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Hunting and Fishing

Sept. 23, 2017

A special supplement to the Stevens County Times

2 Saturday, September 23, 2017 

Hunting and Fishing

The Stevens County Times

Western Minnesota has more walk-in access for hunting From the Minnesota DNR Starting on Sept. 1, hunters could access 26,700 acres of private land across 46 counties in western and south-central Minnesota through the Walk-In Access program. “Finding land for hunting can be a challenge,” said Scott Roemhildt, WalkIn Access coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Walk-In Access allows hunters to access high-quality private land and makes it easier for landowners to allow that access.” The Walk-In Access program pays landowners to allow hunter access. Hunters with a $3 Walk-In Access validation may hunt during legal hunting hours, during open hunting seasons from Sept. 1 to May 31. No additional landowner contact is necessary. More than 230 sites across 46 counties are available through the program. Bright yellow-green signs have been placed on Walk-In Access boundaries.

Hunters in a field. Hunting seasons opened on Sept. 1 for mourning doves, crows, snipe, sora and Virginia rails. Hunting seasons opened on Saturday, Sept. 16, for several small game species including squirrels and rabbits. The Minnesota pheasant hunting season opens on Saturday, Oct. 14.

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Maps of all Walk-In Access sites are available electronically at walkin. Printed atlases can be found across the 46-county area at DNR license agents, DNR wildlife offices and county soil and water conservation district offices. Atlases are also available by

calling the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367. “Walk-In Access works because hunters respect the land and that respect encourages landowners to enroll their land,” Roemhildt said. “We are glad to talk with landowners who are considering the program,” Roemhildt said. “We hope to grow the program to 30,000 acres by 2018.” Parcels enrolled in the Walk-In Access program must be at least 40 acres in size with high quality cover. Most land is also enrolled in private land conservation programs. The next enrollment period will begin in January 2018. The Walk-In Access program began in 2011 and is currently funded through 2018 with a three-year grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Other funding sources come through a surcharge on nonresident hunting licenses, a one-time appropriation from the Minnesota Legislature in 2012, and donations from hunters.

DNR’s hunting, trapping seasons Crow Hunting (3rd season) Date: 09/01/2017 to 10/31/2017 Mourning Dove season Date: 09/01/2017 to 11/09/2017 Bear season Date: 09/01/2017 to 10/15/2017 Snipe and Rail Hunting season Date: 09/01/2017 to 11/06/2017 Small Game - Rabbits, Squirrels season Date: 09/16/2017 to 02/28/2018 Sandhill Crane season-NW zone Date: 09/16/2017 to 10/22/2017 Deer Hunt - Archery season Date: 09/16/2017 to 12/31/2017 Sharptailed Grouse season (northwest zone) Date: 09/16/2017 to 11/30/2017

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Ruffed and Spruce Grouse, Hungarian Partridge season Date: 09/16/2017 to 01/01/2018 Waterfowl season opener Date: 09/23/2017 Take-a-Kid Hunting weekend Date: 09/23/2017 to 09/24/2017 Woodcock season Date: 09/23/2017 to 11/06/2017 Fall Turkey season Date: 09/30/2017 to 10/29/2017 Prairie Chicken season Date: 09/30/2017 to 10/08/2017

Sharptailed Grouse season (east-central zone) Date: 10/14/2017 to 11/30/2017

Furbearer Trapping - Mink and Muskrat - South zone Date: 10/28/2017 to 02/28/2018

Deer Hunt - Camp Ripley Archery Hunt - 1st season Date: 10/19/2017 to 10/20/2017

Deer Hunt - Camp Ripley Archery Hunt - 2nd season Date: 10/28/2017 to 10/29/2017

Deer Hunt - Special Youth Deer season Date: 10/19/2017 to 10/22/2017

Deer Hunt - Firearm season - 100A Date: 11/04/2017 to 11/19/2017

Raccoon, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Badger, Opossum (South) Hunting & Trapping Date: 10/21/2017 to 03/15/2018

Deer Hunt - Firearm season - 200A and 300A Date: 11/04/2017 to 11/12/2017

Furbearer Trapping - Otter - South zone Date: 10/28/2017 to 01/07/2018

Deer Hunt - Firearm season - 300B Date: 11/18/2017 to 11/26/2017

Furbearer Trapping - Beaver - North zone Date: 10/28/2017 to 05/15/2018

Bobcat - Hunting & Trappingnorth of I-94 and US Hwy 10 only Date: 11/25/2017 to 01/07/2018

