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Sept 23 Outdoor notes

Locals find success in bass tournament

Charles Steinbauer of Brainerd caught the biggest bass of the tournament en route to an eighth-place finish in the Minnesota Bass Federation Nation Tournament of Champions, Sept. 6-7 on Island Lake north of Duluth.

Steinbauer totaled 20.31 pounds in the two-day event. Dennis Lothspeich, also of Brainerd, finished seventh at 20.44 pounds in the 132-angler tourney. Steinbauer’s son, Nate, was in second place after the first day, but struggled the second day and fell well back in the pack, Charles Steinbauer said.

The top 12 finishers qualified for the nine-state Divisional Tournament in August 2013 on Lake Francis Case out of Chamberlain, S.D.

Area conservation officer Speldrich promoted

The DNR has promoted four conservation officers to lieutenant and district supervisor.

Brent Speldrich will be the Mille Lacs area enforcement supervisor entailing Aitkin, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, and Pine counties.

Also, Stacey Sharp was named Bemidji area enforcement supervisor, which includes Becker, Beltrami, Clay, Clearwater, Norman, Otter Tail and Polk counties; Dan Thomasen is the new Two Harbors area enforcement supervisor – the area includes Cook, Lake, and St. Louis counties; and the New Ulm area enforcement supervisor is Wayne Hatlestad.

Speldrich joined the DNR in 2001, serving in the McGregor station, as Northeast ATV recreation specialist and as acting Brainerd area enforcement supervisor prior to his promotion. He had been a deputy in the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Department prior to joining the DNR.

Good duck opener expected;

preseason license sales up

When Minnesota’s waterfowl season opened Saturday, Sept. 22, hunting is likely to be pretty good.

That from the DNR, which reports that record continental duck breeding populations combined with low water levels across the much of the state will work to the hunter’s advantage.

“A pile of ducks are coming down from Canada and they are going to be more concentrated this year because of less water across the landscape,” said Steve Cordts, the DNR’s waterfowl specialist. “Somewhere someone is going to have the best duck hunting they’ve ever had.”

Cordts said the Sept. 22 opener – the earliest since World War II days – also will help hunters be more successful. That’s because wood ducks and teal, early migrants, should still be abundant throughout the state. Moreover, the DNR has split the state into three hunting zones with different dates as part of an effort to provide additional hunting opportunity as birds migrate from north to south. By adding a third zone in southern Minnesota the hunting season now extends through the first weekend in December.

“There’s a lot of opportunity this year,” said Cordts. “The duck hunter who moves around the state can hunt for more than 70 days.”

As of last week, waterfowl stamp sales were running ahead of last year and so were youth small game license sales that indicated the licensee intended to hunt migratory birds.

As of Sept. 14, Minnesota duck stamp sales totaled 46,001 compared with 44,479 in 2011 for the same time period. Youth small game license sales with a Harvest Information Program certification totaled 7,194 this year compared to 5,879 last year. The Minnesota DNR issued 89,520 state waterfowl stamps last year, up from the previous year but below the 100,000-plus licenses sold from 1990 through 2007.

The DNR will post a weekly waterfowl migration report each week during the duck season at Waterfowl hunting regulations are available wherever DNR licenses are sold and online at

Brainerd chapter of MDHA to meet Sept. 27

The Brainerd Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association will meet at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 at Oak Lawn Town Hall. Future meeting dates are Nov. 15 and Jan. 24.

Pheasants Forever to hold fall festival

The North Country chapter of Pheasants Forever will hold its first fall festival from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Sept. 29 at Dog Lake Birds & Clays, 20396 Division Road Northeast, Brainerd.

The festival will include adult and youth raffles, dog and puppy training seminars with professional trainers, field first aid seminar by Garrison Animal Hospital, youth games, youth pheasant flush, sporting clays and dog flush and retrieving time trials. Preregistration is necessary for the time trials as space is limited.

To register or buy tickets contact Eric Lee at 218-820-4437.

For more information visit; or email

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

to host Archaeology Day event

The Minnesota Archaeological Society will be at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park Sept. 29 to host a day of demonstrations, displays and activities highlighting the archaeology and heritage of the region.

Demonstrations and activities will include flint knapping, prehistoric pottery, birch bark canoe making, beads and beadwork, spears and spear-throwing, guns of the fur trade and children’s activities. Displays include books and pamphlets of the Minnesota Archaeological Society as well as archaeology projects of Maritime Heritage Minnesota, St. Cloud State University, Minnesota State University Moorhead and the Office of the State Archaeologist. The public is invited to observe a small archaeological excavation in progress. Films about archaeology and birch bark canoe building will be shown continuously at the park’s interpretive center. The demonstrations and activities will take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Archery in the Park, an archery range for ages 8 and up, will be available from 1-4 p.m.

Archaeologists will give tours in 10-person canoes while discussing sites of the Kathio National Historic Landmark District. Three 90-minute tours will be offered, at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Participants must be at least 10 years old. Registration is required and is limited to the first 18 people for each canoe tour. To provide opportunities for individuals attending the event, we are unable to accommodate large groups. Register for canoe tours at the park’s interpretive center or call 320-532-3269 and leave your name, phone number and number of people attending. Paddles and life jackets are provided.

There is no charge for the Archaeology Day activities. A vehicle permit is required to enter Minnesota State Parks. Vehicle permits may be purchased at the park office, $5 for a daily permit or $25 for an annual permit, which allows entry to all Minnesota State Parks for one year from the date of purchase. Mille Lacs Kathio State Park is located eight miles north of Onamia, 14 miles south of Garrison, on U.S. Highway 169. For more information, call the park at 320-532-3523.

— Compiled by Brian S. Peterson, contributing writer; and Matt Erickson, outdoors editor.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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