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MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #55                                                                                 July 22, 2013
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IN THIS ISSUE
Applications for September mentored waterfowl hunt due Aug. 12
Apply by Aug. 16 for fall special youth deer hunts
Walk-In Access adds 6,000 acres, $3 validation fee for hunting this fall
Question of the week: personal watercraft

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Applications for September mentored waterfowl hunt due Aug. 12

Youth who want to experience waterfowl hunting for the first time can apply to be one of 65 participants in this year’s mentored youth waterfowl hunt on Saturday, Sept. 7. Application deadline is Monday, Aug. 12.

The hunts will be conducted at Hamden Slough near Detroit Lakes, the Morris Wildlife Production Area near Morris and on private lands in the Prior Lake, Windom and the Fergus Falls areas.

The hunts are coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in cooperation with Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club. Partners provide mentors and areas to hunt.

To participate, youth must be 12-15 years old and completed firearms safety training. A parent or guardian must accompany the youth during the orientation, education and field sessions that begin Friday, Sept. 6, and the Saturday hunt.

“The upcoming hunts are an excellent way for youth and parents to learn waterfowling skills in a supportive and high quality environment,” said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator. “The intent of these hunts is to create skills, confidence, social connections and other understandings so that youth and their families will hunt on their own in the future.”    

Kurre said if the number of applications exceeds the number of available spaces, participants will be selected via lottery. Applying for hunts farther from the Twin Cities increases the likelihood of being selected.

The mentored youth waterfowl hunt occurs on Youth Waterfowl Day, a special day prior to the general waterfowl season than enables youth age 15 and younger to hunt waterfowl when accompanied by a non-hunting adult.

Visit www.mndnr.gov/discover for an application or call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 for more information.   

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       July 22, 2013

Apply by Aug. 16 for fall special youth deer hunts

Minnesota youth have until Friday, Aug. 16, to apply for 18 mentored deer hunts this fall, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Youth ages 12-15 may apply for one of 15 special firearms youth deer hunts at selected state parks and refuges. Youth ages 12-17 may apply for three special archery youth deer hunts. Participating in a youth deer hunt does not preclude the youth from participating in the regular firearms deer season, but any deer harvested do count against the youth’s season bag limit.

A limited number of either-sex permits are available for each hunt. New hunts are available at Twin Lakes Scientific and Natural Area, Blue Mounds State Park, Camden State Park and Lake Shetek State Park.

ARCHERY

  • Camp Ripley (open to youth 12-17), Morrison County, Oct. 11-13,
    175 permits.
  • Lake Alexander Preserve (open to youth 12-17), Morrison County, Oct. 11-13,
    20 permits.
  • Twin Lakes SNA (open to youth 12-17), Isanti County, Oct. 19-20, three permits.
     

FIREARMS

  • Afton State Park, Washington County, Nov. 9-10, 20 permits.
  • Banning State Park, Pine County, Nov. 2-3, 6 permits.
  • Blue Mounds State Park, Rock County, Dec. 7-8, 5 permits.
  • Buffalo River State Park, Clay County, Nov. 9-10, 14 permits.
  • Camden State Park, Lyon County, Nov. 2 -3, 10 permits.
  • Great River State Park, Winona County, Oct. 26-27, 30 permits.
  • Itasca State Park, Clearwater County, Oct. 12-13, 75 permits.
  • Lake Bemidji State Park, Beltrami County, Oct. 19-20, 20 permits.
  • Lake Shetek State Park, Murray County, Oct. 19-20, 10 permits.
  • Rydell National Wildlife Refuge, Polk County, Oct. 19-20, 20 permits.
  • St. Croix State Park, Pine County, Nov. 2-3, 100 permits.
  • Savanna Portage State Park, Aitkin County, Oct. 26-27, 20 permits.
  • Sibley State Park, Kandiyohi County, Oct. 26-27, 10 permits.
  • Tettegouche State Park, Lake County, Oct. 19-20, 10 permits.
  • Zippel Bay State Park, Lake of the Woods County, Oct. 12-13, 20 permits.

A youth must apply for the hunt of his or her choice, which costs $1 and can be done at any DNR license agent; the DNR License Center, 500 Lafayette Road, in St. Paul; or online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense.

If the number of applications exceeds the number of permits, a lottery will be conducted. Youth may only apply for one archery hunt and one firearms hunt.

An adult parent or guardian must accompany the youth at all times while hunting but only the youth may hunt. Youth and their mentor must attend a mandatory pre-hunt orientation session. Successful applicants also must meet all firearms safety requirements, purchase all appropriate licenses and follow hunting regulations. More information on these hunts is available by following the youth deer hunt link at www.mndnr.gov/discover.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           July 22, 2013

Walk-In Access adds 6,000 acres, $3 validation fee for hunting this fall

Hunters heading to western and south-central Minnesota will have access to an additional 6,083 acres of hunting land this fall as the Walk-In Access program grows to more than 20,000 acres and the number of counties increases from 19 to 28.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) crews are in the field marking boundaries on new Walk-In Access land with bright yellow-green signs. Beginning Sunday, Sept. 1, hunters will have access to 194 Walk-In Access sites.

This fall hunters must purchase a $3 Walk-In Access validation on their small game or deer license to legally access land enrolled in the program. The DNR added the validation so it can learn how many hunters use Walk-In Access lands as well as where and how those lands are used.

"Local soil and water conservation district offices are a key part of the Walk-In program," said Marybeth Block, DNR Walk-In Access coordinator. "Because of their work directly with landowners, we've added almost 2,000 new acres in Wilkin County as well as many new sites in Becker, Douglas and Otter Tail counties."

Walk-In Access provides public access to private land and pays landowners by the acre to allow hunting access from Sept. 1 to May 31. Most Walk-In Access lands also are enrolled in a federal or state conservation program or have natural cover. Small areas of cropland or hay land may be present.

Revenue generated by the new validation fee will be used to survey hunters and gather other information as the DNR develops a long-term, financially sustainable program. Additional revenue to support Walk-In Access comes from a surcharge on nonresident hunting licenses and through donations of $1, $3 or $5 from anyone purchasing a hunting license.

“We have gotten positive feedback from both hunters and landowners since the program kicked off in 2011,” said Mike Tenney, DNR acting prairie habitat team leader. “We look forward to that success carrying into 2013.”

Maps of all sites will be available for viewing at www.mndnr.gov/walkin by mid-August. Printed atlases of Walk-In Access sites will be distributed across the Walk-In Access area or will be available by calling the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367.

“Hunter support is key to this program,” Block said. “Using the land, respecting the land and donating to Walk-In Access program will help build the program for future hunters.”

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DNR QUESTION OF THE WEEK

Q: I just bought a personal watercraft. Are there restrictions on the hours I can operate it?

A: Yes, operation of personal watercraft is allowed only from 9:30 a.m. to one hour before sunset. For more rules and regulations regarding personal watercraft, go to www.mndnr.gov/regulations/boatwater.

-Kara Owens, DNR boat and water safety specialist


This email was sent to editor@woodsnews.com on behalf of: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources · 500 Lafayette Road · Saint Paul, MN 55155 · 1-888-MINNDNR  

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