Minnesota DNR News

Minnesota Wildlife


Stay informed! Here’s a weekly summary of upcoming wildlife and habitat management activities, and ways you can discover, explore and experience Minnesota’s outdoors.

hunter in blaze orange walking in snowy mountainous area

Carcass import restrictions in effect

Hunters who harvest a deer, elk or moose out of state cannot bring the entire animal back to Minnesota. The restriction has been in place since 2016 under rules adopted by the DNR. In 2019, the carcass import ban was enacted in state statute. Find details at the DNR webpage about carcass import and movement restrictions.

For videos on how to cape a trophy deer, quarter a deer and collect a lymph node sample, visit the CWD video page.

DNR finds wild deer with EHD in southeastern Minnesota

Tests initiated by the DNR have confirmed that a wild deer near Caledonia in southeastern Minnesota’s Houston County died from epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), a viral infection to which members of the deer family are susceptible.

Houston County is the second county where wild deer have contracted EHD. Earlier this month, the disease was confirmed in six wild deer in the St. Stephens area of Stearns County. Additional deer in a six-square mile area in that county are suspected to have died from the virus. More information about EHD in wild deer is available on the DNR website.

hunter and dog going away

Apply to serve on budget oversight committees

Are you interested in helping review and make recommendations on how the DNR spends your hunting and fishing license dollars? You can now apply through Friday, Oct. 11, to serve on committees that review Minnesota’s Game and Fish Fund Report. The fund is the fiscal foundation for many of the state’s core natural resource management functions. Find the details and how to apply on the DNR website.

#climateweekmn Minnesota Climate Week Let's Chat! Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, with talk balloons and rain, rain clouds

Have questions about climate change?

Join us for a Climate Change Twitter Town Hall on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 2 p.m.

We’ll have climate change scientists on hand to answer your questions about how climate change is affecting Minnesota, and what the DNR is doing to adapt to and mitigate these changes.

To participate, simply log onto Twitter, go to @mndnr, and watch for the #ClimateWeekMN hashtag.

Find hunting information

You can find the information you need about hunting and trapping regulations, harvest registration, contacting a conservation officer and pursuing a variety of species on the DNR hunting page at mndnr.gov/hunting.

firearms instructor of the year

Minnesota DNR Enforcement Southwest Regional Training Officer Jen Mueller presented Brad Wells, of Grenada, with the 2018 DNR volunteer firearms safety instructor of the year award. Shown at right is Franklin Flack, of the Minnesota Volunteer Safety Instructor Association.

Granada man is 2018 DNR volunteer firearms safety instructor of the year

Brad Wells, of Granada in southern Minnesota, has been named the 2018 firearms safety volunteer instructor of the year, by the Department of Natural Resources. A retired teacher and the assistant coach of his local high school clay target league team, Wells has been the lead firearms safety instructor in his area for the past 18 years. He’s been a firearms safety instructor for more than 20 years.

Wells, who taught elementary school for more than 30 years, has been instrumental in increasing the number of firearms safety instructors in his area. As the number of women and girls signing up for firearms safety has risen in recent years, Wells has responded by working to add more female instructors.

So why does Wells devote so much of himself to teaching others about safe firearms handling, ethical hunting, and Minnesota’s natural resources? According to his fellow instructors, who nominated him for the award, Wells has this to say: “I do this for selfish reasons. That one day you will fill my shoes so that I can see my children, grandchildren and hopefully great grandchildren utilize this great resource and shooting sport we fight to preserve.”

Wells also has been active in the Fairmont Trap Club and helped build its rifle and pistol range. He’s secured grants to improve the facility, served on its board of directors, and been part of events hosted there. Wells is active in conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever, and seeks out opportunities to educate adults and kids alike about the outdoors.

“Volunteer instructors like Brad are what bring the DNR’s safety education programs to life,” said Jen Mueller, southwest regional training officer for the DNR Enforcement Division. “Their dedication to the students, safety and our natural resources is inspiring. We couldn’t be more thankful to have leaders like Brad working alongside us to help foster stronger connections to fishing, hunting and the outdoors.”

More than 4,000 volunteer instructors teach DNR firearms safety courses across the state, annually certifying an average of about 24,000 adults and youth. Since the firearms safety program began in 1955, more than 1.5 million students have been certified. DNR firearms safety certification is required of anyone born after Dec. 31, 1979 to buy a hunting license in Minnesota. Youth age 11 and older can attend a firearms safety certification course and receive their certificate. Certificates become valid at age 12 for 11-year-olds who complete the course.

For more information on the dates and locations of available safety courses, see mndnr.gov/safety/firearms/index.html or call 800-366-8917.


Hunters reminded to avoid inadvertent migratory waterfowl baiting

With the early Canada goose season opening Sept. 1 – and the regular duck and goose seasons on the horizon – hunters must know what’s occurring in the fields they plan to hunt to avoid a situation in which they’d be hunting over bait.

This year’s wet spring, especially across the southern part of Minnesota, left many farmers scrambling to get their crops in the ground. In some instances, they decided to forego planting crops such as corn and soybeans and instead planted cover crops like oats and other small grains.

Whatever’s been planted in a field, hunters must know this: If the crop is still standing or has been harvested under a normal agricultural practice, it wouldn’t be considered a baited field. But in situations where a field has been disked or plowed prior to harvest of the grain, for example, the field would be considered baited and hunters could be cited.

According to the 2019 Minnesota Waterfowl Hunting Regulations, it’s illegal to hunt migratory waterfowl by the aid of baiting or on or over a baited area where a person knows or reasonably should know that the area is or has been baited. A baited area is considered to be baited for 10 days after removal of bait.

“The responsibility falls on hunters to know where they’re hunting and what farmers have done with their fields up to that point,” said Lt. Col. Greg Salo, assistant director of the DNR Enforcement Division.

For more information, hunters should consult the regulations or contact the conservation officer in the area they plan to hunt.


collared bear with ear tags

Hunters asked not to shoot ear-tagged and radio-collared research bears

The Minnesota bear hunting season opens Saturday, Sept. 1, and the Department of Natural Resources is asking hunters to avoid shooting marked research bears. These bears are marked with distinctively large, colorful ear tags and have radio collars.

Researchers with the DNR are monitoring about 30 radio collared black bears across the state, especially in zones 27, 25 and 45, and in parts of the no-quota zone. Most of them are in or near the Chippewa National Forest between Grand Rapids and Bigfork.

Others are farther north, near Orr or Voyageurs National Park. Some collared bears are also around Camp Ripley, and in northwestern Minnesota, especially near Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area and Plummer.

“We’re asking hunters to watch out for these valuable research bears, and avoid shooting them. These collared bears are providing much of the data that is being used in bear management,” said Dave Garshelis, DNR bear research scientist.

A key to the research is looking at year-to-year changes in natural food supplies and how that affects individual bears in terms of their habitat use, physical condition, denning, reproduction and interactions with people. This research is not designed to evaluate mortality from hunting. Trapping new bears every year to replace the ones killed cannot substitute for long-term data on individuals, added Garshelis.

Most of the collars have GPS units. The GPS coordinates are either uploaded to a satellite, or stored in the collar and downloaded by DNR researchers when they visit the bears in their dens. Each bear provides several thousand data points per year.

The bear’s coat often hides the collar, especially in the fall. And most of the collars are black.  But all collared bears have large (3 by 2 inch), colorful ear tags so hunters can simply identify a collared animal by these large tags, whether or not a collar is visible. The tags should be plainly visible when a bear is at a bait, or on trail cam photos.

Photos of collared research bears and some research findings gained from them are available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/bear.

DNR officials recognize that a hunter may not be able to see a radio collar or ear tags in some situations. For this reason, taking a bear with a radio collar is legal; however, waiting a few minutes to get a clear view of the bear’s head would reveal whether it has large ear tags, which indicates that it is collared. Bears with small ear tags (1 by 1/4 inch) are not collared but are important for other ongoing research projects. It is okay to take a bear with these small ear tags; if you do, report it as you would with any collared bear.

Any hunters who do shoot a collared bear should bring the collar to a bear registration station and call the DNR Wildlife Research Office in Grand Rapids at 218-328-8874 or 218-328-8879 to report shooting a collared bear.

Also, most collared bears have a small implanted heart monitor under the skin on the left chest. This contains valuable information stored in memory. Hunters who find this device while skinning the bear should leave it with the collar. Hunters with trail cam photos of ear tagged bears are asked to email the photos, and locational information to mndnrbearcams@gmail.com.

DNR News Release

For Immediate Release:

Aug. 7, 2019

DNR issues decision on requests to reconsider PolyMet tailings basin permits

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sarah Strommen today issued an order denying requests by the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, multiple environmental organizations and some individuals to reconsider the tailings dam permits issued to PolyMet on Nov. 1, 2018.

The DNR takes the safety of all tailings dams it regulates very seriously and the agency understands concerns raised about recent dam failures in other countries.

The DNR subjected PolyMet’s tailings dam proposal to years of rigorous modeling and independent review. The agency’s review was conducted by experienced DNR engineers, as well as nationally and internationally recognized dam safety experts.

“While we were confident in our original analysis of the PolyMet tailings dam, we have carefully examined the requests for reconsideration and related information about recent dam failures in other parts of the world,” Strommen said. “We understand people’s concerns with these dam failures and whether those events indicate a fundamental design issue with PolyMet’s dam. Our analysis demonstrates that there are significant differences in site conditions, engineering design, and operating requirements and we remain confident in the safety of the PolyMet tailings dam as permitted.”

Basis for the DNR’s decision
After carefully evaluating the reconsideration requests, the DNR has determined that the requestors did not raise any new issues that materially affect the DNR’s decision to issue the tailings dam permits.

The requests for reconsideration raised the following concerns about the approved PolyMet tailings dam permits:

  • the failure of the Brumadinho Dam in Brazil is evidence of new stability concerns regarding the upstream construction design of tailings basins;
  • the use of the “Olson Method” to analyze the strength, liquefaction, and stability of the Brumadinho dam inherently means that its use to analyze the PolyMet tailings dam was flawed; and
  • recent inspections of the existing LTV tailings basin at the PolyMet site call into question assumptions about tailings drainage and materials strength in the basin.

‘Critical’ differences between PolyMet and Brumadinho dams
The DNR’s dam safety experts carefully evaluated each of the claims in the requests for reconsideration. The DNR found that while both the PolyMet and the Brumadinho dams include the use of “upstream construction” methods, there are critical differences that must be understood and evaluated to draw technically valid comparisons and conclusions. There are multiple factors that go into the construction of a safe dam, and PolyMet’s permitted dam design is significantly different and safer than the Brumadinho dam in the following ways:

  • Safety factors for the PolyMet dam were established using conservative assumptions to assess the basin’s stability under extreme conditions. These assumptions include that the entire basin had liquefied, been subjected to extreme rainfall, and been subjected to an earthquake. The analysis of the Brumadinho dam failed to include anything close to this level of assessment.
  • PolyMet’s dam will be built on flat topography, far from any community, and using ring-dike construction. The Brumadinho dam was constructed on a hillside, directly above a community, with higher-risk valley construction.
  • PolyMet’s dam will have very gradual side slopes (7:1 overall) that are inherently more stable than the Brumadinho dam which had an overall slope of 4:1.
  • PolyMet’s dam has virtually no inflow of surface waters into the basin. The Brumadinho dam had significant inflow from the adjacent watershed that necessitated the diversion of runoff from surrounding hillsides away from the tailings basin and dam. It appears this diversion system failed, resulting in heavy flows into the basin for weeks immediately prior to the dam’s failure.
  • The PolyMet tailings dam is located in an area of little or no seismic activity. The Brumadinho dam is located in an area of moderate seismic activity.
  • PolyMet’s dam is approximately eight miles from its mine site, which minimizes any risk of blasting impacts to the dam. Reports indicate that there had been mine blasting in close proximity to the Brumadinho dam on the morning of the failure.

Modeling correctly applied to PolyMet dam
The Olson Method, named after dam engineer Dr. Scott Olson, is an established and peer-reviewed method that was incorrectly applied at Brumadinho, resulting in inaccurate safety factors for the site and failure to recognize that the tailings at the site were highly liquefiable. The analysis PolyMet supplied to the DNR correctly applied the Olson Method, with Dr. Olson’s oversight; assumed complete liquefaction; and resulted in higher factors of safety. The Olson Method analysis was subject to extensive review by DNR’s dam safety experts and independent experts under contract to the DNR.

The modeling used to analyze the undrained strength of the tailings in the LTV basin already accounted for the conditions observed during recent inspections. Whether or not these portions of the basin are currently drained has no bearing on the undrained strength analysis of the dam.  All of the material properties in the basin were obtained for the existing conditions and used in the undrained strength analysis.

The DNR remains confident that the permitted PolyMet tailings basin dam, if properly constructed, operated, and maintained, will be safe and protective of human health and the environment.

The DNR will continue to learn all it can from the tailings dam failure at Brumadinho and use that information to help ensure long-term safety of all tailings dams in Minnesota.

The DNR’s decision denying the reconsideration requests will be available at mndnr.gov/polymet.

July 30, 2019

Stay informed! Here’s a weekly summary of upcoming wildlife and habitat management activities, and ways you can discover, explore and experience Minnesota’s outdoors.

Minnesota Hunting Regulations cover from 2019 with a deer, woods, logo and #huntmn, effective date through June 30, 2020 and mndnr.gov/hunting

Deer season regulations available

Hunters can start planning ahead for significant changes to deer season regulations.

The 2019 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations handbook is now available on the DNR’s deer hunting page at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.

Hunting licenses go on sale this Thursday, Aug. 1, and are available at any DNR license agent, by telephone at 888-646-6367 or online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense. Remember to check that your license information is up-to-date and to sign the license.

Youth deer season goes statewide

A statewide youth deer season runs from Thursday, Oct. 17, through Sunday, Oct. 20, for youth hunters ages 10-17. In the past, the youth season was only available in the southeast, northwest and Twin Cities metro permit areas.

Deer feeding and attractant ban expands Sept. 1

Minnesotans in central and southeast Minnesota should pay close attention to the deer feeding and attractant ban rule. The area where deer feeding and using deer attractants is prohibited will expand starting Sunday, Sept. 1, in areas of central and southeast Minnesota where CWD was detected in farmed or wild deer.

Feeding and attractants increase the risk of disease transmission between animals by bringing them together in close contact, which is a mechanism for CWD spread.

antlerless deer in Minnesota

Read up on CWD changes

There are several changes to deer permit area numbering this year that will clarify where CWD management and surveillance occurs. Deer permit areas within a CWD management zone, in southeast and north central Minnesota, will now be part of a 600-series permit areas. The metro deer permit area will be renamed to 701 from 601.

