A proposal to allow free angling in Minnesota state parks has been removed from a bill in the Minnesota House, but language allowing anglers to fish with two lines statewide remains.

However, those wanting to double their angling fun would have to fork over an extra $10, under a change made to the bill last week. Another provision would allow anglers age 90 and older to fish for free.

And 48 inches would be the statewide minimum size for muskies in inland waters, with a 40-inch minimum for tiger muskies on some Twin Cities-area waters managed for the hybrid muskies.

It's uncertain whether the two-line provision will become law. That language in HF1238 isn't in a companion Senate bill.

Uncased guns

A measure in the same bill that would have allowed hunters and shooters to transport unloaded firearms uncased in their vehicles has been altered considerably. Now the wording would allow unloaded, uncased firearms -- excluding pistols -- to be transported in a vehicle: while at a shooting range, where the person has received permission from the owner; while the person is lawfully hunting on private or public land; or while travelling to or from a site the persons intends to hunt lawfully that day or has hunted lawfully that day. There are exceptions, including the seven-county metro region.

Youth turkey hunt

Last weekend's Minnesota youth turkey hunt was the most successful yet as 305 youths shot 131 birds, a 43 percent success rate, the best in the hunt's six-year history. It also was the most participants. Last year, 237 young hunters harvested 90 birds, a 38 percent success rate. If you missed our Wednesday Outdoors story on the hunt, see http://www.startribune.com/sports/outdoors/43398532.html.

Gobblers galore

Minnesota's turkey hunters are finding birds. Hunters in Season A, the first five-day period, which began April 15, bagged 2,110 birds, compared with 1,872 last year. "People are seeing birds,'' said Eric Dunton, DNR turkey biologist. However, that increase could be accounted for by an increase in the number of permits made available this spring, he said. The DNR offered about 4,000 more permits this year.

Seeking more anglers

Nearly 90,000 Minnesotans will receive a postcard this spring encouraging them to buy a fishing license.

"Even when stocks are down, you can still stock up on memories because they never lose their value,'' the cards say, telling recipients to join the fun and buy a fishing license.

This is the third year of the promotion, a joint effort paid for by the Department of Natural Resources and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

"We estimate that 28 percent of Minnesotans buy a fishing license, but we'd like that number to be higher, particularly among families with children," said Jenifer Matthees, DNR MinnAqua program coordinator. Matthees said the program has boosted sales, and the DNR is considering similar mailings targeting hunters.

Earn-a-buck dead

There will be no earn-a-buck this fall in Wisconsin. The state's Natural Resources Board indefinitely suspended the controversial program after hunters killed about 165,000 fewer deer last fall than in 2007 and the DNR scaled back its deer population estimates.

The earn-a-buck program is designed to control burgeoning deer herds and requires hunters to kill an antlerless deer before they can take a buck. The board directed the DNR to develop hunter-supported alternatives.

Doug Smith • dsmith@startribune.com