Walking trails pave the way for bird hunters

Walking trails pave the way for bird hunters

TOGO, Minn. — Clyde, a handsome English setter, loped through a stand of young aspen. He was all business. The bell on his collar jingled. His nose sifted the humid October air for the scent of a ruffed grouse or woodcock.

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For the measure — for the meadowlarks and the habitat

Measure 5 has its faults, but the threats to N.D. wildlife are too dire to stay on the present course. North Dakota’s state bird could be in trouble. Earlier this year, the Game and Fish Department added the bird to its Conservation Priority List.

Finding funding for pheasant habitat: As annual statewide pheasant season opens, the question of funding habitat improvement will be a highly discussed topic

Finding funding for pheasant habitat: As annual statewide pheasant season opens, the question of funding habitat improvement will be a highly discussed topic

MITCHELL, S.D. -- Paul Coughlin talks about the landscape in South Dakota as if it were a radiant, elaborate painting.

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Huge songbird migration happening in Duluth and along North Shore

Huge songbird migration happening in Duluth and along North Shore

DULUTH, Minn. -- Thousands of songbirds, pushed by two days of strong northwest winds, converged along the North Shore and in Duluth on Friday and Saturday, according to reports from counters at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth. Many motorists reported hitting songbirds along Minnesota Highway 61.

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There’s plenty of cause for optimism going into this year’s N.D. pheasant opener, thanks to solid spring production and despite the ongoing loss of habitat.

There’s plenty of cause for optimism going into this year’s N.D. pheasant opener, thanks to solid spring production and despite the ongoing loss of habitat.

GRAND FORKS -- Following the trend in neighboring states, pheasant numbers are up in North Dakota, and that’s good news for hunters going into Saturday’s pheasant opener. “I think it’s going to be a lot better than last year definitely,” said Matt Olson, regional biologist for Pheasants Forever in Lisbon, N.D.

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Dakotas, Minnesota and Montana pheasant forecast from Pheasants Forever

“Better than last year” pretty much sums up the outlook for hunting seasons across pheasant country. According to conservation group Pheasants Forever, weather and habitat are two critical ingredients to pheasant populations, and mostly positive weather during the crucial winter and spring seasons has driven pheasant gains in most states. Here’s a roundup on pheasant outlooks for the Dakotas, Minnesota and Montana from Pheasants Forever’s annual fall forecast:

Minnesota to hold summit on pheasants

Following the lead of South Dakota, Gov. Mark Dayton announced this week that Minnesota will hold the state’s first Minnesota Pheasant Summit to discuss the plight of the popular game bird.

Operation goose call: Volunteers, organizations and businesses join forces to host inaugural goose hunt for disabled veterans in northwest Minnesota community of Middle River.

Operation goose call: Volunteers, organizations and businesses join forces to host inaugural goose hunt for disabled veterans in northwest Minnesota community of Middle River.

MIDDLE RIVER, Minn. — There they were, right in front of him. Two big Canada geese, their wings set, gliding into the decoys just yards away. As hunting opportunities go, they don’t get much better. Seth Osburnsen raised his shotgun and squeezed off a single shot. Not one bird fell. … Instead, two birds hit the ground with a thud, a pair of very large Canada geese downed with a single shot.

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Carrying on the legacy: Waskish hunter uses bow of best friend who died at 18 to shoot biggest bear of his life

Carrying on the legacy: Waskish hunter uses bow of best friend who died at 18 to shoot biggest bear of his life

Seth Kihlstadius had a passion for bowhunting, and anytime Tyler Brasel needed a partner in the woods or on the water, Kihlstadius was usually the first person he’d call. Growing up in Two Harbors, Minn., on Lake Superior, the two were best friends. “Nine times out of 10,” he’d go, Brasel, 29, of Waskish, Minn., recalled the other day. “Once we got our licenses, we’d skip class and fish steelhead on the Lester River.” Brasel moved from Two Harbors to Waskish in 2003 after his junior year of high school to help his parents start Bear Paw Guides, a resort on Upper Red Lake, but he and Kihlstadius kept in touch.

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Waiting game pays off for this elk hunter

Waiting game pays off for this elk hunter

Mitch Wilson of Squaw Lake, Minn., also drew an elk tag for Zone 20 in Kittson County near Lancaster, Minn.

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