Week of February 11, 2013

Words to Ponder
Beyond the Great Lakes
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

New York
Other Breaking News Items


       Weekly News Archives


       New Product  Archives

Words to Ponder

Words to Ponder

"My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a


politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference!" 

Harry Truman

Beyond the Great Lakes

Bass Pro Shops to Open Store in San Jose, Ca

Bass Pro Shops will locate a new store in San Jose, California west of the highly visible intersection of the Almaden Expressway 85 and Highway 87.  The store will be part of the 350,000-sq ft Almaden Ranch

development and will have tremendous access for all of the east and west Bay population.   The new 145,000 sq-ft Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World is scheduled to open in 2015.

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Nikon Debuts ACULON A211 Binocular 

The ACULON A211 binocular officially launches Nikon’s all-new ACULON optics family to the world.  With seven fixed power and two zoom models, every adventure can now be enhanced with an economically priced quality optic.

The ACULON A211 uses aspherical eyepiece lenses (except zoom models) to minimize aberration and deliver rich, natural colors.  Utilizing Nikon’s multilayer-coated lenses and Bak4 High Index Prisms, these binoculars offer excellent image brightness and clarity.  Ergonomic styling, mated with a fully rubber-armored exterior, provides added shock resistance and a firm grip.


The ACULON A211 is easy to use and each version is loaded with user-friendly features that make the viewing experience a comfortable one.  A smooth central focus knob is an easy way to bring views into focus, zoom

models feature smooth fingertip zoom control.  Turn-and-slide rubber

eyecups allow for comfortable viewing during extended periods of use (except zoom models).



Field of View

1,000yds (ft)

Eye Relief








































800-645-6687   www.nikonsportoptics.com



Modern Day Muskellunge World Record Established

The International Committee of the Modern Day Muskellunge World Record Program (MDMWRP) is pleased to announce the acceptance of a recent muskellunge catch as its world record. The capture of a 58-pound “muskie” by Joe Seeberger of Portage, Michigan on October 13, 2012 from Lake Bellaire, Michigan has set the new modern standard for the world’s muskie anglers.


This modern day record program began in 2006 by a committee consisting of some of the worlds top muskellunge scientists, along with several muskie industry leaders, muskie anglers and outdoor media personalities (www.modernmuskierecords.org).


The committee decided at that time, to set a qualifying standard for muskellunge application at 60-pounds, rather than leave it “open“ to minimize entries merely to establish a new modern record, important in these days of catch and release.


After seven years with no entries, several of our committee members got together and recommended that we consider the Seeberger fish, after the fact. The length of time that had passed with no fish entered in our program, indicated the real rarity of the species attaining such size. Our committee voted unanimously to slightly reduce the minimum weight requirement and begin the authentication process of the 58-pound Seeberger muskie. After a through three-month review to assure it met the stringent MDMWRP rules requirements for record, our esteemed committee members once again voted unanimously to accept this fish as the Modern Day Muskellunge World Record


Therefore, we are proud to announce that the official weight and measurements of this grand fish are; Weight: 58-pounds, Length: 58-inches* and Girth: 29-inches (full catch details will be available on our website: www.modernmuskierecords.org). The fish met all established standards except for the length claim, as the initial length measurement was not made in accordance with MDMWRP standards protocol. The fish was found to be one-inch shorter than the initial submitted length measurement of 59-inches.


*It should be noted that our rules require a bump board style length measurement, which is in keeping with the practice of scientific length measurement and with most of today’s catch and release and tournament standards. Wide use and acceptance of this standard is of great value to the scientific community in determining the maximum obtainable size of North America’s largest freshwater sport species.


When  Seeberger caught his muskie he was completely unaware of its significance. He was merely keeping it as a personal trophy that became the new Michigan State record for Great Lakes Strain Muskellunge. It is now the highly coveted MDMWRP world record champion as well! This International Modern Day Muskellunge record should constitute a highly credible all-tackle world record that is acceptable to legions of North American muskie anglers.


For more info: Steve Worrall, MDMWRP Public Relations Director: email [email protected].  




