Register Now: Creating Habitat for Minnesota’s Pollinators

Creating Habitat for Minnesota’s Pollinators
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Honeybees and other insect pollinator populations are declining at concerning rates. Thanks to the tremendous ecological and economic value of pollinators, policy makers and public agencies are turning their attention towards addressing this critical issue, but what opportunities exist to support pollinator populations?

This forum will examine the status of insect pollinators in Minnesota and efforts to understand, protect, and support their populations, particularly through strategic opportunities to create additional habitat on both public and private lands.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr. Marla Spivak, Professor, University of Minnesota
  • Kristy Allen, Founder, Beez Kneez
  • Eric Mader, Pollinator Program Co-Director, Xerces Society
  • Bob Welsh, Wildlife Habitat Program Manager, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Learn more or register »

Environmental Initiative is pleased to offer a reduced registration rate to our members. Become a member today »

Contact Greg Bohrer at 612-334-3388 ext. 111 with questions or to inquire about a scholarship rate.

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newsletter 10-27-14

Wings North update, & great deals! Sign up today!

I hope everyone is getting limits of birds & fish!

What a great fall we are having can you believe this weather?   If you haven’t been out yet we have several offers you can’t refuse.  If you have been out we look forward to seeing you again J   We have released over 3500 birds so far this year!

November 9th Women only!!   Conceal & carry. 

November 14th

2nd weekend of Deer camp hunt:  Cost is $550 per field with 25 Pheasants per field.   This includes dinner after the hunt & entertainment later that evening.  


November 22nd 30 Pheasants all Hens for only $500.00 we will have 9 fields available.   This is an afternoon hunt starting at 1:30 up to 5 people per field.


November 20th MWA     Wine & Wild Game event!  Open to the first 50 couples.  


Thanksgiving day:  We are open until noon!

December 13th Ice fishing league starts.


European hunts will start in December.   Here are the dates:

December 14th

January 11th January 25th

February 8th February 22nd

March 8th March 22nd

April 5th April 19th

The costs for these hunts are $150 per shooter or $300 for the station.

We do also do private European hunts as well please call if you are interested in hosting one for your business, or friends.

Upcoming Events:

Big Buck Hunter HD, League

Ice Fishing League, Both start in December.

Buck Hunter League will be every other Wed.       Ice fishing League will Start in Dec.  Every other Saturday:

Chad Hughes

Wings North

(320) 629-5002 Clubhouse

(320) 282-8614 Cell

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DNR commentary and news releases, Oct. 27, 2014

Conservative 2014 deer season will rebuild herd, challenge hunters   
By Tom Landwehr, commissioner, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Like more than 400,000 others, I am anxiously awaiting Saturday, Nov. 8, when Minnesota’s firearms deer hunting season begins.

There’s nothing like it. The days of advance scouting. The physical struggle of putting up the new stands. The straining for vision and sound in the pre-dawn light of opening day. Anticipation is in full swing for weeks, and then it is upon us.

As I prepare for this year’s hunt, I am fully aware that I, like many other hunters, am less likely to bag a deer than in recent years. In fact, the lowest deer harvest in decades is expected under a harvest plan designed to rebuild the herd. We are conserving deer – does in particular — this season to improve deer numbers in the future.

Overall, most hunters in the state will be able to harvest only one deer. In much of northeastern Minnesota, where two consecutive severe winters took a toll on deer, hunters will only be able to shoot bucks. For me, someone who loves to eat venison, it will be tough to let a big doe go by.  But, the deer herd can rebound quickly, and passing on the doe this year will contribute to a much larger herd next year.

For much of the recent past, the deer herd has been at historic high levels, and harvests have reflected that. In the past five years, and under a plan devised with hunter and landowner input, the DNR deliberately reduced the size of the herd. Today’s populations are close to the goal numbers we set some six years ago. The severe winters of the last two years have driven herd levels lower than where we’d wanted them.

Over the past two years, we at the DNR have heard from hunters that deer numbers are now too low and that efforts to reduce deer numbers have gone too far. In listening sessions and in other ways, many have said it is time to rebuild the population. We agree.

So, this will be a conservative deer season with more protections for antlerless deer throughout much of the state. The harvest could be as low as 120,000. That’s not many deer compared to recent harvests that have approached 200,000 animals.  But, because they respond quickly, we will likely see some liberalization even next year.

Meanwhile, do know the DNR needs your help in re-evaluating deer population goals across the state. This goal-setting process began in 2012 in southern Minnesota and moved to southeastern Minnesota in 2014. Goals for the remainder of Minnesota will be set in 2015 and 2016. We want to hear from you.

