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Tony Kennedy

Reporter | Outdoors
phone: 612-673-4213
Tony Kennedy covers the outdoors for the Star Tribune. Previously he had been an investigative reporter since 2002, starting with a probe of the plane crash that killed Sen. Paul Wellstone. His work includes a 2012 collection of stories on executive compensation at the University of Minnesota; a four-part series on judicial penalties against BNSF Corp.; and an examination of factors leading to the collapse of the I-35W Bridge.
Recent content from Tony Kennedy

Turkey harvest numbers even with last year thus far

So far this year, 6,584 turkeys have been taken statewide compared to 6,592 a year ago.
Women's hunting and fishing expo strives for togetherness

Women's hunting and fishing expo strives for togetherness

This weekend's first Women's Outdoor Expo at South St. Paul Rod and Gun Club will offer clinics to all
ATV riders may have inroad to land bought with state habitat money

ATV riders may have inroad to land bought with state habitat money

Lessard-Sams council member says vehicles will harm habitat.

New format adds catch-and-release fish to DNR record system

The change is a response to fishing option; the traditional program is to remain unchanged.
DNR beefs up Mille Lacs walleye management toolbox with stocking trial

DNR beefs up Mille Lacs walleye management toolbox with stocking trial

For the first time, the DNR is collecting walleye eggs on Lake Mille Lacs, with a look to the future

Conservationists see politics creeping into designated fish and wildlife spending

Conservationists say funds are being wrongly tied down.
Minnesota DNR appeals ruling that invalidated major deer poaching bust

Minnesota DNR appeals ruling that invalidated major deer poaching bust

County Attorney Richard Stulz said in papers filed with the Minnesota Court of Appeals his office wants to resume prosecution of Joshua Dwight Liebl of Dawson on 13 gross-misdemeanor and misdemeanor counts
Judge tosses poaching case over use of tracking device

Judge tosses poaching case over use of tracking device

A judge has tossed out the Minnesota DNR's highest-profile deer-poaching bust in recent memory, saying a GPS device that conservation officers attached to the suspect's pickup was illegal.
Minnesota non-profit aiming for national dominance of high school trap shooting

Minnesota non-profit aiming for national dominance of high school trap shooting

State group, helped by Cabela's grant, has helped sport spread to 11 states with more in its sights
Success story: Whitewater wildlife area to launch 38th turkey season

Success story: Whitewater wildlife area to launch 38th turkey season

After resurrection of the bird in '70s, wildlife area is a rich hunting spot
Fishing traditions win out with reversal of live-bait ban on Mille Lacs

Fishing traditions win out with reversal of live-bait ban on Mille Lacs

Fishing with a bobber and live bait is a fundamental Minnesota experience that the Mille Lacs fishing and resort community felt they couldn't live without this summer.
Minnesota deer hunters want to be heard more often

Minnesota deer hunters want to be heard more often

To better track whitetail abundance, agency should survey hunters' opinionsannually, some say

Muskie expo rolls into St. Paul as lawmakers plot against stocking the big fish

Legislation that seeks to ban the spread of muskie fishing to new lakes in the state will be a sizzling topic of conversation this weekend…

Mille Lacs stakeholders voice unrest over live-bait ban

Goal is to keep Mille Lacs open, but merchants are fearing deeper losses.
Catch a fishing class at the Northwest Sportshow

Catch a fishing class at the Northwest Sportshow

Want advice on muskie, walleye or smallmouth fishing or picking a kayak? It's available
Five Minnesota anglers to be honored at Northwest Sportshow

Five Minnesota anglers to be honored at Northwest Sportshow

Three men, a Chisago City fishing business and the Minnesota Fishing Museum itself will be inducted Friday into the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame.
No-nonsense Fish and Wildlife official jumps ship to top ranks of Minnesota DNR

No-nonsense Fish and Wildlife official jumps ship to top ranks of Minnesota DNR

At 62, Jim Leach will take over the state fish and wildlife division.
Outdoors-friendly land deals getting brushed off at Legislature

