Outdoors

Thu
27
Dec

Conservation Officer Weekly Report for Dec. 17

District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) spent time working ATV, snowmobile and angling enforcement. Ice conditions seem to be on the rebound after the warm spell from the previous week. Snowmobile trails are OK, but snow is definitely needed. With decreased flow on the Rainy River, anglers have begun to pull permanent ice houses out between Clementson and Frontier. Reports of good fishing were heard on the ice as well as higher up the river where anglers were still open-water shore-fishing. Time was also spent checking anglers on Upper Red Lake. Success seemed to vary from house to house with reports of smaller walleyes and perch being caught.

Fri
21
Dec

Trout Whisperer - Mistletoed to perfection

Mistletoed…to perfection
Mother nature in our natural yard has truly outdone herself with a splendor this year, we have not seen in years past.
Take your pick - Star filled nights shimmering white-bright for a crisp mistletoe or wake to the richness in tiny hoar frost diamonds glinting in sunlit-studded mornings off frozen cattail fronds.
And, in between a morning or an evening for snow cover, we have the dappled powder sugar snows on a frequent basis, sometimes frosting pine bough branches with a thin silvery garland of flakes. Simply wonderful.
If she could decorate a deciduous tree with any more ornaments, I’m not sure it’s possible with what she has done to an ornamental crab tree that is resplendent with frozen translucent mini red, edible bulbs, that the living decorations in pine grosbeaks feast on from pre-frosted sunrises until the softest snow flaked, sky pink flecked, sunsets.

Sun
16
Dec

Hook and bullet club - Hunting

On Sunday afternoon at 4:43 p.m, the 2018 muzzleloader season came to a close. Not having fired a shot in either season, I hopped in the truck and left the state park in Soudan.
Three minutes later I was looking at one of the largest bucks I’ve seen. He was alive and well, standing on top of a rock cut along Highway 169.
I looked at the clock, then looked at the buck, then shook my head. That’s how hunting goes.
Every day I hunted during muzzleloader season I saw at least one deer. Except for the last day, unless you include the buck that was three minutes away from being fired upon.
I wouldn’t trade a minute I spent in the woods during firearms and muzzleloader seasons. Being out in the woods is my sanity saver. I can be sitting under a tree, walking along a ridge or pulling my boot out of a swamp, and I’m happy as can be.

Fri
14
Dec

Conservation Officer Weekly Report for Dec. 10

District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports the muzzleloader season came to a quiet close with a few people trying to fill their tag. Overall, there was an increased number of hunters compared to previous years, mainly due to the ability to use scopes. A few people are starting to venture out onto Rainy Lake ice fishing and dark house spearing. People are reminded to use extreme caution as there is no such thing as completely safe ice. A few animal complaints were also handled throughout the week and weekend.

Sat
01
Dec

Firearms deer harvest down

The final numbers are in for the 2018 Tower Area firearms deer harvest.
After what was predicted to be a good year for hunters, the harvest was down in the Tower Area by 2.1 percent. This includes northern St. Louis and Lake Counties including Permit Areas 117, 118, 119, 130, 131, 132 176, 177 and 178.
DNR Tower Area Wildlife Manager Tom Rusch said the harvest was impacted by a number of factors.
• An early opener(Nov. 3 is the second earliest opening date), reduced deer activity during daylight hours and cold temperatures likely impacted hunter effort.
• Hunters reported a mixed bag of deer activity. Buck activity improved over the second and third weekends. Some hunters reported rutting activity while other hunters reported minimal deer activity with most of it occurring at night.
• Many hunters reported poor deer movement, especially opening weekend, which historically accounts for a majority of the deer harvest.

Fri
23
Nov

On thin ice – teach kids the dangers of ice

Now is the time to talk with kids about the dangers of ice. Ice thickness varies greatly on lakes, ponds and rivers throughout the state. Some water bodies have none, while others have several inches, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“Ice, especially early ice with snow cover, is extremely deceptive because you can’t see dangerous cracks or the thickness of the ice under the snow,” said DNR Conservation Officer Adam Block. “Parents need to teach their kids that ice is never 100 percent safe. If your child is near the ice, you should be near your child.”

With many children out of school for holiday breaks, they may look toward newly forming ice for entertainment.

Thu
01
Nov

Public meeting on Forest Service changes to BWCA permits set for Nov. 13 in Ely

The U.S. Forest Service will now hold a public meeting following concerns raised over changes to the BWCA permit system, specifically the elimination of the lottery system for motor permits.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. at the Kawishiwi District Ranger Office conference room.
Both Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Rick Nolan have questioned the changes after Ely area businesses and residents have raised concerns.
Beginning Oct. 1, recreation reservation services on the Superior National Forest were upgraded within the nation-wide recreation.gov website.
These include stronger security controls, better protection of Personally Identifiable Information, and increased fraud protection.
The new system also enables real-time notification of availability and reservation of campsites in Superior National Forest developed campgrounds as well as Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) quota permits.

Sat
27
Oct

2018 Tower DNR area deer season forecast

The 2018 16-day firearms deer season will begin Saturday, Nov. 3 and end Sunday, Nov. 18.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Office in Tower is forecasting a deer population that is recovered from the severe winters of 2013 + 2014 in Northern St. Louis and Northern Lake Counties.
Wildlife managers report the deer herd has rebounded nicely and is now within the population “sweet spot” established for our area.
The last four winters have been mild to moderate, as measured by the DNR Winter Severity Index. As a result, fawn production has been excellent with twin fawns the norm in the better areas.
Winter severity, predation and antlerless deer harvest are the most significant mortality factors in northern forest deer management.
The 2018 deer season framework is much more liberal, in response to the growing population.

Tue
23
Oct

Whitefish, tullibee sport-netting to open on Shagawa, Bear Island, Ojibway lakes

Dates have been set for recreational netting for whitefish and tullibee (cisco) on Shagawa, Bear Island and Ojibway lakes in the Tower fisheries work area, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

These lakes are Schedule I Lakes, which are more susceptible to sudden changes that impact water temperatures, and are opened and closed on a 48-hour notice posted at lake accesses, other public places, and the DNR website.

Schedule I Lakes (48 hour notice)

· Shagawa, open to netting Thursday, Nov. 1 through Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 (minimum 3.5 inch mesh size)

· Bear Island & Ojibway lakes, open to netting Saturday, Nov. 17 through Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018 (minimum 1.75 inch mesh size)

Shagawa Lake is designated as infested with spiny waterflea so netters are encouraged to review rules that help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Tue
16
Oct

Ely and Whitefish, tullibee sport-netting to open on Tower area lakes

Recreational netting dates for whitefish and tullibee (cisco) have been set on several Schedule I Lakes in the Tower fisheries work area, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Schedule I Lakes, which are more susceptible to sudden changes that impact water temperatures, will be opened and closed on a 48-hour notice posted at lake accesses, other public places, and the DNR website.

Schedule I lakes (48 hour notice)

The following Tower Area lakes will be open Saturday, Oct. 20 through Sunday Nov. 11:
• Vermilion (all except Pike Bay, south and west of a north-south line at narrowest portion between Echo Point and Punchers Point) - 3.5 inch mesh.
• Fall – 1.75 inch mesh.
• Basswood – 1.75 inch mesh.
• Newton – 3.5 inch mesh.

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