Raccoon, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Badger, Opossum (North) Hunting & Trapping Date: 10/14/2017 to 03/15/2018

Furbearer Trapping - Beaver - South zone Date: 10/28/2017 to 05/15/2018

Fisher and Pine Martennorth of I-94 and US Hwy 10 only Date: 11/25/2017 to 11/30/2017

Pheasant season Date: 10/14/2017 to 01/01/2018

Furbearer Trapping - Otter - North zone Date: 10/28/2017 to 01/07/2018

Deer Hunt - Muzzleloader season Date: 11/25/2017 to 12/10/2017

Furbearer Trapping - Mink and Muskrat - North zone Date: 10/28/2017 to 02/28/2018

Crow Hunting (4th season) Date: 12/14/2017 to 12/31/2017


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The Stevens County Times 

Hunting and Fishing

Saturday, September 23, 2017 3

All in the family

Led by mom, Kopels keep hunting By Rae Yost Stevens County Times About 30 years ago, Mike Kopel gave his mom Lou a gun. She told him then that when his fiveyear-old son Tyler was old enough to hunt, she’d give it to Tyler. Tyler is 35 and Lou still has the gun. “She’s been known to shoot skunk, rabbit…,” Lou’s daughter Pat Dingman said. “If they get in my yard…,” Lou said. “She’s Luella Oakley,, “ Pat said in reference to the famous Old West shooting star Annie Oakley. “Don’t tell them that,” Lou said Lou will be 90 in March. She doesn’t like to be the center of attention when it comes to discussion about skills with a gun or hunting. She takes more pleasure in talking about the annual deer hunting she does with her family each season. Members of the Kopel family will be back hunting in rural Donnelly on the first weekend in November. The family has been deer hunting on its own property for several years. Lou’s son Les is in charge of the hunt. “(Les) takes care of the deer stands and tells us where to go,” Lou said. “I make paths to the deer stands so they can find their way,” Les said. And although he gives family members details and directions, “they don’t always follow them,” Les said with a laugh. “The best part is Lester taking care of us,” Pat said with a smile. And it must be fun for Les, because he gets to tell mom, sister, children, kids and his wife Sandy where to go and what to do, family members said good naturedly. Three generations of Kopels hunt, from grandma Lou to grandkids. It’s an event that all participants look forward to. When asked what she likes most, Lou replied, “It’s all the fun we have.” “All of us getting together. I’ve got a big garage with a heater. We can track in with our boots. Everybody brings something to eat.” “I can’t wait for this year,” Pat said. “We talk about the food we are having,

Rae Yost/Stevens County Times

Lou Kopel, 89, enjoys deer hunting with her family each season. that is most important. We have a big breakfast and supper.” The hunting day starts early so hunters can get to their stands before the sun rises. Hunting can legally start when the sun has risen. “We go out early in the morning,” Lou said. Lou’s deer stand has a ladder and hand rails. She doesn’t have any trouble climbing the ladder, Lou said. “The stands all have bar stools,” Les said. The stools are good seats and swivel so hunters can look around the property from inside the stands. The hunters pass the time by watching for deer. Sometimes, Pat will read. Lou often uses the time to pray for everyone’s safety and to say other prayers.

They head back to the house about mid-morning. After a break of a few hours they return to the stands in the afternoon. “Just the peace and tranquility and camaraderie,” Les said of what he enjoys about the hunting. “You are out in the fresh air,” Lou said. “You hear the birds go overhead. The geese are flying.” Mike may not always hunt with his siblings and mom, as he often bowhunts with his own children. Still, he understands their reasons to enjoy the sport. “You get to see the world come to life,” Mike said.