Quail Unlimited Disbands
The country’s oldest quail conservation group has closed its doors for good. Quail Unlimited (QU) president Bill E. Bowles announced last Friday in a statement that the company was closing due to financial difficulties and internal problems discovered two and a half years ago. Unfortunately, QU was unable to reconcile these difficulties.


“This has been a valiant effort by everyone and we should all be proud,” said Bowles in the statement.

The organization will be shutting down immediately. QU’s site now redirects to Quail Forever, which had purchased the QU mailing list along with other organizational material. Bowles and the QU Board of Directors formally recommended Quail Forever as “the future of quail conservation in America” and are urging members to switch over as soon as possible.


Quail Forever also released a statement on Friday stating that the conservation group will be there to support former QU members and that Quail Forever intends to maintain a voice for hunters and conservationists in the nation’s capital.

With the addition of the refugee QU members, Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever take on the mantle of the largest upland hunting conservation group in the country, a role they are eager to embrace. Quail Forever currently holds a four-star rating by Charity Navigator, which describes the organization as exceeding industry standards and outperforming most other charities in the conservation field. It is the highest rating Charity Navigator has.


According to the Albany Herald, Bowles and some former QU employees have been offered positions by Quail Forever to help make member transitions as painless as possible, as well as heading up future quail conservation efforts in the southeastern region. Bowles has accepted a position as the Quail Forever Southeast Regional Director.


“There is a little bit of a sadness in seeing [Quail Unlimited] go away, but every one of us knows it’s just a name” Bowles said in an interview. “The work that we intended to do in that organization now gets a real opportunity to get done. We get to make up for the last two and a half years.”


2013 Illinois Licenses Now Available

Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman’s combination licenses for 2013 are now available from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online at:

www.dnr.illinois.gov/online/Pages/default.aspx or by calling 888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). The system is available 24 hours a day. The 2013 licenses will be valid through Mar. 31, 2014 unless otherwise noted.

Hunter and Boating Safety Education

Now’s the time to begin planning for spending time outdoors in 2013 by checking the schedule and registering for Hunter Safety Education and Boating Safety Education courses from the IDNR.  There are plenty of

classes scheduled -- check the IDNR website for class dates and locations.  Class schedules are updated frequently. The website link for all IDNR Safety Education course information is www.dnr.illinois.gov/ safety

Camping Reservations

Make your reservation now for campsites and shelters for many IDNR sites for 2013.  Reservations can be made online through the

ReserveAmerica website at www.reserveamerica.com using a Visa or MasterCard.   For more information, check the IDNR website at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/Landmgt/Programs/Camping/

Registration Open for 2013 Illinois Conservation Congress
Participants Sought for Regional Meetings in February and March

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois citizens interested in natural resources protection and sustainable use, outdoor recreation, and conservation stewardship are invited to participate in the 2013 Illinois Conservation Congress.


In advance of the planned statewide Conservation Congress session in Springfield in September, a series of regional meetings are scheduled for February and March, and online registration for those meetings is being conducted at www.dnr.illinois.gov/ConservationCongress.


“Conservation Congress provides Illinois residents with a direct voice to help guide the future of protecting and enhancing the natural resources of our state, and I encourage individuals and organizations who share our passion for conservation and outdoor recreation in Illinois to register today,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Marc Miller.


The mission of the Illinois Conservation Congress is to give Illinois residents a formal process to propose and advocate actions that can be taken by elected and appointed officials to protect and conserve the natural resources of the State of Illinois.  The goal of Conservation Congress is to ensure, through professional management, that sustainable use, recreational opportunities and enjoyment of these resources is available for this and future generations.


The regional meetings scheduled across the state in the coming weeks

will be used to gain interest and feedback from the public. 


The regional meetings are scheduled at:

  • John A. Logan College, Carterville – February 19 and 20

  • Heartland Community College, Normal - February 26 and 27

  • WIU Campus, Quad Cities Campus, Moline - March 4 and 5

  • South Shore Cultural Center, Chicago – March 12, 13 and 14

  • Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville – March 21 and 22


At the evening regional meetings, participants will begin discussing five broad topics to focus Conservation Congress deliberations for action this fall:


  • Sustainable Resource Development and Extraction – mines and minerals, water resources, forestry, etc.

