FROM THE DNR: Pheasants, Lac qui Parle goose hunts, Deer licenses and more




MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #61                                                                                Aug. 12, 2013
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Upland bird day offers adult and youth beginners a hunting how-to
DNR asks: ‘Are you doing your part to prevent spread of AIS on Minnesota’s waterways?’
Cloquet artist wins 2014 trout and salmon stamp contest
Deer licenses now on sale; lottery applications due Sept. 5
Dove season opens Sept. 1
DNR seeks designs for Minnesota’s 2014 migratory waterfowl stamp
No reservations needed for DNR Lac qui Parle goose hunt this year
Question of the week: pheasants

Upland bird day offers adult and youth beginners a hunting how-to

Anyone who wants to learn the basics of upland bird hunting is invited to attend Upland Bird Day from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Dakota County Gun Club in Rosemount, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

“The day is tailored to those who have not yet hunted upland birds or have limited experience,”
said Linda Bylander, DNR outreach program coordinator.

Participants will learn about pheasant and grouse, their habitats and habits. A series of hands-on learning stations follow the group presentation. Stations include how to hunt a field, shotgun patterning, shotgun shooting technique, hunting with a dog, game cleaning and care and how to locate public hunting lands.

The DNR, Dakota County Gun Club and Pheasants Forever are jointly hosting the program.

Register for this free program by contacting Bylander at 218-833-8628 or by email at Registration is limited.

For a list of programs available through the Becoming An Outdoors Family and Becoming An Outdoor Woman programs, visit




DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           Aug. 12, 2013

DNR asks: ‘Are you doing your part to prevent spread of AIS on Minnesota’s waterways?’

A watercraft inspector with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) inspects a boat exiting a lake and finds aquatic invasive species (AIS) attached. DNR officials say it’s a scenario they experience far too often in their efforts to curb the spread of AIS.

“DNR and its partner organizations are working hard this summer to prevent boaters and anglers from transporting invasive species, but we’re continuing to see new infestations and are still finding boats and trailers carrying AIS,” said Col. Ken Soring, DNR Enforcement director.

The latest incident occurred Aug. 2 as a boat usually operated on Lake Minnetonka was exiting Lake Bemidji. Lake Minnetonka is among approximately 300 bodies of water in 53 Minnesota counties designated as infested with AIS. Lake Bemidji is not. The watercraft inspector found Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels attached to the boat trailer. The DNR conservation officer cited the boat operator who now faces a $500 fine.

Nearly 150 watercraft inspectors are stationed around the state this summer to help stop the spread of AIS. “Watercraft inspectors and conservation officers are doing their job in getting voluntary compliance with AIS laws, but the real success is going to be won when each and every boater takes personal responsibility,” Soring said.

A recent road check at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park in Washington County found 21 percent of the 62 vehicles with watercraft or water-related equipment checked were violating state AIS laws. A road check near South Long Lake in Crow Wing County found seven of 22 vehicles with watercraft or water-related equipment inspected resulted in an AIS violation rate of 31 percent.

According to the DNR, once zebra mussels are established in a body of water, they can multiply and impact both the ecology and the recreational experience of people using a lake or river.  They are often transported from lake to lake by boaters. The mussels are only about the size of a finger nail, and their larvae microscopic, making them tough to find. They have been discovered in various lakes across the state.

Soring said boaters and anglers need to continue to take extra precautions when using Minnesota waters to avoid spreading AIS to new waters. Boaters are required by law to:

  • Clean boat by removing plants, zebra mussels and other prohibited invasive species from watercraft, trailer, anchor and all water-related equipment before leaving any water access or shoreland.
  • Drain water-related equipment (boat, ballast tanks, portable bait container and motor) and drain bilge, livewell and baitwell by removing drain plugs before leaving water access. Keep drain plugs out and all water-draining devices open while transporting watercraft.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait, including minnows, leeches and worms, in the trash. Plan ahead to save bait by transferring it to containers prefilled with bottled or purified tap water.