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“My favorite part of hunting is when we sit around telling stories,” said Sandy. “We all get together and giggle and laugh, just like teenagers,” Lou said. The stories shared by family members on one particular evening centered around Lou. “A few years ago, Lester gave her instructions,” Sandy said. But Lou must have misunderstood the directions, or possibly understood them correctly, depending on which family member is talking. But, “she came charging through a slough,” Sandy said. “She was covered in mud.” During one season, Pat and Lou picked up a buck deer ornament as a joke and drove around with the ornament’s head and antlers out the back window. Folks gave them a “thumbs up” when they saw them on the road, Pat said. When Les and Sandy lived in Spearfish, South Dakota, a deer hunting outing wasn’t too successful. “We drove her all over…,” Les said. “They almost tied one up for me,” Lou said. “I couldn’t hit nothing.” Lou didn’t hunt when she was young. Her husband Eddie, who died several years ago, wasn’t much of a hunter. The kids picked it up through relatives and on their own. No one is quite sure of when Lou started hunting, but Mike remembers when he did give his mom the gun about 30 years ago. Lou recalled that she started deer hunting after hearing the men whining about the cold and other conditions. She said she could do it, and she joined them. Lou and family members have all shot bucks or does. Mike said his mom has said each year over the past few years that this will be her last year of deer hunting. “I’m getting old I know I am,” Lou said. Yet, “I’m glad I can do it.” As to whether or not this fall would be her last inside a deer stand, Lou couldn’t say for sure.

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Hunting and Fishing

4 Saturday, September 23, 2017 

The Stevens County Times

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey indicates outdoor activity still popular

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A pheasant flies across the field in th fall.

Stevens County Times In 2016, 101.6 million Americans 16 years old and older, 40 percent of the U.S. population, enjoyed some form of fishing, hunting or wildlife-associated recreation. Outdoor recreation is a huge contributor to our nation’s economy, and expenditures by hunters, anglers, and wildlife-watchers were $156.3 billion. This equates to 1 percent of Gross Domestic Product; one out of every one hundred dollars of all goods and services produced in the U.S. is due to wildlife-related recreation. Almost 39.6 million Americans participated in fishing, hunting, or both sports in 2016. These sportsmen and women spent $41.7 billion on equipment, $30.9 billion on trips, and $7.8 billion on licenses and fees, membership dues and contributions, land leasing and ownership, and plantings for hunting. On average, each sportsperson spent $2,034 in 2016. Although the survey focuses on collecting information on the number of people 16 years old and older who participated in wildlife-related recreation in 2016, it does include some information on 6-15 year olds. Data available from the Survey screening interviews was used to calculate the number of youths who participated in 2016: 8.1 million anglers and 1.4 million hunters. The number of 6-15 year old wildlife watchers was not available at the time of this report’s release. The survey measures the number of people who participated in wildliferelated recreation in 2016 and is not intended to reflect the total number of wildlife-related recreationists in the U.S. Many individuals can be considered hunters and anglers even though they did not participate in 2016.

Fishing As one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the United States, fishing attracted 35.8 million individuals 16 years old and older in 2016. These anglers spent an average of 13 days fishing. Freshwater, excluding Great Lakes, fishing was the most popular type of fishing with 29.5 million anglers devoting 373 million days to the sport. Great Lakes and saltwater fishing were also popular with 1.8 million and 8.3 million anglers, respectively. Anglers spent $46.1 billion on trips, equipment, licenses, and other items to support their fishing activities in 2016. The average expenditure per angler was $1,290. Trip-related spending on food, lodging, transportation, and other trip costs totaled $21.7 billion, which is 47 percent of all angler spending. Spending on equipment was $21.1 billion and comprised 46 percent of spending. Magazines, membership dues and contributions, licenses, and other fishing expenditures accounted for 7 percent at $3.3 billion. Comparing results from the 2016 Survey with those of the 2011 Survey reveals the number of anglers increased 8percent (although the increase is not statistically significant).1. footnote The increase by Great Lakes anglers was 10percent. The changes for saltwater and non-Great Lakes freshwater angling participation were –6percent and 9percent, respectively. None of the changes were significant at the 95percent level. While participation in fishing increased 8percent from 2011 to 2016, total fishing-related expenditures increased 3percent (not statistically significant). Trip-related expenditures declined 7percent (not statistically significant). All pre-2016 expenditures in this report were adjusted to be in 2016 dollars. Comparing the 2006 and 2016 Survey estimates reveals an increase of 19 percent in the number of anglers 16 years old and older and –8 percent change (not statistically significant) in their spending. The greatest increase in participation was by freshwater anglers with a 19 percent increase. The category of spending that experienced the greatest increase (over three times) was auxiliary equipment, which are items such as camping equipment and special clothing. Triprelated expenditures increased 2 percent (not statistically significant). Comparing the 2006 and 2016 Survey estimates reveals an increase of 19 percent in the number of anglers 16 years old and older and –8 percent change (not statistically significant) in their spending. The greatest increase in participation was by freshwater anglers with a 19 percent increase. The category of spending that experienced the greatest increase (over 001479942r1

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three times) was auxiliary equipment, which are items such as camping equipment and special clothing. Triprelated expenditures increased 2 percent (not statistically significant).

