Pat Miller, Special to the Pioneer
GRAND RAPIDS—An abundance of public land in deer hunting management area 169 draws many hunters to the forest roads north and east of the Leech Lake Reservation during the initial few days of the season. Portions of area 169, especially the northeast near Togo, also are susceptible to extended winters so the deer herd is constantly bucking the odds.
PARK RAPIDS—Year in and year out, the Park Rapids area is among the leaders in overall deer harvest for Minnesota, and that reputation should continue this fall. "There are no shortage of deer in the area," said Dawn Plattner who is the acting DNR wildlife supervisor for the Park Rapids area. "One night on my way home from work I almost hit three deer."
BEMIDJI—The deer herd in northwest Minnesota has shown a steady increase during the past few years and some people think the time has come to slow that progression. "We are starting to hear issues of too many deer," said Erik Thorson, the Minnesota DNR's acting big-game program leader. "We are at or above goal (in many northwest Minnesota permit areas) and that's why we are being more liberal with the hunting regulations. Our objective is to reduce the herd and get it back to the goal numbers."
BEMIDJI—When the conditions are right, it doesn't take long for a deer herd to increase its numbers. And that is exactly what is happening in deer permit area (DPA) 184, which includes the Bemidji area.
BEMIDJI—In many lake and river systems, the northern pike is very willing to hit a fisherman's presentation. The pike are feisty and aggressive, seemingly always hungry and have a temperament that takes full advantage of their numerous sharp teeth. Anglers who hook onto a large pike are in for a battle and, unless the fisherman is using equipment up to the task, the fish is likely to cut or snap the line and swim away unfazed. In many Bemidji area waters, however, large pike are the exception and not the rule as the pike fishery is dominated by smaller fish.
BEMIDJI—When the 2018 walleye fishing season begins at midnight on May 12, anglers will be casting jigs from the public dock on Paul Bunyan Drive, wading the shallows at Diamond Point and steering their trolling motors along the shoreline breaks near Library Park. And, most of them will be catching fish.
CASS LAKE—The walleyes in the Cass Lake Chain are constantly on the move and when the 2018 fishing season opens May 12, the anglers can use the wanderings of the walleyes to their advantage. "In the spring, the Cass Lake walleyes will travel all the way to the Power Dam on the Mississippi River and we know that they go as far as Turtle River Lake through the Turtle River," said Tony Kennedy, the Bemidji Area Fisheries large lake specialist. "We know that the Cass Lake walleyes can migrate a long way to spawn and the rivers offer the best spawning habitat in the chain."
UPPER RED LAKE—Among the success stories in Minnesota fish management is Red Lake and this summer anglers who fish Upper Red will, once again, reap the benefits.
BEMIDJI—The warmer weather and strong winds during the last week of April and the first week of May generated perfect conditions for ice break-up and most of the area lakes should offer open water when the 2018 Minnesota fishing season begins Saturday, May 12. Anglers, however, may have to adjust to the cold-water conditions if they want to boat their share of walleyes.
PARK RAPIDS — Year-in and year-out, some of the best deer hunting in Minnesota can be found in the Park Rapids area. A terrain that features a mixture of agriculture and forests creates perfect habitat for the adaptable animals and, during the past two years, mild winters have resulted in a stress-free lifestyle.