Outdoors-friendly land deals getting brushed off at Legislature

Some conservation group leaders and DNR officials say the actions are threatening to undo millions of dollars in land deals between the state and willing sellers.
New walleye season on Mille Lacs will be catch-and-release

New walleye season on Mille Lacs will be catch-and-release

Policy will be catch-and-release only, with no live bait, this season.
DNR grades pheasant restoration project a mixed bag so far

DNR grades pheasant restoration project a mixed bag so far

Pheasant hunting's future murky one year into project.
Five special birds making their way back to Minnesota

Five special birds making their way back to Minnesota

Big and small, these five distinctive birds are part of a busy migration.
Roadside grass management becomes a hot topic

Roadside grass management becomes a hot topic

Management of roadside grasses is getting increased attention because of its effect on habitat

Minnesota deer and grouse hunting groups partner to save forest habitat Up North

The two Grand Rapids-based hunting organizations share an interest in similar habitat and already have been working together on a plan to buy thousands of acres of private forest.
Lead ammo debate heats up

Lead ammo debate heats up

The DNR wants to prohibit its use by bird hunters on state land if Legislature doesn't.

Sweet weather wields a threat to makers of maple syrup

Maple syrup makers in eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin are fretting over unseasonably warm temperatures out of fear the trees will start to bud before all the sap runs.
March 8: No shortage of issues for outdoors enthusiasts as Legislature resumes

March 8: No shortage of issues for outdoors enthusiasts as Legislature resumes

A look at outdoors-related topics likely to draw attention from lawmakers over the next 10 weeks.
U team draws line in Mississippi to stop Asian carp

U team draws line in Mississippi to stop Asian carp

Plan would bombard fish with water pressure, noise and underwater lights.
Average ice-out dates of interest to many in Minnesota

Average ice-out dates of interest to many in Minnesota

A rash of early ice-out dates since the late 1990s has been noticed by fisheries managers, climatologists, naturalists and lake biologists.
DNR sets deadelines for removing fish houses, shelters from lakes

DNR sets deadelines for removing fish houses, shelters from lakes

Anglers who fish south of a line connecting Detroit Lakes, Walker, the Floodwood area and Proctor must remove fish houses by the end of March 7.
Fishermen hope steelhead surge on North Shore continues

Fishermen hope steelhead surge on North Shore continues

After a historic Lake Superior catch last year, fishermen are eager to see if numbers stay high.
'Hooking mortality' count one more Mille Lacs sore point

'Hooking mortality' count one more Mille Lacs sore point

The DNR's estimate of walleye that die after being released is a growing source of frustration on the lake.
DNR's new top cop to push for improvements

DNR's new top cop to push for improvements

Rodmen Smith backs Gov. Mark Dayton on felony poaching law, wants warden diversity and balanced service.
Anglers get first look at potential new Mille Lacs walleye rules

Anglers get first look at potential new Mille Lacs walleye rules

The highly anticipated regulations will be set by the DNR in early March, but the first glimpse of what they could look like was shown to anglers Tuesday night.
Feb. 3: Private ditches seen as 'small portion' of farm drainage

Feb. 3: Private ditches seen as 'small portion' of farm drainage

Gov. Mark Dayton's reluctant decision last week to exclude private ditches from buffer strip mapping was an obvious setback to his hard-fought 2015 water-quality law.
Tournaments heat up Minnesota's ice-fishing scene

Tournaments heat up Minnesota's ice-fishing scene

Between economic and personal benefits, the only losers are the fish.
Winter survival outlook for deer, pheasants looks good

Winter survival outlook for deer, pheasants looks good

The mild winter, so far, should help more deer and pheasants survive. But it could still turn nasty.