How can you get involved? Starting in January, you can send in comments or attend public meetings to discuss deer populations in the region or area where you hunt, live or work. You’ll also be able to provide input through a questionnaire designed for the process. You can even volunteer to serve on one of five advisory teams that will recommend deer population goals for each goal-setting block. You can nominate yourself through Monday, Nov. 17. Apply online at

Even with the reduced harvest, I am really looking forward to the deer opener. I will be spending much of the season with my son, Hunter. He’s a good partner. Like me, he enjoys the sights and sounds of the woods, likes sharing stories at the end of the day, and really likes the report of his trusty .308.

It’s possible we’ll see some antlerless deer we can’t harvest, like many other folks. And that’s OK. It’s OK because we are rebuilding the herd. And it’s OK because for us success is not only about filling tags. It’s also about spending time together, being hunters, enjoying the outdoors and building the memories. We’Il have a good time together. And I expect even better times ahead.

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MN BHA Update

MN BHA Friends,


BHA board member Larry Fischer passed away recently (on 10/18/14) and will be missed by all who knew him (or of him)…he leaves big hunting-conservation (and other) boots to fill. We’ll continue to follow his trail at BHA:


-Participate in BHA’s 3rd annual hunting photo contest:

-BHA: Defend your freedom to roam, take the sportsman’s pledge:


-“Local view: It’s time for elk herd expansion.” Duluth News Tribune: 10/9/14.

-A story (& photos) about MN BHA member Jim Gerold’s September New Mexico elk hunt (some decent bulls in these photos!):


-DNR: Minnesota hunters will bag far fewer deer this season:

-Mark Johnson begins new job with Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council:

-Tips on Wilderness Whitetails from Field & Stream:

-A petition to have the MN Legislative Audit Committee perform an audit of MN DNR Deer Model and Herd Monitoring Techniques:


Updates on proposed sulfide mining in northern Minnesota (and related issues):

-Long road remains for PolyMet EIS:,11719

-Minnesota deserves an answer to this question: “how long would PolyMet’s polluted water require expensive treatment after closure?”

-Minnesota wild rice-sulfate research to be reviewed by scientists:

-Stand with Sportsmen for Clean Water:

-Sporting groups oppose House bill undermining clean water:


-Steven Rinella: What A Real Paleo Diet Looks Like:

-“More Women Give Hunting A Shot.” Colorado Outdoors: 10/16/14.

-‘Garbaging’ for bears: If that’s hunting, buying Hannaford cod is fishing:


-The LWCF Celebrates Turning 50 by Being Underfunded … for the 48th Time:

-Conservation fund (LWCF) has plenty of supporters:


-Roosevelt’s Barking Deer Rediscovered after 84-year Absence:

-North Dakota-Theodore Roosevelt National Park-South Unit (10/10/14):

-North Dakota-Theodore Roosevelt National Park-Elkhorn Ranch Unit (10/10/14):


Check out the MN BHA Facebook page:!/groups/MinnesotaBackcountryHunters/


Have a good week,



David A. Lien

Co-Chair, Minnesota

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

The Sportsman’s Voice for Our Wild Public Lands, Waters and Wildlife

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2nd Minnesota River Congress

Collaboration, communication in Minnesota River basin focus of second ‘congress’ Oct. 30

New Ulm, Minn. – Like a stream or river channeling its course across the landscape, the movement toward some form of collaboration among citizens, organizations, and all government units in the Minnesota River basin will begin to take shape at the second Minnesota River Congress Oct. 30 in New Ulm.

Voices heard at past meetings call for some type of organization to promote communication and collaboration that will help unify the scores of groups pursuing environmental, economic, and social vitality in the basin.

“The second congress will begin with a review of ideas gathered at the first congress June 19, and six regional meetings,” says Scott Sparlin, of Coalition for a Clean Minnesota River and one of the congress organizers. “We’ll try to define a mission, and then rank the top themes heard at the previous meetings.”

Following a review of the main purpose and themes, the discussion will turn to potential structures of an organization, Sparlin says. “It will wrap up with representation. Who wants to be represented? What groups or segments should have representation in this organization? We’ve been focusing on citizen leadership at a basin-wide scale.”

Everyone is welcome to attend the congress at Turner Hall, 102 S. State St., New Ulm. A networking fair with displays by organizations will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. A build-a-burger buffet will start at 6 p.m.

Within its natural borders, the Minnesota River Basin holds nearly 11 million acres, more than 700,000 people, and thousands of farms and industries. Within Minnesota it has all or portions of 37 counties and more than a hundred cities and towns. All depend on its land and water. The people in the basin are represented by one or more of the many organizations in the basin. Yet there is no collective voice speaking solely for the land and water throughout the entire basin, for what they need to stay healthy and productive.

