Doug Smith

Even if the fish aren’t biting, the ducks aren’t flying and the pheasants aren’t flushing, Doug Smith says any day spent outdoors is a good day. A Minnesota native, he’s been covering the outdoors for the Star Tribune since 1995. He considers walleyes fried over a campfire to be gourmet cuisine.

What do you think of an August goose hunt or open-water duck hunting?

Posted by: Doug Smith Updated: February 22, 2013 - 6:45 PM
 
Should Minnesota waterfowl hunters be allowed to hunt in open-water on some larger lakes, without vegetation to conceal them, as required now?
 
Should a special August Canada goose be offered next summer to reduce agricultural depredation in west-central Minnesota?
 
And should youths age 17 and under be given a license to hunt all eight spring turkey seasons, or until they bag one bird?
 
Those are some hunting issues the Department of Natural Resources is considering, and is seeking comments at annual public meetings starting next week. Those who can’t attend the meetings can comment online beginning Monday at www.mndnr.gov/wildlife/input.
 
Open-water duck hunting hasn’t been allowed in Minnesota since 1915 — hunters must be partially concealed in natural vegetation. But the DNR is considering allowing the practice on a few larger waters, possibly including Lake Superior, Lake of the Woods, Lake Pepin and Lake Mille Lacs.
 
And an August goose hunt seems likely in a large swath of west-central Minnesota where geese have caused crop depredation. Last spring, officials counted a record 434,000 breeding Canada geese; the DNR’s population goal is 250,000.
 
Another proposal would allow youths 17-and-under to hunt during the entire spring turkey season, instead of just one five- or seven-day period.
 
The public meetings all are 7 to 9 p.m. Here are the dates: Feb. 26, Rolf Olsen Community Center, Onamia. Feb. 28, Frontenac Sportsman’s Community Center, Lake City. March 4, Windom Area DNR office, Windom. March 14, DNR headquarters, St. Paul.
 
Comments also can be sent via email at wildlife.dnr@state.mn.us.
 

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