Field Reports: Minnesota Lawmakers and Hunters Attack MDC


This effort would allow the Department of Natural Resources to allocate more money for general taxes to combat the ever-fatal disease of the deer. At the present time, all efforts have been paid by the deer hunters with the help of a license fee.

The coalition is also asking the University of Minnesota for more money to develop a quick and effective field test for CWD so that hunters can quickly determine if the animal they have killed is carrying the disease. Researchers need $ 1.8 million to develop an inexpensive, portable plaque dust collector kit. Currently, tests are expensive and take at least five days to get results.

Legislators and hunters also want to crack down on deer and elk farms that have been outbreaks of CWD. They want the laws to require double fencing and higher fences around deer farms. And they want to force farmers to depopulate themselves – to kill all their animals – if one of the herds presents a positive test for the MDC. Now it is up to the farmer to decide, which allows him to keep other potential MDC-bearing animals in the landscape. (The only way to test the MDC is after the death of the animal.)

The bills would also ask the state money to buy the deer farms that want to withdraw from the trade. And a proposal would impose a moratorium on all new state suede farms. There are already about 400 deer and elk farms in Minnesota.

"It's a good package. We have our upcoming annual meeting and I'm pretty sure our members will accept most or all of these," said Craig Engwall, executive director of Minnesota. Deer Hunters Association.

CWD has grown from one Colorado site to more than 26 states in the last 50 years, including several deer farms and over 20 wild cervids in southern Minnesota. In southern Wisconsin, where the DNR stopped trying to control the disease, up to half of all deer tests were positive for CWD. Minnesota wildlife officials hope to kill as many deer as possible in MDC-affected areas to limit the incidence of the disease and slow down the spread to new areas.

MDC is always fatal to deer, elk and moose. A Canadian study shows that it can spread to monkeys fed on meat contaminated with MDC. MDC is an unwanted protein called prion that can be transmitted from deer to deer but can also be transmitted through the soil and even through plants. No case of MDC has infected a person, but researchers and health officials recommend not eating a deer carrying MDC. Because the disease is like mad cow disease, some public health experts are only a matter of time before it is passed on to humans.

The giant sturgeon could set the Minnesota record

A 78-inch-long sturgeon captured on February 9 in the lower St. Croix River may well be the state's new record of catching and restoring fish.

Darren Troseth, of Jordan, Minnesota, left, is all smiles after landing on a sturgeon perhaps unprecedented. Photo broughtThe sturgeon, captured by Darren Troseth, of Jordan, Minnesota, appears to be 5 inches longer than the 73-inch sturgeon caught last May by Jack Burke of Stillwater, Minnesota , in Rainy River. This sturgeon held the record for the largest sturgeon and the largest fish of all types, never officially caught and released in the state. In a video, Troseth estimates that his sturgeon weighed 120 pounds.

Here is a video of Troseth fighting the massive sturgeon.

Mille Lacs fishermen will have guards

The Minnesota DNR announced Thursday that it would allow fishing anglers to keep walleyes on Lake Mille Lacs this summer after three fishing summers with release only due to the fact that they are fishing. depletion of fish populations.

The DNR will release its official rules for the Big Lake in March, but has promised to allow some guards on a limited basis. Fishermen this winter could keep one walleye a day.

Beware of slush

Up and down Northland Lakes since the recent heavy snow has been difficult at best and sometimes impossible.

Voyageurs National Park officials warned the public on Thursday that melted snow, water and slush combined to make lake travel very difficult for all vehicles. Minnesota conservationists report that ATVs, four-wheel drive trucks and snowmobiles are all mired in lake damage.

The warning is to stay on roads in poor condition or on well used trails, and not to wander in a new territory. And anyone who has a large cooler on a Northland Lake, plans well to strive to remove it by March 18 for waters north of US Highway 2.

The upper hiking trail needs you

The Association of Top Hiking Trails is organizing three winter volunteer gatherings over the next few weeks. Whether you are a past or former SHTA volunteer, the meetings will allow you to learn more about the association's trail renewal program, learn more about expanding volunteer opportunities, meet staff, etc.

Meetings are scheduled for 9:00 am on March 23rd at Duluth Zoo; 1 pm-4pm March 30 at the Bloomington REI store; and from 9:00 to 12:00 on April 13 at the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais.

Go to or email Jo Swanson at [email protected] for more information or to register.

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