Organizers believe there’s a need for a citizen-led entity that is inviting and all inclusive for the many different groups active in the Minnesota River Valley, including agriculture, industry, natural resources, recreation, economic development, tourism, all levels of government, faith communities, first nations, and watershed organizations.

Pre-register for the congress by contacting the Coalition for a Clean Minnesota River, PO Box 488, New Ulm, MN 56073. The cost is $15 per person and includes the buffet dinner. Admission is free for young adults under 19 or with a college ID. Admission at the door is $20. Networking fair space rental is $30. You can register for admission and/or the networking fair by mail at the above address, or go online for individual registration and networking fair registration.

Minnesota River Valley Congress schedule Oct. 30, 2014, Turner Hall, 102 S. State St., New Ulm:

  • 4-6 p.m. – Networking Fair-displays by organizations, Turner Hall.
  • 6 p.m. – Buffet dinner.
  • 6:45 p.m. – Overview-purpose of congress.
  • 7 p.m. – Small and large group discussion.
  • 9 p.m. – Adjourn.

Congress co-sponsors include: Minnesota River Watershed Alliance, Coalition for a Clean Minnesota River, Friends of the Minnesota Valley, Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center, Water Resource Center-Minnesota State University, Clean Up our River Environment, Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Earth Sabbath, Clean Up the River Environment, Wild River Academy, New Ulm Area Sport Fishermen, U of M Southwest/Southeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, and Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance.

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Hunting Participation in the United States: 2012 to 2014 and Participation Forecasts for 2014 to 2016

Responsive Management recently coordinated with all 50 state fish and wildlife agencies to continue monitoring hunting participation throughout the United States. Following up on the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, Responsive Management worked with key personnel in each agency to estimate the trend in their state’s hunting participation for the past two years as well as the next two years.


Findings from the 2011 National Survey (which examined the trend in hunting participation between 2006 and 2011) and the Responsive Management study (which looked at hunting participation between 2012 and 2014 and expected participation between 2014 and 2016) together offer a more complete picture of the state of hunting participation in the United States. One of the immediate takeaways is that the participation gains documented by the last National Survey have begun to level off across much of the country.


The 2011 National Survey determined that 28 states experienced increased hunting participation between 2006 and 2011. Responsive Management, meanwhile, identified just 12 states that saw increased participation in hunting between 2012 and 2014 (see map above). These states are Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. Each of the states that reported increased hunting participation between 2012 and 2014 were continuing a trend of rising hunter numbers as documented in the National Survey, with four exceptions: Georgia, Maine, North Carolina, and Oklahoma each saw decreased hunting participation between 2006 and 2011, before reversing this trend for the period between 2012 and 2014.


On the whole, agencies most commonly reported that their state’s hunting participation had stayed the same between 2012 and 2014. States that reported increases in hunting in recent years, meanwhile, tended to be in the southern region of the country (exceptions are Connecticut, Idaho, Maine, and Utah). Otherwise, a fifth of the agencies indicated that hunting participation in their state had decreased between 2012 and 2014.


Looking ahead to the next two years, one in five agencies anticipates an increase in their state’s hunting participation between 2014 and 2016 (see map below). And while the southern region predominated among states that saw increased participation between 2012 and 2014, those agencies expecting increased hunter numbers over the next two years make up a more geographically diverse selection of regions: states anticipating a rise in hunting participation between 2014 and 2016 are Connecticut, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and Washington. As with the earlier timeframe, agencies most commonly expect that their state’s hunting participation will stay the same over the next two years, while eight states anticipate a decline.


The color-coded maps above and below reflect agency responses regarding current and anticipated hunting participation. Because, in some cases, conflicting data were obtained, the maps occasionally use an “average” color to represent the overall state response.


What’s Happening at Responsive Management

Responsive Management is currently working on 35 projects related to public opinion on and attitudes toward natural resources and outdoor recreation. Below are several recent events, as well as some recent and upcoming projects that Responsive Management has completed or will complete this fall and winter as well as next year.


Recent Events at Responsive Management

  • In July, Responsive Management Executive Director Mark Damian Duda was the keynote speaker at the Izaak Walton League of America’s 2014 National Convention in Los Angeles.
  • Mark was recently featured in OutdoorHub’s Leaders of Conservation, an interview series dedicated to the people and organizations at the forefront of the North American conservation movement.
  • Mark was also recently interviewed by both NRA Radio and Bass Pro Shops Rural Radio, where he spoke about some of Responsive Management’s research documenting increases in hunting and shooting participation.
  • Mark has also given several presentations this fall at Colorado State University’s Human Dimensions Conference, for The Wildlife Society, and as a plenary speaker at the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Conference.
  • Responsive Management was invited to submit a paper for the Center for Humans and Nature’s “Questions for a Resilient Future” series. The paper examined modern attitudes toward hunting in an evolutionary context to argue how hunting is inextricably part of who we are as human beings.
  • Responsive Management recently worked with the Maryland Sportsmen’s Foundation and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development to conduct research for a large-scale tourism study designed to increase nonresident hunting and fishing participation in Maryland. Other project partners included Bass Pro Shops, Trout Unlimited, the Coastal Conservation Association, and the Chesapeake Guides Association.
Recent and Upcoming Responsive Management Projects

