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  1. Hi all With the pheasant hunting summit coming up soon, am wondering what everyones wish list is to improve pheasants in MN. Some of the things I would like is more habitat, more cooperation from farm and ag groups, more access and ............ Whaddya all think? Dan
  2. OK Kupman Why is it not necessarily a bad thing then? please explain. Dan
  3. I hope this shows up in a readable version here. I asked the DNR for a list of sites hayed-grazed this fall so I could plan accordingly. They suggested contacting the local managers as they would have info on if its actually happened. The maps, if you can view them, have WMAs listed for the haying-grazing management. I also contacted the Windom USFWS office regarding haying and grazing, and as usual no one contacted me back. All of the below is from the DNR St Paul Dan Grazing_Plan_NW_Region_Map_060512.pdf (559K) Grazing_Plan_S_Region_Map_060512.pdf (555K) GrazingPlan_RegionalMap_R3_20130523.pdf (111K) Emergency Forage Assistance 2013 List.xlsx (14K) Grazing - We do not have a good statewide inventory/map of where grazing is happening in a given year. It is high on my priority list for next year. However, we do have regional maps that show where we are currently set up for grazing and these are sites that may have had grazing this year or last year. Don’t panic when you look at the maps, the vast majority of the sites are “potential sites”. To determine if a WMA has current grazing look at the first number in parenthesis under the WMA name. If the first number is zero, there is likely no grazing there. About 3,000 new acres were fenced this summer, but most of them did not get cattle out. If a WMA you are looking to hunt identifies current grazing acres (first number is higher than 1), I would recommend you contact the WMA manager directly to find out which fields where grazed. Conservation grazing is part of a comprehensive strategy for landscape management. We are using grazing as a management tool, just like we use prescribed fire, invasive species management, and brush and tree removal. The key thing to remember about this grazing is that it is conservation oriented and is being driven by us. We are not “opening up” our WMAs to cattle grazing. Cattle can be used for a variety of grassland objectives, but our primary goal is to improve wildlife habitat by increasing plant diversity and structural diversity. Haying can also be a grassland management tool. Haying - Regarding haying, I have attached the list of sites that were approved for emergency haying for this year only. We do not have record here in St. Paul if all of these sites were actually hayed. Or they may have been hayed in June and have completely regrown by now.
  4. Oh I agree Sam. I think any politician even in a one on one conversation would not say anything bad about agriculture. I think if folks showed up at any of Madelias pheasant fest or opener activities with a Tshirt calling attention to whats going on would get heckled or booed BUT may call attention to whats going-on their home field. You'd never get a guy like Schara to do anything other than "what me worry" everything is alright. Tony Dean, if he was still alive he'd put the truth out there-he always did in his column and his TV show. He was the real deal and we need more like him not this middle of the road can't we'll all be friends type media personalities and journalists. Who are always on the lookout for freebie adventures. Dan
  5. If you google pheasant fest madelia mn it does take you to the pages for it and the governors opener. Shooting events, celebrities (Ron Schara) I am guessing booths, banquet, free music etc. Could be a good time. Eric whats the sentiment down your way on haying and grazing on WMAs from farmers and hunters alike> Do you see much grazing/haying on WPAs as well? I was blown away to see the feds dozed down 2 tree groves (former farmstead sites) last year at Slaughter Slough WPA Dan
  6. Link to Madelia and the opener, not anything posted yet about the opener and events. They also have a pheasant fest on Oct 5th, few details regarding that event as well. Anybody been to their pheasant fest???? http://www.madeliamn.com/calendar/events/index.php?com=detail&eID=508&year=2013&month=10
  7. I have never ever hunted the opener anywhere in MN or Dakotas. Never had private land to hunt it that weekend and don't want to fight crowds on public land. So whats everyones experience been on opening day in MN on public land??? Anyone going to Madelia to take in the Govs opener?? I don't know if the town will put on a good party and eats or not. I've been to the parties/feeds at fishing opener and sometimes they have a pretty good party and eats. Just thinking out loud here regarding WMAs WPAS being grazed and hayed in MN now, Madelia is the"pheasant capitol of MN" its in the ag belt, and the governors opener is there. Might be a good time and place to spread the word, chat other hunters, farmers, politicians at all levels regarding your thoughts on the issue, even talk to the media about it, make a TShirt on your position and wear it etc etc etc. I read Landwhers interview in Outdoor News this week and he doesn't open up and speak about it in length. Dan
  8. Hi Bob T I agree that with the ever expanding demand for oil, especially in highly populated countries with powerful expanding economies, that the demand taps all markets wherever the source countries are. All I was pointing out was the fact that during the hype promoting Ethanol it was reducing our dependence on foreign oil, which suggested subtlety or not oil from the mid east, which was not true since US was getting it from mainly Canada Mexico Caribbean nations. That helped create blind support for ethanol. Dan