Hunting In 2016, 11.5 million people, 5 percent of the U.S. population 16 years old and older, went hunting. Hunters in the U.S. spent an average of 16 days pursuing wild game. Big game like elk, deer and wild turkey attracted 9.2 million hunters (80 percent) who spent 133 million days afield. Over 3.5 million (31 percent) pursued small game including squirrels, rabbits, quails, and pheasants on 38 million days. Migratory birds, such as geese, ducks and doves, attracted 2.4 million hunters (21 percent) who spent 16 million days hunting. Hunting for other animals such as coyotes, groundhogs and raccoons attracted 1.3 million hunters (11 percent) who spent 13 million days afield. Hunters spent $25.6 billion on trips, equipment, licenses, and other items to support their hunting activities in 2016. The average expenditure per hunter was $2,237. Total trip-related expenditures comprised 36 percent of all spending at $9.2 billion. Other expenditures, such as licenses, stamps, land leasing and ownership, and plantings totaled $4.2 billion, 17 percent of all spending. Spending on equipment such as guns, camping equipment, and 4-wheel-drive vehicles comprised 48 percent of spending with $12.2 billion. Overall hunting participation decreased 16 percent (not statistically significant) from 2011 to 2016. The numbers of big game hunters fell 20 percent, and hunters seeking “other animals” decreased by 39 percent. Total hunting-related spending decreased 29 percent between 2011 and 2016 (not statistically significant). Hunting equipment purchases decreased 18 percent (not statistically significant). The category with the biggest decrease was land leasing and ownership with a 62 percent drop. Comparison of the 2006 and 2016 Surveys shows a decrease in the number of hunters and a decrease in their expenditures (both were not statistically significant). Small game had a decline of 27 percent. “Other animal” hunting increased 17percent (not statistically significant). Total hunting expenditures decreased 6 percent (not statistically significant). Wildlife Watching Wildlife watching is a favorite pastime for millions in the U.S. Over 86 million people 16 years old and older fed, photographed, and observed wildlife in 2016. They spent $75.9 billion on their activities. The Survey defines wildlife watching as participants either taking a “special interest” in wildlife around their homes or taking a trip for the “primary purpose” of wildlife watching. Wildlifewatching activities such as incidentally observing wildlife while gardening are not included. Of the 86.0 million people who engaged in wildlife watching in 2016, 23.7 million (28 percent) participated by taking trips away from home and 81.1 million (94 percent) participated around their home. Awayfromhome participants are defined as those who travel a mile or more from home to engage in wildlife watching, and around-the-home participants are those who engage in wildlife watching less than a mile from home.Nearly all people who wildlife watched did so around the home. Of the 81.1 million around-the-home participants, feeding wildlife was the most popular activity. Almost 59.1 million individuals, 69 percent of all wildlife watchers, fed wildlife around their home. Over 43.8 million people (51 percent) observed wildlife and 30.5 million (35percent) photographed wildlife around their home. Nearly 11.4 million (13 percent) visited parks or natural areas to view wildlife and 11.0 million (13 percent) maintained plantings or natural areas for the benefit of wildlife within a mile of their home. About a fourth of


Hunting and Fishing

The Stevens County Times 

Saturday, September 23, 2017 5

Walton’s winter sport Hancock man enjoys ice fishing

Rae Yost/Stevens County Times

Ice fishing houses sit on Page Lake in January 2017. Many years ago some farmers who lived near Lake Emily in Pope County, not far from Hancock, brought northerns to Page Lake. Those northerns thrived until a very wet year caused the lake water to rise too high and the fish went into drainage ditches and fields where they died, Walton said. Page Lake is about 18-feet deep at its deepest, Walton said. A Stevens County Road project on County Road 1 in 2016 slightly changed the road shoreline, which also slightly reduced the lake’s depth, Walton said. The lake usually attracts a significant number of fishers during the winter. The Waltons can watch the ice-fishing houses being added to the lake from a big living room window. Cheryl said the lake has a small village of ice-fishing houses during the winter. On winter nights, they can watch the lights inside those ice-fishing houses shut off at about 10 p.m. Walton loves the fishing. The winter sport is relaxing, he said. It’s also nice to have an alternative to pushing snow, he said with a smile. “We have friends who want us to come to Arizona in the winter,” Cheryl said. The Waltons decline the invitation. “There’s too much fishing to do here,” Walton said.

