Outdoors notebook: Min-Dak MDHA deer event, Pheasants Forever contributions etc.

Min-Dak Border MDHA chapter plans Deer Extravaganza The Min-Dak Border Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association will host a Deer Extravaganza on Feb. 5 at the East Grand Forks Eagles Club as a lead-up to its 20th annual banquet that evening.

Min-Dak Border MDHA chapter plans Deer Extravaganza

The Min-Dak Border Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association will host a Deer Extravaganza on Feb. 5 at the East Grand Forks Eagles Club as a lead-up to its 20th annual banquet that evening.

The extravaganza gets under way at 9 a.m., and hunters can bring antlers, bear skulls and other trophies to be scored by a certified Boone and Crockett measurer until 3 p.m. Trophies will be on display from 9 a.m. until the end of the banquet, which begins at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour, followed by a buffet dinner at 7.

As part of the extravaganza, trophies will be presented for the largest typical whitetail, largest nontypical whitetail and largest antlers from a deer shot by a hunter age 17 or younger.

The scoring is open to anyone, and there is a fee of $5 per entry to cover measuring costs; the fee will be waived for MDHA members.


Prospective members also can join the day of the event.

Tickets for the banquet cost $50, which includes the meal, door prizes and one-year MDHA membership, along with a quarterly subscription to the MDHA's Whitetails magazine. Tickets are available at Sportsman's Taxidermy Studio in East Grand Forks or by calling Bill Cummings at (218) 773-3217.

The MDHA also will hold its "10-gun raffle" during the banquet. There are 600 tickets available at $10 each for this year's raffle, and anyone who buys a book of 10 tickets will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Cabela's gift card. Raffle tickets are available at Sportsman's Taxidermy Studio or by calling Loren Abel at (701) 741-1147.

-- Brad Dokken

Pheasants Forever chapter highlights annual donations

The Red River Valley Chapter of Pheasants Forever donated more than $51,000 to area hunter education, youth shooting, outdoor learning, hunting and fishing and similar programs in 2010.

According to Brian Nelson of East Grand Forks, chapter president, the grand total of donations was $51,035; of that total, the chapter donated $14,000 to hunter education programs in several area communities, $9,515 to youth shooting programs, $6,400 to outdoor learning opportunities, $1,300 to scout programs, $3,500 to disability hunts, $1,000 to youth fishing events, $1,895 to youth Pheasants Forever memberships, and $13,425 to miscellaneous causes such as the University of Minnesota-Crookston scholarship fund and youth events in East Grand Forks and Warroad, Minn.

For more information on the Red River Valley Pheasants Forever chapter, contact Nelson at (218) 230-4364.


-- Brad Dokken

Minnesota deer kill jumps 7 percent

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's deer kill rose 7 percent during the 2010 season, compared with the previous year.

The Department of Natural Resources said hunters shot 207,000 deer during the 2010 season -- the 13th highest on record. Officials attributed the increase to ideal hunting weather during opening weekend of the firearms season.

The DNR said Minnesota's deer kill has moderated in recent years, because the deer herd is at or near population goals across much of the state. Some areas of the state actually may have seen a lower harvest rate.

Firearms hunters shot 176,200 deer, an 8 percent increase. Archery hunters took 21,500 deer -- a 4 percent increase from 2009 -- while muzzleloader hunters killed 9,300 deer, a 12 percent increase from the previous year.

-- Associated Press

Trumpeter swans gain in Minnesota


ST. PAUL -- A statewide aerial survey finds Minnesota's trumpeter swan population has more than doubled in the past five years.

The survey was conducted Jan. 5-8. It found more than 5,300 trumpeter swans in 14 Minnesota counties. But the actual number of trumpeter swans in Minnesota last September is estimated at 5,500. That's because some Minnesota swans now nesting in western Ontario migrate back to Minnesota for the winter and are counted in the survey.

The survey is conducted every five years. In 2005, the population estimate was more than 2,000 trumpeters.

The Three Rivers Park District coordinated the survey in conjunction with the Minnesota DNR's Nongame Wildlife Program and The Trumpeter Swan Society.

Trumpeter swans once were hunted to extinction in Minnesota but have been restored to the state.

-- Associated Press

Did you know?

- The Minnesota DNR and the National Wild Turkey Federation again this spring are offering first-time youth turkey hunters age 12 to 17 the opportunity to go afield and learn from an experienced NWTF volunteer. Applications, maps and general information for the wild turkey hunt are available online at Application deadline is midnight Feb. 14. Participants will be selected through a random lottery, and the hunts are set for April 16-17.


- A new website,, is North Dakota's first comprehensive source for wild-land fire prevention information.

- It should go without saying, but snowmobile enthusiasts should stay clear of wildlife and its habitat so animals do not suffer additional stress, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department said. Anyone witnessing harassment or chasing of wildlife should call the Report All Poachers hotline at (800) 472-2121 in North Dakota or the Turn in Poachers hotline in Minnesota at (800) 652-9093.

Brad Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and has been the Grand Forks Herald's outdoors editor since 1998.

Besides his role as an outdoors writer, Dokken has an extensive background in northwest Minnesota and Canadian border issues and provides occasional coverage on those topics.

Reach him at, by phone at (701) 780-1148 or on Twitter at @gfhoutdoor.
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