  • Sustainable Resource Harvest – outdoor recreation – wildlife and fish conservation, hunting, fishing, etc.

  • Sustainable Provision of Outdoor Recreation – recreational public access, state parks, etc.

  • Sustainable Resource Protection – regulation, law enforcement, etc.

  • Building Bridges – developing new constituencies, professional development, improving and growing partnerships


For more information, to register for regional meetings, and to provide input to the Illinois Conservation Congress, go online to:  www.dnr.illinois.gov/ConservationCongress


DNR announces 2013 Black Lake sturgeon season harvest result
The 2013 Black Lake sturgeon harvest season ended on Monday, Feb. 4, with an announced harvest level of six fish being attained. The fishing season, which included spearing or hook-and-line fishing, was scheduled to run Feb. 2-6, or until the harvest of six fish had been reached.


Ice conditions were good, with not much snow present," said Tim Cwalinski, DNR fisheries biologist. "We had 268 registered anglers on the ice, an increase from 197 the year before. Most anglers registered at the pre-registration held on Feb. 1, which allowed for a much more streamlined process."


The majority of anglers fished on Saturday, Feb. 2; at that time the first, second and third fish were landed. Angler pressure tapered off and the fourth fish was landed on Sunday, Feb. 3, while the fifth and sixth fish were taken on Monday, Feb. 4. The season officially closed at 12:16 p.m. on Feb. 4. The sturgeon fishing hotline was updated within four minutes of harvesting the sixth fish, and lake-wide cannons and sirens were used to signal the season's end immediately after the last fish was on the ice. In


addition, DNR law enforcement officials and other DNR personnel were embedded in the fishing communities and were able to quickly report harvested fish this year, as well as to quickly close the season.


The harvested fish ranged in length and weight:

  • fish one was male, 11 pounds and 39 inches;

  • fish two was female, 67 pounds and 66 inches

  • fish three was male, 54 pounds and 63.5 inches

  • fish four was male, 13 pounds and 42 inches

  • fish five was female, 42 pounds and 59.5 inches; and

  • fish six was female, 18 pounds and 45 inches.


Several of the fish had been captured several times before by Michigan State U and DNR sturgeon researchers during either spring spawning runs or lake netting surveys.


Recent changes in registration logistics were developed to allow greater participation by anglers while protecting the population of lake sturgeon in Black Lake from overharvest.

DNR Master Angler program a big success in 2012
Includes four state records

The Michigan DNR has announced the 2012 results from its Master Angler program, which has been in place since 1973 and recognizes large fish caught by recreational anglers.

This past year 1,189 anglers representing 25 states submitted catches that were recognized as Master Angler fish. That's an increase from the 1,105 fish recognized in 2011. Of the entries accepted, 346 were categorized as “Catch and Keep” and 843 were categorized as “Catch and Release.”

Here is a breakdown of the most popular 2012 Master Angler entries by species:

  • 119 freshwater drum

  • 113 rock bass

  • 108 bluegill

  • 107 smallmouth bass

  • 85 channel catfish

  • 46 carp

  • 43 largemouth bass

  • 31 Great Lakes muskellunge


Master Angler entries for 2012 included four new state records, including black buffalo (37.4 pounds, captured on the Kalamazoo River by Bryan DeGoede of Kalamazoo), flathead catfish (49.8 pounds, caught on the St. Joseph River by Rodney Akey of Niles), Great Lakes muskellunge (58 pounds, caught on Lake Bellaire by Joseph Seeberger of Portage) and quillback carpsucker (8.12 pounds, captured on Hardy Dam Pond by Randy Bonter, Jr. of Grant).

Submissions are already being accepted for the 2013 Master Angler program. To download an application, visit www.michigan.gov/masterangler.

