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Outdoor Notes: Hackers win Northerns Inc. two-day tournament on Whitefish Chain of Lakes

Kevin and Lucas Hacker finished tournament with a total catch of 26 pounds, 13 ounces.

Winners of the Northerns Inc. Classic on Whitefish. Contributed

The team of Kevin and Lucas Hacker were named champions of the Northerns Inc. two-day Classic tournament held recently on the Whitefish Chain of Lakes in northern Crow Wing County.

The Hackers, with a total catch of 26 pounds, 13 ounces, slipped past the team of Jim and Joel Falenscheck, who also had a total catch of 26 pounds, 13 ounces.

Related: Outdoor Notes: North Country Pheasants Forever hosts Pillager trap team for pheasant hunt
Placing third with a total catch of 26 pounds, 12 ounces was the team of Tim and Nick Yeager. In fourth place was the team of Andrew Utter and Jake Rice, with a total catch of 25 pounds, 8 ounces. Coming in fifth was the team of Paul and Erv Wickham, with a total catch of 23 pounds, 13 ounces.

The Lunker of the Day — which also served as the tie breaker for first place — was caught by Kevin Hacker, who hauled in an 8 pound, 3 ounce northern pike.

Aeration system to be used on Nisswa Lake

An aeration system creating open water and thin ice will be in use Dec. 1-March 31 on Nisswa Lake at the old Nisswa Marina site. Those venturing on the lake are asked to use caution around posted areas.


The State Forest Nursery has urgent need for Jack pine, red pine, and black spruce cones

The State Forest Nursery needs to acquire hundreds of bushels of evergreen cones within the next few months to meet state and county orders for spring 2022 reforestation efforts, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

DNR foresters coordinate the seeding of approximately 5,000 acres each year to reforest DNR-managed land. Seeds are also planted at the nursery to grow tree seedlings, which are used in reforestation efforts on public and private land across Minnesota.

Most of the nursery’s seeds and cones are purchased from the public. Prices paid to private individuals for seed collection range from $20 - $150/bushel, depending on the type of cone.

“We rely very heavily on the public to supply seeds and cones to the State Forest Nursery,” said DNR Forestry Silviculture Program Coordinator Mike Reinikainen in a news release. “Gathering seeds and cones is a great outdoor fall activity that helps produce future forests, plus it’s a good way to make some extra money.”

Black Spruce Cone 2.jpg
Black spruce cones. Contributed / Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

While a variety of tree seeds and cones are needed, black spruce, jack pine and red pine cones are in particularly high demand. Because black spruce cones can be challenging to reach, DNR staff can direct people interested in gathering these cones to timber harvest locations where black spruce tops have been left on site.

Before collecting seeds or cones, contact one of the DNR seed drop off locations for more information, including instructions on how to present cones for purchase.


Seeds and cones may be collected on your own property or on state forest land.

Jack pine and red pine will be accepted through November, provided the cones have not opened. Black spruce cones will be accepted through February 2022.

To learn more, visit the DNR’s Seed and Cone Collection website .

Black Spruce Cone 2.jpg
Black spruce cones. Contributed / Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Black Spruce Cone 2.jpg
Black spruce cones. Contributed / Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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