Turkey hunters set harvest records in Minnesota, Wisconsin
Turkey hunters in both Minnesota and Wisconsin shot a record number of turkeys this spring. In Minnesota, a record 9,412 turkeys were harvested this spring, according to preliminary results from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. That...
Turkey hunters in both Minnesota and Wisconsin shot a record number of turkeys this spring.
In Minnesota, a record 9,412 turkeys were harvested this spring, according to preliminary results from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. That tops the previous record of 8,434 turkeys taken in spring 2004, said Bill Penning, farmland wildlife program leader for the DNR.
Penning attributes the record to good weather during hunting season and to good overwinter survival of turkeys. He said he also thinks the turkey density is increasing in the northern part of the range.
In Wisconsin, preliminary figures show hunters set a spring harvest record by registering 51,306 turkeys, according to a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources news release. That's a 9 percent increase from the 2006 spring harvest of 46,662 birds.
The increase in harvest probably is because of an expanding turkey population, an increase in permits and good weather during hunting season, according to the DNR news release.
Minnesota's hunter success rate was 29.9 percent, just about matching the average over the past five years. Wisconsin's rate was 25 percent, compared with 23 percent in 2006.
Wisconsin grouse numbers up again
Wisconsin's ruffed grouse population appears to be increasing for the second year in a row, according to a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources news release. The news comes from preliminary data state wildlife managers collected during the 2007 spring drumming counts.
Overall, drumming counts increased by 14 percent over the last year, on top of a 27 percent increase between 2005 and 2006, said Scott Hull, DNR upland game ecologist. "It's a welcome indication that populations appear to be growing," he said in a prepared statement.
The central and southeast regions showed the greatest increase in drumming activity over last year with 23 percent and 25 percent increases, respectively. The northern region showed an increase of 17 percent and the southwest region showed an 11 percent decline.
In Wisconsin and Minnesota, grouse populations tend to rise and fall on a 10-year cycle for reasons that biologists cannot fully explain.
Rule changes for ice-fishing shelters
Minnesota ice anglers no longer will have to buy fish house tags for shelters that aren't left on the ice overnight. Shelter tags still will be required for houses left on the ice.
Language outlining the change is included in SF2096, the 177-page Environment, Natural Resources and Energy appropriations bill.
While anglers who fish with portable houses long have opposed the shelter tag, nonresidents who ice fish in Minnesota stand to benefit the most from legislation to modify the tag requirement. Nonresident tags cost $33, and with the change, that's $33 they won't have to spend unless they leave their houses on the ice overnight.
Resident one-year shelter tags cost $11.50.
Meanwhile, the broad-based bill raises the cost of an individual nonresident fishing license from $34 to $37.50.
Lake trout bidding rises
As of press time Friday, bidding had reached $1,525 on the world-record lake trout mount that Earl "Punk" Palmquist of International Falls was selling on eBay.
Palmquist caught the 40-pound fish through the ice in 1987. It's recognized by the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward as the world-record lake trout taken by ice-fishing.
Palmquist, 80, is selling the mount to raise money for his two grandsons' college educations. Bidding was to have closed by Saturday, beyond deadline for this column. The News Tribune will publish a follow-up to Palmquist's story in Outdoors next Sunday.
Kids go fishing with mentors
Seven charter captains with the Duluth Charter Fishing Guides Association took 18 mentors and their child partners through Mentor Duluth fishing in the Duluth-Superior harbor on June 10. Most of the kids caught fish, said Peter Dahl, secretary of the fishing guides association.
"All of the boats caught fish," Dahl said. "On our boat, we had two kids, and they each pulled in a couple of fish."
The event was planned for Minnesota's Take-A-Kid Fishing Weekend, when adults aren't required to have a license if they're fishing with a child. Mentor Duluth is a collaboration of seven youth-serving agencies in the Duluth area.
World Walleye Association results in Duluth
In last weekend's World Walleye Association tournaments in Duluth, Tom Pfister and Darrin Nelson of Duluth won Saturday's contest with four walleyes that weighed 15.58 pounds. Dave Nelson and Charlie Nelson were second. Tom Hanson and Andrew Frielund were third.
In Sunday's contest, Chris Edquist and Chad Clough won with 16.73 pounds. David Wegener and James Hudson were second, and Steve Butchart and Ken Hoge took third.
Prepare now for Duluth bowhunt
For people planning to take part in this fall's Duluth city bowhunt for deer, the Arrowhead Bowhunters Alliance reminds participants to pay attention to upcoming registration and testing opportunities.
Registration must be done online at the ABA Web site, www.bow huntersalliance.org. The application form will be available online about July 1, and the deadline is July 24. Each participant, including past participants, must pass a shooting proficiency test. For information about testing times and dates, go to the ABA Web site.