Outdoors Notebook: DNR expands west Nile virus grouse testing Spruce grouse hold steady

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The Minnesota Division of Organic Resource is expanding its efforts to test ruffed grouse for west Nile virus this fall by producing the sampling kits readily available to hunters across the state’s ruffed grouse variety.

The DNR final fall collected 273 grouse samples from hunters, which was brief of the agency’s 400-bird purpose. Research in Pennsylvania have shown the mosquito-borne illness can have a adverse effect on ruffed grouse populations in places with marginal habitat.

Final year, sampling efforts largely have been restricted to places inside 60 miles of Bemidji and Grand Rapids, Minn.

Wisconsin and Michigan also collaborated on final fall’s testing campaign in an work to understand much more about the effect of west Nile virus on ruffed grouse and the extent of the infection in the Terrific Lakes states. Benefits from the sampling are anticipated quickly Minnesota in the early 2000s confirmed a single constructive case of the illness in ruffed grouse. Michigan in 2017 confirmed the illness in 12 ruffed grouse, and the illness was detected final year in Wisconsin birds.

In a letter to agency staffers, Charlotte Roy, the DNR’s grouse project leader, stated sampling kits will be readily available soon after Sunday, Sept. 1, at region DNR wildlife offices across ruffed grouse variety on a very first-come, very first-served basis.

Participating hunters will submit grouse hearts, along with a couple of feathers for sexing and aging and blood collected on filter strips, the DNR stated. The place of the harvest will be requested — GPS coordinates preferred — but will not be created public.

There will be a limit of two kits per hunter, and mailing envelopes and directions will be integrated with the kits. As an incentive, the Ruffed Grouse Society and Pineridge Grouse Camp in Remer, Minn., will present prizes — an more than-beneath shotgun and a guided hunt — in a drawing that will be open to all hunters who properly submit completed west Nile virus kits with full information, Roy stated in her letter.

For much more facts, speak to Ted Dick, forest game bird coordinator, at (218) 395-0577 or by e-mail at [email protected]. Information and facts on the sampling work also is readily available on Web page 42 of the DNR’s 2019 Hunting Regulations booklet and on the DNR grouse hunting web page at mndnr.gov/hunting/grouse. Minnesota’s ruffed grouse season opens Saturday, Sept. 14 and continues via Wednesday, Jan. 1.

— Brad Dokken

Spruce grouse numbers hold steady

Minnesota spruce grouse populations have been steady from 2018 to 2019, primarily based on benefits from a survey aimed at understanding much more about the woodland grouse species, the DNR stated.

Minnesota researchers are into their second year of monitoring spruce grouse – a bird species that is notoriously tricky to count – via an annual survey that includes counting “pellets,” or droppings from the birds. Dozens of cooperators and citizen volunteers are participating in the survey.

Spruce grouse rely on conifer forest habitat and are anticipated to have a smaller sized variety in the future simply because of climate alter-induced habitat loss. In this year’s survey report, the estimated price of population alter from 2018 to 2019 indicated a steady population. As portion of the survey, participants sampled 67 routes to appear for spruce grouse pellets.

To supplement the study, the DNR is asking hunters this fall to submit feather samples from spruce grouse they shoot. To contribute, send 3 to 5 feathers from every single spruce grouse harvested to Grouse Investigation, 1201 U.S. Highway two E., Grand Rapids, Minn. 55744. Hunters must consist of their name, speak to facts, harvest date and harvest place — GPS coordinates preferred and will not be created public — for every single spruce grouse.

Far more facts on grouse, like survey reports, is readily available on the DNR grouse survey report web page go to mnr.gov and form “grouse survey report page” in the search window. For much more facts, speak to Charlotte Roy at [email protected]

— Herald employees report

Hunting migratory birds? Get HIP

With North Dakota’s early goose season now underway, the Game and Fish Division reminds migratory bird hunters to register with the federal Harvest Information and facts System just before going afield. HIP registration is expected just before hunting ducks, geese, swans, mergansers, coots, cranes, snipe, doves and woodcock.

Hunters have to register in every single state for which they are licensed to hunt.

Hunters can register for HIP when shopping for a license — or by clicking the HIP Registration hyperlink — on the North Dakota Game and Fish Division web-site at gf.nd.gov. In addition, hunters can contact (888) 634-4798 and record the HIP quantity on their printed license.

Hunters who registered to hunt the spring light goose season in North Dakota do not have to register with HIP once more, as it is expected only as soon as per year.

HIP is a cooperative plan created to ascertain a sample of hunters from which to measure the harvest of migratory birds for management purposes.

— N.D. Game and Fish Division

DNR sets surplus gear auctions

The Division of Organic Sources will hold a public auction of surplus gear starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at the DNR northeast regional workplace, 1201 U.S. Highway two E, in Grand Rapids, Minn.

The DNR will sell much more than 100 things, like automobiles, trucks, ATVs, snowmobiles, a tractor, a skid-steer, boat packages, outboard motors, boats, trailers, mowers, energy tools, tractor implements and, potentially, dump trucks and other heavy gear from other agencies.

Photographs and a listing of readily available things will be posted 10 days just before the sale at minnbid.org. On-internet site inspection of things will be readily available from eight to 9:30 a.m. on the day of the auction.

To steer clear of standing in line the day of the sale, bidders are encouraged to preregister for the auction on the web at minnbid.org. On the web registration supplies access to facts on other auctions carried out by the state of Minnesota.

Yet another DNR surplus auction is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. five in Bemidji at the Beltrami County Fairgrounds.

The sale is getting carried out by the state of Minnesota, Division of Administration, Fleet and Surplus Solutions Division and may possibly consist of extra things from regional municipalities. Benoit Auction Service of Dassel, Minn., will be the auctioneer.

— Minnesota DNR

Did you know?

  • The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Private Land Open To Sportsmen (PLOTS) Guide for 2019 now is readily available on the Game and Fish web-site at gf.nd.gov. The totally free printed PLOTS guides also will be readily available at most license vendors and other areas all through the state. This year’s guide characteristics about 791,000 PLOTS acres, even though some of that land may possibly have been removed from the plan given that the publication was printed. Game and Fish will update PLOTS map sheets weekly on its web-site.

  • The North Dakota Game and Fish Division, regional wildlife clubs and other sponsors are placing on the annual Youth Outside Festival from five:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, in Minot on the grounds of the North Dakota State Fair. Young outside enthusiasts will knowledge a quantity of outside activities that relate to archery, fishing, waterfowl and upland game. Prizes will be awarded, and meals is offered. Far more information: Greg Gullickson, Game and Fish outreach biologist, (701) 720-1640.

  • Archery hunters in Minnesota observed practically 48,000 deer more than a collective 15,000 days in 2018, the DNR stated in reporting the benefits of its annual bowhunter survey. As portion of the survey, created to give the DNR a far better appear at deer populations in Minnesota, bowhunters watch for white-tailed deer and note the ages and sex of the animals. The DNR received 1,359 mail and 332 e-mail responses in the 2018 survey.

— compiled by Brad Dokken

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