Outdoors

Fri
26
Aug

Forest Service green lights Prospector Loop ATV trail

The U.S. Forest Service announced Thursday it has approved the proposed Prospector Loop ATV Trail where it crosses federal land.
“This is a big step forward for the Prospector Loop,” said Prospector Alliance President Nick Wognum.
“This allows us to start preparing for future construction work on the section from Ely to Mattila’s Shelter. Once completed, that will connect Ely to Babbitt and to the North Shore,” said Wognum.
Kawishiwi District Ranger Gus Smith said in a letter he decided to approve the project “after considering public input and a thorough environmental analysis that occurred throughout the development of this project.
“This…will best meet the project’s purpose and need to accomplish safe and environmentally sound long-distance riding opportunities in this area of the forest.”
No objections were received during the 45-day objection period.

Tue
23
Aug

Rusch gives annual hunting forecast: Area deer herd now on the rebound

by Nick Wognum
Cooler nights are here already, a sure sign fall is right around the corner.
DNR wildlife manager Tom Rusch sat down last week to discuss what to expect afield this fall.
Weather
For the first time in 10 years we had back-to-back mild winters. Last winter our snow depth was never a significant factor on wildlife with less than 15 inches on the ground most of the winter.
This followed the winters of 2013 and 2014, both severe which put a hurt on the area deer herd.
With two mild winters, the number of fawns per doe is increasing, a main factor in rebuilding the herd.
“We have a lot of young deer out there but we don’t want to hit them too soon,” said Rusch.
Hunters can apply for antlerless permits in northeast Minnesota. For permit area 118, however, there are only 100 permits available.

Fri
12
Aug

Summer angling draws to a close in September

As the Ely Echo’s North Country Angler winds down for the summer of 2016, the largest fish are noted:
Catch & Release - Largest so far in 2016
BASS
24” Steve Kummer, Chicago, IL LaTourell’s Resort & Outfitters
WALLEYE
30.5” Jim Haenke, Gilbert, MN Timber Trail Resort & Campground
NORTHERN PIKE
47” Tyler Kikelly, Minnetonka, MN Packsack Canoe Trips & Log Cabins
LAKE TROUT
40” Ryan McLean, Hayward, WI Babe’s Bait & Tackle

Caught & Kept - Largest so far in 2016
BASS
6-8 Joe Glass, Ft. McMurray Packsack Canoe Trips
Northern
14-0 Jay Williams, Flower Mound, TX Babe’s Bait & Tackle
WALLEYE
11-8 Wesley Berninghaus, Montgomery, MN Silver Rapids Lodge
LAKE TROUT
12-0 Danny Spaeth, Virginia, MN Babe’s Bait & Tackle

The Fishing Report by Captain Russ:

Sat
06
Aug

Snowmobile races in Winton August 13-14

The International Watercross Association will make a stop in Winton Aug. 13-14.
Snowmobiles will race on Fall Lake both days starting at 10 a.m. with live entertainment Saturday night.
“We are very excited to bring this event back for the 11th year in a row,” said committee member Kristi Mattila. “Having this here helps the economy with the racers and families that come in for the weekend.”
New this year will be a novice race on Saturday to encourage people to try racing snowmobiles on water.
“We’re calling to the Boundary Waters Cup, it’s a novice race to promote to get new racers in the sport. It’s just a $25 entry fee and as long as you have a tether on your sled, a helmet and a life jacket you can race,” said Mattila.
Anyone is interested in trying the Boundary Waters Cup they can call Kristi Mattila at 235-8940 for more information.
Returning this year will be the fundraiser race, Last Man Standing.

Fri
29
Jul

DNR offers tips to private forest owners dealing with storm damage

The recent blowdown in northern Minnesota caused major damage to state lands, as well as private forest lands. While landowners are not required to clean up downed trees and debris, the Department of Natural Resources is encouraging private forest owners and homeowners to consider salvaging and replacing damaged areas.

