Tougher hunting in Rusch’s 2020 deer season forecast

Snow on the ground starting in mid-October may still be there when deer hunters climb into stands on Nov. 7. DNR Tower area wildlife manager Tom Rusch gave the following forecast for hunters:
The 2020 16-day firearms deer season will begin Saturday, Nov. 7 and end Sunday, Nov. 22.
• A deer population that is below population goals in all areas rebounding from the severe winters of 2013 + 2014 and 2018, 2019 and 2020 in permit areas in Northern St. Louis and Lake Counties.
• The deer herd is below established population goals in all nine local permit areas (117, 118, 119, 130, 131, 132, 176, 177, 178).
• On the positive side, opening weekend deer hunting should coincide with peak rutting activity and deer movement during firearms season. The opening weekend of the 2020 firearms season should catch the “chasing phase” of the rut as bucks seek out receptive does during the first week.


Elyite Pat Magie shares a chapter from his book

About author Pat Magie
Editor’s Note: Magie came to Ely in 1935 at the age of 5 and lived up the Echo Trail on Big Lake at what would become Whispering Pines Lodge. He operated seaplane businesses in Ely for 23 years, in Alaska for 20 year and in Hawaii for 23 years. He is now retired and lives in the state of Washington.


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

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has set dates for recreational netting for whitefish and tullibee (cisco) on seven lakes in the Tower DNR fisheries work area.
These lakes are Schedule I Lakes, which are more susceptible to sudden changes in water temperatures. They 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)
• Vermilion, Basswood, Fall and Newton lakes will be open to netting Friday, Oct. 23 through Wednesday, Nov. 11. (Minimum 3.5 inch mesh size for Vermilion and Newton Lakes. Minimum 1.75 inch mesh size for Basswood and Fall lakes.)
• Shagawa Lake will be open to netting Friday, Nov. 6 through Saturday, Nov. 28. (Minimum 3.5 inch mesh size)
• Bear Island & Ojibway lakes will be open to netting Friday, Nov. 20 through Sunday, Dec. 20. (Minimum 1.75 inch mesh size)


DNR and St. Louis County rescue personnel help cold camper

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Sean Williams and members of the volunteer St. Louis County Rescue Squad on Saturday night rescued a man experiencing severe hypothermia in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA).
Crrey Rommel, 34, of Elkhart, Indiana, was at a campsite on Nina Moose Lake, which is about 20 miles north of Ely.
Rommel sent an emergency signal just before 5 p.m. Saturday. Rescue personnel, who were in a square-stern canoe with an outboard motor, arrived at Nina Moose Lake at about 8 p.m.
“It was as dark as I’ve ever seen it out there,” Williams said. “You couldn’t see anything. It was snowing heavily, fog was moving in, and there was ice on the lake. We had to break through ice to get to the middle of the lake, and when we made it to the middle it was so dark we had to use a GPS to find the shore and his campsite.”


Hook and Bullet Club

Anybody in the newspaper business better be in favor of logging. After all, newspapers come from trees.
This fall we’ve had to adapt to a new world at Camp Cholesterol. A winter logging cut all around us changed the woods. Some of our walking trails were obliterated. Branches and trampled trees are embedded in the ground.
One trail led from the shack down into a rocky swamp and then up a steep hill to a sanctuary of sorts. This spot of woods held deer, grouse and wolves. It was a mid level area with some massive pines, some blooming birch and a sprinkling of poplar trees.
The walk through wasn’t an easy one but it was a woodsy experience close to the shack. We put a deer stand up at the end of the trail - not so much because it was a great spot to see deer, it just felt like a good place to have a stand.


Ely Stone Stash returns on Oct. 16

by Nick Wognum
Ely’s Joe Baltich is a talented artist and he’s come up with a fun event where anyone can participate.
This is the fourth year of the “Ely Stone Stash” where Baltich hides painted rocks around town and invites the public to find them.
“It’s like a fine art Easter egg hunt,” said Baltich.
The rocks will be hidden this week and the searching will start at 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 16 when kids are off from school for the MEA weekend.
“We want people to go out and look for pretty looking rocks in two sections of town,” said Baltich.
The rocks are a “finders keepers” proposition unless you find a golden eagle or golden moose painted one. Those two rocks earn the finder a free Baltich art print.
There will be around 100 painted stones hidden this year thanks to the effort of Baltich, Connie Edwards of Indianapolis and Under the Wing graduates Abbie and Lauren Rehbein.


Youth firearms deer season Oct. 15-18

The youth firearms deer season will be conducted statewide from Thursday, Oct. 15, through Sunday, Oct. 18.
Participant numbers are not limited and there is no special permit so parents should purchase or obtain a regular youth deer hunting license.
• Youth ages 10 to 17 may participate. Youth ages 10 to 13 must be accompanied by an adult parent/guardian/mentor 18 or older. The adult does not need to be licensed.
• The accompanying adult cannot hunt in most areas and party hunting is not allowed (youth must tag their own deer). Adults may hunt in areas where the early antlerless season is open with the correct license.
• Participation does not affect eligibility for the regular deer season; however, deer harvested during the youth season count toward the youth’s annual statewide bag limit.


Wolf from the International Wolf Center given an MRI at Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital

Once the doors closed at the Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital MRI unit on Sept. 15, a special patient was wheeled into place for a unique MRI. This patient was a wolf.
For the first time in the history of the International Wolf Center and the first time at the hospital, an ambassador wolf from the Center was given an MRI.
The procedure was done to help identify some lingering health issues that are negatively impacting Boltz, an 8-year-old gray wolf.
“We’re so thankful that the Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital worked with us on this really unusual request,” said the Center’s wolf curator, Lori Schmidt.
“It is not uncommon for us to have x-rays taken at the Ely Veterinary Clinic, but an MRI is not available there. This contribution to helping diagnose Boltz was critical.”


Opening weekend of grouse season

Sarah Jonas was one of the successful bird hunters out on opening weekend in the Ely area. She bagged a nice grouse.


Minnesota DNR invites deer hunters to share wildlife observations this season

An online questionnaire will make it easier for Minnesota deer hunters to report wildlife they see during their hunts this year.
Using a mobile device or desktop computer, hunters can enter information on the DNR website about wildlife they see each day of hunting, including deer, turkeys, bears, fishers and other species. They’ll also be able to report specific information about any deer they harvest, including antler size.
Hunters are encouraged to fill out a report after each hunt even if they don’t see any deer that day. The questionnaire will be available when archery deer season begins Saturday, Sept. 19, and remain open through the end of the year.
Data from the observation survey will provide a helpful comparison to the DNR’s population estimates for various species.


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