  9. An opinion piece published by Mpls Strib in todays paper. Written by a S Central MN farmer. What do you-the farmer, livestock producer, and the poultry producer, think about this piece? Take a minute to read it. http://www.startribune.com/opinion/c...220426591.html Thanks Dan
  10. Well I think we were all pretty gullible to the hype and marketing of Ethanol-remember how we were going to reduce our need for foreign oil-particularly in the mid east? At the time we were already getting most of our foreign oil from Canada, Mexico, Venezuela. And corn was already something we knew how to grow and get ethanol out of. The government alone didn't shove it down our throats, Ag giants, farmers and assns, farm equipment manufacturers etc etc etc actively promoted it as did car makers and we are suckers for anyone who uses the flag and patriotism to promote their agenda. How many people actually burn E85? Thats why Ethanol continues to push for a higher mandate than 15%. Ask your local wildlife manager for maps of WMAs open to haying and grazing this season, and ask to see the management plans for all of their WMAs that they want to graze and hay. Ask if on their HSOforum if the public sites have the shape files loaded for overlays on WMAs for the grazing and hayed areas and if the management plans are on the public site as well. If nothing else, if in fact that is available at least we'll be able to see if some of our stomping grounds are being abused before we hit the road. Dan I think the chink in the armor is the funding sources. We have pheasant stamps, waterfowl stamps, hunting licenses, legacy money, etc etc and they may be quite specific in desired outcomes.
  11. And here is the link to the Strib article-actually a series of articles, on what the ag boom is doing to the landscape. Take the time to read it. http://www.startribune.com/local/170...tml?page=1&c=y Dan
  12. Landdr I am guessing you may have started or worked for PLM?? Based on your location and number of acres you talked about. Back in the late 80s when I started hunting pheasants seriously we hunted Pope county mainly. Had some great hunting until 92 or 93 when it got really wet out there. Some of the WPAs had great grassland cover before the brome and other less beneficial grasses came in. Last time I hunted one of my favorite large WPAs S of Terrace the USFWS had the trees and brush, even native brush along the edges of large sloughs cut down. It was hard to get bearings on where I was and patches of cover that produced birds. I was a forester and if I had a logger make ruts like they did along the slough I would have stopped it and myself and the logger would have been taken to the woodshed. You are correct as you have to be VERY SPECIFIC on the questions you ask and how you phrase the questions. The message is very controlled and few are allowed to speak on it as a DNR manager. MPLS Star Tribune excellent articles on "Plowing Up the Prairie at a Price" and another article on how MN is losing and polluting aquifers is quite compelling. A well known DNR wildlife manager commented on what is happening on the prairie (in regards to the ag boom) and did NOT identify himself as a DNR wildlife manager-only as a wildlife biologist or manager Facts and the Truth DO MATTER. As you say-The DNR tells us that the farmer pays to fence. We ask? Do they pay for only the property line fence (between public and private land) Do they pay or do we pay for internal (all public land) fences. How much do they pay? Do they get reimbursed? How do they get reimbursed? And so on. I think predation around 200 feet of individual trees may very well be a factor. The question is what species are you concerned about being preyed upon? I also think that the goals-specifically the combination of grasses and forbs, shrubs,and animal species that depend on those specific needs on the different prairie landforms we have, is unobtainable for a variety of reasons, the most obvious is the destruction and degradation of all prairie land ecosystems in MN. Why do I say that? Sharptail grouse. For a while it was the holy grail of recovery efforts in MN. Forestry was taken to task by wildlife for putting out fires and planting trees within their native ranges. Yet in spite of a very active and intensive effort through prescribed burning, shearing, brush chopping etc, those local populations are staying small and remnant. And I would venture to say the reason why is when those adjacent lands, and lands that came back through forfeiture do not have small grain fields which helped populations climb, and that the surrounding areas became too developed to help support sharptails as well. A lot of effort, with few results, and not enough thinking with all affected DNR managers at all levels and divisions before acting. AND lets try this on a small scale and monitor it for 10 years before we decide to act or not act any further. Been to Itasca Park since they began prescribed burning in a big way in the 90s? Lots of PR about bringing fire- a natural management tool back to the landscape. I detested what they did as I think they were killing way too many of the large pine trees from the burns and more importantly after 5 years no pine regeneration-from natural seeding-was showing up and should have been. The burning continued on for a total of 10 years or so before someone finally wised up and pulled the plug. I am happy to know of a DNR Parks resource manager-for several parks in a region of MN-who has done logging along with other "radical" tools in land management in the parks she works on. I asked her why she chose logging when it had been so ostracized in DNR parks. her answer was "I will never rule out using any of the tools in my toolbox" That is the right answer. Dan Landdr was the forum at Game fair recorded and if so how and where can I watch it?
