Outdoors

Fri
02
Dec

A century later, Arthur Carhart’s recreation plan for the Superior National Forest lives on

On November 8, 1922, Regional Forester A.S. Peck approved a recreation plan for the Superior National Forest drafted and submitted in May 1922 by Arthur Carhart (1892-1978), a young landscape architect from Iowa that worked for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) from 1919-1923.
While Carhart’s career with the USFS was short, his recommendations for recreation management on the Superior provided foundational guidance for the numerous interconnected waterways that form the core of the now Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Carhart’s plan, which highlighted the significant potential of the area for canoe-based recreation, was based on observations gathered during two, 21-day canoe trips on the Superior, completed in July-August 1919 and May-June 1921 with Forest Guard Matt Soderback. In his plan, Carhart incisively noted that the Superior, “as a canoe country, would have few, if any competitors” (p.45).

Fri
02
Dec

Forest Service announces BWCA permits on-sale Jan. 25 for the 2023 quota season

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) permit reservations for the 2023 quota season, May 1 to Sept. 30, will be available beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.
Visitors are encouraged to book their reservations online at www.recreation.gov/or by calling 1-877-444-6777. To ensure a successful reservation process in 2023, Forest managers encourage visitors to:
Plan ahead by having at least three travel options (dates and entry points) in mind before making a reservation. Exploring new destinations is part of a wilderness experience!

Fri
25
Nov

Mesabi Trail has record-breaking 2022, sees more cyclists

The Mesabi Trail saw record-breaking cyclist use this year, with trail counters recording 286,171cyclists from January through October.
This shatters the previous record of 248,219 set in 2020 by nearly 40,000. Cyclists using the trail have more than doubled from when trail counters began tracking in 2008, which recorded 123,273 cyclists.
Overall trail use is assumed to be much higher, as cyclist trail counters are strategically placed and do not account for walkers, joggers, hikers, and inline skaters who also use the trail, which stretches from the Mississippi River in Grand Rapids, MN, to the gateway of the BWCA in Ely.
To date, 150 miles are paved with another six or so slated to be complete by next spring. When the paving is complete in 2024, the Mesabi Trail will be the longest continuously paved trail in Minnesota.

Fri
18
Nov

DNR links poor deer harvest to wolves, weather

What is turning into an abysmal firearms deer season has gotten the attention of the Minnesota DNR. And while last year’s tough winter limited population growth, there’s a growing trend to look at the impact of wolves as well.
In the first three days of the season, where the vast majority of deer are harvested, the numbers around Ely fell nearly 50 percent from 215 in 2021 to 111 in 2022 in Deer Permit Area 118, which is much of the Ely area.
A number of hunters report seeing as many or more wolves than deer, yet Gov. Tim Walz’s administration has refused to consider a wolf hunting season.
Yet even the DNR has attributed the poor hunting season in the Ely area to wolves.

Fri
04
Nov

DNR certifies new catch-and-release state record for muskie caught on Mille Lacs Lake

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources certified the state catch-and-release record muskie, a 58.25-inch fish caught by Eric Bakke of Princeton. The previous record was a tie for 57.25-inch muskies, which were caught on Lake Vermilion in 2019 and 2021.
Bakke was fishing on June 11 on Mille Lacs Lake with fishing partner Jon Blood and caught the huge fish while trolling with a footlong muskie lure. After a minute or two of trying to reel in the fish, Blood was able to net it and they measured, photographed and released the fish in less than a minute.
“To be able to target and catch fish of this caliber has been one of the great passions of my life,” Bakke said.
Bakke said he’s been fortunate to be able to learn from and fish with some great anglers, and that joining Muskies Inc. helped him understand the importance of handling and releasing these big fish with care and purpose.

Thu
27
Oct

Local bait shop/fishing outfitter wins statewide award from Star-Tribune

Arrowhead Outdoors was nominated and won the Minnesota’s Best 2022 Gold in the Fishing Outfitter category of the popular Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Readers’ Choice Awards.
Any local business from around the state can be nominated by customers, fans, or owners. Nominated businesses are vetted and verified. Once verified the nominates are placed on the ballot and voters decide the winners. This award program was created to help support the local businesses of the State of Minnesota.
Arrowhead Outdoors received enough votes to win the Gold, followed by Reed Outdoors for the Silver, and Joe’s Sporting Good in St. Paul for the Bronze. Piragis in Ely also won Gold in the Outdoor Outfitter category.
The winners were announced Oct. 23 and am event for all winners will be held Nov. 3 at Orchestral Hall in Minneapolis.

Fri
21
Oct

Deer sightings up around Ely

by Tom Coombe
At least in some parts of Ely, it’s becoming more and more common to encounter deer, sometimes many of them.
Citizens and city officials are taking notice, but they’re wrestling with how to deal with an at-times troublesome dilemma.
At least for now, it doesn’t appear that there’s support for a deer hunt in the city limits.
“Our community, our square footage is so small and there’s so much private land and not a lot of public land where we could safely do a hunt,” said police chief Chad Houde.
Council member Paul Kess raised the issue Tuesday after hearing “from five distinct people, each of them talked to me about the overpopulation of deer.”
Kess said he has encountered an aggressive doe in his neighborhood on Boundary Street, while it’s become commonplace to see deer in yards and crossing the streets and avenues in various neighborhoods.

Fri
21
Oct

MN DNR Conservation Officers weekly report

District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports finishing step one of field training with COC Choua Khang. Small-game and fishing activities continue to be the main emphasis of the work activities, with lots of grouse in the bags of hunters. A couple of wetland violations were reported to Kittelson and will be further investigated.

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports working small-game hunters and working the Rainy River this past week.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports that despite cold weather and snowy conditions, grouse hunters were active with birds being harvested. Waterfowl-hunting activity has been steady with birds now on the move. Reports of illegal stands being built on public lands were investigated. Windy conditions and cooler weather have created hazardous conditions on area waterways. As always, users are reminded and encouraged to wear PFDs.

Fri
14
Oct

Mosher Memorial Overlook completed

COMPLETED - The Greg Mosher Memorial Overlook at Putnam Lake is now open as a new stop along the Prospector ATV Trail System. A dedication event will be held in the spring. Mosher died of a heart attack at age 58 last year on Christmas Eve. He was instrumental in the social part of the club, arranging rides, setting up club parties and much more. The new overlook adds another scenic destination to the Prospector Loop trail system. Pictured on the final day of construction are Corey Keen, Ron Potter, Ron Nelson, Gene Wright, Brian Johnson, Curly Skogman and Paul Coughlin. Photo by Nick Wognum.

Fri
14
Oct

Staying safe on cold water is everyone’s responsibility

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds anyone whose autumn plans include spending time on or around the water to keep safety in mind.
While more boating-related accidents happen during the summer, boating fatalities are higher during the cold-water season.
As water temperatures drop, water-based activities become riskier. A fall into a cold lake, pond or river can result in even a strong swimmer becoming incapacitated quickly. Further, cries for help can go unheard and rescues can take longer than in the warm-weather months when more people are on or near the water.
“Nobody expects to encounter a life-or-death situation when they’re out on the water, but the people who survive such experiences tend to be the ones who are best prepared,” said Lt. Adam Block, DNR boating law administrator.

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