Deer hunters invited to share wildlife observations
Minnesota deer hunters can use an online log to report wildlife they see while hunting. Data from the observation logs help the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources estimate population level trends for deer and track wildlife distribution for other species across the state.
Using a mobile device or desktop computer, hunters can enter information on the Minnesota 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. Hunters are encouraged to fill out a report after each hunt, even if they don’t see any deer that day. The online questionnaire will be available until Jan. 15, 2024.
How to get deer sampled for CWD during archery season
Minnesota’s archery deer season opens Saturday, Sept. 16, and deer hunters have multiple options for getting their deer tested for chronic wasting disease.
CWD sampling options include requesting a mail-in kit before hunting or utilizing kits obtained but not used last year. Hunters may participate in the partner sampling program. Hunters can also make an appointment to have their deer sampled at Minnesota Department of Natural Resources area wildlife offices, and contact information is available on the Minnesota DNR website. Additionally, deer hunters are required to have their deer 1 year or older sampled for CWD in all CWD management and surveillance zones during the opening weekend of the firearms A season (Nov. 4-5).
Hunters should know the DPA number of the area they plan to hunt prior to buying a license and ensure they understand CWD regulations and sampling options for that particular area. Archery hunters can use the DPA lookup tool on the Minnesota DNR’s make a plan for deer season webpage to check if the DPA they plan to hunt has carcass movement restrictions, or has deer feeding or attractant bans in place.
DNR seeks input on special fishing regulation proposals
Minnesotans can weigh in on proposed special fishing regulations that, if adopted, would become effective in 2024.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is considering experimental and special fishing regulations for sunfish in Winnibigoshish Lake and connected waters in Beltrami, Cass, Itasca counties; northern pike in the Gull Lake chain in Cass and Crow Wing counties; walleye in Big Sand Lake in Hubbard County; sunfish in First, Second, Third and Fourth Crow Wing lakes in Hubbard County; northern pike in Balsam, Haskell and Scrapper lakes in Itasca County; northern pike in Pearl Lake in Stearns County; and crappie and sunfish in Clearwater and Maple lakes in Wright County.
Anyone can provide input about these proposals via an online survey that is available through Friday, Oct. 20. For additional details or to comment directly by email, U.S. mail or phone about individual proposals, contact the appropriate area fisheries office. General input may also be submitted to Jon Hansen at [email protected] or 651-259-5239, or via U.S. mail to Fishing Regulations, c/o Jon Hansen, Box 20, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155.
The Minnesota DNR also will be hosting in-person open houses on various dates between Sept. 7 and Oct. 5 in each county where the proposed changes would apply and one in the Twin Cities metro area to cover all proposals. For meeting information, visit the DNR website.
Minnesota DNR webinars focus on woodcock hunting and sandhill cranes
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites people interested in wildlife and outdoor skills to check out the fall program schedule for the Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series.
In a webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 13, Lindsey Shartell, DNR northeast regional wildlife manager, will discuss the American woodcock. She will cover where to find woodcock in Minnesota, how to hunt them, using dogs, appropriate guns, ammo and more.
In a webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 20, Jade Pederson, visitor services specialist at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge near St. Cloud, and Cynthia McSherry, refuge volunteer, will share the life history, quirks and migration of sandhill cranes. Greater sandhill cranes are now common throughout Minnesota, and up to 29,000 greater sandhill cranes can be found at the wetlands of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge during the peak of the cranes’ fall migration. The loud and varied calls, dancing skills and massive wingspan of the cranes make them an exciting sight to behold.
The Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series webinars are free and offered year-round, though registration is required. Visit the Outdoor Skills and Stewardship webpage of the Minnesota DNR website for the registration portal, more information about upcoming webinars and recordings of past webinars.