Minnesota Hunting News

Minnesota DNR Releases Proposal for Wolf Harvest Season this Fall

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is proposing an inaugural gray wolf hunting and trapping season this fall that calls for a conservative harvest quota of 400 animals.

Wolf research indicates Minnesota’s wolf population could sustain a higher quota, but DNR officials say they are taking a measured approach to the state’s first season.

Minnesota DNR Program Pays Landowners to Allow Public Hunting on Their Land

Landowners in 21 southwestern Minnesota counties can earn money by allowing public hunting on their private land through the Walk-In Access (WIA) program, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

WIA, which is entering its second year as a pilot program, targets privately owned parcels of 40 acres or more that are already enrolled in a conservation program such as Reinvest In Minnesota or Conservation Reserve Program. River bottoms, wetlands and other high-quality habitat will also be considered for WIA this year.

Minnesota Deer Harvest Declines 7 Percent in 2011

Lower deer populations and a windy first weekend of the firearms season resulted in Minnesota’s deer harvest dropping 7 percent in 2011, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Minnesota hunters harvested 192,300 deer during the 2011 season, a drop of 15,000 from the 207,000 deer harvested in 2010.

Minnesota’s Wolf Management Plan to Take Effect Jan. 27

Minnesota’s population of wolves will transition from federal protection to state management by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on Jan. 27, bringing with that transition a number of law changes.

Minnesota’s Wolf Management Plan will protect wolves and monitor their population, but also give owners of livestock and domestic pets more protection from wolf depredation. The plans splits the state into two management zones, with more protective regulations in the northern third, considered the wolf’s core range.

Theft in Minnesota Threatens Deer Habitat Restoration Experiment

The discovery of an equipment theft is threatening the continuation of a remote white cedar plantation designed to improve deer habitat in northern St. Louis County.

A Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wildlife employee reported the theft of solar panels, a wiring harness, and battery, used to create an electric barrier to deer and protect a northern white cedar planting experiment that began in 1997 as a partnership with the Minnesota Deer Hunter’s Association (MDHA). The equipment was valued at $1,000.

Information on Lead in the Meat of Wild Game

Recent studies have provided important, new information about lead fragments in venison and other game harvested with lead ammunition. Following are some facts from those studies.

Limited Wolf Season Possible in 2012 in Minnesota

Minnesota wildlife officials have begun to plan for a limited gray wolf hunting and trapping season in late 2012.

This action follows last month’s announcement that wolves will return to state management Jan. 27 following roughly 35 years of federal protection.

Tom Landwehr, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), said the agency is taking a “deliberate and science-based” approach to implementing initial wolf hunting and trapping seasons.

DNR ALERT – Warm Temps This Week Create Unreliable Ice in Southern Minnesota

Forecasted temperatures in the 40s across southern Minnesota this week add yet another reason to be careful if heading out on the ice, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“Ice thickness guidelines become unreliable once the temp gets above 32 degrees,” according to Lt. Cory Palmer, enforcement supervisor for the DNR. “Snowmobiles, ATVs and other vehicles should stay off the ice until temps drop below 32 degrees for at least 24 hours.”

Salazar Announces Recovery of Gray Wolves in the Western Great Lakes, Removal from Threatened and Endangered Species List

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that gray wolf populations in the Great Lakes region have recovered and no longer require the protection of the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is publishing a final rule in the Federal Register removing wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and in portions of adjoining states, from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants.

Minnesota DNR Cites 144 With Baiting; Seizes 134 Firearms/Bows

Conservation officer weekly activity reports confirm what officials with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) already suspected: Deer baiting was pervasive during the 2011 big game season.

DNR conservation officers issued 144 citations, issued 24 warnings and seized 134 firearms/bows in baiting relation investigations during the 2011 bow, firearms and muzzleloader seasons. It’s the highest number of baiting citations issued during the deer hunting seasons since the DNR began tracking these violations in 1991.