Photo submitted.

Darrell Walton with one of the large fish he caught while ice fishing in 2016.



By Rae Yost Stevens County Times Darrell Walton can’t wait to walk across the road to do some ice fishing. Walton lives across from Page Lake along Stevens County Road 1 about a mile northeast of Hancock. “I don’t do too much summer fishing,” Walton said. “I haven’t got a good boat.” Besides, he’s much too busy for summer fishing, his wife Cheryl said. “We do too much camping (in the summer).” Ice fishing became the norm when he worked at Hancock Concrete. “I always had more time in the winter,” Walton said. “We worked during the summer and we were laid off during the winter.” He didn’t change the habit after retirement. Walton will start with a portable ice fishing house when the ice is just getting thick around the shoreline. He moves to a larger fish house when the entire lake has enough ice to safely fish. Walton lives on the east side of Page Lake. “Any more the ice had to be six inches,” Walton said of his own judgment in how thick the ice needs to be near the shoreline. “I used to go out when it was four inches.” He’s more comfortable with six inches these days. The ice should be almost a foot thick before he brings the larger ice fishing house to the lake. His winter fishing days usually start around the same time each day. “A lot of times I will go out shortly after noon and stay out an hour or two,” he said. He then heads back out around 4 p.m and will likely stay out until just after dark. Walton will fish in two holes. He uses a jig with one ice-fishing pole and has a minnow for bait on the pole in the second hole. Walton drops an underwater camera through a third hole. The camera is about three feet away from his bait and jig so he can watch the fish approach. He places a fish finder under the bottom of the ice fishing house. “I can watch the fish. It’s a lot of fun,” Walton said. Different fish use different techniques to approach the bait. “Perch do sometimes hit it hard. Other times, they just nibble at it,” Walton said. “A lot of times walleye will sit and look at it and, then, they will hit it hard.” “Sometimes he will tell me about a big one that came in and didn’t bite,” Cheryl said. There are plenty of fish in Page Lake for him to watch and catch. “It’s usually not an issue catching fish,” Cheryl said. That wasn’t the case when Walton was a kid. The Waltons still live on the family farm where he grew up. The lake had its highs and lows for fishing when Walton was younger. “For quite a few years there’s been good fishing,” Walton said. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has stocked the lake. The lake has sunfish, a few bass, walleye, perch and crappies. There are just a few northerns in the lake, Walton said.

Hunting and Fishing

6 Saturday, September 23, 2017 

The Stevens County Times

North Dakota Game and Fish Department photo

Waterfowl hunters will encounter drier conditions in North Dakota and northwest Minnesota when the regular duck and goose seasons open Saturday, Sept. 23.

Dry conditions greet waterfowl hunters across Minn., ND There’ll be less wetland habitat on the landscape this fall in North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, but that should help concentrate ducks and geese

By Brad Dokken Forum News Service Barring a drastic change in weather patterns, dry conditions will play into hunting strategies this fall for duck and goose hunters, especially those who prefer hunting over water.





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The regular duck and goose seasons open Saturday, Sept. 23 in North Dakota and Minnesota. The first week of North Dakota’s season is open to residents only; nonresidents can hunt beginning Sept. 30. Bird numbers are favorable despite this year’s drier conditions, and continental duck populations remain





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higher than the long-term average since 1955, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported last month. Based on results from spring breeding duck surveys in the U.S. and Canada, the service estimated total duck populations at 47.3 million, down slightly from last year’s estimate of 48.4 million and 34 percent above the longterm average. The service projected a fall mallard flight of 12.9 million birds, similar to last year’s estimate of 13.5 million. In northeast North Dakota, smaller sloughs and potholes are less abundant than previous years, but larger wetlands still hold plenty of water, said Mark Fisher, district wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Devils Lake. “On wetlands that have some size, you really wouldn’t notice the difference,” Fisher said. “There’s a lot of big wetlands over 5 acres in this country, and they still look pretty good.” Based on mid-July production surveys by the state Game and Fish Department, North Dakota’s fall duck flight is down 8 percent from last year. Game and Fish crews tallied 3.68 broods per square mile, down 5 percent from last year, but well above the long-term average since 1955 of 2.59 broods per square mile. Mallards, gadwall and blue-winged teal accounted for about 75 percent of Fisher the broods seen in the survey, with mallard broods down 13 percent, gadwalls down 4 percent and blue-winged teal broods unchanged, the department said. Given dry conditions across much of North Dakota, the Devils Lake region stands as a bright spot for waterfowl hunting prospects, Fisher said.


