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Wendell, MN - Deer and other hunting?

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I am looking at buying some land out by Wendell, MN. Does anyone know how the deer hunting is out that way? I have primarily hunted up by Grand Rapids or down in Houston County the past 8 seasons and have been spoiled by the numbers and the size of the deer. I am actually trying to find a spot that has a little bit of everything, Pheasant, Waterfowl and Deer. I would say that most of my time would be on Deer, but I am wondering if the numbers around Wendell, MN support good deer hunting. I am not looking for land, I already have some picked out, just looking for area information. Information about the other species would also be helpful in making my decision.

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I have a lake place about 40 miles from Wendell. My experience has been that the deer are likely smaller than what you are used to in southern MN. The duck hunting is likely as good as it gets in Minnesota, being in an area that is so close to the Dakotas. Also, in that part of the state, the pheasants seem to be making a comeback.

Hope this helps.


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Dave S

my in-laws used to deer hunt the area around Wendell. They had some good firends who ran hundreds, if not thousands of acres of land. If I remember right, the thing that worked best was pushing the deer from one section of woods to another a mile or two away due to the land scape. There are a few wooded areas that might hold deer.

As far as ducks, I have hunted the Mastinka River several times standing on the old railroad grade. Be forewarned, there are some "REAL JEWELS" who also show up to hunt and just don't give a hoot what they shoot or how many people are already there.

To give you an example, one group saw a flock of birds coming up river, just above the water and all we could hear was geese geese geese. No matter what we said, they pulled up and shot, dropping several comorants in the process. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it is against the law. Later in the morning this same group was looking to the north wondering what we were watching. All they saw was a white bird heading south towards us. They offered their advice and said don't shoot the swan. It was an Egret.

The following day, the same group shows up bright and early. They sent their biggest knuckle-head out in the boat to toss out the decoys............right at the beginning of shooting hours. While he's out there banging around, a killdeer gets up from the grass and this ^&*(&^ in the boats stands straight up and says, "HUH, A WOODY"!!!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say we couldn't contain the laughter.

Another group the year after shows up on the other side from us with a couple kids. As the day wore on, the conditions were great for hunting that day. Here comes a flock of birds, again skimming the surface of the water. The adults left the guns down and let the kids pull up on them. As they neared the railroad grade, the birds gained some elevation as most do in the area to clear the railroad. The whole time I'm watching across the river at the other group about 50 yards away, kids leading the birds and as soon as the birds were directly between us, all hell broke loose and the shot was flying our way with hunters diving into the trees. All for a flock of coots.

I haven't been back since. Hopefully your experiences in the area are better than mine.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • PRO-V
      Calling them would be your best bet. Maybe you can reserve some on a card.
    • delcecchi
      starft you off.... https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/lake.html?id=69066000 http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/data/lakemaps/b0537011.pdf Status of the Fishery Ely Lake is located approximately 2 miles SE of the city of Eveleth. This popular lake is highly developed with homes and cabins. There is a small seaplane base and two public swimming beaches also located there. Water clarity is good and large amounts of aquatic vegetation can be found throughout the lake. 

      There is a concrete planked boat ramp and dock located near the NE end of the lake off Cedar Island Drive (CR629) for public access. The parking space is somewhat limited near the ramp. Several private accesses are also present. 

      Thirteen species of fish were sampled during the 2017 survey on Ely Lake. Gill nets, trap nets and night electrofishing were all used to sample the fish community. Small bluegill were common in the gill net catch (34%) and abundant in the trap net catch (57%). Other panfish species including hybrid sunfish, pumpkinseed, green sunfish and black crappie were also sampled in good numbers. Largemouth bass outnumbered smallmouth bass in the 2017 sample. Walleye (16%) contributed to the gill net catch and several were sampled in the trap nets. Yellow perch are present in average amounts and some good sized pike were again sampled during the 2017 survey. 

      Bluegill numbers in 2017 (72.1/trap net) were much higher than the long term average (31.6/trap net) on Ely Lake and greatly above average (7.9/trap net) compared to other similar lakes in the area. The average bluegill sampled was 5.6 inches long and about 6 years old. Approximately 66% of the bluegill sampled with the trap nets were under 6 inches with a maximum size recorded of 8.0 inches. Bluegill sampled with the gill nets had a similar size structure. Approximately 7% of the hybrid sunfish sampled in the trap nets were 8 inches or larger. Several pumpkinseeds were also in this size range. 