Michigan proposes new license fee structure

Michigan's Governor Rick Snyder released his proposed new State budget last week which includes a license fee restructuring and significant funding increases to the DNR.  The hunting and fishing license categories will be reduced from 227 to 31.  Some fees will increase modestly while others will decrease. 


The Non-Resident Fish All-Species will increase to $75 from $42 dollares. The cost of the all-species fishing license will be reduced from $28 to $25 and a restricted fishing license will no longer be sold.  Snlyder's summary of proposed changes shows all of the 31 new license fees for hunting and fishing and it is anticipated that these changes will add $18.1 million dollars the first year to the Fish and Game fund. 


Many areas for hunting, fishing and others have been chosen to receive these new funds including these examples:

1) Upgrades to hatcheries to increase rearing and stocking of fish

2) Creel surveys to measure the success of fish stocking and fishery management changes

3) Increasing technical assistance and grants to stakeholders to increase habitat on inland lakes and streams

4) Increasing outreach to perch, bluegill and bass anglers


5) Increasing acres and funding for habitat management and maintenance at public game areas and State forestlands. 

6) Expand hunter access in Southern Michigan

7) Upgrade aging infrastructure.

For more information on other areas where the new funds will be directed see the attachments.


In addition to the revenue generated by the fee restructuring, the Governor is proposing $3.5 million from the general fund be used to train and support 25 new conservation officers.  The officers across the State are at very low levels and currently three counties do not have even one officer assigned. 


The governor is recommending that $2 million be from the general fund to replace the Lake Huron 65-year-old outdated research vessel Chinook that is inefficient and beyond its useful life. With the new strategic plans and more transparency from all the DNR Divisions the public will have a strong voice in how the new funds will be used.  It has been about 16 years since revenues have increased for the fishing and hunting programs so I would suggest that you review the information closely and support the funding proposal. 

Ice fishing classes offered Feb. 16-17

As part of Winter Free Fishing Weekend

The Michigan DNR will host two ice fishing classes in the western U.P. during the 2013 Winter Free Fishing Weekend, Feb 16-17.


Parks and Recreation staff from Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and fisheries staff from the Crystal Falls Field Office will teach ice fishing tactics for all ages and skill levels (youth anglers must be accompanied by an adult). Participants will be provided with instruction on techniques and methods to use when fishing for species in the local area.


On Saturday, Feb. 16, an ice fishing class will be held at Bass Lake in Gogebic County (just north of Watersmeet); on Sunday, Feb. 17 a class will be held at Runkle Lake in Iron County (just east of Crystal Falls). Both classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Central Time.


Live bait will be supplied and equipment will be available on a limited

basis. Participants who have ice fishing gear are encouraged to bring their favorite rod and/or tip-up along.


The annual Winter Free Fishing Weekend, held in conjunction with President’s Day weekend, was initiated by the DNR in 1994 and allows Michigan residents and out-of-state visitors the opportunity to fish for free without a fishing license, however, all other fishing regulations must be followed.

For more information about participating in the Bass Lake and/or Runkle Lake events, please contact fisheries biologist Mark Mylchreest at 906-875-6622 or [email protected].  Communities throughout the state are coordinating 2013 Winter Free Fishing Weekend events. For more information, including a listing of events, visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing.



DNR, NWTF mentored women’s turkey applications due

Feb. 19
First-time adult women turkey hunters have the chance to step afield this spring and learn from an experienced National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) volunteer.


Women are encouraged to sign-up with an adult friend or family member for an on-the-ground adventure in wild turkey hunting. An application and general information for the mid-May wild turkey hunt is available at www.mndnr.gov/discover. The application deadline is midnight on Tuesday, Feb. 19. Participants will be selected through a random lottery if oversubscribed.


“First-time women turkey hunters will learn life-long outdoor skills and how to be a responsible hunter,” said Mike Kurre, mentoring program coordinator for the Minnesota DNR. “Thanks to the NWTF, their outdoor coaches will help create family-oriented hunters.”


The program is based on the successful mentored youth hunts where 2,000 youth have been introduced during the last 10 years to this unique educational and hunting experience. With women being one of the fasting growing segments of the hunting society, the need is there.