Carcass import ban continues

The DNR is, as in previous years, enforcing carcass movement restrictions to limit the spread of disease. Hunters will also need to be aware of mandatory sampling during all deer seasons in the CWD management zones (southeast and north central), and over the opening weekend of the firearms season in the CWD control zone (southeast, bordering the CWD management zone) and in surveillance areas (central).

grassland and sky on a CPL project

Legacy grant applications open starting Aug. 1

Groups that want to restore, protect or enhance public land or land permanently protected by conservation easements can apply for Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) grants.

These grants help pay for work on Minnesota prairies, forests, wetlands or other habitat for fish and wildlife.

In all, $10.3 million in Legacy grants are available this year. Nonprofit organizations and government entities are eligible to submit applications for the Expedited Conservation Project cycle until 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 16, and for the traditional and metro grant cycles until 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cpl.

Twins ball and hat on the ball with DNR logo

Hunting license gets you a Twins cap

Your hunting or fishing license gets you access to a special Minnesota Twins ticket package and a free blaze orange Twins cap! The next date on this year’s Minnesota DNR Days partnership with the Twins is a 7:10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, game against the Kansas City Royals.

Anyone with a 2019 Minnesota fishing or hunting license can purchase reserved game tickets online through this special offer and receive an exclusive hat you’ll pick up at the game.

fishing license with DNR logo, 19, to Willy W Walleye and all the license text and signature line

Caution when you buy a license

Don’t get scammed! Hunters and anglers who buy their licenses online should do so only from the Minnesota DNR website. There are websites that claim to sell fishing and hunting licenses – and will take your money – but you may come away from the transaction with extra charges or with improper licensure. When you buy a license online, always start at mndnr.gov/buyalicense, which will redirect you to DNR’s license vendor at jc.activeoutdoorsolutions.com.

Minnesota Fishing

July 30, 2019

Stay informed! Here’s a weekly summary of upcoming fisheries and habitat management activities, and ways you can discover, explore and experience Minnesota’s outdoors.

a large sunfish

DNR seeks to

improve sunfish sizes

Large sunfish are scarce in many Minnesota lakes.

Local fisheries managers with the DNR are responding to angler desire for bigger sunfish by seeking out specific lakes that would be a good fit for improving sunfish size quality by reducing sunfish bag limits.

Starting this summer, fisheries managers will be meeting with local angling groups to gauge support for reducing the sunfish bag limit on some lakes through the DNR’s process of proposing special regulations. Learn more about large sunfish and the Quality Bluegill Initiative on the DNR website.

An angler fishing on the Mississippi River

Fish the mighty Mississippi

Anyone who wants to try fishing is invited to family fishing events happening at four locations over four days along the Mississippi River.

The events are geared toward anyone who doesn’t much have experience with fishing, lacks fishing equipment or wants to learn how to fish on the river’s edge. People can attend one or more days:

  • Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park in Coon Rapids, 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15
  • Boom Island Park in Minneapolis, 4-8 p.m. Friday Aug. 16
  • Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17
  • Lake Rebecca Park in Hastings, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18.

Can’t make it? Potential anglers who want to learn how to fish can visit the DNR website at mndnr.gov/GoFishing.

walleye in a net

Cass Lake draft plan available

Cass Lake – one of Minnesota’s 10 large walleye lakes – has a new draft management plan and the DNR is seeking input on it. The plan outlines the proposed five-year fish population objectives and fisheries management actions for Cass Lake and connected waters on the Cass Lake Chain, and incorporates recommendations from a 14-member Cass Lake Fisheries Input Group.

Check out the draft plan online, and you’ll be able to comment online, or pick up a paper questionnaire at the Bemidji Area Fisheries office. The final plan will be completed in October.

lake scene

Come talk about fishing, AIS and access

You’re invited to join conversations about public access to Minnesota’s lakes and rivers, providing excellent recreational fishing and stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). You can attend any of three meetings that start 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, in Alexandria; Saturday, Aug. 10, in Brainerd; and Thursday, Aug. 15, in Monticello. Find the details and register online.

Twins ball graphic

Fishing license gets you a Twins cap

Your fishing or hunting license gets you access to a special Minnesota Twins ticket package and a free blaze orange Twins cap! The next date on this year’s Minnesota DNR Days partnership with the Twins is a 7:10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, game against the Kansas City Royals.

Anyone with a 2019 Minnesota fishing or hunting license can purchase reserved game tickets online through this special offer and receive an exclusive hat you’ll pick up at the game.

A fishing license to Willy W Walleye with license text and signature line

Caution when you buy a license

Don’t get scammed! Anglers and hunters who buy their licenses online should do so only from the Minnesota DNR website. There are websites that claim to sell fishing and hunting licenses – and will take your money – but you may come away from the transaction with extra charges or with improper licensure. When you buy a license online, always start at mndnr.gov/buyalicense, which will redirect you to DNR’s license vendor at jc.activeoutdoorsolutions.com.

For Immediate Release:

June 21, 2019

bee on flower

Pollinators are key to Minnesota’s environmental health

Without them, we wouldn’t have some of our favorite foods. They are vital to a healthy environment. They’re also beautiful and fascinating to watch. They’re pollinators, and this week is dedicated to understanding, appreciating and helping them.

Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are needed to pollinate plants that provide Minnesota food crops such as fruits, vegetables and herbs. Some of these foods are important for wildlife, too. Black bears, for example, eat raspberries that are pollinated by bumble bees. Honey bees and native pollinators contribute millions of dollars to Minnesota’s agricultural economy.

Pollinators play a critical role in keeping our environment healthy. They help maintain the health of the many plants that stabilize the soil and prevent erosion. These plants also buffer waterways, store carbon, and provide habitat for other wildlife. Plus, flowering landscapes are beautiful. Without pollinators, our environment would look very different.

“Pollinators are so important, not just to flowers but to our whole environment, and there are many simple things Minnesotans can do to help pollinators,” said DNR invertebrate ecologist Jessica Petersen.

To help pollinators:

  • Plant a variety of flowers, especially those that are native to the area.
  • Keep gardens blooming all season long; choose plants that provide pollen and nectar in the spring, summer and fall.
  • Provide nesting sites by allowing dead branches and logs to remain, leaving bare earth for ground-nesting insects, or installing bee nesting blocks.
  • Reduce pesticide use.
  • Become a citizen scientist and help researchers collect data about pollinators and their habitat.
  • Tell friends and family about pollinators and inspire them to take action.

A list of pollinator resources is available on the DNR website.

Minnesota DNR News

Questions? The DNR Information Center now answers your calls from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday and offers interpreter services. Call 888-646-6367 or email info.dnr@state.mn.us.

In This Issue

new campground Vermilion-Soudan State Park

Campsite at Vermilion Ridge Campground

DNR officials announce next phase of construction at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park

Progress is continuing on the development of recreation opportunities at Minnesota’s newest state park, and there is more to come.

At a June 7 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new campground at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park, Minnesota State Parks and Trails Director Erika Rivers provided an update on current projects, along with a preview of future development planned at the park, contingent on funding.

“Today we realize a decade-long dream of returning this land to all people to enjoy,” Rivers said. “This northern Minnesota state park provides a new place for everyone to call their place at the lake.  Visitors can watch in awe as the sun sets over stony island outcrops, the lake glowing in a Vermilion hue. They can also rest peacefully—tired from a day’s exertions of hiking, biking, boating or fishing—under the stars, as humankind has done here for centuries.”

Projects currently underway or starting this year at the park include:

  • Eight camper cabins that will each sleep up to six people.
  • Accessibility updates to a boat-in cabin on Blue Heron Island in Mattson Bay.
  • A hiking trail from the campground to Onumuni Overlook on Cable Bay.
  • A picnic shelter designed for large groups near the historic mine.

Future construction will include:

  • A Lake Lodge, which will serve as a visitor center.
  • A trail-oriented campground, south of Highway 169 that will connect to the Mesabi, Prospectors Loop and Taconite trails, as well as grant-in-aid and state forest trail networks nearby.

The recently completed campground features three group camps and 33 drive-in campsites, all with electricity and Wi-Fi. Other park recently completed amenities at the park include hiking trails, a public water access in Cable Bay, and a new segment of the paved Mesabi Trail that connects the park to the nearby town of Tower. Another highlight of the park is the Armstrong Bay Day-Use Area, completed in 2013, which includes boat dockage, a fishing pier and a picnic area.

Daily tours of the historic mine started Memorial Day weekend and will continue through September.

“We are excited that park visitors who come for a mine tour, a family picnic or a day of fishing can now extend their stay by camping overnight,” Rivers said. “The Vermilion Ridge campground is a beautiful addition to the park, with many energy-saving features and easy access to miles of hiking trails in Minnesota’s newest state park.”

Examples of the energy-saving features at the new campground include LED lights, plumbing fixtures activated by sensors to conserve water and solar panels on the rooftops of the shower buildings that help pre-heat water to take some of the pressure off the water heater.

For a map of the park and other information, contact the DNR Information Center by emailing info.dnr@state.mn.us or by calling 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).


Minnesota state parks to offer free admission on June 9

Gov. Mark Dayton is encouraging Minnesotans to get out and enjoy the state’s outstanding outdoor opportunities by proclaiming June 2018 as Great Outdoors Month.

The proclamation cites the mental and physical benefits of spending time outdoors as one incentive to visit Minnesota state parks and trails.

As an added incentive, the Department of Natural Resources will continue its longstanding tradition of waiving the requirement for a vehicle permit (a $7 value) and providing free admission at all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas on Saturday, June 9, which is National Get Outdoors Day, an event held annually on the second Saturday in June.

“Exploring Minnesota state parks is a great way to spend time with friends and family, get active, and enjoy our state’s many natural wonders,” Dayton said. “This Saturday, I encourage all Minnesotans to ‘Get Outdoors’ and experience a state park or recreation area near you.”

Many special programs will take place throughout Great Outdoors Month and on National Get Outdoors Day to help make each visit memorable and fun for visitors, said Erika Rivers, director of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “Our goal is to connect new people, especially families with young children, to the outdoors.”

Special programs taking place June 9 at Minnesota state parks include:

  • Pop Can Casting, 11 a.m.-noon, Fort Snelling State Park in St. Paul. Make a fishing pole with a pop can. Bring a clean can with the tab still attached and meet at the fishing pier.
  • Peregrine Falcons, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Gooseberry Falls State Park, Two Harbors. Drop by the Visitor Center Auditorium to see live falcons and learn about these remarkable birds from Jackie Fallon of the Midwest Peregrine Society.
  • Outdoor Recreation Day, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Father Hennepin State Park on Lake Mille Lacs near Isle. Displays, demonstrations and activities, including stand-up paddleboarding, fish identification, and a kids fish casting range. There will also be a special appearance by Smokey Bear (11-11:20 a.m.), followed by Archery in the Park (1-3 p.m.) for ages 8 and older.
  • Family Outdoor Fair, noon- 3 p.m., Whitewater State Park near Winona in southeastern Minnesota. Make a walking stick and visit activity stations, including archery, trout fishing, geocaching, canoeing, bird watching and more.
  • Minnesota Zoomobile, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., Minneopa State Park in Mankato.Live animals, storytelling, and an ice cream social.
  • Nature Photography, 2-3 p.m., Big Bog State Recreation Area in Waskish.  Join a naturalist to learn some basic techniques. A limited number of digital cameras will be provided, or visitors can use other digital equipment (cell phone welcome, too).

For a complete list of statewide programs, with times and locations, visit www.mndnr.gov.

Free loaner equipment—Most parks allow visitors to check out GPS units, binoculars, fishing gear and Kids Discovery Kits (featuring activities, stories and tips to help ensure a child’s park visit will be fun). For more information on where to find the free stuff—not just on National Get Outdoors Day but every day—visit www.mndnr.gov.

For more information, contact the DNR Information Center by emailing info.dnr@state.mn.us or by calling 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).


‘No registration weekend’ postponed until Sept. 7-9

Minnesota’s “no registration weekend” for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), which was scheduled for June 8-10, has been postponed until Sept. 7-9, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The change will allow for the completion of new trails, including a 159-mile route that will connect several communities in northwestern Itasca County and a trail that will connect Balsam and Bigfork.

On Sept. 7-9, Minnesotans with an ATV registered for private or agricultural use, won’t need to pay the additional registration fee ($53.50 for three years) to ride the state’s public ATV trails. Out-of-state riders can explore Minnesota ATV trails that weekend as well, without the need for a nonresident trail pass ($21 annually). This will be the fifth year Minnesota is providing ATV riders with free access to more than 3,000 miles of state forest and grant-in-aid trails.

There are a variety of great ATV-riding opportunities in the state, according to Mary Straka, off-highway vehicle program consultant for the DNR Parks and Trails Division.

Among them:

  • The Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area, which is a 1,200-acre OHV park in Gilbert with 36 miles of scenic trails for riders of all abilities.
  • The 100-mile trail system in Nemadji State Forest, which connects to the Matthew Lourey State Trail and the Gandy Dancer Trail.
  • The 29-mile Spider Lake trail system in Foot Hills State Forest, where riders can curve around lakes and ponds, go up and down a variety of hills, and view overlooks from the ridges throughout the forest.
  • The 200-mile Northwoods Regional Trail System in Aitkin and Itasca counties, where riders can use the Soo Line Trail to connect to great communities and trail loops.

The DNR advises riders to keep safety in mind when out on the trails. In particular:

  • Safety training is required for ATV riders born after July 1, 1987, and it is recommended for everyone that operates an ATV.
  • Kids under age 18 must wear a DOT-certified helmet.
  • Kids age 16 and under must fit the ATV they are operating and be able to properly reach and control the handlebars and reach the foot pegs while sitting upright on the ATV.

Trail maps, updates on trail conditions, youth ATV Safety training and other OHV information can be found online at www.mndnr.gov/ohv.

Questions? The DNR Information Center now answers your calls from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday and


a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday and offers interpreter services. Call 888-646-6367 or email info.dnr@state.mn.us.

In This Issue

Estimate of Mille Lacs walleye population underway

In early May, more than 20,000 walleye were tagged in Lake Mille Lacs. The effort will provide a better estimate of the lake’s population of walleye 14 inches or longer and help guide how many fish can safely be harvested in future seasons, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR has conducted similar population estimates six times on Lake Mille Lacs. Those estimates have placed the lake’s walleye population as high as 1.1 million fish in 2002 and as low as 249,000 fish in 2014. A decline in the walleye population has led to restrictive regulations aimed at protecting existing adult fish and a particularly abundant year class of walleye that hatched in 2013. Fish from that 2013 year class are now large enough to be counted in the population estimate.

“We understand the importance of Lake Mille Lacs. Gathering this information will enhance our knowledge of walleye populations and allow us to provide the best walleye angling opportunities possible,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr.

Tagging concluded on May 10 and was conducted by the DNR, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and citizen volunteers. Walleye were caught in trap nets and via electrofishing. Each fish 14 inches or longer was outfitted with two yellow tags near the base of its dorsal fin.