      Largemouth bass (92%) and smallmouth bass (8%) were sampled during the night electrofishing effort. The average largemouth sampled was 10.9 inches which is similar to the historic average of 10.6 inches. The biggest largemouth sampled was 18.5 inches. Approximately 33% of the largemouth sampled were 12 inches or larger. The average smallmouth sampled was 9.8 inches which is slightly larger than the historic average (8.4 inches). The largest smallmouth sampled was 16.8 inches long. Approximately 32% of the smallmouth sampled were 12 inches or larger. Largemouth bass were also sampled from the gill nets and trap nets in numbers above average. 

      Walleye numbers in 2017 (6.2/gill net) were similar to the historic average (6.1/gill net) on Ely Lake and slightly above average (5.0/gill net) when compared to other similar area lakes with walleye. The average walleye sampled was 15.5 inches and about 4 years old. Approximately 34% of the walleye sampled were 15 inches or larger up to a maximum of nearly 29 inches. Walleye fingerlings are currently being stocked during even-numbered years and in 2017 approximately 62% of the walleye aged came from years where stocking occurred. 

      Northern pike numbers in 2017 (1.1/gill net) were similar to the historic average (1.3/gill net) and below average (3.2/gill net) compared to other similar area lakes with pike. The average pike sampled was 26.8 inches which is similar to the historic average length of 26.3 inches. The largest pike sampled in 2017 was 35.2 inches long and sampled with a trap net. 
    • gizmoguy
      Yes they do. Many resorts are set up for summer usage. Understand you can't use your FH in the storage lots. Only in a summer use lot. You have to pay for it. The cost is in addition to your winter fees. Usually more $ but the season is longer. The county requires the resorts to have bathroom facilities within a certain distance. Mac's Twin Bay has summer lots as do many others. Hunter's Point is another. Doubt Brandt's is set up for summer.
      Sweet! Heading back up tonight through the weekend. Bringing the wife and little one this time instead of my buddies, hopefully the weather cooperates.
    • Neutz68
      Heading up Sat morning and will be looking for Shiners. Anyone know if the Gateway and/or Kab Outdoors have them in stock??    Thanks for the input.
    • crappieslapper
      Hi Guys & Gals, My brother in law recently purchased a property on Ely Lake. All the boys are invited up this year on Memorial. Unfortunately nobody in the family has been on the lake before. I thought I would reach out to the pros here on the forum to see if anyone would be willing to give us a few tips on fishing this lake. Thanks in advance, Dan
    • crappieslapper
      Hey Forum, My brother in law just purchased on Ely Lake. Memorial weekend will be the first time on lake. Wondering if anyone has some experience/tips they would be willing to offer the Ely lake rookies. Thanks so much. Dan
    • huntnfish
      I made it out last Sunday and did some searching for walleye. The search didn't produce any walleyes, just northerns and smallies. The water temp on the main lake was 58-59 with the bays being about 5 degrees warmer. The people I have talked to have had similar issues finding the eyes. We missed some fish that left the shiner all chewed up. Most of the fish marked were out in that 18-21 foot range which seemed pretty deep for this early. It could have been Saturday's cold front that pushed them a little deeper though. 
    • Hoey
      SRJ - Thanks for the report.  I heard the bite was very-good to excellent, off the rocks/reefs, in the mud/sand.  I will be at the lake fishing this weekend.  
    • srj
      What a couple perfect days for LOW on Monday-Tuesday. Fish seemed to be biting well from shallow to deep and from the south side to up north.  Caught fish from 7 - 28 feet in good numbers and sized from small to large. There seemed to be a lot more fish on sand and mud than rocks. Quite a few males caught near rocks were full of milt. Biggest an 28 1/4. Most on jig and minnow but some on crankbaits. Sure a big pack of charters hanging around the Knight Island shoal. Warm, calm and no bugs!! Hope Memorial weekend winds stay light. My new to me Ipilot Link Bluetooth remote somehow changed to German, Dutch or some other language on the display. Anybody ever have that happen? Good luck this weekend.