Hunting and Fishing

The Stevens County Times 


“It was certainly a dry summer with not a lot of rainfall, but we went into fall and winter so wet in northeast North Dakota,” Fisher said. “I know duck production in this area was really good. “There’s a lot of ducks around right now, and most of the wheat and barley crops are down. Any time it’s cool in the evening, I’m starting to see ducks, and a lot of Canada geese have actually shown up here. Birds are out in the fields feeding on the grain.” East of the Red Thief Lake and Roseau River wildlife management areas in northwest Minnesota -- two of the state’s premier waterfowl hunting destinations -- have less water in the managed pools than recent wet years. Thief Lake is about 6 inches below target levels, said Joel Huener, manager of the 54,957-acre WMA near Middle River, Minn. “That’s hard to control when Mother Nature makes it as dry as it is,” Huener said. “About the end of June, the spigot got turned off, and it started showing later in July. “Right now, we’re a couple of inches in arrears. We could take a little bit of rain and soak it up pretty easily.” Hunters at Roseau River WMA Huener north of Badger, Minn., will encounter similar conditions, refuge manager Randy Prachar said. Pool 1 at the east end of the 75,206-acre WMA is about 6 inches low, Pool 2 in the center of the WMA is a foot and a half low and Pool 3 on the west end of the WMA is down about a foot. That’s intentional on pools 2 and 3, where the Department of Natural Resources is trying to establish wild rice, which grows best in shallower water, Prachar said. “As far as hunters navigating, what I’m telling them is to bring a push pole and leave 15 to 20 minutes earlier from the dock,” Prachar said. By the numbers Based on summer estimates from the DNR, Minnesota’s breeding mallard population was 214,000, down 15 percent from 2016 and 6 percent below the long-term average since 1968. Total duck abundance was estimated at 636,000, down 19 percent from last year but 3 percent above the long-term average. The DNR estimated Canada goose numbers at 322,000, up from 202,000 in 2016 and 9 percent higher than the long-term average. As in northeast North Dakota, goose numbers in the Roseau River and Thief Lake areas are strong, driven by an influx of Canada geese at the end of

August. There’s also an abundance of small grain stubble fields that haven’t been plowed, providing attractive habitat to both geese and ducks. Some of that stubble still should be around come opening day, Prachar says, which could help keep birds in the area. Prachar said he’s seeing fair numbers of wood ducks, mallards and blue-winged teal at Roseau River, but ringnecks and other divers are scarce and likely will be until bad weather drives them down from Canada. “I think the best is yet to come,” Prachar said. “We don’t have a habitat problem -- it’s an issue of being in the right place at the right Prachar time when the birds get pushed out of Canada.” Huener of Thief Lake said he’ll have a better handle on duck and goose numbers after conducting aerial surveys this coming week. Participants in the annual Youth Waterfowl Day on Saturday, Sept. 9 did well, he said, averaging four birds per hunter with a bag consisting of green-winged teal, mallards, ringnecks, redheads and even a canvasback. Dry benefits Dry conditions mean some wetlands will be difficult to access, but at the same time, birds will be more concentrated. “Oftentimes, people see drought and waterfowl as a bad thing,” said Fisher, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist in Devils Lake. “I have a tendency to believe it’s a concentrating effect for ducks. If we had a real extreme drought, and the only water was in the large wetlands, that’s where the ducks would be. It has a tendency to shrink the landscape down into small areas. “The good news on a year like this is there’s not a lot of places the birds will go. When it’s really wet, and there’s high wetland densities out there full of water, birds can scatter out, and then you don’t see them. But when it’s drier, they have a tendency to move to other wetlands where other hunters can get after them, and that tends to move birds around, as well.” Over the long term, waterfowl prospects will diminish if dry conditions persist in future years, but the short-term impact on hunters stands to be minimal -- at least in northeast North Dakota. “I think it’s going to be a good season,” Fisher said. “I think people will do well. I think that, at least here in the Devils Lake area in all directions, probably clear out to Rugby, there will be habitat. There will be upland grain habitat for those people that like to sit in the fields, and there’ll be wetland habitat for people that like to hit the water.”