Since May 20, DNR fisheries staff have been recapturing tagged walleye using gill nets that are set for less than an hour. As the nets are retrieved, tag data is recorded, and all fish are released.

Based on the number of walleye that were originally tagged and the total number of tagged fish that turn up during the recapture, the DNR can make an accurate estimate of the lake’s walleye population. This type of population estimate is used in addition to the gillnet survey conducted each fall.

“We anticipate the population estimate being conducted will show a stable walleye population dominated by the 2013 year class,” said Don Pereira, DNR fisheries chief. “The population estimate that is underway also will give us valuable information to help evaluate how well our population model is working.”

Recapture work will continue until late June, so anglers should be aware of DNR-netting activity, which may be occurring during the evening. DNR nets are marked with labelled buoys.

Anglers who catch a tagged walleye are asked to leave the tags in the fish and record numbers on both tags by writing down the numbers or by photographing the tags. Consider recording the length of the fish and the location where it was caught. This information can be reported at mndnr.gov/tagged-fish. In return, anglers will receive information collected at the time the fish was tagged and any information submitted by anglers who may have previously reported the fish.

Walleye fishing on Lake Mille Lacs is open to catch-and-release angling only through the summer 2018 season. Handling fish gently and releasing them as quickly as possible will increase chances that released walleye will survive to be caught again.

More information about Lake Mille Lacs can be found at mndnr.gov/millelacslake.


DNR cautions lakeshore property owners about using hydraulic jets

Using hydraulic jets to get rid of “muck” or to uproot aquatic plants in public waters is illegal, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“We remind lakeshore property owners that just because you can buy a hydraulic jet does not make them legal to use in all situations,” said Jon Hansen, aquatic plant management consultant. “You may not use them in any way that disturbs the lake bottom or destroys rooted aquatic plants,”

Aquatic plants help keep water clean and fish populations healthy. Misusing hydraulic jets can destroy fish habitat and muddy the water.

Hydraulic jets, including products like HydroSweep, Aqua Blaster, Aqua Thruster and Aquasweep, can resemble a fan or trolling motor contained in a short tube and create strong currents of moving water. These products are often advertised to control or remove “muck” and “weeds” from a lake bottom; however, using hydraulic jets in this manner is not allowed in Minnesota.

A person may legally operate a hydraulic jet if it is placed high enough off the lake bed so that it does not disturb the bottom or destroy rooted aquatic plants. It should be directed upward toward the water’s surface, which can prevent dead vegetation and duckweed from collecting around docks and boat lifts. Any displacement of sediment or removal of aquatic plants as a result of operating a hydraulic jet would be deemed a violation and may result in a fine.

Aquatic plant regulations and a guide to aquatic plants can be found at mndnr.gov/shorelandplants. For information on DNR water permits, visit mndnr.gov/permits.


Reminder: Minnesota Twins and DNR offer free hats

2018 Twins cap

Anyone with a 2018 Minnesota fishing or hunting license can receive a free camouflage and blaze orange Twins logo cap thanks to a special ticket offer online at mndnr.gov/twins.

As part of the Minnesota DNR Days partnership with the Twins, license holders can purchase a reserved game ticket online and receive a special Twins cap at these games:

  • Saturday, June 2, Cleveland Indians, 3:10 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 24, Texas Rangers, 1:10 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 15, Tampa Bay Rays, 1:10 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 25, Oakland Athletics, 6:10 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 8, Kansas City Royals, 6:10 p.m.

Ticket prices vary by game and seat locations are either in the Field Box or Home Run Porch sections. All ticket holders under this partnership will pick up their cap at the game. Instructions for purchasing tickets are at mndnr.gov/twins.

Buy fishing and hunting licenses at any DNR license agent, online with a mobile or desktop device at mndnr.gov/buyalicense, or by phone at 888-665-4236. Mobile buyers receive a text or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers.

DNR News Release

Public Land Sale Auction Updates

Over-The-Counter Sales

The DNR has three parcels available for purchase Over-the-Counter for a limited time. These parcels did not sell at the December 2017 auction.

Instructions: Interested parties should review the property data sheets posted below and Instructions for Over-The-Counter Land Purchase and Terms and Conditions of Sale.

  1. Wadena County: Sale 180073 (40 acres, minimum bid – $62,200)
  2. Houston County: Sale 128076 (40 acres, minimum bid – $112,800) PRICE REDUCED to $85,800
  3. Houston County: Sale 128077 (20 acres, minimum bid – $58,600) PRICE REDUCED to $45,000

Fall 2018 Sale

The DNR will hold an auction in October 2018. The parcels will be announced on the DNR Land Sales website at least 30 days prior to the auction dates. Additional information about this auction will be shared as it becomes available.

Why the DNR sells land

The DNR manages 5.6 million acres of state land, and is continually working to improve its land portfolio by selling lands that no longer meet conservation or recreation needs. These land sales are done in consultation with local government officials and others to ensure the state’s public land base meets the recreational needs of its citizens, continues to provide ecological benefits like clean air and water, supports natural resource-based economies, and maintains habitat for a broad variety of fish and wildlife needs. Dollars from many land sales are strategically reinvested in high-quality land purchases that will fulfill the state’s conservation, recreation, and economic needs into the future.

Thank you for your interest in DNR Land Sales.

For Immediate Release:

May 24, 2018

Questions? The DNR Information Center now answers your calls from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday and offers interpreter services. Call 888-646-6367 or email info.dnr@state.mn.us.

Prepare now for a safe boating season

Before hitting the water for the first time this spring, boaters should ensure their boats, equipment and safety items are in legal and proper working order, the Department of Natural Resources said. They should also review regulations in the 2018 Minnesota Boating Guide or at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/boatwater.

“With this year’s late ice-out, boaters are especially anxious to get on the water and start enjoying the boating season,” said Lisa Dugan, DNR recreation safety outreach coordinator. “After waiting all winter to get back on the water, no one wants to break down, get a ticket or have a safety emergency.”

In addition to making sure boats are equipped with required safety items, boaters should take extra precautions during the cold-water season, when more than 30 percent of Minnesota’s boating fatalities occur. While children younger than 10 years old must wear life jackets while aboard watercraft that are underway (i.e., not tied to a dock or anchored for swimming), boat and water safety officials recommend all boaters wear life jackets anytime they’re on cold water, no matter their age.

“Wearing a life jacket is an important part of staying safe when the water is cold during the spring,” Dugan said. “In the event of an unexpected fall or capsizing, having a life jacket on can make all the difference.”

Adult boaters who are resistant to wearing a typical life jacket should consider inflatable styles designed to make preventive use more convenient and comfortable.

Before the season’s first launch, boaters should verify their motorboats are equipped with the following:

  • U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable life jackets for each person on board.
  • Type IV throwable flotation device on boats 16 feet or longer.
  • Horn or whistle.
  • Type B U.S. Coast Guard-approved fire extinguisher.
  • Navigation lights in working order.
  • Valid boat registration, with numbers visible.
  • Marine carbon monoxide detector in some boats.

Watercraft can be registered in person at any deputy registrar of motor vehicles or at the DNR License Center in St. Paul. Registrations are good for three calendar years. Renewals can be done in person or online at www.mndnr.gov/licenses.

More details, including boating safety tips and new laws, (among them Sophia’s Law and information on watercraft operator permit requirements) can be found in the boating guide at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/boatwater.

Budget and Policy

A conference committee heard side-by-side differences in the Omnibus Supplemental Budget bill. These discussions, new amendments, and negotiations of what is in and out are likely to continue next week.

DNR lands provisions are still traveling separate from the larger omnibus bills in SF3168and HF3424.


The House (HF4404) and Senate (SF4013) Bonding bills were both heard this week. The Governor’s bonding proposal was approximately $1.5 billion; both the House and Senate versions are short of this request and provide for $825 million of general obligation bonds. Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Frans testified that the debt capacity would allow up to $3.5 billion.

Asset preservation continues to be DNR’s biggest need. Reforestation is still an unmet need. DNR requires a minimum of $1.5 million to meet statutory obligations for reforestation and to meet the obligations to maximize revenues to the school trust.

Week in Review (May 7th – May 11th)

On Monday, the House Ways and Means Committee heard one bill of interest to DNR (HF3660) regarding the 3M Settlement. The bill was amended, sent to the General Register and placed on the Calendar of the Day for May 14th.

On Tuesday, a Conference Committee was held regarding SF3656, which is the Senate Omnibus Bill. The agenda included a walk-through of the side-by-side fiscal spreadsheets. No action was taken at this meeting.

Also on Tuesday, Governor Dayton signed into law HF3755 (i.e., Sophia’s Law) regarding carbon monoxide (CO) detectors on boats. Read more about Sophia’s Law, boater safety and CO detector FAQs on the DNR’s website.

On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee heard DNR’s Lands Bill (HF3424) and the Omnibus Bonding Bill (HF4404). Roughly thirty percent of the Bonding Bill is marked for asset preservation. Both bills were amended and sent to the General Register.

Also on Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Conference Committee reconvened to discuss SF3656. The Committee went through the bill language, focusing on the differences between the House and Senate versions. Similar to Tuesday evening, no action was taken on the bill.

On Thursday evening, the Senate discussed the Bonding Bill (SF4013). The bill was amended and passed to the Senate Finance Committee.

DNR lands provisions are still traveling separate from the larger omnibus bills in SF3168and HF3424. The lands bill, which contains DNR policy and lands sale provisions as well as authorization for counties to sell certain tax-forfeited lands, passed in the Senate on a 67-0 vote.

Next week (May 14th – 21st)

Next week is the last week of session! This means we’re likely to see a lot of conference committees popping up next week as legislators continue to negotiate what is in and out of the larger omnibus bills. The legislature must complete their work prior to midnight, Monday May 21.

We recommend you check these schedules frequently and turn in to webcasts of the floor sessions if you wish to remain aware of conference committee schedules and legislative activity in general.

Live webcasts, recorded audio, and sometimes video, is available for many of these hearings. If you’re interested, please visit the House Audio and Video Archives page or the 2018 Committee meetings on the Senate Media Services page. Audio and webcasts can be found online at the Minnesota Legislature website.


Saturday marked one of the annual rites of spring in Minnesota: the opening of the fishing season for walleye, sauger and northern pike. While spring may have come late this year, the fishing is still expected to be good. But with the ice having just gone out on many lakes, the water is still cold, so people should make sure to wear their life jackets. Check out our website for information about Fishing Opener Weather!

Need a license?

Purchase fishing licenses at any DNR license agent, or online with a mobile or desktop device at mndnr.gov/buyalicense

Minnesota DNR News

For Immediate Release:

Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017


Information Center


In This Issue

State pheasant index down 26 percent from last year

Habitat concerns loom large in latest roadside survey report

It’s habitat that matters and loss of habitat in the farmland regions has contributed to a 26 percent decline in Minnesota’s pheasant index compared to last year, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“There has been a steady decline in undisturbed nesting cover since the mid-2000s, and our pheasant population has declined as a result,” said Nicole Davros, the DNR research scientist who oversees the annual August roadside survey that monitors pheasant population trends. “Although it appeared mild winter weather and dry summer weather might boost our numbers, that wasn’t the case.”

The 2017 pheasant index is 32 percent below the 10-year average and 62 percent below the long-term average.

Minnesota has lost about 686,800 acres of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres statewide since 2007. The program, covered under the federal Farm Bill, pays farmers to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and restore vegetation that will reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and provide habitat for wildlife and pollinators.

Roadside survey data

The DNR’s August roadside survey for pheasants showed a 26 percent decrease in the overall pheasant index from 2016. This year’s statewide pheasant index was 38.1 birds per 100 miles of roads driven.

All regions had declines in the pheasant index compared to last year except the south-central and southeast regions, which remained similar. The highest pheasant counts were in the west central, southwest, and south-central regions where observers reported 43 to 55 birds per 100 miles driven. Hunters should find the best hunting opportunities in these regions.

Minnesota’s 2017 pheasant season runs from Saturday, Oct. 14, through Monday, Jan. 1.

Pheasants and grassland habitat

Weather and habitat are the two main factors that drive Minnesota’s pheasant population trends. Although weather causes annual fluctuations in pheasant numbers, nesting habitat is more important for long-term trends. Minnesota peaked in nesting habitat acres, particularly CRP, in 2007 but has been experiencing a steady decline annually. The pheasant index and pheasant harvest have declined in response to these habitat losses.

The 2012 version of the Farm Bill called for reduced spending on CRP and a cap of 24 million acres nationwide. The Farm Bill is due to be renewed in 2018, and many conservation groups are asking for enough funding to support 40 million acres of CRP.

The DNR and Minnesota conservation community also are advocating for a Working Lands program associated with CRP that allows grazing and haying of some acres under a conservation plan; and increased state input in determining where those acres should go to achieve the greatest benefits for landowners, wildlife, pollinators and clean water.

pheasant chart

When Minnesota had its maximum CRP acreage – 1.83 million acres in 2007 – Minnesota hunters saw the highest pheasant harvest in decades. As CRP acres have declined, so has the annual pheasant harvest.

Weather conditions and survival

Warm winters usually lead to good hen survival and therefore more nests in the spring; however, the 2017 hen index, at 5.8 hens per 100 miles, was also down 26 percent from last year.

“It’s surprising to see our hen index down this year,” Davros said. “We experienced a pretty mild winter so hen survival should have been good. But the amount of habitat on the landscape makes the difference in the long run, so we may be at the point that good weather just isn’t enough to help us anymore.”

Another key indicator of annual reproduction is the number of broods observed during roadside surveys. The 2017 brood index decreased 34 percent from last year, and the number of broods per 100 hens declined 10 percent from 2016.

Monitoring pheasant population trends is part of the DNR’s annual August roadside wildlife survey, which began in 1955. DNR wildlife managers and conservation officers in the farmland region of Minnesota conduct the survey during the first half of August. This year’s survey consisted of 171 25-mile-long routes, with 151 routes located in the pheasant range.

Observers drive each route in early morning and record the number and species of wildlife they see. The data provide an index of relative abundance and are used to monitor annual changes and long-term population trends of pheasants, gray (Hungarian) partridge, eastern cottontail rabbits, white-tailed jackrabbits, mourning doves and other wildlife.

The 2017 August Roadside Survey report and a map of pheasant hunting prospects are available at mndnr.gov/hunting/pheasant. Also recorded in this year’s survey:

  • The gray partridge index decreased 63 percent from 2016 and was 60 percent below the 10-year average and 90 percent below the long-term average.
  • The mourning dove index decreased 6 percent from 2016 and remained below the 10-year average and long-term averages.
  • The cottontail rabbit index increased 8 percent from 2016 and was 45 percent above the 10-year average and 28 percent above the long-term average.
  • The white-tailed jackrabbit index was similar to last year and remains historically low.
  • The white-tailed deer index was similar to 2016 and was 52 percent above the 10-year average and 137 percent above the long-term average.