  • Pennsylvania Residents’ Opinions on and Attitudes Toward Nongame Wildlife. This study was conducted for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, to determine Pennsylvania residents’ opinions on and attitudes toward nongame wildlife, activities and priorities of the Commissions, and funding for the Commissions. The study also assessed residents’ attitudes toward hunting, fishing, and game species. The study entailed a telephone survey of Pennsylvania residents 18 years old and older, and the sample was developed so that statistically valid data were obtained for each of Pennsylvania’s 18 Congressional Districts.
  • Georgia Hunters’ Use of and Attitudes Toward Wildlife Management Areas. This study was conducted for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division to determine hunters’ participation in and opinions on hunting on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). The study entailed a telephone survey of Georgia licensed hunters who had hunted on a Georgia WMA within the past five years.
  • Outdoor Recreationists’ Use of, Opinions on, and Expenditures in Georgia Wildlife Management Areas. This study was conducted in cooperation with Southwick Associates for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to determine the WMAs in which outdoor recreationists participate in non-hunting and non-fishing activities, such as hiking, cycling, and birding. The study also determined the number of days and trips they take as well as the economic impact of their recreational activities by WMA. The study entailed a telephone survey of Georgia residents who had purchased a Georgia Outdoor Recreational Pass or any hunting and/or fishing license or permit with WMA privileges.
  • Delaware Residents’ Opinions on Climate Change and Sea Level Rise. This study was conducted for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to determine Delaware residents’ opinions on climate change and sea level rise. The study, which entailed a telephone survey of Delaware residents ages 18 years and older, is an update of research originally conducted in 2010. The 2014 survey explores trends in residents’ attitudes and knowledge levels regarding climate change and sea level rise.
  • Assessing the Social and Economic Impacts of a 12-Day Concurrent Antlered and Antlerless Deer Season and a 5-Day Antlered Deer Only / 7-Day Antlered and Antlerless Split Season. This study was conducted to assess the economic and social differences between a 12-day concurrent antlered and antlerless deer season and a 5-day antlered deer only / 7-day antlered and antlerless split season, the two major firearms deer season schedules used in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) throughout Pennsylvania. The study entailed a survey of licensed Pennsylvania deer hunters to assess their satisfaction with WMU hunting opportunities, their hunting- and trip-related expenditures in and around WMUs, and their support for adjustments in antlerless deer season lengths on WMUs.
  • Arizona Anglers’ Opinions, Attitudes, and Expenditures in the State. This study was conducted for the Arizona Game and Fish Department to determine anglers’ opinions on various regulations, their satisfactions and dissatisfactions with fishing in Arizona, their fishing locations and methods typically used, and their fishing-related expenditures in Arizona in 2013. The study entailed a multi-modal survey of Arizona anglers; data were collected via telephone interviews and the Internet, with postcard reminders that included a Quick Response (QR) code and link to an online version of the questionnaire.
  • Enhancing Fishing Access Through a National Assessment of Boating Access. This study was conducted under a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Multistate Conservation Grant to explore how the quality of boating access throughout the United States may affect participation in both recreational boating and fishing. The research proceeded from the understanding that participation in boating and fishing are intertwined, with obstacles or barriers to one activity strongly influencing participation in the other. Overall, the study included a review of previously published research; a series of focus groups with boaters; a focus group with boating industry representatives; a nationwide survey of boaters, including anglers who fish from a boat; and a national survey of boating industry representatives and boating agency professionals.
  • Deer Hunting and Harvest Management in Vermont. This study was conducted for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department to determine hunters’ opinions on and attitudes toward deer management strategies, specifically as they relate to hunting and harvest regulations. The ultimate purpose of the project was to help the Department develop a comprehensive evaluation of deer hunting and harvest regulations, thereby assisting the Department in developing the most effective deer management strategies and hunting regulations to best meet the needs of its diverse constituents. The study entailed a telephone survey of licensed hunters in Vermont, including both residents and nonresidents.
  • Washington Residents’ Opinions on Bear and Wolf Management and Their Experiences With Wildlife That Cause Problems. This study was conducted for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to determine residents’ opinions on bear and wolf management, their opinions on management of predators in general, their experiences with wildlife that cause problems, and their participation in outdoor recreation. The study entailed a telephone survey of Washington residents from across the state.
  • Nebraska Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. Responsive Management has contracted with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to conduct data collection for Nebraska’s upcoming State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). Responsive Management has conducted SCORP studies for several states over the years, including Washington, Iowa, Florida, and Delaware.
  • The Attitudes of Gulf State Marine Anglers and Residents Toward the Illegal Feeding and Harassment of Marine Mammals. Responsive Management is currently providing human dimensions expertise and consulting to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service for a large-scale project addressing the rehabilitation of Gulf of Mexico dolphins (and sea turtles) that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The project will quantify the scope, scale, and frequency of human interactions with marine mammals (as well as sea turtles), examine the motives for such interactions, and test communications and messages designed to curtail such behavior.
  • New Hampshire Residents’ and Hunters’ Opinions on the Status and Management of Big Game Populations. Responsive Management has been commissioned by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department to determine public opinions on and attitudes toward populations and the management of various big game species. This project marks the third time that Responsive Management has been hired by the Department to conduct research as part of its 10-Year Game Management Plan.
  • Survey of California Deer Hunters Regarding Deer Management in the State. This fall, Responsive Management will conduct a large-scale telephone survey for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to assess deer hunters’ attitudes toward deer hunting and deer management in California. The project will entail more than 9,500 completed interviews with California hunters encompassing all 58 counties of the state.
  • Mountain Trout Anglers’ and North Carolina Landowners’ Opinions on the Public Mountain Trout Water Program. This study for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission will include two multi-modal surveys to gather quantitative data regarding participation in, attitudes toward, and the economic impact of mountain trout fishing in North Carolina. Specifically, this study will entail a survey of North Carolina resident and nonresident trout anglers to assess their fisheries management expectations, preferences, and characteristics and to estimate the economic contributions of mountain trout fishing to North Carolina’s economy. The study will also include a survey of western North Carolina landowners to determine their views on angler access to trout waters. The proposed research follows similar studies conducted by Responsive Management for the Commission in 2007 and 2009.
  • Understanding Trends in Public Values Toward Wildlife as a Key to Meeting Current and Future Wildlife Management Challenges. Next year, Responsive Management will implement data collection for a study replicating and expanding the 2005 landmark 19‑state study Wildlife Values in the West. The new project, for which partners include Colorado State University, the University of Minnesota, Ohio State University, the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, will examine longitudinal trends in public values toward wildlife; show how values are distributed across the landscape at state, regional, and national levels; and identify the underlying causes of value shift to depict future scenarios.
  • Data Collection and Social Science Support for NOAA’s National Ocean Service Coastal Services Center and Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. Responsive Management is a partner in a $9.9 million study to conduct ongoing quantitative and qualitative research in support of various local and regional coastal resource assessments, ecosystem services, estuarine and watershed analyses, environmental characterizations, and hazards resilience assessments. Topic areas examined in the study will include marine managed areas, climate adaptation, coastal and ocean planning, habitat conservation efforts, and other related coastal management issues.
Responsive Management is an internationally recognized public opinion and attitude survey research firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues. Our mission is to help natural resource and outdoor recreation agencies and organizations better understand and work with their constituents, customers, and the public. For more information about Responsive Management, visit