  13. Thanks for the good words, Harvey. I was working at Game Fair yesterday and hoped to get over to meet the Fish On guy but was only one staffing our booth so I had to stay put. One other consequence of opening lands to grazing will be that Ag will take all the credit for any and all successes in managing public land without even acknowledging or thanking us the public and they may even push to sell the land to ag since they do the management. Some may be skeptical about that notion, but we already have people in the MN House and Senate, democrats and republicans, northern and southern MN who see no value on public land because it doesn't generate enough revenue etc. Dan
  14. I spent some time talking to a DNR wildlife manager yesterday-he works in the "transition zone" between prairie and forest. He said that cattle can help control cattails, that if the goal is to control or eliminate woody vegetation goats are effective, but not very viable due to small herds etc. Every WMA is supposed to have a management plan written with specific goals. So we may see a variety of lightly grazed upland to trampled down mucked up cattails to decimated all season long grazed uplands. He also told me that removing trees, even if widely scattered individual trees, was for predator control-the predators that destroy nests, and he went on to say that a lone tree will create a 200 foot circle of danger to predation around it. Very educational for me. I've hunted enough of W and SW MN to know there is more of a variety of landforms out there which should influence goals and grazing/haying management. That said I think the hunters are being thrown under the bus here. I say that because I've witnessed firsthand the destruction of cover in the Dakotas with the grain boom, GMO corn and soybeans-planned for 5 years being grown on WPAs on the Sand Lake Wetland management district upland areas in the name of invasive grasses control. And now this on MN WMAs and WPAs. Its a shrinking resource of available and huntable cover for me the upland bird hunter. Why would I be happy about losing it on OUR public land? Yes we are supposed to love our farmers warm and fuzzy blah blah blah they feed us, right? But the truths of what they've done to the land and water surrounds us. And worldwide demand for corn as Asia has developed a taste for western food means that just as with oil, it matters little that we produce it here, it gets sold to the highest bidder on the commodity market, so we get thrown under the bus that way as well. I would like to see Ag do something substantial in return for haying and grazing CRP WMAs WPAs. Perhaps requiring that they open up their lands for hunting. Admitting Ethanol was a mistake. Taking off the misleading TV commercials like "farmers have less of a carbon footprint than in the 50s" etc. And lastly, in this very political world we live in, the Twps, Counties, Farm Bureau, Cattlemens Assn etc etc can and will put pressure on the DNR politically to expand, favor, get them to back off regs. I worked for the DNR for 34 years and I can assure you that once St Paul gets involved as a local manager you are cut out of the decision loop. Its been progressively getting worse since the early 90s regardless who is governor or controls the house or senate. Dan
  15. Count me as a whiner then. Really? I think the point made as to what the public agencies are managing for is legitimate. It appears to me it isn't hunting species. I have seen WMAs and WPAs in W and SW MN as well as Big Stone NWR cut down blocks of trees to the point its hard to recognize where one is. Was it for the Prairie Chickens, which by the way has been largely unsuccessful in W central MN. Last year I saw 2 farmstead woodlots dozed into a pile at Slaughter Slough WPA. In the big scheme of the grassland management in the ag areas its impact is nano. I lost a place to get out of the wind and in the shade and more importantly a piece of history when there was a farmstead on every 1/4 section. Whiner? You bet. Upland hunting cover is disappearing and now its happening on public land. Pheasants Forever, DNR, The Nature Conservancy can spin it all they want but AG GETS ITS WAY. Its a dereliction of management by public agencies and if you want to see all the benefits ag has done to the landscape, let me show you drain tile going into WMAs and narrow leaf cattail sloughs and drainage ditches and all its polluted runoff going into WMAs and WPAs. A whiner? You bet. Now public land is going to get trashed more for the "poor farmer" Pretty nice to have your back covered no matter how the chips fall. Dan
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