During the 2017 pheasant season, the daily bag limit is two roosters through November, and it increases to three roosters on Friday, Dec. 1. The possession limit is six roosters (increasing to nine roosters on Dec. 1). Shooting hours are 9 a.m. to sunset. Additional details are available at mndnr.gov/hunting/pheasant.


Youth Waterfowl Day is Saturday, Sept. 9

Youth, ages 15 and younger, can go waterfowl hunting this Saturday, Sept. 9, on Youth Waterfowl Day, when accompanied by an adult who is not hunting.

“This hunt is all about helping youth have positive experiences and hopefully developing an interest in waterfowl hunting,” said Mike Kurre, mentoring program coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

During Youth Waterfowl Day, hunters ages 15 and younger may take regular season bag limits of ducks, and five Canada geese statewide, when accompanied by an adult 18 or older who is not hunting. The accompanying adult does not need a license.

Hunters ages 13 to 15 must have a firearms safety certificate or apprentice hunter validation in their possession. Ducks, Canada geese, mergansers, coots and moorhens may be taken from a half-hour before sunrise to 4 p.m. Motorized decoys may not be used. All other migratory bird hunting regulations apply.

Visit mndnr.gov/hunting/waterfowl for more information on waterfowl hunting.

Two public input meetings on the proposed season already have taken place. To give input or find more information about the proposal, visit the DNR website at mndnr.gov/deer.


Angler breaks catch-and-release record for flathead catfish

An angler has broken the state record for flathead catfish in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ catch-and-release length category.

Mark Mosby of St. Anthony caught, measured and released the new record flathead catfish Aug. 2 on the St. Croix River near Stillwater. He caught the 52-1/2 inch fish on 80 pound braided line with a 40 pound monofilament leader. It had a girth of 32 inches.

Mosby, who describes himself as an occasional angler, said his fishing partner made sure his fishing gear was ready for a battle as they were targeting big flathead catfish known to inhabit this stretch of the river.

“Kudos to my fishing partner John Kaiser for his knot-tying ability,” Mosby said. “The flathead put up a great 15 minute fight right up until he got to the boat, and the knots held true.”

Although weight is not required for the catch-and-release record, the fish was estimated to weigh about 70 to 80 pounds, based on length and girth. The current record for certified weight of a caught-and-kept flathead is 70 pounds.

There are two kinds of Minnesota state records: one for catching and keeping the biggest fish in each species based on certified weight; and the other for the length of a caught and released muskellunge, lake sturgeon or flathead catfish.

Mike Kurre, the DNR’s mentoring program coordinator, recommends anglers become familiar with the record-fish guidelines and be ready to take the required photos and go through the correct procedures for submitting a record – especially when equipped with the fishing tackle and on waters where they might catch record fish.

The DNR announces new state records in news releases, on social media and on the DNR website. Find current records and guidelines for each type of state record at mndnr.gov/recordfish.


Deer lottery application deadline is Sept. 7

Firearms and muzzleloader hunters who want to harvest antlerless deer in a deer permit area designated as lottery this hunting season are reminded they must purchase their license by Thursday, Sept. 7.

Hunters who purchase their license through this date are automatically entered into the lottery for the deer permit area or special hunt area they declare.

This season, antlerless deer permits are issued by lottery in 48 of Minnesota’s 130 deer permit areas. No application is needed to take antlerless deer in permit areas with hunter’s choice, managed or intensive designations.

Hunters who want to participate in special firearm deer hunts also need to apply for permits that are issued through a lottery, and the application deadline is Sept. 7.

More information about deer permit areas, how their designations are set and special hunts is available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/deer and in the 2017 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook.


Input wanted on proposed late antlerless-only deer season and regulations

People are encouraged to provide input online through Monday, Sept. 11, about a proposed antlerless-only deer season in far southeastern Minnesota.

A late antlerless-only season is being proposed for Saturday, Jan. 6, through Sunday, Jan. 14, concurrent with the late chronic wasting disease season in deer permit area 603.

“We want to hear what hunters, landowners and others feel about the proposed season,” said Paul Telander, Wildlife section chief with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “The input will help inform decisions about the season including hunt dates, bag limits, if the hunt should occur only on private land and if the hunt should happen at all.”

The season would take place in deer permit areas 346, 348 and 349 and the proposed bag limit is five antlerless deer. For multiple seasons, deer populations in the three permit areas have been over or have increased over the publically established population goals determined in 2014. The proposed late antlerless-only season would help move populations toward established population goals and provide additional hunting opportunity.

Two public input meetings on the proposed season already have taken place. To give input or find more information about the proposal, visit the DNR website at mndnr.gov/deer.

DNR News Release

For Immediate Release:

May 22, 2017

Glacial Lakes State Trail to be reconstructed between Willmar and Spicer

A 6-mile section of the Glacial Lakes State Trail will be closed as contractors work on improvements, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Trail users will see intermittent closures until June 1 as workers remove trees and brush that are near the work area.

The segment between the trailhead in Willmar and Spicer’s south side at Progress Way is scheduled to close on June 5 as workers begin mill and overlay work on the trail’s westernmost 6 miles. The project is scheduled for completion by Aug. 25.

In addition to a smooth, new surface, trail users will enjoy new benches, improved accessibility, and paved crossings at gravel road intersections. The current 8-foot trail width will also be expanded to 10 feet.

“We think our trail users will be pleased with these improvements,” said Jeremy Losinski, area supervisor for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “The wider trail will provide easier passage. Plus, the smoother pavement replaces the trail’s oldest paved surface, which is now more than 20 years old. It had deteriorated and reached the end of its life cycle.”

Contractors will also be replacing several culverts along the trail to provide better drainage.

“While we want to make sure everyone is safe, there will still be opportunities to use parts of the trail during construction,” Losinski said. “The construction will start in Willmar and work its way toward Spicer, so small portions of the trail will have limited use. Our trail users may not be able to go all the way from Willmar to Spicer during times in the construction process. We just ask that our trail users obey the closure signs and avoid construction equipment.”

Prinsburg-based Duininck, Inc., is the contractor. Construction updates will be posted on the DNR’s Glacial Lakes State Trail Web page.

The 22-mile western segment of the Glacial Lakes State Trail links Willmar with the Kandiyohi/Stearns County line. The 5-mile eastern segment connects Roscoe to Cold Spring. Built on the former Burlington Northern railroad grade, a total of 27 miles is paved as the trail cuts across the border between Minnesota’s western tallgrass prairie and eastern deciduous forest.

Minnesota Deer Notes – May 2017

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Busy times for deer, and deer management

The state of deer and deer management has been busy lately, and not only because of all the fawns being born.

We heard from a great many of you who shared your thoughts about topics being considered for Minnesota’s first-ever deer management plan. Thank you to everyone who participated!

More than 500 people took the time to attend one of the dozen in-person meetings throughout the state to brainstorm with us on the factors important to the future of deer. In addition, we received more than 1,400 comments through the online questionnaire, email and mail.

We’ve been busy going through the input we’ve been receiving. Curious what others are saying? Learn more in a document with common themes.

The public deer management plan advisory committee has continued their work related to the deer plan. On the DNR’s deer plan page you can find our plan for completing the deer plan this year and information about the work of the DNR and the advisory committee, including committee meeting agendas and notes. Please look through this information and check back periodically as new information is added.

Finally, now is the time to be thinking about how you can improve your habitat for deer and other wildlife! As things continue greening up it’s an ideal time to be out in the areas you hunt looking for invasive plant species that reduce the quality of the land to support deer and other wildlife.

Enhancing the land by removing invasive species is tough work and a long-term commitment; however, it is one of the best things you can do if things such as buckthorn and honeysuckle are growing in the places you hunt. A great place to start is by finding more information about these invasive plants.

Minnesota DNR News

For Immediate Release:

May 8, 2017


Information Center


In This Issue

kid and fish

How to keep kids hooked on fishing? Catch some big fish

Take a kid fishing and they may find that catching a real, live fish can be an exciting contrast to the programmed reality of scrolling through social media – at least, for a while.

But how do kids stay hooked on fishing once they reach the panfish plateau?

“There are a few ways kids can get to the next level and have fun catching a variety of species,” said Jeff Ledermann, angler recruitment, retention and education supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “As fun as it is to catch lots of panfish, there’s more to fishing than the fishing pier.”

First, consider trying to catch other species. Bass put up a good fight and the angling tactics to catch them are not that different than panfish. The catch-and-release season for bass in most of the state begins on the Saturday, May 13, fishing opener. Bass harvest season begins Saturday, May 27 (in the northeast, you can keep bass starting at the opener).

Taking beginner anglers in a boat can be another step up from the pier. Many fish roam the tops and edges of the plants, so Ledermann recommends drifting and trolling along the weeds with a small “beetle spin.” Trolling a mini spinnerbait with a blade on one end of a wire frame and a small jig head (1/16th ounce) and plastic tube jig or grub on the other end is ideal for new anglers.

“All they need to do is cast it back or let out several feet of line and hold on. Let the boat or wind do the work and set the hook when they get a bite, and reel them in. This technique is especially effective on crappies, but all kinds of fish from bluegills to bass to northern pike can be caught this way and there’s no messing with live bait,” Ledermann said.

Ledermann also recommends spinnerbaits – what he calls “the magic lure.”

“When kids get better at casting and old enough to handle larger equipment, 1/4- or 3/8-ounce spinnerbaits are a great all around bait,” Ledermann said. “They are less likely to hook plants, rocks, trees or fellow anglers. And especially early in the year when fish are shallow, they are a great bait for northerns and bass.”

Another exciting way to fish is casting topwater lures like artificial frogs in the lily pads. For kids that are not as skilled or old enough to cast these bigger rigs, Ledermann does the casting to likely spots for bass and lets the kids have the fun working the bait back, setting the hook and reeling them in.

“With topwater fishing, you need to bulk up with heavy duty rods, reels and line (20 pounds) so you can horse fish out of the plants, but catching that first big bass out of the slop is a memory that will last forever,” Ledermann said.

Of course, for young anglers who’ve never fished before, start with the basics. Find lakes with panfish, a fishing pier, bathrooms and a playground. Keep it simple and focus on the kids as they catch fish with light line, a small hook, sinker and worms. Find fishing locations at mndnr.gov/FiN.

Visit mndnr.gov/FishMN to find fishing regulations and data on more than 4,500 lakes and rivers in Minnesota.



Leave deer fawns alone, urges DNR

Deer fawns are being born this time of year and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources asks that people avoid disturbing or touching them.

“Fawns do fine even if they look abandoned or fragile,” said Adam Murkowski, DNR big game program leader. “People can give them the best chance of survival by leaving them alone.”

Most fawns are born in late May and mid-June, and fawns do not attempt to evade predators during their first few weeks of life. Instead they remain still to avoid being seen, and are camouflaged with white spots. During these times fawns are learning critical survival skills from their mothers. Bringing fawns into human environments separates them from their mothers.

“We understand people often mean well when they move fawns. But one way or another, once fawns are moved these young animals usually end up dead,” Murkowski said.

Murkowski encourages people to resist the urge to assist wildlife in ways that may be harmful, and he offered these tips:

  • Deer and moose nurse their young at different times during the day, and often leave their young alone for long periods of time. These animals are not lost. Their mother knows where they are and will return.
  • Deer normally will not feed or care for their young when people are nearby.
  • Deer fawns can lose their natural fear of people, a fear that can be essential to their survival.
  • Keep domestic pets indoors, leashed or fenced in. Dogs can kill fawns and other baby animals.

For more information about what to do if you find fawns or other species of baby wild animals, visit http://bit.ly/orphanedwildlife.


DNR to hold metallic minerals lease sale

The Department of Natural Resources is initiating the sale of leases for state-owned metallic minerals. Areas offered for lease are in Beltrami, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods and St. Louis counties and total 195,324 acres.

The notice of sale, mining unit book containing the sale areas, interactive web maps and other information are available on the DNR’s website, www.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/leasesale/index.html.

The lease sale involves nonferrous minerals, which are all metals except iron ore and taconite. Examples of nonferrous metallic minerals are: copper, nickel, platinum, palladium, gold, silver, cobalt, chromium, zinc, lead, bismuth, tin, tungsten, tantalum and niobium.

Under Minnesota law, the DNR is charged with managing state-owned minerals for exploration and development. Revenue from the metallic mineral leases benefits public schools, local taxing districts, and the state’s general fund. This is the 35th sale of leases for state-owned metallic metals.

Companies interested in submitting bids may obtain bid forms and instructions by contacting the DNR’s Lands and Minerals Division, 651-259-5959. Sealed bids must be submitted before 4:30 p.m. on Thursday June 8, 2017. A public bid opening will take place June 9 at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby of the DNR’s Central Office, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul.

The DNR will then review all bids and notify potentially affected landowners. Notifications will go to the surface rights owners of parcels that receive bids. The DNR will help these landowners understand what leasing might mean for them and their rights as surface owners.

Based on the bids received and evaluation of the bidders’ qualifications, the DNR will prepare a recommendation for the state’s Executive Council for consideration at its September 2017 meeting. The council — comprised of the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and state auditor — will make final decisions about whether to approve the leases.

A lease does not automatically grant the leaseholder permission to mine. Before a state-owned parcel can be mined, the leaseholder must comply with all legal requirements for environmental review and permitting. These same standards apply to nonstate minerals.

Most state metallic minerals leases end within five years. Historically, only 2.2 percent of state leased parcels have had exploration drilling. Prior to any exploration activity, leaseholders must submit a minerals exploration plan to the DNR, which then imposes any restrictions deemed necessary to limit impacts to resources and property owners.

The sale notice will be published in the EQB Monitor and State Register on May 8. For the next several weeks, newspapers in the counties where the leases are being offered will also be publishing the notice.


Kingsbury Bay – Grassy Point restoration project input sought

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting a public meeting to present project details and receive public input on a restoration project proposed for Kingsbury Bay and Grassy Point in the St. Louis River. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at City Center West/Evergreen Center at 5830 Grand Ave., Duluth.

The meeting will begin with a short presentation about the project followed by time for the public to ask questions and provide comments on the draft project design.  Project partners from the Environmental Protection Agency, city of Duluth, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the DNR will be available to answer questions.

The Kingsbury Bay – Grassy Point project will restore 245 acres of open water, coastal wetlands and stream channels in two locations in the upper St. Louis Bay.

Kingsbury Bay is a 65-acre shallow bay where sedimentation has reduced open water, hindered navigation, and encouraged the growth of narrow-leaved cattail which is less desirable habitat for native fish and wildlife populations. The project proposes to remove 165,000 cubic yards of excess sediment and materials, restore the bay with a more diverse mix of native aquatic plants and actively restore wild rice beds.