Saturday, September 23, 2017 7

Rules of the hunt North Dakota Ducks • Season dates: Sept. 23-Dec. 3. First week of season is residents only; nonresidents can hunt beginning Sept. 30. • Limits: The daily bag limit on ducks is 6 with species and sex restrictions as follows: 5 mallards of which only 2 may be hens, 3 scaup, 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 canvasbacks,1 pintail. Note: An additional 2 blue-winged teal may be taken Sept. 23 through Oct. 8 only. The daily limit of 5 mergansers may include no more than 2 hooded mergansers. The possession limit on these restricted ducks and the hooded merganser is three times the daily limit.

North Dakota Canada geese • Statewide: Sept. 23-Dec. 21; eight daily, 24 in possession. • Missouri River Zone: Sept. 23-Dec. 29; five daily, 15 in possession.

North Dakota light geese • Statewide: Sept. 23-Dec. 31; 50 daily, no possession limit. • More info:

Minnesota ducks • North Zone: Sept. 23-Nov. 21. • Central Zone: Sept. 23-Oct. 1; Oct. 7-Nov. 26. • South Zone: Sept. 23-Oct. 1; Oct. 14-Dec. 3. • Limits: Daily bag limit is 6. No more than any of the following species: 4 mallards (2 hen mallards), 3 scaup, 3 wood ducks, 1 pintail, 2 redheads, 2 canvasbacks, 2 black ducks. If not listed, up to 6 ducks of a species may be taken. The daily limit of 5 mergansers may include no more than 2 hooded mergansers. The possession limit on these restricted ducks and the hooded merganser is three times the daily limit.

Minnesota geese • North Zone: Sept. 23-Dec. 22. • Central: Sept. 23-Oct. 1; Oct. 7-Dec. 27. • South: Sept. 23-Oct. 1; Oct. 14-Jan. 3. • Dark geese limit (Canada, whitefront and Brant): Daily 3 combined; possession limit 9 combined. • Light geese limit (snow, blue and Ross’): 20 daily, 60 in possession. • More info:


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Large selection of varmint rifles & Black Hills 223 Ammo Find all your major brands of guns and ammo... good supply of all! Large selection of new and used handguns. MN conceal & carry instructor classes monthly.

Gift s cate t r e C ifi able il a v A

• Mossberg • DPMS • Ruger

Gear up for the hunting season at Ace. We have a huge selection of quality name brand hunting and fishing gear at everyday low prices.

• Savage • Browning • Stoeger

Open ex hours tended huntin during g seas on

Open 12-1:30 4-8 M-F; Sat. 8-5 116 S. 14th St., Benson • 320-843-2921

THE SIMPLICITY® DIFFERENCE West Central Implement 1100 Atlantic Ave. Morris 320-589-3696

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WE HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED! Guns • Ammo • Hunting Licenses • Camo clothing 710 Atlantic Ave. - Morris 320-589-3275


• Remington • Winchester • Benelli


8 Saturday, September 23, 2017 


Hunting and Fishing

DNR has notes available for beginning fishermen

From Page 4

all wildlife watchers took trips a mile or more from home to observe, photograph, or feed wildlife. Observing wildlife was the most popular activity, with 19.6 million participants, 83 percent of all away-from-home wildlife watchers. Over 13.7 million people (58 percent) photographed wildlife away from home; 4.9 million (21 percent) enjoyed feeding wildlife while on trips. Comparing the 2016 Survey with the two previous surveys shows significant increases from 2006 and 2011, 21 percent and 20 percent respectively, in overall wildlifewatching participation. From 2011 to 2016 there was an 18 percent increase in the number of around-the-home participants and a 5 percent increase (not statistically significant) in awayfrom-home wildlife watching. From 2006 to 2016 the number of around-the-home participants increased by 20 percent and the number of away-fromhome participants increased 3percent (not statistically significant). Overall expenditures due to wildlife watching increased 28 percent from 2011 to 2016 and 39 percent from 2006 to 2016 (both changes were statistically not significant). The amount of trip-related expenditures decreased 38percent from 2011 to 2016 and 25 percent from 2006 to 2016. From 2011 to 2016 and from 2006 to 2016 spending for wildlife-watching equipment did not change significantly (–1 percent and 3 percent, respectively). The category that explains the overall increase is special equipment, 2. footnote expenditures, which went up 173 percent from 2011 to 2016 and 186 percent from 2006 to 2016. 1. Statistical significance is measured at the 95 percent level. A 95 percent level of significance means that for 95 percent of all possible samples of two surveys, the estimate for one survey year can be shown to be different from the estimate for the other survey year. 2. Special equipment is high cost items such as ATVs, campers, and boats.


