Hunting seasons on the horizon

It’s hard to believe we’re already talking about hunting, but early Canada goose seasons begin Aug. 9 in parts of Minnesota and Aug. 15 across North Dakota.

Early Canada goose seasons begin Aug. 9 in Minnesota (west-central only) and Aug. 15 across North Dakota. Minnesota’s statewide early Canada goose season is Sept. 6-22. (N.D.Game and Fish Department photo)

Minnesota’s August season, which is limited to the west-central part of the state, continues through Aug. 24 and allows hunters to shoot as many as 10 Canada geese per day with no possession limit.

North Dakota’s early season continues through Sept. 15 everywhere but the Missouri River Zone, which closes Sept. 7 to accommodate a late goose hunt in that area. North Dakota’s early season allows hunters to shoot 15 Canada geese daily with a possession limit of 45. Nonresidents looking to hunt the early North Dakota season only need a $50 Canada goose license, which is valid statewide without counting against the 14-day regular season license.

In Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources describes the west-central hunt as a “management action.” This will be the second year the DNR has offered the early August hunt. Last year, hunters shot about 25,000 Canada geese during the early August management season.

“The state’s Canada goose population remains high, and more goslings hatched this year than last,” said Steve Cordts, waterfowl specialist for the DNR. “In the western portion of the state, large numbers of Canada geese continue to damage crops. The August management action is one way to control goose numbers.”

Minnesota’s traditional September Canada goose season is set for Sept. 6-22, and the regular Canada goose season tentatively opens Sept. 27. The DNR will announce details of its fall waterfowl seasons in August.

In related news, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department has announced dates for its small game and furbearer seasons. Season dates and limits are as follows:

Crows (fall): Aug. 9-Oct. 26; no limit.

Early Canada goose: Aug. 15-Sept. 15 (Sept. 7 Missouri River Zone); 15 daily, 45 possession.

Mountain lion Zone 1 early: Aug. 29-Nov. 23 (or when zone quota of 14 is reached); season limit of one per hunter.

Mountain lion Zone 1 late: Nov. 24-March 31 (or when zone quota of seven is reached); season limit of 1 per hunter.

Mountain lion Zone 2: Aug. 29-March 31; season limit of one per hunter.

Doves: Sept. 1-Nov. 9; 15 daily, 45 possession.

Hungarian partridge: Sept. 13-Jan. 4; three daily, 12 possession.

Sharp-tailed grouse: Sept. 13-Jan. 4; three daily, 12 possession.

Ruffed grouse: Sept. 13-Jan. 4; three daily, 12 possession.

Tree squirrels: Sept. 13-Jan. 4: four daily, 12 possession.

Sandhill crane Unit 1: Sept. 20-Nov. 16; three daily, nine possession.

Sandhill crane Unit 2: Sept. 20-Nov. 16; two daily, six possession.

Snipe: Sept. 20-Dec. 7; eight daily, 24 possession.

Woodcock: Sept. 27-Nov. 10; three daily, nine possession.

Tundra swan: Oct. 4-Jan. 4; season limit of one per hunter.

Pheasants: Oct. 11-Jan. 4; three daily, 12 possession.

Weasel trapping: Oct. 25-March 15.

Mink, muskrat trapping: Oct. 25-April 30.

Fisher trapping: Nov. 24-Nov. 30; season limit of one per trapper.

DNR temporarily closes state park along the Rainy River

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced this morning that Franz Jevne State Park along the Rainy River in Birchdale, Minn., is closed temporarily because of flooding on the border river.

For updates and more information about the park, click here or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us, (651) 296-6157 or (888) 646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Take Me Fishing lists ‘Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots’

North Dakota didn’t have any destinations on the list, but four Minnesota state parks were among the “Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots” list from the Take Me Fishing organization.

To qualify for the list, Take Me Fishing said the places had to be within an hour’s drive of a  major city or town, have a body of water known for having plenty of common fish species, be part of a park that offers family friendly amenities and offer plenty of places to cast a line such as fishing piers and boat ramps.

The four Minnesota destinations were Itasca State Park near Park Rapids, No. 48; William O’Brien State Park, Marine on St. Croix, No. 96; Fort Snelling State Park, West St. Paul, No. 98; and Father Hennepin State Park, Isle, No. 99.

Topping the list was Lake Berryessa, Pleasure Cove Resort and Marina, Napa Valley, Calif.

To see the full list of top 100 destinations, click here.