Responsive Management


130 Franklin Street | Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801

540-432-1888  Email Us | Visit Us Online




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DNR news releases, Oct. 20, 2014

Media contacts: Rick Bruesewitz, Aitkin area fisheries supervisor, 218-927-7503, ext. 228,; Brad Parsons, DNR central region fisheries manager,


Mille Lacs Lake fall fish survey shows promise

For the first time since 2008, Mille Lacs Lake walleye surviving into their second year remain abundant and the following year’s hatch appears to be doing well, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“We’re far from out of the woods on Mille Lacs Lake,” said Rick Bruesewitz, Aitkin area fisheries supervisor for the DNR. “But younger walleye are showing more positive signs of survival than they have in past years.”

That’s good news for the lake’s walleye population, which has been declining because the vast majority of walleye that hatch in Mille Lacs have not grown into yearlings by surviving to their second autumn. When not enough smaller fish grow into larger ones, the population eventually drops.

As expected, the walleye catch in all types of nets during this fall’s population assessment was down slightly from last year but there were strong numbers of walleye hatched the previous year in all surveys. Catch rates of these walleye were among the highest observed since 1991 for electrofishing and 2006 for fine-mesh gill nets.

“This year class survived its first year much better than any of the year classes from the previous four years,” Bruesewitz said. “They look pretty strong going into 2015.”

Electrofishing for walleye hatched this year produced average numbers when compared with catches from previous years, indicating that reproduction in 2014 was again successful. Walleye hatched this year were a little below average in size. This may be related to a lack of food caused by low numbers of newly hatched perch, which serve as the primary food source for newly hatched walleye.