Grassy Point is a 180-acre shallow water wetland impaired by more than 500,000 cubic yards of wood waste from historic sawmilling operations, improper dredging and other industrial activity. The project proposes to excavate 300,000 cubic yards of wood waste and wood sediment mixes to restore the shallow bay habitat.

The excavated material from both locations will be used to cover remaining islands of wood waste to create upland features that will be restored to native forbs, shrubs and trees.

Construction for the project is planned to begin in January 2018 and is expected to be completed by December 2019.

The project is part of the larger partner-driven plan to restore the St. Louis River Area of Concern and was designed in partnership with the city of Duluth, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnesota Land Trust, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, 1854 Treaty Authority, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund.

The Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Outdoor Heritage Fund are providing $9 million in funding support for the project.


DNR question of the week

Q: I’m camping over Memorial Day weekend, and I want to avoid exposure to tickborne diseases. How can I prevent tick bites?

A: Disease-carrying deer ticks are most active during snow free periods of the year, so it’s important to take precautions when enjoying the outdoors. High-risk areas include hardwood forests, woody/brushy areas and long grass. Here are some tips to prevent tick bites:

  • Walk in the center of trails to avoid picking up ticks from grass and brush.
  • Wear light-colored clothing so ticks will be more visible. Check and re-check yourself throughout the day.
  • Create a barrier to ticks by tucking your pant legs into socks or boots, and wearing a long-sleeved shirt tucked into your pants.
  • Use a repellent containing DEET or permethrin, and carefully follow the directions on the container. Permethrin-treated clothing is also available at many sporting goods stores.
  • The best defense after being outdoors in tick habitat, is to do a complete body check, shower and vigorously towel dry. Wash your clothes immediately as to not spread any ticks.
  • Pets are most likely the ones who will carry a tick indoors. Check your pets for ticks each time they’ve been outdoors.

If you find an attached tick the prompt removal is important. If possible use a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick by the head. Grasp tick close to the skin, pull the tick outward slowly, gently and steadily, use antiseptic on the bite. Avoid remedies like Vaseline, nail polish remover or burning matches, they are not a safe or effective way to remove ticks. See a doctor right away if you experience a rash, fever, headache, fatigue or other signs of illness. To learn more, visit the DNR website Deer Ticks.

Melissa Warhol, DNR safety and risk supervisor

Minnesota DNR News

For Immediate Release:

April 27, 2017

Information Center


In This Issue

DNR seeks input on proposed changes to sharp-tailed grouse hunting

Sharp-tailed grouse hunting in the east-central part of the state would begin about a month later under a proposal from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“We would limit early-season fall hunting in an area already open to sharp-tailed grouse hunting where habitat changes have significantly reduced their numbers,” said Dave Olfelt, DNR northeast region manager. “The change aims to boost survival of young-of-the-year birds and adult hens with broods, which could provide a benefit to the overall population.”

Fall sharp-tailed grouse hunting is allowed in the northern third of the state. If approved for 2017, the sharp-tailed grouse season in a part of east-central Minnesota and east of a line from Floodwood to the northern border would be open Saturday, Oct. 14, through Thursday, Nov. 30. In the rest of the open hunting zone, the season would run from Saturday, Sept. 16, through Nov. 30.

People who want to provide input on the proposal can attend meetings in early May and give input through Thursday, June 1, online at mndnr.gov/sharptailedgrouse or via mail.

Public meetings with staff who can provide additional information are planned for:

  • 6-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 3, DNR headquarters, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul.
  • 7-9 p.m., Tuesday, May 9, Cloquet High School, 1000 18th St., Cloquet.

To get a written copy of the input survey, contact the DNR Information Center by telephone at 888-646-6367 or email jason.abraham@state.mn.us. Written comments may be emailed, or mailed to Sharp-Tailed Grouse Comments, DNR Section of Wildlife, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN, 55155-4007.

Sharp-tailed grouse are somewhat larger than ruffed grouse and live in open grassy or brushy areas. The once-thriving population has declined sharply in the last 50 years due to loss of suitable habitat.

During spring mating, the males try to attract females by making coos and clucks, stomping their feet and clicking their tail feathers in a courtship dance at specific locations called leks.

The DNR maintains blinds that are available to the public in areas where the public can watch sharp-tailed grouse courtship. More information on sharp-tailed grouse viewing blinds is available at www.mndnr.gov/birds/sharptailedgrouse.html


DNR invites public input on proposed forest trails in Beltrami Island State Forest

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites anyone with an interest in recreational trail systems and motorized recreation in the Beltrami Island State Forest in Beltrami, Lake of the Woods and Roseau counties to attend a public meeting on Wednesday, June 28, to review a set of proposals that include changes to trail systems in the state forest.

The meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the DNR Forestry Office, 804 Cherne Drive NW, Warroad, with a presentation at 6:30 followed by time for questions and answers, map review and comments.

Draft recommendations aim to improve trail sustainability and to enhance recreation opportunities. Proposed changes include adding new trails and trail connections, designating new hunter-walking trails and undesignating unsustainable minimum maintenance roads. The draft proposals reflect feedback gathered during an open house in June 2016.

The forest is classified as “managed” with respect to motor vehicle use, which means that forest roads and routes are open to motor vehicles unless posted closed. The DNR does not propose changing the “managed” classification.

Anyone unable to attend the June 28 meeting can review the project documents online on the trail revision project page and submit written comments through Friday, July 28.

Comments received at the meeting and during the public comment period will be used to develop a final recommendation that will be submitted to the DNR commissioner for approval. Changes to state forest trail designations must be made by commissioner’s order and published in the State Register.

Written comments may be submitted by fax to 651-297-1157, by email to foresttrailplanning.dnr@state.mn.us, or by mail to Joe Unger, Parks and Trails Division, Minnesota DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN  55155-4039.

For more information, call 651-259-5279 or 218-308-2372.


in forest

DNR celebrates health benefits of trees

The Department of Natural Resources celebrates Arbor Day on Friday, April 28, and Arbor Month in May by recognizing the health benefits of trees in Minnesota.

Trees and forests provide numerous health benefits such as:

  • Helping reduce skin cancer.
  • Decreasing mental stress and promoting healing.
  • Cleaning the air and reducing childhood asthma rates.
  • Reducing stressful noises by 50 percent.
  • Providing healthy fruits and nuts.

“Getting your daily dose of trees is good for your health and easy to do,” said Jennifer Teegarden, DNR forestry outreach specialist. “You can climb a tree, go camping, sit under a tree, take a hike or visit a forest.”

To encourage people to get a daily dose of trees, the DNR is launching the #31DaysOfTrees challenge during Arbor Month. Simply post a photo or video while getting a daily dose of trees on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Use the hashtag #31DaysOfTrees and include @MinnesotaDNR when posting to Facebook. Participation will be tracked using hashtag #31DaysOfTrees.

Participants may win one of five state parks permits and have 10 trees planted in their honor in a Minnesota state forest. The more times a person posts enjoying their daily dose of trees, the more chances they’ll have to win. Participants must be 18 years or older and a Minnesota resident to win a prize.

Visit the DNR’s Arbor Month webpage at www.mndnr.gov/arbormonth to watch videos of Minnesotan’s getting their daily dose of trees and how trees improve health. Additional details on the #31DaysOfTrees challenge and a listing of local Arbor Day celebrations can also be found on the Arbor Month webpage.

For Immediate Release:

April 24, 2017

Information center


In This Issue

DNR invites public input on proposed motor vehicle use in new state forest

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites citizens to learn about proposed recreation opportunities in Centennial State Forest, a 3,394-acre state forest in Cass County donated to the DNR in 2013.

The meeting will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 26, in the Walker Community Center Rotary Room, 105 Tower Ave., Walker. Following a presentation at 6 p.m., there will be time for questions and answers, map review and comments.

Minnesota state forests are classified into three groupings for off-highway vehicle (OHV) and motor vehicle use:

  • In “managed” forests you may ride on all state forest roads, signed trails and non-designated routes that are not posted closed.
  • In “limited” forests you may ride on all forest roads and trailed signed for specific motor vehicle use.
  • “Closed” forests are open only to highway-licensed vehicles on forest roads.

As part of the overall planning process, the DNR is proposing to classify Centennial State Forest as “limited.” The DNR is also proposing to designate approximately 11 miles of forest roads, to allow OHV and motor vehicle use on those roads.

Comments received at the meeting will be used to develop a final recommendation that will be submitted to the DNR commissioner for approval.

Written comments may be submitted by fax to 651-297-1157, by email to foresttrailplanning.dnr@state.mn.us, or by mail to Joe Unger, Parks and Trails Division, Minnesota DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN  55155-4039. The DNR will accept written comments through Wednesday, July 26. 

For more information call:

  • Tim Williamson, OHV acquisition and development specialist, Parks and Trails Division, 218-308-2369.
  • Joel Lemberg, Backus Area forest supervisor, Forestry Division, 218-947-3232, ext. 223.

For more information, visit the Centennial State Forest webpage.


Minnesota United and DNR offer discounted game tickets

The Minnesota United, a new professional soccer team nicknamed the Loons, has teamed up with the Department of Natural Resources to offer licensed hunters and anglers an opportunity to purchase discounted tickets to a home match Sunday, May 7, against Sporting Kansas City.

“We hear the call of the loon while we’re out on the water and exploring on land, and now it also means Major League Soccer,” said Jenifer Wical, the DNR’s Fish and Wildlife marketing coordinator. “If you have a fishing or hunting license now you can get this deal on tickets to a Minnesota United game.”

This offer is made possible through a partnership between the DNR and Minnesota United. The discount is available for all price points at TCF Bank Stadium with tickets starting at $20.

For information on purchasing tickets, visit www.mndnr.gov/unitedsoccer. For questions or orders of 10 tickets or more, call 763-476-2237 or email tickets@mnufc.com.

The DNR and soccer team has also partnered on a season ticket offer that supports loon populations throughout the state by way of the Minnesota Loon Monitoring Program.

The first 11,842 season ticket holders – one for every lake in Minnesota – have a portion of their season ticket support the DNR’s loon program, and all inaugural season ticket holder accounts will receive a complimentary Minnesota State Parks Day Pass.


Question of the week

Q: What is Arbor Month?

A: While National Arbor Day is held on the last Friday in April, Minnesota is one of only a few states to also celebrate Arbor Month. May is Arbor Month in Minnesota, which gives us 31 days to celebrate trees, and it allows people in the northern part of our state to hold tree planting events once the ground has thawed.

This year’s Arbor Month theme, “Get your daily dose of trees for a healthy you and me!” celebrates the health benefits of trees. To encourage people to get their daily dose of trees, the DNR launched a #31DaysOfTrees challenge in May on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Visit mndnr.gov/arbormonth for challenge details, challenge prizes and watch our fun videos of Minnesotan’s getting their daily dose of trees and how trees improve your health.

Jennifer Teegarden, DNR forestry outreach specialist

Minnesota Fishing – April 2017

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Fishing dates to remember

2016 opener-April 14: Walleye and sauger in Minnesota-Canada border waters

Jan. 1-April 14: Catch-and-release stream trout in southeast streams (Dodge, Goodhue, Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona counties)

April 15-Oct. 1: Stream trout season in streams (except southeast Minnesota)

April 15-Sept. 14: Stream trout in southeast streams (Dodge, Goodhue, Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona counties)

Oct.1, 2016-April 23: Catch-and-release lake sturgeon in Minnesota-Canada border waters

April 24-May 7: Lake sturgeon season in Minnesota-Canada border waters

May 8-15: Catch-and-release lake sturgeon in Minnesota-Canada border waters

May 13: Minnesota fishing opener for walleye, sauger, northern pike

May 13-26: Smallmouth and largemouth bass catch and release season south and west of U.S. Highway 53 from Duluth to International Falls (except Pelican and Ash lakes in St. Louis County)

May 13-Feb. 25: Smallmouth and largemouth bass season north and east of U.S. Highway 53 from Duluth to International Falls and Pelican and Ash lakes in St. Louis County

May 13-Oct. 1: Lake trout summer season

May 13-Oct. 31: Stream trout in lakes

May 27-Feb. 25: Largemouth bass season south and west of U.S. Highway 53 from Duluth to International Falls (except Pelican and Ash lakes in St. Louis County)

May 27-Sept. 10: Smallmouth bass season south and west of U.S. Highway 53 from Duluth to International Falls (except Pelican and Ash lakes in St. Louis County)

June 3-Dec. 1: Muskellunge season

Stream trout fishing opportunities abound

Minnesota’s stream trout season opens this Saturday, April 15, and with the early spring weather of 2017 anglers should find good fishing conditions around much of the state. You can find places to fish for trout all over Minnesota.

Anglers pay for better trout fishing opportunities when they buy licenses and trout stamps – and in Minnesota there are roughly 3,800 miles of designated trout streams. Five coldwater hatcheries produce more than 1.7 million fingerlings and yearlings for stocking each year. Learn more about how the DNR spends your license dollars, with local information by selecting fisheries areas near you.

Buy a license and share the passion for fishing

As a kid, Chakong Thao caught his first fish in Lake Phalen, an east metro area lake that continues to be a great place to start fishing, with 4 miles of fishable shoreline, a pier, easy access by car, bus or bicycle, and perhaps most importantly, lots of fish.

As an adult, Thao needs a fishing license, and dollars from purchase of that license help pay for the DNR to manage, maintain and improve healthy fish populations and habitats in lakes like Phalen.

By buying fishing licenses, anglers help to share the passion for fishing with future generations. Have you bought yours yet? There are plenty of options to fit your need. Buy licenses at any DNR license agent, online with a mobile or desktop device at mndnr.gov/buyalicense, or by phone at 888-665-4236. Mobile buyers receive a text or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers.

New Upper Red Lake walleye regulations announced

Anglers fishing Upper Red Lake in northwestern Minnesota this spring will be able to keep four walleye of which only one may be longer than 17 inches. These new regulations, effective on the walleye fishing opener Saturday, May 13, allow one more fish in the daily bag than the regulations that were in place in the winter.

Harvest under the three fish bag limit resulted in approximately 109,000 pounds for the winter season. There is still room within the target harvest range to allow an additional fish this spring.

Red Lake’s walleye harvest is managed under a joint harvest plan, revised in 2015 by the Red Lakes Fisheries Technical Committee. The new harvest plan recommends a more aggressive approach when walleye spawning stock is in surplus, as it currently is. The extra fish allowed by the daily bag limit will increase open water harvest some, and allowing one fish over 17 inches meet the harvest plan objectives by spreading harvest over a wide range of sizes and removing some of the surplus spawning stock.

