MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #56 July 28, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
St. Croix State Park in Hinckley will pilot an archery hunt for part of the 2014 fall deer season. The archery hunt will be Sept. 29 through Nov. 7, with the exception of Saturday, Nov. 1, and Sunday, Nov. 2, when the park will close for a youth firearms hunt. One hundred archery tags will be available; the deadline to apply for them is Aug. 15.
After a 2011 storm downed trees and dramatically changed the landscape, the number of rifle hunters allowed in the park was reduced for safety reasons. The archery hunt is being added to help safely maintain a healthy deer herd while allowing the park’s pine trees to regenerate.
Deer like to browse on the buds of immature pine saplings, which damages trees and stunts their growth. Consequently, when there are too many deer in an area, pine trees often struggle to reach maturity.
“We used to allow roughly 550 rifle hunters for our four-day deer hunt, but we decided to reduce rifle hunting until the vegetation has a chance to come back,” said Karl Sieve, assistant park manager. “In order to keep our deer herd in check, an archery hunt seemed like a great alternative for us.”
To apply for the fall archery hunt, hunters should write their name, street address, email address and telephone number on a postcard and send it to St. Croix State Park, 30065 St. Croix Park Road, Hinckley, MN 55037. Hunting parties of up to four people can apply together by putting each applicant’s contact information all on one card. The park plans to allow one additional antlerless tag per hunter for the archery hunt, as well as the normal either-sex archery tag.
Successful applicants will be notified by Aug. 22. Any questions regarding the hunt can be directed to the park headquarters at 320-384-6591.
DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 28, 2014
The Minnesota Legislature authorized more than $2 million for matching grants to recreational shooting clubs for developing or rehabilitating trap shooting sports facilities for public use, with an emphasis on enhancing youth participation opportunities. As part of that program, the DNR created an expedited small trap range grants program to provide grants from $2,500 to $25,000 for eligible projects, which must be matched 1:1 up to a total project cost of $50,000. A general grant program for larger projects will be announced later this year.
Applications for the expedited small grants program are now open at the link listed below. The application deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 1. Those selected for funding will be notified in September.
“This new program aims to increase opportunities for youth trap shooters, youth trap teams and adult shooters,” said Chuck Niska, DNR shooting range program coordinator. “Ideally we’d like to see many applications submitted this summer, range work completed this fall and expanded opportunities around the state next spring.”
The development of the program follows a significant rise in youth trap shooting, especially by high school students who are part of a statewide league.
“Existing trap ranges sometimes struggle to meet demand,” Niska said. “Our hope is that these grants will enable facilities to add additional trap fields, upgrade equipment or make other improvements that enable more people to participate in this popular activity.”
Each grant recipient is required to equally match the amount of funds the DNR awards them.
Grant application packets are available at www.mndnr.gov/grants/recreation.
DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 28, 2014
Hunters can harvest Canada geese in west-central Minnesota from Saturday, Aug. 9, through Sunday, Aug. 24, the Department of Natural Resources said.
Individual hunters are allowed to shoot up to 10 Canada geese per day, but there is no limit to the number of Canada geese a hunter can possess.
“The state’s Canada goose population remains high, and more goslings hatched this year than last,” said Steve Cordts, waterfowl specialist for the DNR. “In the western portion of the state, large numbers of Canada geese continue to damage crops. The August management action is one way to control goose numbers.”
The August goose harvest will open only in the intensive harvest zone in west-central Minnesota, with shooting hours from a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset. A small game hunting license, special goose permit and state waterfowl stamp are required. A federal waterfowl stamp is not needed; however, it is needed to hunt geese and other waterfowl beginning in September.
“This is the second year we have held an August goose management action,” Cordts said. “Last August, hunters harvested about 25,000 Canada geese. Hunter success is dependent on weather, progress of small grain harvest and other factors.”
The DNR in August will announce details of fall waterfowl seasons, including the September Canada goose season that runs from Saturday, Sept. 6, through Monday, Sept. 22, and the regular Canada goose seasons that tentatively begin Saturday, Sept. 27. Details on the August goose management action can be found at www.mndnr.gov/waterfowl.
The Harlequin duck is the only waterfowl species eligible for depiction on the stamp, which is sold along with hunting and fishing licenses or as a collectable.
“We’re grateful for artists who submit entries to the stamp contest and people who buy the stamp,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations manager with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The contest offers no prizes and is open to Minnesota residents only. Artists are not allowed to use any photographic product as part of their finished entries. Winning artists usually issue limited edition prints of the artwork and retain proceeds. Judging will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4 at DNR headquarters in St. Paul.
Artists who want to submit entries should closely read contest criteria and guidelines for submitting work, available from the DNR Information Center, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155, and online at www.mndnr.gov/contests.
The mentored hunts are being offered through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Pheasants Forever and the Ruffed Grouse Society. The application deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 2.
“Those new to bird hunting can learn techniques, equipment needs and the skills to be safe and successful in the outdoors,” said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator.
In the youth hunt, youth must be 12-17 years old as of Oct. 18, have earned a firearms safety certificate and possess a small game license if required. Youth must have a parent, guardian or adult authorized by a parent or guardian accompany them as a mentor, without a firearm. The adult must also go with the youth during the pre-hunt orientation.
Applications and more details about the hunt are available online at www.mndnr.gov/discover or by contacting Kurre at 651-259-5193 or email@example.com. Successful applicants will be notified via mail or email by the end of September.
Question of the Week
Q: If I purchase a hunting or fishing license on the DNR website, do I need to keep a printed copy with me out in the field?
A: If you’re using a home computer, you can print most licenses and need to keep a copy with you when participating in the activity. In cases where the license has a tag, the license will be mailed to you, and you must have the license in possession.
Licenses purchased on a mobile device are issued in electronic format, and you can choose to receive an email and/or text message that serves as your license. In that case, you must carry your mobile device or a printed copy of this email or text message to show proof of license.
Steve Michaels, licensing program director