North Country Pheasants Forever held a youth pheasant hunt hosted for the Pillager trap team on Oct. 3 at Hunt's Point Gun Club in Pequot Lakes.

Ten chapter volunteers along with six dogs guided 13 Pillager students to find pheasants in the fields for the day. The focus was on gun and hunting safety along with pheasant hunting techniques.

This hunt was made possible by Cub Food, Morey's Seafood, Dondelinger, David Grell from Exit Realty, Hunt's Point Gun Club and Lakeshore Conservation Club.

North Country Pheasants Forever chapter is based out of Crow Wing and Cass counties. The chapter's mission is youth and community involvement with proceeds going towards pheasants and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public access, education, and conservation advocacy.

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park to close during special hunt Nov. 6-8

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park will be closed to all visitors Nov 6-8 for a special deer hunt. The purpose for the hunt is to prevent overpopulation of deer and to protect resources.

Hunts will also take place at other Minnesota state parks and recreation areas this fall, and access to the parks will vary. Some will remain open to all visitors, some will have limited public access and some will be open only to hunters with special permits. The deadlines have passed for youth and adults to apply for the permits to participate in these state park and recreation area hunts, which include regular firearms, muzzleloader and archery options.

“Too many of one animal or plant species in an area can start to throw off the balance of other species in that area,” said Tavis Westbrook, a natural resource program coordinator with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Trails, in a news release. “When there are too many deer in a park, they feed too much on certain trees and native plants, so occasionally we allow deer hunts as a way to protect natural resources.”

The DNR thanks visitors for their patience and understanding during the hunts.

For a list of parks and recreation areas that are open, partially open or closed during the 2021 hunting season, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/hunting.html or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or call 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday). Details on specific areas affected by the special deer hunts can also be found in the “Visitor Alert” boxes on the individual park and recreation area website pages at www.mndnr.gov.

Minnesota DNR announces $13.3 million funding proposal to address 2021 drought impacts on natural resources

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources today announced $13.3 million in funding proposals in response to the significant effects of this summer’s drought on two of the state’s critical natural resources: water and trees.

The DNR proposes $3 million in funding for municipal, tribal, and other community water suppliers to implement proactive water conservation measures related to the built infrastructure, including finding and repairing leaks in pipes, meters, hydrants, and treatment plants, and installing water-efficient equipment.

These proven strategies can help individual cities across the state to conserve millions of gallons of water a year. The proposal also includes $300,000 for an individual and small community well interference fund.

Additionally, the drought has stressed well-established shade trees in communities and caused an extremely high mortality rate for tree seedlings planted in 2021. The DNR proposes $5.5 million in funding to re-plant public and private forest lands where seedlings were irrevocably damaged by the drought and $4.5 million in community shade tree grants. Combined, this funding will be essential to support tree health, carbon storage, habitat, water quality and other benefits of forests and shade trees.

A seedling with drought damage. 
Contributed / Minnesota Department of Natural Resouces
A seedling with drought damage. Contributed / Minnesota Department of Natural Resouces

“This year’s drought was challenging on many natural resources fronts. While the DNR took necessary steps to mitigate the drought’s impacts, in accordance with the Statewide Drought Plan, more needs to be done,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen in a news release. “This proposal includes high-impact resiliency measures in order to conserve water and preserve our precious tree cover. This funding proposal will help protect the resources we all value and depend on for our quality of life in Minnesota.”

The entire state entered the drought warning phase in mid-July of 2021. With this designation, the Minnesota DNR took a number of measures laid out in the Statewide Drought Plan, including convening the State Drought Task Force, a panel of state, federal, regional and local experts with water-related responsibilities.

You can read more about the DNR’s drought response proposals on DNR’s website.