Think the federal shutdown doesn't affect Minnesota hunters?

Think again.

The shutdown will prevent hunters from hunting some federal lands, including National Wildlife Refuges and, more importantly,  waterfowl production areas scattered around the state.

In Minnesota, the Fish and Wildlife Service oversees nine national wildlife refuges and nine wetland management districts totaling 481,000 acres that now are closed to public use, including hunting, fishing, bird watching and photography.

"Of course, public safety is of the utmost importance on our federal lands and we will have a dedicated group of law enforcement officers working across these lands,''  Tina Shaw, public affairs specialist for the service, said Monday before the shutdown.

In the Twin Cities, Capable Partners, which helps get disabled hunters hunting and fishing, won't be able to archery or waterfowl hunt in the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, as it has been doing in recent days. See my story on Capable Partners in Friday's Outdoors Weekend.

Meanwhile, here's a link to the Fish and Wildlife Service's statement posted on the agency's website:

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