversight function first created in 1994. Sixty people applied for oversight committee positions this time. Factors in choosing the new appointees included geographic distribution, demographic diversity and a mix of interests. In the weeks ahead, committee chairs and four members will be selected by each committee to serve on an umbrella Budgetary Oversight Committee chaired by another appointee, John Lenczewski. The committee will develop an overall report on expenditures for game and fish activities. Those recommendations will be delivered to the DNR commissioner and legislative committees with jurisdiction over natural resources financing for further consideration. Minnesota’s Game and Fish Fund is the fiscal foundation for much of the state’s core natural resource management functions. About $110 million a year is deposited into this fund from hunting and fishing license sales, a sales tax on lottery tickets, and other sources of revenue including a reimbursement based on a federal excise tax on certain hunting, fishing and boating equipment. Past DNR Game and Fish Fund expenditure reports and citizen oversight committee reports are also available at mndnr.gov/gamefishoversight. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Conservation grants awarded by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will help restore, enhance and protect habitat throughout the state.  This latest round of 73 conservation grants is funded by the agency’s Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) grant program. Now in its ninth year, the program has awarded over $50 million to nonprofit organizations and government entities for conservation projects. The DNR recently received $9.9 million in grant requests from 86 applicants during round one of the application cycle. The DNR has funded $7.5 million of these requests. “Projects include habitat improvements that benefit deer, turkey, pheasants and a wide variety of species,” said Jessica Lee, DNR conservation grants coordinator. “Oak savanna, wetlands and pollinator habitat are restored through this grant program, to give a few examples.” Conservation groups and others interested in applying in the future are encouraged to plan in the coming months so they can apply when funds are again available. The DNR’s CPL program provides grants ranging from $5,000 to $400,000 to conservation nonprofit organizations and government to help fund projects to restore, enhance or protect fish and wildlife habitat in Minnesota. The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council recommended the grant program, which was approved by the Minnesota Legislature and has been in place since 2009. Funding has been provided annually from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, which is part of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment and funded by a voter-approved statewide sales tax of three-eighths of 1 percent. Round one of the proposals for fiscal year 2017 included the traditional grant cycle, the metro grant cycle and the expedited grant cycle. The expedited cycle for standard types of projects is currently open for another funding round, with the maximum grant award being $50,000. Applications are due online by 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19. More information on the program’s grant cycles, and a complete list of the most recent grant applications and past awarded projects are on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cpl. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.