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Last fall, a Bemidji-area deer hunter's video was widely circulated on Facebook among Minnesota hunters. In the video, it appeared that about a dozen gray wolves emerged from the right side of the screen, one or two at a time, and made their way across the scene. The video was shot from the hunter's elevated stand. A couple of wolf pups romped at one point. The adults moved through single-file at intervals, over a period of a minute or more. The video seemed to support the impression that many Minnesota deer hunters have about wolves, namely that too many of them roam the woods.
DULUTH — How tough was Minnesota pheasant hunting for last weekend's season opener? Here's a sampling of reports. From a Marshall-area hunter: Total bust. Six hunters, six dogs, two days, one bird. Private land. From a Madison-area hunter: Four hunters, four dogs, one missed rooster. Public land or walk-in areas. From a Sauk Center hunter: Two hunters, good dogs, two days, one rooster shot, one rooster missed. "It's a corn conundrum," said Anthony Hauck, director of public relations for Pheasants Forever, and a Minnesota native.
As pheasant and duck hunters prepare for their upcoming seasons, they'll do so knowing that their success depends in part on policies hashed out in the nation's capital. Specifically, the federal Farm Bill's conservation provisions have a direct correlation to the number of birds on the ground — or on the water. The amount of private land enrolled in the bill's Conservation Reserve Program, a staple of the Farm Bill, correlates strongly with duck and pheasant numbers, especially in Upper Midwest states such as Minnesota, the Dakotas and Montana.
DULUTH — The number of Minnesota small-game hunters dropped last fall compared to 2015, continuing a steady trend, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported this past week. According to the agency's annual survey of small-game hunters, the number of duck and goose hunters dropped, as did the number of pheasant hunters. Grouse hunter numbers were up about 4 percent but remain much lower than in past decades.
DULUTH — With this crazy warm weather lately, Santa isn't sure his reindeer will be up to the task. So, he has his faithful Labradeer retrievers on standby in case he needs their help to deliver the goods. And, once again, retailers from across the Northland have put together plenty of ideas for outdoor giving by the Santas in your family. Grab and go
DULUTH — The French River Hatchery, which has raised trout and salmon on the North Shore since 1976, will be closed soon, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday, Nov. 10. The hatchery is in need of about $8 million in repairs to upgrade failing equipment, DNR officials said. In addition, the hatchery always has been expensive to operate because water from Lake Superior must be warmed in order to raise fish there. The hatchery consumes 10 percent of the energy used by the entire agency statewide, DNR officials said.
Now, with early morning sunlight filtering softly through adolescent aspen, the two hunters had parked their stylin' steed. They were busting brush behind Sierra, one of Dave "Swede" Johnson's Gordon setters. More than 50 local and regional guides like Johnson were putting 104 participating hunters into some textbook grouse and woodcock cover.
GORDON, Wis. — Thirteen-year-old Connor Pennings advanced cautiously through the head-high alders and hazel brush, his 20-gauge shotgun at the ready. He knew that at any moment, a ruffed grouse might roar from the cover, or that a woodcock would go flitting toward the aspen canopy. Jordy, a 2-year-old English pointer owned by Superior's Mark Fouts, was holding a solid point nearby, indicating the imminent presence of a grouse or woodcock.