Most hunts will occur Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19, at several

locations in Hugo area (northeast of the metro), with some areas yet to be determined. Hunts include a mandatory turkey clinic leading up to an actual hunt. All participants will hunt on private land thanks to the generosity of private landowners and the NWTF volunteers who obtained permission.


To be eligible, a women hunter must be 18 on or before Saturday, May 18. All participants must possess a valid firearms safety certificate; purchase an apprentice hunter validation; or be born before Dec. 13, 1979. The program is for first-time turkey hunters or with very limited experience (preference given to first-time hunters). Participants will be assigned a NWTF volunteer coach, who must accompany them throughout the entire hunt.


Participation in the hunts is only restricted by the number of volunteers and private lands that are available. Property owners, who have an interest in providing a quality experience in turkey hunting, or NWTF members who could share their hunting expertise, should contact Keith Carlson at: [email protected] for information about lending some land or a hand.

Moose population drops dramatically; hunting season

will not open

A recently completed aerial survey of moose in northeastern Minnesota indicates the rate of population decline has accelerated dramatically.

The Minnesota DNR announced that the northeast population declined 35 % from last year. Since 2010, the moose population has declined 52 %.

In response to the survey results, the DNR will not open a 2013 state moose hunting season or consider opening future seasons unless the population recovers.


“The state’s moose population has been in decline for years but never at the precipitous rate documented this winter,” said Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner. “This is further and definitive evidence the population is not healthy. It reaffirms the conservation community’s need to better understand why this iconic species of the north is disappearing from our state.” 


Landwehr stressed the state’s limited hunts are not the cause of the population decline.  “Yet taking this action is reasonable and responsible in light of latest data and an uncertain future,” Landwehr said


Based on the aerial survey conducted in January, the new population estimate is 2,760 animals, down from 4,230 in 2012. The population estimate was as high as 8,840 as recently as 2006.  Completed in 2011, the DNR’s moose management and research plan established biological and management thresholds for closing the season.


While those thresholds have not been met, DNR managers did not anticipate such a precipitous decline in the overall moose population when the thresholds were established.  “It’s now prudent to control every source of mortality we can as we seek to understand causes of population decline,’’ said Landwehr, explaining the rationale for closing the season.


To help solve why moose are rapidly dying, the DNR is leading the largest and most high-tech multi-partner moose research effort ever initiated. 

Starting in January, wildlife researchers began fitting 100 moose in

northeastern Minnesota with GPS tracking and data collection collars. This multi-year research project will investigate the causes of adult moose mortality, calf mortality, calf survival, moose use of existing habitat and habitat quality. To date, 92 collars have been placed on moose in the Grand Marais, Ely and Two Harbors areas.


Information and insights from this pioneering research may help identify management options that could stop or slow the moose population decline.


Rolf Peterson, a research professor at Michigan Technological University who is renowned for his study of the wolf-moose relationship on Lake Superior’s Isle Royale and chaired the DNR’s former moose advisory committee, concurred with the DNR’s commitment to conduct pioneering research and discontinue hunting until more is known.


“The DNR’s decision to suspend hunting makes sense given the disturbing and abrupt decline in moose numbers,” Peterson said. “To me, the big news is the incredibly disappointing survey results. The hunting decision is simply a logical reaction to an uncertain situation that researchers are trying to resolve.” 


The DNR has conducted aerial moose population surveys in northeastern Minnesota since 1960. The survey involves flying transects in 49 randomly selected plots spread across the Arrowhead region of Minnesota. The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and 1854 Treaty Authority contributed funding and provided personnel for the annual survey.


A copy of the aerial survey report is available online at www.mndnr.gov/moose, a Web page that also provides field updates from moose researchers, an interactive map of the study area as well as photographs and video of field research activities.

New York

2012 Sets New Record for Hunting Safety in New York

Continued Improvement Shows Success of Hunter Education Program

The 2012 New York hunting season had the lowest number of hunting-related shooting incidents on record, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. As the tradition of hunting continues, with numerous and expanding opportunities for sportsmen and sportswomen to go afield, hunting in New York continues to be safely enjoyed. 


