Field reports: Sign up soon for mentored youth deer hunts in Minnesota
Minnesota youth can apply to hunt deer in selected state parks and other refuge areas during 17 special deer hunts in October and November. Youth have until Aug. 19 to apply for the hunts, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource...
Minnesota youth can apply to hunt deer in selected state parks and other refuge areas during 17 special deer hunts in October and November. Youth have until Aug. 19 to apply for the hunts, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Of the 17 special hunts, 15 are firearms hunts for youth ages 12 to 15, and two are archery hunts for youth ages 12 to 17.
“Parents or other adult mentors go with youth to the fields and forests during these annual hunting opportunities,” said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring coordinator. “Time spent outdoors together is important, and continued adult support can shape youth into lifelong hunters.”
Participation in other deer hunting seasons remains an option for youth who take part in the special youth deer hunts, but any deer harvested count against the youth’s season bag limit. An adult parent, guardian or mentor must accompany the youth at all times while hunting, but only the youth may hunt. Both youth and mentor must attend a mandatory pre-hunt orientation clinic.
A limited number of either-sex permits are available for each hunt. However, the hunt in Buffalo River State Park and Camden State Park are for antlerless deer, and in the Lake Shetek State Park hunt, youth need to harvest an antlerless deer before getting a permit to harvest a buck.
The two archery hunts are for youth ages 12-17.
* Camp Ripley, 175 permits, hunt is Oct. 8-9, clinic is Oct. 7-8.
* Lake Alexander Preserve, 20 permits, hunt is Oct. 8-9, clinic is Oct. 7.
The 15 firearms hunts are for youth, ages 12-15.
* Afton State Park, 25 permits, hunt is Nov. 5-6, clinic is Oct. 15.
* Banning State Park, six permits, hunt is Oct. 29-30, clinic is Oct 28.
* Blue Mounds State Park, 10 permits, hunt is Nov. 19-20, clinic is Nov. 18.
* Buffalo River State Park, 14 permits, hunt is Nov. 5-6, clinic is Nov. 4.
* Camden State Park, 15 permits, hunt is Oct. 29-30, clinic is Oct. 28.
* Itasca State Park, 75 permits, hunt is Oct. 15-16, clinic is Oct. 8 or Oct. 14.
* Kilen Woods State Park, six permits, hunt is Oct. 22-23, clinic is Oct. 21.
* Lake Bemidji State Park, 20 permits, hunt is Oct. 21-23, clinic is Oct. 20.
* Lake Shetek State Park, 12 permits, hunt is Nov. 19-20, clinic is Nov. 18.
* Rydell National Wildlife Refuge, 15 permits, hunt is Oct. 22-23, clinic is Oct. 21.
* St. Croix State Park, 90 permits, hunt is Oct. 29-30, clinic is Oct. 22 or Oct. 28.
* Savanna Portage State Park, 25 permits, hunt is Oct. 29-30, clinic is Oct. 28.
* Sibley State Park, 10 permits, hunt is Oct. 29-30 clinic is Oct. 28.
* Tettegouche State Park, 10 permits, hunt is Oct. 29-30, clinic is Oct. 28.
* Zippel Bay State Park, 20 permits, hunt is Oct. 22-23, park will mail clinic information.
Youth must apply for the hunt of his or her choice. Apply anywhere DNR licenses are sold or online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense. For archery hunts, apply with code 630; for firearms hunts, apply with code 631.
If the number of applications exceeds the number of permits, the DNR will randomly draw names to choose participants. Youth may apply for one archery hunt and one firearms hunt. Successful applicants also must meet all firearms safety requirements, purchase appropriate licenses and follow hunting regulations.
Grants awarded to recruit anglers and hunters
The Ruffed Grouse Society has received two grants from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to help recruit hunters and anglers in Minnesota. One grant for $6,880 will be used in the Grand Rapids area to introduce women to wingshooting. The other, for $15,309, will be used for a Minnesota Upland Hunter Recruitment and Mentoring program, said Jeff Ledermann, DNR angler recruitment and retention supervisor.
Those grants are among a dozen the DNR awarded to groups across the state.
“We’re excited about how these organizations plan to support fishing and hunting in Minnesota,” Ledermann said. “What these groups shared was a commitment to getting people outdoors for these pursuits.”
The Angler and Hunter Recruitment and Retention Grant Program began this year. The program was very competitive with 35 applicants in round one. Grant awards ranged from $5,000 to $41,000.
The application for round two of the grant program can be found at mndnr.gov/angler_hunter_grants. Application deadline is Oct. 13. Grant awards range from $5,000 to $50,000 and require a dollar-for-dollar match of the state grant award amount, or else a match of the value of labor, materials or services of the state award. The DNR expects to have more than $100,000 to distribute in round two.
Eligible projects must have a purpose that supports angler or hunter recruitment and retention.
Input sought on Kabetogama trails
Anyone interested in trail use and motorized recreation in Kabetogama State Forest near Orr is encouraged to attend an open house from 5-8 p.m. Aug. 3 at the American Legion in Orr, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The open house will provide an opportunity to submit comments about trail use in the state forest. DNR staff will be available to answer questions and provide maps of existing trails.
Between 2003 and 2008, the DNR inventoried all routes and designated trails within state forests. This current project will re-evaluate the designations made during the initial review. Changes could include redefining how trails can be used, determining options for motorized trail routes, closing unsustainable trails, designating “areas with limitations” during hunting and trapping activities, and developing new hunter walking trails.
Written comments may be submitted to email@example.com or by mail to Joe Unger, DNR Parks and Trails, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4039. The DNR will accept written comments through Aug. 17.