The Stevens County Times

Sam Cook /

A day’s catch of crappies spills out of a bucket onto the ice of an Itasca County lake on Dec. 17, 2014. Old friends Greg Clusiau of Nashwauk, Minn., and Terry Maciej of Pengilly, Minn., got together on the undisclosed lake for a day of crappie fishing. From the Minnesota DNR MinnAqua Pier Notes consist of five four-page brochures, which are designed for scout and 4-H leaders, youth programmers, fishing guides, and park and

HUNTING & FISHING Directory Everything you need for a successful outing

recreation staff that are taking kids fishing. These easy to use memory jogs will assist you in providing quality aquatic and fishing education at the water’s edge. They also reinforce the learning objectives from lessons in the MinnAqua Fishing: Get in the Habitat! leader’s guide. If you don’t have time to get a Fishing: Get in the Habitat! lesson in before taking your youth participants on a fishing trip, Pier Notes are a great way to cover some fun facts, safety tips, and aquatic ecology on the go! Check the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website to see the brochures or contact a DNR office. Casting, Finding, Landing, and Fish Senses • Casting a Spin Cast Rig • Where and When to Find Panfish • Hooking and Landing the Fish • Fish Senses Description: This booklet focuses on how to locate fish, aim your cast and land the fish once it bites your hook. The last page describes fish senses to help anglers decide what techniques and equipment to use while fishing.


West Central Implement 1100 Atlantic Ave., Morris (320) 589-3696


Minnewaska Bait & Tackle 202 N Main St., Starbuck (320) 239-2239


Hancock Quality Meat, LLC 966 6th St., Hancock (320) 392-3143 Starbuck Meats & Locker Service 117 East 5th St., Starbuck (320) 239-2228 888-739-4024


Kruger Farms 30344 Cty Rd 18, Starbuck (877) 631-0490


Ace Hardware 710 Atlantic Ave., Morris (320) 589-3275

Rods and Reels, Rigging and Knot-tying, Bait and Lures • Rods and Reels • Rigging and Knot-tying • Baiting Your Hook • Lured by Lures Description: This booklet identifies different types of fishing equipment and provides a guide on how to prepare your equipment for fishing. Fun Facts, Pop Can Rigs, Tackle Box, and Safety • Fishing Fun Facts • Making Your Own Fishing Rig • What’s In Your Tackle Box? • Planning for Safe Fishing • Description: This booklet can help you find your innerfish nerd and become a safe, self-sufficient angler on a tight budget. Handling a Fish, Hook Removal, Fish Anatomy, and Identification • Handling Fish Properly • Hook Removal and Release • External Anatomy of a Fish • Which Fish is Which? Description: This booklet provides helpful instructions on how to safely handle fish that you catch along with tips on identifying fish and their parts.


Jerry’s U-Save 211 St Hwy 9 S, Morris (320) 589-4333 Morris Co-op 1000 Atlantic Ave., Morris (320) 589-4744


GrandStay Hotel & Suites 5 East State Hwy 28, Morris (320) 585-4000 (877) 388-7829 West Pomme Lodge 45572 140th St., Donnelly (320) 585-6343


TLC Pet Haven 1010 5th Street, Hancock (320) 392-7387


Craig’s Taxidermy 211 4th Ave. East, Alexandria (320) 763-7806

Mike’s Guns & Sporting Goods 116 South 14th St., Benson (320) 843-2921 001634032r1

Hunting & Fishing Guide 2017  

To observe National Hunting & Fishing Day, the Stevens County Times produced a special edition.

Hunting & Fishing Guide 2017  

To observe National Hunting & Fishing Day, the Stevens County Times produced a special edition.