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Boat show slated in Twin Cities

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outdoors Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

No snow needed to recognize

Snowmobile Safety Awareness Week

It’s not exactly snowmobiling weather in Minnesota. More reason to embrace snowmobile safety once the snow finally does fly.

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Gov. Mark Dayton, with the support of the DNR and the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association, has proclaimed the upcoming week as Snowmobile Safety Awareness Week in Minnesota.

“We see the excitement to ride building up as people wait for that first ‘good’ snow of the season to arrive, so we see a lot of pent-up riding excitement in a short amount of time during these ‘low snow’ seasons,” said Captain Mike Hammer, DNR Education Program Coordinator. “Our concern is all of the anxious snowmobilers suddenly hitting the trails all at once when that good snow finally arrives.”

To legally ride a snowmobile in Minnesota, residents born after Dec. 31, 1976, need a valid snowmobile safety certificate. More than 1,800 volunteer instructors teach DNR snowmobile safety courses across the state. For more information on the dates and locations of these courses, visit the DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us or call (800) 366-8917.

For a copy of the DNR’s 2011-2012 Minnesota Snowmobile Safety Laws, Rules, and Regulations handbook, call (888) MINNDNR (outstate) or (651) 296-6157. It’s also available on the DNR’s web page at www.dnr.state.mn.us/regulations/snowmobile/index.html.

Minneapolis Boat Show

starts Thursday 

The 40th annual Minneapolis Boat Show is scheduled Thursday through Jan. 22 at the Minnapolis Convention Center.

Show hours are noon to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.MinneapolisBoatShow.com or at the show. Tickets are $10 for adults (16 and older) and free for youths 15 and under with a paying adult and for active military members with military I.D.

DNR eyes limited gray wolf hunting, trapping

Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner, said the agency is taking a “deliberate and science-based” approach to implementing initial wolf hunting and trapping seasons.

Last July, the Minnesota Legislature eliminated a five-year waiting period for a wolf season following delisting of the animal from federal protection. In the weeks ahead, DNR biologists will begin to identify wolf management harvest units and develop other criteria specific to a Minnesota season. Components of the proposed season framework must still be approved by the Legislature, and a chance for public comment must be provided later this year.

“Without a history of regulated wolf seasons, we don’t know what kind of hunter and trapper interest and success rate to expect,” said Dan Stark, DNR large carnivore specialist. As a result, he said, it is necessary to be conservative during the initial seasons.

Stark said the DNR presented its wolf hunting proposal to lawmakers during a recent legislative hearing. The agency will seek additional authorization from the Legislature this session to offer a wolf license and implement management strategies. It also will take public comment prior to finalizing and implementing a wolf season.

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