Bluegill improvement central to proposed special fishing regulation changes
Anglers are invited to weigh in on proposed special fishing regulations that, if adopted, would become effective next year. Most of the proposed changes are aimed at protecting and improving bluegill (also called sunfish) sizes by lowering bag limits on 114 lakes in 26 counties.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is also proposing new regulations for other species on some lakes. Island Lake Reservoir has abundant but very small walleye. A new slot limit and increased bag limit are intended to improve fish size. Yawkey, Sagamore and Pennington lakes, three mine pit lakes in Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, have the potential to support naturally reproducing lake trout populations and a minimum length limit is proposed to help achieve that goal.
The DNR has a variety of input opportunities including virtual town halls on Oct. 13 and 14; contacting an area fisheries office directly; or attending an in-person meeting. More information is available on the DNR’s fishing regulations page.
Statewide youth deer season returns Oct. 15-18
Minnesota’s youth deer season will continue statewide for its second year, starting Thursday, Oct. 15, through Sunday, Oct. 18. The season coincides with statewide teacher workshops, so many Minnesota students don’t have school during the youth season.
To participate, youth must be 10-17 years old and have a deer license. An adult parent, guardian, or mentor must accompany youth ages 10-13. All youth hunters and mentors must follow blaze orange/pink clothing requirements. Adults may not hunt, unless they are in an area open during the early antlerless season and have the corresponding license. Complete youth season details are available on the DNR website on the youth deer hunting page.
Early antlerless-only deer season is Oct. 15-18
Hunters can participate in an early antlerless-only deer season from Thursday, Oct. 15, through Sunday, Oct. 18. This year the season has expanded to include more deer permit areas in central and southeastern Minnesota. Permit areas open during the hunt are 213, 214, 215, 341, 342, 343, 344, 604, 605, 643, 645, 646, 647, 648, 649 and 655. The DNR offers this opportunity to hunters in an effort to manage local deer herds. Hunters need an early antlerless permit to participate and the limit is five deer, which is in addition to the statewide bag limit. Deer hunting regulations are available at mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.
Winners chosen for pheasant and turkey stamp contests
Lakeville artist Stephen Hamrick won the Minnesota pheasant stamp contest and Bemidji artist Bradley Kenneth Hadrava won the turkey stamp contest. Winners for both contests were selected on Oct. 8.
In the pheasant stamp contest, Edward DuRose of Roseville won second place, Scot Storm of Freeport won third place, and Thomas Kutschied of Longville, won fourth place out of 10 eligible submissions. In the turkey stamp contest, Mark Pearce of Blaine won second place, Kurt Kegler of Mankato won third place, and Thomas Sinnen of Watertown, won fourth place, out of 10 eligible submissions.
The pheasant stamp validation is required for pheasant hunters ages 18 to 64 and costs $7.50, plus an extra 75 cents to receive the pictorial stamp in the mail. The cost of a turkey stamp is included in a turkey license. Anyone can purchase these and other fish and wildlife stamps as collectables. Visit mndnr.gov/stamps for more information about habitat stamps and contest guidelines.
Additional learn to hunt deer classes are available online
Anyone interested in learning how to hunt deer can register for two more online classes with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The classes will be held Oct. 13 and Oct. 15; past classes also are available on the DNR learn to deer hunt page. The online class series that began mid-September has covered a variety of topics including deer ecology and habitat use, scouting, identifying public lands, and finding hunting land. Upcoming classes will cover picking a spot to hunt, stands and blinds, what to do after the shot, and how to care for meat from a harvest.