Did you know? Anglers are everywhere

You may like that solitude, but taken together, anglers form quite a crowd. There are 1.4 million anglers in Minnesota, with about 500,000 expected to wet their lines on the Saturday, May 13, fishing opener. Did you know you can connect with us on Facebook and Twitter? And if you’re hooked on hashtags try #FishMN and #StateofFishing about fishing in Minnesota; #MNGFO2017 about the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener; and #LicenseDollarsAtWork about work you pay for when you buy a fishing license.


Minnesota DNR News

For Immediate Release:

Feb. 23, 2017

Contact: Questions?

 Information Center

In This Issue

2016 fish, game and trapping licenses expire Feb. 28

DNR urges caution on rapidly deteriorating ice

Reminder: Give input on topics to be covered
  in state deer management plan

Tap into a springtime tradition; learn how to make maple syrup

2016 fish, game and trapping licenses expire Feb. 28

Minnesota fishing, hunting and trapping licenses for 2016 expire Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Licenses for 2017 are now available wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold, online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense and by telephone at 888-665-4236. All 2017 fishing licenses become effective Wednesday, March 1.

New licenses are required for 2016 hunting and fishing seasons that continue past Feb. 28.

Customers who purchase online via a smartphone won’t receive a conventional paper license. Instead, they’ll receive a text message or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers. A printed copy of the text or email also can serve as proof of a valid license.

License fee dollars support the ongoing work of DNR fish, wildlife and enforcement staff to conserve, enhance and protect our waters, fields and forests. Minnesota State Lottery and Legacy Amendment dollars are not available for the regular costs of doing that work. Learn how the DNR spends license dollars at mndnr.gov/LicenseDollarsAtWork.


DNR urges caution on rapidly deteriorating ice

As unseasonably warm weather quickly deteriorates ice conditions on lakes across much of the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources urges lake recreationists to take caution.

Over the past week, public safety officials have reported more than a half-dozen ice emergencies across the state involving anglers and snowmobile or ATV riders breaking through thin or weak ice.

“The freeze-thaw cycle produces extremely weak ice that is dangerously deceptive in its appearance and how thick it measures,” said Lisa Dugan, recreation safety outreach coordinator with the DNR’s boat and water program. “Considering the continuous number of days with above freezing temperatures the ice is rapidly melting, even clearing in many parts of the state.”

The mandatory date for ice shelter removal is March 6 for the southern part of Minnesota and March 20 for the northern part of the state. However, county sheriffs may prohibit or restrict the use of motorized vehicles if dangerous ice conditions are present. The DNR recommends no vehicle traffic and the removal of ice shelters on lakes that are being affected by the thaw.

“We’ve had reports of anglers falling through ice that was just fine an hour earlier. That’s how fast things can change,” Dugan said. “If you do choose to venture onto unsafe ice, use extreme caution. Use a chisel to check the strength of the ice frequently and be sure to wear a life jacket or float coat.”

According to the DNR, many lakes and rivers in southern and central Minnesota are on their way to being ice-free, going from ice-covered to open water over the course of a day or two. As the sun gains strength with the onset of spring, ice conditions can change dramatically within a matter of hours even when the air temperature may remain cold.

Dugan also emphasized doubling the DNR’s ice thickness recommendations for ice that has thawed and refrozen. Old ice is only half as strong as new, clear ice.

For additional information about ice safety, visit www.mndnr.gov/icesafety.

For ice shelter removal information visit http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishing/shelter.html


2017 spring light goose harvest begins March 1

A spring conservation harvest of light geese will open Wednesday, March 1, and run through Sunday, April 30, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Light geese are snow geese, blue-phased snow geese and the smaller Ross’s goose.

A federal conservation order permits the take of light geese during the spring to reduce the population of snow geese and Ross’s geese that breed in Arctic coastal areas and around Hudson Bay. High populations of the birds have caused considerable habitat damage to these fragile ecosystems.

The conservation order is authorized by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which allows harvest of specific bird species during times when other waterfowl seasons are closed. Minnesota has participated in this spring conservation harvest each year since 2000. Harvest of light geese in Minnesota has varied from a few hundred to several thousand birds each spring.

To participate, a spring light goose permit is required and may be obtained wherever Minnesota hunting licenses are sold, via telephone at 888-665-4236 or online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense. There is a $2.50 application fee to cover the cost of issuing the permit. No other license, stamp or permit is required.

A summary of regulations is available at mndnr.gov/waterfowl, from license vendors, DNR wildlife offices or by calling the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367 or 651-296-6157.


Reminder: Give input on topics to be
covered in state deer management plan

People interested in deer still have time to contribute ideas and feedback about possible deer management topics that will shape Minnesota’s first-ever deer management plan, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Possible deer plan topics and an online comment form can be found at mndnr.gov/deerplan. Comments also can be submitted by email to DeerPlan.DNR@state.mn.us and people can attend public engagement meetings that will wrap up Thursday, March 2.

Online and email comments can be submitted through Sunday, March 5, and people can both comment electronically and attend meetings in person if they wish.

The DNR strives to maintain a healthy wild deer population that offers recreational and economic opportunities, while addressing conflicts between deer, people and other natural resources. Habitat management, hunting, research and monitoring are several primary tools used to manage the Minnesota deer population. More information on deer management is on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/deer.


Tap into a springtime tradition; learn how to make maple syrup

kao thao

Ever wonder how pure maple syrup gets from trees to the table? Visitors who come to one of the free programs at Minnesota state parks will find out everything they need to know to make a batch of syrup in their own backyard, using basic tools from around their house.

Programs start this weekend at Whitewater State Park (near Winona). Options include a morning program from 10 a.m. to noon or an afternoon program from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25. Sign up by calling 507-932-3007, ext. 226, or emailing sara.holger@state.mn.us.

Additional maple syrup programs will take place at several Minnesota state parks throughout March and early April. For the complete schedule, and more information about how to tap trees and make maple syrup, visit www.mndnr.gov/maplesyrup.

Some programs encourage dropping by any time for a demonstration of syrup-making in progress; others offer hands-on instruction with a taste of the finished product. Participants will learn how to identify and tap the right kind of tree as well as how to boil the sap until it is sweet enough to serve on pancakes, waffles or ice cream.

Historically, the best time to collect sap has been between mid-March and mid-April, when temperatures are in the high 30s to mid-40s during the day and below freezing at night. It usually takes 30 to 40 gallons of sap from a sugar maple tree to get a gallon of pure maple syrup.

The maple syrup programs at Minnesota state parks are free, but vehicle permits are required to enter the parks ($5 for a one-day permit or $25 for a year-round permit). Due to space limitations, some programs also require advance registration.

For more information, call the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 888-646-6367 or 651-296-6157 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).

NOTE: Image available at ftp://mediaroom.dnr.state.mn.us in folder named “news release resources,” then in folder named “02-23-17 maple syrup.”

For Immediate Release:

Feb. 16, 2017

Information Center

In This Issue

  • Owners of resorts, campgrounds and rental businesses required to take aquatic invasive species training
  • Women new to archery or bow hunting can learn basics in DNR classes

Owners of resorts, campgrounds and rental businesses required to take aquatic invasive species training

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering aquatic invasive species training to owners of lake service provider businesses, so they can legally work in lakes and rivers throughout the state.

Lake service provider businesses include resorts, outfitters and campgrounds that rent or lease boats and other water-related equipment. Business owners must attend training, apply for a permit and pay a $50 application fee every three years to comply with Minnesota law.

When the law and permit began in 2012, it applied only to some resorts and outfitters, along with businesses such as marinas, dock haulers, lawn irrigators and others who install or remove equipment from state waters for hire, said April Rust, DNR aquatic invasive species training coordinator.

The law was updated in 2013 to include any businesses that rent any type of boats or other water-related equipment.

“That means resorts and campgrounds that offer equipment to their guests like pontoons, fishing boats or kayaks and canoes as a part of their stay, need training on AIS and this permit,” she said.

Eleven AIS training sessions are planned around the state starting this month, and a new online training will be available in March. Training is offered in winter to give businesses time to attend training and get a permit before ice-out. Registration deadlines for in-person training are one week prior to each training. A listing all 2017 training sessions is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/lsp/calendar.   ;

Overall, Minnesotans are doing a good job of helping to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Less than 5 percent of Minnesota lakes are on the infested waters list.

To register for training or for more information, visit the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/lsp.


archery class

Women new to archery or bow hunting
can learn basics in DNR classes

Women new to archery or women who want to take their shooting to the next level and start bow hunting can register for classes this spring that will help them hit the mark, through the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program, offered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“We have two upcoming class series – one for beginning archers and one for women interested in learning to bow hunt,” said Linda Bylander, DNR outreach program coordinator. “Having a supportive atmosphere and tips from experts can really help accelerate the learning process.”

The hunting series has three classes for women interested in learning how to bow hunt, with the first class on Saturday, March 4, at the National Sports Center in Blaine. Women enrolled in the hunting series are given priority for the mentored archery spring turkey hunt and mentored fall archery deer hunt.

The beginner’s series consists of two classes for women new to archery or with limited experience. It covers archery basics, equipment and target shooting. The first class is Wednesday, April 5, at A-1 Archery in Hudson.

Safari Club International North Country Bowhunters Chapter, A-1 Archery, Chilakoot Archery Cub and the DNR are teaming up for these classes. For more information or to register, contact Bylander at linda.bylander@state.mn.us or 218-203-4347.

The Becoming an Outdoors Woman program offers a wide range of outdoor skill classes in fishing, hunting and outdoor sports. For more information, visit mndnr.gov/bow or call the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367 or 651-296-6157 to request a catalog.

Greetings from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources,

This is the newsletter where DNR shares highlights from our interaction with Minnesota’s Legislature. Thanks for reading!


DNR continues to inform and educate our partners about the Governor’s proposed budget for DNR, which is scheduled to be introduced in the Senate in bill form on Monday. This budget bill includes modest fee increases and GF support for DNR to maintain or improve services to all Minnesotans. Please see our press release and budget in brief documents for more information and reach out to us with specific questions.


There are no changes to report this week.

This week in Review (January 30th-February, 3rd)

Recorded audio, and sometimes video, is available for many of these hearings. If you’re interested, please visit the House Audio and Video Archives page or the 2016 Committee meetings on the Senate Media Services page.

On Tuesday, January 31st, the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee heard a presentation from School Trust Land Director Aaron VandeLinde.  This committee also heard a presentation from DNR about our efforts to manage our portfolio of lands using the Strategic Land Asset Management model on Wednesday February 1st.

On Thursday, February 1st, the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee heard DNR CFO Barb Juelich presented DNR’s FY18-19 Base Budget Report. A base budget is the legal starting point for agencies to build from according to statute 16A.11. Members had many questions about DNR plans, operations, and innovation.

DNR’s part of the Governor’s Recommended FY18-19 Biennial Budget was presented in detail by division in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Finance Committee this past Tuesday January 31st, and Wednesday February 1st. Our division directors provided useful information about new budget items and how this budget benefits Minnesotans.

Next week (February 6th– 10th)

On Monday, SF723 (the Governor’s Budget bill for Environment and Natural Resources Appropriations) will be introduced in the Senate.  The Chief Author is Senator Ingebrigtsen and Co-author Senator Tomassoni.

Also on Monday, the House Veterans Affairs Division will hear a bill of interest to the DNR.

On Tuesday, the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee will hear a bill of interest to the DNR.  Also on Tuesday the House Capital Investment Committee will hear MMB’s overview of the Governor’s Bonding Proposal.

On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee on Mining, Forestry & Tourism will meet to hear a presentation of the state of the iron ore industry in Minnesota. The full committee will not be meeting on this day.

Later on Wednesday the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance will hear an overview of the 2015-2017 Federal Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit Program Feasibility Study from the Board of Soil and Water Resources (BWSR) and DNR technical experts.

On Thursday, the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee will hear bills of interest to the DNR, and will begin to hear DNR’s part of the Governor’s Recommended FY18-19 Biennial Budget items from DNR Division Directors.

We anticipate additional hearings will be scheduled for next week after you receive this message – you can go online to find an up-to-date list of posted meetings (or news about changes to previously scheduled meetings) for the House and Senate.


Governor Mark Dayton today announced a new “25 by ‘25” Water Quality Goal, which would spur innovation and collaboration around strategies to improve Minnesota’s water quality 25 percent by 2025. Without additional action, the quality of Minnesota’s waters is expected to improve only 6 to 8 percent by 2034. If approved by the Legislature, Governor Dayton’s proposed new goal would engage local governments, farmers, scientists, environmental groups, and business leaders in a collaborative effort to address Minnesota’s water quality challenges. You can find out more information on the Governor’s webpage.

Contact us

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please contact the DNR’s legislative team: Bob Meier, Annalee Garletz, or me.


Amber Ellering

2017 Legislative Coordinator

For Immediate Release:
Feb. 6, 2017

Information Center


In This Issue

  • Lack of snow means burning restrictions will happen soon
  • Reminder: Apply to learn how to hunt turkeys with a mentor
  • Question of the week: lake aeration

Lack of snow means burning
restrictions will happen soon

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds woodland owners to take care of vegetative debris such as dry branches now, as annual open burning restrictions will take effect shortly after snowmelt.

“This winter burning permits have been required in areas of the state that have not been fully covered with snow,” said DNR wildfire prevention supervisor Linda Gormanson. “Warmer temperatures in February could quickly melt the snow that remains.”

A burning permit is required if there is less than 3 inches of snow on the ground. The chance for a fire to escape and burn into unintended areas and endanger lives, homes and property is greatly reduced when adequate snow cover is present. Check local city and municipalities for burning regulations prior to burning.

The DNR recommends composting leaves and twigs instead of burning to reduce air pollution and the chance of starting a wildfire. Visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s website for information on how to start composting yard waste: www.pca.state.mn.us/living-green/start-composting-your-backyard.

After the snow melts, spring fire restrictions take effect and open burning will be restricted until vegetation turns green. The highest number of wildfires are in April and May when vegetation is dry and people commonly do spring clean-up activities. Due to the high number of wildfires during this time, the DNR initiates open burning permit restrictions to coincide with spring fire season. The DNR has seen a significant decrease in accidental fires when burning restrictions are in place.

Depending on weather and spring green-up conditions, restrictions remain in effect for four to six weeks. Visit www.mndnr.gov/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html for information on open burning restrictions.

Overall, 98 percent of wildfires in Minnesota are caused by humans. Individuals are responsible for costs to control an escaped fire and the damage it causes.


Reminder: Apply to learn how to hunt turkeys with a mentor

Youth and adults can apply through Monday, Feb. 13, to hunt turkeys for the first time under the guidance of experienced National Wild Turkey Federation volunteers.

Hunts are Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23, and a pre-hunt orientation is required. The cost of the orientation ranges from $5 to $10, and hunting licenses cost $1 for 12 year olds; $6 for ages 13 through 17; and $27 for hunters 18 and older. All participants will need to have a valid firearms safety certificate or its equivalent and youth must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Applications and details about how to apply are available on the DNR’s website at



Question of the week

Q: How does the DNR decide whether to aerate a lake to prevent winter fish kill?

