Fish and Wildlife Calendar, September 11: September 11, 2023 | New release

Deer hunters were invited to share their wildlife observations

Minnesota deer hunters can use an online registry to report wildlife they see while hunting. Data from monitoring records help the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources estimate population level trends for deer and track the wildlife distribution of other species throughout the state.

Using a mobile device or desktop computer, hunters can enter information on the Minnesota DNR website about the wildlife they see each day to hunt, including deer, turkeys, bears, kingpins and other species. They will 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 survey will be available until January 15, 2024.

How to sample deer for CWD during archery season

Minnesota deer archery season opens on Saturday, September 16, and deer hunters have multiple options to test their deer for chronic wasting disease.

CWD sampling options include ordering a mail-in kit before hunting or using kits obtained but not used in the past year. Anglers may participate in a partner sampling program. Hunters can also schedule an appointment to have their deer sampled at Minnesota Natural Resources Management District wildlife offices, and contact information is available on the Minnesota DNR website. Additionally, deer hunters are required to sample deer one year or older for CWD in all CWD Management and Control Areas during the opening weekend of the A-gun season (November 4-5).

Hunters should know the DPA number for the area they plan to hunt before purchasing a license and make sure they understand the CWD regulations and sampling options for that specific area. Archery hunters can use the DPA lookup tool on the Minnesota DNR’s Make a Deer Season Plan page to check if the DPA they plan to hunt has carcass movement restrictions, or has a deer feeding or attractant ban.

The DNR is seeking input on private hunting regulation proposals

Minnesotans can have a say in the proposed special hunting regulations, which, if adopted, would take effect in 2024.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is considering experimental and special fishing regulations for sunfish in Lake Winnipegushish and related waters in Beltrami, Cass and Itasca counties; Northern Pike in the Gull Lake Chain in Cass and Crow Wing Counties; Walleye at Big Sand Lake in Hubbard County; Sunfish in Crow Wing Lakes I, II, III and IV in Hubbard County; northern pike on Balsam, Haskell, and Scrapper lakes in Itasca County; Northern Pike at Pearl Lake in Stearns County; Crappie and sunfish in Clearwater and Maple lakes in Wright County.

Anyone can provide input on these proposals through an online survey available until Friday 20 October. For additional details or to comment directly by email, U.S. mail, or telephone about individual proposals, contact the appropriate area fisheries office. Public input can also be submitted to John Hansen at: (email protected) or 651-259-5239, or by 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 will also host in-person open houses on various dates between September 7 and October 5 in each county where the proposed changes will be implemented and one in the Twin Cities metro area to cover all proposals. For meeting information, visit the DNR website.

Minnesota DNR webinars focus on hunting woodcock and sandhill cranes

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

In a webinar on Wednesday, September 13, Lindsey Shartell, DNR Northeast Regional Wildlife Director, will discuss the American woodcock. You’ll cover where to find woodland birds in Minnesota, how to hunt them using dogs, the right weapons and ammunition, and more.

In a webinar on Wednesday, September 20, Jade Pederson, visitor services specialist at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge near St. Cloud, and Cynthia McSherry, refuge volunteer, will share the life history and migration of sandhill cranes. Greater sandhill cranes are now common throughout Minnesota, and as many as 29,000 greater sandhill cranes can be found in the wetlands of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge during the peak of the crane migration in the fall. The loud, varied calls, dancing skills and huge wingspans of the cranes make them an exciting sight to behold.

The Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Supervision Series webinars are free and offered throughout the year, although registration is required. Visit the Minnesota DNR’s Outdoor Skills and Supervision webpage for the registration portal, more information about upcoming webinars and recordings for past webinars.

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