Coyote hunting interest rising in Minnesota, except up north

"The sport is definitely growing in popularity," DNR Conservation Officer Thor Nelson said.
Dec. 4, 2015: DNR tweaks strategy to boost elk population, retain hunting

Dec. 4, 2015: DNR tweaks strategy to boost elk population, retain hunting

Three herds in northwestern Minnesota total about 130 elk; hunting has been allowed under tight restrictions.
Stopping for a 'cold one' takes on new meaning on Lake of the Woods

Stopping for a 'cold one' takes on new meaning on Lake of the Woods

Anglers in the lobby of Zippel Bay Resort want to know where walleyes are biting — and whether the Igloo Bar is for real. The answer lies nearly 2 miles from shore on Lake of the Woods.
Proposed field station in Mille Lacs to focus on walleye management in lake

Proposed field station in Mille Lacs to focus on walleye management in lake

Facility would oversee walleye at a lake hurt by low numbers.
Lake of the Woods legend recalls early years of ice angling

Lake of the Woods legend recalls early years of ice angling

Resourceful Lake of the Woods resort owners came to embrace winter anglers

Ice fishermen flocking to fish at Courthouse Lake in Chaska

Chaska's Courthouse Lake is continuing to draw trout anglers more than a week after the 10-acre fishing hole drew a crowd on the opening day of winter trout season.
Minnesota considers elk management plan

Minnesota considers elk management plan

Backers of a reintroduction project see it as restoring part of Minnesota's wildlife heritage
Field report: Snowmobile trails are recovering in northern Minnesota

Field report: Snowmobile trails are recovering in northern Minnesota

The North Shore State Trail has bounced back from rough start.
Custom paddle board maker takes talents to Minneapolis Boat Show

Custom paddle board maker takes talents to Minneapolis Boat Show

Shore Boards owner Tim Shore saw the paddle board craze and began handcrafting wood models
Lake associations flex muscles over muskie infusion

Lake associations flex muscles over muskie infusion

Opponents railing against long-range DNR plan to spread species to chains.
Sportsmen's Show is ready for its run at St. Paul RiverCentre

Sportsmen's Show is ready for its run at St. Paul RiverCentre

St. Paul's RiverCentre will open Thursday to the 46th annual Minnesota Sportsmen's Show for fishing, hunting, boating, camping and family vacations.
DNR roundtable to focus on variety of wildlife conservation issues

DNR roundtable to focus on variety of wildlife conservation issues

Scarcity of some baitfish in Lake Mille Lacs and the dynamics of how aquatic invasive species contribute to the Mille Lacs walleye crisis will take center stage Friday morning when the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) launches its annual roundtable with outdoors stakeholders.
New regulations offer turkey hunters a second shot

New regulations offer turkey hunters a second shot

The one-bird bag limit stays, but the empty-handed can try again.
DNR's new deer, elk and moose manager facing big job

DNR's new deer, elk and moose manager facing big job

Adam Murkowski will deal with the state audit on his agency's deer management programs and a controversial elk management plan.
Delayed first ice is nice for anglers

Delayed first ice is nice for anglers

Ice fishermen could hardly wait this winter to cut holes and resume their annual traditions
Otter Tail County Board asks DNR to delay stocking of muskies

Otter Tail County Board asks DNR to delay stocking of muskies

Commissioners worry other fish might be harmed.
Outdoors headliners: the stories of the year

Outdoors headliners: the stories of the year

A pheasant plan was made, a buffer bill passed. But Mille Lacs was the year's top outdoors story.
Bird feeding taking wing by the million in Minnesota

Bird feeding taking wing by the million in Minnesota

According to the latest estimate by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, at least 25 percent of Minnesotans — more than 1 million people — feed birds.

After hatchery by Altura closes, two Wisconsin facilities to stock trout in Minnesota

Disease closed hatchery by Altura; it won't be viable for at least three years.