A: The DNR does not aerate lakes, but we do issue permits to lake associations, counties and other local partners who wish to aerate shallow lakes that are prone to fish kills due to lack of dissolved oxygen during winter. Public safety is the primary concern, so these permits require aerated parts of the lake to be clearly marked with thin ice signs and located away from high-traffic areas such as boat launches and snowmobile trails.

DNR fisheries and wildlife managers often provide guidance on whether or not aeration is desirable for a given lake. For example, some shallow lakes are important habitat for waterfowl, where fish compete with ducks and geese for food while stirring up sediment that can harm aquatic vegetation. In those cases, natural winter fish kills serve an important biological purpose.

Marilyn Danks, DNR aeration program specialist

All news releases are available in the DNR’s website newsroom at www.mndnr.gov/news.
Follow the DNR on Twitter @mndnr and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MinnesotaDNR.

Chronic wasting disease management zone, 5-county deer feeding ban announced
12 citizens appointed to Game and Fish Fund oversight committees
Waiting for ice to support you? You can support walleye fishing
Holiday wreaths from Minnesota state forests sold nationwide
Warm up to winter at Minnesota state parks and trails
DNR issues ice warning for aerated lakes
Question of the week: Catfish in winter


Chronic wasting disease management zone,
5-county deer feeding ban announced

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will focus actions to slow and hopefully eliminate the spread of chronic wasting disease in southeastern Minnesota within about a 10-mile radius of Preston and include a deer feeding ban in the five adjoining area counties.

“This 370 square mile disease management zone is the area of greatest concern,” said Dr. Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Landowners and hunters will help us conduct our primary control and sampling efforts here so we can act quickly, aggressively and cooperatively to limit and hopefully stop any spread of CWD.”

The zone is bordered roughly on the northwest by Chatfield, on the northeast by Arendahl, on the southeast by Canton and on the southwest by Bristol.

One of the actions planned in the disease management zone will be a special late-season deer hunt from Saturday, Dec. 31, through Sunday, Jan 15. Additional details regarding the special hunting season will be released at a later date.

Later this month, a deer feeding ban goes into effect for residents of Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Olmsted and Winona counties. Those counties adjoin the area west of Lanesboro where two CWD-infected deer recently were discovered. The feeding ban encompasses a wider area because the potential extent of the infection is not known and one of the most probable mechanisms for CWD spread among deer is over a food source that concentrates animals and allows close contact.

“One simple step that anyone can do to help prevent the spread of disease is to stop feeding deer,” Cornicelli said.

Details of how landowners and hunters can help the DNR proceed with disease management actions will be discussed with the public at a meeting on Thursday, Dec. 15, in Preston. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Fillmore Central School Auditorium, 702 Chatfield St.

Items that will be discussed include the disease management zone and activities governed within it; the deer feeding ban; the special late-season hunt; landowner shooting permits; and temporary suspension of antler point restriction regulations. DNR staff will answer additional questions as will representatives from other state agencies and deer hunting groups.

DNR still needs hunters’ assistance to continue testing deer harvested in permit areas 347 and 348. Hunters should follow the instructions to complete a simple form and place it – along with the head of a harvested deer – in drop boxes located in Chatfield, Harmony, Lanesboro, Preston and Wykoff.

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal brain disease to deer, elk and moose but is not known to affect human health. Prior to the recent discovery near Lanesboro, the only other wild deer with the disease found in Minnesota was harvested near Pine Island in 2010.

For more information, including a map of the disease management zone, feeding ban area, common questions and answers and hunter information, visit the DNR’s CWD homepage at www.mndnr.gov/cwd.


MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #92                                                            Dec. 5, 2016
All news releases are available in the DNR’s website newsroom at www.mndnr.gov/news.

Follow the DNR on Twitter @mndnr and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MinnesotaDNR.

Applications open for spring wild turkey A and B season permits
Get Wild hockey discounts with hunting or fishing license
Looking for green gifts? Think wood
Question of the week: White Christmas


Applications open for spring wild turkey A and B season permits

The deadline for firearms wild turkey hunters to apply for early season spring hunting permits is Friday, Jan. 27, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The spring season, which runs from Wednesday, April 12, to Wednesday, 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 three 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 www.mndnr.gov/hunting/turkey for more information about turkey hunting.


Get Wild hockey discounts with hunting or fishing license

Hunting or fishing license holders can order discounted tickets to the Sunday, Dec. 11, Minnesota Wild hockey game vs. the St. Louis Blues, as the Wild and the Department of Natural Resources team up for this special ticket offer.

A limited number of tickets are available and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Ticket prices vary and the offer is available only through advance online purchase at www.mndnr.gov/wildhockey, to hunting or fishing license holders for 2016 or 2017. The discount is not available at the Xcel Energy Center box office.

Buy fishing and hunting licenses at DNR license agents, online with a mobile or desktop device at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense, or by phone at 888-665-4236. Mobile buyers receive a text or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers.



Looking for green gifts? Think wood

For holiday gift ideas, consider a locally made gift created from trees harvested in Minnesota. Wooden toys, handcrafts and keepsakes are a great green gift option. Wood is a renewable resource that is natural, nontoxic and eco-friendly.

“Wood products are great green gifts for both kids and adults,” said Kristen Bergstrand, DNR utilization and marketing program coordinator. “Uniquely hand-crafted and individually customized wooden gifts are a wonderful option for a person who has everything.”

Wooden blocks, rocking chairs or horses, puzzles, rattles, picture frames and artisan bowls or wood crafts are unique items that are often passed down to future generations as family mementos.

Thousands of items are made from wood harvested in Minnesota forests. About 30 percent of the state’s wood fiber comes from state forest lands.

The Minnesota forest products industry brings $16.1 billion to local economies. The industry creates jobs and brings financial support to small and large manufacturing and retail businesses across the state.

Making products from trees often requires less processing and energy than plastic or other products. Wood is also renewable and reusable. Most wood products can be recycled and wood waste can be converted into green energy as biomass. Well-managed forests grow back into a forest after harvesting.

And buying wood products also helps the environment. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that causes global climate change, and store carbon in their wood. Locally made products from trees harvested in Minnesota use less fossil fuel for transportation than imported goods.

Visit the DNR wood products webpage at www.mndnr.gov/wood-products to learn more about the benefits of buying and using wood products.


Question of the week

Q:  Historically speaking, how often do we have a white Christmas in Minnesota?

A:  Having a white Christmas is generally defined as having 1 inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day. In the Twin Cities, this happens about 72 percent of the time. In northern Minnesota, the chance of a white Christmas is 90 percent or greater. In the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Lake Superior Highlands, a white Christmas is almost guaranteed. The chances decrease to the south and west, down to around 60 percent in far southwestern Minnesota.

For more details, including the probabilities of various snow depths in select cities, visit the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/climate/summaries_and_publications/white_christmas.html.

Pete Boulay, assistant state climatologist

Reminder: Apply by Nov. 6 to serve on DNR fish work groups  

Volunteers can apply by Sunday, Nov. 6, to join one of five citizen-agency work groups that will discuss how the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources manages fish. There will be individual work groups for bass, catfish, panfish and walleye, and one that will focus on both northern pike and muskellunge.

Each group of about 15 people will include volunteers and DNR staff who meet two or three times per year to discuss new research, population, harvest trends and fisheries management. Meetings average three to four hours, not including travel time. Participants will be selected by the DNR and can serve a term of either two or three years. The groups are advisory and do not make decisions on policy or fish management.

For more information or an application form, visit www.mndnr.gov/fishgroups or call


Question of the week

Q: What does the DNR do with animals that are taken illegally (poached)?

A: For those animals that are taken illegally, the DNR tries to ensure they are not wasted. Meat from illegally harvested wild game such as deer is often donated to food shelves and other groups that serve those less fortunate. However, sometimes meat must be thrown away or destroyed. This has been especially true for fish. The DNR has an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Health to dispose of meat, such as pre-packaged fish fillets, because it is often hard to tell whether or not the packaging was done properly.

In some cases the animal, or parts of the animal such as deer antlers, are turned over to schools and other educational institutions for study. Some also appear in the DNR’s “Wall of Shame” trailers, which are displayed at fairs and events around the state.

We encourage citizens to 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.

Lt. Col. Greg Salo, assistant director, DNR Enforcement Division

MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #79                                 Oct. 17, 2016
All news releases are available in the DNR’s website newsroom at www.mndnr.gov/news.

Follow the DNR on Twitter @mndnr and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MinnesotaDNR.

Deer hunters encouraged to buy license early
Minnesota deer facts
Minnesota DNR celebrates National Forest Products Week
Zebra mussels confirmed in Lower Cullen Lake
  and nearby Lake Hubert in Crow Wing County
Reminder: Youth deer season is Oct. 20-23


Deer hunters encouraged to buy license early

With nearly 500,000 firearms deer hunters in the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources encourages hunters to purchase their licenses early to avoid long lines and any potential system issues associated with the high sales volume. The 2016 Minnesota firearms deer season begins Saturday, Nov. 5.

“Don’t wait until the last minute to buy a deer license. There can be long lines of people waiting to buy licenses in the days before deer opener. Last year we sold more than 145,000 licenses the Thursday and Friday before opener,” said Steve Michaels, DNR licensing program director. “Buy early and you can spend more time getting ready to hunt and enjoying time with family and friends.”

Deer licenses can be purchased at DNR license agents across Minnesota, by phone at 888-665-4236 or online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense. There are additional fees for telephone and internet transactions. Deer licenses and tags ordered by phone and internet 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 www.mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting. License questions should be directed to the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367.

Maintaining quality habitat to support an appropriate population level is good for deer, deer hunters and the habitats that sustain them. Deer populations, which vary in density from place to place and year to year are influenced by the severity of winter weather. Deer are ecologically, socially and economically important in a state where hunting and wildlife watching generate more than $1.3 billion in annual economic impact.



Minnesota deer facts

Deer: The animal

  • Adult female white-tailed deer weigh about 145 lbs., and males weigh about 170 lbs.
  • The biggest white-tailed deer recorded in Minnesota was a 500-pound buck.
  • A whitetail’s home range is about 1 square mile.

Deer hunting

  • There are nearly 500,000 firearms deer hunters in Minnesota.
  • Last year, 30 percent of Minnesota firearm hunters successfully harvested a deer. About 63 percent were antlered bucks.
  • 70 percent of Minnesota’s firearms deer harvest typically occurs during the first three or four days of the season.
  • The average hunter spends five days afield during Minnesota’s firearms deer season.
  • Hunters can register their deer via internet, phone or at walk-in big-game registration stations, except in southeastern Minnesota permit areas 339 to 349 during the firearms season while the DNR samples deer for chronic wasting disease.
  • The largest typical whitetail buck taken in Minnesota had a Boone & Crockett score of 202, shot by John Breen in 1918 near Funkley.
  • Minnesota’s No. 1 nontypical whitetail buck had 43 points, shot by 17-year-old Mitch Vakoch in 1974.

Deer licenses

  • In total, about 606,000 deer hunting licenses and permits (all types) were sold in 2015.
  • 97 percent of Minnesota deer licenses are sold to state residents.
  • The DNR Information Center remained open 3 1/2 hours later on the day before last year’s deer opener to answer more than 1,600 telephone inquiries, most of them related to the firearms opener.

Hunting economics*

  • All hunting-related expenditures in Minnesota totaled $725 million.
  • Trip-related expenses such as food and lodging, transportation were $235 million.
  • Hunters spent $400 million on equipment.
  • Hunters spent $90 million on other items such as magazines, membership dues, licenses, permits, land leasing and ownership.

* From the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (www.census.gov/prod/www/fishing.html).

Deer management in Minnesota

  • The DNR is entrusted to manage the deer herd on behalf of, and for, the benefit of all Minnesotans.
  • Deer are the number one hunted species in Minnesota and deer hunters along with other hunters and wildlife watchers together contribute more than $1.3 billion to the economy.
  • The DNR is beginning the planning process to write a statewide deer management plan and the agency is interested in your thoughts about deer management. The public will have multiple ways to provide input into the planning process including membership on the Deer Plan Advisory Committee, public meetings, focus group meetings, and online public comments.

More information on deer and deer management can be found at www.mndnr.gov/deer.



Minnesota DNR celebrates National Forest Products Week

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, along with the nation, celebrates National Forest Products Week, Oct.16-22, by bringing attention to the vast array of products forests provide.

“Every day we use Minnesota forest products in our lives — like paper, lumber or energy generated from forest biomass,” said Kristen Bergstrand, coordinator of the DNR’s Forest Utilization and Marketing Program. “National Forest Products Week celebrates America’s forests, the products they provide and the local economies they help support.”

Everything from the trunk and limbs to sap, leaves and needles of a tree are used to make consumer products. When a tree is harvested, another tree or two is grown in its place. When people use tree products — such as lumber, paper, mulch, cosmetics, energy and even Christmas trees — they encourage sustainability by choosing products made from a renewable resource that also supports the local economy, Bergstrand said.

Minnesota is home to 17.3 million acres of forests. Purchasing wood products made in Minnesota supports jobs and family forest owners by bringing money into rural areas. Nearly 300 Minnesota cities sell goods and services to the forest products industry. Statewide forest products manufacturing facilities sustain and enrich local communities by providing jobs, taxes and infrastructure. The forest products industry is Minnesota’s fifth largest manufacturing sector by employment. It provides over $16 billion in economic impact and creates 62,800 jobs.

Thirty percent of all wood fiber in Minnesota comes from DNR-administered forest lands. This wood fiber is used primarily to make paper, pulp, engineered wood products, lumber, pallets, animal bedding, biomass energy and specialized cellulose for products like clothing.

“This week, please join in celebrating the many benefits of forest products in Minnesota — choose products made from trees,” Bergstrand said. “It is good for the environment. It is good for Minnesotans. It is good for the nation.”


DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        

Zebra mussels confirmed in Lower Cullen Lake
and nearby Lake Hubert in Crow Wing County

Invasive species found on boat, boat lift

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussels in Lower Cullen Lake and nearby Lake Hubert in Crow Wing County.

A resort owner contacted the DNR after finding several zebra mussels on a boat moored at the resort on Lower Cullen Lake. DNR invasive species staff found no other zebra mussels during inspections of adjacent docks and a nearby stream.

A county watercraft inspector and a lake service provider business, both trained by the DNR, spotted adult zebra mussels on a boat lift as it was removed from Lake Hubert. DNR invasive species staff found and removed more zebra mussels on an adjacent dock and at a three-foot depth in the water.