High numbers of newly hatched and yearling tullibee, which range from 3-8 inches long, were too large for newly hatched walleye to eat but their availability will provide more food for larger walleye.

“Both of these tullibee age classes were caught at the highest levels we’ve seen in the forage nets,” Bruesewitz said. “With that much food for larger predators, smaller walleye may have had a better chance of survival from predation. This food resource also appears to have improved the overall condition of larger walleye, which was better than we’ve seen for several years.”

More perch ranging from 6- to 7.9-inches were caught in near-shore and offshore nets but the number of perch longer than 9 inches remained at about the same relatively low level.

Results of assessment netting also showed high numbers of northern pike, many of which range from 22- to 28-inches although fish as long as 39.7 inches were observed in the survey. Smallmouth bass numbers decreased slightly close to shore but increased in off-shore nets. Tullibee numbers increased throughout the lake.

DNR staff continue to compile catch information from fall assessment surveys, including age analysis. Once complete, the data will be added into the stock assessment modeling carried out by both state and tribal biologists.

Annual Mille Lacs Lake safe harvest levels are based on fish population assessments in combination with other sources of information, including past harvest statistics. The DNR and eight Indian bands will evaluate technical data and modeling results related to Mille Lacs Lake and use that information to reach agreement on final safe harvest levels in January. The DNR uses these levels as the basis for walleye management.

Mille Lacs Lake covers 132,000 acres. State anglers are expected to harvest close to 30,000 pounds of walleye this fishing season from an allocation of 42,900 pounds. Indian bands with rights under the 1837 Treaty harvested about 13,000 pounds of walleye last spring. Their total allocation was 17,100 pounds.

For more information on Mille Lacs Lake, visit


DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                Oct. 20, 2014
Media contact: Leslie McInenly, big game program leader, 651-259-5198,

Conservative deer season will lower harvest

Hunters may not see fewer deer when firearms deer season opens Saturday, Nov. 8, but regulations implemented to help increase Minnesota’s deer population will place more of those deer off limits, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.

“By design, this year’s deer harvest will be one of the lowest we’ve seen in decades,” said Leslie McInenly, big game program leader. “In fact, our total harvest this year may end up coming in around 120,000, a level not reported since the early 1980s.”

Because hunters can only harvest bucks in some places and fewer antlerless permits were offered, the 2014 harvest will fall significantly from the 170,000 deer harvested in 2013.

A one-deer bag limit rules most of the state and opportunities to take additional antlerless deer are few and far between, with only seven of 129 deer permit areas and some special hunts allowing the use of bonus permits. The greatest impacts will be in the northeast, the region hardest hit by severe winter weather the past two years, where most of the permit areas only allow the harvest of bucks.

In general, regulations over the past decade have been implemented to reduce the deer population to goals set through a public process and have become more conservative as goals were met. This year’s season reflects not only the effects of winter weather but a response to public interest in growing the population. However, with a return of more moderate winter weather, future seasons will not be similarly lean.

“This season is a bit of a pause prior to revisiting deer goals for most of the state over the next two years,” McInenly said. “Once we are through that process, we’ll have a course set for management.”

Given past experience with times when deer populations are lower, deer populations can respond fairly quickly when harvest is limited, particularly when combined with more moderate winters. For example, after two severe winters in the mid-1990s, the 1997 deer season harvest was 144,000 deer; by 2000, the harvest had rebounded to more than 212,000 deer.

For more information on deer hunting, see

Northeast region
In the northeast region there are lower deer densities than in past years. However, differences across the landscape mean some hunters might find good or even better deer numbers than last year, while others might find the opposite. Regardless of how many deer are seen by hunters, regulations will limit harvest to one deer, and in some areas only bucks.

“Hunting in quality fall habitat and spending time in the woods prior to opening day is more important than ever during years of low deer densities,” said Jeff Lightfoot, northeast regional wildlife manager. “To be successful in harvesting deer, hunters will need to put in the extra time to know where deer are and where they aren’t.”

Due to a series of severe to moderately severe winters, deer densities are below established population goals in most permit areas in the northeast. The conservative regulations eliminate or reduce the harvest of antlerless deer, allowing the deer population to rebound.

“Providing acceptable deer densities for the public is important to area wildlife managers,” Lightfoot said. “To boost deer densities we’re improving deer habitat and considering deer when planning how, when and where to harvest timber on public land, all in addition to the regulations that will limit the number of deer harvested this season.”

Northwest region
Hunters in the northwest region can expect similar to improved deer numbers over last season.

“Hunters will find deer in all areas of the region, though many areas are near or just below goal in terms of deer population,” said John Williams, northwest regional wildlife manager. “The anticipated harvest will be lower than the previous several years due to harvest strategies in place this year that will move populations up toward goal.”

