June 7-9th is a great opportunity to introduce children to the outdoors, specifically fishing. The DNR’s annual
“Take-A-Kid Fishing Weekend” is a chance for you and a child under 16 to fish for free. More details below.
Also, as spring finally comes around, signs of it are everywhere. Goslings stumble around small potholes and fawns are stumbling after their mothers. The DNR reminds everyone to let nature take it’s course when it comes to wildlife offspring. Here is the press release courtesy of the DNR website here.
New Freeborn County WMA conserves critical swan, crane habitat
The public is invited to the dedication of a new wildlife management area (WMA) southwest of Blooming Prairie that will conserve 500 acres of gently rolling hills containing 100 acres of wetlands, the highest point in Freeborn County, remnant prairie and remnant bur oak woodland, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.
“Early in my field career, Freeborn County was in my work area,” said Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner. “The Dakota name of this new WMA – Wo Wacintanka, which means ‘to persist in spite of difficulties’ – aptly reflects this new tract’s importance and the tremendous habitat it contains.”
The dedication ceremony is scheduled at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 6, off Freeborn County Road 35 inside the north entrance of the new WMA at 87911 320th St., 17 miles northeast of Albert Lea.
“This new WMA is large enough to provide significant opportunities for public hunting, hiking and wildlife watching in southeastern Minnesota,” said Ed Boggess, director of the DNR’s Fish and Wildlife Division. “Its natural resource value is evident by trumpeter swans that use the wetlands as well as bald eagles and sandhill cranes regularly seen in the area.”
John C. Goetz of the Minneapolis law firm of Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben donated the land, valued at $664,000. The gift marks one of the largest individual donations DNR ever has received. It also is the first land donation to include a clause on the deed prohibiting the sale, transfer or conveyance of the donated property without the prior written approval of the donor or his heirs, executors, administrators or assignees.
An equal, matching amount from the state’s Reinvest In Minnesota program, which is funded by the sales of critical habitat license plates, will be used to acquire or develop other habitat elsewhere in Minnesota.
The Wo Wacintanka WMA will be managed to conserve wildlife, habitat and provide hunting, hiking and wildlife watching activities. The land is now open for public use subject to WMA rules but all borders may not yet be posted.
Driving directions to the dedication site
- From Geneva (intersection of Freeborn County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 45 and Freeborn CSAH 35): go east on Freeborn CSAH 35 about 7.9 miles, or to a point 0.9 miles east of intersection with North Freeborn CSAH 34). The north entrance, an old farm site driveway, of e Wo Wacintanka WMA will be on the right (south side of CSAH 35).
- From Albert Lea: go north on Interstate 35 to Geneva, MN exit (Exit # 22 and Freeborn CSAH 35) and take exit, turn right (east) on Freeborn CSAH 35 and go about 9 miles, or to a point 0.9 miles east of intersection with North Freeborn CSAH 34). The north entrance, an old farm site driveway, of the Wo Wacintanka WMA will be on the right (south side of CSAH 35).
- From Blooming Prairie (south edge): go southeast about 500 feet on U.S. Trunk Highway 218, turn right (south) on Steele CSAH 36 (a.k.a. SE 94th Ave.)/Freeborn CSAH 36 and go 2.6 miles, turn right (west) on Freeborn CSAH 35 and go 3.1 miles. The north entrance, an old farm site driveway, of the Wo Wacintanka WMA will be on the left (south side of CSAH 35).
- From the Twin Cities: take Interstate 35 south to Geneva exit (Exit 22 and Freeborn CSAH 35) and take exit, turn left (east) on Freeborn CSAH 35 and go about 9 miles, or to a point 0.9 miles east of intersection with North Freeborn CSAH 34). The north entrance, an old farm site driveway, of the Wo Wacintanka WMA will be on the right (south side of CSAH 35).
- From Austin (at Interstate 90): go north on U.S. Trunk Highway 218 approximately 9.9 miles, turn left (west) on Mower CSAH 1 (a.k.a. 320th St.) and go 1.5 miles to Mower/Freeborn County border. From Mower/Freeborn County border continue straight ahead (west) on Freeborn CSAH 35 for 3.1 miles. The north entrance, an old farm site driveway, of the Wo Wacintanka WMA will be on the left (the dedication ceremony will be held at the north end of the Wo Wacintanka WMA near the north entrance off Freeborn CSAH 35).
DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 20, 2013
Take a kid fishing and fish free June 7-9
Celebrate the end of the school year with a potential angler-to-be by fishing for free with a child 15 or younger, June 7-9, during Take-A-Kid Fishing weekend, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.
“This is a great opportunity to discover fishing,” said Mike Kurre, the DNR’s mentoring program coordinator. “Minnesotans 16 or older who take a child 15 or younger fishing don’t need a license that weekend. Opportunities for beginning anglers abound throughout Minnesota.”
Getting started is easy. A boat isn’t needed and there’s even loaner poles and tackle in some areas.
Start by going to www.mndnr.gov/takeakidfishing to learn some terms, basic techniques and shore-fishing locations. DNR fisheries offices throughout Minnesota also offer some good, old-fashioned angling advice about fishing spots that will keep young anglers happy and safe.
The DNR’s Fishing in the Neighborhood (FiN) program provides urban shore-fishing opportunities across the metro with family-friendly settings, piers, loaner equipment at some locations and a real chance to catch quality fish. Learn more online at www.mndnr.gov/fin.
Four of Minnesota’s nine state parks that are offering this summer’s weekly I Can Fish! program have sessions scheduled during Take-A-Kid Fishing weekend. Sessions at each park explore the basics of fishing, fish identification and angling tips and tricks. For more information, go to www.mndnr.gov/state_parks/can_fish.html.
Even when it’s not Take-A-Kid Fishing weekend, Minnesota residents may fish in a state park without a fishing license if the body of water doesn’t require a trout stamp. Anglers must fish from shore or wade in water within the state park or from a boat or a float on a designated lake within a Minnesota state park. More information on fishing in state parks is available at www.mndnr.gov/state_parks/fishing.html.
“Fishing is one of the easiest and most-accessible outdoor activities in Minnesota,” Kurre said. “Take a kid fishing and, come the end of the trip, you’re both likely to be hooked.”
DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 20, 2013
DNR urges people to leave fawns alone
May is the month when most fawns are born. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is urging people to leave fawns alone.
While a new fawn may appear helpless, it’s important not to interfere with the doe’s natural instinct for raising its young, DNR officials said.
A doe’s method of rearing offspring is different from a human’s, especially for the first few weeks.
Wildlife officials explained it this way: Within hours of birth, the fawn is led to a secluded spot and the doe lets it nurse. Then the doe leaves to feed and rest herself, out of sight but within earshot. In four or five hours, she will return to feed her young and take them to a new hiding place. Only when the fawns are strong enough to outrun predators, do the young travel much with their mother.
For the first week of life, frightened fawns instinctively freeze, making full use of their white spotted coats, a protective coloration. Newborn fawns are not fast enough to outdistance predators, so they must depend on their ability to hide for protection.
A fawn’s curiosity may entice it to approach a person who comes upon on it. The DNR urges people not to try to catch a fawn if they encounter one. Walk away. Never feed or collar a fawn.
Feeding deer can concentrate animals in feeding areas which makes them more susceptible to predation, vehicle collisions, or other unwanted human interactions. What begins as a good intention to help the animal ultimately lessens the animal’s ability to survive independently.
For questions about an interaction with a wild animal, contact a DNR area wildlife office for suggestions. In most cases, letting nature take its course is the best advice.