Early ice fishing good on Upper Red Lake

While there's still open water on the south end of Upper Red Lake, 4 to 7 inches of ice in other areas have tempted some anglers to venture out on four-wheelers.
Bigger, better buffers the target of proposed $800 million, five-year program

Bigger, better buffers the target of proposed $800 million, five-year program

Its purpose is to simultaneously address water pollution and make up for lost wildlife habitat in 54 counties in southern and western Minnesota.
Q&A: DNR commissioner is proud of inroads made

Q&A: DNR commissioner is proud of inroads made

Tom Landwehr, a waterfowl biologist who was hired by the state Department of Natural Resources in 1982, is entering his sixth year as the agency's top gun.
Winter's late, but options for fishermen, hunters abound

Winter's late, but options for fishermen, hunters abound

There's North Shore fishing, walleyes by Red Wing, and grouse, pheasant, deer and goose hunting.
In Minnesota's farm country, clean water is costly

In Minnesota's farm country, clean water is costly

Ag runoff is costly pollutant, but safe practices can help.

Delayed ice freezes up Minnesota's winter fishing season

It's too warm even in Minnesota's winter hot spots.
Mille Lacs produces second monster muskie in 17 days

Mille Lacs produces second monster muskie in 17 days

The catch on Thanksgiving eve of a beastly muskie, estimated at 61 pounds by Dominic Hoyos of Stillwater, eclipsed the possible world record fly-fishing muskie caught by Robert Hawkins just 16 days earlier, also on Mille Lacs.
Venison lovers must hunt for carcass processors as options dwindle

Venison lovers must hunt for carcass processors as options dwindle

Chronic wasting disease spurred a shift away from the whole-carcass trade.
Obituary: Faith Lowell, admired landscape painter and mentor to St. Paul artists

Obituary: Faith Lowell, admired landscape painter and mentor to St. Paul artists

She reveled in the outdoors and loved painting it.

State deer hunting improving from disappointing past years

With more shooting opportunities still to go, mild weather and a larger deer herd have contributed to a 13 percent overall increase in Minnesota's whitetail harvest.
Wisconsin expects larger deer firearms harvest despite ailing population

Wisconsin expects larger deer firearms harvest despite ailing population

Wisconsin, battling issues within the deer herd, still expects 'a really nice year'
Dayton lauds community monitoring of mine in Michigan

Dayton lauds community monitoring of mine in Michigan

The governor says environmental oversight by a local foundation could be a model if PolyMet plan proceeds.
'Momentous' decision at stake as Dayton tours mine sites

'Momentous' decision at stake as Dayton tours mine sites

Dayton will visit two operations, chosen by opposing advocacy groups on PolyMet, to show the best and worst environmental consequences of modern mining.
Fall fishing trip offers the right amount of bite

Fall fishing trip offers the right amount of bite

Crisp air, plenty of walleye made for quite the memory.
R.D. Offutt's pines-to-potatoes plan is scaled back in compromise with Minnesota DNR

R.D. Offutt's pines-to-potatoes plan is scaled back in compromise with Minnesota DNR

Deal is designed to protect groundwater and forests.

Minn. Confederate flag defenders' planned Capitol protest fizzles

But counter-protesters gathered anyway.
DNR issues citations after treaty rights challenge on Gull Lake

DNR issues citations after treaty rights challenge on Gull Lake

A treaty rights challenge by tribal members regarding wild rice harvesting broadened into a confrontation over netting on nearby Gull Lake, where two band members were issued citations.
Wild rice protest defused Thursday, may be revived Friday

Wild rice protest defused Thursday, may be revived Friday

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources defused a confrontation with Chippewa band members Thursday by issuing an unrequested one-day, special permit to harvest wild rice. But band members said the temporary move won't settle the treaty rights issue.
Obituary: Hockey star, sports buff Wade Wallen helped others with Huntington's disease

Obituary: Hockey star, sports buff Wade Wallen helped others with Huntington's disease

Huntington’s disease took its toll on Wade Wallen over the course of more than 12 years, leaving the former Bloomington Jefferson High School hockey star…
Wild rice showdown looms in northern Minnesota

Wild rice showdown looms in northern Minnesota

Chippewa band members push for off-reservation rights in 1855 Treaty territory.
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