“Governor Cuomo recognizes all the benefits the sporting community brings to New York’s economy and commends sportsmen and women for setting a record in hunting safety,” said Commissioner Martens. “The Governor and DEC are working to expand hunting opportunities in New York state and hunter safety is part and parcel to these efforts. These declining statistics prove that New York does have a safety-conscious generation of hunters, in great thanks to the committed efforts of more than 2,500 volunteer Sportsman Education Instructors.”


DEC Environmental Conservation Officers conduct professional investigations of each hunting-related shooting incident.  The 2012 season included 24 personal incidents with just over half being self-inflicted.   Most unfortunate were two fatalities that occurred during the deer season where the individuals were shot by members of their own hunting group. Incidents involving two or more individuals stress the importance of one of hunting’s basic tenets:  identifying your target and what lies beyond. There were no hunting-related shooting incidents reported during the first youth hunt for deer that took place this past Columbus Day weekend.

Though the number of hunters is declining in the state, the hunting incident rate (incidents per 100,000 hunters) is falling much faster. Since the 1960s, the number of hunters has declined about 20 percent, while the incident rate has plunged more than 70 percent. The past five-year average is 5.3 incidents per 100,000 hunters, compared to 19 per 100,000 in the 1960s.


Trained instructors certified by DEC teach safe, responsible and ethical outdoors practices and the important role of hunters and trappers in conservation. New York has an extremely safety-conscious generation of hunters, thanks largely to more than 60 years of dedicated efforts of more than 2,500 volunteer Sportsman Education Instructors. All first-time hunters and bowhunters must successfully complete a hunter safety course and pass the final exam before being eligible to purchase a hunting license. All courses are offered free of charge.


While hunting is safer than ever, accidents happen and it is important to remember that every hunting related shooting incident is preventable. Many, if not all of these incidents could have been prevented, if only the shooter and/or victim had followed the primary rules of hunter safety.


•   Treat every firearm as if it were loaded

•   Keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction

•   Identify your target and what lies beyond

•   Keep finger off the trigger until ready to fire

•   Wear hunter orange



Ohio and Cleveland Plan to Transfer Cleveland Lakefront Park

Back to City Proposed to Legislature

COLUMBUS, OH – A proposal developed by the Ohio DNR and the City of Cleveland to transfer the operations of the Cleveland Lakefront State Park back to the City of Cleveland has been submitted to the Ohio General Assembly for its approval as part of Governor John Kasich’s FY 2014-2015 state budget.


“It’s been a privilege for ODNR to manage the Cleveland Lakefront State Park for the City of Cleveland for more than three decades, and as both the state and the city look ahead at our future goals and priorities, it’s clear that now is the right time for park management to return to the city,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “It’s not only consistent with the city’s long-term vision for the Lake Erie waterfront but also in the best financial interest of Ohio, and that win-win is reflected in the good agreement we’ve reached with the city. While our role is changing, ODNR remains committed to the future health and growth of the park and will work closely with the city to help ensure that going forward.”


“The Cleveland Lakefront State Parks are a tremendous asset for the City

of Cleveland,” said City of Cleveland Chief of Staff Ken Silliman. “We want to thank Governor Kasich and ODNR for the opportunity to expand upon the growth already established in this area over the past 35 years.”


In 1978, ODNR assumed the responsibility of managing the Cleveland Lakefront State Park. Since that time, this park has become one of the most popular destinations in the Ohio State Parks system. The unique blend of beauty that this area provides in a predominately metropolitan area has provided recreational opportunities to countless park visitors throughout the years.


The proposal provides $14 million in FY 2013 to operate upgrade and transfer Cleveland Lakefront State Park to the City of Cleveland. This enables the state and the city to work in tandem to enhance the experience of park visitors through improvements to facilities as well as access to one of Ohio’s greatest natural resources, Lake Erie. ODNR and the City of Cleveland will work together to ensure that the public safety and the overall experience of park visitors will not be disrupted during this transition.



