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Field Reports: Ice anglers need to remove fish houses soon

The deadline to remove fish houses from lakes in Minnesota is approaching quickly.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials are reminding anglers that fish houses must be removed by the end of the day Monday south of an east-west line formed by U.S. Highway 10, east along Minnesota Highway 34 to Minnesota Highway 200, east along Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 2, and east along Highway 2 to the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.

The deadline to remove fish houses from lakes north of that line is the end of the day on March 19.

Fish house owners also should remove any trash from lakes, whether it's theirs or was left by someone else, DNR officials said.

Wisconsin: Lots of bear permits

A record 12,970 permits were issued for the 2018 bear hunting season in Wisconsin.

Hunters who applied for a harvest permit can check their status online at gowild.wi.gov. Successful applicants should have received a postcard in the mail.

"Bear hunting has become an extremely popular outdoor activity in Wisconsin," noted Scott Walter, DNR large carnivore specialist. "For the 2018 season, we had over 124,000 individuals apply for either a harvest permit or preference point."

This year's harvest quota of 4,550 was approved by the Natural Resources Board at its January meeting. The quota was set with the intention of reducing the bear population in Northwestern Wisconsin and stabilizing the population in the rest of the state.

The season structure for this year's hunt is as follows:

Zone C (dogs not permitted):

• Sept. 5 to Oct. 9 — with aid of bait and all other legal methods not using dogs.

All other zones (use of dogs permitted):

• Sept. 5-11 — with aid of bait and other legal methods not using dogs;

• Sept. 12 to Oct. 2 — with aid of bait, dogs, and all other legal methods; and

• Oct. 3-9 — with aid of dogs only (bait may be used to locate bear to hunt with the aid of dogs).

Women's wingshooting class offered

The Ruffed Grouse Society will again offer its "Women's Intro to Wingshooting — Upland Game Skills Course" this summer and fall in Duluth and Superior.

Women can develop shotgun skills while discovering wildlife management, upland game, hunting dogs, hunting techniques and game preparation in a comfortable environment. Most class meetings will be followed by a non-competitive round of trapshooting with volunteer instructors. Some shotguns will be available for use by those who do not have one.

The course culminates with a pheasant hunt at a game farm. You will be hunting with volunteer instructors, guides and dogs.

A "meet-and-greet" meeting will be held with Mark Fouts of the Ruffed Grouse Society and volunteer instructors May 1 at 6 p.m. at VIP Pizza, 1201 Tower Avenue, Superior. Classes will be held on June 12 and 26, July 10 and 24 and Aug. 7 and 21, with the final guided hunt on Sept. 9. Course fee is $110.

Contact Fouts at markf@ruffedgrousesociety.org with questions. Register online or call Ordean East Community School — duluthcommunityed.org or (218) 336-8760.

Most popular national parks listed

The U.S. National Park Service listed its most popular parks by number of visits in 2017. Here they are:

• Great Smoky Mountains, 11,388,893

• Grand Canyon, 6,254,238

• Zion, 4,504,812

• Rocky Mountain, 4,437,215

• Yosemite, 4,336,890

• Yellowstone, 4,116,524

• Acadia, 3,509,271

• Olympic, 3,401,996

• Grand Teton, 3,317,000

• Glacier, 3,305,512

For comparison, here are 2017 visits to national parks in the Northland:

• Voyageurs, 237,250

• Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, 203,421

• Isle Royale, 28,196