Cropland harvest of corn and beans is behind normal this year and there may be a good amount of standing corn in some areas leading up to and perhaps into the firearms deer season.

All permit areas except Itasca State Park (permit area 287) and the Northwest Angle (permit area 114) will be either lottery or hunter choice, which means hunters in either permit area will only be allowed to shoot one deer. In hunter choice areas, a hunter can harvest one deer of either sex.

Southern region
In the southern region, cropland harvest is as usual a factor for hunters to consider.

“In this mostly open, agricultural part of Minnesota, row crop fields have been experiencing a delayed harvest pace and standing corn in the field may impact hunting,” said Ken Varland, southern regional wildlife manager.

However, the deer herd in the southern region is quite robust following the winter of 2013 to 2014, which was less severe than other parts of Minnesota. Conditions are abnormally dry in a portion of south-central Minnesota despite heavy rains in June that prevented planting of crops in some areas.

“Even though some fawns didn’t make it through last winter, deer came into the spring in relatively good condition. For the most part, we are near the population goal for the region,” Varland said.

Central region
Crop harvest and weather are two factors for hunters to consider in the central region.

“Weather’s always a fairly big determinant of deer harvest,” said Cynthia Osmundson, central region wildlife manager. “And crop harvest will have some impact. We’re going to see a really late crop harvest, and some corn will probably not be harvested this year because of wet conditions.”

Deer will hide in corn not harvested, with wet conditions making it more difficult to drive deer.

A conservative season will also likely affect hunter behavior, meaning people could be waiting longer to squeeze the trigger or loose an arrow, and a longer wait means a lower probability of taking deer. But despite a conservative season in which harvest is expected to be significantly lower for that reason alone, there are still deer to be found in the DNR’s central region, especially in the far southeastern portion of the state.

Another finer point: In the metro deer management area (deer permit area 601), the harvest regulation has stayed the same as last year, which means hunters can take an unlimited number of antlerless deer. In response to the more liberal harvest regulations in the metro deer management area, Osmundson has been contacted by numerous hunters interested in hunting in the metro area for the first time.


NOTE TO MEDIA: Map available at in folder named “news release resources,” then in folder named “10-20-14 region map.”



DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      Oct. 20, 2014
Media contact: Steve Michaels, licensing program director, 651-355-0150,

Hunters can register deer through phone, Internet or in person

Hunters can register deer they harvest by making a telephone call, using the Internet, or bringing deer to a big-game registration station, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Registration instructions for all methods are available at

“Our system gives hunters the ability to choose the registration option that works best for their situation. Electronic or phone registration is convenient for many hunters,” said Leslie McInenly, DNR big game program leader. A number of hunters still choose to go in person to registration stations.

However, hunters in the southeastern Minnesota deer permit areas of 348 and 349 must register deer in person during the opening weekend of firearms season because the DNR is conducting voluntary surveillance for chronic wasting disease in these areas. Phone and Internet registration will be available for these areas once enough samples have been collected.

In all areas, deer must be registered within 48 hours after the deer was taken, and before being processed and before antlers are removed. Deer can be transported out of the area where they were taken before being registered. Registration is important because it provides data on harvest that’s used for management of deer populations.

Phone registration
Register deer via phone by calling 888-706-6367. Directions are printed on the back of each deer hunting license. Have a pen ready. A confirmation number will be given; it must be written on the license and site tag.

Internet registration
Register deer via Internet at Directions will be similar to phone registration, and a confirmation number must be written on the license and site tag.

Walk-in registration
When phone or Internet registration is not possible, hunters must take their deer to a big-game registration station. The person whose name appears on the license must be present at the registration station with their deer. They will receive a big-game possession tag that must be attached to the hind leg, ear or antler where the site tag was attached. A list of all stations organized by city and county is available at any DNR wildlife office or at

Other species
In addition to registering a deer online, hunters can also go online to register a bear, wolf or turkey. If an animal can be registered via phone, instructions will be printed on the back of the license. More hunting information is available at



DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                          Oct. 20, 2014
Media contact: Steve Michaels, licensing program director, 651-355-0150,

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 2014 Minnesota firearms deer season begins Saturday, Nov. 8.

“Buying now beats buying later as last year we sold more than 150,000 licenses on the Thursday and Friday before the firearms season,” said Steve Michaels, DNR licensing program director. “A lot of those folks end up standing in lines who didn’t need to be.”

Deer licenses can be purchased by Minnesota resident adults for $30 at DNR license agents across Minnesota, by phone at 888-665-4236 or online at There are additional fees for telephone and Internet transactions. Hunters who purchase licenses by phone and Internet will receive their deer license and tags by mail, which can take three to five business days to arrive.

Hunters must have a valid deer license and tag in their possession when hunting deer.