Wisconsin seeks to fill more than 15 wildlife biologist positions

MADISON – People interested in applying to become a wildlife biologist with the Department of Natural Resources have until Feb. 18 to complete an online application and exam.


“We currently we have more than 15 vacancies, and we expect that number to grow in the next year,” says JoAnne Farnsworth, management systems chief for DNR's Bureau of Wildlife Management. “The register from this exam will be used to fill positions for at least a year.”

Wildlife biologists develop and implement wildlife management programs using an integrated ecosystem management approach. This includes habitat improvement and coordinating and conducting wildlife monitoring surveys. Biologists’ responsibilities include establishing and maintaining partnerships with both public and private wildlife interest organizations.


Incumbents also will implement a public outreach and education program promoting outdoor skills and the future of hunting and trapping in Wisconsin. Wildlife biologists also oversee and conduct property


management activities such as land acquisition, infrastructure development and maintenance, and wildlife habitat protection and enhancement for assigned properties.


Farnsworth said DNR cannot provide exact locations where biologists would be stationed at this time because there is a lateral transfer process going on for existing vacancies.   “I’d suggest any candidates able and willing to work anywhere in the state mark “statewide” on their county selections. If not, only choose the counties of interest.”


As DNR proceeds to the interview and recruitment exercises there will be more information on position locations.  The goal is to begin interviews in May and have job offers occurring in the second half of the calendar year.  People interested in applying for the positions should visit the Wisc.jobs website and search for wildlife biologist.


The exam closes at 11:59 p.m. Feb 18, 2013, with no exceptions to this deadline.

Spring fish/wildlife proposed rules hearing questionnaire available online

Conservation Congress to be held April 8 in each county
MADISON – The questionnaire package for the 2013 Department of Natural Resources spring fish and wildlife proposed rules hearing and annual Conservation Congress county meeting and the list of meeting locations is now available for review on the Department of Natural Resources website.


On April 8, there will be 72 public hearings, one in each Wisconsin county starting at 7 p.m. where people interested in natural resources management have an opportunity to provide their input by non-binding vote and testimony to the DNR, Natural Resources Board and the Conservation Congress on proposed hunting and fishing rule changes and advisory questions.


The hearings, held annually, are combined with the county meetings during which residents can vote on and introduce their solutions to natural resources related issues.


The spring hearings cover three major areas: elections for county Conservation Congress delegates; proposed wildlife and fisheries rule changes that have been developed through previous Conservation Congress meetings; and Conservation Congress proposals for future rule development.


Among the fisheries rule change proposals are: shifting the hours to legally spear sturgeon on lakes Winnebago, Butte des Morts, Winneconne, and Poygan to 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and shifting the daily deadline for sturgeon spearers to register their fish to 2 p.m.; removing the


northern bass management zone early catch-and-release season for largemouth bass and allowing harvest under existing size and bag limits; and allowing motor trolling statewide.


Among the wildlife rule proposals being considered are: allowing the use of rifles for deer hunting statewide; simplifying pheasant hunting regulations; establishing that, when the bear hunting season is open, hunting hours apply to people who are training bear hunting dogs as well as to people who are hunting bears; and allowing unattended, overnight placement of portable stands and blinds on Department owned and managed lands.


In addition to the department's rule proposals, there are a variety of advisory questions, including a number pertaining to regulations for training dogs that will be used to hunt wolves, expanding bobcat hunting and trapping areas, and simplifying Canada goose hunter rules.

The Conservation Congress also has a variety of advisory questions asking citizens to gauge public support on various natural resource issues.


During the Conservation Congress county meetings, county residents have the option to run for a seat on the Conservation Congress and to elect delegates from their county to represent their views regarding natural resources issues on the Conservation Congress, the citizen advisory body to the Natural Resources Board and DNR. Also, individuals have the opportunity to bring forth new conservation issues of a statewide nature to the attention of the Conservation Congress through the citizen resolution process. Information about the process is also available on the Conservation Congress pages of the DNR Web site.