More information is available at


DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  Aug. 12, 2013

Cloquet artist wins 2014 trout and salmon stamp contest

Cloquet artist Stuart Nelson’s painting of a rainbow trout leaping to consume a mayfly has been chosen for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) 2014 Trout Stamp.

The painting was selected from 13 submissions for the annual contest.

Nelson won the 1999 trout stamp contest with a painting of a brook trout but hadn’t submitted an entry since, instead choosing to paint other subjects. Asked why he chose to enter this year after the hiatus, Nelson said fans of his previous work wanted to see him paint another trout, and he decided to oblige.

Four entries advanced to the final stage of judging during the contest. Other finalists were Stephen Hamrik of Lakeville, second place; Nicholas Markell of Hugo, third place; and Timothy Turenne of Richfield, fourth place.

The five member panel of judges this year were Amy Beyer, DNR creative services graphic designer; Ron Anderson, Outdoor News graphic designer; Bruce Vondracek, University of Minnesota professor; Mark Johnson, Twin Cities Trout Unlimited Chapter president; and Davin Brandt, director of Minnesota Steelheader.

Trout stamp validations are printed on fishing licenses. This is the only verification needed to prove purchase of the trout stamp for angling purposes. Purchasers may request the actual pictorial stamp for an additional $2.

The DNR offers no prizes for the stamp contest winner. The winning artist retains the right to reproduce the work.

The following species are eligible for the 2015 stamp: brook, brown, splake and lake trout, coho, pink, Chinook and Atlantic salmon. Rainbow trout designs are not eligible for the 2015 stamp.

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        Aug. 12, 2013

Deer licenses now on sale; lottery applications due Sept. 5

Deer hunting licenses are now available for purchase. Hunters who want an either-sex deer or special hunt permit for the coming season must apply by Thursday, Sept. 5, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

Hunters should carefully review the list of lottery areas, particularly in extreme northwestern Minnesota and the Iron Range area of northeastern Minnesota. The following permit areas are designated as lottery this year but were not last year: 176, 101, 105, 111, 267 and 268. Elsewhere, other permit area designations have changed too in response to local deer population changes.

Regulations are detailed in Minnesota’s 2013 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook and Deer Season Map, which now are available wherever hunting and angling licenses are sold, online at and in many DNR offices across the state.

Fifty-eight of the state’s 129 permit areas are lottery areas. The number of permit areas designated as lottery is unchanged from 2012. The number of either-sex permits available has increased about 10 percent.

People can purchase a deer license and apply for the lottery or a special hunt at any DNR license agent, by telephone at888-665-4236 or online at Lottery winners will be notified in October.

Hunters can apply for lottery deer areas and special hunts using both their firearm and muzzleloader licenses. Although a hunter can be selected for both licenses, successful applicants can only take one deer in lottery permit areas. In the case of special hunts, a person may draw both a firearm and muzzleloader permit, in which case he or she must adhere to the bag limits established by each special hunt.

Lottery deer areas in 2013 are permit areas 101, 103, 105, 108, 110, 111, 118, 119, 122, 169, 171, 172, 176, 183, 184, 197, 199, 234, 237, 238, 250, 251, 252, 253, 260, 261, 262, 263, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 272, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298 and 299.

DNR encourages hunters to review new deer hunting regulations, permit area designations and boundary changes before applying. Current and up-to-date information is available online at




DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                          Aug. 12, 2013

Dove season opens Sept. 1

Minnesota’s dove hunting season begins Sunday, Sept. 1, and continues through Saturday, Nov. 9, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

A small game license and Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification are required for hunters 16 and older. Hunters younger than 16 must obtain a free small game hunting license and HIP certification.

The daily bag limit is 15 doves with 45 in possession. Nontoxic shot is not required but is recommended.

Dove hunting requires only a bucket to sit on, a box of shells, shotgun and earth-tone clothing.

