Deer registrations numbers really jump up through second weekend

John Sjoberg with his nine point, 210 pound buck.

The Tower area, which includes Ely, saw a major jump from last year’s deer harvest numbers.
The DNR reports an increase of 44 percent through Tuesday, Nov. 15.
Eight out of nine permit areas showed registration increases ranging from 25% to 59%. One permit area (BWCA) showed a decline of 51%.
Buck harvest, the best indicator of population change, was up 23% overall. Buck harvest was up consistently across the area ranging from 25-59% in 8 of 9 permit areas
The entire 2016 season has benefited from extremely mild November weather, no storms and light to moderate winds.
Three factors are driving increased hunter success: a growing deer population, antlerless deer permit availability (most permit areas were bucks only in 2015) and October-like weather conducive to stand hunting success
Record warm temperatures have increased hunter effort and success, especially on weekends.


Trout Whisperer - Get the point

Get the point.


Helping hands for the Forest Service

Ely Cub Scout Pack 170 helped the US Forest Service plant native seeds for their fall service project recently. Taking part were, front row: George Sponholz, Brooks Brenny, Layden and Talan Hart, Blake Houde, Tyler Forsberg, Hunter Halbakken. Middle row: Nathan Hoffmeister, Chance Wavrin, Jack Rintala, Johnathan Ruoho, James Scholz, Jayden Zemke, Braydin Mosher, Henry Lowe, Gavrin Marshall, Wyatt Mattson
Adults, last row: Dan Hart, Seija Packila Wavrin, Dave Marshall, Mark Sponholz, Jamie Lowe, Chad Houde.


Netting on Shagawa begins Nov. 12

The Minnesota DNR announced Tuesday that the Sport Netting Season on Shagawa Lake will open on Saturday, November 12 and run through Sunday, December 4, 2016.


Hunters should expect to see more deer this year, but not many big bucks

by Nick Wognum -

DNR wildlife manager Tom Rusch believes the return of prime deer hunting in northeast Minnesota is on the horizon. It just isn’t going to be this year.
“We’re going to see a preponderance of young deer,” said Rusch. “We’re going to see a lot of those young fawns from this year and forks and spikers.”
The last two winters have been very mild, as measured by the DNR Winter Severity Index. Fawn production has been good with twin fawns common in the better areas.
The Ely area is not necessarily considered to be a “better area” for deer since there isn’t much for fields and farms with prime food for deer. Rusch knows it will take longer for the deer herd to recover here.
“The west is ahead of the east with Embarrass kind of in the middle. Guys are seeing deer but once it gets into the bigger woods it drops off. We need another decent winter. It doesn’t have to be mild, we just don’t want a tough one.”


Whitefish, cisco sport netting opens on Lake Vermilion, Newton, Basswood, Fall lakes

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Tower area fisheries office has set the whitefish and cisco sport netting dates on Lake Vermilion, Newton, Basswood and Fall lakes. The lakes will be open to whitefish and cisco (tullibee) sport netting from Saturday, Oct. 29, through Wednesday, Nov. 16.

Vermilion, Newton, Basswood, and Fall lakes are all listed as infested with spiny waterflea. Nets and equipment in infested waters may not be used in any other body of water unless they have been dried for ten days or frozen for two days. As a precaution, the drying or freezing practice is recommended for anyone netting in non-infested waters. Nets should be transported in sealed or watertight containers to a location away from the water where they can be frozen or dried.

Aquatic invasive species transport laws apply to netters during the fall and winter months just as they would for anglers during warm season angling.


Seen a moose lately?

’TIS THE SEASON - Seeing a moose in the woods is no easy task these days. Ken Hupila of Snotty Moose Photography was able to capture this young bull on camera.


Volunteers sought for helping to flag / clear the Kekekabic Trail

The Kekekabic Trail Chapter (KEK) of the North Country Trail Association (NCTA) will be holding a work weekend on the Kekekabic Trail (the “Kek”) on October 21st and October 22nd and is looking for additional volunteers to assist with the work. The Kek was significantly damaged by the July 21st windstorm and its western-most 12 miles are currently closed to hiking along with loop trails. U.S. Forest Service staff and KEK volunteers are working to re-open the trail. Last weekend, Vermilion Community College’s Wilderness Club members volunteered to clear 3 miles of the Kek in from the west trailhead on Snowbank Lake Rd. Next weekend’s workdays will continue that effort.


DNR to hold open house in Ely on state forest trails in northern St. Louis and Lake counties

State forest trail use and management in northern St. Louis and Lake counties will be the topic of an open house, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 6-8 p.m., at Vermillion Community College, Room NS111, Ely.
During the open house, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources staff will provide maps of existing trails, answer questions and take comments and suggestions from the public.
Between 2003 and 2008, the DNR inventoried all routes and designated trails for various types of recreation within state forests.
This current project will reevaluate the designations made during the initial review of the Bear Island, Burntside, Insula Lake, Lake Isabella, Lake Jeanette and Sturgeon River state forests in St. Louis and Lake counties.


Cub Scouts visit Bear Center

BEAR CENTER VISITORS (l-r) Tyler Forsberg, Connor Brennan, John Cooper Schiltz, Jaymes Scholz, Blake Hegfors, Jack Rintala, Jayden Zemke, Hunter Halbakken. The 3rd Grade Bear Cubs Scouts from Ely took an adventure to the North American Bear Center. They went on a short hike to identify things that could be found in nature such as, bones from an animal, a feather and what bird it may belong to, deer tracks, different tree species and how a habitat changes in seasons during our walk along some of the trails behind the center. They then displayed their best behavior while inside the center’s building and looking at all the displays being able to recognize owls, martin, lynx, moose to name a few mammals and learning about different animals around our homes. The scouts were able to have some time and interaction with all four bears residents at the center, Ted, Holly, Lucky and Tasha.


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