News release: Fish and Wildlife Almanac, April 1

April 1, 2024

Pheasants Forever, Minnesota DNR join forces to get new hunters into fields and forests

With spring turkey season starting April 17, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Pheasants Forever are inviting Minnesota hunters to join the Hunter Mentor Challenge and take someone hunting who has never hunted or hasn’t hunted for a few years.

Minnesota hunters and those they mentor will qualify for a discount code for ALPS OutdoorZ brand gear; and, after their hunt, they have the chance to win a custom, limited-edition Pheasants Forever hunting backpack from ALPS OutdoorZ.

The program is open to all spring wild turkey and light goose hunters. Experienced hunters can invite a new hunter of any age if the new hunter has the proper license/tag necessary and either the mentee hunter’s safety or apprentice hunter validation.

Participation is simple: hunters visit the Minnesota DNR page on the Pheasants Forever website and take the pledge. After taking the pledge, hunters are asked to bring a novice or returning hunter on a hunt during the season and snap a picture or short video during the hunting trip. The last step is to submit contact information, a hunt recap and a photo or video on the submission page to be entered for prize giveaways. All online entries must be received by June 30.

The Minnesota DNR has helpful information for new hunters and experienced hunters who would like to share their skills with new hunters. To learn more, visit the Minnesota DNR take a friend hunting webpage.

Video shows how to handle flathead catfish, other large fish

A video from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources aims to educate anglers about how to properly catch and release large fish.

Being properly equipped and understanding how to handle a large fish is critical to enhancing the fish’s chances for survival after release. The video covers: having the proper equipment for large fish; minimizing the time the fish is out of the water; protecting the fish’s slime coating; holding the large fish horizontally and supporting the fish’s body; and releasing the fish properly.   

The flathead catfish fishing season began April 1. Additionally, seasons are around the corner for other large fish like lake sturgeon, muskellunge, northern pike, steelhead and others.

The video can be found on the Minnesota DNR’s catch and release webpage.

Minnesota DNR webinars focus on bear survival and coldwater fisheries

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites people interested in wildlife and outdoor skills to check out the spring program schedule for the Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series.

In a webinar on Wednesday, April 3, Andy Tri, DNR bear project leader, will discuss what four decades of research on Minnesota black bears can tell us about the state’s bear population.

In a webinar on Wednesday, April 10, Derek Bahr, DNR fisheries research scientist, and Heather Baird, DNR forest fisheries landscape coordinator, will discuss how climate and landscape changes are affecting coldwater fish communities in Minnesota lakes, how the DNR is working with partners to mitigate those effects and what each of us can do to help.

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.

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