“This is a great way to introduce youngsters to hunting,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife population and regulation program manager for the DNR. “Once you’ve walked to your hunting location, it’s a stationary activity in a controlled environment, which makes it easy for mentors to work with inexperienced hunters under very safe conditions.”

Minnesota has allowed dove hunting since 2004. The state has about 13,000 dove hunters, who harvest more than 100,000 doves each year.



DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              Aug. 12, 2013

DNR seeks designs for Minnesota’s 2014 migratory waterfowl stamp

Wildlife artists can submit entries for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) 2014 waterfowl stamp fromMonday, Aug. 19, through 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30.

The Canada goose is the only eligible species for depiction on the 2014 Minnesota Waterfowl Stamp. Other waterfowl species will not be accepted.

Artists are prohibited from using any photographic product as part of their finished entries. Any entry that contains photographic products will be disqualified.

Entries will be accepted via mail and in person at DNR headquarters, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul. Mailed entries should be addressed to 2013 Migratory Waterfowl Stamp Contest, DNR Fish and Wildlife Division, Box 20, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4020.

Designs should be securely wrapped and enclosed in an envelope or other container. The words “Migratory Waterfowl Stamp” should be clearly marked on outside of the container. Late entries will not be accepted.

The contest, which offers no prizes, is open to Minnesota residents only. Winning artists usually issue limited edition prints of the artwork and retain proceeds. Revenue from stamp sales is dedicated to waterfowl management-related activities.

A contest entry form and reproduction rights agreement, which grants the DNR the right to use the design for the stamp image and other promotional, educational and informational purposes related to waterfowl, must be signed and submitted with design.

Judging will take place at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, at DNR headquarters.

Complete contest criteria and information are available from the DNR Information Center, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155, and online at


DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    Aug. 12, 2013

No reservations needed for DNR Lac qui Parle goose hunt this year

Hunters will no longer need to apply for a reservation date to hunt from a goose blind in the controlled hunting zone at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area.

“Since 1976, hunters have had the opportunity to reserve a date to hunt geese by sending us an application,” said David Trauba, Lac qui Parle wildlife manager. “That process allowed hunters to take part in the first drawing of the morning which was an advantage when we had intense pressure for available blinds.”

Trauba explained that since applications have been declining over the past several years, the traditional process is no longer necessary. Beginning this year, the first drawing for all hunters will take place at 6 a.m., with no need for advanced registration.

“Hunters just need to show up at our office to take part,” Trauba said.

Daily blind drawings will be in effect from Thursday, Oct. 17, to Saturday, Nov. 30. All hunters in the Lac qui Parle controlled hunting zone who are 18 and older will be charged a $3 fee on the day of their hunt to partially cover controlled hunt expenses.

The regular Canada goose season will be 85 days at Lac qui Parle starting Saturday, Sept. 21.  Prior to Oct. 17, the Lac qui Parle State Game Refuge will be closed to waterfowl hunting. From Sunday, Dec. 1, until the end of the goose season, hunters still can use designated hunting blinds but access will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, call the Lac qui Parle headquarters at 320-734-4451.



Question of the week

Q: The DNR is in the process of determining the abundance of pheasants in the state’s pheasant range. How is this number determined?

A: Since 1955, the Minnesota DNR has conducted annual roadside surveys during the first two weeks of August to estimate pheasant abundance. These surveys entail counting all pheasants observed while driving each of 152 survey routes – one to four routes per county – in Minnesota’s pheasant range. DNR wildlife staff survey these 25-mile long routes in the early mornings on days with clear skies, light winds, and heavy dew. Because pheasants are difficult to count, techniques used to determine population estimates for other wildlife species do not work with pheasants. Thus, the annual August roadside surveys do not provide a total census, but rather an index of relative abundance. This information is then used to monitor changes in the pheasant population over time.

The results of the survey are reported in early September and provide a good forecast of the upcoming pheasant hunting season.

–  Nicole Davros, DNR wildlife biologist


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