“Salvage and cleanup will likely be necessary to regenerate the forest and reduce the potential for wildfires and outbreak of insects and diseases,” said John Carlson, DNR private forest management coordinator. “The first step is to assess the extent of the damage and determine whether a timber sale is needed.”

Working in storm-damaged areas is dangerous; so Carlson strongly recommends that only foresters, loggers or tree care companies do the work. Consider hiring a consulting forester to help assess, sell and replant damaged forests.

Fri
15
Jul

ATV safety class offered by Minnesota DNR and Prospectors Loop Alliance in Tower this August

There will be a field day for the Minnesota ATV Safety Course on August 27 at 9 a.m. until approximately 1 p.m. at the Tower DNR Building.
A knowledge test and information session will be set up in the morning and a skills test on operating will be set up immediately after.
• Youth ages 11 and older can attend an ATV safety certification course and receive their certificate. The ATV Safety Certificate becomes valid at age 12.
• DNR ATV Certification is required of anyone born after July 7, 1987 to operate a ATV on public land in Minnesota.
The students will be asked to complete the online ATV safety course before the start of the class on Aug. 27.
Follow the links from the Minnesota DNR website at the top of the page click on (Education/Safety), from the drop down pick (Recreational Vehicle Safety Classes), next chose ATV Safety, from here you can read the options available.

Fri
08
Jul

Take a close look at Banded Jasper

by Bill Teftt. Photography by Ken Hupila of Snotty Moose Studio.

Fri
24
Jun

‘Operation Dry Water’ enhanced BWI enforcement in effect statewide, June 24-26

Conservation Officer Adam Block on patrol.

In an effort to curb alcohol- and drug-related boating accidents and deaths, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers and hundreds of other public safety officers are ramping up patrols for intoxicated boaters this weekend, June 24-26.

The enhanced enforcement efforts are part of Operation Dry Water – a nationwide annual campaign designed to draw more attention to the dangers of boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the strict penalties in place for boating while intoxicated (BWI).

“We have zero tolerance for anyone found operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” said DNR Conservation Officer Adam Block. “Drunk boating is drunk driving, and carries the same consequences. Intoxicated boat operators will not get a warning; they will be arrested.”

Fri
24
Jun

DNR will spray herbicide to improve reforestation

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will begin herbicide applications on select state lands to improve reforestation efforts.
Applications will begin around July 15 and continue through approximately Sept. 15 to 70 acres.
“Herbicides will be sprayed on the ground to reduce competing woody vegetation,” said Dave Sopoci, Tower area forester. “This gives the tree seedlings a better chance to grow and survive.”
Herbicides will not be applied within 100 feet of any water body.
Signs will be posted on all herbicide treatment sites. Adjacent landowners within a quarter mile of the treatment sites have already been notified.
The DNR plants trees on state lands to reforest harvested areas, provide wildlife habitat, protect watersheds and maintain healthy state forests.

Fri
03
Jun

It’s orchid time again

With 30 species of wild orchids found in the Arrowhead Region of Minnesota, along with the breeding bird checklists that get pulled from a file electronic or otherwise, orchid enthusiasts are reviewing their orchid list. From the early spring appearance of fairy slippers, one after another species comes into bloom. A number of other orchids will be blooming soon including the ever popular variety of lady’s slipper species that look like small moccasins.
1. Dragon’s Mouth (Wild Pink), Arethusa bulbosa
2. Tuberous Grass Pink, Calopogon tuberosus
3. Fairy Slipper (Calypso), Calypso bulbosa var. americana
4. Spotted Coral-root, Corallorhiza maculata
5. Striped Coral-root, Corallorhiza striata
6. Early Coral-root, Corallorhiza trifida
7. Stemless Lady’s Slipper (Moccasin Flower), Cypripedium acaule
8. Ram’s Head Orchid, Cypripedium arietinum
9. Small Yellow Lady’s Slipper, Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin

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