“Several recent zebra mussel confirmations are thanks to vigilant lake property owners, lake service providers and watercraft inspectors checking docks and lifts coming out of the water this time of year,” said Heidi Wolf, DNR invasive species unit supervisor. “Minnesota law requires docks and boat lifts to be out of the water for at least 21 days before putting them in another body of water. This requirement is an important tool for preventing the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species.”

Zebra mussels are an invasive (non-native) species that can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors, and cause expensive damage to water intake pipes.

Less than two percent of Minnesota’s 11,842 lakes are listed as infested with zebra mussels. Along with requiring docks and lifts to be out of the water for 21 days before putting them into another body of water, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to:

  • Clean their watercraft of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species.
  • Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.

Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To prevent their spread, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody, especially after leaving infested waters:    

  • Spray with high-pressure water.
  • Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees F for at least two minutes or 140 degrees F for at least 10 seconds).
  • Dry for at least 5 days.

More information is available at www.mndnr.gov/AIS.



Reminder: Youth deer season is Oct. 20-23

Youth, ages 10-15, can participate in a special deer season that runs from Thursday, Oct. 20, to Sunday, Oct. 23, in 27 permit areas of southeastern and northwestern Minnesota, including in the Twin Cities metro permit area 601, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Deer permit areas open to the hunt are: 101, 105, 111, 114, 201, 203, 208, 209, 256, 257, 260, 263, 264, 267, 268, 338, 339, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349 and 601. Blaze orange requirements apply to all hunters, trappers and adult mentors in areas open for the youth deer season.  

More information can be found on page 34 of the 2016 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook under the heading Special Youth Deer Season and online at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting.

Maintaining quality habitat to support an appropriate population level is good for deer, deer hunters and the habitats that sustain them. Deer populations, which vary in density from place to place and year to year are influenced by the severity of winter weather. Deer are ecologically, socially and economically important in a state where hunting and wildlife watching generate more than $1.3 billion in annual economic impact.

Minnesota Deer Notes – October 2016

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Deer plan work underway; check out new deer webpage

The DNR continues to get ready to draft the state’s first-ever deer management plan. The latest news release with more information went out on Sept. 19.

Meanwhile, we’ve all been busy thinking about deer and deer hunting going into fall. This is Adam Murkowski, DNR big game program leader, bringing you an update via Deer Notes, with more of these updates to follow in the future. Thanks for reading!

The first thing I would like to share with you is that the DNR has created a new Deer Management webpage. This page consolidates much of the deer related information on the DNR website. Navigation tabs on the left side of the page should make it easier to find various types of information. I hope you take some time to look at the enormous amounts of information that can be accessed from this page.

Furthermore, in an effort to ensure information about the deer plan and plan process is easy to access, we have created a new Deer Plan webpage that will be updated regularly throughout the planning process. Currently this page has preliminary information about the deer plan, other states’ deer plans and the statewide advisory committee that’s currently being formed to work with us throughout the process (more info on that below). Eventually it will also have committee meeting notes and opportunities for you to give input.

I would like to also make sure people are aware of the opportunity to apply for one of the five to seven at-large seats on the statewide deer management plan advisory committee. In addition to the at-large seats, this committee will include official representatives of various hunting, agriculture, forestry and conservation groups, as well as tribal representation and a public health official. The group will meet approximately monthly throughout the planning process and provide input and recommendations as the plan develops. The application is open to any interested citizens, as these seats do not represent any particular organization or sector. We will prioritize applicants who have some knowledge of deer management (or related topics), and who demonstrate a willingness to work collaboratively with others who may have different perspectives. The charter for the statewide advisory committee and committee application can be found on the new Deer Plan webpage. We anticipate the committee will likely meet for the first time in early to mid-December. The first meeting will likely be in the twin cities area; however, future meetings may be held elsewhere depending on the needs of the committee membership. Applications are due by 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

We expect to have a public comment period including public input meetings around the state, sometime this winter. A second public comment period will happen once a draft plan is developed, likely in winter 2018. More information about these opportunities will be provided on the Deer Plan webpage as more details are available, and will be announced via this Deer Notes email list.

Finally, if you know of anyone who wants to receive email updates about the Deer Plan and other deer management information, encourage them to sign up for this Deer Notes email list. We now have a signup box at the bottom of the Deer Plan webpage. Kudos to you for already being signed up! We anticipate messages will go out about once a month during the plan process, or whenever there is new information to share.

MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #77                                  Oct. 10, 2016


Early antlerless-only deer season to open in 2 southeastern permit areas

Gov. Dayton and Lt. Gov. Smith in Montevideo this weekend for pheasant hunting Opener

Deer hunters in southeastern Minnesota encouraged to submit harvested deer
for CWD sampling

Minneopa bison range hours changing for winter


Early antlerless-only deer season to open in 2 southeastern permit areas

Hunters in portions of southeastern Minnesota can harvest antlerless deer in an early antlerless-only season from Thursday, Oct. 20, to Sunday, Oct. 23, in deer permit areas 346 and 349 in Winona, Houston and Fillmore counties, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

These areas have high deer densities and private landowners have experienced deer damage to agricultural crops. Hunters should be aware that public land is limited in the early antlerless hunt areas, and hunters need to ask permission to hunt private lands.

In the early antlerless deer hunt, only antlerless deer may be taken, and hunters may use up to five early antlerless permits. Deer harvested during the special season do not count toward a hunter’s statewide limit during the regular season. Early antlerless deer permits cost $7.50 for residents and may be purchased wherever hunting licenses are sold. Bonus permits may not be used for the early antlerless season.

All deer harvested during this season must be tagged with an early antlerless permit. Hunters also must have a valid archery, firearms or muzzleloader deer license. The early antlerless season coincides with the four-day special youth deer season. More information can be found at www.mndnr.gov/deer.

The DNR works to protect and maintain Minnesota’s white-tailed deer. The deer population, which varies in density from place to place and year to year, is dependent on adequate habitat and influenced by the severity of winter weather. Deer are ecologically, socially and economically important in a state where hunting and wildlife watching generate more than $1.3 billion in annual economic impacts.


Gov. Dayton and Lt. Gov. Smith in Montevideo
this weekend
for pheasant hunting opener

Pheasants will be the focus in Montevideo this weekend, as the community hosts the Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener.

Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will lead the festivities, which highlight the many hunting, recreational and community opportunities that the greater Montevideo area has to offer visitors.

“For 60 years, I have enjoyed pheasant hunting in Minnesota,” said Gov. Mark Dayton. “Over the past six years, we have held terrific Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener events across Minnesota. I thank our wonderful hosts in Montevideo and the surrounding area for all of their hard work and gracious hospitality. I invite all Minnesotans to join us for this unique Minnesota tradition.”

On Friday afternoon, a dedication of the Mills Creek Gun Range will take place at 3 p.m. The range was the vision of the Tri-County Sportsmen’s Club to involve more area people in shooting sports. It has been a community project, built with countless donations by local citizens and businesses. The range is home to the Montevideo High School trap and skeet teams and features two combined trap and skeet fields, pistol range and 200-yard rifle range and state-of-the-art equipment. It is located 1.5 miles north of Montevideo on state Highway 29.

Friday evening, the public is invited to join the governor at a community banquet at the Montevideo American Legion. The event will run from 5-8 p.m., with social hour, dinner and a program featuring Dayton and other notable speakers. Tickets are $15 each and available until sold out, at the Montevideo Area Chamber of Commerce, city hall or by calling 320-269-5527.

On Saturday, hunters will take to the field to enjoy the outdoors and pursue ring-necked pheasants, one of the state’s most popular upland game birds.

The 2016 event in Montevideo will mark the sixth annual Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener. The event was initiated by Gov. Dayton in 2011. Montevideo also hosted the inaugural event.

Montevideo has a population of 5,500 and is located 130 miles west of the Twin Cities at the intersections of U.S. highways 212 and 59, and Minnesota Highway 7. The city actively promotes hunting and outdoor recreation. Within 25 miles of Montevideo, there are 25 Walk-In Access areas totaling 3,335 acres, 16 waterfowl production areas totaling 4,366 acres and 76 wildlife management areas totaling 47,004 acres. All are open to public hunting.

Explore Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are assisting the Montevideo Area Chamber of Commerce in planning the event.

More information and updates on the Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener can be found at www.mngpho2016.com.


Deer hunters in southeastern Minnesota encouraged
to submit harvested deer for CWD sampling

Deer hunters in southeastern Minnesota who harvest a deer during the 3A and 3B firearms deer seasons are encouraged to have their deer sampled for chronic wasting disease (CWD) at one of 30 locations that will be staffed.

Due to the expansion of CWD in Iowa and Wisconsin, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will be conducting CWD surveillance in deer areas 339 to 349 throughout the firearm season, an area that includes nearly all the 300 series permit areas. The goal is to collect 3,600 samples.

“Working with hunters to sample deer for evidence of CWD is our best opportunity for early detection of the disease in Minnesota,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager. “Early detection is important from the perspective of limiting disease spread, and we will make the process as quick as possible to get hunters on their way.”

CWD is caused by an abnormal protein called a prion that affects the animal’s brain. The disease is always fatal, and can spread from one animal to another. Months to years pass from the time an animal is infected to when it shows signs of the disease. There is no known treatment for the disease, and the prions can persist and remain infectious in the environment.

Recent research has demonstrated that long-term CWD infections in wild deer have led to measurable reductions in deer populations.

“We take these actions because our only real opportunity to reduce or eliminate disease is to find it right away,” Cornicelli said. “If a disease like CWD becomes established, it will be a problem for future generations.”

The DNR’s CWD management plan calls for surveillance when risk increases. That risk includes positive domestic animals or when the disease is found in adjacent states.

“Much of the southeast has not been extensively sampled since 2009 and because of the Iowa and Wisconsin infections, it is important to aggressively conduct surveillance,” Cornicelli said.

To further reduce the risk of CWD entering Minnesota, whole deer carcasses are no longer allowed to be imported into Minnesota from anywhere in North America. This is a new restriction this year in Minnesota. There are no restrictions on carcass movement for deer harvested in Minnesota and moved within the state.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other public health agencies have concluded there is no known link between CWD and any neurological disease in humans. However, both the CDC and the World Health Organization recommend that no part of a known positive animal should be consumed by humans. Additionally, there is no evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to species other ungulates.

Reminders for hunters, and chances to win
Hunters in the permit areas where sampling is taking place are reminded that they will not be able to register deer by phone or internet during the surveillance period. Deer must be registered in person at a walk-in registration station and hunters are strongly encouraged to allow sampling of their deer.

Deer must be present at the time of registration. When surveillance quotas are met, the electronic system will be turned back on. Hunters will not be notified of individual results, unless their deer is positive. The DNR will release details after deer season that explain overall surveillance results.

CWD sampling only takes a few minutes and is done while the hunter registers their deer. To help encourage samples, Bluffland Whitetails Association has donated a compound bow and a muzzleloader and the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association has donated a muzzleloader. Hunters who submit a sample for testing will be entered into a random drawing for one of those items. Also, every hunter who donates a sample will be given a DNR cooperator patch as a small token of appreciation.

DNR staff will be working at 30 sampling sites from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, and Sunday, Nov. 6, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, Nov. 7. A smaller number of stations will be open the second weekend, Saturday, Nov. 12, to Sunday, Nov. 13.

Sampling goals will likely not be met during the opening 3A season that runs from Nov. 5 to Nov. 13, so stations will be staffed during the 3B season, which runs from Saturday, Nov. 19 to Sunday, Nov. 27.

Deer check stations where CWD surveillance is occurring are listed on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/cwd, and hunters are encouraged to check the site for new information. They are:

  • Bissen’s Tavern, 202 S. Third, Brownsville.
  • Caledonia True Value, 520 Old Highway Drive, Calendonia.*
  • Rhino’s Archery, 31821 64th Ave., Cannon Falls.
  • Magnum Sports, 21 First St., Chatfield.*
  • Elba Valley Express, 1105 S. Main St., Elba.*
  • Mauer Brother’s Tavern, 1200 S. Main St., Elba.
  • Holiday Station Store #3563, 1500 Vermillion St., Hastings.
  • Main Street Saloon, 56 Main St., Hokah.
  • Houston Amoco Food Shop, Highway 16 E., Houston.*
  • Kasson Hardware Hank, 11 Fourth St. SE., Kasson.
  • Prairie Bait Shop, 705 Dodge St., Kellogg.
  • Pump for Less/Southside Corner, 101 Kistler Drive, La Crescent.
  • BP Gas, 100 Sheridan W., Lanesboro.*
  • Lewiston Hardware Hank, 400 Debra Drive, Lewiston.
  • Mabel BP, MN-44, Mabel.
  • Becklund’s Auto Repair and Towing, 500 Bridge St., Millville.
  • Eagle View Bar and Grill, 208 Bennett Ave., Minneiska.
  • Greenway Cooperative, 100 North Main St., Pine Island.
  • Kreofsky Building Supply, 865 Enterprise Drive SW., Plainview.
  • 4 Season’s Sport Shop, 2301 W Main St., Red Wing.*
  • Gander Mountain-Rochester, 3470 55th St. NW., Rochester.
  • Archery Headquarters, 3440 Northern Valley Place NE., Rochester.
  • Rollingstone Mini Mart, 555 MN-248, Rollingston.
  • Pam’s Corner Convience, 105 State Highway 16, Rushford.*
  • Good Sport Liquor/Bar N Grill, 149 E. Sixth St., St. Charles.
  • River Valley Outfitters, 1023 Hiawatha Drive W., Wabasha.
  • Mills Fleet Farm, 920 US-61, Winona.*
  • Witoka Tavern, 27999 County Road 9, Witoka*.
  • Gas and Goodies, 104 E. Front St. Box 155, Wykoff.
  • Neptune Bar and Grill, 468 MN-60, Zumbro Falls.

*These stations will be open the entire week of the 3A season.

Additionally, the DNR is working with area taxidermists to help collect CWD samples. There are currently eight taxidermists helping and hunters are asked to work with them as well.

They are:

  • Corcoran’s Taxidermy, Hampton, 651-437-5256.
  • Bridley Taxidermy, Mazeppa, 507-843-2105.
  • Larry’s Taxidermy, Stewartville, 507-533-8710.
  • M&M Taxidermy, Chatfield, 507-696-8588.
  • Reed’s Taxidermy, Mantorville, 507-635-5837.
  • Vold’s Taxidermy, Rochester, 507-202-0616.
  • Prairie Ridge Taxidermy, Caledonia, 507-458-0710.
  • Willard’s Taxidermy, Brownsville, 507-482-9453.
  • Norton’s Lost Arrow Taxidermy, Rushford, 507-864-7508.

The DNR works to protect and maintain Minnesota’s white-tailed deer. The deer population, which varies in density from place to place and year to year, is dependent on adequate habitat and influenced by the severity of winter weather. Deer are ecologically, socially and economically important in a state where hunting and wildlife watching generate more than $1.3 billion in annual economic impacts.