Little Rice Lake near Virginia becomes state game refuge
A St. Louis County lake will become a state game refuge as of Sept. 1, meaning it'll be off-limits for duck hunting and trapping this fall. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports that the designation for Little Rice Lake, between V...
A St. Louis County lake will become a state game refuge as of Sept. 1, meaning it'll be off-limits for duck hunting and trapping this fall.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports that the designation for Little Rice Lake, between Virginia and Tower, comes after a public meeting and comment process earlier this year. Public opinion was generally in favor of making Little Rice Lake a game refuge to help improve duck hunting on nearby Big Rice Lake.
Little Rice Lake will be closed to hunting and trapping from Sept. 1 to Nov. 25 each year.
"Undisturbed ducks utilizing Little Rice should provide better hunting opportunities over a longer period in October," said Tom Rusch, the DNR's Tower area wildlife supervisor. Rusch said Big Rice Lake, about 1 mile west of Little Rice, is one of the most popular duck-hunting areas in northern St. Louis County.
The refuge boundary "can generally be described as the bog/forest perimeter of Little Rice Lake," the DNR reported. The refuge status only affects duck hunting and trapping; it does not affect wild ricing, deer hunting or other upland hunting on or around the lake.
DNR staff will continue to monitor duck use of Little Rice Lake. If it isn't functioning as a refuge after five years, there is a sunset clause in the designation.
Questions about the refuge designation can be directed to the Tower DNR wildlife office at (218) 753-2580 x240, or by e-mail to email@example.com .
Leftover Wisconsin turkey permits on sale
Remaining permits for Wisconsin's 2012 fall turkey hunting season went on sale starting Saturday on a first-come, first-served basis.
The permits can be purchased online, in person or over the phone.
A total of 96,700 permits were available for the 2012 season, and 37,721 were issued to hunters who applied for the initial drawing by the Aug. 1 deadline. That leaves nearly 59,000 permits available for over-the-counter sales in zones 1-5. There were no leftover permits for zones 6 and 7, the Department of Natural Resources reported; those two zones cover most of Northwestern Wisconsin.
Hunters are allowed to purchase just one leftover permit a day, but there is no limit on the total number of permits a hunter can buy.
The fee is $5 for 10- and 11-year-old hunters, $10 for residents, and $15 for non-residents. All buyers also must purchase a fall turkey license and stamp unless they have previously purchased the license and stamp, or are a 2012 Conservation Patron License holder.
Licenses are available at DNR service centers; by phone at (877) 945-4236; or online at the DNR's Online Licensing Center -- find a link at dnr.wi.gov.
The Wisconsin fall turkey season starts Sept. 15.