Study continues to monitor cause of deer mortality
MADISON – Hunting continues to account for the largest number of adult white-tailed deer mortalities in Wisconsin, while predation accounts for the highest death of fawns, according to recent results from an ongoing deer mortality study.


“Hunter harvest continues to be the greatest cause of death of both adult and yearling bucks,” said Jared Duquette, research scientist and lead researcher for the study, “while predation was the leading cause of fawn mortality, with most predations occurring within the first four to six weeks following birth.”


The DNR Bureau of Science Services has compiled data collected during 2011-12 on the causes of death in white-tailed deer into a new report, “Wisconsin Deer Research Studies, Annual Report 2011-2012.” The report


is available on the DNR website by searching for “deer research” (click on the tab for resources).


Prompted by questions asked by hunters, two groundbreaking studies are currently underway in Wisconsin. A five-year study of causes of adult deer mortality is quantifying, for the first the various causes of deer death and overall survival rates in deer in a northern forest environment and in an eastern farmland environment. A similar three-year study looks at causes of mortality in fawns.


Duquette said the data will play a role in future deer management decisions and addresses recommendations forwarded by study groups reviewing Wisconsin’s deer population estimating process.  Read Full Article and summary of report.

Sturgeon spearing season opened Feb 9

Caution urged on Lake Winnebago system ice conditions

OSHKOSH, Wis. -- People preparing for the opening of the 2013 sturgeon spearing season on the Lake Winnebago system are being cautioned that ice conditions are highly variable, ranging from more than a foot of ice down to open water still remaining in some areas.

“Ice conditions are variable, not only among the upriver lakes but on Lake Winnebago itself,” said Ryan Koenig, sturgeon biologists with the DNR.


The east side of Lake Winnebago has greater ice thickness than the west side after heavy winds a few weeks ago shoved the ice up onto the east shore, leaving open water behind on the west side.


Since then, big swings in wind and temperatures have continued to keep ice conditions widely varied. There are cracks in the ice on Lake Winnebago and spearers are reminded that no ice is safe. The Department of Natural Resources does not monitor the thickness or condition of ice. Should anyone choose to venture out on it, we highly suggest contacting one of the local fishing clubs for the latest on ice conditions.

DNR fisheries staff checked the water clarity Monday morning on Lake Winnebago and found they could see down roughly 8 feet in most areas.


Anyone who plans to head out onto the ice should remember these simple tips:

• Ice should be at least 4 inches thick before walking out onto it, 5 inches if taking a snowmobile, ATV or other vehicle.

• Wear proper clothing and equipment – dress in layers including wool hats, mittens and waterproof boots. Include a float coat to help you stay afloat and slow body heat loss should you go into the water.

• Don’t go out alone – Go out fishing or spearing with friends, take a cell phone with you, and make sure someone knows where you are and when you expect to return.


The 2013 sturgeon spearing season opened Saturday, Feb. 9 and runs for 16 days, or until harvest caps are reached.  Biologists say fish populations are robust and harvested adults are increasing in size each season.   More information about the upcoming season, including regulations and harvest caps, can be found on the DNR website by doing a keyword search for "sturgeon spearing".

Other Breaking News Items

First challenge to NY gun law filed

The first legal challenge to New York's recent gun restrictions could be heard in Erie County by April. Two local gun owners have filed an Article 78 petition -- essentially a lawsuit against the government -- asking a judge to prohibit the state from enforcing parts of the recently enacted Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act. 


Gov. Snyder calls for increased hunting, fishing license fees
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s 2013-14 budget proposes double-digit hikes to Michigan’s hunting and fishing license fees as part of a plan to hire more conservation officers and improve the state’s habitat for fish and game.


Homeland video urges confronting gunman with scissors

Six weeks after the Newtown massacre, the Homeland Security Dept has released a training video to the public for dealing with an "active shooter" scenario that includes advice to use scissors to confront a gunman in a worst case scenario.  "You might consider trying to overpower the shooter with whatever


Lake Superior barrels contained explosives, Red Cliff Band finds
The Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa says it found still-active explosives in barrels of military waste retrieved this summer from Lake Superior.



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