The information center and license center at DNR headquarters in St. Paul will extend their hours on opening weekend to accommodate additional phone calls from deer hunters. Phone lines will be open on Friday, Nov. 7, until 8 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 8, from 8 a.m. to noon.

Hunters need to be familiar with deer hunting regulations, which are available at any DNR license agent or online at

License questions should be directed to the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367.


DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         Oct. 20, 2014
Media contact: Leslie McInenly, big game program leader, 651-259-5198,

Minnesota deer facts

Deer: The Animal

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

Deer: Hunting

  • Last year, 30 percent of Minnesota firearm hunters successfully harvested a deer. About 53 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.
  • Last year’s total deer harvest was about 170,000.
  • Because of a conservative 2014 season designed to boost the statewide population, total deer harvest in 2014 is anticipated to be considerably lower and could reach levels not experienced in decades.
  • Hunters can register their deer via Internet, phone or at walk-in big-game registration stations.
  • The largest typical whitetail buck ever taken in Minnesota had a Boone & Crockett score of 202; shot by John Breen in 1918 near Funkley.
  • Minnesota’s No. 1 non-typical whitetail buck had 43 points; shot by 17-year-old Mitch Vakoch in 1974.

Deer: Licenses

  • In total, about 812,000 deer hunting licenses and permits (all types) were sold in 2013.
  • 95 percent of deer licenses are sold to Minnesota residents.
  • The DNR Information Center remained open two hours later on the day before last year’s deer opener to answer more than 2,000 telephone inquiries, most of them related to the firearms opener.

Deer: Economics

  • Nearly 500,000 deer hunters in Minnesota.
  • Direct retail sales – $234 million.
  • Salaries, wages, business owner income – $127 million.
  • State and local tax revenue – $28 million.
  • Number of directly supported jobs – 3,760.
  • Economic impact is greatest in Greater Minnesota.

Top 10 big game hunting violations
1) Hunt over bait
2) Transport uncased/loaded firearm
3) Fail to validate
4) Fail to register
5) License not in possession
6) Untagged
7) No valid license
8) Lending, borrowing, transferring or altering a license
9) Unmarked/unregistered bear bait station
10) Shooting from the road at big game


DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   Oct. 20, 2014
Media contact: Beau Liddell, Little Falls area wildlife manager, 320-616-2468, ext. 222,

Mild conditions greet hunters during first Camp Ripley hunt

Archers took a two-day total of 75 deer during the first two-day bow hunt at Camp Ripley Military Reservation near Little Falls on Oct. 15-16, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.

There were 1,805 permits issued for the first hunt, with 1,282 hunters participating. Hunter success was 6 percent (down 2 percent from last year for the first hunt).

“This was one of two large archery hunts this year at Camp Ripley,” said Beau Liddell, Little Falls area wildlife supervisor for the DNR. “Hunters apply in advance for these hunts, which have become an annual tradition.”

Greg Meinert of Rice, and Juan Valencia of Elk River, each took bucks tipping the scales at 207 pounds. Of adult does registered, the largest weighed in at 128 pounds, taken by Daniel Myrum of Pierz.

The second two-day hunt is scheduled for Oct. 25-26. The DNR coordinates the hunts with the Department of Military Affairs, which manages the 53,000-acre military reservation.


NOTE TO MEDIA: Image available at in folder named “news release resources,” then in folder named “10-20-14 Meinert.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Greg Meinert of Rice bagged a 207-pound buck at the Camp Ripley Archery Hunt on Oct. 15.  The hunt is administered by the DNR with cooperation from the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs.  – Photo taken by Beau Liddell, DNR.

Question of the week

Q: I’ve heard that fall is a good time to remove buckthorn on my land. What’s the best way to control buckthorn?

A: There are two types of invasive buckthorn in Minnesota. Common buckthorn is easily found in late fall when many native shrubs and trees have lost their leaves. Common buckthorn will often have green leaves through November. Glossy buckthorn does not stay green as late as common buckthorn. Use caution as many native trees look similar to buckthorn, and some native trees hold their leaves into the winter.

Buckthorn plants 2 inches in diameter or larger can be controlled by cutting the stem at the soil surface and treating the stump with herbicide or covering the stump to prevent re-sprouting. Cutting can be done effectively with hand tools, chain saws or brush cutters. Stumps should be treated immediately after cutting (within two hours) with an herbicide containing triclopyr (found in many brush killers, Garlon 3A or 4) or glyphosate (Roundup and others) to prevent re-sprouting. An alternative if only cutting a few stumps is to cover them with a tin can or black plastic to prevent re-sprouting. For smaller plants, pulling or herbicide application are methods for control.

Laura Van Riper, DNR terrestrial invasive species coordinator

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